How Do I Into Baitcasters?

Jul 10th, 2016
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  1. How do I into memecasters?
  3. Useful guide on brakes:
  6. BEFORE BUYING A BAITCASTER one important thing to remember is that the crank for a right-handed reel will be on the right side while a righty spinning reel will have the handle on the left. This means that as a righty, you hold the rod with your left hand while reeling and it can be awkward coming from spinning reels. My first two baitcasters were right-handed and it still feels odd after using a spinning reel for so many years. My third baitcaster was left-handed and I prefer it much more even though I'm right-handed. Best advice is to play with some reels at a retailer like Bass Pro before you buy. This is also a good chance to find a rod that matches up well because you will notice how the combo balances much more than with a spinning reel. Fishing a 7'6" rod might be nice with the extra casting distance, but when you palm it with a baitcaster and try to work the lure a lot, you will get tired of a topheavy rod very quickly.
  8. First step after buying a low-profile baitcaster, READ THE INSTRUCTIONS that come with the reel. Learn how to remove the sideplate and oil the reel. Make sure you understand how to set the drag, brakes, and spool tension. Some baitcasters have magnetic brakes that have a knob on the sideplate opposite the handle to adjust it, others have centrifugal brakes on the spool which require you to remove the sideplate to adjust them. The drag will normally be adjusted using a star-shaped knob right by the handle. The spool tension will be a round knob on the sideplate on the same side as the handle. The brakes will be on the opposite side of the handle, either on the sideplate or under it. For line, I reccommend starting with monofilament (even thought I love PowerPro) since it will be less frustrating if you get a bad backlash or other knot and you have to cut off a ton of line. Most people will use 12lb-20lb mono on bass sized low profile baitcasters.
  10. After figuring all that out, it's time to tie on a lure. It's a good idea to go with a slightly heavier lure. Assuming you are running a typical bass setup, 1/2oz+. I reccommend something sinking and low-profile so the wind affects it less, like a 1/2oz to 1oz Rat-L-Trap. After tying on the lure, you want to make sure the spool tension is correct. Hold the rod out horizontal, press the spool release button (thumb bar) to release the lure, and you want the tension to be set that the lure falls freely but when it hits the ground, the spool stops spinning. You can tighten the tension a little more if you really want to prevent backlashes. Before casting, you may want to set the brakes as high as possible and just back them off as you get comfortable. Remember that as you change lures, you will want to adjust the spool tension and brakes each time.
  12. Now it's time to start casting. In my experience, baitcasters work best when you cast with a flatter trajectory. If you lob lures into the air at a 45deg angle like with spinning reels, there is a higher chance of the wind catching the lure or the lure slowing down too much in the air and causing a nest. If possible, choose a time when there is very little wind. Casting directly into the wind is just asking for a backlash if you aren't experienced. Push down on the thumb bar, hold the spool with your thumb, and let 'er rip. You want to use your thumb to help slow the spool a little as the lure is losing speed in the air, and stop the spool completely with your thumb as the lure hits the water. It's that easy!
  14. As you get the hang of everything, you can slowly start backing the breaks off slowly and the spool tension as well if you had it set high. Sometimes you can hear or feel the spool wanting to overspin and catch up to the line/lure before it actually backlashes, so go a little higher on the brakes and tension if you notice this. Casting a baitcaster is a bit different than casting with a spinning reel so it will take some practice to get your aim perfect. Some will say to keep your elbow out away from your body a bit, but I just kept practicing until I was getting smooth casts. It's not rocket science.
  16. If you do end up with a backlash aka bird's nest, don't be too upset. It happens to everybody. Just be patient, loosen up all the knots you can see in the reel, and try to untangle it. If you have to cut some line out, it won't be the end of the world.
  18. If you choose to go with braided line on your baitcaster, keep an eye on the line and spool after hooking a big fish or pulling hard on the line with a snag. The line likes to dig into the spool and can get caught up the next time you cast and cause a backlash. To prevent this, avoid pulling the line really hard agains the locked spool if you get a snag; and the next cast after a snag or landing a big fish, pull the line out by hand a bit to make sure it isn't caught up in the spool or just take it easy on the next cast.
  20. If it seems like baitcasters aren't for you after a couple frustrating fishing sessions with it, my advice is to keep with it until you get completely comfortable. I owned my first baitcaster for about a year before I really knew how to use it and I kept going back to spinning reels. Eventually I forced myself to keep practicing with it, and once I started to understand how to adjust it properly and got my casting technique down, I could cast much further and more accurately than the same weight spinning setup. Learning the right brake and tension settings for certain lures will get you 50% of the way to becoming a REEL KVD, but getting the casting motion down will have you winning Bassmaster tourneys in no time.
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