Articles & Other Destinations
Beyond East Texas
I have fished in Alaska, Minnesota, Washington, Costa Rica, Mexico, Brazil, Florida, and other places. I can make suggestions to help you plan that special fishing vacation.
I'll periodically post articles about these other places, just click on the title that interests you and be taken to that article.
Sat Dec 1, 2018
There are 3 types of reels for rod and reel fishing. There are spinning, also called open-face, there are push button, also called spincast, and there are level wind, also called baitcast or round reels.
We're coming up on the Christmas gift giving season, and some fishermen, novice and experienced, are going to get a reel from Santa. Each of these types have their uses, their positives, and their drawbacks. Here are my opinions and suggestions concerning these reels.
Let's look at the push button first, since it is the easiest to use. Many people use this type of reel simply for that ease, and for many people, myself included, this was their starting reel. Just push the button and hold it down, swing the rod toward the direction you want the line to go, and release the button. The line goes out, turn the reel crank about a quarter turn, the reel re-sets, and you are ready and waiting for the bite. These are the type of reels that come on the "kids" outfits, the short Batman, Mermaid, and other cartoon and movie character gear. Easy and ideal for the youngest to learn with, but after learning the basics they really need to move on. The two main problems with these reels, from the cheapest kids' stuff to the much better Zebco's, is first that their mechanisms damage and snarl the line, and that their small spools tend to coil any mono line that's heavier than about 4 lbs, a line weight that is just not good for anything bigger than bluegill ("perch") fishing. The drag system for these reels usually consist solely of a spring pin that rubs the side of the internal spool.
The other end is the baitcaster. This reel is capable of handling a much wider range of line weights, and a much wider range of fish sizes, too, due to its much better drag system, consisting of brake discs similar to those on a car wheel.. This reel can be used to cast a wider range of lure and bait weights, and can be used for different techniques of fishing, from slow-moving soft plastics to faster moving swimming baits. These reel works best with mono nylon, and does require the most attention to cast, often requiring a light "thumbing" to slow the reel's spool during a cast and the lure's landing to prevent the dreaded "bird's nest" or backlash. This is the type of reel preferred by fishermen for almost all bass fishing, and is an excellent gift for the more experienced fisherman.
The open face spinning reel is a good, all-round reel that can be used for any type of fishing, and is easy to learn how to use. It can use all weights of line, mono and braid, and is easy to learn how to cast. It has a drag system that is adjustable, just not as heavy as those on baitcasters. The one difference is that the spinning reel is designed to be on the bottom of the rod and is usually cranked with the opposite hand, that is, a right handed person should hold the rod in their right hand and crank with their left. Almost all spinning reels do have a switchover, though, so that the crank can be moved to the other side. This is the reel that I consider ideal for East Texas general fishing, and is a good gift for any fisherman, young or old.
Older Other Destinations
If you're interested, you can see what the conditions on Lake Palestine were like on: