“Your Reels Have Gotta Be Right” By Stan Fagerstrom
As I mentioned in last month’s column, every now and then I’m often asked for the specifics about the rods and reels I use in the casting exhibitions I do around the country.
If you read that column you know I use a Chronarch Mg 50 for the tricky stuff I do with my casting rods. I’m talking about the underhand flips, behind the back casts, casting around corners and a number of others. My casting presentations also include demonstrations for pitching and flipping as well as how to attain accuracy with the open face and closed face spinning reels.
It always surprises me how many newcomers to bass fishing don’t realize the difference between flipping and pitching. Many seem to think they are one and the same. They aren’t. Flipping and pitching are entirely separate techniques. Most of us use different outfits when using one procedure or the other.
I use a Shimano Castaic CA200SF along with my G.Loomis flipping rod. I don’t see anglers using this reel as much as some of the others in the Shimano line. In flipping the reel is used primarily for line storage, you don’t actually cast with it. You strip line from the reel and then flip it to your intended target.
Here's the reel I favor for that portion of my casting exhibitions dealing with the flipping technique. This reel has special features designed to be of help to the angler who likes to flip.
Should you need to cast with this reel, you’ll find the Curado handles the casting end of things very well should you want to use it for that purpose. This reel also has a special feature specially designed for the flipping technique.
G.Loomis markets several flipping rods. Over the years I’ve tried different models. In my demonstrations the one I’ve used most is the IMX FSR904X. It’s also a super fishing rod. One of the newer flipping rod additions to the G.Loomis line is the GLX BCFR863. This is a lighter weight rod that works wonderfully well for a number of purposes besides flipping.
For pitching I use a Shimano Curado reel. The Curado has been a part of the Shimano line since 1991 and it’s one of the company’s most popular models. I’m able to get a degree of accuracy with a variety of pitching casts with this reel that I once wouldn’t have thought possible.
I use this reel on a G.Loomis IMX MBR783C. The MBR783C is also a cracking good bass fishing rod. I never go anywhere without it.
For the portion of my demonstrations devoted to spinning I rig my spinning rod with the Shimano Symetre. The last time I looked at a Shimano reel catalog it showed that the Symetre comes in seven different models. The one I use most often is the SY1500R1.
The casting technique I use with the open faced spinning reel is different than what you usually see. I control my line with the forefinger of my left hand instead of dropping the right forefinger down to feather the line. There’s adequate space between the bail wire and the spool of the Symetre to let me easily use this procedure.
The older model spinning reels I used when I first developed this technique didn’t have sufficient space to get my left forefinger in the required position. For years I removed the bail wire from my open faced reels to make it easier to get my left forefinger where it needed to be to assure proper line control. As soon as I got my hands on the Shimano Symetre it was apparent that removing the bail wire was no longer necessary.
Click picture to zoom
The Shimano Symetre I'm holding here is the one I use for casting demonstrations. It obviously works as well when I'm after smallmouth bass.
I also use this same spinning reel for a whole lot of my fishing. Shimano makes a number of more expensive reels and some have additional features. I find the Symetre entirely adequate for the types of fishing I do most often.
As I said before, I’ve used a passel of different reels since I first started giving public demonstrations decades ago. I know what the good ones look like. That’s why you’ll find the Shimano name on every darn one of those I have on the rigs I use for exhibition casting. They are also my fishing partners.
I have every reason to believe you won’t go wrong taking the same route in your own fishing adventures.