By: Gary Buchannan
Posted On: 2009-01-24
Spin-casting is the newest of all the fishing tricks. It's not the same as spinning, although spinning is casting, too. Spin-casting is a technical term (to anglers) and it refers to a method that's really a combination of spinning and bait-casting. With it you use spinning line, either a spinning or bait-casting rod, and either spinning or bait-casting lures. It's made possible by a special little device called the spin-cast reel. And as you can guess, this reel is also a combination.
In recent years, designers have been trying to perfect a reel that's better than all the others. The objection to the bait-casting reel is that the spool, which is full of line, and the reel handle turn during the cast. This means you must have an educated thumb to control it. It also means the rod must be stiffer to cast the heavy lures which are necessary to turn the spool and handle, and a stiff rod doesn't give a fish as much of a fightin' chance. You don't have as much fun catching him. The spinning reel solves these problems, but presents others. It's clumsy, projecting far out from the rod handle. In such a position it's more likely to strike something accidentally and become damaged, especially the bail or pickup. The angler's greatest criticism of it is that it projects so far from the rod that when you're playing a large fish with it and turning its handle, it's almost impossible to keep the rod from twisting from side to side in your hand. Wouldn't it be nice to have a reel that was as rugged and compact as the bait-casting type, and as foolproof as the spinning type ? The engineers thought so. Several years ago they perfected it—the spin-cast reel. Now you can choose from a dozen different brands.
The spin-cast reel mounts on a bait-casting rod exactly like a bait-casting reel. On a spinning rod it goes on just like a spinning reel except that you turn the rod upside down so the reel is on top instead of hanging down below the grip. Its handle is like that of a bait-casting reel. But the spool that holds the spinning line has one end facing the front like that of a spinning reel. And it is completely enclosed by a cover with only a small hole in its front center through which the line passes during the cast. Because of this cover, the spin-cast reel is sometimes referred to as a "closed-face" spinning reel. At the back of the reel is a button or lever within easy reach of your thumb. This controls the cast. The spin-cast reel also has a drag which works like that on the regular spinning reel.
Since a spin-cast reel uses spinning line, there's a limit to the strength of the line you can use. You'll cast best with a light line of 10-pound-test or less. And avoid twisting it with revolving lures or when winding it on your spin-cast reel. Follow the instructions on twisted line in the chapter on Spinning. You can remove the cover of the spin-cast line easily for hand-spooling. Regardless of line weight, your stiff bait-casting rod is best for casting heavy bait-casting lures, and your spinning rod is best for spinning lures.
How to Spin-Cast
Casting with it is so easy your baby brother can do it. With your tackle assembled, reel in the lure until it's a few inches from the rod tip. Grasp the rod in back of the reel and rest your thumb on the reel's button or lever. Press it and hold it in. Now raise the rod tip quickly to a position over your head and slightly behind, and bring it forward in a cast. At the position where, with a spinning reel, you would pull back your forefinger to release the line, on the spin-cast reel you simply lift your thumb from the button. This frees the line and out shoots the lure. If you want to stop the lure during the cast, push on the button once more. This brakes it. To retrieve the lure, shift the rod to your other hand and wind the reel handle with your casting hand as you do with a bait-casting reel. The hidden line-pickup is automatic. When playing a fish you don't have to thumb the line spool; the adjustable drag takes care of that.