Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Equipment Needs for Optimum Casting Performance

It is important to note here that your rod, reel, and lineset-ups will be a very important factor in your casting abilities as an angler. An old reel that has not been lubricated or maintained, a short “pool cue” type rod, or old, stiff mono-filament line can all be negative factors when looking at casting performance.

 To maximize casting efficiency, a quality graphite St. Croix rods that are a minimum of seven feet in length, and a good quality bait casting reel loaded with a premium super braid line is recommended.

Combining these items makes for a great casting combination that enables distance or accuracy, depending on the situation at hand.

It is also crucial that all three cogs in the casting chain match the three items I suggested above, or you risk poor performance, even if you might have two out of the three items necessary to make good casts.  

Today’s new spectra fiber lines work well for optimum casting and hook setting performance. These high tech lines seem to cast farther and smoother than the older braided or mono lines we used in the past.

It is important that you place the right amount of line on your spool too. Too much line means frequent backlashes. Not enough line means short, abrupt casts. Fill your bait cast reels so that you have approximately 1/16th to 1/8th inches of spool showing for peak performance.

Knowing the proper way to adjust your bait cast reel is also critical for casting performance. The little knob on the right hand side of the reel beneath the star drag is every musky angler’s “best friend”. If this adjustment is set correctly prior to fishing, then you will minimize backlashesand maximize casting performance, allowing you distance when needed, etc.   

The proper way to set this adjustment is to attach a lure to your leader, reel it up to the tip of the rod, and depress your casting button. If the lure falls very quickly, your setting is too loose and needs to be tightened down so the lure just barely falls at a slow speed down to the ground.

Conversely, if your lure doesn’t fall at all, the setting needs to be loosened to reach the proper setting needed. This setting will have to be adjusted frequently due to the varying weights of today’s musky lures.

The reason I prefer a longer rod is rather obvious in nature. The longer the rod, the further the cast will travel. There are times when you need distance for casting your lures, and certainly times you do not, such as night fishing a weed line or fishing in standing timber, but at least you have that ability to do so when needed with the longer rod.

Make sure you set up and match your equipment properly to help your casting prowess. For example, if you are throwing a Double Cowgirl or a DC-10 buck tail, I recommend a St. Croix TM80MHF Series rod, and either a Garcia 6500 C4 or 7000 Series reel equipped with a power handle.

This set up should have eighty pound braid and the power handle will pick up line a little more efficiently to create less fatigue for the angler.

Also, as big as these buck tails are, they are muskycatching machines, and when you cast these lures out, make sure you point the rod tip straight at the lure or on a slight downward angle while retrieving it, rather than off to one side or the other. This simple step will give you a much better hook setting position and will also be a lot less tiresome to you on the water while retrieving these big baits.

The eight foot rod will also enable you to make longer casts and is unmatched when executing figure eight maneuvers at boat side.

Another good example is when you are casting jerk baits such as Savage Gear’s brand new Freestylers or Deviators, be sure to use a good quality straight wire leader for the optimum action. I stay away from fluorocarbon for my jerk baits, and you will find that using a good wire leader will give this side to side action the best action and overall appeal to muskies.    

Tight lines!

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