baitcaster reel for fishing

Your Boat Head Specialists Share All the Pros of Switching to a Baitcaster 

Raritan Engineering your boat head manufacturers would like to share with you these topics we thought would be of interest to you this month regarding the great benefits of using baitcasters.

Your boat head suppliers talk about how preference for reel type varies by coastal region, but no matter where you fish, it’s hard to beat a baitcaster for pinpoint accuracy.

Baitcasters necessitate touch and feel that’s simply not required with spinning reels. Get past that small snag and you’ll notice levelwind baitcasters excel in lure-casting distance, accuracy with lighter offerings and even lure retrieves that require jerking actions.

A couple of fishing “hacks” to consider: If you have the dexterity, try cutting out some steps by casting with your left hand and reeling with your right. And if turning the handle on the right side of the reel — or working a lure with your left hand — proves too cumbersome, consider buying a lefty baitcaster. 

Fine-tune Your Baitcaster

Reel manufacturers make it easier than ever to prevent the dreaded baitcasting blunder: the backlash. But anglers should be intimately familiar with two parts of the reel — the spool-tension knob and the brake — to help fine-tune and adjust their casts.

Casting light lures and soft plastics with a baitcast reel requires a delicate touch and is best left to experienced hands.

With the basics of baitcasters now in your rearview mirror, check out these six inshore saltwater casters that push the envelope in technology and usability.

Abu Garcia Revo Inshore Low Profile

“We use specialized high-­performance corrosion resistance (HPCR) bearings that resist rust and debris contamination,” says Andrew Wheeler, with Abu Garcia. “Plus, a longer 95 mm handle and oversize knob adds ­additional cranking power.”

Discover Why Baitcasters Could Be Right For You

Okuma Komodo SS

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“The Komodo SS models work great for calico bass, yellowtail, white seabass and tuna in California, but just as well targeting tarpon, snook and redfish on the East Coast,” says John Bretza, director of product development at Okuma Fishing Tackle.

Quantum Smoke Series 3

Quantum engineered a 35.5 mm spool, when the average spool size is 32 to 34 mm, into a compact frame to provide anglers with increased line capacity, longer casts and more inches of line pickup with the new Quantum Smoke Series 3 (S3). To protect against salt, the company utilized premium aluminum salt-guard multilayer corrosion protection and anti-­corrosion bearings.

Shimano Chronarch G

The Chronarch G baitcaster was built with Texas wade-fishermen in mind, and is meant to tackle redfish, speckled trout and other inshore species in close-quarters conditions.

This Chronarch G model is ­saltwater safe, says Shimano’s John Mazurkiewicz, with a newly incorporated corrosion-resistant spool, something that wasn’t available on past Chronarch models.

13 Fishing Concept TX

The 13 Fishing Concept TX series baitcasters are made specifically for saltwater use.

“It’s not the design that makes reels saltwater specific, but the quality of materials and protection processes,” says Matt Baldwin, product-development director of 13 Fishing. “Our saltwater-specific reels feature Ocean Armor 2 on aluminum frames, corrosion-resistant bearings throughout the reel and attention to materials on the small parts that could be affected by the harsh saltwater environment.”

Don’t Burn Your Drag

A baitcaster’s drag system is built into its gearing. Because of this, baitcasters with high gear ratios have lower drag settings, and lower-gear-ratio reels have higher drag maxes.

“The spool turns the pinion gear, the pinion gear turns the drive gear and the drive gear holds the drag system,” says Chris Littau, with Quantum. “The fastest way to wear out a baitcaster’s drag is to force or pull line out on a heavily set drag.”

Fishing Rod Tricks For Tight Casts

While out on the water, you’re going to encounter many different scenarios. Sooner or later you’re going to have to get your lure/fly/bait into a tight spot or change up your retrieve to help entice a strike. In this article, we will go over two casts that can help you reach those tight areas (one for conventional tackle, one for the fly rod) and teach you one of the most exciting retrieves for topwater conventional lures: “walking the dog.”

If you have ever watched professional tournament anglers on TV you’ve noticed them spending a lot of time making short casts around docks, trees, weeds, etc. That’s because fish love places that give them cover from other predators and shade from direct sunlight, depending on the season.

Sometimes you can make a short normal cast to deliver your lure to these areas; other times, you’ll find that you want to get that lure into a very tight area such as under a dock, a submerged log, etc. This is when knowing how to pitch your lures becomes a useful skill.

Here’s a fun game to play to practice at home on the lawn. Use a heavy jig (1/2 oz to 3/4 oz, preferably weedless to help prevent snags). Place a hula hoop about 10 to 15 feet in front of you. In the middle of the hoop place a full pitcher of water. Once you get to the point of landing it in that pitcher cast after cast, start changing up your distance to the pitcher by taking a few steps back or forward. You can also switch to lighter or heavier jigs if you really want to have fun with it.

The best time to target bass with this retrieve is just after the springtime spawn and into the summer months when they are most active in shallow areas. Keep a close eye on your lure, too; this method of fishing usually leads to some of the most dramatic bites you’ll ever see. Often you’ll even see the fish jump out of the water to attack your lure.

To start, make a normal cast and leave a small bit of slack in your line. Give your rod a short quick jerk and then reel up some of the line on the spool, making sure to leave some slack in the water, then jerk the rod again in the same direction. 

The bow cast is great to use in areas with heavy cover for distances up to 20 to 30 feet. To do the bow cast, strip a small amount of line off your reel (roughly the amount for the short distance you want to cast to).

Practice this cast at home on your lawn to get a good feel for the right amount of rod tension and distance that you can hit accurately.

Here’s a fun casting game you can do at home to help you practice this cast. Take a hula hoop and hang it from a tree. Hang it just high enough so the bottom of the hoop is either touching the ground or just above it. 

Don’t forget these great tips for fine-tuning your baitcaster. 1) Become intimately familiar with two parts of the reel — the spool-tension knob and the brake;  2) casting light lures and soft plastics with a baitcast reel requires a delicate touch and is best left to experienced hands;  and 3) avoid the backlash.

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