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Casting With a Float Reel


Mike

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Grant Ferris

Grey/Bruce Outdoors

There are lots of ways to cast with a float reel and lots of names for the reels themselves. Some anglers call them trotting reels, others centre-pins or single-pins.

I know of four ways to cast with them but suspect there are lots more. There is no "proper" or "right" way, it's more a matter of personal preference. The method described below is one I developed on my own that works well for me over fifteen years. My personal method allows long casts and doesn't leave me with twisted and tangled line at the end of a day. I find I can cast far enough with my float reel to fish the Saugeen River in all but a couple of places but not quite as far as with a spinning or casting reel. Perhaps it's the method way your buddy uses, I wouldn't doubt that many anglers figure out a way to cast that suits themselves but I find this method works and it might be easier to try it than figure out a method yourself over a period of years.

Assuming you are right-handed and have an easy-to-spin float reel no wider in diameter than 4.5 inches, (larger diameter reels are difficult to cup and finger with this style of casting. Lefties will have to re-write these instructions.)

Follow these steps:

1) Put the little finger of your right hand against the spool lightly, it will serve as drag and brake.

2) Peel off enough line with the left hand to allow the rod-tip to go behind you like a fly rod in a back-cast, don't pull it off the side at this point, allow the reel to unwind, then stop the reel with your rod-hand little finger.

3) Hold the line in your left hand as if you were fly-casting.

4) Start a back-cast if you have lots of room behind you.

As you do your back-cast, pull some line off with your left hand to get the spool spinning.

5) In a smooth movement, do your back-cast to bend the rod and build up a little potential energy, (store some power in a bent rod) then follow through with a sweeping forward cast. Don't snap the float and line like you would spin-casting but sweep gently forward.

6) As the rod comes forward, with the float and bait going through the air, the spool should be spinning and line coming off the left side of the spool like a spinning reel.

7) The line flowing out should be changing direction to the rod as it passes over your left-hand fingers, as this takes place, move your left hand forward so the line stops coming off the side but comes off like a bait-casting reel. (This will prevent line twist)

8) Look where you want your float to land, point the rod tip at that place

9) When the float hits the water, brake the reel with your right-hand little finger to prevent a backlash or tangle.

10) If you are casting upriver, spin the reel backwards to take up the slack and continue to control the drift with your little finger. You may have to guide the line onto the reel with your left hand when you start to retrieve as slack line in a bit of wind will wrap around something.

11) When you get a hit, signalled by a float hesitation or actual dip underwater, clamp down with that right little finger again to set the hook and provide drag.

12) When you reel in slack line for another cast, use your right fore-finger or little finger to distribute line evenly across the reel as you reel with your left hand.

It takes some practice to do this in windy conditions but if you have just the right amount of line on the reel (down about 3/16 to1/4 inch from being filled right to the top) and use line that is not too springy or too limp, you can catch on in a few hours. You might as well practice where there are fish to catch though. You'll know you're doing it right when you don't have twisted line at the end of a long day and maybe have a couple of big rainbows to take home or release to fight another day.

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