Baitcasting reels are a type of fishing reel that is widely considered to be the most accurate for expirenced anglers. It is one of the most unforgiving fishing reel types and comes with a learning curve for anyone but when you master it, it quickly becomes the fishing reel of choice.
A baitcasting reel works a little different than a spincast reel in that you control the line coming out. When you release the bail on a baitcast reel you will need to apply pressure with your thumb or other finger to restrict the speed that the line goes out. This tends to make it much easier to tangle the line but when you get it right, it gives you a chance to control the line as it spools out.
When you use a baitcasting reel you will notice it has an open face design and lots of familiar functions. The most basic of these functions is the release. Instead of holding a button or pinching the line against the rod your thumb does most of the work. When you cast one of these fishing reels for the first time it will seem very counter intuitive because the fishing reel is a mechanical device that, in most cases, gives you the control you need to let line out and bring it back in.
A baitcasting reel seems like it takes that control away but it really gives you much more control. When you first figure out the mechanics you will discover that a little extra pressure on the thumb will slow your bait down enough to land right where you want it. You can then apply pressure to the spool again when reeling in to actually feel the line and the motion. On other fishing reel types there is a disconnect with that where you don’t “feel” the action in the line as much as you do in the rod.
Say you are using an artificial frog and you want to cast out right up to some weeds. In other rods if you put too much heat on the cast you will go clear over the target and if you try and engage the bail in that situation your going to put a quick jerking motion on to the line and that means your bait could land anywhere.
If you are using artificial bait it is critical to get it to where you think the fish are and you also need to make sure that you can control the line with pinpoint accuracy because the last thing you want to do is get right in front of a fish and reel back too soon without even getting an engagement. Now, that is the problem with all fishing rods but with a Baitcasting fishing reel you wont need to worry so much about it because just the act of casting in such a controled way will get you 100% ahead of the curve on other reel types.
These Baitcasting reels are often best when used in fresh water but if your bearings and everything else can take it a baitcasting reel is just about the most fun you can have on salt water simply because when you see a school moving in you might have a better chance putting that bait in the water in such a way that is less traumatic. On the other hand, some fish go nuts when the water gets active so a sudden pressure from the thumb on the line rolling out will get that salt water fish right in the sweet spot.
For me, the Baitcasting reel is absolutely the best even though I still manage to make a mess of it. It isn’t the bad cast that makes this reel superior but rather that good cast. I find that when you really dial in on the water with a good Baitcasting reel you will get good clean action and you will be able to say in your mind what fish you want and where you think you need to put the bait. Now, some people have had luck with floats on this type of setup but I absolutely would never use one. When you are on the top of the water you can use a lure that uses the motion of just lightly pulling the line to bring the bait up and down in the water and while you may end up casting out more, this means more opportunity to connect on that really serious fish that is going to make one fine dinner.
Are you thinking of making the switch to a baitcasting reel? You should but in my honest opinion you would also consider having a separate two piece rod dedicated to this new reel. When you match a medium to light weight action rod to a Baitcasting Reel you will find that the type of fish you land are the type of fish you want. That is not to say that this is the end all reel for fishing but I do think that if you are out there on the water and the sun is just getting ready to come down go ahead and put that float on your Spincast reel and have some fun with the Baitcast reel. Be sure not to cross the lines but when you do this you are getting a two fold benefit. One is that the Baitcasting reel will send fish running in many directions in some cases and done right you can send them right to the float. I find that a fish that runs in to a free meal will hardly ever turn it down.
Another great use of the Baitcasting reel is to take a bit of chum in some nylons and tie it to the end of the line and use that to draw your fish in. By doing this you will be able to entice a fish to hit on your more attractive bait being offered on a simple and effective rod such as the Spincast type reel. It is also a lot of fun to lure them in close or push them out from under a bank giving you much better access to them.
So when it comes right down to it, the Baitcasting reel really is such a useful tool that any serious angler should have one with them when they are out for a serious days fishing. They have so much potential to give you what you want, a damn good fight! Let’s face it, they are also the envy of all the anglers out there because if you can put a baitcasting reel in to action and show off just how easy it is to get the big fish in those hard to reach spots, you instantly get respect from everyone on the water and if you mess up I promise you everyone there will nod, again with complete respect, because they all know that in the world of fishing the Baitcasting reel is where it is at not only in style but also in speed and accuracy.