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Thread: New to Baitcasting, anyone have some tips?

  1. #1
    Member AlaskaIsCold's Avatar
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    Default New to Baitcasting, anyone have some tips?

    So last season I started to get into Fly fishing. and it was pretty fun, But this season I want to get into baitcasting, I have never done it before an I have no real idea what im getting into. I want a reel that could take the hit of a King salmon as well as a silver. What do you guys use? should I just go to Fred Meyers and pick up a combo rod/reel or is there a specific brand i should go online and buy? What kind of line should I use? (Mono/Floura/Braid) what test? So many questions so little time!
    A bad day fishing is still better than a good day at work.

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    Member Larsenvega's Avatar
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    I have used a 8.5 ft Lamiglas heavy-action rod with a Shimano Cardiff 300A for the last 4 years up here and have had phenomenal results with the set up. The nice thing about a setup like this is that it is very versatile. I have used it for fishing local rivers from both the bank and from boats, as well as on the ocean for silvers and rock fish. My line of choice for this setup is 50-lb test Spectra braided. Some will say that 50 pound test is overkill, but keep in mind that it only has the diameter of 14-lb mono, and it provides the ability to target a wide array of fish without having to switch your line out. Also, don't cheap out on the reel or you'll be kicking yourself for it later. When it comes to baitcasting reels, Shimano makes some of the best out there. Advantages of the Cardiff include:

    1. Super-stopper bearings, which allow absolutely no slack when a fish hits, increasing solid hookups.

    2. Top-notch magnetic VBS brake, which precisely controls the amount of line that flies off the spool on a cast. It is easy to adjust with a simple thumb-wheel, which is nice when you are switching from a heavy jig to a lighter pixee or spinner, or vice versa. This dramatically decreases the amount of dreaded "bird nests" that can easily suck up 15 to 20 minutes from a great fishing trip.

    3. Superior dartainium drag gearing. Best out there, bar none.

    4. Rugged housing and interior components, with minimal maintenance required. Mine has been running strong for many seasons, and still runs like new. A simple drop or two of oil between trips does the trick, along with a freshwater dunking if I have been out in the salt.

    Hope this info helps you out a bit! You can PM me if you have more questions.

  3. #3
    Member chico99645's Avatar
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    I like ABU Garcia C-3's Ambassador reels. 6500 and 7000s. I've had great luck. Its a different animal to fish with a baitcaster. You need patience and practice to cast with them, but once you have it down, they're great.

  4. #4
    Member L. G.'s Avatar
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    I'd start out with an ABU 6500 series.

    17-25# mono.

    I wouldn't start with a braid like PowerPro. Rats nests with this type of line is a mutha. 50# powerpro slices flesh very easily too.

    Magnetic brake sounds like a good thing.

    I cut my teeth on ABUs as a teenager. I have a hard time with spinning gear, esp. precision casting.

  5. #5
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Backlash sucks




    As to line, braid has some advantages, and some disadvantages. When fishing deep in saltwater, the smaller dia allows you to use lighter tackle to hold bottom, and with little stretch it allows better hookups.

    Downsides to braid, with little stretch it puts alot more stress on your rod and more force on the fishes mouth. It is not abrasion resistant so a top shop of mono is recomended. With it's small dia, it can dig into itself on the spool as you increase your drag. You have to load it onto the spool under load to prevent dig ins. It's more expensive than mono, and with it's small dia, it takes more to fill up the reel.

    I find for rivers and trolling I prefer mono, for bottom fishing braid.

  6. #6

    Default Make the adjustments

    Take the time to read your little book that comes with whatever reel you get.

    When you tie your casting weight on, adjust the spool's brake so that when you hold your rod @ about 45deg up and take your thumb off the spool, the lure just barely falls. The directions will explain this better, at least they do with an Abu. This will help your backlash situation A LOT.

    I started with a ~50 year old baitcaster (no adjustments) with mono, and backlashed it very often. I switched to a Abu 6500 with braid, properly adjusted, and have never had a serious backlash.

    Start with the braid? Probably not...but getting that spool brake right will help regardless.

  7. #7
    Member Cliffhanger's Avatar
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    Default Abu good to start with...

    I'm assuming you're interested in bank fishing and casting bait, or flipping.

    There are certainly better reels to use (Avet, Okuma, I've just bought some very nice Fin Nor reels), but I started out with inexpensive Abu's and they have been a great backup reel as I stepped up to a better set up.

    I've got 50 lb. PowerPro braided line on my combat fishing baitcasters and I think it makes sense to use that kind of strength on crowded rivers. I did a video for the ADN before I retired that talks about combat fishing and the gear that works.

    Now TROLLING for salmon, that's a different story. Mono works well because of its stretch, shock resistance, and ability to set the hook from the rod's placement in the downrigger.

    As far as where to buy, that's easy: go to B&J's, ask for Alfonso, give him your price limit, and stand back....

  8. #8
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    i hate braid for everything but bottom fishing, which coincidentally is the only kind of fishing I do w/o a fly rod anymore, so I love braid


    (actually casting jigs off of rock piles in 30-60 feet of water is really fun too, and a good way to locate spots to fly fish for bottom fish, I use mono for that)

    Seriously casting braid really really sucks, especially if you are new, get some of that "easy cast" line to start with. Also not having the stretch in the line can cost you a lot more fish than the extra strength braid affords (hint: your line should be less strong than your rod)

    Whatever you do don't sit around flipping with braid without a glove, I think I stopped gear fishing after that line cut.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  9. #9

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    I like the Shimano Charter specials with Flourocarbon and/or some braid. They are easy to operate, fairly inexpensive and they have the nice lever drag which I feel is a must. There is so much stuff out there. just find your own groove and do it.

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    Don't try to cast your lure in a straight line.....cast high [rainbow arc] thus the spool momentum will be diminishing prior to the lure hitting the water......thus preventing most spool over-runs [back lash].....

  11. #11
    Member Cliffhanger's Avatar
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    Default Magging

    I had fits with my new Avet reel when I first bought it. It's supposed to have a brake system, but only God knows where it is and how to use it. I did some Googling on the web and discovered "magging". Now I can cast a mile (exaggeration) with no nests...

    Here's a webpage on how to "mag" your reel.

  12. #12
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    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    Backlash sucks




    As to line, braid has some advantages, and some disadvantages. When fishing deep in saltwater, the smaller dia allows you to use lighter tackle to hold bottom, and with little stretch it allows better hookups.

    Downsides to braid, with little stretch it puts alot more stress on your rod and more force on the fishes mouth. It is not abrasion resistant so a top shop of mono is recomended. With it's small dia, it can dig into itself on the spool as you increase your drag. You have to load it onto the spool under load to prevent dig ins. It's more expensive than mono, and with it's small dia, it takes more to fill up the reel.

    I find for rivers and trolling I prefer mono, for bottom fishing braid.
    Yep, what he said! This is almost word for word with what I told my cousin last week who is planning to come up here from Wyo this summer. He's hellbent on braided, but I gave him my 2 cents on it and reminded him that I have backup setups for him with mono to use.

    As for tips with a baitcaster..... Thumb pressure and a spool brake are your friends...You master that, the rest will fall into place. Good luck...

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