If you’re a beginning angler, you probably got a lot of advice about whether to use open face spinning gear, or baitcasting. Without a doubt, spinning gear is easier to use and easier to master, but true anglers almost always prefer a baitcasting reel. Below, you’ll find some tips to help get you off on the right foot, and help you get the most out of your reel.
Getting Value from your Baitcasting Reel – Tricks of the Trade
Of all the baitcaster tips you’re likely to get, this is probably the most important. Don’t skimp on the reel! There have been huge improvements in technology that make mastering baitcasting gear a lot easier than it used to be. It used to be the case that you’d have to practice in your living room so you could control the spool of the line with your thumb before you ever took your reel out on the water. That’s no longer the case.
It Starts Before Purchase
Today’s reels come with a system of magnets that make thumb-guiding unnecessary, though many people will still do so out of habit. If you’ve never used a baitcaster before, you definitely want this, because it’ll not only be easier to use, you’re also much less likely to get a backlash, which is essentially a bird’s nest style tangle in your line. These used to happen fairly frequently, especially for relatively inexperienced anglers, but the tech improvements have changed all that. You can get a decent reel in the $100 range, a great value for the money, but by all means, go for an even more advanced model as your finances allow.
Use Heavier Line
The second big tip is, don’t use lightweight line in a baitcaster. Lighter line is more likely to tangle and you’ll spend as much of your day performing fly repairs as you will fishing. That’s not how anybody wants to spend their day, so at a minimum, use ten pound test. Anywhere from 10-14 is just about perfect.
Don’t Fully Load Your Spool
Another important tip for the beginning angler is not to completely fill your spool with line. You’ll probably be fine with half capacity to start with, and once you get a feel for the gear, you can absolutely add to that as you’re more comfortable. The reasoning here is the same as it was for the use of the heavier line. Baitcasters can be a little finicky, and you want to minimize your chances of a backlash. It may still happen anyway, but you’re playing the odds here, and minimizing the chances.
Cast With Your Arm, Not Your Wrist
In terms of your actual cast, at least in the beginning, you want to use your whole arm, and not just your wrist. Snapping the cast with your wrist will cause the reel to spin very rapidly initially, and this will make backlash more likely. You’ll also be able to get more distance if you use the whole of your arm.
One thing you’ll find is that baitcasting gear generally allows for greater accuracy, especially once you get comfortable enough to begin incorporating a bit of wrist movement into your cast, but ease into that. There’s a bit of a learning curve involved, but it is well worth the time spent. If you really take these tips to heart, you’ll be sure to get off on the right foot. Practice will ultimately make you perfect, and baitcasting will test your limits as it does take time, effort, and patience to get a feel for the rod.