For any serious angler out there, eventually, you will be upgrading your reel from a spinning reel to a baitcaster reel. Due to its durability, strength and high level of control, baitcasters win with experienced fishermen. Like most other products, baitcasters come in all sizes and performance levels. Usually, price does indicate the quality level you will get but that’s not a set rule. Also, each brand will produce reels with different features that you may or may not need, depending on your style of fishing and what your goal is.
Because braid is lighter and tighter on a spool and the line diameter is often much smaller than monofilament or fluorocarbon, you can get away with less brakes on your reel, giving you greater distance and better efficiency. So keep that in mind. Turn down the brakes with braid and turn them up slightly with fluoro or mono. Eventually you want to turn them all down to achieve maximum distance.
The gear ratio quickly summed up is the speed of your reel. The ratio is represented by x:1, and the x represents how many times the spool rotates for each single crank of the handle. For example, a gear ratio of 6.2:1 means the spool will rotate 6.2 times for each handle crank. Depending on the type of fishing you’re doing a higher gear ratio is typically more advantageous. For example, when covering a bunch of water, you’ll want to do a lot of casting and that means quick retrieval to get your lure back to the boat and out for another cast. A higher gear ratio speeds this process up to ensure you’re getting the most line in for each crank of the handle.
Fishing requires great accuracy, and that is what baitcasters will offer you. If you do any slight error, you may go back home empty handed or too little fish worth your time and effort. You need a reel that will help you place bait at the perfect place or avoid hitting a snag with your lure. Baitcasters are typically more durable than spinning reels.
Take your rod and reel outside and make a short lob-type cast. Swing your whole arm, don't try to snap the rod tip with your wrist. The reason for casting like this to start is that you want the spool to start spinning slowly and evenly. A lob cast will do this. A snap cast will make the spool spin fast from the beginning, almost guaranteeing a backlash.
Abu Garcia: Originally formed in Sweden in 1921, Abu Garcia was then taken by an American company Newell Rubbermaid. The company manufactures fishing reels and other fishing equipment. The Abu Garcia provides highly detailed and precise fishing reels and lines for anglers. With a community of more than seven hundred thousand followers, it is one of the most sought after fishing accessories brand in the world.
There are two types of brakes: the centrifugal brake and the magnetic brake. Not sure which brake your reel is rocking? Does it have a knob (with numbers) on the opposite side of where your reel handle is located? Then it is probably a magnetic brake. Do you see a small (removable) side panel instead of a knob? Then your reel is probably equipped with a centrifugal brake.
The design of a baitcaster and the layout of its spool enables it to cast heavier pound test lines and lures efficiently and gives a baitcaster more power to bring in stronger fish and fish heavy covers. Baitcasters with a low gear ratio also offer more cranking power for hauling large fish. This also makes them suitable for power fishing applications such as pitching and flipping.
This eccentric braking system depends on discharging from a central force. When the rotation speed of the spool is higher, the pins expand out further. This system is responsible for controlling the spool speed at the beginning of the cast. One of the most budget-friendly and simple solution braking system on the market. You can easily master the braking technique but it lacks efficient adjustment.
If you want to go after the big fish, you will need one of the best baitcasting reels equipped for the hard fights you’ll be in for. It will be a contest between you and the fish and the quality of your reel will play a major role in determining who comes out on top. With a great baitcaster, you can be confident that no matter what you land, you’re set up for success.
Bearings: Don’t get too caught up in bearing numbers, a lot of cheap bearings are inferior to a few quality bearings. Just about any reel that you pick up and turn is going to feel extremely smooth. Quality bearings become evident when they are working under a heavy load and have a couple dozen trips under their belt. It’s difficult to tell if quality bearings are used just by the number and type listed. It’s not the most optimal situation, but you can be confident that more respected and unfortunately, more expensive reels have higher quality bearings. You also want to see sealed bearings and corrosion resistance. This is especially critical if you are using the reel in saltwater settings.
The centrifugally-braked C3 does not cast as far as some of the little magnetic cast low-profile reels, but you are not likely to see them going up against big striped bass or blue catfish. This reel puts the heavy cranking power of the Abu Duragear system together with a smooth 15lb carbon matrix drag to generate some real torque. The massive star drag wheel and old-school metal level wind system add to the bomb-proof appearance of the C3.
The centrifugal brake utilizes (as the name reveals) centrifugal force to slow down the spinning spool using small pins attached to the side of the spool. To adjust your centrifugal brakes, you must first uncover the pins by removing a side panel located on the opposite side of the reel as your reel handle. Do you see the pins? Good, now the only thing you need to know right now, is that the way you adjust this type of brake is by flicking some of the pins away from the center of the spool. I will go over exactly what setting to use under How to adjust/tune your baitcasting reel further below.
For a light-weight, light-duty, low-cost reel, the Okuma Citrix comes in with a good package of quality details. A diecast aluminum frame gives rigidity to the reel while graphite side plates cut the weight. A 10-bearing drive system produces a surprisingly smooth mechanical action for a reel at this price point. This high-speed machine weighs in at a mere 7.2 ounces but the reel still spools 130 yards of 12lb test line and pulls it in at 31 inches per crank with a 7.3:1 gear ratio.
However, it is notable that some people tend to shy themselves from baitcast reels. They have this notion that baitcast reels are difficult and quirky to use. Well, I can neither agree nor disagree with that. But things will have a better turn if you invest in affordable yet ergonomic baitcasters. The best baitcasting reel under 100 can help you grasp the fundamentals of this technique without hooking out your wallet.
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