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bassman018

Backlash tips???

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Well I just got my first baitcaster and Have given myself allot of backlashes, And on the most recent I wound up getting a bad knot and have to respool, So how can i prevent it?  BTW I am using my spool tension knob and brakes, And am also stopping it before it hits the ground. What am I doing wrong? any tips appreciated.

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Practice, practice, practice.  You'll start to get a feel of how much thumb pressure to apply and when you're about to get a backlash.  I'm sure others will have more tips.

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Backlash Tips

Whenever you're told that lots of practice is involved, that's your 'first clue'.

If you want tips on how to get unprofessional baitcasting overruns...I'm your man

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Hold the rod parallel and lob it. Never behind your head. Give it a little upsweep towards the end. I started with the reel on its side facing me. Practice. Some of your problemmay be in the way you hold it and the rods pisition.

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Proper setup is key especially when learning. You didn't mention what reel you have but here's the basic procedure. Turn off all braking by turning Mag dial to -0- and snapping centrifugal brake shoes in the off position closest to the spool center. Tie on medium weight plug or weight and reel to about 6" from the tip. Adjust the cast control knob so that the weight falls slowly when the spool is released and the spool turns no more than 1/4 turn when the weight hits the ground. You can then set the brakes both to maximum and make nice easy lob casts. Ease off the breaks a little at a time as you gain comfort. 

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I was given these instruction a few years ago from another member:

I will make the assumption that you have never used the baitcasting reel; I know by your posts that this is not true however to keep things simple I will start from scratch.

So you have rigged up your rod and have no doubt heard the correct adjustment of the mechanical break is essential in the prevention of backlashes. Experienced' baitcasters adjust the brake so that the lure slowly falls to the ground when the thumbar is disengaged.' This is a mistake' in the early stages of learning to use the baitcaster as backlashes can easily occur with only the slightest of errors.

In the early learning stages of using a baitcasting reel the mechanical brake should be set tighter than normal. To get this right can be a delicate' operation but it is essential that this is done correctly so that if mistakes are made a backlash will not' occur.

As I do not know what your rod lure specs are all I can say is to use a weight that is at the top end of the specification. You will need a weight that will cause your rod to bend with as little effort as possible.

With the weight tied to the line adjust the mechanical break so that the lure falls to the ground and the spool stops instantly. This will give you a guideline so that you can to set the brake even tighter. Now take the line between the first ring of the rod and the reels line guide and jerk it forward gently. The line must be jerked. You will find that the spool will over run. Tighten the brake and jerk it harder. What you want is a good solid jerk with the brake set so that it does not cause the spool to over run. The idea is so that if you make a mistake a birdsnest will not occur due to the increased tension on the brake. Remember that the heavier weight that what you would normally use will counter the increased tension of the mechanical brake when you make the cast. The setup that you want is one that will cast the lure but should you make a mistake the spool will not over run at any stage during the cast. Jerking the line and adjusting the brake tighter than normal will prevent birdsnests at any stage in the cast. (early, middle or late) This setup is in excess of what an experienced baitcaster would do. It is also a good idea not to use a spoon that causes a lot of wind resistance. My advice would be to go to the park and use a lead weight. If you do this remember to place some tension on the line as you reel in. Failure to do this on grass etc will cause the line to respool with an uneven tension on line wraps. Just not good.

The single and most important aspect of casting with a baitcaster is rhythm. It is essential that the cast be made in one movement. There should be no pause between the backward movement and the forward movement of the cast. If you do this now is the time to stop. The action of the rod will project the lure out with only a little effort on your part.

Disengage the spool by depressing the thumbar and keeping your thumb on the spool bring the rod back over the shoulder and in the same movement bring it forward and release the spool. Do not try and cast for distance. These early casts are teach your thumb when to release the spool so the weight arcs' out over the water. Too much aggression in the cast will cause mistakes. With the heavier than normal weight a softer caster will bend the rod so that the rod's action will assist the lure to travel in an arc. If the thumb release is too early the lure will act like a mortar bomb and if the release is too late the lure will travel flat like a bullet. You want the lure to travel like and artillery shell. Remember in these early stages do not try for distance. Keep the cast slow and smooth. Too much power in these early stages of learning will cause difficulties. You need to educate your thumb to release the spool so that the lure travels in an arc.

When you feel confident apply more power to the cast but at this stage do not readjust the mechanical brake. Only when you feel confident in your casting and you can achieve an arcing over the water/grass etc. should you lighten the weight and readjust the brake. You can if you wish still set the brake by the jerking method but remember with the lighter weight that you are now using the brake will have be to set 'lighter' too.

As you apply more power to the cast learn to use your ears. Listen to the spool. It will tell you when you get it right. In the early stages of the cast the spool will have a high pitch and as the spool slows down the pitch will decrease. Listen to the pitch of the spool when the lure hits the water. Learn to recognise the pitch of the reel when this happens. It is invaluable for night fishing when you can not see the lure or when it hits the water. Knowing the pitch of your reel can save a lot of frustration.

When you can cast the lure so that it arcs out over the water start training the thumb to stop the spool as the lure hits the water. With your new found confidence you can start to apply more force to your casts. This will give you slightly more distance but do not try and over do you capabilities. Remember to keep you casts soft and smooth.

Now it is time to practice stopping the spool with your thumb as the lure hits the water.

As you become more confident you can lighten the lure and set the mechanical brake to a more acceptable tension.

Somewhere in this learning curve begin to teach yourself to feather' the spool. This is a simple technique that allows you to detect over-runs before they get to bad. You can feel the loose coils revolving around the spool. If this happens stop the spool instantly. Feathering can help in controlling distance where accuracy is required. As the spool revolves in the cast just keep the thumb on the line very lightly. But before you try this get the other factors right first. Don't try and rush the feathering as to do this too early can confuse' the thumb. Teach the thumb one' step at a time but teach it well.

Proficincey will not come over night. But with paractice and attention to what you are doing you will learn faster than you think

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Thanks for the tips lilfish, I think that I was doing 2 tings wrong, not casting right (overhand) and not keeping my thumb on the reel at all times, I believe I was getting way with not two many backlashes because my dads baitcasters are more high quality, so i think mine takes more practice and patience, I will try casting tomorrow and tell you how it worked out.

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The spool tension knob is the most important thing to get familiar with. You don't want to throw too hard or too soft with a baitcaster, and always remember to adjust the force you throw with when you change lure weights and to adjust the spool tension.

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If what you want is tips on how to backlash a reel for good just ask me, mine are phenomenal, btw, I can backlash digital cast control reels as good as any other reel.

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also a thought, not sure what line your using but heavier braids handle very well in BC's.

for example using 50# braid or higher (generally speaking) will definately help reduce the severity of backlashes & will also be much easier to pull out compared to 30 or less pound braids.  in conjunction with the rest already mentioned.

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For the record I', using stren 17 pound mono, It's really cheap. Great tips here, And It seems like I am getting pretty good at backlashing too!

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There are several good videos on YouTube that show how to remove a backlash. Someone posted a good one a while back that I can't find. This one is not bad:

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A quality rod makes a very BIG difference.

I've had a team daiwa jig and worm rod for 15ys.

It almost never backlashes unless the bait snags a branch.

I have a Team Allstar HXF that really likes to backlash unless you have 1/2oz or more and its hard to cast accurately.

I have  a new browning boron MF that cast perfectly accurate with light to medium lures and never  backlashes.

There is something to be said for string.

even the cheapest reels will cast perfect if matched to a Quality rod and a proper weight lure.

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switch to spinning gear.

That's really helpful.  :-/

A crisp rod will help quite a bit. Getting a feel for smoothly loading the rod on the cast is important, too.  Thats done easily with little heavier lure and a slow, sidearm, two handed cast.  It takes a long time to get completely comfortable with baitcasting equipment, but even then it will happen occasionally.

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There's a lot of good information here....maybe too much to absorb for a beginner.  But at the risk of adding to the confusion, I'll add 2 things:

1.  You could be casting too soft, or more than likely, too hard.  Don't be concerned about distance right now.  That will come in time.  Get the mechanics down first.  Winging it out there as hard as you can makes it difficult to control backlashes.

2.  Focus on stopping the spool when the lure hits the water.  Slowing the lure down as it gets closer to landing by "thumbing" or "feathering" the spool helps with entry, but that spool has got to stop when the lure stops otherwise you'll get a backlash every time.  Focus on that before practicing "feathering".

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The spool tension knob is the most important thing to get familiar with. You don't want to throw too hard or too soft with a baitcaster, and always remember to adjust the force you throw with when you change lure weights and to adjust the spool tension.

This is important, too. At first, I would recommend setting the reel's magnetic brakes at 75%+ and adjusting the spool tension knob so that with the rod held level to the ground, the lure will fall slowly when the spool is released. I'd say a 1-2' fall per second is about right. This is something you'll get a feel for, and an adjustment that has to be done almost every time you switch lures when fishing. I'd recommend trying it at home in the back yard.

With time and practice, the use of brakes will be reduced down to 30% or less, casts will be longer and smoother, spool adjustment will be quicker, and backlashes and line kinks will be greatly reduced. The advantages of baitcasting tackle far outweighs the frustration of this learning process.

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I'm 14 and leaned to use a baitcasting reel 2 years ago. One of my biggest problems is I didn't feel I was casting as far as I could so I would turn the tension down a lot and then I was knotted up. Just get down the mechanics and the rythymm and just slowly start releasing the tension knob and turning off brakes. One thing that really helps is make as long of a cast as possible then strip off about 15-20 yards of line and put a piece of electrical tape across the spool. This way when you backlash it only backlashes to that tape and you don't have to strip as much line off.

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I'm 14 and leaned to use a baitcasting reel 2 years ago. One of my biggest problems is I didn't feel I was casting as far as I could so I would turn the tension down a lot and then I was knotted up. Just get down the mechanics and the rythymm and just slowly start releasing the tension knob and turning off brakes. One thing that really helps is make as long of a cast as possible then strip off about 15-20 yards of line and put a piece of electrical tape across the spool. This way when you backlash it only backlashes to that tape and you don't have to strip as much line off.

You know I've read this tip before years ago and still have not got around to doing it. I just stripped off about 50yrds of of 2 of my reels and this woulda saved me a bunch of line and headache!!!!!

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no matter how you cast it, remember...

smooth it...don't whip it.

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I'm an oldtimer just getting into baitcasting. Only help I can give is some advice another oldtimer (who has been using baitcasting equipment for m-a-n-y years) gave me. He said to hold the rod level and release the spool. Adjust the spool tension to where the spool turned no more than 1/4 turn after the lure hit the ground.

What I found was that ANY spool travel when the lure hit the ground was too much. At least for me it was. Amazing how so little adjustment of the tension dial makes such a big difference. Adjusted correctly, I can cast the lure and let it hit the ground without using the thumb, and not have a backlash.

However, if the lure hits something (say like a fence) halfway to its destination, I can still get a backlash. Guess you can figure out how I know this. ;D ;D

Stick with it. Personally, I enjoy the casting.

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bassman018,

Never take your thumb off the spool. That was the key for me, the rest comes with time.

You might try the spool tension knob a little tighter to the edge where the lure will not drop, but almost.

And learn to accelerate the lure and matching the revolutions of the spool to the line the lure is pulling out. At first you can see the line going out faster than the lure is taking it, but over time you'll feel it with your thumb. It will need to become instinct instead of the thought and reaction, which is too late.

You accelerate the lure and the line, getting the spool up to spinning with the line coming out, you stop the rod and the lure and line continues, you cannot allow the line to outrun the lure, hence, always must have your thumb on it.

Lot of youtube videos out there, here's a good one talking about a tighter spool tension knob:

Of course he says it's ok to take your thumb completely off...lol

Also get someone to help you in person, will save you a lot of time. We can all try to help, but it's all just guesses.

And if by chance you haven't figured it out, you cannot throw it like you do a spincast or spinning reel, it's more like slinging it instead of throwing it.

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Not meaning to hyjack the thread but what is it about the thumb pressure that allows the the knots to free up?

As the spool rotates with thumb pressure on it, the loops, twists, etc. are pulled into alignment with the spool. I didn't think it made much sense either, but it works like a charm. 8-)

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Not meaning to hyjack the thread but what is it about the thumb pressure that allows the the knots to free up?

As the spool rotates with thumb pressure on it, the loops, twists, etc. are pulled into alignment with the spool. I didn't think it made much sense either, but it works like a charm. 8-)

i have never once got this to work for me. i dont get it. wth?

p.s.  i have found that truthfully... the better the reel... the more it backlashes.  for a beginner.  the nicest reels also are the most free flaoting spools. so you really have to be good to contain them. or... i guess learn on them in the first place.

but i know that i still sometimes have problems with my nicer reels... and have the brakes much higher than i do my mid priced stuff.

jmo.

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