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Spin or Cast?

Spin or cast? What am I talking about? I’m talking about the use of an open-face spinning outfit versus using a so-called bait-casting outfit. Actually one isn’t better than the other, but instead, they both have their place in the fishermen’s arsenal. There is little doubt that the open-face outfit is the most popular and

Spin or cast? What am I talking about? I’m talking about the use of an open-face spinning outfit versus using a so-called bait-casting outfit. Actually one isn’t better than the other, but instead, they both have their place in the fishermen’s arsenal.

There is little doubt that the open-face outfit is the most popular and most commonly used outfit for many fishermen who pursue the larger warm water species like smallmouths, largemouths, walleyes, and even pickerel, pike and muskies. There’s a good reason for that; spinning outfits are easy to master, they cast long distances, and they come in enough different sizes to accommodate most fishing situations.

When I head out to my favorite lake in pursuit of bass, I take a number of rods and reels, but you can bet that at least two of those outfits are going to be spinning outfits. I’ll usually rig one outfit with a drop-shot rig of some kind and the other with a wacky-rig to start things off. Sometimes referred to as “finesse” fishing these medium-light rigs offer the fisherman a chance to pick up the more delicate strikes. I will also fish a number of different types of minnow-type lures with a spinning outfit as well as lead head jigs, tubes, and soft paddletail swimbaits.

While spinning equipment will certainly catch its share of bass, it’s still a good idea to have some additional equipment on hand, and that’s where the casting outfit comes into play.

A lot of fishermen tend to shy away from casting rods and reels because they are a little more difficult to cast — that is at least until you learn the technique. Once you’ve gotten the hang of it, it’s no more difficult than a spinning outfit.

Early bait-casting reels got a bad rap and for a good reason — they were difficult to cast, and overruns caused nasty line tangles around the revolving spool. Over the years, however, there have been great improvements in the reels, and they are much easier to work with these days. Today’s reels have a magnetic control that stops the spool from revolving too fast and too much thus almost virtually ending the nasty overruns. Today’s reels also fit the hand much more comfortably also allowing for easy “thumbing” of the revolving spool. Thumbing or touching the thumb to the revolving spool offers even further control of the cast making casting outfits quite accurate when casting various lures.

So why then does one need to add casting outfits to their fishing arsenal? Certainly. It’s entirely possible to catch a good number of bass or pike with a spinning outfit, but there are situations where the casting outfit is superior. Casting equipment offers the angler the opportunity to pitch heavier, bulkier lures with greater ease and accuracy. In addition, the heavier, stouter rigs can better handle big fish and heavy cover.

One of the best examples I can sight is when fishing lily pads with occasional openings; this is a great place to hook up with some nice largemouths, pickerel and pike and muskies. The heavier more stout casting rod and the revolving spool reel can better handle the ensuing battle. Even working the surface with intermittent weeds and lily pads with a weedless lure is much easier with the added backbone of the casting equipment. The casting outfit is also a good choice for working submerged weeds beds especially when using a Carolina rig or a Texas-rigged plastic worm; the outfit has the power to work the lure and pull free of weeds and that action sometimes actually triggers strikes. When it comes to casting the big, heavy lures sometimes used for largemouths and especially the big often jointed lures used in pike and musky fishing the casting outfit is the one for the job.

Can you get by with the good old spinning outfit? Certainly. But I’m a great believer in versatility and the more versatile your approach, the more likely you will have a successful outing.

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