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Question by bigfishguy. Uploaded on August 09, 2010
You can't adjust the gear ratio, it's set. If you want faster or slower reels you buy another reel with that ratio. The brakes can be set to help slow the spinning spool using centrifugal force. More brakes the faster the spool will slow, it can also decrease casting distance. Find the best brake setting, that helps the thumb slow and stop the freespinning spool as the lure stops and allows the best distance. Most of my reels have 6 brakes, I only ues 2. For new baitcsters, it might help to use all 6 at first, then as your thumb gets better trained at thumbing the spool, back off 1 or 2.
here's some more info.
Set the centrifugal brake or magnetic resistance, depending on which the reel is equipped with. If the baitcaster has magnetic brakes, the control mechanism is an adjustable dial on the side plate of the reel. If the reel has a centrifugal brake system, the brake can be found on the spool or on the inside of the reel's side plate. Pins control a centrifugal system, and pins in the off position offer no resistance. As a general rule, less braking is required as lures get heaver. Whether the reel has a centrifugal brake or magnetic resistance, increasing the resistance limits casting distance and also makes backlash less likely. It is a good idea to set the resistance at the halfway point to start with, then adjust it up or down.
To properly adjust your baitcasting reel, tie the lure you are going to use to your line. Stand up straight and hold your fishing rod with the baitcasting reel in your left hand and facing up with the rod tip at about the 2 o'clock position. Turn the reel handle until the lure is approximately 4 inches from the rod tip.
On the "handle side" of the reel, you will notice a round knob resembling a thimble. This is the clutch adjustment knob. I suggest you start by taking your thumb and forefinger and turning this knob "clockwise" about two turns. Then take your left thumb and place it one the reel spool applying slight pressure on the line.
Now, use your other thumb to depress the casting button, or "thumb bar". When you do this, you will be releasing the spool and putting it in "free spool" mode. You now remove your thumb from the line spool. The lure should remain in the exact same spot, 4" below the rod tip.
Now, using your thumb and forefinger, turn the clutch knob "counterclockwise" very slowly until the lure starts to drop from it's own weight. The lure should not drop suddenly, just slowly (you may have to make this adjustment a few times to get the best adjustment setting).
If the adjustment is too tight, you will not get much casting distance. If that occurs, simply turn the adjustment a little bit more counterclockwise to loosen the clutch.
If the adjustment is too loose, you will have plenty of casting distance but you may encounter the backlash problems.
Here goes, when you cast a baitcast reel the first jerk from the casting weight (lure,bait or whatever) along with the slingshot effect from the spring action of the rod instantly accelerates the spool to a speed (rpm) that exceeds the surface speed (inches per second) that the line feeds off the the spool. It is perfectly clear that without some control to make the line feed off the spool at the same rate the spool turns, you will have a nice big birdnest (professional overrun). The next thing that happens in the cast is that as the line feeds off the spool, the diameter of the line stack is reduced. As the diameter gets smaller, the speed of the spool has to increase to keep up with the casting weight. Ideal situation is for the casting weight to slow down at the same rate that the d line diameter reduces on the spool. But due to the different diameters of the lines used it is almost impossible to engineer that into the reel. Once the casting weight comes to a complete stop, the spool shaft continues to turn until gravity and friction from the line and bearings stop it. Here again the proffesional overrun.
Now how do the controls work on all this? Easy. First if you have an educated thumb along with good reflexes, it can make all the corrective controls necessary. But just in case, the reel designers have added some sort of brake to the spool to control the speed of the spool. That is probably a centrifugal brake or a magnetic brake.
Centrifugal brakes work only during the first part of the cast when the weights, which act as brake shoes, are slung by the centrifugal force out against a brake drum. Some older reels had different size weights that had to be physically changed for each weight lure you were casting.
More modern reels use multiple ( usually six ) weights that can have each locked in or out. You can use just one weight or any combination all the way up to six. For your lure weight and how you cast, it is best to start with all of them working and just disconect one at a time until you find what works best for you. But if you change lure weights, you may have to readjust. The down side of these systems is that most reels require that the side of the reel must be removed to adjust them.
Magnetic controls work on the principal that the spool and magnets make a generator (alternator). The process of genetating requires more input energy as the speed of the generator speeds up. Thus you have a form of electric braking. The clearance between the spool and the magnets controls the rate and amount of the braking. This is adjustable from the outside of the reel. Most reels use numbers on the magnetic brakes where the larger the number, the more the brake.
Just remember , magnetic and centrifuagl brakes are for the initial part of the cast.
Now for the cast control knob on the reel. It is a friction knob and puts friction on the end of the spool shaft. Remember that at the end of the cast, the lure stops and the spool keeps turning. The friction control is to stop the spool shaft at the same time that the lure stops.
Proper adjustment of the cast control knob is to set it where the lure will gently and slowly free spool to the floor and land without the spool doing any adtional turning. Most people add just a hair more friction and that is OK.
Hope this helps.
I forgot the gearing part, many reels can be bought with different gear ratios and they are built on the same frame so you merely have to order a new set of gears to change the ratio. My Johnny Morris reels and my Pinnacle reels have three different sets of gears for them. To slow down the ratio you can also just fill the spool halfway.
these are very good comments, i suggest you practice with a weight in your yard before using it on the lake. Also initially spool it with a fairly inexpensive line as you may be respooling it before you would like to(don't use expensive braid to start)
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