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#10793631 - 04/24/15 12:17 PM How old for your first baitcaster?
plasma800 Offline
Angler

Registered: 10/13/14
Posts: 366
Loc: Montgomery Texas
I've been mentoring a kid down the street. Father knows nothing about fishing but for some reason his 9 year old just loves the crud out of it.

The boy bought himself, with his own money, a GINORMOUS spinning combo. I'm talking 7 foot rod with a gigantic reel. Far to big for him, but father didn't know how to direct him.

Anyhow i took them both out a week back, and the boy decided he really liked the idea of a bait caster. I let him use one of my old 1983 reels, which of course was problematic.

Well now he says he wants to buy one for himself, and he's saved up 50 bucks.

So I told him that I would take him to the store and help him select a combo more appropriate for him.

So my question is 2 fold. Mind you, he loves the idea of bass fishing.

Question 1 - How young is too young for a light baitcaster?

Question 2 - He's a little small for his age. In looking in the store the other day, every baitcaster combo was like 6' 6 and up. I had a hard time finding one even 6 feet. Does anyone know of a slightly intro priced rod and reel combo that's good for a kid this age?

I think he needs a zebco, but you know kids....

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#10793656 - 04/24/15 12:25 PM Re: How old for your first baitcaster? [Re: plasma800]
Donald Harper Online   happy
TFF Guru

Registered: 01/25/08
Posts: 12241
Loc: Justin, TX.
Sounds like your on the right track. He can practice in the yard with it to avoid the backlashes.

Guessing the spinning outfit cannot be returned to pool some money.
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#10793666 - 04/24/15 12:28 PM Re: How old for your first baitcaster? [Re: plasma800]
plasma800 Offline
Angler

Registered: 10/13/14
Posts: 366
Loc: Montgomery Texas
Prolly not, he's had it now for a while BUT if he just takes cares of it and saves it, by the time he's 13 or 14 that spinning rod would be a good addition to his gear box - he just needs a little more height to him smile

I'm thinking he needs a medium 5.5 rod - of course most of those come with spinning reels, I own two light 5.5 rods with lightweight spinning on them and love them in certain situations.

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#10793761 - 04/24/15 12:57 PM Re: How old for your first baitcaster? [Re: plasma800]
LipRipper3325 Offline
Angler

Registered: 01/27/05
Posts: 490
Loc: Justin, Texas
To answer your question, I would say 11 or 12. Let him grow up a bit so he can actually throw the thing.

IMO, the most important thing would be to keep him interested with the least amount of hassle as possible. The focus should be on #1 catching fish so he stays interested, and #2 teaching him correct technique.

If you've got an old bait caster let him practice with it in the yard, save his money, and after a few trips where he has caught fish and grown a bit, pick up a nice combo of his own.

A little preachy, but just my 2 cents.
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#10793790 - 04/24/15 01:04 PM Re: How old for your first baitcaster? [Re: plasma800]
plasma800 Offline
Angler

Registered: 10/13/14
Posts: 366
Loc: Montgomery Texas
Seriously that's kinda what I was thinking. He has a super cheap zebco on a pretty stout rod, which I can cast like nobodies business - but when he tries, he just can't put enough power to it to move the lure more than 10 feet unless it's something heavy. so now he has it in his mind that all zebco style closed face reels are all terrible.

That's when he went and bought the spinning rod - just made a mistake on sizing - the butt is so long it comes up past the underside of his armpit LOL and he has to crank it like he was making ice cream - a hoot to watch - but not effective.

Also wondered about one of those under the rod, finger loaded closed face reels... A trigger spinning reel...

All in all, I think the best be a quality closed face spin cast reel with quality line on it matched to the correct weight rod might be the very best choice.


Edited by plasma800 (04/24/15 01:14 PM)

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#10793869 - 04/24/15 01:28 PM Re: How old for your first baitcaster? [Re: plasma800]
Blues Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 01/23/12
Posts: 1697
My 12 yr old boy can throw a baitcaster and fishes with me all the time, but when he's "fun" fishing for bluegill or bass he reaches for his old closed faced zebco33 every time. It's easier and less to worry about, bottom line more fun.

Don't forget they just want to have fun when they go and catch some fish....everything else is secondary.

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#10794006 - 04/24/15 02:07 PM Re: How old for your first baitcaster? [Re: plasma800]
plasma800 Offline
Angler

Registered: 10/13/14
Posts: 366
Loc: Montgomery Texas
I hear that! I took him to lake fayette, and he snagged one little fish on a buzzbait early. The rest of the day was spent slamming whatever lure was on his rod into the water a foot from the boat hammer

What I think more than anything is that if he had a rod with the right length butt, and the right action at the tip his casting would vastly improve quickly. I think the butt needs to be just long enough for him to get a second hand on the end plus a fists width, and the rod short enough to where he can control the whip without having to load it so far back.

We keep working in the yard, and I can get him to cast across the street and never move the rod tip behind his head, doing all of the cast in front of his body using both hands and taking advantage of the tip loaded to whip.... but when he gets on the boat.... he has a tendency to load that sucker back to china and wail on it., usually releasing late. I keep trying to tell him that too much power makes it harder - but ya know, they get all excited and wiggly and it's hard to get through at that point. Sometimes he will release early and cast it wayyyy up in the air.. lol

I mean practice is what it takes right? Experience teaches all.

The zebco 33 is a great model, been around for who knows how many years - that with a short butt where his second hand can help add velocity through whipping to the cast might just do the trick.


Edited by plasma800 (04/24/15 02:10 PM)

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#10794029 - 04/24/15 02:14 PM Re: How old for your first baitcaster? [Re: Blues]
plasma800 Offline
Angler

Registered: 10/13/14
Posts: 366
Loc: Montgomery Texas
Originally Posted By: Blues


Don't forget they just want to have fun when they go and catch some fish....everything else is secondary.


OH and no doubt, the kid wants to catch fish SOOOOO BADLY, and I really want him to hook into a nice fish for once.. I really really do.

I think he's finally learning that not every cast makes a fish hit, but he still thinks it's because of his gear, not technique or presentation. "baitcasters catch fish, that's what the guys on tv use, so I want one of those" Which is a wonderfully totally natural reaction. I think it's amazing he watches fishing shows! He doesn't play xbox, he watches fishing shows. That to me alone means I gotta keep working with him - getting the love of fishing at that age is something you don't always see except in fishing families - but his family isn't one.

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#10794133 - 04/24/15 02:51 PM Re: How old for your first baitcaster? [Re: plasma800]
Smithaven Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 03/23/10
Posts: 1819
Loc: Hurst, Texas
Your young friend needs a Shakespeare Ugly Stick GX2 in the 5 1/2 foot medium action. See this link.
Pair it with a Bass Pro Shops Megacast Low Profile Reel. See this link.

The combination will cost $79.

You may be able to beat the price at other sites, but the Shakespeare Ugly stick is the way to go. Walmart also sells them.

Another possibility is a used rig from eBay. I have bought several Abu reels in good condition from eBay.
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Seventy years of chasing the elusive sunfish.

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#10795408 - 04/24/15 10:11 PM Re: How old for your first baitcaster? [Re: plasma800]
Knot at work Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 08/20/06
Posts: 4706
Loc: Allen, Texas
I got my first baitcaster when I was 10. My mom was single and had a boyfriend who gabe it to me. It was a Daiwa and all black thats all I remember. No One really bass fishes in my family but I l have been obsessed with it since I was a kid. Noone taught me how to really use it hands on and it took a while to get it down but I did. As long as they understand the concept of it which is controlling the spool with your thumb. I backlashed alot but that just made me more effective at picking them out.


Edited by Knot at work (04/24/15 10:13 PM)

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#10795451 - 04/24/15 10:28 PM Re: How old for your first baitcaster? [Re: plasma800]
Anchorman Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 03/02/15
Posts: 1172
Loc: Small Town NE Texas
My first was a Shimano Bantam Mag on a 6' pistol grip ugly stick. I was 12. I begged and begged for it and got it for xmas one year. Loved it but couldn't cast it worth a [censored] until after I had it about 3 years I was watching Freddy Grant explain on TV how to adjust it. I wondered what that cast control knob was for. Thanks Freddy for ending my misery.

As for the neighbor kid. I recommend this reel. I purchased these for my boys and they are great.

http://www.basspro.com/Bass-Pro-Shops-Extreme-Spincast-Reel/product/1209270506431/
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#10795788 - 04/25/15 07:06 AM Re: How old for your first baitcaster? [Re: plasma800]
Fritz423 Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 04/25/12
Posts: 506
My dad gave me my first bait caster when I was ten. It was an old ambassador that was all thumb control. It kicked my butt for a year but I finally got it. I felt like a man when I could cast it without backlashing every time.
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#10795789 - 04/25/15 07:08 AM Re: How old for your first baitcaster? [Re: plasma800]
Fritz423 Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 04/25/12
Posts: 506
I still remember how cool that velvet cover looked that came with it.
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#10795970 - 04/25/15 08:58 AM Re: How old for your first baitcaster? [Re: plasma800]
plasma800 Offline
Angler

Registered: 10/13/14
Posts: 366
Loc: Montgomery Texas
Thanks so much for all the advice. It feels nice to give the little dude some guidance. I'm gonna carry him to the local bass pro shop here soon and have a look over all of these rods and reel suggestions. Then time to take him back on the lake.

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#10796035 - 04/25/15 09:32 AM Re: How old for your first baitcaster? [Re: plasma800]
Anchorman Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 03/02/15
Posts: 1172
Loc: Small Town NE Texas
Originally Posted By: plasma800
Thanks so much for all the advice. It feels nice to give the little dude some guidance. I'm gonna carry him to the local bass pro shop here soon and have a look over all of these rods and reel suggestions. Then time to take him back on the lake.



He will remember that his entire life. Hook him up!

Look at it this way. You doing this may effect him more than you know. When he gets a few years older and all them "other" influences" start hitting him from every side, he may just be that kid that says, "no thanks, I'm getting up early and going fishing". Someone has to show him....why not you?
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If it ain't yours don't mess with it!
Need a friendly place to talk hunting? www.talkhunting.com


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