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Hi guys,

We're all aware (hopefully) of etiquette and risk mitigation for bystanders-- shock leader (always), good knots, equipment in good repair, situational awareness and clearing the area, appropriate casting style for the conditions, etc.

What do you guys do to protect yourselves when you're casting? I'm aware of the following:

  • Tape your fingers or
  • Use a Breakaway Cannon etc. (spinning) or
  • Use a piece of inner tube etc. to grip the spool (conventional)
  • Strong and slim knots that pass easily through the guides
  • Wind shock knots and leader carefully on the spool so they don't get tangled (spinning & conventional) or slice your thumb (conventional)
  • Make sure leader is running smoothly and nothing is tangled before the cast
  • Lock the drag down tight before the cast (spinning, esp. with braid)

Two specific questions for conventional (star drag), mostly related to hazards from a heavy sinker:

1. What's the correct (or safest) drag setting for the cast? Have you ever had a conventional reel pop back into gear or otherwise get tangled or malfunction and put the sinker in your vicinity instead of snapping it off? Would a light drag setting be a safer option for dissipating energy if something goes wrong?

2. Any other tips for keeping a sinker away from your head? The length of your drop will vary based on the type of cast, but I want to make sure I'm not missing any well-established rules.

Any and all insights appreciated-- if you've made mistakes yourself or have witnessed sticky situations, please reply with your 2 or 3 top safety tips-- specifically for us casters (i.e. the folks doing the casting), not bystanders.

Thanks in advance!

O'Shaugh
 

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When casting a nail sinker back when I king fished I took extra care not to bury a cluster of 16 penny nails in the back of my head, other wise I just bomb it out there. I did hit the railing from time to time, just to keep people on their toes, sometimes people would refuse to move for you to cast out an anchor. If you hit the railing, they always move if you have to put another cast out, do not even have to ask them twice....

Drag setting on a conventional reel does not matter, if you pop it back into gear during the cast, keep your paws away from the controls.

A short drop say 6 feet will load the rod easier.

A long drop say 10 feet is more apt to get squirrely.
 

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Always check your rig, line, etc before trying to snag the troller going by. In all seriousness, I give my stuff a good visual and if “ questionable “ after closer inspection I‘ll re-tie .I don’t want a hunk of lead or hook(s) hitting me or anyone else.

Oh, on terminal tackle itself..... don’t go cheap just because it less $$$. Especially main line and shock leaders. Swivel, hooks, etc... that’s your loss. I’ll be happy to post pictures of the fish I landed with its new jewelry you gave him.
 
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