Fishing/Baitcaster

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Question
Hello Dan,

I just purchased my first baitcast reel a Quantum MT500CX. Unfortunitly when I recieved the reel it did not have any instructions with it, so I have no idea what all the knobs and buttons do, let alone set it up for casting properly. Could you refer me to a resource where I may be able to get the info. I have left a message with the company, but have not heard anything so far. Thanks for your time.

Ron

Answer
Ron,
The best way to go for the exact model is the company.  However, it may take a bit to get what you need, since some are a bit slow.

I have a contact for the promotional firm that works for the Quantum folk.  He is Gary Dollahon, and his email is gdollahon@broco.com.

I've also written an article in regards to this subject, and have pasted a copy, as follows:

DAN'S FISH ‘N' TALES®
“Learning Baitcasting”
By Dan Galusha
  Open water season is coming soon, and with it comes many anglers who are trying
their hands, for the first time, at learning how to use baitcasting equipment.  Many of these
people have been waiting since Christmas morning when they unwrapped their “dream
reel”.  However, after the first cast, which often produces a terrible backlash, it may seem
more like the dream has turned into a nightmare.  What is about to be taught will hopefully
keep it as a “dream”.
  Baitcasting is my main style of fishing.  I use it for casting, flipping and pitching,
but this article will only deal with the basics of casting.  Once a person has enough
experience with this equipment he/she will find how productive and accurate it can
become.  With enough practice you can even skip a lure under limbs, docks, and other
overhanging objects, but remember, this takes a lot of practice, and should not be
attempted for quite some time.
  I've taught a lot of people to use a baitcasting reel successfully.  First, get a
practice plug.  These usually come in a two-pack of yellow, 3/8 or 5/8 ounce plugs (South
Bend brand is the most commonly available).  
  The next thing to consider is line.  A limper line is very important for beginners.  I
started many years ago with 12 pound test Bass Flex (no longer in production), but
Trilene or Easy Cast would be good selections.  These are a little cheaper.  Don't learn
with the more expensive lines like Iron Silk or Spider Wire Stealth, although these will be
good once you have progressed further, and are casting without as many backlash
problems.
  Some reels have a line marked towards the outer edge of the spool.  This is the
best area to which to fill it with line.  Too little or too much can cause problems.
  Rod choice is another consideration.  A good starting action is medium, with, what
is called, a fast tip.  I would suggest something like a 5'6” Lightning Rod.  Out of the 8
casting combinations I use 3 are these shorter rods, while the others are two-handed 6' or
6'6” models.
  The first thing to set on the reel is the spool tension.  Set this so that the lure/plug
will fall slowly to the ground and stop without further turning of the spool.  Now slightly
tighten the tension so that the rod tip has to be lightly jigged to drop the plug to the
ground.  This is a good setting at which to start learning to cast, and is a setting I use in
many cases.  In fact, when fishing extremely windy conditions I will set the tension just
tight enough so that the lure will not fall.
  With my Garcia reels (C4 and Ultra Cast models) there are only centrifugal
brakes/spool tension adjustments.  Some reels have magnetic cast control settings along
with the tension adjustment.  With these models, set the tension as described above, and
then turn the magnets to the highest setting.  There won't be much distance, but you will
not get a backlash that will test a person's temper.  As you feel more comfortable start
backing off the magnets to a lower setting.  You should be able to eventually cast with a
setting of 2 to 5, and turn them up with windy conditions.
  You may have heard the term “educated thumb” used in conjunction with
baitcasting.  That means you must learn to use your thumb to apply the proper amount of
pressure to the line when casting.  Too much, and the cast will not reach the distance, too
little, and the backlash comes.  This comes through practice, but once it is mastered the
accuracy obtaining from baitcasting is fantastic.  With the starting adjustments mentioned
above, you can allow your thumb to ride gently on the line, applying more pressure as the
lure/plug reaches the targeted area.  As the tension adjustment is turned down more thumb
pressure will be needed to control the flow and distance.  Once this stage is reached it
should be noticed how much more accurate you are becoming.
  The actual casting should be done with the wrist, and not the whole arm or elbow,
as many first think.  While holding the reel, with the thumb on the line or spool release
(usually a thumb bar), turn your wrist so that the reel handles are pointing up or down
(depending on if it is a right or left handed model).  Now the wrist can bend naturally.  In
this position you can aim the rod at the target to get accomplish better accuracy.
  Reel the lure/plug up to within 3 to 6 inches of the rod tip.  Bend your wrist back,
push the spool release, apply pressure on the line, snap the rod tip forward, while releasing
the line with a light lifting of the thumb as the rod tip hits a forward drive (about a 10 or
11 o'clock position).  There may be a little forearm movement, but try to use the wrist,
and rod tip to do most of the casting.  Ride the thumb lightly on the line, applying more
pressure as it nears the target area.
  A few years ago, while representing a rod/reel manufacturer at a sport show, a
gentleman came to me for advice on using a casting reel he had received as a gift.  The
information reported within this article is how it was told to him.  A couple of years later,
when I was again at the same sport show, this gentleman tracked me down in the middle
of the aisle.  At first I thought he was going to give me a punch, but instead he thanked me
for helping him learn how to use his casting equipment, and said he liked it so well that he
had purchased more.  He said before learning this way of using the reel he was ready to
throw it in the river.
  Hopefully what has been taught in this article will save some other reels from
becoming a pollution factor in our waters.  Just remember to read any manuals that come
with the reel, work with the adjustments, and practice as much as possible.
  If you have any questions, or want to check out other information, hop on the
Internet and visit the Dan's Fish ‘N' Tales® website at www.dansfishntales.com.  This site
also links to the Adventure Sports Outdoors website.
  Until next time, get out on the water, and enjoy a great day of fishing.

I hope this has helped, and if there are any other questions please do not hesitate to ask.

Best of fishing,
Dan

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Dan Galusha

Expertise

I can answer most questions on freshwater fishing, especially in the bass and panfish area, in both open water and ice. This includes how to rig and fish lures correctly, with a few tips along the way, fishing different types of structure and conditions, and searching to the right tackle. Along this same line I can answer questions regarding working in television fishing shows, of which I`ve received many questions while making appearances at outdoor shows, and in-store promotions.

Experience

My experience has spanned nearly 30 years in the outdoor media through magazines, newspapers, radio and television. Dan's Fish 'N' Tales has been the title of my column and radio/TV shows. I've also produced the PBS TV documentary - The World of Virgil Ward. Along this same line I've conducted seminars and made special appearances at outdoor shows and in-store promotions. My work has affiliated me with many fishing industry pro staffs, along with the prestigious Bassin' USA.

I was nominated to the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame, and the Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame.

In fishing awards I have 16 World Records, 4 World Angling Achievements, 3 Ozark Mountain Region Awards, and 121 state fish awards (combined Illinois and Arkansas).

There are 16 media awards combined in all of the above mentioned media outlets.

Along with working in fishing and the outdoor meida, I work in the maintenance department and forestry for the Scott County Conservation Board, which has me in the outdoors, and around lakes at all times.

Organizations
Board member of the Rock Island Conservation Club
Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers
National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame

Publications
Midwest Outdoors, Fishing Facts, Adventure Sports Outdoors, Big River Outdoors, Tennessee Valley Outdoors, On Deck, Fishing, Just Plains Bassin', Great America Outdoors, Angler Sports, Bassin', Milan Mirror, Bettendorf News.

Education/Credentials
Numerous fishing seminars.

Awards and Honors
Midwest Outdoors Readers Choice Awards - 5
AGLOW Crafts Awards (magazine, radio & TV) - 11
World Records - 16
State Fish Awards - 117
World Angling Achievements - 4
Ozark Mountain Region Fish Awards - 3
Nomination to the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame
Nomination to the Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame

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