I have been using a Spinning reel for as far back as I can remember. Other than using a cane pole for pan fish, I don’t ever recall using anything else. That being said, my new obsession with bass fishing has vaulted me into the reality that a baitcast setup is the only way I will eve become competitive in tournament style bass fishing.
While I am sure a lot of you know the difference between a baitcast reel and a Spinning reel. My Roommate has brought it to my attention that not every one knows what they are. Without using photos, I will do my best to describe each. A Spinning reel is one which is open faced leaving the line exposed and the line comes off the end of the spool after lifting what is called the bail. This type of reel (while not the easiest) is one that is very easy to operate and I can count on one hand how many birds nests I have encountered using this type of reel over the past 25 years or so.
The baitcast reel has always been an illusive mistress to me. I have watched my father use them for years. My brother was lucky enough to have my father teach him how to use one, but, I never got that chance. So, it has been a reel I have shied away from for years. The baitcast reel is different than any other reel in the fact that you have to control the entire cast from start to finish with your thumb on the spool. Like the spinning reel, the spool is open and the line is visible. Instead of there being a bail to open and close during the cast, you simply have to click a thumb release at the rear for the reel just behind the open spool. Sound simple, right, not hardly. These reels are notorious for backlash. Since the spool is pulling from the center of the spool instead of off the end, it allows the spool to spin more freely. By design, the spool is very free spinning. Because of this, the reel typically has two separate breaking systems that allow resistance to slow down the spool when casting. When dialed in properly, the breaking systems can reduce the chances of backlash. I can tell you unequivocally that it doesn’t stop it altogether.
If you happen to allow the lure to hit the water before stopping the spool with your thumb, no matter how well you have the reel dialed in, you have the chance of backlash. This is where my frustration is setting in. I purchased my first baitcast combo at Walmart last week. The lucky first combo was the 6’6″ Medium Abu Garcia rod with the Abu Garcia BlackMax baitcast reel. It was a middle of the road rod and reel combo costing $69.99 before tax. I took it out on the lake the next day and tried to get used to it and quickly realized my small boat was not the best place to learn to use a baitcast reel.
I decided to head to Bass Pro Shops and bought this little treasure and something I don’t think I will be able to live without on my quest to learn to use my baitcast reel properly. These practice plugs are great for getting out in the yard and learn how to cast more accurately.
Check it out and see if it helps you. I will post more on my Baitcast learning adventure later.
Keep your lines tight,