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My first Baitcaster ready for spooling!


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Hey folks, 

A couple of months back I asks questions/recommendations about which baitcaster combo to buy - this is my first experience with them.  I ended up with a 6'8" medium-heavy (medium-fast flex) Falcon rod (BuCoo SR) and the reel is an Abu Black Max.  Nothing special or overly complicated.  I figure it should serve me well for a few years before I feel the need to upgrade. 

Several of you had suggested practicing in the yard (after watching some YouTube vids).  I intend to do that now that the snow is gone and now I need to select some line. I believe most said go with MONO.  The rod is rated for 10-20lbs, 1/4 to 3/4 oz. Should I go with a 12lb mono?  I am a generalist and fish for everything from small mouth to pike to lake trout...  is that a good weight to go with? Is there a brand you prefer?  I like original Stren for my spinning outfits.. 

Also, should I generally tie a leader to that setup? 12lbs is heavier than what I'd fish with, for say SM bass.. 

 

Thanks for any suggestions! 

Edited by siwash
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Get braid...wayyyy easier to learn on. 20 lb power pro. 
 

tie a leader to it for what you are fishing. Topwater, mono, a lot of other stuff fluro, slop for largies no lead

Edited by AKRISONER
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I would get mono 17lb. And cheap the Zebco OmniFlex at Wal Mart will work. About $3.

Change baits or weights of often. Get all the cast in. When your thumb gets educated start backing the controls off. 

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Any cheap mono to start while pitching plugs around in the yard.  Mono cost's less too when having to cut a birdsnest out.  

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Mono is more forgiving when you are learning and cheaper to replace if you end up with the mother of all birds nests (I heard from a friend). 

 

Pound test is a little more tricky and has a lot to do with rod/lure/conditions and preferences. The general rule of thumb is 10lb test mono is as thin as you should go, so 12-14 might be good for the fishing you described. If you do go with braid then 30lb test is about as thin as you should go (again, general rule of thumb) and does work for most of our inland fishing unless you are way back in the slop for bass or you are targeting big pike/muskie.

 

When fishing bass I don't bother with a leader except if I have braid and I'm looking for a little more stealth and tie on some flouro. If you run into pike while bass fishing then a beefier floor leader can help. I don't use wire leaders often but they can be handy if they don't dampen the action of your lure.

 

 

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6 hours ago, misfish said:

Flipp.n heavy cover,straight braid. It is a reaction bite. They will not notice the braid.

I don't fish for Lrg mouth and generally avoid the thick heavy cover. It's the one species I don't target and all catch are incidental for me. 

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47 minutes ago, siwash said:

Ok so mono seems to be the consensus. Should I eventually switch to braid once I learn? 

You can, but don't have to. I think braid has a lot of advantages especially if you are looking for versatility from an outfit. 

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1 hour ago, siwash said:

Ok so mono seems to be the consensus. Should I eventually switch to braid once I learn? 

Honestly I think it’s a mistake to try and learn with mono. It’s far more difficult to cast mono and flurocarbon then braid. 
 

I think you should learn with braid, I find the birds nests easier to get out too. Just remember when you bird nest, do not pull on your line and tighten it! Just slowly lightly work it out like you are untying a really tight knot. Pick away at it slowly and it will come undone. 
 

Also I’ll mention that even the pros birdnest from time to time so don’t feel bad about it. Don’t start by casting directly into wind. Try to have the wind at your back at first. Make short smooth casts and get used of braking the line before it hits the water/ground and work up from there. 
 

honestly if you are super carefully with your birdnests and work at them you will almost never need to cut your line no matter how bad they are. Typically the only time I get birdnests now a days that are bad enough to cut is when I absolutely try to launch something a mile long and something strange happens like I bump the handle and close the spool somehow or my line had a knot around my rod and I’m not paying attention and try to launch my bait and it goes nowhere. Honestly the last time I birdnested so bad it had to be cut I cast so hard my line snapped and my lure went flying 100 yards into the lake

 

once you get the hang of it you will almost never go back. Trust me!

Edited by AKRISONER
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2 hours ago, siwash said:

Ok so mono seems to be the consensus. Should I eventually switch to braid once I learn? 

Whatever your comfortable with.  I use mono, but my bro uses braid.  It's a never ending argument.  Grab some cheap line with your first spool up and practice in your backyard or an open field.  If your practicing for the first time on water we'll have fun lol.

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I’m pretty much in full agreement with AKRI but I’d even suggest going with 50 pound braid. You can always dial it back later to 20 if you wish, just makes picking the knots out that much easier, and less frequent in my experience.

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It’s spring and they’ll be bird nests everywhere! Lol

Another vote for cheap mono. The only thing I’ll add is this...if you know someone that is proficient with a baitcaster, after you’re all spoiled up ask for a quick lesson. This could save you a boat load of trial and error not to mention fishing line. 
 

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Find a YouTube presentation on how to fine tune your Abu black max for the weight your will be practice casting. It will go a long way to mitigate many bird nests. Personally, I would use 30lb braid. You will be amazed at its efficacy!

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3 hours ago, greyhawk said:

Find a YouTube presentation on how to fine tune your Abu black max for the weight your will be practice casting. It will go a long way to mitigate many bird nests. Personally, I would use 30lb braid. You will be amazed at its efficacy!

Thanks. For braid would you go with PowerPro?

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A picker???

Just realized I have old Powerpro on a spinning outfit.. either 30 or 40lbs (i think 30...) - should be alright to use old braid for practice?  its a few years old... a bit faded. 

 

 

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When you start out with a bait caster make the best cast you can , then peel out another 30 ft of line and put 4 inches of electrical tape on the spool and reel it back in. It will stop bird nests and as you learn to cast better you just put the tape a little deeper.  This is the best way to learn

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1 minute ago, Terry said:

When you start out with a bait caster make the best cast you can , then peel out another 30 ft of line and put 4 inches of electrical tape on the spool and reel it back in. It will stop bird nests and as you learn to cast better you just put the tape a little deeper.  This is the best way to learn

Oh wow, that's interesting! Ok.. will try that. So cut a 4" piece and stick it on in the same direction as the line comes off the spool ?

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Yes you don’t make it too tight if you manage a real far cast the line will peel the tape off so you don’t lose the cast and you just put the tape  back on

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when i started learning in 1998 I used to take the hooks off of a Rat L trap and practice casting either on my street or a local park with 12 pound mono.

 

22 years later I still use 12 pound mono (I like Sufix Siege) lol

After a while you will be so good you will cast and switch hands without even thinking about it (often before the lure even hits the water)

(assuming you are using a classic righty reel)

 

Good luck and practice practice practice off the water first so by the time you hit the water you are confident. 

 

have fun!

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