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Star Man

Beginner Bait caster?

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I have used spinning reels all my life but have wanted to try using a decent bait caster. I mainly fish foir largemouth bass and generely with plugs and spinners. Is there a good setup that would be good for someone starting out? I don't want to get something that will be junk and not even give me a decent chance to get a feel for this. What's a realistic approach to trying BCs? This will be from boats mostly.

Thanks

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go with anything shimano.  Their centrifugal brake system is basically fisherman proof.  It's very easy to adjust.  As for the reel if you could spend up to $100, get the shimano citica E which is by far the best reel in its class.

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Another option is the BPS Pro Qualifier. Available in left- and right-hand in 4 different ratios. The PQ features dual-braking, having BOTH centrifugal and magnetic brakes. The centrifugal brakes mainly control the initial part of the cast, with magnetic mainly controlling the ending portion of the cast, thus providing better overall cast management than a single-braking system reel. Properly adjusted, the PQ can be cast nearly "thumbs-free" - other than stopping the spool at the end of the cast. A great reel for a beginning (or experienced) BC user...

List price is $100, often on sale for $80. Search this forum for "Pro Qualifier" - there have been lots of threads on this reel recently.

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X2 on the Citica E 

They are great reels for the money and the centrifugal brakes work great.  You will defiantly want to spend some money and buy a good reel.  I tried using some cheaper reels when I started out to save money, but looking back I would have money ahead to buy better ones then.

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I started with a P.O.S BPS reel, which was a mistake. 

For less money than the Citica, you could go with the PQ (set the centrifugal breaks to 3 on, 3 off to start, then play with the magnets) or the Extreme, which just has magnetic breaks but is cheaper and a fine reel for casting heavier (1/2 oz+) lures. 

I hear good things about the Daiwa Exceler too, and if you could find a used Advantage or Tierra either of those are great reels. 

Whatever reels you get, make sure you adjust the spool tension knob so the lure slowly drops when the reel is in freespool.  Once you get more practiced you can back it off a little. 

Probably the easiest lure to practice with would be a crankbait, a DT-10 or something, or a big topwater. 

And if you've always used spinning gear, you might feel more comfortable with a LH reel...

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+3 on the Bass Pro Shops Pro Qualifier. I started with an Abu Garcia Silver Max, what a mistake. That thing was such a cheap POS it made me NOT want to use baitcasters anymore. Backlashes almost every cast. Couldn't put any snap behind the cast or it would backlash for sure, even with the magnetic brakes on. The Pro Qual is VERY user friendly, and with the dual brake system, backlashes are rare, and I am still fresh in the baitcasting world.

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I learned on some older Quantum Tourney Grades (TG400CX). They are the reels that i have guys who havent fished with baitcasters use when they go on the boat with me. Very east to adjust and dang near indestructible. There are quite a few decent old quantums that can be found on ebay and are fairly cheap (i paid around $40 apiece for mine). I would say that your best bet is to ask some of your friends who use baitcasters if you can borrow some of theres and just try as many manufacturers as possible.

Everyone has their favorite reel manufacturer (for instance, im a Quantum guy). But the only way to find the one you like is to try'em all. best of luck, and hope this helps.

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+4 on PQ. Also the Extreme is really good too. My wife has that one and loves it and it's her first baitcaster.

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Thanks guys. Looks like like I got the advice I should have had before getting excited about the Bas Pro Tourney model. I read some more reviews about the Pro Qualifier and have ordered that combo. Looks like I'll be practicing in the backyard for a while, no need to embarrass myself in front of the kids that have BCs down already! ;)

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