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Eazy

Baitcaster for Steelhead

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Hi all, I was just curious if there were any  anglers out there that use baitcasters instead of spinning reels to toss hardware for Steelhead or Salmon and obtain equal casting distance with both. Im not talking castingheavier baits, but rather in-line spinners down to 1/4oz (#3)

I just figured that a baitcaster would solve the line-twist issues associated with spinning reels. 

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I routinely cast 5 gram floats on a casting reel combined with a 13 foot rod.  I can't  see why you couldn't chuck 1/4 ounce lures with the right reel. My casting distance is pretty good, but I've never compared it to a spinning rig. Or you could just get a decent ball bearing snap swivel and use that on your spinning rig.  Torpedo trolling products makes a real nice 30lb test ball bearing snap swivel that has a pretty small profile. I use them on all of my trout/pickerel trolling rods and run both bottom bouncers and rapalas, spoons etc. off of them.  No failures so far, and very little line twist.

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It's less about distance and more about the feel especially with spinners or, when jigging for them, the feel of bottom. With Steelhead they often like a slowly spinning spinner which you can feel with a baitcaster much better than a spin reel imo. When jigging spoons or plastics feeling the bottom is paramount and with a casting rod I find bottom feel is enhanced especially if you use braid. When I try to jig with a spin reel I can do it but I lose a lot of lures and I don't get the great fish catching action that you get from a casting setup. You can cast 1/4oz spinners with a cast setup with good quality equiptment but I would say distance will not come close to a spinning setup particularly since you pretty much have to lob such a light lure on a long rod.  Overall nothing beats catching Steelhead or Salmon on a casting rod as far as I'm concerned

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Ok, thanks for the feedback guys!

Distance is paramount on the rivers I fish North of Sault Ste Marie, so likely stick with the Daiwa Whisker Tournament SS 1300.

Besides, a "good baitcaster" could set me back a good couple hundred dollars!

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If distance or line weight is an issue, I'd stick with spinning. I also feel that bottom bouncing is better with spinning...I can feel the line much better.

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IMHO, you are always going to get better distance with a spinning reel. Feel for the bottom has to do with rod and line choice, virtually nothing to do with reel choice.

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The line twist is a problem with any inline spinning rig, harness, or lure.  I have used ball bearing swivels on my casting and spinning setups for years.  Using both casting and spinning setups for trout and more, I tie a small bearing swivel and a 18-24" leader of fluorocarbon to a snap or directly to the lure/hook.  This setup allows me to change the leader depending on the target fish.  

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For light baits, I use a spinning setup.   If I gotta get big floats out into big flows, bait caster all day.   

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My Whisker 1300 has been my favourite spinning reel for almost 25 years ! Having said that ... there's nothing quite like fighting a big 'bow' with a float real ... I even use it trolling ... on the 'clicker'

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I love my bait cast river set up. Throw spinners and body baits with it. I use braid with a floro leader. I also have a whisker/spinning set up. I prefer the bait caster. And yes, rigging with the pin is a blast camillj.

Edited by misfish

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On 4/8/2018 at 7:18 PM, Eazy said:

I just figured that a baitcaster would solve the line-twist issues associated with spinning reels. 

Line twist issues are more likely to do with using inline spinners, rather than the reel. They all twist line something fierce. Either use a small barrel swivel a foot or so up the line from the spinner, or just take a pair of pliers and bend the spinner's front eye off to the side about 45 degrees. It works pretty well - not as well as a barrel swivel, but good enough.

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All great responses. I always have more feel with a spinning combo. Rather than change the tool because of line twist solve the problem, like adding a small swivel. I use chain swivels myself. I do not like terminal tackle but must be used at times and I have found that chain swivels are the least intrusive of all.

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