View Full Version : spool control

08-25-2010, 05:22 PM
Now we all know that the best form of spool control comes in the form of our own thumbs. With that said, getting a little help from the reel does make for a less snarled day and a little better learning curve.
After a season with some new reels I have noticed that some take significantly more finesse to control effectively. I think it comes down to the three main types of cast control (other than the thumb).

Every baitcasting/conventional reel (that I’ve ever used) has a cast control knob. This is the simple knob that increases/decreases friction on the axle and makes it harder for the spool to turn. I think we can all agree that this is pretty useful and a first line of defense.

Then there is the centrifugal brake system with generally either 4 or 6 pins. This lets small brakes spin out from the spool and rub against a brake plate thus slowing down the spool. This is most effective at the beginning of the cast when the spool is spinning at its fastest and there is the most force, in the form of the lure, trying to get the spool moving.

Finally there are magnetic brakes which pull on the spool and slow it down. This brake can generally be adjusted over a pretty wide range. These are most effective at the end of the cast.

I have used Abu Ambassador reels pretty extensively and enjoyed the improvement of the 6-pin over the 4-pin (I even upgraded all my older models). I almost can’t get the reel to over-run at the beginning of the cast with the 6-pin. I also assumed that because these are modern versions of a reel design that’s been around for decades that the centrifugal brake would be pretty much standard on most reels with the magnetic brakes being a premium upgrade on more expensive reels.

Turns out that I was wrong. I had been noticing that my low profile baitcasting reels were much more prone to over runs at the start of the cast than my round reels. I thought, hey with the magnetic brake added to the centrifugal there should be less of these instead of more. My first clue came while looking through a BPS catalog at the reels in the higher end of the brand. They had a “Dual Braking System” as part of their premium price. Looking further is seems that as you go from less expensive to more you get: magnetic then 6-pin centrifugal then 6-pin centrifugal and magnetic.

I opened up my low profile reel and sure enough…no centrifugal brakes at all. Looking back I can see that I should have known but I guess I just thought it would be standard or overtaken by new technology. I have to say, lots of people consider my round ambassadors relics, but I find the centrifugal brakes in them much more effective than what I thought was the new technology jump of the magnets. Looking into the future, I don’t see myself buying another low profile reel unless it at least has a centrifugal brake and preferably both.

What do you guys think? Which do you prefer? Do you know what you’ve got going on inside your reel? :)

08-26-2010, 04:11 PM
As long as i don't get any tangles and i can pull Fish in without too much hassle then i leave my Reels well alone!

08-29-2010, 09:42 PM
My favorite reel at the moment is the Quantum Tour Edition PT and it has a Centrifugal System. I cant say I dont get any backlash, but less then my next favorite, the Shimano Calcutta (also Centrifugal) its WAY easier to use.

old (the one I have)

The newest Quantum Tour features their latest cast control technology, I'd love to give it a try!

New (came out last year)

08-29-2010, 09:44 PM
I consider myself a pretty heavy thumber, I apply pressure to most cast, and rely on thumb control when fighting fish like musky and pike. I dont recomend thumbing larger saltwater fish like tarpon and snapper though - I learned that lesson with Power Pro moss green blister on my thumb.

08-30-2010, 05:31 PM
Yeah, I can imagine. Trying to use thumb pressure to keep a fish from peeling off 50 yards of line would leave a mark!