oldowan

Baitcaster Beginner

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Hey,

 

Old guy, here; 65 and just started fishing last year.  Trying to learn both sweet and salt, putting most of my effort into surf fishing for stripers from the Merrimack Basin and Plum Island, supplementing LMB’s and stocked trout from local rivers and ponds.

 

So far, exclusively Spinning tackle and loving it.

12 rods an 13 reels and it feels like I’m starting to figure it all out—really looking forward to next year!

 

A wrench in the works:  I just go a nice bait-casting rod by chance and am looking to broaden my horizons…

 

So, looking for help understanding the bait-casting world of reels; how to buy them and how to fish them. 
 

It’s like a different language to me…. 
 

What are the variables?  The considerations? The constraints?

 

Any help would be appreciated.

 

Thanks,

Oldowan

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Spinning reel has a fixed spool. You cast, line comes off , slows down toward the end of your cast, line stops coming off the spool when the lure touches down. With baitcaster, reel spool spins as flying lure pulls line off. As lure slows down, spool keeps moving fast, loosening coils of line on it. If you don't have some tension on the spool as the line slows and/or stops you're gonna have a mess. That's what spool tensioning knob, magnet and thumb are for. Look up some videos on YouTube about casting a baitcasting reel. There are plenty of good ones. 

I like spinning reels for light lures (harder for them to get the spool spinning) and baitcaster for heavier lures (better accuracy), easier to cast. Light or air-resistant lures will slow down quicker than the revolving spool of a baitcaster will. 

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tackle warehouse is a great place to get baitcatsers, they also often have closeouts and sales where you can get good reels for cheap.

 

there are lots of cheap, medium, and expensive options, like from 40$ to 1000$ +.

 

id recommend you start with a mid end reel. Many people start with cheaper reels, I did too, but the cheaper reels are harder to use and less user friendly. The mid end reel are so much nicer to use and only marginally expensive.

 

I’d start with either shimano or daiwa, they have lots of reels in the 75-150$ range that are excellent, like the shimano slx or slx mgl. Daiwa also has the cr80, fuego ct, or tatula ct. IMO the daiwa reels are the best of the 80-150$ range.

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15 hours ago, oldowan said:

Hey,

 

Old guy, here; 65 and just started fishing last year.  Trying to learn both sweet and salt, putting most of my effort into surf fishing for stripers from the Merrimack Basin and Plum Island, supplementing LMB’s and stocked trout from local rivers and ponds.

 

So far, exclusively Spinning tackle and loving it.

12 rods an 13 reels and it feels like I’m starting to figure it all out—really looking forward to next year!

 

A wrench in the works:  I just go a nice bait-casting rod by chance and am looking to broaden my horizons…

 

So, looking for help understanding the bait-casting world of reels; how to buy them and how to fish them. 
 

It’s like a different language to me…. 
 

What are the variables?  The considerations? The constraints?

 

Any help would be appreciated.

 

Thanks,

Oldowan

Add a Curdao or Lexa for the Lmb and go from there 200 size. Toss an sp minnow this time of the year on a 7'. You may also want to wade the back waters of the Merrimack with the same outfit. I am sure there is still bass around in low numbers. 

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When selecting a bait caster you can decide either left or right hand retrieve, most freshwater bass fisherman reel and cast with their right hand. However, if you choose left hand retrieve you don't have to switch hands with the rod each time you cast. Also to second baldwin check out some YouTube videos on spool tension adjustments to avoid backlashes.

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Wow! Thanks, all for the great and useful data/advice!  You answered most of my current questions.

 

Just ordered a Daiwa Tatula 200. Been watching videos all afternoon. As soon asI get the reel, I’ll head down to my local pond with an assortment of lures and start.  I’m looking forward to it.

 

I’ll probably be back with more question, but thanks again for the leg-up!

 

-Oldowan

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Don’t start the learning process with braid, use cheap mono, as you will prob birds nest more than once during the learning process and mono is more forgiving knot wise with a birds nest than braid and much cheaper if you need to cut it out and respool. 

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Posted (edited)

Good thread.  I too have a bait caster I need to (re)learn.  Abu Garcia Revo X with 30# braid.  And I really wish I got the LH version....

 

....and put mono on instead. 

Edited by Skunkoff

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11 mins ago, Skunkoff said:

Good thread.  I too have a bait caster I need to (re)learn.  Abu Garcia Revo X with 30# braid.  And I really wish I got the LH version....

 

....and put mono on instead. 

 

4 hours ago, Fishjerk said:

Don’t start the learning process with braid, use cheap mono, as you will prob birds nest more than once during the learning process and mono is more forgiving knot wise with a birds nest than braid and much cheaper if you need to cut it out and respool. 

 

I find this curious.  I thought that mono, with it's memory and desire to coil was a contributor to birds nests.

Although I definitely get the advantage of untying knots...  

 

Skunkoff:  What mono would you have put on your Revo X instead of the 30# braid?

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I would recommend your first lmb bait caster setup to be med heavy or heavy and 7:1 or faster reel. 

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6 hours ago, Fishjerk said:

Don’t start the learning process with braid, use cheap mono, as you will prob birds nest more than once during the learning process and mono is more forgiving knot wise with a birds nest than braid and much cheaper if you need to cut it out and respool. 

This is conventional wisdom, but I find braid's slipperyness allows misdemeanor backlashes to pull out easily, and even a felonious one is manageable. I just grab a loop, work the spool backwards, and pull until it comes free or stops. If the latter happens, I pull laterally, if that doesn't work, I grab a different loop. Also, braid doesn't weaken when kinked or take a memory like mono does, so I feel better about fishing afterward. I've never had to cut out a backlash, either.

 

 

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I actually think heavier braid is easy on minor nests for someone with some exp. But the op has never used a baitcaster so “may” experience an occasional eagles nest so to speak. Cheaper to just cut and respool mono than braid in that instance. Whether you switch to trying braid after an hour or two of practice, or days etc, is an individual thing. 

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I love my baitcasters! Just a few practical comments,

  1. Go easy on the first 5 casts, or so which gives the line a chance to get wet and cast easier.
  2. Heavier weights will cast easier.  You many even want to clip on just a sinker for the first casts especially if you plan to use a sinking lure. If you nest, the lure will sink and potentially get snagged.
  3. If you decide to use braid, a dental hook can be very helpful to loosen and untangle nests.
  4. Slow, even swinged casts will cause less tangles and help you educate you thumb.

Be patient, have fun and enjoy learning to use a new fishing tool :)

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7 hours ago, oldowan said:

 

 

I find this curious.  I thought that mono, with it's memory and desire to coil was a contributor to birds nests.

Although I definitely get the advantage of untying knots...  

 

Skunkoff:  What mono would you have put on your Revo X instead of the 30# braid?

Not sure, maybe 15#?

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