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More on closed face reels

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senkosam View Drop Down

Joined: 26 Apr 2013
Location: Walden, NY
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    Posted: 24 Sep 2018 at 12:51am
I'm not one to use what is conventional or how to use it for any freshwater species. Generally the bigger the fish species the heavier the gear (rod, reel and line) that must be used to prevent rod or line snaps. The discussion a few years ago about using closed-faced reels caught my eye and I've found some interesting things to share regarding spincast reels and the line, rod and lure options that can be used with them.

First off, one of my best reels is Daiwa's Silvercast-A Spincast, SC80A-CP. Pleuger and Zebco have changed for the better over the years and what I also use along with Daiwa.
First, the changes:
better gear ratio for such a small spool
   Keeping line semi-taut when fighting a fish is #1. Fish swimming fast towards me, outraced the line being retrieved when using the older Zebcos or others. But now, the ratio of 3:1 helps prevent that but only with larger diameter spool spincast reels.

Spinning rods can be used with closed faced reels
  I like the flex of a light action rod and appreciate it when I can attach a spincast to a 5.5' - 6.5' spinning rod rather than have to stay with a pistol grip casting rod. Before surgery for carpal tunnel, I had to switch back and forth between spinning and spincast rods to relieve the pain. Now I can use any rod/reel combo I want. Depending on the line, casting distance through the larger guides of a spinning rod can be greater due to less line resistance.

Small diameter braid can be used with spincast reels
The smaller the reel, the more abrasion to  braid and less casting distance or foul ups inside the reel. The Daiwa example is one where braid does fine because of the large diameter hole the line passes through and gets retrieved intoOther spincast brands do fine with braid but only for a month or two before becoming too abraided and tough to cast.

I'm a happy camper when I can cast a 1/24 oz jig + lure weight 30' and work it subtly when attached to a 6# test fluorocarbon leader (the norm IMO for light lures). Braid advantages include more power to long-distance hooksets (usually aided by a panicked fish) and better sensitivity to the strike at longer distances.

Drags are still not as smooth as for baitcast or spinning reels but are better than before
As usual, greasing the drag helps along with not keeping the drag too tight and some recommend loosening the drag after every trip same as for any reel type. Some reels even have an anti-reverse release for back-reeling a large fish (something I don't usually recommend). But when a large fish is on the line, loosening the drag a bit fast helps prevent line or rod snaps.

But note: the inside of the cap will collect algae and dirt and should be scoured and coated at least once a month with silicone spray for ease of casting light lures.

But also note: the heavier the lure used, the faster the line bulb inside the cap starts to groove above the line p/u pin, making the reel useless. Better stick with light lures 1/8 oz or less so as to avoid sending for a new line p/u bell.

I've caught 4lb channel catfish and 2.5 lb bass on spincast reels as well as the largest panfish in the lakes I fish. Spinning and baitcast reels I use with heavier lures and fishing heavy cover, but for the light finesse stuff, spinning and spincast do fine equally. Kind of reminds me when I was a kid catching my first sunfish on a Zebco combo and live worm. Just feels right I guess.

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