One of the strongest arguments, or at least one of the most common arguments, I hear for using baitcast tackle is casting accuracy. Baitcast tackle has always been recognised as giving greater control over the lure in flight and thus being able to land the lure on a 20 cent piece, so to speak. Lightly thumbing the spool and using some judicious rod movements allows a skilled baitcast angler to adjust the range and trajectory of the lure in flight for that hallowed pin-point casting.
Spin gear, on the other hand, has the reputation of being easier for a beginner to learn and of giving the anglers the ability to throw lighter lures or to cast into a strong wind. But these attributes come at the expense of casting accuracy because angler the angler loses the ability to control the line or fine tune the trajectory of a lure in flight.
That’s always the way I’d understood it, until relatively recent years, that is – I guess I’d been indoctrinated decades ago into the “baitcast for accuracy” school. Not being a tournament angler and happy to use a baitcaster, I never really thought much about whether baitcast really was more accurate. Until I was watching a Supertank demonstration at a boat show and noticed that it was always spin gear being used, and that the casting had to be reasonably accurate…… so I started researching.
It turns out that learning to cast spin gear is easy, so my tutors where correct up to that point. It’s just that I never got beyond the basics because I didn’t know what I didn’t know, you know?
Unlike a baitcaster, just about anyone can pick up the basics of casting spin gear in five minutes flat – and do it plenty well enough to catch some fish. But there are some extra skills you really need to know if you want to get the best out of spin gear – including super accurate casting.
How To Cast Accurately With Spin Gear…….
I stumbled across the above video on casting spin gear accurately by gun fisho Adam Royter quite a long time ago and then rediscovered it quite recently. Thought I’d share it in case a few DocLures.com readers are in the place of ignorance where I was until recently 🙂
For those who want the quick rundown, here are the key points:
- Casting accurately is about moving the rod vertically, not sideways. lifting the rod straight up and straight down during the casting action limits how far to either side of the target the lure can go. Swinging the rod from the side can spray the lure across a wide area.
- Don’t hook the line around your index finger when you open the bail arm (after decades of bad habits I still sometimes slip back into this). Touch your finger on the lip of the spool so the line gets trapped between, allowing you to “feather” the cast and slow the line coming off the spool.
- Wind the lure right to the rod tip, so it drops one full revolution of line off the spool when you open the bail. Consistency is the key to casting accurately, having exactly the same drop from the rod tip to lure each cast helps a lot.
- Casting is not a “whole arm” action, it’s from the wrist only. Your elbow should never really leave your side.
- Start with the rod tip down, lift it quickly to load the rod up and then snap it back downwards to fire out the cast – you want to generate a lot more power than you actually need to fling the lure to its destination. All the while the rod should be perfectly in line with the target and your eyes should be fixed on the target also.
- When you lift your finger to release the line you should be aiming to overcast the target by a metre or so. As the lure nears the target, feather the line to slow it down and adjust the range to hit the target.
- If the lure is headed to one side of the target or another, you can sweep the rod across to the opposite side to make the lure curve in flight, bringing it back on target.
I’m certainly not going to claim to be anywhere near Adam’s league when it comes to casting accuracy, but these tips have certainly helped get me closer to the mark. Admittedly, I’ll still reach for the baitcaster most times when accuracy is needed (old habits die hard), but that’s just because I prefer the feel of a baitcaster when I’m working a lure or playing a fish. Of course, it’s hard to cast small, unweighted plastics with a baitcaster, so the spin gear is never too far away.