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Baitcaster For Float Fishing...advice?


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Hi all,

In the fall/winter I like to drift fish for trout and toss spoons for salmon but I have yet to try alternate presentations. People who consider themselves 'pinners' will tell me that they out-catch drifters 10:1....I am curious to try float fishing but am not ready to buy a rod/reel setup for this experiment just yet...(mostly because I am adverse to buying cheap stuff and want to get a sense of the experience before I pay out). I currently have a rod and reel that I think could work....

Now to my question;

Can I use a baitcasting reel + trout rod (10' 6'') to effectively fish a float? (Niagara River fishing mostly)

(I would be using a Shimano Cardiff reel.....line seems to release without much resistance...)

From my own research I mostly read about baitcasters being used out in BC and that they are not useful when tossing light tackle. Otherwise, I don't have a lot of information to go on...I have tried this method with a spinning reel and found it difficult, though I learned about shotting patterns and the rig.

Thanks all,

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hey man yea you can use a baitcaster. just release the resister to allow your spool to roll freely. but only works when your bail is open. also using a spinning rod is not a good idea as its not meant to ment back wards.you should buy a 10.6 medium light bait casting rod and that would be your best bet. and just keeping your thumb on the spool as it lets line out will work great..

Edited by Centre_Pin_Assasin
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Yes you can use my salmon rod with bait catser for this and tossing spoons.It took me a while to get used to it at first because i had never used a baitcaster but after a while and some adjustments it went pretty well

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Actually I believe that Niagara may be the best suited place to use a baitcaster to float fish. The Niagara is so large and deep that typically people are using bulk shot and large slip floats. Combine this with the current down there and you have no problem with startup when drifting. Although I don't use this method, my brother does. And I have heard that it is much harder to use on small tribs when you are using small fixed floats, a shot line, and drifting where the current is really slow, in these cases it’s better to have pin because they start up faster and therefore give a better presentation. Other benefits of using a baitcaster is fishing with gloves on, having a drag, and throwing spoons or crankbaits if the float fishing isn't working out. Guys that are serious about it use twisty rods, where the guides start on top and twist around the blank and end on the bottom.

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Actually I believe that Niagara may be the best suited place to use a baitcaster to float fish. The Niagara is so large and deep that typically people are using bulk shot and large slip floats. Combine this with the current down there and you have no problem with startup when drifting. Although I don't use this method, my brother does. And I have heard that it is much harder to use on small tribs when you are using small fixed floats, a shot line, and drifting where the current is really slow, in these cases it’s better to have pin because they start up faster and therefore give a better presentation. Other benefits of using a baitcaster is fishing with gloves on, having a drag, and throwing spoons or crankbaits if the float fishing isn't working out. Guys that are serious about it use twisty rods, where the guides start on top and twist around the blank and end on the bottom.

Yup but you can use them on smaller tribs abd hey do work great but compaired ti a pin it falks short.
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Many set ups can be "Adjusted" to be succefully used in different than par conditions.

Diversity is awesome.

I personally do not use a bait caster with float fishing... but see no problems adapting this technique.

Like anything .... with practice, you can become excellent with the setup.

* I lived out west, and saw MANY FISHERMEN using the technique. They would have great debates with the "pinners" ...lol

I have no illussions of the CentrePinning Success and the passion for the Feel.

No Right or Wrong to the equation. Fish with what you prefer! That's what is always the most important.

______________

Here's 2 articles that I saw online to add:

http://www.glangler.com/_blog/Great_Lakes_Angler/post/Centerpinning_ugly_Baitcasters_make_float_fishing_easy/

Centerpinning ugly: Baitcasters make float fishing easy

Monday, November 14, 2011

With little doubt, center-pin combos featuring smooth, single-action reels and super long rods have become the real deal for catching steelhead and more with float rigs in Great Lakes tributaries.

But a growing number of guides and others are finding that decent baitcast reels paired with these long rods makes life easier for all concerned.

“They’re just easier for a client to use,” said Capt. Tony Wolte, who runs Frostbite Charters (616-836-8452, www.profishientcharters.com) on the Kalamazoo River at New Richmond, Michigan. He was taking me and writer Steve Griffin on a trip set up by Shimano’s John Mazurkiewicz on November 5. Shimano has introduced two center-pin rods in their Clarus series and John had brought a pair for us to try. They’re 11- and 13-footers. And these four-piecers are priced at an impressively affordable $100 each.

Shimano has yet to introduce center-pin reels, so John brought a couple of borrowed Ross reels. We only used one, as I had fished with Tony before and really enjoyed using a baitcaster in place of a standard pin reel. So I brought a Shimano Calcutta 400, taking it off my short downrigger rod the night before. Freshly spooled with 12-pound test Clear Blue Stren, it was ready to go.

When you’re in a boat and letting the line go directly behind, baitcasters work almost as well as center-pin reels. You have the same risk of a backlash, but they’re much quicker when it comes to reeling in your float for another drift. And, since most center-pins don’t have a drag, fighting fish takes some practice—you basically let the reel spool spin backwards, which has earned them the nickname of “knuckle busters.”

To make a long story short, the fishing action was steady, and we landed four of four fish hooked. One nice female came on my baitcast-pin setup; Griff landed a buck that hit a Storm Wiggle Wart, which Wolte fishes with a Tekota 500 Line Counter baitcasters and Power Pro line (the line helps shake off leaves). John caught the other two on floats with the new Clarus center-pin rod and the classic Ross reel.

Pin purists, many of whom have survived cold stares from fly anglers now have a growing number of fellow float anglers they can look down their noses at. Baitcasters really do make that float fishing easy, and I’m planning to use one a lot more.

– DAVE MULL

Edited by blair
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I don't think you get the true feeling of float fishing with a baitcaster. I fish like that last year. Was nothing special. With the pin though I love it. Fighting a fish with no drag just your hand is killer.

very true
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I have used a 10'6" St Croix paired with a Shimano Calcutta for years. I also have a few different float rods/centrepins. For the niagara, in my opinion, you can't beat the baitcast setup. I can cast all day with zero twist, and cast far. I can easily switch from tossing spoons to float fishing to bottom bouncing quickly. I like to use all 3 techniques on the niagara, depending on the run I'm fishing. I used to take 2 rods with me all the time, but I find the baitcast setup to make more sense.

If you're running a high quality reel, you will have no problem achieving a drag free drift. You can hold back, and present your bait just the same as a centrepin reel. When you're at the end of your drift, you can also retrieve your line and get a second drift in, in about the same time it takes just to retrieve your line with a centrepin. I think once you start using this setup, it will be your "go to" for the niagara. I find myself only using my centrepins for smaller rivers now.

The 10:1 ratio as mentioned before is just a number someone is tossing around. If you use your setup properly, with proper presentation, that 10:1 can go to the guy float fishing, bottom bouncing, or tossing hardware. It all depends on where you're fishing, which particular run, and what the fish want. The worst thing to do on the niagara is get stuck using one technique every time.

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I have used a 10'6" St Croix paired with a Shimano Calcutta for years. I also have a few different float rods/centrepins. For the niagara, in my opinion, you can't beat the baitcast setup. I can cast all day with zero twist, and cast far. I can easily switch from tossing spoons to float fishing to bottom bouncing quickly. I like to use all 3 techniques on the niagara, depending on the run I'm fishing. I used to take 2 rods with me all the time, but I find the baitcast setup to make more sense.

If you're running a high quality reel, you will have no problem achieving a drag free drift. You can hold back, and present your bait just the same as a centrepin reel. When you're at the end of your drift, you can also retrieve your line and get a second drift in, in about the same time it takes just to retrieve your line with a centrepin. I think once you start using this setup, it will be your "go to" for the niagara. I find myself only using my centrepins for smaller rivers now.

The 10:1 ratio as mentioned before is just a number someone is tossing around. If you use your setup properly, with proper presentation, that 10:1 can go to the guy float fishing, bottom bouncing, or tossing hardware. It all depends on where you're fishing, which particular run, and what the fish want. The worst thing to do on the niagara is get stuck using one technique every time.

Solid advice!

Any chance you've used the Abu C4 to fish the Niagara? I've had my eye on it for a while now...probably a step down from the Calcutta, but the price is much more reasonable.

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It all depends on where you're fishing, which particular run, and what the fish want. The worst thing to do on the niagara is get stuck using one technique every time.

What a man chooses to fish with ... is up to his own personal preference, and that i shall always respect.

What you have said, i respect greatly! Great words of advice based on experience.

Over the years ... i have found that the ability to diversify, to modify - has been instrumental.

Plus a heck of a lot of FUN.

It reflects the desire to learn, to adapt ... to "read the conditions" that are presented.

Sometimes it works, Sometimes it doesnt.

The "Trying" is the key.

Never stop exploring new techniques .... Never stop wanting to know more.

*SMILE* when you fish.

It could be the last thing you ever do!

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Solid advice!

Any chance you've used the Abu C4 to fish the Niagara? I've had my eye on it for a while now...probably a step down from the Calcutta, but the price is much more reasonable.

Yes, the Abu's are nice too. I just find the calcutta to be very smooth and durable. I also love the placement of the thumb release. When a fish takes a powerful run, it's right there to release and I can play the drag with my thumb on the spool. I know the Calcutta's are pricy, but I can tell you from years of abuse on mine, you cannot beat them. Worth every penny.

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Yes, the Abu's are nice too. I just find the calcutta to be very smooth and durable. I also love the placement of the thumb release. When a fish takes a powerful run, it's right there to release and I can play the drag with my thumb on the spool. I know the Calcutta's are pricy, but I can tell you from years of abuse on mine, you cannot beat them. Worth every penny.

Thanks for the input! Definitely something I'll consider before making a purchase

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I use a shimano castaic for any heavy floating. It has the instagage thumbbar so youre not messing around trying to engage with the handles on a hookset. Baitcasters are nice in winter for floating as they better allow the use of gloves than a centerpin. Also some of the real fast fall flows where I feel my floatrods are maxed out the baitcaster has no problems turning big fish in rapids. I usually dont float with the baitcaster unless my floats are 20+ grams anything less I like the pin but theres no reason why not.

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