Bluegill - Big Bluegill

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Can anyone share some tips on casting very light lures? I've already switched to braid, downsized my line, and upgraded my reel, so I suspect all that's left is technique and practice. Any and all suggestions greatly appreciated.

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Monofilament will cast very light lures much further than braid.  Monofilament, especially a quality brand, is much limper than braid; the brand I use is Trilene XL, which is specifically maximized for limpness ("XL" stands for "extra limp").  A limper line means less resistance offered to the lure.  The lighter the test, the further you'll be able to cast; for instance, 2-lb. test will cast a 1/64 oz. lure further than 4-lb. will.  

Another thing that will help is not using the smallest UL reel, but instead going with a reel rated for 4-6-8 lb. test.  A reel this size has a larger spool and thus will hold more line; you're still only using a portion of the line on the spool, but you don't have to go as far down into the spool for a long cast due to the increased diameter of the spool, and thus the line has less spool to overcome, i.e. less friction, i.e. longer casts.

Well I agree with all you said Walt and did you ever in the past have a chance to use the old Berkley line called ULTRA THIN? IT was my favorite for years untill it was discontinued by Berkley some 15 years ago. I swithched over to XL at that point. THe ultra thin was great line and still wished they made it. One thing I would mention is that no matter the size of the reel spool another factor is the size of the bottom guide. Can't be too small cause the line will bunch up when casting it and thus decrease distance........

I agree about the braid...except for NanoFil. While it is made out of the same material as all braids the way it is processed into a single filament line allows it to cast about 40% further than the same line in a mono. Since we live close to each other I can show you this as soon as new knee is working....LOL. Also want to get in a discussion with you on the new microwave guide concept. Have you made any rods with them or do you know about them yet?

                                                                                           Regards

THANKS JEFFREY AND WILL HAVE AAAAAAAAAAAAALOT OF STREAMERS MADE FOR MAY just in case there are any crappie left down there..........

for me;; the rod is also one of the greatest things to consider. is it a medium? or a fast tip? i always go for a fast tip with plenty of give; but has the back bone just past the middle half way down. you also for got to mention if your using a fly rod or a spinning rod. but i think you mean spinning gear.  a medium weight rod  in my oppinion wont cast as far as a fast tip with light jigs

I also forgot something. I have switched from practically all forms of bobbers to sssssssssssmall weighted bobbers for most my fishing when distance is a consideration.........

Trust me when I tell you about the casting distance of NanoFil. The line has knot issues....fraying issues....but it is no hype about casting distance on a spinning reel. I am very excited to get my new rod from Walt Foreman and spool up a Shimano Stradic FJ 100 with 1# test NanoFil. I will be able to launch a 1/64 ounce Trout Magnet into orbit. While the line is rated for 1# it is much stronger. I had used this before but went away from the 1# test on account of visibility...I cant see it. But before my knee surgery I ordered up 4 new spools of the hi vis chartreuse NanoFil to re-spool my UL reels with.....1#....2#....3#.....and some 4# also.  Very excited to get on the water with the new hi vis.

                                                                                                      Regards

 

Well, I'm very grateful you shared the lowdown about knot issues - the biggest reason I haven't tried a new line in over twenty years now, is because the last time I did, I lost some big bluegill.  I know Trilene XL like the back of my hand, know exactly what it can and can't do, and that to me is pretty valuable when I know that on any given cast I may hook a new personal best.  

As far as casting distance, I suppose I don't worry about it as much as some folk do, simply because the rods I fish with already cast about twice as far - with six-pound-test Trilene - as what the average Joe is accustomed to (what I was accustomed to before I began making rods). 

This is one of the biggest reasons I had you build a rod for me. One of my request was to cast a 1/64 ounce lure as far as possible. If this is achieved..and I think it will be...then I may never buy another off the shelf rod again.

                                                                                      Regards 

Carl, the rod action you describe would be a medium rather than a fast - fast-action rods only bend at the tip when casting, and not a lot there.  A rod that bends halfway down its length, especially if you're talking about during a cast, would be even on the soft side of medium, getting close to slow-action.

Randy, I know you have used lots of different kinds of tackle, but I think I'd have to see it to believe it - it's hard for me to imagine how a stiffer fiber could cast further than a softer one - just seems to defy physics.  I would think the key in a side-by-side comparison would be to use a test of Trilene that was the same diameter as the Nanofil you're using; I know braid tends to be smaller diameter. I just did a little quick research online and found that 6-lb. Nanofil is the same diameter as 2-lb. Trilene; I would tend to think that the 2-lb. Trilene would cast further than the 6-lb. Nanofil.

But, the flip side of that is, I also learned just now that Nanofil is not a braid; sounds like it's somewhere between braid and mono.  If it handles close to as well as Trilene XL, and I could use 6-lb. test with 2-lb. diameter, that would be a line I would be very tempted to try.  My only hesitation is that the bluegill are starting to get pretty big in the ponds I guide on, and I would not be a happy camper if I became familiar with the limitations of my new line the hard way (for instance, Trilene typically tests stronger than its actual rating on the box - if another brand tests exactly what it is, so I'm using 6-lb. that breaks at six pounds of test whereas the 6-lb. I've been using breaks at eight, and I discover that on a two-pound bluegill, that is bad).

Forgot to answer your question about Microwave guides, Randy.  I am familiar with them, and have thought about trying them.  But thus far, most of the comments I've read from builders who have used them find they don't make a big difference, if any, compared to other high-performance guides such as Pacbay Minima or Fuji tangle-free.  A big part of their "system" is funneling the line quickly down to smaller-size guides to better control it, and that idea is not original to them, but has been around for several years now under the name New Concept Guide Placement System, which Fuji was the first to market, and which I use on all the rods I build.  

The videos of the guides in use are impressive but I would want to try it out myself before buying a rod with them or having one built. The hype is currently saying that you get increased casting distance and far fewer line tangles. I still would have to put a rod in my hands to see it but the videos showing what happens to a mess of line when it hits the microwave first guide and untangles the line is quiet impressive.

                                                                                    Regards 

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