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I recently purchased a Shimano TR-200G conventional reel. I've never used a conventional reel before, just spinning reels - but wanted to give one a try.

Now I have it, and am clueless on how to best use it, and of course, there are no "How to" instructions.

I feel dumb asking, but figured this is a good place to ask a dumb question.

So, what's the best way to use it. What type of settings should I have with the drag/cast control knob/and the alarm "clicker"?

Should I leave my drag all the way loose until I cast, or until I get a bite, or should it stay set at the proper level the whole time?

What about the cast control knob? I assume this adds/decreases tension on the spool/reel when casting? What are the guidelines for using this?

And for the clicker - is there any functionality associated with this - or is it just for "sound" purposes only?

I've done some practice casting with it - and have created some pretty nice tangles. I know these reels require practice, but any pointers to set me in the right direction would be appreciated.

Thanks for the help (and hopefully, for not laughing at me.)
 

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ropiv,I'm not familiar with th specific reel you have but here's what I figgured out thru trial an error. ;)

Th clicker,this should only be used when spike fishing,you either set th clicker on an put th reel in free spool or set th drag to what fish you are targeting.When th fish hits it an starts to run(big fish :D )th clicker sounds off.

Th cast controlknob is prolly your spool tension. This controls how fast th line comes off an greatly affects th casting. Only trial an error can tell you where it should be set.That might explain your birdnest. ;)

As far as drag on casting it dosen't matter for a conv. as your thumb is controlling th spool prior to casting since you have it in freespool.

Sorry for being longwinded an hope this helps some.
 

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I will start.

1. Set the drag to about 1/2 the breaking strength of the line unless you are using a super braid in which case set it to something less than 1/2. When you go out set it and don't touch it. Many fish are lost by fools tightening their drags mid fight. When you get home loosen it for storage to save your drag washers.

2. The clicker should not be left on at all times. They are useful for trolling or leaving the reel in a rod holder (you hear the big ones) OR fishing live bait (i.e. cobia fishing with J-hooks) where you leave the reel in free spool wait for the fish to finish the first run on clicker count to 5 then set the hook. I guess you could do the same when fishing from a bank for catfish, etc. Once you get the hook set turn off the clicker.

3. The cast control knob.

a) The books all say that you adjust that such that by -- reeling the line up with the lure of the day attached and hold the pole parallel to the ground. Release the line and the spool should stop when the lure hits the ground or water.

b) So much for the book, when you are well practiced a loose cast control knob and a well trained thumb will out distance a knob that is adjusted by the book.

c) A slightly tightened cast control knob will reduce the number of backlashes at the cost of distance. I find it better to tighten it some at night when I can not see the lure/bait hit the water.

d) No matter how you adjust the cast control knob when you cast out and hit a bridge your thumb can not come down fast enough.

Good Luck and practice casting from different angles, sitting down, standing up, fliping from down low, overhead, side arm, etc. Casting is a bait caster is a skill that can be learned. As you practice loosen the CC knob as much as you can.

Edit. I almost forgot that reel may have internal breaks that slow the reel down during the high speed part of the cast. You might go on line and see if you can find a hand book about setting them. They will help you as you learn how to cast. I know that the Corsair series of reels has them.

Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Cdog and Tom. I spent many hours practicing Sunday afternoon. Hated it at first, but before the day was through, I was getting the hang of it. Only one really bad tangle. I think I might actually enjoy using it.
 

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I got a Shimano as well on my first surf rod a year ago - I embarassed myself on the piers for a few trips with nasty backlashes but once I got the hang of it they are few and far between. Theres nothing like the sound of ZZZZZ and the blister that forms on your thumb from a good cast.

Practice is essential though.
 
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