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thalweg

Float reels are over rated technique

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HI,

 

Don't get me wrong, been float fishing for 15+ years with a float reel and it in many instances is far superior to a spinning reel set up. But since I've discovered BC style float baitcasting with a 10.5ft steelhead specific bait cast rod...it beats center-pinning hands down in my opinion.

 

Just wondering if any one here has made the switch yet.

 

My observations:

 

1. I can cast clear across the saugeen if want to.

2. Line trots out as smoothly from the reel as a center pin on the drift.

3. Maximum drag control with BOTH backup reel drag and thumb drag. Many times lost fish because my hands we're wet and the drag would slip..or the fish would peel downstream and wet hands would dry and get sticky after friction and then lock up the reel. Use my thumb on the baitcaster and have the added security of reel drag when needed on a baitcaster now.

4. Sick and tired of line twist from side casting...never got the wallace cast down.

5. When the fish just simply don't want a float presentation, easily switch to tossing spinners and spoons.

6. With a high quality setup...lighter and less fatigue than a float reel setup with TONS more backbone

7. High retrieve ratio reel 7:1 I can get in 2 times more drifts.

 

 

Mind you I've long ago stopped using anything less than 8 lb flourocarbon leader (usually 11lb) unless I'm fishing really super clear small streams then I'll go as low as 6. With my bait casting setup I can muscle even a 12+ pounder out of the sticks.

 

Anyways just wondering again if anyone else is experiecing the same results (if they've made the switch yet)

 

Cheers

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I understand what you're saying but a baitcaster doesn't look as cute in an avatar or in every trout or salmon pic posted. The pin's colours are made for getting photographed!

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Baitcaster do have their place but they do not work nearly as well in rivers with lower flow rates.

i.e. your estuary water or lower river areas where flows are much reduced or low gradient streams.

The baitcaster technique is more suited to higher gradient, high flow water.

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Ha good one...

 

Just to be clear, don't want to start a bashing thread on float reels:) :) I was one of the multitudes who used a float reel and really did enjoy it over my spinning gear when I made that switch in the late 80's. It was kinda cool to get the looks when you came down stream with this monstrosity of a 13 footer and this alien round thing....It put a lot of fish on the shore as well...

 

But since I've done the baitcaster thing (my second year) it is hands down the best, most efficient technique I've discovered for steelhead in nearly all conditions, and much more versatile.

 

Never really cared about the look of the rod per-se. I'm more about practicality and efficiency of it. And i just LOVE muscling those fish in. My goal is to eventually shoulder flip a 15 pounder (without harming the fish of course). Super light lines are unnecessary in almost 90% of the circumstances I've been in, and just lost the desire to fight a big fish and having to be so ginger with it cause of light setups. Now I basically put the boots to them like I've never before. The fight is even more spectacular, amazing how strong they are if you give them a chance to really show it. Its just half the time to land and as they say, fight em fast and fightem hard to keep the fish healthy on release. In fact when they feel super strong resistance, they jump twice as much.

 

You use a baitcaster for steelies?

 

Cheers

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Baitcaster do have their place but they do not work nearly as well in rivers with lower flow rates.

i.e. your estuary water or lower river areas where flows are much reduced or low gradient streams.

The baitcaster technique is more suited to higher gradient, high flow water.

 

Ya...very good point and as the year wears on I like to fish slower water when it gets super cold. I'll have to see how it works out.

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re: Being easy...

 

Its super easy, if you're proficient with a bait-caster and I'll take performance increases any day. However, biggest challenge, for optimum performance, is the brakes have to be totally off the weights thus you need to be really good at thumb control. If you don't have your bait casting down pat...birds nest galore. Once you get over that, its a dream tool for approaching steelhead and I'll take any efficiency improvement I can discover. Unless of course I decide on those great days to hit em with a flyrod. Much harder, but again even more satisfying.

Edited by waterrunner

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I own a couple west coast baitcasting outfits (old Shimano Convergence rods + old Abus) but I rarely use them beyond the pier when I’m float fishing for the chinnies. I tried them a few times upstream in winter (even caught a couple nice fish) but I think the grease packed inside the reels made the free-spool option a little too sticky and I ended up having to pay line out by hand. 2 of the older guys I fish with at one of my local rivers (Now in their 60’s-70’s) switched over to using baitcasters instead of the pin…For them they had pain issues with their hands and arms when holding a float reel in the cold. Both got custom float rods made with the spiral guide setup.

 

For me variety is the spice of life. I love using my centrepins but equally enjoy swinging flies with the fly rod or tossing spinners and Kwikfish on my short 7ft medium spinning rods. Many times I lug 2 outfits (1 float rod, + 1 7’ spinning) around with me on days when I have the river to myself.

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Guest ThisPlaceSucks

the fact that you never advanced past sidecasting explains tons about why...

then again, you can't argue with success...if it's putting more fish on the bank for you, then you are right.\

since switching to a pin i catch 10x more steelies than i used to, and i can't argue with that success either...and a 10 foot rod just doesn't cut it for me!

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Ya ...just couldn't get the hang of wallace casting, mind you probably didn't give it the amount of time needed, however casting is only one of the many benefits I've discovered.

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For me variety is the spice of life. I love using my centrepins but equally enjoy swinging flies with the fly rod or tossing spinners and Kwikfish on my short 7ft medium spinning rods. Many times I lug 2 outfits (1 float rod, + 1 7’ spinning) around with me on days when I have the river to myself.

 

I carry an old Shakespeare 1810 underspin in the back pouch of my vest that I swap out with my float reel when I want to chuck a few spinners or quickfish or even soak a spawn sack bottom fishing. Even put it on when I need to cast some distance with a float and Wallis is not going well that day or windy. :Gonefishing:

 

Question for the baitreel guys: On the longer rods that I assume you use, do you put all the guides on top or do you do the twist thing that was popular with rigger rods so that the line does not crisscross the blank when under load ??

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For some reason only had problems with light power rods with moderate action as the bend was very pronounced. I switched up to a medium power with fast action 10.5 footer steelhead specific and don't have the criss cross problem anymore. The light rod didn't hold up well to fish over 8lbs, so had no real control anyways.

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Also another slight drawback that I'm working on is casting with large obstacles like a tree or a wall bank directly behind you. You can't really do the flick cast, you need half a rod length for a bit of a swing. But its a minor point in most situations and I think with practice can get overcome.

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Different tools for different jobs. I use centrepins or baitcasting outfits or spinning rigs, depending where and when. My own observations ...

 

1. I didn't think I would ever get that stupid Wallace cast down. Then one day it just started to work. Don't know why, it just did. Neither distance or line twist have been a problem since.

2. Nothing beats a 'pin when fishing dead-slow currents, since it takes so little inertia to get that big spool rolling. Baitcasters work fine in stronger currents, and I love mine in big water like the Niagara. But in dead-slow flows, the 'pin rules.

3. Drag on a good baitcasting reel (Calcutta) or a really good spinning reel (Daiwa Whisker) makes it almost impossible to lose a fish. That said, I don't lose too many on the 'pin either - at least not to finger drag. Usually, I find another way to mess it up.

4. Sometimes fish want hardware, and you're screwed if all you have with you is a 'pin. I always have a spinning reel in the back of my vest. You never know.

5. If you want a fast retrieve, try batting a five-inch 'pin. Even a baitcaster with a 7:1 retrieve can't keep up when its little spool is only an inch-and-a-half in diameter.

6. I can twist ice off my centrepin pretty easily. Can't say the same of a spinning reel, or worse yet, a baitcaster. Once the line guide on a casting reel begins to plug with ice, you're in for tough sledding. I've tried spraying my Calcuttas with Pam and all sorts of other stuff, but in cold weather they drive me nuts.

 

Even after saying all that, if I could own only one reel for all my steelhead fishing, it would still be a Whisker - hands down.

 

Dave - I smiled when I read about your old Shakespeare. Now there's good times! I wonder if I can find my ancient Zebco 44?

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I carry an old Shakespeare 1810 underspin in the back pouch of my vest that I swap out with my float reel when I want to chuck a few spinners or quickfish or even soak a spawn sack bottom fishing. Even put it on when I need to cast some distance with a float and Wallis is not going well that day or windy. :Gonefishing:

 

Question for the baitreel guys: On the longer rods that I assume you use, do you put all the guides on top or do you do the twist thing that was popular with rigger rods so that the line does not crisscross the blank when under load ??

Heres a photo of my rig its a custom loomis 11 1/2 ft. Its done with the guides starting on top and then twisting to the bottom of the rod. With the baitcasting reel I took the anti backlash magnets out and the drift is very smooth almost as good as a centerpin. What I miss in drift I more than make up in casting and fish control. Excuse the quality of the photo its a scan left the steelhead crowd behind 15 yrs ago to start musky fishing so its an old photo although the equipment still gathers dust in my storage locker.

 

 

float-1.jpg

Edited by Musky or Specks

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The pin's colours are made for getting photographed!

 

 

The colors remind me of a Rainbow FlAG!!!

 

 

Spinning reels rule!!! :Gonefishing::thumbsup_anim:

 

Shimano Stradic!... Amen!!!

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I understand what you're saying but a baitcaster doesn't look as cute in an avatar or in every trout or salmon pic posted. The pin's colours are made for getting photographed!

 

LMAO, so why dont we all just buy the $99 ones?

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Even after saying all that, if I could own only one reel for all my steelhead fishing, it would still be a Whisker - hands down.

 

I have never owned a pin...and prolly never will. But my whisker has never let me down.

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For some reason only had problems with light power rods with moderate action as the bend was very pronounced. I switched up to a medium power with fast action 10.5 footer steelhead specific and don't have the criss cross problem anymore. The light rod didn't hold up well to fish over 8lbs, so had no real control anyways.

 

Thanks, looks like I'll probably be OK with traditional guiding, it would be a beefier stick that I would want. Maybe, tape the guides on before making a final decision on which route to go and doing a test bend might be the best route.

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I haven't any experience with the spiraled guides so I can't say for sure but makes sense in theory. I think as long as you stick with medium and faster action blanks you shouldn't have a problem.

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I wouldn't exactly say centrepins are overrated, they're deadly in the hands of one who knows how to use them properly.

But...everything you say about the baitcasters is 100% true, you make a good point.

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I too fish the geen with a 13ft Frontier Casting rod, with either my old gold shimano chronarch or new silver chronarch mg. .........maybe see you around......

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I remember a conversation I had 25 years ago with a local fellow, well known steelheader in the 70's and 80's, very good at bottom bouncing about the increasing popularity of centrepins and float fishing. Basically with bottom bouncing, it is an slower learning process requiring a greater degree of acquired feel and experience, while float fishing will put a neophyte into more fish in a shorter period learning process. There was concern that instead of 10% of the anglers catching 90% of the fish that the playing field is more level with minimal experience and a float rod resulting in larger numbers of fish being caught.as a result. More success for greater number of anglers might not be such a great thing for our fish stocks.

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I remember a conversation I had 25 years ago with a local fellow, well known steelheader in the 70's and 80's, very good at bottom bouncing about the increasing popularity of centrepins and float fishing. Basically with bottom bouncing, it is an slower learning process requiring a greater degree of acquired feel and experience, while float fishing will put a neophyte into more fish in a shorter period learning process. There was concern that instead of 10% of the anglers catching 90% of the fish that the playing field is more level with minimal experience and a float rod resulting in larger numbers of fish being caught.as a result. More success for greater number of anglers might not be such a great thing for our fish stocks.

 

Pretty much. I like to call floatfishing the great equalizer.

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