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User avatar
By Ron Mc
Finally got brave enough to make the conversion on all my bait reels to braid. I also made the swap to unshielded spool bearings to reduce spool start-up inertia.
On most of my bait reels, I've gone to 20-lb Sufix 832 (0.24 mm dia), and it behaves quite well.

The one spot and one reel I didn't like with braid was my Lew's Custom Inshore, which I had 12-lb fluoro, paired with my ML rod for 1/8-oz lure niche.
Going inside, the Custom Inshore seems to be the least-stout of all my Lew's reels, and when I tried loading a top layer of working braid, you could see a shallow cone line result across the spool width.

If you want reliable casting with light lures and especially light braid, you really need a shallow spool to keep the mass and intertia of the spool + line low. I still haven't gone DD's route of Shimano (excepting spinning reels), am still fond of all my other Lew's reels, and the new shallow spool Lew's Team Pro SP got my attention. The SP also has Lew's centrifugal brake, which is the best casting brake to prevent initial spool overshoot with light lures.

I further reduced inertia in the already light spool with Air BFS bearings. These are small unshielded stainless bearings in barstock spacers.
Also, these were on sale at Japan Tackle, half-price, $14 for the matched Lew's set (so I bought two, a pair for this reel and my Tournament Pro).

The S2 pinion gear in both the SP and Tournament Pro can get away with these light spool bearings, because the drive-side bearing is not involved with the spool, but seats the pinion gear, and the heavy shielded bearing is stout here.

To swap spool bearings, you have to remove (and reinstall) the spindle pin, and the only pin tool that works for this recessed main spool bearing is Daiwa SLP.
This is also a tapered pin, and only goes in and out in one direction - helps to examine this with a magnifier.

The palm-cap bearing is an easy swap, but do it in a shoe box to make sure you catch the bearing retaining spring.

I'm sure you could fish this reel just fine without going to my trouble, but I had a target to use the lightest possible braid - and I love the tinkering.
I also don't like the 8.3 gears, so I slowed them down a bit by swapping to my favorite longer Avail handle.
My Japan order included the bearings, pin tool, handle, and also the braid.

For this (and a few other reels), I'm trying the latest Japan YGK X-braid. In PE# ("Gou"), which I also learned is traditional silk thread diameter measure, this line is PE 1 (0.17 mm = 0.006" dia), and a whopping 22 lb test. The same diameter in Sufix is 10-lb test. The shallow spool holds 200 yds of it.

Last edited by Ron Mc on Sat Mar 06, 2021 9:32 am, edited 4 times in total.
By mwatson71

You’re such an engineer. Even though I only understood about 1/8 of that post, it was still an enjoyable read and I’m sure there is at least one person on the board that is contemplating fine tuning their baitcaster. I’m really starting to like this board. I mean, I’ve always liked it, but I am finding it more informative these days even with fewer posts.

I’m a simpleton, off the rack, Shimano spinning guy myself.
User avatar
By Ron Mc
Michael, the way I see it, if you can't get out to fish, you can always stay in and tinker tackle (or rig kayaks).

btw, what you gain with a baitcaster is instant retrieve - very important with weighted lures and long casts into skinny grass.
I almost always start the morning with topwater on spinning tackle, where that instant retrieve doesn't matter.

I'll also switch to spinning rod if I'm facing the wind, though some baitcasters, especially w/ good mag brakes, do well here, also.

While mag brakes help with wind backlash, they don't do as much for light lures as centrifugal brakes - and vise-versa.

I'll also add you want spinning tackle for night fishing. If you can't see your lure land to stop your bait spool w/ thumb, you stand to get the worst kind of backlash.
Last edited by Ron Mc on Sat Dec 19, 2020 12:25 pm, edited 3 times in total.
User avatar
By Ron Mc
But I got the result I was shooting for.
Longer cast than I need w/ light lures, with no backlash, which means less effort, more reliable casting, and use my thumb to limit cast distance.
The combo with the (now less than) 6 oz reel and Toray graphite rod is shockingly light in hand.

Last edited by Ron Mc on Sat Dec 19, 2020 12:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
By Ron Mc
If you're bored at home on this rainy Saturday, and want to read the about antique reels, here's a thread I OP'd on Bass Resource forum:
https://www.bassresource.com/bass-fishi ... old-stuff/
In the OP I describe the 1918 Douglas patent, which was the first model Pflueger Supreme,and the closest in function to a modern baitcaster until Lew's Speed Spool.
This better, though complex design was dropped in 1928, when they could copy Marhoff's simple LW patent.

User avatar
By Ron Mc
Tom, you're absolutely correct.
I have my 7' inshore rod niches backed up with longer Lami steelhead rods, just for days when long casts are part of the plan.
In the ballistics of casting, with the same rotational velocity on the rod, every 20% increase in rod length doubles your cast distance.

My Lami ML spinning rod is 9', and has a caught a lot of fish in the salt.

The 8-1/2' Lami MTC casting rod is particularly nice. This is the rod I was fishing at Arroyo last month with the Super Duty, 20-lb Sufix braid, and 1/8-oz
Tyler on corpusfishing also takes one of these to the surf for lure fishing.

the 0.98 OP, though, is about how to get a baitcast reel to reliably cast light weights and light braid.

My salty UL rockfish rods are 8' and 8'3", and will fish 1/16 oz - even less. Last March I took out the 8' Black Hole rockfish on the kayak.
It was casting from the Little Cut shoal to the grassy cut bank (YoZuri Pins minnow took a fish most every cast), and the rod handles big fish quite well because of its design

it landed 4 doubles at Arroyo last month, and the 8'3" got another double -
- and yes, lure rating is 1-6 g (= 1/32 - 3/16 oz)

Part of my Japan order was also improved braid for my Stradic FL 1000 in UL niche.
(This is actually the Japan market Stradic C2000SHG, which is same as US-market FL1000, but $60 less from Japan)
The YGK X-braid in PE 0.6 is a whopping 14-lb test, in the same diameter as Sufix 832 6-lb.

Last edited by Ron Mc on Mon Dec 21, 2020 11:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
By TexasJim
Interesting, Ron. I recently acquired a new-in-box late 70's(?) Penn Special Senator 113H reel. Never been on a rod. I was trying to learn its value, and ran across a forum where guys were "magging" their Penn boat reels to make them cast. They put magnets in the reels to " magnetically" brake the spool. My physics and metallurgical knowledge told me that magnets won't affect aluminum or brass spools. But, apparently, they do via "eddy current braking". After reading up on this, I learned a lot about some of my reels.

I've always preferred centrifugal braking reels. My mind can understand those. A friend gave me a Diawa(cheap) reel with only magnetic braking. I immediately took it off the nice Shimano rod and put it in my storage. Recently, I bought a couple of cheap Chinese baitcasters with both braking systems. I have now learned to use the centrifugal system as a "coarse" adjustment, and the magnetic system as a "fine" adjustment, as I change lures and baits.

I'm never going to be into modding my reels for maximum casting distance like you have done, but I appreciate what you're doing. We all learn from you. Thanks. See ya on the water. Know anyone that needs a brand-new 40-year-old Penn 113H? TexasJim
User avatar
By Ron Mc
Lenz Law of electromagnetic induction applies to all electrical conductors - including all non magnetic electrical conductors.
So a spinning aluminum spool is slowed down by getting a magnet close to it.

In April, most of us picked up projects - Lou's was a wooden kayak, mine was Abu CT tournament reels for braid:
Mag especially makes sense on surf reels, for getting your 100-yd cast "over the hump" and especially into wind.

My shallow braid spools on both CT reels got backed up with full flange deep arbor spools for copolymer.

When I first tried turning the crank with the full flange spool, thought I had a mechanical bind.
But it was just that my magnet stand-off had to be adjusted far out - the magnets were so close to the spool flange I was fighting them just to crank the reel. (note set screw adjustment between photos)

btw, you might want take some photos and list that reel on corpusfishing - someone may want it for offshore, or just for display.
User avatar
By Ron Mc
Just finished up another project, and added a baitcasting niche.
I have this MM with Lew's Super Duty and 20-lb Sufix 832 braid for fishing 1/4- to 5/8-oz.

OP'd this thread about my perfect ML rig for throwing 1/8 jigheads - what makes it perfect is surplus cast distance, making it low effort and completely reliable at normal fishing distance.
I swapped the spool bearings on Lew's Team Pro SP, and loaded 200 yds PE#1.0 (22-lb) X-braid to hit my mark. I fished it at East Flats in February, and it was, well, perfect.

When a rod I've been watching for a year showed up in inventory at my favorite Japan vendor, after a couple weeks of hemming and hawing, snagged the last one they had - and the last they'll get for who knows how long. Then set out to spec/buy/build the reel.

I just got back from first casting trial with a 2 g jighead - 1/16th oz.
After 4 clicks on the mag adjustment and one back, found the sweet setting and laid out a dozen casts all bracketed 90 to 100'

The rod is based on Japanese Rockfish UL small game rods for shore fishing, like we use at Arroyo docks in spinning combos.
But they've recently been adding bait versions to match with light-lure BFS casting reels.

The rod is the mid-level Yamaga Blanks 8'2" and, because of a progressive rod taper, able to cast 2 g to 20 g, protect light line, but also with a stout butt for turning big fish.
I won't be throwing 3/8 oz with it, but I am shooting for good distance with 1/16th oz to 3/16th oz plugs, jigs, and spoons.

Since I was buying a 2 g rod, I set out to build a 2 g reel.
Most BFS reels are capable of casting 3 grams, but their target niche is really stream trout fishing in Japan.
Rather than a 26 mm diameter spool, I wanted the largest 34 mm to be able to cast as far as possible. I was looking seriously at JDM Abu LX992Z. Japan Special BF model.
Still, the only spool out there that's rated to throw 2 g is the Roro X, only made for Daiwa SV reels.
After more hemming and hawing, I sprung for Daiwa's flagship Steez SV-TW in the 1016 size.

Here's the stock reel spool next to the Roro X.
The Daiwa G1 spool is published 15 g, it has the moving rotor SV complication, and by the time you add the bearings, it's well over 20 g - still a light spool.
Next to it, the Roro X with fixed brake rotor, weighs in at 6 g.

As skinny as that 2-mm spool depth looks, I calculated on that it should hold 100 m of PE#0.8 (0.148 mm = 0.005") braid.
This is the heaviest braid rated for the rod, and in Duel abrasion-resistant X-wire braid, that's 16-lb test.
I'm still using 10-lb Blue shock tippet plus 8-lb titanium wire trace to protect the rod.

The spool held the full 100 m, obviously remains very light, and casts a loaded 2-g jighead like a rocketship.

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