How to Use a Spinning Reel?

Most anglers have experience with a spincast reel. For most of them, this was the first time they had a chance you start fishing. Once you get better at fishing, then you would step up to using the spinning reel.

How to Use a Spinning Reel?

Whenever you use a spinning reel, then you would open yourself to a whole new world of fishing techniques.

Today, we want to look at some of the basics of spinning reels and how you can use it to start fishing better.

The Basics

Spinning reels can also be called open face reels in some places. Spinning reels come with a fixed spool, thus meaning that it does not rotate. It gets its name from how the rotor spins and thus oscillating around the spool. This type of construction will lay the line evenly back on the device.

To understand spinning reel better, we have to look at its parts. They include;

  • Drag
  • Anti-reverse switch
  • Bail
  • Handle
  • Spool

1. The Drag

This is found on top of a spinning reel. This system is essential for adding or removing tension to the fishing line. There is a knob on the top of its spool allows for adjusting the frictionless plates.

When you adjust the plates, it will increase or decrease the tension in the land. Having this type of adjustability should be enough to help contain a fighting fish. You can now go out there and enjoy catching any fish size that you desire.

2. The Spool

The spool is found to be underneath the adjustment knob for the drag. The work of this part is to house the fishing line, which is always designed to be specific to a particular reel. The spool can be set to stop spinning even when you reel. This is aimed at keeping the line from tangling. As a result, you will end up with smooth casting and subsequent releasing.

Whenever you add a line to the spinning reel, you should check the spool’s rated line capacity. It is crucial if you hope to set up the correct line on your spool.

3. The Bail

Its bail is important since it serves two important purposes. The first one is that it serves as a casting trigger. In order to help cast the bait, open or activate the bail to spool your line properly. So as to prevent any accidental retrieval, you need to close its bail. Turn the handle like you would when reeling to close its bail.

The second function is to keep the fishing line centered while it rolls onto the spool. As you can see, without its bail, the fishing line would not have direction. As a result, you would end up with knots and reduced performance of your spinning reel. With your bail arm is crucial to keep the casts smooth. The same goes for retrievals.

4. The Handle

People love to use spinning reels because of their versatility. This is because you can easily switch the handle from one side to another. It is easier to switch it to your dominant hand as compared baitcasting reels that are hand specific.

5. The Anti-reverse Switch

This component is the final part you have to understand about a spinning reel. This switch is at the bottom of your reel. It comes in handy when you have to fight a fish. The work of this switch is to allow you to reel it in reverse. This is better than relying upon the drag system to get line tension.

From the various parts mentioned above, it is easy to see why anyone would want to get a spinning reel. It is worth noting that a spinning reel offers a lot of versatility. With its versatility, it is easy to see why many people would use it with multiple fishing techniques. It is still a good device for those who are beginners and they need to do something different.

For most users, they find it relatively easy to understand how it operates. As much as there might be some limitations at first, you should get better with time. We hope that right now you have an idea what a spinning reel is all about and how you can use it to your advantage.

How to Set Up Pole for Bass Fishing?

How to Set Up Pole for Bass Fishing?

Let us say you are hoping to make the best out of your next bass fishing expedition. There are some things you might have to do if you hope to end up with the best fishing experience.

Today, we want to look at the process of how to set up a pole for bass fishing. Below are the steps you can follow to make your experience better.

What you will need

  • A reel
  • A lure
  • Scissors
  • Rod
  • Fishing line

Putting the fishing line onto the reel

First, you have to open the bail arm of the reel and then proceed to tie on the line. Depending on experience, you can choose different types of knots to set up the line. Once the line is in position, proceed to close the bail arm.

If you are a beginner, then using a partner might be necessary to help keep the line in possible so that it does not come off when closing the bail arm. Always keep the line tight whenever you are loading the reel to avoid kinks and twists.

Mount the reel

What follows is mounting the reel. Proceed to cut the line when the reel is loaded, but not overfull. For most reels, you will get them having a line clip on their sides. Clip the line at this point. Proceed to mount the reel which is located near the handle. Ensure to screw the mount tight to hold the line in position.

Take the line through the line guides

At this point, you have to open the bail arm and put the line through the line guides. Once this is done, close the bail arm, leaving about a meter of the line at the top of the line guide.

Attach the lure

You are almost done as this step involves adding a lure to the pole. Depending on the lure, you might have to tie a different note for each. It is best if you can practice with various knots to find the best one for you. Once the lure is attached, cut off the left-over line and then head out to start fishing.

Spybaiting: What is this new technique taking North America by storm?

There is a new fishing technique taking North America by storm. What is it you ask? It is called spybaiting. Spybaiting is a finesse technique that originated in Japan. As with all new techniques, it does take some getting used to. Spybaiting entails spinning gear, light line, and sinking prop bait. What? Yes, a sinking prop bait.

Spybaiting fishing technique

The Bait

The bait used for this technique is a DUO Realis 60 and 80. The Realis 60mm long and weighs 4.5 grams and the Realis 80 is 80mm in length and weighs 9.4 grams. It comes in a different assortment of colors, (16 to be exact), to fit your fishing conditions. This bait has propellers on either end of the bait . According to the DUO website, “the heavy weight body settings have realized a top of the class casting ability. Furthermore, the fast sinking rate has limited the lure to surface, allowing anglers to trace a deeper range. The micro pulsation will perform for you at various fields including small to large ponds and super deep reservoirs.” This bait has an action that mimics baitfish’s true swimming action under the water. Once retrieved, the props move giving this bait an unbelievable action. The micro pulsation created from the smooth rotation of the props, the natural rolling of the body from its straight action and its lush flashing will mesmerize most basses in the field.

The Gear

The heavy weight of these baits allows for great casting ability. Since this bait is used for “silent” attacks, you will want to cast this bait far from the boat to your designated spot and then retrieve it. The prop design was designated to give the bait a smooth rotation in which creates a rolling action mimics a baitfish’s natural swimming action.

Since this bait is for finesse fishing, the gear you will need is a spinning rod, (6’6 to 7’ in length), light line, (4-8 lbs), and of course the Realis of your choice.   That is it.

Species of Fish to Target

This lure will catch you both largemouth and smallmouth bass, walleye, pike, and other predatory fish.

So, get out there and try it for yourself!

Selecting Your Next Fishing Rod

It’s that time of year where the open water itch needs scratching! Time to pull out the gear, reorganize, restock and maybe upgrade or replace some equipment.

Choosing a fishing rod can be a daunting task, given the gazillion choices available due to brands, models, and specifications.  So where do we start and how do we get our next fishing rod home?

Selecting Your Next Fishing Rod

The first thing is to consider the type of fishing we’re into.  Take into account species, techniques, and transport (truck & boat, atv & boat, walk-in, etc.).

Take inventory of existing fishing rods. Make a note of what each rod is used for and it’s best characteristics for that use (eg. jigging, casting crankbaits, etc.).  If there’s only 1 or 2 rods in the inventory that makes things easier.

The next rod is probably starts off as a want, but lets’ break it down a bit and turn it into a need.  That way we end up with rods with purpose, rather than just a collection.

Start by identifying a fishing technique- say for example, jigging – lifting and dropping a jig off bottom.  A very simple yet versatile technique for various species at various depths.

Generally a 6′ to 6’6″ medium-light to medium power spinning rod is ideal when jig fishing from a boat.  The shorter length gives better control of the rod. Less blank and less guides means less weight and quicker response.  The extra length isn’t needed since typical jig casting is short. This should be your most sensitive (and probably most expensive) rod to feel the lightest of bites from finicky fish. (eg. 13 Fishing Envy 6’3″ medium-light)

That way we end up with rods with purpose, rather than just a collection.

If necessary, the jigging technique could be broken down even more – jigging deeper water with heavier jigs, for example.  This would then dictate a need for a longer rod to take up line quicker on the hook set, a bit more performance for the heavier jig, and more leverage/power to bring the fish up from deeper water.  For example a 7′ medium heavy rod would fill this need. (eg. Simax Loca 6’6″ medium-heavy)

Jigging with light jigs with live bait in shallow water would mean a lighter rod for more sensitivity with the lighter bait. We might choose a 6′ or 6’6″ light or medium-light power rod for this application. (eg. Simax Exclusive 6’6″ light)

Don’t overlook the line and lure ratings printed on the rod blank. The manufacturers did their research and development to come up with the optimal  ratings to get the best and intended performance out of the rod.

The 1-piece vs 2-piece is a matter of convenience. Safely storing and transporting a 7-foot piece of graphite can be challenging.  Single piece rods are lighter and generally perform better, but don’t be discouraged by a 2-piece rod – it’s still better than a broken 1-piece!

So for vertical jigging we have determined that we’re jig fishing for  walleyes with 1/4 to 3/8 oz jigs in 20-30′ of water. I don’t have a big boat with a rod locker so it has to be transportable. So a 6’6″ medium power, fast action, 2-piece rod would be preferred – this is our next rod purchase! (eg. Okuma Dead Eye 6’6″ medium 2-piece spinning)

That helps us narrow down the search and the fun part is going through the brands and models.  These are often dictated by preference and budget.

Take a methodical approach by assessing your fishing needs and choosing your next fishing rod becomes a purposeful task.

Spring Preparations Part 1

Well, its not officially spring yet, but the winter is way too long so I had to do something to start getting ready for the fishing season.

We’ve had a busy off season, but not too busy to look at some much needed preparations for the upcoming spring fishing season.  And maybe, just maybe you should consider a few of these tips to make the 2013 fishing season one of memories as opposed to regrets.

The first place to start is with your fishing line.  Line that is damaged or weakened can make a difference of landing a hog or telling the story of the one that got away, or even worse “one cast too many”.  Some great advise, is to replace the line on your reels each season.  Many may tell you this isn’t necessary, but there are always that nagging doubt when there is a break off.

The next thing to look at is your rods.  There are quite a few things that can go wrong with a rod.  First to check is for and signs of damage to the rod.  It doesn’t hurt to clean the rod with a very mild detergent but nothing too harsh that can harm the rod or handles.  During storage and transportation things can go wrong, better to check before you find out the hard way.  Look for any cracks or signs of stress in the rod.  Also, you need to check the eyelets for signs of wear.  This could easily cause damage to your line which could result in the loss of a fish.

The next thing to examine is your reel.  If you had some foresight, you may have already taken care of all these tips when you stored your fishing gear at the end of the season.  However, like most die hard anglers, you may have sacrificed the time for year end maintenance for one last outing on the water. Throughout the season there are lots of crud, dirt and other foreign material that can find its way into your reel.  There are many great tutorials out there if you really want to get inside the reel and clean out all the parts.  After cleaning the reel you can get some oil, always use one recommended by the manufacturer, to lubricate various parts.  Don’t overdo it, as too much can also mess up your casting distance.

A lot of people end their maintenance here but there is still plenty to do. The next stop is the tackle box.   First thing to do is to clean out some of the junk you left throughout the year. You know, the empty jig and sinker bags, the Canadian Tire money, maybe an odd bait receipt or two.  The next thing to do to get everything reorganized.   Organizing your tackle is an important element for successful fisherman, but we’ll deal with that in another tutorial.

An element few anglers think about is the sharpness of their hooks.  A hook that has seen a few fish and maybe a snag or two will lose their sharpness and as a result could cause you to miss a hook set on a monster.  Remember, the larger the fish, the stronger and tougher the mouth will be requiring even sharper hooks.  It only takes a few minutes and a hook sharpening tool to return hook to their original sharpness.  Stay tuned for our video tutorial on sharpening hooks.

And now of course is the time to replenish (and then some) the lost items from the past year.

Stay tuned for part 2 where we discuss the proper spring boat preparations.

We got lured, you can too!

Reel Spooling to Save a few Bucks

You’ve just picked up that brand new reel and now you’re ready to spool it with some of that expensive braided fishing line. Here’s a tip that will save you a few bucks down the road.

If you’re like me you probably tie the line straight to the spool and start winding away until the reel spool is full or until you run out of line.  Ask yourself this, “Why?”  Will you ever use all 150 yards of that expensive line before you change it out again?  Not likely.  Try this instead.

Let’s say we have a 20-25 size spinning reel that we’re going to spool up with 10lb test braid for our jigging rod. Typically a reel that size will hold about 140 yards of 8 lb test.  To verify, check the reel spool – capacities are usually printed on the side.

Instead of tying the braid directly to the spool, use some cheaper 10 lb monofilament line to kick things off.  Using mono will also prevent your line from slipping on the spool with that slick braided line.  Reel on about 3/4 or just over half the capacity of your spool with the mono.  That will probably be about 50-70 yards.  Don’t worry about measuring, just eye it.

Connect your monofilament line to your braided line using a uni-to-uni knot.

You have about 50-70 yards monofilament left of capacity on your reel. But braided line is significantly thinner than mono at the same test. Example, my 10lb Suffix 832 Superline has the diameter of typical 4 lb monofilament which means I can put much more line on.

Now, top off the reel spool with the superline – don’t overfill the spool! Check your reel manual, it will indicate the proper fill line.  Usually about 1/8″ from the rim of the spool.

About half your new line will be on your reel, so about 70 yards.  Since this is a jigging rod, I will also tie 4-6 feet of 10-12 lb flourocarbon as a leader (uni-to-uni knot) – flouro is invisible under water, low stretch and highly abrasion resistant, perfect for attaching directly to jigs.

Doesn’t sound like much line compared to the 150 yards you purchased but consider this:

  • Your casting distance on a jigging rod is probably between 40-60 yards. Myself, I don’t try to launch stratospheric casts.
  • With proper setup and good skill, a bass or walleye isn’t going to strip your spool of all the line.  A monster pike or musky might but at that point you’re on your own!
  • Using the flouro leader, your break offs won’t consume much, if any, of your superline
  • You retain the sensitivity of the superline without having to spool it all on

Your superline will wear but it will mainly be from abrasion on structure and/or your rod guides. You can simply cut off the worn parts and tie on new leads.  Optionally, you can strip off the braid, cut it at the connection to the mono, and reconnect to the mono using the worn end of your super line.  The fresh, likely unused portion of the line will be ready to go.

As you get to know your fishing style and reel capacity you’ll figure out what amounts work best for you. The above is a good starting point. I’ve worked my way to using only about a third of my new line at a time.  That leaves more line available to other reels or respools, and more change for bait!

Let me know what you think of this tip and if you do something similar or different to save a few bucks on fishing line!