Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
A credit card with room for more charges and an adult toy store are a bad combination. The toy store just about did me in.
But first we need some history to fill you in. Back before water was invented TheOFM learned to cast a fishing rod with a Shakespeare Model 1944 level wind casting reel. Be assured that if you can make decent casts with that reel you should be a master at any other reel ever made. This was in the 1950’s in Pasadena Texas. The field next to our house gave me room to screw up in large doses without damaging any ones property. That reel is now considered a great antique in the fishing world. It would be nice if it was still in my possession, but it is not.
Somewhere in the 1970s my first spinning reel was purchased and spinning reels have been my mainstay since then. Using the left hand to reel and my dominant hand to control the rod and bait seemed much more natural than the old cast and switch hands of the Shakespeare casting reel.
In the last few years it has come to my attention that a lot of the better right handed anglers using casting reels are using reels with left hand cranks. That matches my spinning reel habit and seems to be a better way. Thus it came to pass that this OFM wanted to try out a modern casting reel of high quality.
Tackle Town is known to usually have anything you need and everything you did not know you needed until you enter the store. According to research on http://www.texaskayakfisherman.com/ forum the Shimano Citica is a very good reel at the lowest price for quality. So it was with some misgivings that Tackle Town was entered.
They not only had the right reel in the correct hand drive, the stinking reel fit my short fingers like it was designed just for me. Resistance was futile. Then the dad gum store had the exact plastic jig tails of my desires. OH NO the credit card can feel it coming. OUCH OUCH and the reel came home with me.
It was still not known how well the left hand cranking would work out or if my thumb could relearn how to handle a casting reel. The spinning reel was removed from one rod and the Citica installed with its new 10 pound fishing line. Then the Team went to the harbor to see how well my fingers could handle this old style of reel.
These new reels have magnets to brake the spool and ultra easy rolling bearings and lots of other features that were never dreamed of in 1955. The first cast was with lots of hesitation but went well. It took about five casts to get the old casting reel memory out of my hands and arms. After that beginning it has been wonderful. Left hand cranking is definitely the way to go. It lets my dominant arm and hand really handle the rod and baits. WOW this is nice. Will it replace the spinning reel? No chance. The spinning reels still handle very light baits much better.
Three separate trips to the harbor today got me in some good practice in bad winds. The new reel feels almost natural now and it is a great feeling.
While fishing a jig, my decision was try the new reel with a popping cork arrangement to see how it handles that. The cork is placed on the line above the jig or other bait and adjusted to let the bait be at a chosen depth for fishing. Here is a picture of the cork and lure ready to fish.
Nothing was working right. The cork kept acting funny in the air and worse in the water. Every time the assembly was reeled in the cork was barely hanging onto the line at the top of the cork. After several backlashes and other troubles the cork was examined carefully to see if it was the trouble.
The cork has a slot to slide the line into and than a plastic peg is slid in from the top to jam the line in place.
Upon careful examination it was found the slot was only cut properly for the top two inches and did not reach the peg section for the rest of the distance. So out comes my handy pocket knife and the lower section of the slot is cut into the peg section. On the next try at casting the assembly everything worked very well. It appears that his will be a very good set up for popping cork style of fishing. No fish were caught during all this testing and practice.
However several little perch nibbles told me that at least the bait fish were available for the good fish to come eat. In this area are lots of jelly fish floating around. Here is one that was photographed with some of its tentacles dangling in view. Do not play with these critters with your bare skin.
Fishing and watching jellyfish was a wonderful way of trying to have tooooo much fun. TheOFM.