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casting small crank baits
Posted by: Jeffrey D Rennert (---)
Date: November 15, 2020 10:12AM

Can any one please share their bait casting reel and rod combos for casting @9 gram cranks,(shad rap). I've tried several combos with poor results. I've been regulated to spinning rigs, which i don't prefer. Thanking all in advance.

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Re: casting small crank baits
Posted by: Kent Griffith (---)
Date: November 15, 2020 10:22AM

One thing I did to help was change steel bearings to full ceramics. They are less than half the weight of steel bearings so lighter lures can be cast.

Another issue is bearing lubrication. Steel bearings require oil to keep them from rusting only. Oil is not required for bearing operation. Oil depending on viscosity can slow down casting ability.

On my full ceramic bearings I never use oil or any lubrication at all. Run them dry. All I have to do is keep them clean. The problem with full ceramics is they are noisier when used this way, especially when casting. To me, I am not bothered by the noise at all. I actually use that noise to help judge casting.

ADDED- be aware that reels when sold new usually have grease in stock bearings. So dissolving and flushing out the grease and replacing with lightweight oil can help.

Another thing you can do to help casting is take a look at the type of reel you use... what type of braking does it use? I am not a fan of magnets which are always on no matter what. So I only use reels with centrifugal braking.

And, you can also decrease spool weight as well. Some reels have after-market lightweight spools available. Some people drill out their own spools to remove weight.

And, Shimano makes a DC reel which is computer controlled. These reels are some of the best to use when casting lightweight lures.

Another issuse to take a look at with the type of reel you are using is how is it designed? Older reels quite often did not have free spinning spools. Sometimes the spool axle touched the inside of the pinion gear which slowed down and limited casting. Abu Garcia round reels when casting operate the level wind line guide during the cast which really drags casting down. So choose a reel design with true free spooling ability so when in cast mode, the spool is all alone untouched and all alone in spinning ability suspended by only bearings one on each end. Magnetic braking reels do not allow for true free spinning since magnets are always on, and always in same distance proximity to spool unless spool is designed for movable plate. Some do, some don't.

In my world magnetic braking is so old school. Used decades ago before centrifugal came into existence. Today some reels use both in the same reel. As I said, I only use centrifugal braking and don't want any magnets in my reels. Some prefer it. I don't. Just a preference thing. But this could affect casting ability.

Another option is reduce reel size. Shimano makes a 70 with a smaller more narrow spool. It is designed for the lighter side of baitcasting.

Reducing line size and line weight can also help. Even the number of guides on a rod can slow down casting, so minimal guides is an option too.

Another minor issue could be an old school method of reducing line weight on a spool by using a cork filler like they did way back when. There is no rule that says line on a spool has to go all the way down to the spool. Some weight could be reduced here.

Combining all of these ideas could greatly increase your casting ability for that lure choice.



Edited 6 time(s). Last edit at 11/15/2020 10:43AM by Kent Griffith.

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Re: casting small crank baits
Posted by: Russell Brunt (---.hfc.comcastbusiness.net)
Date: November 15, 2020 10:40AM

That isn’t all that light. I used an original Bantam back in the 70’s for 1/8 ounce jigs.

I’d say the ultimate would be Shimano Aldebaran. Daiwa Alphas is close.

Russ in Hollywood, FL.

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Re: casting small crank baits
Posted by: David Baylor (---)
Date: November 15, 2020 10:49AM

I can't say for sure, but my guess is that Kent is speaking about hybrid ceramic bearings, and they definitely make a difference when it comes to casting light weight baits. The balls are made of ceramic, and the rest of the bearing (unless it has a rubber seal) is made of stainless steel. As he said, there is no need to lubricate the hybrid ceramic bearings. And while they are noisier than a regular ball bearing, they're not overly noisy. At least the ones I have in my reels aren't. If you do go the hybrid route, and they aren't that expensive, you'll want to get ones with an ABEC 7 rating. I have reels with ABEC 7 hybrid bearings and reels with ABEC 5 hybrid bearings in them, and the 7's cast better.

If you want to get a reel specifically for casting light weights I personally would look no further than the Shimano Curado 70 MGL K. While I have no personal experience with the 70 MGL K, my Curado 200 Ks cast extremely well and handle light baits better than any reel I have used in the past. The reviews for the Curado 70 MGL K are off the charts for its ability to cast light baits. It would definitely be the reel I would look to.

And a final comment based on personal experience .... a Shad Rap (the balsa version) is one of, if not the the worst casting baits I have ever thrown. It's also one of the most effective crankbaits I've ever thrown as well. It's just very finicky when casting. Especially if there is any wind.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/15/2020 10:58AM by David Baylor.

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Re: casting small crank baits
Posted by: Kent Griffith (---)
Date: November 15, 2020 10:59AM

David Baylor Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I can't say for sure, but my guess is that Kent is
> speaking about hybrid ceramic bearings,

David, I switched to full ceramic bearings. Ceramic bearings and ceramic races.

The hybrids you mentioned still do require oil to keep the steel races from rusting and, they still have most of the weight of regular steel bearings since races are the same- steel.

But one of the problems with the ceramic hybrids is that there is a hybrid on the market that in my opinion should not even be made.

There is a bearing sold side by side with the hybrids that has steel ball bearings coated in ceramic with steel races. The problem with these bearings is that the ceramic coating can crack and break off the bearings rendering it useless. Why anyone would even make these is beyond me, but if one is not careful in buying hybrids, this is the type of bearing they can wind up with. I've done it too.

So if you choose to go hybrid, in my opinion that is only halfway to full ceramic, and make sure the bearing balls are full ceramic and NOT ceramic coated steel balls.

So I recommend full ceramic bearings only. They are all white ceramic races and bearings. There is no steel to rust and these are the only bearings made that can truly be run dry and never need oil or any lubrication of any kind ever. And they are even noisier than the hybrids.

Some people who use the full ceramic bearings do add a little lightweight oil just to quieten them down some- but that oil can also slow them down some.

---------------------------------------

Some of you may know but for years I have been a factory trained warranty repair tech for numerous reel brands. I made a living repairing and restoring and upgrading reels. I only stopped because of this covid pandemic and may go back to it when pandemic is over.

But from my knowledge and experience I lean towards Shimano reels. I want a true free spin ability with my spools. And I can tell you that a free spinning spool is a free spinning spool. And Shimano offers this in $500 reels and $150 dollar reels.

And over my many years of fishing since 1960's, I have used just about every reel ever made. Some only once. But my point here is, I have learned from experience that I do not have to spend $500 to get the casting ability I want from a reel.

I have used all of the high end Shimano reels and they are nice indeed, but I am perfectly happy with the Curado line for $159. My preference is for the i series and even the 70's. But my all time favorites are the i series. I still use the old 90's green beans as they called them, the original B series curados, and of those I prefer the first true free spinning spool made called the BSF, or B series "Super Free" spoolers. If you do not adjust those correctly backlashes from @#$%&, but my god when tweaked out well, they cast great. Better have a good thumb too!

But today I prefer the now out of production i series because they do have a true free spinning spool, and I use only one brake shoe at a time and can dial in how much of it I want to use and I can cast a country mile and don't even have to worry about having a good thumb on them. A great little reel for the price. And honestly, the $500 top of the line Shimano's don't give me any more casting ability than I can squeeze out of a curado i.

The one reel I don't have much experience on are the new curado DC and SLX DC. I just have not had need to buy one, and being retired now on a limited budget have not had the spare change to afford the curado $250 price tag.

This DC technology once upon a time was only available on $1,000 dollar reels so I am glad Shimano made it available to their lower end reels, but as yet I have not caught up to this advancement, but I hear good things about it and its ability to cast lighter lures since a computer is watching spool rotation speeds and adjusting brakes as needed. No thumb necessary I hear.



Edited 6 time(s). Last edit at 11/15/2020 12:47PM by Kent Griffith.

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Re: casting small crank baits
Posted by: Joe Vanfossen (---.neo.res.rr.com)
Date: November 15, 2020 11:16AM

The smaller 5cm shad raps are easier to cast than the 7cm shad raps. That size just doesn't like to fly all that well due to the big cross section when it starts to tumble, though I haven't had that many issues with casting them. To cast them well, you want the shad rap to be in the upper range of your rods casting range. Something like a popping blank with a 1/8-3/8oz lure rating should give you the right action and power to throw them fairly well. I always threw them on a 1/8-3/8oz moderate action factory rod from Falcon. You want the rod to load, but with the lighter rod, you need to be sure not to overpower the rod. Give the lure a little extra line at the start of the cast to make sure it gets up to speed before pulling line from the spool.

I've always used workhorse type Shimanos for most of my casting reels, Citicas and Curados. For lighter lures, the old Citica 100DSV and Curado 100b models have always been my reels of choice (I will admit, it's been quite a while since I've had to buy reels). In the current reels, I think the lighter reels tend to have a 70 in their model numbers. I prefer centrifugal brakes over magnetic brake systems, particularly with light lures. As mentioned swapping the stock spool bearings out for ABEC-7 bearings can be beneficial as can polishing contact points.

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Re: casting small crank baits
Posted by: Kent Griffith (---)
Date: November 15, 2020 11:34AM

Joe Vanfossen Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> I've always used workhorse type Shimanos for most
> of my casting reels, Citicas and Curados. For
> lighter lures, the old Citica 100DSV and Curado
> 100b models have always been my reels of choice (I

> as can polishing contact points.

That original B model has a spool axle that touches inside of pinion gear slowing casts down which is why polishing helped out a lot.

But when Shimano made the BSF model, it is their first true free spinning spool breaking that contact between spool axle and pinion giving increased casting ability. But controlling runaway spools was a problem which is why Shimano engineers worked hard on centrifugal braking upgrades over the years.

They had to increase braking ability while cutting down on spool weight which was the first problem they tried to address on those old BSF models. Spool weight tended to over power its braking ability anyway. Now they have it all balanced out and down pat pretty good.

For anyone thinking of updating some from those now nearly 30 year old reels- which I still use too- my BSF and slow 3.8 model, I highly recommend the i series of Curado. I like them better than the newer K series.

I also love my 70's but tend to use the i's more.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/15/2020 11:52AM by Kent Griffith.

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Re: casting small crank baits
Posted by: Ross Montgomery (---.ipv6.telus.net)
Date: November 15, 2020 12:42PM

I use a mgxtreme reel or a alserbaran mgl 30. Both those reels can cast super light weights. But I find it’s the rod that matters most. You need something with a super light tip to load with the light lures. I like to use a kistler reel ‘n’ feel which has a fibreglass tip and loads really nice but still has the strength further down the blank to play and land fish. It’s the 6’9” medium model rated for 1/16oz to 3/8 oz.

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Re: casting small crank baits
Posted by: David Baylor (---)
Date: November 15, 2020 01:40PM

Kent, my apologies. It has been some time since I've looked into bearings. I had no idea they made a full ceramic bearing. Based on how much better the hybrids cast versus stock, I can only imagine how much better a full ceramic bearing would be.

Like you I have some older Curado @#$%& (still great reels) and I up graded them with ABEC 5 hybrids from Boca Bearings. I upgraded 3 first generation Castaics with ABEC 7 hybrids from Boca as well. What a huge difference those made in pitching with those first gen Castaics. Hopefully you weren't talking about the Bocas when you said there is a bearing that IYO shouldn't be sold. lol

And you sure are right about the increase in casting performance once Shimano went to the "Free Spool" version of their reels. My favorite reel for pitching and flipping are the old SF Castaics. Oh how I wish they still made them. Anyway ...... I have a couple Curado Is that I love. Kind of wonder about having to oil the brake race a bit, but they cast incredibly well. Personally I don't see much if any difference in casting between the I's and K's but I like that I don't have to oil the brakes on the Ks lol

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Re: casting small crank baits
Posted by: Kent Griffith (---)
Date: November 15, 2020 02:32PM

David Baylor Wrote:

> I have a couple Curado Is that I love. Kind of
> wonder about having to oil the brake race a bit,
> but they cast incredibly well. Personally I don't
> see much if any difference in casting between the
> I's and K's but I like that I don't have to oil
> the brakes on the Ks lol

Thanks but no apologies necessary. None of us are stepping on any toes in this thread. So its all good.

However, I might step on some toes with this next comment... I avoid Boca! And here is why...

Back in the old days when USA had a great steel industry, USA made great bearings. Not any more. And Germany and Japan also made great steel bearings. But the steel industry has been gutted worldwide and today China rules the steel industry, and most of the steel used today is all recycled steel and generally softer than what was used back in the day.

I see this in bearings and in reel parts.

So China is today the primary makers of most of the world's bearings.

Boca is nothing more than a state-side warehouse of imported bearings mostly from China which they buy in bulk at super rock bottom prices directly from China. Once state-side all Boca does is repackage them and then runs the prices up to unreasonable markups way off the chart unreasonable.

I believe in supporting U.S. companies, but not when they are going to extreme unreasonable markups.

Years ago when I first started looking into full ceramics, even my price direct from China was $60 to $80 per bearing. But slowly over time they have come down considerably so today I can afford to put full ceramics in all of my reels and I can buy them direct from China today- same as Boca does- but my price direct from China is now down to around $10 each, but if I buy them in quantity of say 10 or 20 at a time I can get them for around $8.50 each usually with free shipping.

Boca with their higher quantity bulk buying ability, of say 1,000 pieces or let's say 10,000 pieces at a time can probably get their price down to around $3.00 per bearing or half that or less.

And what is Boca's full ceramic pricing today for this $3 or less full ceramic bearing they buy from China? Their list prices are $103.44 each or $114.94, but our special deal price is only $72.42 or $80.47 each for the exact same bearing I can buy direct from China for $10 each. Boca's markup is some 20 to 40 times actual value for that bearing. That is quite a hefty profit margin mark up, and for their steel bearings the mark up can be even more since they can get those for pennies per bearing and then mark those up hundreds of times actual market value.

Boca bearings prices are artificially inflated and all they are is a middle man with state side warehousing and repackaging and nothing more. If they do assemble any bearings parts, those bearings are not reel bearings. Reel bearings they buy in bulk from someone else and stick their name and prices on them.

Sorry, but I can not afford their unreasonable mark ups for the exact same bearing.

At Boca's prices, for me to put full ceramic bearings into my reels means their bearings now equal the price of my reels. And it is just not worth it to me. Boca's artifical inflated pricing makes me an unhappy camper with them. So today I never buy bearings from them. Keep in mind I repaired and upgraded reels professionally for years and I can tell you there is no profit margin for me in using Boca bearings. I gotta pay bills too and put food on the table for the kids and I can't do it buying from middle men like Boca bearings and their outrageous prices.

Hope I did not upset any forum members here with this, but it is what it is... I gotta make my money count and buy as much as I can get for as little as I can get it and that is just the way it is... and all of us here can get this same direct pricing as well on electronic-bay.

And, I have no idea if Boca sells the ceramic coated ball bearings or not. I have not checked. But when you search various places for bearings direct from China, they do sell them mixed in with all the others. So buyer beware!

As for oiling brake races... when reels came through the shop I would give those reels a vapor thin coat of oil before sending them out, but on my personal reels, my Curado i reels I have never needed to oil the brake races. I use only one brake shoe, and the dial is at 4-5 out of 6. I never have an issue with needing oil personally. So point is the more someone needs to use the brakes the more likely noise can result. I just keep my reels clean and well maintained and fortunately don't have problems with this.



Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 11/15/2020 02:55PM by Kent Griffith.

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Re: casting small crank baits
Posted by: Kendall Cikanek (---)
Date: November 15, 2020 03:36PM

I’m with you, I like small crankbaits and prefer baitcasters. I bought a Japanese Domestic Model (JDM) Daiwa Alphas 103 about a dozen years ago to do this. It still casts small crankbaits very well. It is out of production, but it’s been improved upon a few times in JDM offerings. Finesse size baitcasters have been a thing over there for quite a few years. There are several websites that offer the little JDM beauties for nice prices. You don’t get a USA warranty when going this route. I’ve never used a warranty on a Daiwa or Shimano, so it’s a chance I’ve taken a few times. The new Curado MGL 70 K looks nice as a USA offering. It’s good to see finesse reels starting to come here at less than “unobtainium” prices. I hope to be good with my Alphas for a little longer, though. If you don’t start with a quality finesse-sized reel, you aren’t to arrive at one through upgrades. The braking systems and spool size need to be planned for this application from the very beginning. Aftermarket spools are very expensive. You can buy lighter ones with less line capacity, but you can’t change the outer dimensions.

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Re: casting small crank baits
Posted by: Kent Griffith (---)
Date: November 15, 2020 07:16PM

Kendall Cikanek Wrote:

> You don’t get a USA warranty when
> going this route. I’ve never used a warranty on
> a Daiwa or Shimano, so it’s a chance I’ve
> taken a few times.

The JDM reels are not better than U.S. reels, just different. While I was working at the shop, every year around ICAST time the engineers from top reel brand names came to our shop and we discussed this several times.

The new Curado DC reel was tailored made for the way Americans fish. The settings on this reel are designed for how Americans fish.

The reels made for the Japanese domestic market aka JDM are the same for them. Engineered for how they fish. Many of the internal parts of the JDM reels are identical to U.S. counterpart reels and interchangeable.

In fact when you have to repair your JDM reels you will run into this problem big time because as with Shimano, they do NOT sell nor provide any parts for JDM reels imported into USA. What they will tell you and all Americans who import JDM reels is to pack it up and send it to one address in USA for servicing and then you have to wait a while to get it back, because if that reel requires parts not available in USA, then they have to be special ordered and will come with the next large shipments from overseas in cargo containers and not in regular mail type of thing.

Warranty repair facilities across America are not provided with schematics for JDM reels and some brands will not even allow us to buy nor order any parts for those reels from that brand since they do not stock any JDM reel parts inside the USA. So you are indeed taking a risk importing JDM reels into USA.

But just be aware that there is nothing better about them, only different is all. They do not have tighter tolerances and are not built better at all. Only different is all. All of the tooling for those reels is virtually identical to U.S. reels and if you can find your JDM reel's U.S. counterpart then you can usually borrow parts from it to repair a JDM reel Otherwise have fun! Its back to Japan for parts and servicing of those reels as the brands offer virtually no support and no parts for them. And are not usually too happy to have to deal with them either.

We see the same thing in rods. The Chinese use a certain type of rod most of us Americans would never use, and in England we see it again. Watch an English fishing show and look at their spinning rods. Lots of handle. Reel moved further from butt of rod. I'd never want to use one of those in USA and we generally do not see rods made for Chinese or UK in USA.

Engineers design equipment for the market it is going in to. JDM does not mean better, only different.

To some having JDM is a status symbol more than anything else. They are often promoted as better on some forums, but in reality they are not one iota better than U.S. reels- especially when 80% or more of the internal parts are identical to U.S. reels.

JDM is a novelty more than anything else. Just something different imported from an overseas market and used here.

For major reel brands it is not very profitable to make different tooling for every country. They simply build slightly different reels on the same frames, same gears, same handles, etc. and paint them different colors.

I can tell you from working in warranty repair facility for reels, when a customer brings in a JDM reel we tell them right from the start- no promises. If it needs parts we may not be able to get them. So if you want, take the reel back now and put it in the mail to whichever brand it is and let them deal with it if they will. Otherwise, send it back to Japan where service and parts are available.

Only then will you see the downside to owning a JDM once the costs of repairing it hit home. Watch how fast the novelty wears off.



Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 11/15/2020 08:33PM by Kent Griffith.

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Re: casting small crank baits
Posted by: Kendall Cikanek (---)
Date: November 16, 2020 03:28AM

Certainly, I respect your difference of opinion. All I have to go on is my own experience with JDM’s verses domestically available models. I have had nothing but really good luck. If three of my four JDM’s gave up on me in 2021, I can say that they more than earned their keep. The fourth is just a couple of years old. If I buy another JDM, and it comes out of the box as a complete write-off, I’d still be ahead. Tackle Tour gave the Alphas 103 one of their highest reel ratings, ever. That review is still online and easy to find. I think that it was the only baitcasting reel in production that was suitable for small crankbaits when I bought it. It even has a 5.8:1 gear ratio that is perfect for crankbaits. The first USA market finesse models cost over twice as much as I paid for the Alphas 103 a few years earlier. They didn’t come in crankbait appropriate gear ratios, either. While parallel reels weren’t available in the USA, I caught several smallmouth bass exceeding five pounds in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area and some really nice steelhead in Alaska and Oregon on my JDM’s. These assertions are accurate, I have the pictures and a little of these fishing experiences were nationally televised. Some of this footage is also still online. However, production editing is always, uh, well, “a wee bit creative for the sake of congruence”.

Again, the domestic offerings of Shimano and Daiwa in the finesse range are improving. I wouldn’t think of going the JDM route when there is a USA model equivalent. When there isn’t, I’ll go to that well without apprehension. I could get many parts from the same companies that sell these reels. If I have to choose between a reel that is ideal for a specific use and trying to modify one of a different size, designed for a very different use, the choice isn’t even close for me. I sincerely believe that you have seen people dead-ended with these reels as you have a link to high volume repair services. The failure rate must be below one percent, though. They are really good reels, made by really good manufacturers, using best available tooling, in highly automated factories, under really good quality control and inspection procedures.

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Re: casting small crank baits
Posted by: Kent Griffith (---)
Date: November 16, 2020 03:00PM

I just wish brands would support them in service centers.



Edited 13 time(s). Last edit at 11/16/2020 06:02PM by Kent Griffith.

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