Introduction to Bait Casting Reels
Before you begin shopping for casting reels you have to take into consideration what you are casting for. Casting reels have become the favorite of many professional anglers for bass and other species. Granted they are a little harder to fish with than a spinning reel; but they are strong, durable and are made to fight bigger fish. There is no bail to set or release, which makes your casting motion far more fluid and the horizontal spool makes peeling line smooth and easy.
Baitcasting Use and Technology
Baitcasting reels used to be “pro only,” but they have come a long way and technology is minimizing and even eliminating backlash and “bird nests” in your line. Price point is going to sway a lot of opinions, but remember you get what you pay for.
When researching reels, the Shimano Curado E series continues to be at the top of most lists and has been referred to as the Cadillac of baitcasting reels because of its features, design and price point. It isn’t the most expensive reel, but it isn’t cheap. According to Shimano it weighs 11.5 ounces and has a maximum line capacity of 20 lb. test over 120 yards making it the perfect type of reel suited for fighting big fish like Musky.
Abu Garcia makes some of best low profile baitcasting reels on the market for smaller game fish like bass and catfish. With their Black Max, Pro Max, Ambassadeur C4 and Ambassadeur STX casting reel; Abu Garcia is one of the first choices of many amateur and professional anglers. Machined aluminum spool, four stainless steel ball bearings and one roller bearing provide maximum strength without excessive weight.
The Pinnacle Platinum Plus 6BB Reel is getting rave reviews and comes in at an amazingly low price. At right around $30 for the reel it is ideal for beginners who want to learn baitcasting without having to shell out hundreds of dollars. The 6BB Reel is built with a lightweight graphite frame and like it’s more expensive competitors, equipped with a fully adjustable eight magnet breaking system. It also sports a backlash-free reel with its large capacity aluminum spool making it perfect for beginners.
Remember to pick out a reel that matches the weight of the lure or bait, and the size of the line you wish to use. You will notice that many brands have several reels with the same name that come in different sizes. (100, 200, 400). This is usually based on the capacity of the spool. Larger reels can apply more drag force. If you plan on fishing for larger, stronger fish, you will need a bigger real that can produce more drag. Get hands on with the reels you are interested in. Check and compare the gear ratio of each model you are considering as well as the line capacity, ball bearings and weight of the reel.
Even though baitcasting reels take time to adjust to and become fluent on, the advantages will outweigh the frustration in no time. When researching baitcasting rods, ask those around you for advice and recommendations. The best advice comes from those who have spent time on the water with the reel in their hand, just remember to take the fish stories with a grain of salt.