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Old 04-19-2017, 02:52 PM   #11
Bull Red
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...and after it is cleaned all the settings will be wrong again. LOL!

Lots of good info above. Practice makes perfect. Good luck!
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Old 04-19-2017, 03:04 PM   #12
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All good information above. When I wanted to switch from spinning reels to BC reels back when I was 15 or 16 years old, bought my first baitcasting reel and read the manual that came with the reel. Set the reel with the spool tension where the lure (practice casting plug) barely falls and hits the ground without the line on the spool to overrun. BTW an 1/4 oz casting plug is pretty light and I would get one 3/8 oz or even 1/2 oz. When I started with my baitcasting reel, I took all the hooks off of a 51 series MirrOLure.

I would set the brake weights with all 6 turned on. Your casting distance with not be very far, but it will be better to cast without backlashes and get the feel for the line coming off the reel during casting (with your thumb). You want to be able to feel the line during the cast with light thumb pressure. You can even feel when the line starts to "fluff up" before a backlash happens and and apply more thumb pressure to stop the reel from backlashing. Don't try to cast far as you are learning, the harder you try to cast, the easier your reel will backlash. Try casting with a smooth casting motion and again don't worry about distance as you are learning.

I'm sure my neighbors thought I was strange as I was practicing on the side of our house as I was learning .

As you get more comfortable with using your reel and thumb while casting without getting bird-nest, start turning off your break weights from 6 to 4 and continue practicing until you are getting the hang of the less breaking force with less weights turned on. As you get more comfortable at this setting, then turn off two more break weights from 4 to 2 weights turned on. Continue practicing at this setting. This is the setting that most Shimano baitcasters refer to as the "two break weights turned on and forget it" casting. Once you get this setting figured out, go fishing and have fun. At this point, you can play with the spool tension to get more distance, but the spool will spin a lot faster with the less tension and you will now need to use your "educated thumb" to feather the pressure on the line coming off the spool.

You will still have "professional overruns" occasionally, even with all the practice. Sometimes you will have to cast into the wind and will have to use your thumb more. Try to cast quartering into the wind if possible. Sometimes it's not possible, like fishing the surf and casting with a south wind, casting right into the wind. Use more thumb pressure. Your thumb will be able to tell a great cast and also when the spool is starting to overrun and more pressure needs to be applied to keep from backlashing.

Have fun learning. I haven't bought a spinning reel since I started fishing with baitcasting reels. I can use a spinning reel no problems, but I prefer using baitcasting reels.
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Old 04-19-2017, 03:21 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sancroix View Post
So, I've been using spinning reels for over 40 years. Figured it was time to give bait casters a try. I bought a Shimano Casitas 151HG on discount at the FTU vendor sale about 10 days ago. You tube reviews on the reel are positive; with reviewers highlighting the reel's ease of casting and fast retrieve. About the only casting rod I have on hand is a Penn Legion LEGIN1017C70. It's listed as 7' long and Extra Fast action. I spooled it with 30lb FINS Windjammer line.

Like many reels it has two methods for controlling backlash: the brake weights and the spool tension knob. The reel's guide book says the weights can help with backlash on the beginning of the cast, and the spool tension can help at the end. Practice casting on my lawn with a 1/4 ounce weight tied on has me pulling out backlash on almost every cast; mostly occurring at the end of the cast. I realize the ground is causing a hard stop, and that is likely contributing, but from those who use these reels a lot I'd appreciate some insight on how to cast and not get all knotty.
Not familiar with that rod? I like medium to medium-light powered rods with moderate or fast action rods. Sometimes I use a medium-heavy powered rod for shrimp under a popping cork for the extra weight being thrown.

Extra-fast action rods only bend in the far upper end of the rod. A moderate action rod will bend into the middle of the rod and will help with loading up with your casting motion. Fast action will bend easily into the upper 1/3 of the blank (rod).

Exta-fast action might be a little stiff of a rod to learn to use a baitcasting reel. Just my humble opinion. Your mileage may very. Just a thought to digest. Rods power and action play a bigger role in casting than we give credit. Most always talk about the reel when talking about casting, but both have to work well together.
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Old 04-19-2017, 04:23 PM   #14
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I have had the Casitas for several months now and thoroughly enjoy it.

Most newer baitcasting reels have internal and external brakes and it definitely adds a bit more difficulty when learning how to control them.

The spool tension knob is more so used with regard to the weight of your bait or lure. After tying on your bait, adjust your tension knob according to its weight. When holding your rod and disengaging your reel, your bait shouldn't drop to the ground like its free falling.

If your overrun or "bird's nest" is happening at the beginning of your cast, then most likely you do not have enough spool tension applied. *Of course training your thumb does allow you to use less spool tension as you get better.

The brakes more so control your cast after casting. With no brakes, your thumb is the brake, with brakes, your thumb assists in braking.

I have two internal brakes on in my Casitas, and usually have the external brakes set to 1 or 2 and let my thumb do the rest of the work mid-cast and at the end of the cast. These settings don't change even when I am tying on different weights, I "adjust" my thumb.

But if I do use a heavier or lighter weight, I will have to adjust the spool tension knob before casting. If there isn't enough tension on the spool at the start of the cast, then your spool will be spinning faster than your bait is moving through the air and the line will over run.

Having more tension applied by tightening the spool tension knob means that the force from the weight of the bait is causing the spool to spin which allows your line to come off the spool appropriately. Not enough tension, your bait, line and spool are not working together and the spool could be moving too fast. If this is the case, no matter how "learned" your thumb is, you're gonna backlash.
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Old 04-22-2017, 09:56 PM   #15
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Just stick with it man. My new years resolution for 2016 was to learn how to use a bait cast. Finally bought a concept A last September, and then a Lews in December, it's definitely been a learning experience trying to figure this out at 35. I'm still not great with them by any means, but really enjoy using them. Not sure how the Shimanos work but from what I found through research and trial/error, the spool tensioner is more for the beginning of the cast and the brake system is for the middle/tail end of the cast. From my little experience though, for whatever it's worth, a 1/4 ounce weight is going to be difficult to throw. Maybe practice with heavier weight until getting a little better feel, then try lighter.
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Old 04-22-2017, 11:16 PM   #16
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Once you use them, you won't go back to spinning. It sounds like you've got it down, just make sure to stop the spool when it hits the water/ground. Once you get used to using them it will be a breeze. I can throw mine with little to no brakes and sometimes not even use my thumb except to stop it when it hits the water. You'll get the hang of it!
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