On a recent fishing trip my nephew, who had been using spinning reels exclusively, took interest in my baitcasting reels and started asking me all kinds of questions. He noticed that I could cast further with my reels than he could with the reels he was using.
I told him that the baitcasters were primarily used for heavier lures whereas I would use the spinning reels mostly for light line/light lure applications like split shotting and fishing crappie jigs.
As to introducing someone to baitcasting reels I feel that one of the best tips I can give is to get a quality reel for your first baitcaster. I’m not necessarily saying an expensive one, just a quality one. I know many years back when I started using baitcasters I didn’t have a lot of money so I figured I’d just save some money and get a cheap one. Let me tell you what, learning to use it was a royal PITA! It was at that point that I thought all baitcasters sucked and stopped using them.
A couple years later a friend let me borrow a quality bait caster and I was amazed the difference it made. I could actually cast the thing and while I did at times still get a “Professional Over Run” aka backlash, they were fewer and further between and not as bad and I could cast every bit as far with it as I could with a spinning reel and I was hooked.
Baitcasting reels come with some sort of adjustment to allow you to either slow down or speed up the spool speed. You have centrifugal and magnetic controls. Some reels feature both. Me being an Abu reel user for years, I’m used to the centrifugal ones. You should take the few seconds to adjust this setting prior to making any casts to avoid severe backlashes. Also, speaking from personal experience here, be sure to re-adjust setting after servicing the reel.
On Abu reels there are also brake blocks to help slow down the spool speed at the end of a cast. These are usually located inside the reel on the spool. Me personally, I usually remove at least a couple of them, sometimes all of them, but that’s a personal preference.
Another tip, as your learning to use them have someone pull out about 25-30 yards, which is a decent casting distance, then place some tape on your spool and reel the line in on top of it. What this does is when you make a cast and get a backlash it will only go as far as the tape so you don’t have as much to pick out and if you end up having to cut it out you have only lost that much line and of course you can continue to fish. Then of course the best tip, practice, practice, practice.
I ended up servicing a couple of my older Abu reels and gave them to my nephew. He practiced with them and on our first outing he had pretty much mastered them. Now he would much rather fish with them than with spinning outfits.
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Until Next Time, Good Luck and Tight Lines To Ya!