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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all
I am new to the region and started to fish my first time with bait casters/level wind reels. Is there a trick not to get so many bird nests?:( I think I spend half of the time fixing them. Is there any shop which will do some lessons?

Any help is appreciated.

Thanks
 

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When you are casting MAKE SURE your thumb is always just ever so slightly contacting the spool at all times! Also if you can get a friend to adjust that little nut on the side of your reel too - that can help (someone who knows how to adjust the reel in other words)
 

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Birdsnests happen when the line stops but the drum is allowed to spin.
You must control your drum.

Most will have an adjustment knob which will allow you to adjust the drum's free spooling.
Tighten it up, make a few casts and loosen it up a little as you get better.
The amount of weight on the line will make a difference too.
Eg; Float & splitshot will cast different than 1/2 oz spoon.

Keep your thumb lightly on the drum and be ready to stop the drum when the line hits its target.
Start out with short casts and go from there.
I tend to tighten mine at the end of the day so I start the next trip with a tight drum ( I can loosen) instead of a birdsnest ('cuz I was over zealous first cast).
 

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Hi Petriheil,

I think every angler, (no matter what they will tell you), has suffered through the same frustration you are going through with your levelwind. Don't worry, in time you will find them easy to work with and will be bombing casts out there with ease...but here are a couple tips that might help speed up this learning process.

First you will need to familiarize yourself with some of the aspects of your reel...there is a little knob, (in almost all cases it will be located under the handles and drag of the reel), it is ~ 1 cm in diameter and controls the tension on the spool. If this knob is too loose the spool will spin extremely quickly and if you aren't used to levelwinds yet, you will get a great many more birdsnest incidents. If you tighten this knob a little bit, the spool will not spin as quickly or freely and this will help you control the reel and limit bird's nests as you learn to use it.

Control the spool! That knob can help, but in time you will want it much more loose. It will allow you to cast much, much further, and achieve more drag free drifts. So you are going to need to learn to control the spin of the spool with your thumb while you are casting.

The reason you get backlash/bird'snests, is because the spool spins too quickly compared to the speed your weight and hook are traveling at. So there are two things you should work on while casting:

-Apply light pressure to slow down and control the speed the spool spins at with your thumb. You can do this all the way through the cast, but most importantly, you will need to slow the spool down when your weight hits the water as well. I learned by stopping the spool completely with my thumb as soon as the weight hit the water and then taking my thumb off again to let the weight sink, but eventually you will not even think about it, it will just come naturally. The key is to control the spin rate of the spool with your thumb! Your thumb should always be hovering over that spool or applying slight pressure to it. If you do not do this, bird's nests will be inevitable.

-Cast smoothly! It is not like a spincasting reel where you can slingshot it out there with great force. If you are not proficient at controlling the spool of your reel then sharp, jerky movements will cause you problems. You should start with smooth swings of the rod where the speed of your swing increases gradually and smoothly from the start to the end of your cast. Once you learn to control that spool well though, you will be able to cast whatever way you want, but without that control, any type of slingshot or whip, or extremely forcefull jerky cast will cause you grief.

So use that knob to help with the learning process and work on controlling the spool with your thumb. Soon you will find yourself loosening that knob a bit with each cast as you become more proficient with the reel. (Don't loosen that knob too much though or it will fall off and you will have to find it in the rocks or buy a new one)

Don't worry, it just takes time and practice,you'll be a pro in no time...

Good luck!
 

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Ooops, sorry Scissorbill, didn't see you there, looks like we posted at almost the same time...

:cheers:
 

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Ooops, sorry Scissorbill, didn't see you there, looks like we posted at almost the same time...
I think we all did (or at least typed it out.)
But you rite much gooder.
 

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Further to Ribwart's advice on controlling the speed of your spool, it is most important that you do so right at the beginning of your cast, as that is the time that your terminal gear is travelling its fastest. I tend to have a little more thumb pressure just after I release the line, then lighten up as the line spools out. Most bird's nests happen right at the release part of your cast. Once you know your cast is away and clean, you can pretty much let a properly adjusted reel free-spool until your gear hits the water.
One other aspect that can contribute to birdnesting is the amount of tension on your new line as you load it onto your reel. I'm never happy with a new batch of line until I've had a chance to reel in onto my spool with a decent amount of tension on it. Line that is snugly and neatly wrapped on your spool will belay much cleaner and trouble free.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you everyone, I will try it out he way you discribed above and hopefully with a lot of practice I will get better.
This is an amazing site to get information.
Thank you again.
See you on the water.
 

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Hey Petriheil

Great stuff above that you will need to practice..

Not to give you information overload... but I think these two tidbits will help as well.

Start with simple short casts... Do not go for the mighty bomb shot to the farthest point..it serves no point... This also really creates massive birdsnests when you are late getting control with the thumb on the spool

Casts of 15 -20 feet are simple and you do not typically over spin and birdsnest with shorty casts.. You will still need to apply thumb pressure... but it will teach you the needed technique very quickly... with virtually no birds nests.\

Start each day fishing with a dozen or more short casts...then build up from there adding 5-10 feet...and repeating. This will not only help you gain confidence... but its also a great way to remind yourself to fish all the water in front of you.

Another issue with new line... is there is bulk memory in it.. After the line gets a good workout and is wound back on your reel numerous times... it will tend to stay much tighter on the spool..and casting becomes as much fun as catching fish.... well almost


fish on
 

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Also, experiment with both sidearm - forehand and backhand, casts as well as an overhead cast. Eventually you will need to use all three because you will find yourself in tight quarters where only one of these will work. I try and use a sidearm cast (both forehand and backhand) as much as possible because as Ribwart says, they produce the smoothest motion for me and therefore fewer backlashes, more confidence etc. I find when I have to cast over my head, especially with lighter weights, I am not as confident and I sometimes run into trouble, which is too bad for me especially if fishing in tight quarters or where there is a picket fence of anglers or when in a boat and I cannot physically use a sidearm cast.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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awesome information and helpful tips!!

Thanks all!! i wish i had known this yesterday when i blew up all my braided line x.x and had to cut most of it out!!

how about some information on cleaning up a birdsnest?? or is it mostly just cut it out and hope u have enough line to keep fishing.. which is what i did x.x .. i essentially had enough for a good 70 yrd cast with about 10 yrds of play.. haha
 

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how about some information on cleaning up a birdsnest??
Patience, Patience and a little more Patience.
It's hard to do when you get frustrated.
Hope this makes sense:
a birdsnest is the inner coils of line getting shot through or mixed with the outer coils.
These will be little (or big) loops.
When you pull on the line you tighten the line around the (loose) inside coils.
You have to try to get the loose inside loops out from under the tight outer coil.
So pull out line slowly looking for the loops that stop you, Push or pull them back (not with anything sharp) then pull out some more line till you get to the next one and repeat till you get to a loopless tight spool of line. then reel in the coils at your feet and check as you reel in for any severe kinks or weak points in your line

Sometimes I try to run out my reel on the run but that's not always possible (too short of a run) and I have been surprised by fish that found that an opportune time to take my bait.
It's also easier with heavier test.
Birdsnests will happen so take a spare reel or a spare spool of line.

Sometimes you have to cut it out (or a part of it)
BUT if you do cut out your line, take your birdnest-cuttings with you. They are a hazard not just for wildlife but for any one who walks the river ( a major tripping hazard especially when submerged)
 

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i defiantly take out what i take in garbage wise..not a fan of seeing garbage.. a lot of the time i'll take out other loser's garbage...

yah i got a HUGE birdsnest this week when i got a snag and the braided line let go of the mono underneath it.. *planning on going to the place i got the braided on to see if they will reimburse me as i snagged first cast and one tug on my line *snapped* the tie that was put on between mono/braided*

Thanks for the tip SB..
 
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