Marine Parts Depot Specialists Share Offshore Reel Casting Tips

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Your Marine Parts Depot Professionals Help You Keep Your Reels In Great Shape While Casting 

Raritan Engineering your marine parts depot analysts would like to share with you these topics we thought would be of interest to you this month regarding offshore reel casting tips.

Your marine parts depot experts know that a bird’s nest this snarled requires snipping and respooling. Avoid putting a reel out of commission with these tips to prevent backlashes when casting.

Whether casting a jig or live bait, West Coast anglers are some of the best offshore conventional casters I’ve ever seen. Experienced slingers out of San Diego, Dana Point, Long Beach and other popular ports launch surface iron with a star-drag reel 100-plus yards to blitzing yellowtail. 

Because of the nature of headboat fishing off the SoCal coast, anglers have mastered distance casting to catch tunas, yellowtail, wahoo and dorado. 

Given these advantages to casting conventional gear offshore, I reached out to two West Coast experts for their insight on what to do and what not to do. 

Practice Casting

Casting a jig on a conventional setup is easier with a top shot of mono and a 9- to 10-foot rod. As soon as the lure hits the water, stop the spool to prevent nasty overruns. 

One good way to practice casting is to use an old soft-plastic swimbait on a hook. “It replicates a live bait closely in size and weight,” explains Carson, “much better than a clothespin used by old-timers to practice.”

Mono is More Forgiving

Backlashes often result when ­something affects the timing of a cast. Don’t get distracted by other anglers’ actions. Backlashes with braid are a nightmare compared with a monofilament headache.

Carson utilizes a top shot of 100 yards of mono also. “Whatever distance you regularly cast your iron, there should be enough mono to handle a long cast,” he says. 

When fishing conventional mono with lures, the mono is much more forgiving with tangles and backlashes. Still, mono does have memory and can twist up at times. 

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Carson points out that the shoulder of the spool is actually called the flange. “This is what you want to pressure when casting to prevent burning your thumb,” he explains. Your marine parts depot specialists feel that size 16 lever drags and other larger reels mostly don’t have the flange because it cuts down on a reel’s line capacity.

Backlashes often result when ­something affects the timing of a cast. Don’t get distracted by other anglers’ actions. 

Match Tackle Appropriately

Many California fishermen, especially anglers who fish their gear on multi-day trips, tend not to tweak spool tension. For example, when a lever drag is completely disengaged, they want their spool to spin as freely as the reel is capable.

Instead of tweaking tension settings, fishermen have multiple “sticks” for different classes of fish and fishing techniques. Specific rod-and-reel setups allow anglers to cast surface iron, deep jig, fight fish in the 50-pound-and-under class, and live-bait for larger tuna in the 100-pound class. 

To reach lurking gamefish such as wahoo, lightweight delicate baits, above, must be cast away from the boat. You need to flip your bait out without flipping it off the hook.

The live-bait fishery in SoCal is vitally important; Prieto fishes live bait almost 95 percent of the time. Usually sardines, anchovies or mackerel are baits of choice, depending on yearly and seasonal changes to bait prevalence. 

When casting a live baitfish, as soon as the bait hits the water, immediately put your thumb to the spool to prevent a bird’s nest. 

“Off Guadalupe Island this year, small sardines were the only bait available,” recounts Carson. “So anglers had to use 80-pound braid and a 4- to 5-foot section of 80 fluorocarbon to get a bite from a 100-plus-pound tuna.”

Common Mistakes to Watch Out For

Fishing is often shoulder to shoulder along a rail, so anglers require lightweight conventional gear with high drag pressures to prevent losing fish to friendly-fire tangles.

  • Anglers should “set and forget” their spool tensions, says Capt. Ernie Prieto. 

  • Pay attention to the whole cast. Finish the cast, says Prieto. Keep your thumb lightly on the spool the whole time. “It’s like coaster brakes on a bike,” he says. “Be ready to brake quickly.”

  • Pay attention to how much line is spooled onto the reel. Underfilled reels definitely affect distance, while overfilled are more likely to backlash. 

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via How to Cast Offshore Conventional Reels

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