Shimano Baitcasting Tips

Shimano Baitcasting Tips
Shimano makes some of the best all around bait casting reels available on the market. From the more economical Calais to the more professional Curado, there is a Shimano reel designed to fit the wallet and expertise of just about any angler. As good as these reels are, they are only half of the equation. It is also necessary to know how to use and adjust them for fishing success.

Fishing Line

The correct line loaded on your Shimano reel can help make a day of fishing successful. Simply putting enough line on the spool can make an enormous difference. There are many theories about spooling line onto a baitcast reel. However, what it essentially comes down to is how much line you typically use. If you never cast and use more than 75 percent of the line, then filling your reel three fourths (or 75 percent) will be fine. However, shorting the amount of line on the spool and not having enough to present a lure properly can be frustrating and may result in lost fish.

Also, when fishing with braided lines, keep in mind that the pound test to line diameter ratio will be different from that of monofilament lines. For example, a 20-pound test braid line will be of similar diameter to a 6-pound test monofilament. This is important to remember when spooling line. Also, keep in mind that braided lines do not stretch as do monofilament lines. As a result, there may be differences in casting, hook setting and even spooling the line with no stretch.


Drag Adjustment

When first fishing with a Shimano reel, you may want to adjust the drag of the reel down to help reduce the potential for a backlash. This will let you adjust to the reel without the frustration of a fishing line bird's nest.

Adjust the drag on your Shimano reel by pressing the spool release button and pulling line from the end of the spool. If the line pulls off the spool easily, tighten the drag. If difficult to pull, loosen the drag and try again. If the drag is set too tight, hooked fish may be more prone to snap a line that will not give while playing the fish.

Adjusting the Clutch

The next thing you will want to do is adjust the clutch on the reel. Look for a small knob near the handle. Refer to the manufacturer's directions on tightening. Typically, tightening the clutch will involve turning the knob to the right. Do not tighten the knob completely. Attach a lure to the line at the end of the rod and hold the rod in front of you. Press the spool release and watch the lure drop to the ground. If the lure drops slowly then you are good to go. If it does not drop or drops too fast, adjust the clutch accordingly.

Brake Adjustment

The brakes on a Shimano reel perform in a similar manner as those on a car. Internal brakes act to slow the revolution of the spool while casting. If not correctly set, there may be an increased chance of backlash. When using a new reel or if you are a beginner, select a brake setting higher in number. Typically, lower numbers will indicate less internal braking and will require you to control the spool more with your thumb. Higher numbers apply more braking and allow the reel to be much more forgiving. The trade off is that more braking usually results in reduced casting distance.


Article Written By Keith Dooley

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.

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