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Baitcasting reels question

I've always used spinning reels. I cast with my right hand, and operate the reel with my left. I've noticed all baitcasting reels are the opposite. What am I missing? I'd be completely uncomfortable casting with my left hand. And it would be a pain to cast right, then switch hands quickly to set a buzz bait on top of the water.


YoS

Comments

  • Stay with the spinning reel.
    I've been fishing for approx. 50 years with mostly a spinning reel with no regrets. Tried a casting reel several times and could just not get the feel for it. I know many people that fish with casting reels and have no problem. More power to them. Why not stick to what is comfortable to you. Why do you want to change?
  • Just curious because of things Ive heard
    You know, more accurate, less tangles, etc. I do fish slow rivers from my kayak, and the control and ability to slow or stop the line out with my thumb as I fish up to the bank would be nice.

    'Appreciate the input.


    YoS
  • Options
    Baitcasters
    Howdy YoS

    I have two baitcasters and cast just like you do. There are baitcasters that reel on the left side, the Shimano designations usually put a 1 in the model designation, such as Calcutta 201. They are often designated as left hand reels, but to me it is the correct way to fish if you are a righty.

    The one down side of the baitcaster is casting into the wind, backlashes can be a bitch.

    They defintely take some getting use to, but once you get the hang of it, defintely more accurate because you can control the distance with a little thumb break.

    For me, using braided line minimizes backlashes and they are easier to remove.

    I like Shimano Curado and Calcutta models.
  • Options
    Baitcasters
    I have a couple that I use sometimes. Casting accuracy is deadly once you get the thumb pressure on the reel figured out. Backlashing is minimal with modern reels due to the magnetic reel brakes. Casting into the wind or not stopping the reel once your lure hits the water can give you a nice birds nest. But nothing like the old baitcasters did. I've never had one I couldn't untangle in a couple of minutes. A nice advantage to baitcasters is no line twist and the winch like power is nice when you are fighting a big fish.

    Despite all the good things about baitcasters I still use a spinning rig 90% of the time because I like to fish with light and ultralight lures.
  • Options
    Used to have nothing but spinners
    I started using baitcasters because of the better drag system, something helpful when pulling up 10 lbs of catfish out of stump and debris filled waters. Like you, I was used to reeling from the left side...I'm a righty. But, soon learned to switch hands. Now, I'm used to it, seems natural. But, some right handed guides I know use and advocate left handed reeling baitcasters. I don't care for the stretch I have to do to reach the star drag on most of them.

    Baitcasters are great for largemouth bass and some other types of fish, especially as the quarry gets larger and the places you have to haul them from get more complicated. But, spinning rigs do the job too.

    Mostly, its a personal choice. As stated, spinning rigs are better when windy, but not so much because of backlash problems. That's where proper setting of the backlash control and learning to use your thumb to control line speed comes in handy. With weight on the end of the line, the issue of wind is much less. I've no problem chunking an ounce of lead and an ounce or more of bait in wind...was doing it Sunday into 25 mph winds.

    As I understand it,you mainly river fish. If that's so, you may be better off with the spinner. I find it better for the run and gun type fishing you do on rivers...shoot the lure at a target, reel in and cast at the next one as you go down river. But, everyone should learn to cast a baitcaster. Its another arrow in the arsenal.
  • Gotta disagree...
    I fish rivers for smallmouth bass a LOT, and for "run and gun" type fishing, the baitcaster is far and away better than spinning. It's simply more efficient. I use baitcasting for all hard baits--spinnerbaits, crankbaits, topwaters, etc. I use spinning tackle for fishing soft plastics and jigs--the stuff you usually fish slowly on the bottom--because I find spinning to be more sensitive. Spinning tackle, as others have pointed out, is inherently susceptible to line twist, while baitcasting is not. Although, I have minimized line twist problems by using braided line (10 pound test/2 pound diameter Power Pro).

    Yes, you can buy casting reels with the handle on the left side these days. If you're just starting out using a baitcaster, that's probably the way to go. But if you learned to cast with the casting reel with handle on the right, the ones with handle on the left might feel awkward to you--it does to me.

    You can be quite efficient casting a baitcaster with handle on the right by casting two-handed and palming the reel. You place the reel in the palm of your left hand with fingers wrapped around the rod underneath the reel and thumb on top of the reel. Your right hand goes in the usual place on the rod handle, with thumb on the spool. Cast with both hands, and after the lure hits the water, your right hand goes to the reel handle while your left hand stays where it is and holds the rod and reel. It helps if you have fairly good sized hands, but my hands are pretty small and it still works. However, I taught myself to cast left-handed LONG ago, and now I cast the baitcaster left handed, and the spinning reel right handed. I like that because when I switch from one to the other during the day (I carry five rods in the canoe with me--two spinning and three baitcasting) it keeps my arm from getting as tired.
  • Options
    Guess some of it is personal perference
    and experience. I prefer the spinning rig for creeks and rivers. But, overall, I enjoy baitcasting more. As for braided line, I'd not advice someone new to baitcasters to learn with braid. The backlashes are worse and more difficult to dig out. Better to put on Trilene are another decent quality mono to learn with. Tried braided on spinners and didn't care for it. Again, a personal preference.
  • Thanks for the memories
    I learned to cast using a baitcaster on slow midwest rivers. Maybe it was easier for a 10 year old to learn than 40 or 50. Haven't used one for years since most of my fishing now is for trout and I use flies or spinners. I think I'll go get Grandpas old bait reel out, reline it, and take it to the local lake to see if I can still cast it. I'm terminally left handed and never had an issue with the setup.
  • Options
    Clean and oil it first
    Old reels get stiff if they've set up for long. If its one of the old Abu-Garcia 5000's, parts are available and they can be cleaned and oiled at most reel repair shops for $20 or less.
  • "Objective" thoughts...
    When I said that baitcasting is inherently more "efficient" for run-and-gun type fishing, that isn't necessarily based on preference or experience. It's a simple matter of ergonomics. Assume you're not switching hands when using baitcasting--casting with left hand and cranking with right, or vice versa. First movement--hit the free-spool button with your thumb (since most baitcasters now have a thumb-bar). Second movement--cast. Third movement--begin cranking. Three movements.

    With spinning: First movement--pick up line on your index finger(this can actually be considered two movements--one is turning the reel handle in order to get the bail in position to reach the line with your index finger, the second actually picking up the line.) Second movement--flip bail. Third movement--cast. Fourth movement--start reeling. One more movement, maybe two.

    Couple this with the easier and more precise feathering of the line (spool) for greater accuracy in baitcasting, and you simply have more effeciency IF you are trying to make a lot of accurate casts. That's the kind of river fishing I do, usually from a canoe while floating downstream, and using fast-moving lures.

    I agree with you on braid for baitcasting...I've seen no need for it. But I love it on spinning tackle. Not only do you minimize the problems associated with line twist, but in using soft plastics and jigs, where you need to be able to feel what the lure is doing on the bottom, braid is far and away more sensitive due to lack of stretch.
  • Options
    BAIT CASTING REELS
    most likely spinning reels will cover most of your fishing needs,but if you want to use botom dragging baits like plastic worms,grubbs,jigs etc. get a light or medium weight bait caster with the handel on the left side. get a 5 1/2 or 6 ft. high quality rod and a high quality reel to match. dont go cheep on the reel or you will have problems. you can feel the bait better with bait casting equipment and can drag a big smalley out of heavy cover. make sure you get a matched outfit or again you will have problems.
    i carry both when i go for brownies and use them according to what kind of structure i encounter on the stream i'm fishing.
    good fishing.
  • Options
    For me, its always been the rod and line
    that provided sensitivity, not the reel.
  • Options
    Baitcasters vs spinners
    That always causes a big argument among coastal fishermen. Along the Gulf Coast and Florida's two 80% baitcasting. That reversed itself in Florida.
  • Thanks, I was thinking
    about that. The reel is more than 50 years old, I would guess 60 or 70 since Grandpa had it some years before I was born. I don't remember the brand, but unfortunately, it was not on the list of old reels that bring in $40k at auctions. It's just a nice old reel. I have his complete tackle box with wooden lures and bobbers. It doesn't leave the house these days.

    (Hey, what's the deal that spell check and dictionaries do not have the word, "bobber"? Did none of these people who produced these things fish?)
  • Options
    Wooden lures can be worth a small
    fortune. That's especially true if you have a fish picture with the lure...best if the lure is hooked to the fish. Don't know why dictionaries don't have "bobber".

    The old Abu 5000's were mostly red. There should be an emblem on the side. But, they made a bunch of reels back then, many of which are no longer with us. If its a 5000 series reel, there is little differnce, other than more plastic, in it and new ones. They were, and are, great reels. Maybe they don't have all the bells and whistles, and aren't as easy to control backlashes, but the Abu is field tested and has caught more fish than all the other newer vesions out there combined.
  • Options
    BAIT CASTING REELS
    I did say equipment and balanced outfit.
  • Options
    Well, picked up a deal on a left-handed
    -- Last Updated: Apr-19-08 1:06 AM EST --

    Abu 5501 C3, $40 new. The sell for $68 around here. So, will be trying it out in the A.M. Hopefully, I'll get used to reeling left handed with a baitcaster and handling the star drive from the left side. The latter has been my main objection to using a left handed baitcaster, but, for a $28 savings, I believe I can adjust.

  • Different reels for different situations
    Like BryanM I went to a left handed baitcaster for river fishing sockeye and coho size salmon. I love it. I am right handed but I like the instant retrieve of the left handed handle. No changing hands between cast and retrieve, just like with a spinning reel. In shallow water sometimes you have to get the lure moving toward you instantly or snag.

    I like spin reels for trout and up to bass and walleye size fish, though a baitcaster has more direct power or at least it feels like it to me on the larger bass, walleye and pike.

    I prefer left handed baitcasters for medium sized fish such as steelhead and salmon to 15 lbs. or so.

    For larger fish, such as big Chinook salmon, halibut, etc. I strongly prefer the standard right hand drive level wind/bait caster type reels. The reason is that for a long fight that requires strong power on the rod, my hands and arms tire way too much with the left hand reel handle. It is probably habits developed from early years of fishing but I get a LOT more pressure on a fish with the rod in my left hand and the reel handle in my right, and without discomfort to me. But only for big fish.

    One other caveat: I heard for all of my developing years that you can't cast accurately with a spinning reel and rod. I and my cousin fished b rushy creeks and river rapids and got so we could cast way back under overhangin brush and hit wihtin an inch of a rock wall, etc. etc. IMO a spinning outfit is just as accurate as a casting one if the user practices enough. It may take more practice, as I find that aqccurate casting with a baitcaster outfit is
  • Different reels for different situations
    -- Last Updated: Apr-23-08 3:50 AM EST --

    Like BryanM I went to a left handed baitcaster for river fishing sockeye and coho size salmon. I love it. I am right handed but I like the instant retrieve of the left handed handle. No changing hands between cast and retrieve, just like with a spinning reel. In shallow water sometimes you have to get the lure moving toward you instantly or snag.

    I like spin reels for trout and up to bass and walleye size fish, though a baitcaster has more direct power or at least it feels like it to me on the larger bass, walleye and pike.

    I prefer left handed baitcasters for medium sized fish such as steelhead and salmon to 15 lbs. or so.

    For larger fish, such as big Chinook salmon, halibut, etc. I strongly prefer the standard right hand drive level wind/bait caster type reels. The reason is that for a long fight that requires strong power on the rod, my hands and arms tire way too much with the left hand reel handle. It is probably habits developed from early years of fishing but I get a LOT more pressure on a big fish with the rod in my left hand and the reel handle in my right, and without discomfort to me.

    One other caveat: I read in fishing magazines during my developing years that you can't cast accurately with a spinning reel and rod. My cousin and I learned to cast spin gear accurately. We fished brushy creeks and river rapids and got so we could cast way back under overhanging brush and hit within an inch of a rock wall below a log, etc. IMO a spinning outfit is just as accurate as a casting one if the user practices enough. It may take more practice to get good with spinning gear however. When I went from spin gear to bait casting it was almost instantly easy to cast accurately.

  • Good deal! Way to go.
  • It's a trade-off
    You get to trade line twist for bird's nests. Which problem are you going to get more often, and which is going to bother you more? I hate line twist, so I use baitcasters frequently. But, if I start getting frequent bird's nests, then I'm back to spinning tackle.

    In general, I am set up with baitcasting tackle for fishing heavy hardware - 3/8 to 5/8 oz spinbaits or buzzbaits or large poppers, and spinning tackle for light presentations, such as unweighted soft plastic worms cast long and left to dangle in current seams.

    My surf fishing tackle, which involves throwing large lures and spoons with a minimum weight of 1/2 oz but often 7/8 oz up to 8 oz of weight PLUS some cut bait, is all baitcasting. I love the strength of it when a big one is one. A baitcasting reel is literally a winch, and it pulls like one when I need it too. I have a few spinning outfits for the surf for friends who want to give it a try. Throwing a five oz bottom rig can be hard to do, so I prefer to keep the equipment familiar when new people are giving it a try.

    - Big D
  • Options
    Baitcasters
    C'mon, weren't any of you folks around when thumb-busters were the norm, and spinning was still somewhat of a novelty? I learned to fish, age 12, with a no frills baitcaster...no inertial dampeners,no ball bearings, Cortland braided line, and switch hands after the cast, 'cause that's all there was. One quickly learned how to feather the spool with their thumb. Oh, and the rod was a tapered STEEL blank with genuine red agate guides. How's that for a blast from the past???

    In all seriousness, I think the theory of cast right then switch hands was more about dexterity and power...if you are a rightie, then your right hand is supposed to be more dextrous for casting and stronger for reeling. Of course, we now know that it doesn't really matter. I think some baitcasters can be had with a switchable handle, or ordered left or right.

    All in all, it's a matter of personal preference, I prefer to cast right and reel left, and everything I have is set up that way.
  • Steel
    I have not seen a steel rod in close to 60 years. I was in heaven when I got a split bamboo to replace that thing. I believe the reel was a Phlueger. Later we had the solid fiberglass with Penns and Phluegers. Lots of burned thumbs from the dacron. I got my 1st spinning reel in 1953. Spinning reels are accurate if you learn to feather the line. You can use the index finger or the free hand. Dont overfill the spools.
    Those old lures can be valuable. Check to see what they are worth before you fish them.
  • man , spin reels cast as accurate as ...
    -- Last Updated: Apr-30-09 11:36 PM EST --

    .... can be !!

    Doesn't any one just use the same forefinger they intially hold the line up to the rod with , to just control the cast distance to the exact spot they want the lure to hit the water ??

    Also , just in case some don't know this ... when casting and wanting to land the lure well back under an over hanging tree limb , just aim at the lowest possible spot of the limb in the direction of desired cast . Practice hitting that leaf on the way by , really ... if you don't believe me , try it a while , you be a believer . Just aim for the leaf first instead of the water .

    I have a bro-inlaw who is a dedicated bass fisherman and he uses nothing but baitcasting reels . All 10-12 of them , each on it's own dedicated rod goes with him every time . I never make fun of him , it's his thing ... 99 out of a hundred times I take just one spin outfit to do the work with , although I have extra spools w/ heavier/lighter line along with me .

  • Options
    Spin vs Baitcaster
    I used to use baitcasters like many posted here, but once the braids came out I really don't use mine much anymore. Powerpro's 2 lb 10 breaks at 18lbs. With a 30lb flourocarbon leader and a 7' rod we can pull 30" snook out of the mangroves that would have been impossible with 8lb mono (which would cast worse than the 2lb 10).

    If I'm standing up in a boat and fishing for bass with a spinner bait or crank bait it's still nice to use a baitcaster, because a spinning reel will hit the first guide and you feel that in the lure.

    I also find it harder to "skip" a lure under tree branches with a baitcaster.
  • I am a perfect example of someone who bought a baitcast reel and had no frickin' idea how to use it. After a couple of birdsnests that cost me two extra spools of line I did my research on the internet and learned how to cast it properly (not really that difficult, but it does take a bit to get used to).
    I bought a Canadain Tire special the Rhino baitcast (made by Zebco) like this https://under-the-open-sky.com/best-baitcasting-reels/ rod and reel were ~$69 2 years ago. THIS IS ONE OF THE BEST PURCHASES I MADE FOR FISHING TO DATE!!!! Yeah it's a cheapy but man does it ever reel in good, and you can feel hit better becuase the reeling action is vibrating through as much. I love mine and am hoping to upgrade to a better name brand one in the next little while. I use mine for all my pike and walleye fishing and it has caught many fish to date. They do suck for any light lures like small spoons and spinner (another learn by trial mistake). I have an ultra-lite for those applications, and then I have my standard spinng reel for anything else, although it hardly gets used any more.
    I use either my baitcast or my ultra-light.

  • I found a rod and reel on the beach at an island near Charleston, SC.
    The surf rod had a poorly carved wooden handle. The reel , which I still have, is one of the Abu 5000. There were holes abraided in the sides and the crank was broken. It was full of sand and shell bits.
    My Dad took had it cleaned and repaired and it still works.

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