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Adjusting a baitcasting

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I broke down and bought a bait casting reel, it's a cheap one, But it's the first one so I figured I'll wear it out then buy a better one.

Anyway, I've read that you want to adjust the reel so that when you depress the button to release the line, the lure should lower slowly to the ground instead of dropping like a sack of potatos. 

I've turned just about every knob on this thing and but nothing effects the rate at which the line is released.  Do I need to open it up.

FYI, the Shakespeare xterra from WM does not come with directions.

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There should be a knob on the side of the reel (generally on the side with the drag) that you turn to either tighten or loosen the spool tension.

 

 

 

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Did you FIRST push down the thumb bar to release the spool ? After you do that you adjust your cast control knob. Been there, done that :)

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Sure thing.

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This is easier than it seems!  You have a Macro brake and a Micro Brake!  The Macro brake is the exterior knob, adjust this so that the bait falls smoothly from a foot from tip to ground.  Cast a few times and see if your over running (bird nesting).  if so tighten up a bit.  Open the side of the reel or there may be an adjustment knob on the side with min-max or weights.  adjust that and cast. Start from bird nest and work backwards.  In the end leave the Micro brake set and adjust your Macro brake.... you'll cast a mile.  I casted in the street for hours to figure mine out. I suggest you try that! 8-)

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Don't "swing for the fence" when casting. Keep the upper part of your arm still, pivot your elbow to cast. Release too early and your bait will go straight up. Release too late and it hits the water 5 feet in front of you. Keep the reel settings a little on the tight side to begin. Use your thumb to slow the spool down as the bait approaches the water. Training your thumb takes the most time but is crucial to baitcasting. Practice, practice, practice.

 

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My 2c,

switching to spinning to baitcaster, instead of throwing it, letting it go completely at release, I tend to describe a baitcasting cast as slinging it, like you throwing someone off a merry-go-round. You need to accelerate the rod tip and lure and gradually ease off your thumb pressure before you get to the release point, allowing the lure to start leaving out and the spool to start accelerating. The trick being to never allow the spool to spin faster than the lure is pulling line off. At first you'll throw it a few feet, took me a few months, now it's second nature to throw it a mile with little effort. Never lose contact between the thumb and spool, you'll get use to having the thumb barely touching it, it at all, but sense when the spool is out running the line...

I guess I'm saying start by keeping things snug and gradually build your distance with the confidence and technique you learn as you go. Don't try 1/8 jigs yet, seems light jigs and spinnerbaits catch a lot of air slowing down quicker than other baits. Most of my failures (birdnests) are when I grab another rod with a jig and trailer or spinnerbait after chunking a plug or carolina rig for a while.

You may notice you can tension the spool tension knob tighter to where the lure will not even fall to the ground and still throw it a long way.

I regularly go trout fishing now with 4 and 6 lb test and light rigs on baitcasters. You'll pick it up quickly. As we've suggested on other threads, get some BigGame line, a quality line, good quantity, at a good price, so when you mess up, cutting it off isn't so bad. Also I've seen it suggested to make a cast, add some extra, then put tape on the spool there, so next time it won't birdnest beyond your tape stop.

Oh, one more thing, rotate your rod and reel so the thumb is not part of casting the rod, you need your thumb free for spool tension, I was using my thumb at first to "push" the rod forward, and trying to work spool tension with the thumb at the same time. Instead of the reel being top dead center, I rotate mine 45 or 90 degrees off to one side. I remember starting out baitcasting using a "backhand", it was the only way I could get any results until I discovered a technique that worked for me.

It's like golf, it's the score that counts. You've seen pros have some funning looking golf swings making millions...

:)

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Although this has been covered a few times, still worth mentioning....your THUMB is the key..train it and the overruns/birdsnests will just about disapear.. :) Find a casting style that you like..i.e. I like to throw sidearm, I have the worst luck casting overhead...lol

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Details..??

Overrun..? at the begining of a cast=not enough braking. Overrun toward the end of a cast=spool friction knob..Set the brakes all the way on, then slowly turn the spool friction knob until the lure falls slowly to the ground, when it hits the ground there shouldn't be a overrun, if so, then slightly tighten the friction knob.

Cast with it a few times, if you do o.k., then back off the friction a tad...when you get no overruns,, then back off the brakes 1 click at a time.

I feel you bud I'm trying to setup my Pro Qualifer and its kicking my butt.

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My 2c,

switching to spinning to baitcaster, instead of throwing it, letting it go completely at release, I tend to describe a baitcasting cast as slinging it, like you throwing someone off a merry-go-round. You need to accelerate the rod tip and lure and gradually ease off your thumb pressure before you get to the release point, allowing the lure to start leaving out and the spool to start accelerating. The trick being to never allow the spool to spin faster than the lure is pulling line off. At first you'll throw it a few feet, took me a few months, now it's second nature to throw it a mile with little effort. Never lose contact between the thumb and spool, you'll get use to having the thumb barely touching it, it at all, but sense when the spool is out running the line...

I guess I'm saying start by keeping things snug and gradually build your distance with the confidence and technique you learn as you go. Don't try 1/8 jigs yet, seems light jigs and spinnerbaits catch a lot of air slowing down quicker than other baits. Most of my failures (birdnests) are when I grab another rod with a jig and trailer or spinnerbait after chunking a plug or carolina rig for a while.

You may notice you can tension the spool tension knob tighter to where the lure will not even fall to the ground and still throw it a long way.

I regularly go trout fishing now with 4 and 6 lb test and light rigs on baitcasters. You'll pick it up quickly. As we've suggested on other threads, get some BigGame line, a quality line, good quantity, at a good price, so when you mess up, cutting it off isn't so bad. Also I've seen it suggested to make a cast, add some extra, then put tape on the spool there, so next time it won't birdnest beyond your tape stop.

Oh, one more thing, rotate your rod and reel so the thumb is not part of casting the rod, you need your thumb free for spool tension, I was using my thumb at first to "push" the rod forward, and trying to work spool tension with the thumb at the same time. Instead of the reel being top dead center, I rotate mine 45 or 90 degrees off to one side. I remember starting out baitcasting using a "backhand", it was the only way I could get any results until I discovered a technique that worked for me.

It's like golf, it's the score that counts. You've seen pros have some funning looking golf swings making millions...

:)

good advice!

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Details..??

Overrun..? at the begining of a cast=not enough braking. Overrun toward the end of a cast=spool friction knob..Set the brakes all the way on, then slowly turn the spool friction knob until the lure falls slowly to the ground, when it hits the ground there shouldn't be a overrun, if so, then slightly tighten the friction knob.

Cast with it a few times, if you do o.k., then back off the friction a tad...when you get no overruns,, then back off the brakes 1 click at a time.

I feel you bud I'm trying to setup my Pro Qualifer and its kicking my butt.

Last night I was just trying to set it up, ie. letting the lure fall to the ground and see how many times the spool runs, and got some minor backlash, that I'm still trying to fix, and I'm not even sure I got the line on there good in the first place.

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Did you spool the line on the reel in the same direction it came off the line spool..? If not, that creates some problems.

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Did you spool the line on the reel in the same direction it came off the line spool..? If not, that creates some problems.

I have no idea. I did get it adjusted that when I drop the lure and it hits the floor, the spool moves little or not at all. But I took it out side and tried to cast it. I tried thumn breaking. First shot, too much stopped the lure dead ten feet away. 2nd attempt, got decent range but backlashed. I'm getting annoyed.

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I did get it adjusted that when I drop the lure and it hits the floor, the spool moves little or not at all.....

Great - good start. You haven't said yet the weight of the object you're trying to cast - but a suggestion is to start with something about 3/8 oz. Now, using the instructions that came with the reel, take off the palm side plate and set 2 of the centrifugal brakes. Reinstall the sideplate and set the magnetic brake to about 8 or so. You should now have a pretty conservative, hopefully backlash free set-up for that weight of bait.

When you cast, stop the spool with your thumb at the time the bait/weight hits the water (or ground if your practicing in your yard). With an "8" setting on the magnetic brake, you will probably be sacrificing some casting distance but hopefully you will have no backlash. You can experiment with reducing the magnetic back a click at a time to get more casting distance. At the time that you start to see, during the cast, the line on the reel start to loosen up as if it's getting ready to backlash, add back in a bit more magnetic.

Adjusted properly, a dual-braking reel like your ProQualifier can literally be a "thumbs-free" reel except for stopping the spool at the end of the cast. Having said that, you should still have your thumb riding very lightly on the spool during the cast to stop the spool if your bait hits the water sooner than you expected or otherwise need to prevent a backlash. The reel CAN do most of the braking for you - but as you learn, you can also train your thumb to take over a bit if you want...

Remember that if you change the weight of the bait, you will need to readjust your spool tension knob (on the handle side) and may need to adjust your magnetic braking as well. As mentioned previously, some bulky baits that can catch the wind may require more magnetic braking. If all of a sudden a wind comes up, you may want to add some magnetic. For most of the baits that you will likely use, you will probably not need to set more than 2 of the centrifugal brakes.

Now, go fishing !

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I did get it adjusted that when I drop the lure and it hits the floor, the spool moves little or not at all.....

Great - good start. You haven't said yet the weight of the object you're trying to cast - but a suggestion is to start with something about 3/8 oz. Now, using the instructions that came with the reel, take off the palm side plate and set 2 of the centrifugal brakes. Reinstall the sideplate and set the magnetic brake to about 8 or so. You should now have a pretty conservative, hopefully backlash free set-up for that weight of bait.

When you cast, stop the spool with your thumb at the time the bait/weight hits the water (or ground if your practicing in your yard). With an "8" setting on the magnetic brake, you will probably be sacrificing some casting distance but hopefully you will have no backlash. You can experiment with reducing the magnetic back a click at a time to get more casting distance. At the time that you start to see, during the cast, the line on the reel start to loosen up as if it's getting ready to backlash, add back in a bit more magnetic.

Adjusted properly, a dual-braking reel like your ProQualifier can literally be a "thumbs-free" reel except for stopping the spool at the end of the cast. Having said that, you should still have your thumb riding very lightly on the spool during the cast to stop the spool if your bait hits the water sooner than you expected or otherwise need to prevent a backlash. The reel CAN do most of the braking for you - but as you learn, you can also train your thumb to take over a bit if you want...

Remember that if you change the weight of the bait, you will need to readjust your spool tension knob (on the handle side) and may need to adjust your magnetic braking as well. As mentioned previously, some bulky baits that can catch the wind may require more magnetic braking. If all of a sudden a wind comes up, you may want to add some magnetic. For most of the baits that you will likely use, you will probably not need to set more than 2 of the centrifugal brakes.

Now, go fishing !

Thanks for the help. I'll try it out. I'm useing a 1/4 lure, but I think I have some 3/8 somewhere, I'll try that

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ODgreen I would add one thing to the excellent instruction given by Goose52 FWIW. I would try setting 4 brakes on inside the reel to start and then adjust the magnetic control outside. It is a little more conservative, but having a couple Pro Qualifiers I can tell it won't compromise distance too much, and will give you a little more margin of error. If nothing else it will give you a sense of how the centrifugal brake effects casting. Hang in there man.8-)It's like swimming; seems really tough till you figure it out, but once learned it is feels perfectly natural. Good luck. :)

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...I would try setting 4 brakes on inside the reel to start and then adjust the magnetic control outside. ...

Yup - better advice than mine. You could start with 4 centrifugals, see how it goes, then go to 3 centrifugals (every other one), then if things are going well - go to 2.

Remember, the centrifugals come into play more at the beginning of the cast, the magnetic coming in more at the end of the cast. If at the beginning of the cast you don't see any overun on the spool, you can try fewer centrigual brakes. Take note of the instructions that came with the reel about setting the centrifugals - they must be balanced. So, you can set 6, 4, 3, 2, or 0 brakes.

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...I would try setting 4 brakes on inside the reel to start and then adjust the magnetic control outside. ...

Yup - better advice than mine. You could start with 4 centrifugals, see how it goes, then go to 3 centrifugals (every other one), then if things are going well - go to 2.

Remember, the centrifugals come into play more at the beginning of the cast, the magnetic coming in more at the end of the cast. If at the beginning of the cast you don't see any overun on the spool, you can try fewer centrigual brakes. Take note of the instructions that came with the reel about setting the centrifugals - they must be balanced. So, you can set 6, 4, 3, 2, or 0 brakes.

The instructions did cover the brakes a bit, but were mostly vague. Does the fishing world just assume you know how to use something if you bought it?

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whats with the wierd side cast KVD uses? Does that help?

Low trajectory, quiet entry.  Also notice, he is usually reeling at the moment it hit the water - efficient.

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whats with the wierd side cast KVD uses? Does that help?

KVD could cast between his legs and still be accurate.. ;D

Seriously, just experiment, My Son cast's backhand..I could never get good distance like that.. :)

Find a style that works for you.

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I can relate to your bait casting issues.   Back in the day, when I was first getting into fishing, I avoided bait casters, because the first one I bought was hard to use ( a red Ambassador 5000)   I never got confident until Shimano & Diawa  came out with the magnetic reels in the early 80's,

Learning to use your bait caster is a matter of practice.  There is no substitute for practice.  Figure out what pound test line you like and buy a big spool.  You will backlash so bad that it is easier to cut it all out and respool.  That's part of the learning curve.

As soon as you learn to cast one way, learn another way.  You won't always be able to cast overhead, or side arm, or back handed, so learn them all.

Get an 11 ball bearing Shimano.  Learn how to pitch.  Once you learn that, you won't have to cast overhead or side arm or back handed very often.

Oh, did any one say to practice using different weights?  Be aware that throwing a quarter ounce bait is different than throwing a half ounce bait.

Oh, did any one say to practice using different baits?   A quarter ounce jig throws different than a quarter ounce spinner bait.  (The spinner bait has more wind resistance.)  Both of those baits throw different than a crank bait that weighs the same.

When you are starting to learn your bait caster, use a practice plug, they come in different weights.   Just be aware that skill throwing a practice plug doesn't translate 100% to skill throwing different bass lures.

Good luck learning how to use your bait caster.  It will take time to get good at it.  It is worth it, because you will end up being a more versatile fisherman.

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