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My 1St Baitcaster... Now Need Some Direction

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well, after many years of using, and being comfortable with, spinning gear.

i finally got my first BC set up. i went with a Citica 200e, Compre med/fast (now may be kicking myself for not getting a MH?) and have it spooled with 12lb big game.

been out a couple times to practice... just have a 1/2oz weight tied on. haven't even thrown a lure yet. trying to get "dialed in". started with 4 brakes on (now at 3 on) and the spool tension so it slowly dropped when released. been practicing casts as well as flippin'. needless to say i've had my share of birds nests...still learnin' the thumb thing..

the 2nd time out was much better. found it easier to flip with less spool tension..but gotta be better with the thumb.. lol..

a couple questions.... how many brakes to use is "normal"? also should i assume that spool tension should be backed off for easier flippin'? do you change the spool tension for different type/weight of baits? like if i flip with a 3/8ox bait then decide to throw a lighter weight crankbait..do i mess with the spool tension? am i on the right track?

also, i have always loosened my drag on my spinning reels after each trip. is it best to do the same on a BC?

sorry for the long post... tryin to pick the brains of you experienced BC guys.

thanks for any insight...

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My supertuned Citica is a beast. I usually have one brake on and the spool very loose. I can darn near spool it.

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sounds like you got a very solid set up. when using lighter lures you would want to loosen the spool tension. like setting the tension for the 1/2oz weight you would do the same for the 3/8oz. once you get real used to it you can memorize what the brakes should be set at for certian lures. just keep practicing. also while flipping and pitching you would want to back off with the tension but still use the brakes. some can do it without brakes but not me

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thanks for the input.

funny you say "it took a lot of line" i got a little cocky today when practicing...loosened the tension more than i should have..and my thumb was a little slow.. got a birds nest that caused me to cut most of the line off the spool lol

glad i got the 1/4lb spool of line.

i think i'll stick to 3 brakes on for now. and just adjust the tension as i change what i throw.. good idea?

also... what about the drag? loosen it like i have been with my spinning gear?

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also... what about the drag? loosen it like i have been with my spinning gear?

Drag is drag, whether it's a spinning reel or a casting reel. Personally, I keep drag on all reels as tight as possible, without damaging the washers. I play all my fish hard; I can always loosen the drag a bit if it's a big fish, or if I feel the hookset wasn't that good.

Disclaimer: I don't get many big bites though...

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3 or 4 brakes on is probably not a bad idea for learning and just set the tension knob to the bait you're using like you said. Most people would probably give up on learning a baitcaster if they had to learn with it set wide open. As for the drag, I think it is kind of a personal preference thing. I set mine pretty tight because I want solid, no slip hookups and if I need to give a fish line I release the spool and thumb the line. If you are fishing braid you want the drag to give a little easier or you'll rip the hooks out of the fishes mouth farily easily with some baits.

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what i mean on the drag is afterwards...when done fishing for the day... i always loosen my drag on my spinning reels.... should i do the same on a BC?

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yeah i hate cutting line when its my fault.,which is always the case i suppose,,,.... as for when your done fishing, loosen the drag all the way, i tried my hand at reel repair, and learned from a gentlemen, and he says if you leave your drags tight after fishing, its like a couch on the carpet, the legs leave a compressed spot, so over time, the washer will begin to stutter because of the flat spots, i know for some reels you could use a fine wire brush, to smooth out bad drags. Im new to reel repair, so i cant say i know from experience , but it made sense the way he explained it. good luck ..

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thanks... for answer...

i'll be in "practice mode" for a while i think... a little frustrating... but i'm determined to get there...

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yea.. i use KVD line conditioner.. it really works well...

i've got a tournament this sunday with a practice day saturday... i'm plannin' on workin' on my BC saturday from the back of the boat... seein' how it goes.

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Welcome to the BC club. I joined it last year. I agree with 86. If I'd had to learn with no breaks or spool tension, I'd never have made it. Actually had my tension too tight last year. This year tension is set just tight enough to remove side-to-side play regardless of lure weight. I had overruns at first, but thankfully no real bird nests.

Last year I didn't use underhand casts while fishing because of poor distance. This year I use underhand a lot. I'm getting as good a distance with the underhand as I was a two-handed overhand cast last year. Last time out I was feeling pretty proud of myself. That is until I got excited at seeing a fish jump, and didn't pay attention to my rear. Was standing on a river bank with plenty of brush behind me. Lure caught. Now that was a professional bird nest to say the least. :stupid: Figured I'd be re-spooling new line for sure. Was surprised at how little time it took me to remove the fluff (8lb. Sufix Elite). Guess practice makes perfect! LOL.

However, I wouldn't suggest setting your spool tension that light now. I'd also suggest you stick in the middle to upper lure weight range for the rod you're using for awhile. A heavier weight helps you get respectable distance with the brakes and spool tension set the way you'll need them at first. Wait until you're casting with only an occasional overrun before lightening spool tension. AND THEN EASE UP ON POWER. You will get equal distance with less effort.

One other thing. Last year I started most of my casts with the rod stationary to the rear. No doubt some of the reason for better distance this year with less effort is that I am loading my rod on the back swing. I guess it was a matter of learning to be smooth. Trying to load the rod on the back swing last year often resulted in an immediate bird's nest.

All this sounds like using a BC outfit might not be worth it. However, I am really enjoying it. Much more than using spinning gear. I wish you the best of luck Saturday and Sunday, and with your BC progression.

Almost forgot. A friend suggested not spraying line conditioner directly onto the reel. He said it could work into the bearings affecting casting performance. He could be all wet, but it sounded logical to me. Better to wet a rag with it and run the line through the rag. Just a thought. He could be wrong.

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thanks for the advice "new"... i'm still in the "getting dialed" stage..for sure

that is probably good advice on the lure weight suggestion.

and i probably need to tighten my tensioner a little.....was getting too brave trying to do some flipping and then made an overhead cast without remembering i had loosened it....mistake.

i am getting the beginnings of an overrun when i go to making the long casts like you mentioned. i'll try the stationary approach some and see how my learning curve goes.

i appreciate your help...

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I remember my first and I ended up throwing it in the garbage after 1 summer but I had no one to show me how. now i have 10 Baitcaster and 2 spinning set ups. I would suggest setting every other break in the out position (three out) and starting with a tighter spool tension setting. as your thumb gets the hang of it you can loosen your spool tension and gain distance. as for me I use 1 or 2 breaks depending on weather I'm casting into the wind or not.

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