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Who's converted to spinning to baitcasting?

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by Dennis in MA, Mar 23, 2010.

  1. Dennis in MA

    Dennis in MA Get off my lawn

    Aug 16, 2001
    Taunton, MA
    I have to tell you, I'm almost there.

    Years ago (20+), I got a good Shimano (or Daiwa - I forget) baitcasting reel. Back then, baitcasters were hard to use and only good for 3/8oz and higher lure weights.

    The pro's used them b/c they tended to use heavier weights to catch bigger fish. But the regular guy just didn't bother with em much.

    Interestingly enough, pros have backed off of that and some do use spinning reels now. There isn't any hand switching, although you have to flip the bail. (My fishing heyday was back when trigger-flipped bails were the rage. They didn't work real well, but it was cool. I still have one of them 25 yr old reels around somewhere.)

    Anyhow, with modern braking and designs, baitcasters are far easier to use - and can be used with much lighter lures. I find casting with them much easier. I can cast overhand, three-quarters and side-arm with equal dexterity. (I can't cast a spinning reel overhand to save my life. I just have no feel for it.)

    Am I an odd duck out there? Or is this a trend?

    Of course, the downside is that it seems good baitcasters cost a lot more than good spinning reels. :( But how often do you NEED to buy a reel? (Probably as often as a new gun or knife. ROTFL!)

    Can you tell it's just getting to be fishing season???? I'm just ITCHING to get out there more. Caught 5 2-3lb bass in the last week over 3 outings near the cabin. Spring bass hit like a striper - no real strike, just a heavy weight that occasionally jerks the rod. . . until you start getting them near the surface.
  2. wct097


    Jan 11, 2000
    I bought a baitcaster since they tend to fit in my rod holders better. While it's true that they've improved over the years, they still suck in comparison, IMO. I probably spent 20% of my time clearing backlash from my baitcaster. My problem 'could' be the cheaper line I was using, but the new braking systems aren't foolproof and require regular adjustments. Good line on a spin reel will still trump baitcasters IMO.

  3. Big Bird

    Big Bird NRA Life Member

    Aug 7, 2003
    Louisville KY
    As you get good with a baitcaster you will find the braking features are nothing more than a nice decoration. I essentially "free spool" my baitcasters with as little friction and brake as you can get out of the reel. The thumb does all the work. This maximizes distance and control. It wll take some time behind the reel before you can do this without creating a bird's nest and the best way to get there is to gradually dial down your friction on the spool over a maybe a summer.

    I use both baitcasters and spinning reels for different things. But for hard baits, soft baits and spinner baits I use the baicasters almost exclusively. The spincasting rods tend to come out when I'm using live bait or jiggs.

    Obviously both will work but the primary advantage of the baitcaster is range, accuracy and the economy of motion that allows you to throw baits faster and cover more water than you otherwise would with a slower spinning reel.
  4. ubersoldat


    Oct 20, 2009
    Ahwatukee AZ
    I went to casters two years ago, and for me its all about the weight that Im throwing, to light or too heavy, then I have all kinds of issues.
    I take two BCs with me when I fish but keep a older mitchell spin caster in my tackle as well...
    I suppose I should be far better than I am with them since Ive spent so much time using them, but I still have "afro" issues hear and again.
  5. deadmonkey90

    deadmonkey90 Pro Bass Angler

    Feb 15, 2009
    NW Indiana
    I used to only use spinning combos, now I only use baitcasters. The first time I tried it I hated it, until I got the hang of it. I have baitcasters on 7' rods with 15# braid spooled, I love it.
  6. Big Bird

    Big Bird NRA Life Member

    Aug 7, 2003
    Louisville KY
    The problem most new people have with a baitcaster is they think all you need to do is fill the spool with some line, tie on a lure and go fishing. The reality is what you should do when you buy a baitcaster is fill it with about 100 feet of inexpensive mono, tie on a 1/2 ounce lure like a cheap big red or easy to see hard bait with the hooks removed and spend a few hours in the back yard with the thing casting at targets. When you start off with a baitcaster you are going to get bird's nests. Its a certainty. Untangling a spool with 100 feet of line is a helluva lot easier than a full spool and if you end up having to cut it out its not as big a loss. Stay away from the braid and flourocarbon lines until you can throw mono which is much more forgiving for a newbie. Trying to learn how to fish with a new baitcasting reel while on the water is a mistake and you'll end up frustrated.

    Eventually, you'll end up with different baitcasting reels based on retrieve ratio (speed) and weight of line and heavy or medium weight rods.

    Learn how to use and adjust the brake and resistance which you will need to do at first. I know this goes against your man card rules...but read the instructions that came with your reel!.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2010
  7. Dennis in MA

    Dennis in MA Get off my lawn

    Aug 16, 2001
    Taunton, MA
    And watch Bill Dance. I didn't "get" how to use a baitcaster until I watched him use it. There is a whole lot more whip in the rod than I ever get in my spinner gear. And as mentioned, the "economy of movement" is huge. It's little more than a wrist move - or seems like it.

    I think the real reason it's nicer is that it's close to how you would toss a ball. I don't know how to better describe that. You look at the target and your arm just chucks the bait at it.

    And BB - LIVE BAIT!?!?!? You must be one of them "eatin" fishermen. LOL
  8. Big Bird

    Big Bird NRA Life Member

    Aug 7, 2003
    Louisville KY
    In my heart of hearts I'm a catch and release fly chucker.

    But when I'm in Walleye water I can't resist the opportunity to catch some of the best eatin freshwater fish and make me a shore lunch. Also, when the spring Crappie run starts I'm all over catching a bucket of slabs for the table.

    But when it comes to baitcasting artificals its catch and release.
  9. luv2brode


    Apr 12, 2008
    had me a baitcaster for over a year, couldnt figure the thing up put it away hating it.
    did some searching and found out the brake adjustment was gone, now that i fixed it i like it much better far from good with it but not making nest with it either.
  10. I began trying out some baitcasters about 20 years ago and it took me a while to get used to them. I use them quite often now and they are my main go to rod n reels, but I still like my spincasting outfits for tossing the lighter stuff.
  11. Davegrave

    Davegrave Dapper Dan

    Sep 1, 2005
    NW IN
    I'm the opposite. I always wanted a baitcasting reel growing up and finally got one 4 or 5 years ago. It's just not for me. I don't lure fish that often and when I do I find the baitcaster creates more problems than it solves, even though I have my birdnesting down to a minimum these days. I have mine on craigslist now. It's not a great one, but not crappy either. Paid about $85 bucks for it.
  12. farkill


    Feb 24, 2010
    I am pretty much in the same camp as BigBird. I use both a baitcater and a spinning rig depending on what I'm throwing. I flyfish for wild trout and fish a lot of sunfish later in the year for the freezer, but my main thang is floatfishing for smallmouth. I fish a baitcaster texas rigged with one softbait or another (mostly a double tail hule grub) , another rigged with a spinnerbait or rattletrap type bait , and a light spinning rod with some sort of crankbait. The spinning rod usually has a brokeback rapala or a large onepiece minnow of some type tied to it, althugh I use it for torpedos, crippled killers and other light lures. I like the spnning reel for it's ability to take up a lot of slack quickly when fishing topwater lures. Smallmouth often clear the water when they hit topwaters and land a few feet closer to the boat, that will leave you with 5 or 6 feet of slack line sometimes before you have time to think. On occasion I'll old school it and fish some live bait , usually madtoms but sometimes jumbo shiners. For this I really like a baitcaster with a braided line on a 7-1/2' rod , smallmouth will run a big bait a long ways before turning it, and the those elements make far away hooksets a lot easier.

    You cant see the reel in this photo from this past Mondayy, but it's a pinnacle casting reel. She just got a yamamoto pulled outta her lip. . .