Fishing can be like the life of a golfer. When the green horn starts, he goes,” wow breathe the fresh air, nice pond, look those ducks by the pond. How green the grass is, and, look what a well kept sand trap.”
Two months of blowing the little ball silly all over Christ’s creation, and it is, “bloody pond, screw the ducks, *&^$#* sand trap”. The fresh air now always seem to be wind howling in the desert.etc etc.
To help you guys in not wrapping a nine iron Ping Zing club around some poor fellow’s neck. I am going to explain how to properly setup your spinning, bait casting, and spin casting reels. I assume you already know how to use some or most of them and just need to re-fresh on the setup side. A badly setup reel will lead to headaches and the full use of the swear words without mercy. Just, like the frustrated golfer.
Always keep in mind. As far as the questions of how long you cast, accuracy, presentation of the bait or lure. While depending to a small extent, on how fast the reel ‘gives’, depends more on your lure weight, rod action and your casting technique itself. Now read what I just said three times. A smaller reel on a proper rod with correct line and lure weight, will, caster longer and more accurately than a larger reel on the wrong rod, with a wrong line even if the weight of the lure is the same.
A big reel will certainly give you higher speeds, but remember, fish will not strike a lure blazing underwater on full after burners as often as a lure which is slow and steady. You can buy a reel which can run like a Ferrari engine but, you sure will not land as many fish as the guy using a reel at the right speed. Remember, I said earlier in one of my other posts always see at what speed my lure works best, by sight and vibrations and that is the speed I use to reel the bad boy in. Try using a spinner at the speed at which it flares, or a crank bait just when it starts vibrating, and you will see the difference.
Too much drag will result in line breaking if you have a strike from a large fish which is hell bent on running away. In a large school of fish, they often want to run away with the prey so that they do not loose whatever is hanging out of their mouths to other fish. And believe me, they spin their wheels when they do that. Your drag should always give some. Read further below how to set drag.
Keep this in mind always: Other than strikes on landing, we catch fish on the way in, NOT on the way out.
Some of you must wonder, why the heck is this guy in Mexico talking about reel setups when you can get all the information in the manual or the internet. Well, while that is true, you never seem to get a no nonsense clear cut method. Remember, the guys who sell, have to gently sneak their product in your tackle box, along with any short comings it may have. We the naïve ones, always see the beautiful color of the equipment and the fancy labels.
Before we begin. We need to determine what we want a reel to do. Here, is what I expect from a reel:
1.Smooth and long casts, with accuracy.
2.Strong and silent retrieves
The biggest mistakes I have seen are:
1.Wrong line.. the weight of the line should be what the reel is designed for.
2.Wrong rod…. The line and reel should match the rod action.
3.Not using a monofilament base with braided lines
4.Too much or too little tension on the drag.
5.Not using the spinning reel with the ratchet lock in on position.
SPINNING AND SPIN CASTING REELS:
The biggest misconception about spinning reels is the number of bearings and the size. The bearings help in making a smooth retrieve ONLY. While casting out, the spool is not spinning. It is the centrifugal force of the lure and the line outside the reel, which is hauling the line on the spool out. Read what I just said again. Most of us cannot differentiate between a two ball bearing or a 7 ball bearing reel. So buy a seven ball bearing reel if you must, but, a reel with old bronze bushings will do just as well.
Most of us buy the biggest reel we can get our hands on. While that may be true in holding more line. It is not at all, a good way to fish. More line means more line to manage. If for some reason your line becomes really twisted and you end up throwing up some away, then you will be left with two alternatives. Tie a knot and put more line on, or make shorter casts on a half empty reel. With a smaller reel you just change the entire line and you are new again.
Setting up a spinning or spin casting reel is very simple.
1.Make sure the line is would up with a decent amount of tension. Use a reel winding machine which is cheap and provides an adjustable tension.
2.Fill only up to 1/8th inch below the spool top edge.
3.Use a monofilament base if using braided lines. Braids will bite into itself.
Tension or drag: The best way to setup drag is.
1.Attach the reel to the rod
2.Run the line thru the rings.
3.Tighten the drag so that it pulls relatively hard.
4.Pull the line at the rod tip.. Then start loosening the drag so that the reel starts to give only after the tip bends 12 to 18 inches (depending on the size on the rod). This drag is enough to set the hook…unless you are fishing for the great white!! This should be your setup for the day.
5.Make sure you have the ratchet lock on. This will enable you to set the hook on a strike.
Then you are all set to fish. Very important, remember to remove all the drag when you are done fishing and will store your reel.
BAIT CASTING REELS:
These can be a monster in your hands and cause you enormous amount of frustration and pain if you do not know how to use it. There are more bait casting reels sitting around all over the world for lack on know how on setup than being sold and used.
But, once you know how to use them. It will be very rare that a person will go to a spinning setup. These reels are simply wonderful correctly used and a pleasure. There is hardly any line twist, casts are way longer and accurate and the cranking power is great. Plus, all pros use this and we want to look and catch fish just like them.
You can use light lures with a bait caster, they are usually lighter, and you cast one hand usually. This is where the rule.. you get what you pay for applies.. while not to over do, the more expensive ones work better than the cheap ones. I stay in the 300 to 400 US$ range myself.
This is what I use. I can go on for weeks without a single back lash. I simply do not go fishing without my bait casting reels. Here is how you set up any bait casting reel.
1.Mount it on the rod. (Top of a bait casting rod with a trigger).
2.Tighten the drag and the spool tension all the way, now when I say all the way I don’t mean so tight that you break the reel. Stiff tight… no?? Ok how about Viagra tight? Got it?? Ok cool.
3.Remove all the magnetic effect (dial or pins)
4.Make sure you have your lure that you will cast attached to the line.. it has to be as you will cast.. weights and all.
5.Very important: Hold the rod so that it is at a 45 degree angle (up angle). Reel the lure about 12 inches from the tip of the rod. And, make sure the lure is above water, even if it is a bucket.
6.Release the trigger on the reel. Then, start releasing the spool tension until the lure drops at about 12 inches per second and stops when it hits the water.
7.That is the point where your spool tension will be
8.Then reel the lure back again.
9.Release the spool tension 4 clicks.
10.Let the lure drop in the water , the spool will over spin and cause the line to back lash, don’t worry it is very little.
11.Start applying magnet at about 70 percent of total. Doesn’t matter if it is a dial or pin.
12.Drop lure again and if there was no over spin remove some magnetic effect.
13.Keep adjusting until you have the lest amount of magnetic effect without over spin.
14.Put the four clicks back on the spool tension.
15.Congratulations.. you just joined the bait casting club!!!
It may seem to be a lot of steps but, believe me, it will soon be second nature. I set up a bait caster in about two minutes the first time and 30 seconds every time I change the lure or weight. Yes, you need to calibrate every time you change the lure or weight.
Remember, not to over fill the spool. If your line wants to come out, you need to remove some line or, the line is too stiff, and you need to use a line conditioner. Contrary to popular belief. A bait casting reel setup properly does not warrant the use of the thumb against the spool at all times to prevent back lash. Make sure you always drop the lure in the water when you setup.
To cast, you release the release button, while you hold the spool with your thumb. Swing the rod back and on the front swing (or return) you release your thumb as you watch the lure land exactly where you want. Like I said, it is not necessary to keep you thumb pressed (very slightly) against the spool, but do keep it close by just in case you did not setup right, or, you find your lure blasting by your targeted spot on it’s way to a bird’s nest.
To some one out there. I apologize, I just could not make this a three liner pal.
Until next time,