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Garry2Rs

Baitcasting - Levelwind casting

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I cut this out to share with those of you who were sucked in by all the advertising etc.

HAHAHA

June 4, 2009

 

Not all that much physical strength is required to make an accurate cast with a level wind reel.

 

At least it isn’t if you have quality balanced equipment and you give it an opportunity to do what it’s designed to do. What does count is the timing and coordination you develop through practice.

 

Now let’s consider how to make your first practice casts. As I’ve recommended you’ve got your targets out there at 25 or 30-feet and you're ready to start. Take a relaxed stance with your rod and reel out in front of your body. Rotate your wrist to the left (I'm assuming you are right handed) so your knuckles and reel handles are up.

 

fagerstrom-casting04a.jpg

When you cast don't hold your rod and reel in this position.

 

fagerstrom-casting04b.jpg

Rotate your wrist to the left so the reel handles are up. You'll have more freedom of your wrist joint when you do this and that can be a big help to your casting.

 

Now draw an imaginary line from your nose to the target. Make your rod come back and forth along this line as you cast. The entire casting stroke should be executed out in front of your body. The last thing you should do is let the rod tip come way back over your shoulder.

 

Remember, now, I’m talking someone just learning how to handle a level wind reel. What I’m recommending is a base from which to begin. Once you get a feel for things you’ll be able to loosen up and not concern yourself with some of the points I stress for beginners.

 

That imaginary line from your nose to the target is important. If you've drawn that make believe line, and if your rod moves back and forth along it, there's no way you can be way off to the right or left of your target. Provided, of course, you keep your rod and reel out in front of your body as you cast. You'll be off in depth in the beginning, but not left or right. And your depth perception will improve as you practice.

 

The casting stroke I've just described keeps you from doing what most beginners do. That's to let the rod tip come way back over their right shoulder. If you make this mistake two things are a cinch to happen. The first is you'll wind up doing the work your rod should be doing. The second is you'll not be able to make your rod walk back and forth along that imaginary line that is so helpful in achieving accuracy.

 

If you've got your rod out in front of your body, you're forcing it to work for you. There is tremendous strength in the modern day casting rod, but you have to load it up. You’ve got to put a bend in it so it will fire the plug out there. If you bring your rod way back over your shoulder you might as well have a broomstick in your hand.

 

fagerstrom-casting004c.jpg

 

You'll recall I also mentioned the need to rotate your wrist to the left so your knuckles and reel handles are up. What this simple maneuver does is to provide more flexibility in your wrist joint. It's the wrist that does most of the work in a well-executed cast but you have to give it a chance.

 

Grab a rod if you have one handy and hold it with your thumb up and your knuckles to the right. Watch the tip as you attempt to flex your wrist as you would when you cast. Don't use your arm, just the wrist. What you'll discover is when held in this manner the wrist doesn’t permit you get the same rod movement.

 

Your rod tip may not come up far enough to zip a practice plug out there. Now rotate your hand to the left so your knuckles are up along with the reel handles. Again watch your rod tip. See the difference? Now you should have plenty of movement for your wrist to do its job.

 

Your wrist action, along with a slight upward movement of the right forearm, is all the effort you need to exert if you're casting properly with a level wind reel. As I’ve mentioned before, and this is so important, you must have a rod with sufficiently light action to enable you to do it.

 

I've already mentioned timing and coordination as the keys to casting success. You develop both through practice. Don't expect to knock the center out of your targets in the beginning, but do follow the steps I've recommended.

 

A good casting stroke is a bit like flipping an apple off the end of a stick. I've also heard it described as much like hitting a nail right in front of your nose with a hammer. You release thumb pressure on the reel's spool at the exact instant you'd smack the nail. Then you must be sure your thumb stops the rotating spool at the exact instant the practice plug lands.

 

You'll find as your skill develops that you never completely remove your thumb from the reel. You lift it so the spool can start, but you maintain contact to keep the line flowing smoothly and to slow the spool down and drop the lure neatly into the target. It's this constant "communication" with the line as it pays out that enables the expert caster to obtain such pinpoint accuracy.

 

Don't expect everything to come together for you within the first 10 minutes of practice. It's not going to happen. But you'll probably be pleased with how fast you do start to get a feel for what you're trying to accomplish.

 

I'll make one more promise: Every minute you spend practicing casting will pay big dividends when the chance to fish does come. You won't sit there picking at backlashes while your fishing partner does all the catching.

 

There's great satisfaction in being able to handle your equipment well. And learning to use all the tools available to you is essential. There's no question about your ability to learn how to use a level wind reel. Just get the darn thing out of storage and start practicing what I've just finished preaching.

 

You’ll never regret it.

Edited by garry2rs

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I cut this out to share with those of you who were sucked in by all the advertising etc.

 

You explained it better on the boat in person.

 

JF

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Gary just one question. I cast with my right hand but use a left handed reel. That way I am ready to set the hook and reel almost immediatly. Just something I have got used to. Does it matter if I rotate the handles down?

When you have a question, ask the expert.

Love this site.

 

Thanks

 

Tom.

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Gary just one question. I cast with my right hand but use a left handed reel. That way I am ready to set the hook and reel almost immediatly. Just something I have got used to. Does it matter if I rotate the handles down?

 

I do. Of course I never catch fish so who knows if it works. It feels right casting though.

 

By the time the lure is nearing the landing point I've rolled back to the upright position anyway.

 

JF

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I use leftys only now-a-days, but when i used to use righties I would cast out with my right, switch hands while the lure is in the air, and feather/ stop the spool with my left hand. Its a really quick motion--pretty much right after the rod unloads my left hand would come off the butt and takes the reel out of my right hand.

 

Anyone else use this method?

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John...

Thanks!

I didn't write the article, I cut and paste from something that came in my e-mail.

 

Tom

If it feels good ... keep doing it...grin.

But the answer is "Yes" you would turn the handles down, that's how they taught lefty's to cast right hand reels, before left hand models were available.

As far as righty's using lefty's is concerned...If you are an experienced caster use whatever you want.

However, I don't like to see beginners using "wrong handed " reels. In my opinion, they will never reach their full potential using the wrong reel, but that's only my opinion.

Most of us old guys crank left on spinning reels and crank right on casting reels if we can do it everyone can do it. Look at all the manual dexterity young people have from hours of video games...hell they should be able to cast with both hands...HAHAHA.

Seriously, it only takes a few minutes to get comfortable with a right hand crank. Most guys change hands while the bait is in the air, so they are ready when the bait hits the water too. I notice that some of the Pro's use lefty's for pitching...On a short range cast the bait is in the water before you change hands. If you have a flippin switch etc. the reel is instantly in gear...The rest of us have to use our thumb to jam the spool if we get an instant bite...

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