Baitcasters and the Untrained Thumb

Not all anglers are created equal. While some excel at the sport, there are still many of us who simply do not have the skills to take advantage of all the products available in today’s marketplace. I consider myself a member of the lesser skilled fraternity of fishing enthusiasts. Baitcasters and the untrained thumb are a birds nest an eagle would be proud of.

Baitcasters and the Untrained Thumb

Just consider, as a youth growing up in Ohio the weapon of choice was always a spinning set up. While my fishing knowledge and experience expanded, I was still stuck on the spinning reel only method of fishing. I purchased many types of spinning reels and rods in my quest to find a perfect combo. To this day, I have boxes of reels in my garage I will never use. They are all spinning reels and mostly the lower end category. These reels were acquired many years ago and were spooled with mono line ranging from 4lb to 8 lb. After all, this was the type of fishing I was doing and they served my purpose. Fast forward a few more years, while living in Massachusetts I became more interested in bass fishing and joined a bass club. Most of my friends were also using spinning reels, but the more experienced anglers were using baitcasting reels. Well, I just had to have a baitcasting reel to be like the big guys. Over the years, I have purchased a load of casting reels. However, I was never able to master the technique of using the reels without continually picking out some of the worst backlash messes anyone has ever experienced. I had to forgo throwing anything lightweight and tended to use heaver baits just to be able to get any distance on the casts. I developed quite a cadence for making a cast. I use a right-hand reel and cast right handed. This means I switched the reel to my left hand to perform a retrieve. So, the cadence was, cast the lure, switch to left hand, pull out the backlash and then retrieve. Ok, I hear everyone laughing out there. I bet I am not the only one with this kind of problem.

Over the years I gained experience but still could not fully master the casting reel. I eventually started using Lew’s baitcasting reels and found them adequate for my needs but still fought the dreaded backlash. This situation continued for years. The more I practiced, the more frustrated I became with my inability to master this method. I would have my reels tuned but it did not help me improve. It just manifested itself into larger and uglier backlashes.

Finally, I was introduced to a possible solution to my skills issue. I acquired a few better rods and decided to give the Daiwa Tatula series reel a go. I was attracted to the SV spool technology and reports from other anglers about the length of the casts and the ability to throw just about any weight lure with simple adjustments to the reels exterior controls. I acquired my first Daiwa, a SVTW103HS. This thing was absolutely fantastic from the first cast. I spooled it with mono and was able to execute any type of cast I wanted. From pitching and flipping to long distance bombs, all were accomplished without any backlashes. Holy smokes it was like finding the Holy Grail.

Not only did the reel fit perfectly to my smallish hands, it was also a pleasure to look at from the standpoint of fit and finish. I took this reel to the front yard and practiced casting for hours on end. Same result, no backlashes, long casts and pitches were executed without issue. This generated so much excitement for me I bought another Daiwa but this time a SVTW103XS. I spooled this reel with Power Pro 30 and put it through its paces in the front yard. The performance of this reel equaled the first one. It became apparent the battle of the backlash was now over for me. I recently returned from a few days fishing at Lake Santee in South Carolina. I used my new Daiwa reels and they functioned without issue for two days. I can’t remember the last time I could fish for two days straight without having a backlash. As of yesterday, I purchased an additional Daiwa SVTW103XS in preparation for the upcoming trip to Guntersville. These reels, mounted on my Dobyns and Lee Smith rods, will surely make for a great few days of fishing.

I am telling this story for the anglers, who like me, have had problems learning how to use a baitcasting reel. Also, the angler looking for a reel his wife and fishing partner could learn to use without all the frustration of backlashes; I guarantee this is the real deal. An angler who has never used a baitcasting reel, the Daiwa will save years of frustration. Any angler can break the bonds of the spinning reel and become a successful baitcasting reel user. This reel technology is a perfect tool to introduce baitcasting reels to growing kids. However, these reels should come with a warning label. The fact these reels work so well will increase one’s excitement about fishing and the bassing addiction will just continue to grow. On a side note, anglers will also suffer more bites from the bait monkey as a result of this excitement.


Bud Kennedy

For more information on Bass Fishing Equipment check out this article titled Equipment Preparation Versus Being Lucky


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.