How you adjust your baitcasting reel can have a tremendous impact on your fishing success. Follow these adjustment tips to get the most from your reel.
Matt Allen from Tactical Bassin gives a tutorial on how to adjust your baitcasting reel for maximum feel and maximum fish catching success. These adjustments are a bit of a sticky wicket, because you have to balance your skill level and familiarity with your baitcasting gear to the actual mechanics of the reel.
Your skill and competence will increase the more you fish and use your gear, and you can continually make real adjustments as your technique improves to maintain that optimum balance. But some of Matt's suggestions may seem a little radical to some of us. Give this a viewing.
He goes over the basics of spool tension and the knob adjustment to increase or decrease that tension. Conventional wisdom says you adjust the spool tension until you get a controlled fall of your lure. Matt indicates that that's not what they do at Tactical Bassin.
Matt loosens the spool so that the fall of the lure is practically a drop, not a controlled fall. This allows your lure, when it's in the water, to remain in the strike zone more than it otherwise would when you stop it. If the spool is tighter, the lure will pendulum back to the rod when you stop it. But when it's loose it will drop straight down, effectively staying in the strike zone longer.
Also, when you adjust the brakes on the inside of the side plate of your reel, normal practice says to put two brakes on and two brakes off. Matt does a three brakes off and one brake on adjustment. This gives you just enough tension on the spool to keep it from being completely free while maximizing the control that you exert on it.
This of course means that you must be skilled and more than competent with your thumb. The human element must necessarily increase as the reel tension and safeguards decrease.
You'll be able to cast farther, have more feel and a greater connection from your hand to your lure, and ultimately to the fish.
Now he maintains that adjusting these things is really a function of your skill level. You MUST have a balance between your human feel and the skill to avoid having backlashes on every cast. So if you're a beginner, increase the reel tension until you can avoid those frequent backlashes.
But Matt also maintains that he still backlashes, just not as often. "I do still backlash my reel sometimes," he says. "I keep them so loose."
"But I'm totally okay with that," he continues. "Because I'm maximizing my feel and my effectiveness on the bottom."
Like most things in life, balance is the key. You just need to constantly improve and push the envelope so that you can continually elevate that balance.
Like what you see here? You can read more great articles by David Smith at his facebook page, Stumpjack Outdoors.
Enjoy the outdoors?
Sign up for daily stories delivered straight to your inbox.