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Bailless reel! - No big deal

by Les Albjerg
(Caldwell, Idaho)

No Bail

No Bail

The surgery on the Garcia Michelle 309 was a success. I thought it might be good to start a new thread. St. Claire and Robinson have revolutionized my spin fishing! The principles in both of these books apply beyond just fine line fishing.

It was with fear and trepidation that I cut the bail off. This morning I took out the Tenyru Rayz RZ39LL with the Michelle 309 and the Daiwa Iprimi 60XUL-4 with the Shimano Cardiff 1000SHG for some testing. It was a fun morning!

First, I am amazed at how you really don't need the bail on your spinning reel. I'm still very much a beginner, but it took less than 5 minutes to get used to not having the bail. Using the forefinger to replace the bail isn't that hard. I was able to slip the line easily off the roller in preparation for the cast. I have a lot more to learn about feathering the line as it comes off, but catching the line and stopping the cast was much easier than I thought it would be! Curling the finger under was an easy way to get the roller to engage the line and then reeling in the line was the same as if the bail was there!

I then used my new love, the Iprimi with the Cardiff. The casting wasn't much different. I would say the bail makes it more convenient, and I am not going to cut the bail off of my Cardiff. That said, it is much much easier to feather the line without the bail. The Garcia Mitchell is a nice real. The advancements of the newer reels in smoothness in everything!

The Tenyru Rayz RZ39LL is one of my favorite stream rods. I call it "The Mighty Mite." If I remember right, the ones Chris has in stock are the last of the bunch. This 3 foot nine inch rod is one of the funnest rods I have! It casts so well and carries the fight of the fish into the hand like no other! It performs like a much longer rod!

I'm really glad I have a Garcia-Mitchell 409 coming today. The retrieve on the 309 is slow! The 409 is the high speed version of the 309. This experiment still has a ways to go. I'm building a fiberglass rod to go with the Garcia-Mitchell reels. I would encourage those who are adventurous to get a vintage reel and cut the bail off. The older reels can't be converted from left to right, so make sure you buy the right one! For us lefties, the only reels that I have found that work are the Mitchell 309 and 409. For the right hand folks there is the Alcedo Micron, the Orvis 50A and the Mitchell 308 and 408. I do like my modern reels, but fishing bailess really does have its advantages and I am looking forward to even more exploration. It is truly finesse!

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Warning:

The hooks are sharp.
The coffee's hot.
The fish are slippery when wet.