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Baitcasting salmon reel?

18009 Views 18 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  Mikeymoto
My main reel is an Abu Garcia 6500 C3, which is loaded with 50 lb Tuff line. All my fishing is from boats, but sometimes I need to cast such as when bobbber jig fishing. I've had some major backlashes that have taken a lot of time to untangle. I am wondering if there is a baitcasting type reel with similar line capacity to the 6500 C3, that is also strong enough for salmon. The guys at Fishermens' told me that such a reel does not exist; and that baitcasting reels were designed for bass fishing and are not strong enough, and do not have enough line capacity for salmon fishing. And they dislike the Abu Garcia anti-backlash model, but I am not sure why. I know, I know, "just learn how to cast the 6500 without making bird nests". But is it true that there are no good baitcasting reels big enough for salmon?
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Brain to thumb, brain to thumb! Practice, practice, practice. Hardest if your trying to tos a real light weight, easier as the weight gets heavier. Always release the spool at 11 o'clock not matter were you start or whether you're side casting or overhead.
Tighten the tension on the spool until you can't cast and then back it off until it cast smoothly.
Use your thumb to slow the spool as the gear starts to arc down, approach the water and slow down. You gotta have the thumb on the spool before the gear hits the water. (Brain to thumb...brain to thumb!)
Oh - did I mention pratice, practice and more practice? Use the back yard or a basball field/park whatever.
If you have it down pat you can throw a feather with a 30W Penn international and not backlash. Not very dang far maybe, but you can do it and not backlash. :cheers:
That's the problem with using that kind of line on a baitcasting reel. A backlash can be scary. The tuff line is so limp. One idea is go go with mono. #25 lb for casting. There are other reels,
like a calcutta (about 100 bucks used on ebay)
Shiman bantam 50, I believe is an older larger bantam model. It should hold plenty of tuff line and it has a sturdy drag. Shimano has alweays made a nice anit backlash feature and it's worked well for me in the past. bottom line though, if you cast with something other than mono, backlashs are about as fun as a visit to your proctologist :depressed:
I have a 6501 with braided line and had the same exact problems........backlashes are a real pain with braided line! I put on 20lb Trilene Big Game and have had no problems, given the reel is adjusted right :smile: . Miss B hit it on the head, if you practice enough and get down the motion of baitcasting, you will be able to cast whatever, whenever :smile:
[ 07-14-2003, 06:23 PM: Message edited by: Nanook ]
[ 07-11-2003, 01:36 PM: Message edited by: Nanook ]
This winter I went through a serious bout of backlash blues as I started driftfishing with lighter slinkies on my 6501 for winter steelies. I could cast everything from 2oz down to 1/2oz without a problem. But, I needed to cast 3/8 oz for the drit I was working. I know how to "tune" the reel for the weight, but that couldn't overcome my incompetence and timing with the light slinky. I was backlashing on about every 3rd cast which really slowed down my fishing time. :rolleyes: :wink:

After several trips (4-6) I finally got it down and now, not only can I cast 3/8 oz out to about 35 yards, I can throw almost that far with a 1/4 oz. :wink: :grin:

Two things to remember. I also primarily fish from my boat and the 6501's are great, but I think the 55xx series is probably better for bank fishing in some cases. The spool mass is smaller and therefore should be easier to cast. The other is taking into consideration what your rod is rated for. If your rod is only rated down to 1/2oz you will have trouble with ANY reel. Where possible (on limited funds it tough, I know), but try to match rod/reel setups so you can avoid some of these challenges. Otherwise, practice makes perfect. :wink:
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I have a 5000vlx ambas which is the smoothest reel I have ever used. I like it a lot.
6500 series reels are fine for salmon. I've been fishing them for over 15 years, so have thousands of other folks. I can cast pretty darned far with a 6500 reel, farther than I have to most of the time. Remember, the more line you have out, the harder it is to detect a hit, and the harder it is to get a good hook set.

I adjust my reel constantly. Till you get really good, adjust the casting brake till you have to wiggle the rod tip to get your setup to drop (with the spool release punched).
Miss B Haven,

I am probably confused on the correct terminology, but the guys at Fishermens' refer to reels like my 6500 C3 as a "level wind", and certain other level wind wind type reels as "baitcasters". I think "baitcaster" usually refers to smaller level wind reels that are designed for bass fishing (and casting). Since Tuff line is inherintly harder line to cast, I was wondering if there would be problems casting it on a reel specifically made for casting. Skrimmy, I think I will try some Powerpro - sounds like it has all the advantages of Tuff line but is less prone to backlashing.
I have both the 5500 and 6500 from Abu...I've got 150 yards of 30#mono on the 5500 and 200+ tuff line 50# on the 6500...Nanook hit the nail on the head...that's what I was told when I was having trouble with the backlash...along with a ton of practice...and the proper adjustment on the free spool tension...I've been able to avoid the backlashes...but, on occasion..when I'm not paying 100% attention...it still happens. I think it's part of having a baitcasting reel.... I use them for all species....not that I catch a ton of anything...but my hooks get wet and that's the whole idea right?!
waterfish, maybe it's just me but they are all baitcasters as far as I'm concerned (the bass fisherman can argue but what do they know :wink: ). Your 6500 will handle Salmon just fine. They're are reels which will cost more and cast better (and better drags) but as stated above, try the powerpro and then practice. You'll get it! :smile:

PS- I'd practice with the tuf first, you'll have to cut some off anyway before you figure it out. Then switch to the powerpro and practice some more.
speaking of backlashes, where can you get the extra heavy(blue?) plastic things for your centrufugal brake on 6501s?
Thanks for the tips everyone, I will print them out and use them to fine tune my casting. But going back to my main question, is there such a thing as a baitcasting reel thats' big enough for salmon? And out of curiosity, if you put Tuff line, (which is way limper than mono) on a bass baitcasting reel, would it still cast good?
[ 07-11-2003, 01:35 PM: Message edited by: Nanook ]
Waterfish- I don't even know what the heck they were trying to tell you. 99% of Salmon fisherman are using "bait casting" reels. :whazzup: D-oh!
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Waterfish, Tuffline is good for trolling, but not so great for casting. Switch to PowerPro and give it a try. I think you'll find it casts much better. It's the same spectra fiber as tuffline but has a sort of waxy type coating that makes it a tad less limp. You've alread got the best all around reel for the job unless you want to spend the extra bucks on a Calcutta (which is an awesome reel, just twice the price) Check out the PowerPro. FMS doesn't sell it that I am aware of, but GI Joes carries it.
This is a Ambassadeur website, lots of good info.....there is also a section with links for parts dealers

Ambassadeurs 101
You may try and take off 20 or 30 yards or more of line off the reel, it should be alot easier to cast. Or remove 50 yards and when you get better, blood knot it back on. Good luck, Mike
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