Monday, April 19, 2010

Using a Baitcast

The need for a baitcaster was never a concern for me. I bought one last year but after many birdsnests I barely used it. At Kentucky lake last fall I pulled it back out because I needed the serious backbone from the medium action. I fell in love with fishing with a baitcast that week. I still got birdnests and eventually just left it and fished with the lenght of line that was free.

This winter I was determined to figure out how to use one properly. I wanted to prevent the backlashes and I wanted to get some distance out of my casts. Those 2 things had prevented me from using the baitcast for years. I read several very halpful articles on and took time to stand in the yard to practice casting over the winter.

There is still a lot to learn, but my comfort level with the baitcast is high enough that it is now my preference in fishing over a spinning combo. I can cast farthur and just as accurate after one winter of practice. It feels better in my hand and adds another level of fun to fishing.

The big things I learned this winter was to load up the rod on the back swing so the rod does the work when casting. With a spinning rod you just heave the lure where you want it, I never used much of a back swing.

The other thing that helped with the birdnesting was adjusting the cast control knob under the star drag next to the handle. I had thought that the numbered control on the other side was the only thing that adjusted the back spin on the spool and allowed the line to come out faster or slower. The cast control knob that I had not used was the most critical tool on the reel to help me prevent birdsnests. I adjust the cast control knob so the weight of the lure that I am using will slowly pull the line out of the spool.

Both trips I went on the last 2 weekends I used my 3 baitcasts primarily. I had a birdsnest both trips that I could not get out without cutting my line. They both happened when I cast without paying attention to what I was doing. To catch bass I need to stay focused all day on my casts as well as my retrieves. This will help me keep my mind focused while fishing.

On the trips, I also realized it is just one reel that is giving me problems with birdnests. The newer higher cost reels seem to have more control slowing the spin on the spool as the line gets slack throughout the cast. I don't have the most expensive reels on the market but my Rick Clunn signature series reel from bass pro is very impressive to me. It's so smooth in casting and reeling. I wish I could afford a couple more, I would replace my other 2 reels.

If you have any tips suggestions or hints to using a baitcast I would be happy to hear them.

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