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Baitcasting Reel Techniques
Reels and reel maintenance
the rod and reel tilted so that the handles are higher than the
spool of the reel.
(Left handers should have the handles facing
down) The reel should be cocked to one side of top dead center
The grip should be similar to holding a tennis
racket. The "V" developed
between the thumb and the index finger should be virtually at top
dead center. The grip should be relaxed.
You will find that
in holding the rod as described in the index finger is all that
is required to stop the rod falling to the floor. The weight,
or balance of the rod will cause the butt to push up into the
palm of the hand. Actually it will be pushing up into the palm
area beneath the thumb known as "the
The area between the side of your thumb and the
flat of your thumb should rest across the line on the spool. In other
words, if you consider the rod to be pointing North, your thumb should
be pointing more North North West than North.
Don't hold the reel
in the upright position. This forces the thumb to lie straight
north south, and this in turn cause a whole host of problems
which are sure to result in over-runs (birdnests).
The first of these problems is that you have to grip the rod too
firmly, and use all your fingers. If you don't, the tip of the
rod will fall away to the ground.
Secondly, you will find that as
you bring the rod back to cast your wrist will lock. This, in turn,
will force you to use more arm action, destroying the natural action
and resulting in less distance, less accuracy and the expenditure
of more energy.
Thirdly, on the forward thrust, your thumb will
want to lift off the line on the spool. This will occur
as a direct result of the mount of your palm and your fingers fighting
to grip the rod, to stop it leaving your hand. Once your thumb
cocks up in the air as a result of this wrong grip, you can guarantee
a back-lash. Your thumb will never get back down on the spool quickly
enough to stop it.
By rotating the reel to the side,you no longer
have to hold the rod with that vice like grip. You can
now relax your grip, bring your fingers into the cast, and it becomes
all wrist action, with a completely relaxed forearm.
in fact becomes an extension of the rod's length, pivoting at the
elbow, while your upper arm remains relatively motionless.
Before you attempt to practice you should make sure your spool
contains enough line. The line should fill up to the bottom of
the chamber on the top edge of the spool. A full spool does not
have to revolve so quickly as the line peels off on the cast.
If the spool is only half full you are going to need more force
to overcome greater rotational inertia in getting the spool going.
This is sure to result in problems.
You should treat yourself to
a set of casting plugs. They are not expensive and will make practice
in the back yard that much more enjoyable.
Choose the biggest plug,
as this is the best to get the feel with when you are first starting
You should sit down, holding the rod and reel
in the correct position, and with the rod point in the
air. You then allow the plug to drop to the floor, feathering the
line as it drops, but only stopping the spool as the plug reaches
By continually doing this exercise for a minimum
of 20 minutes, you teach your thumb the process of controlling
As the line drops to the floor you should be able
to feel the rotating spool, tickling your thumb as it spins.
Your 20 minutes practice teaches your thumb to feather the line
on the way out to the target, to stop the lure or bait when it
reaches its target, and not to point North.
Twenty minutes is not
much when you consider the practice required for the golf swing!
If you're prepared to do this the advice is well worth heeding.
driven the family mad with your 20 minute feathering exercise,
you should then be ready to take on the dog in the back yard.
outside, flex the rod back and forth whilst holding the spool with
your thumb. This is not a 20 minute exercise - just flex the rod
back and forth to get the feel of the rod loading and unloading.
It is a continuous backwards and forwardmotion taking the rod
well back, but don't stop the rod in the back position
Baitcasters and backlashes
- "The reel should be vertical, with the handle facing up, at the end of the cast".
- Heavy line on the reel is easier for a beginner to practice with.
- When spooling the baitcaster, you want the line to go on the reel in same direction it was wound on the spool. Reason being, the line has a "memory.
- You need to work on when to release your thumb from the spool during the cast, and when to place your thumb back on the spool. These are the two things you need to learn, and having the tension knob set tight will reduce the number and severity of birdsnests you get while you are waiting for your thumb to get with the program
- When trying to work out a backlash most people just start pulling line off the spool and it will get stuck every time. Rather next time try tightening your drag up and hold your thumb firmly on the spool and wind the reel a few times. This will tighten the line from the inside out. Next carefully pull the line off the spool until it snags and then once more hold your thumb or thumbnail on the spool and give it a few turns. This will help keep the line from digging in on it's self
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