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Help! Shimano Conquest backlash

by Tim

So I finally popped for a Shimano Conquest BFS reel and my lack of bait caster experience is really showing. I’m getting bird’s nests about every three casts. Can someone walk me through how you have the reel’s tension, magnets, and drag set up? Also any advice regarding casting technique would be greatly appreciated!

Comments for Help! Shimano Conquest backlash

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May 04, 2020
It is a balancing act!
by: Les Albjerg

Tim - First off the side-arm cast is the easiest to control and helps prevent backlash. The overhand cast can get you in trouble quickly!

It would help to know what rod and line you are using. What weight lure are you casting? As a beginner, you should settle on one weight to learn with.

You need to adjust the spool tension. Hold your pole straight out with the lure dangling. Release the line, and adjust the tension until the lure begins to fall. I then increase the tension just a little bit so the lure doesn't fall. This is a good starting point.

Keep your thumb right over the line. If you feel the line getting loose, abort the cast! It is a lot quicker to re-load and cast again than pick out a huge backlash! Along the same line, control the length of your cast with the thumb, not simply torpedoing the cast as far as you can.

Practice, Practice, Pactice! Realize the beauty of a baitcaster is accuracy, not crazy long casts. Watch the wind, casting into the wind can be more tricky. There are some good YouTube videos on instructing you in baitcasting. I have found them helpful.

May 04, 2020
Rod, line, practice lure
by: Tim

The rod is the Tenryu RZ56L-BC ... the "jerkin" model. Line is 4lb Varivas Bait Finess Nylon. I've been practicing in the yard with a 1/8 oz rooster tail with the hook removed, which - come to think of it - is slightly lighter than the rod is rated for, and lighter than what I actually bought to use with the rod. With the COVID crisis, I've been relegated to strictly yard practice and just grabbed what was lying around on my bench. I'll pull the hook off a heavier lure tomorrow and give it another try.

I've been adjusting tension as you described. I've started with the brake set at 50%. Do you cast with the reel on its side like some of the YouTube advice I'm seeing?

May 05, 2020
backlash tips
by: toan

Always starts off with the brakes at 100%. I use all 8 magnets for super ultralight lures. You then can ease off it a little at a time, until you're starting to get backlash, then increase brakes again and it should be good to go.

Do this for all the lure weight you're comfortable with.

Always thumb your spool before it hits the water, and slightly raise your rod tip during the cast.

My conquest bfs with KTF spool paired with a Trout One NS B50UL can cast 1/64th oz jig head with a 2 inch shad to 20-30 feet pretty accurately.

It's a very capable reel.

May 05, 2020
Nice Set-up
by: Les Albjerg

Tim - I'm fishing with the "Vintage" round reel, the Abu-Garcia Ambassadeur 2500c full of Japanese parts including a hybrid breaking system, air ceramic bearings and a very light spool just to mention the highlights! It is a good BFS reel now, but I doubt it is as good as a Conquest. I agree 100% with Toan. You need to start with the brake at the max, and then work your way down until you get a hint of backlash. Then you have a choice, tone down your cast or increase the braking action a notch or two. At least you have the ability to do it externally. I have to take my reel apart. Ah, the price I had to pay to imitate on of my YouTube heroes, Angler Saito. I have blogged about the build. Now that I have some time behind me, I am still glad I did it. I have a unique reel. That said, I didn't learn my lesson and have hot-rodded another reel! I did learn my lesson and ordered a Shimano Aldebaran BFS XG from Chris. One round reel is enough.

I would also recommend practicing with a lure more toward the heavy end of your range. It sounds wrong, but you need less braking with a heavier lure. You also get a better sense of how your rod is loading and unloading with a heavier lure. The wind affects the lures less. Last, relax, enjoy the learning process. You have a great set of tools.

May 19, 2020
Progress!
by: Tim

Thanks, everyone, for the advice. Things are going MUCH better. I set the brakes to max, took the hook off a Yo-Zuri 5g lure, and things improved immediately. I’ve been hitting my targets near and far, with low trajectory casts ... the reason o wanted a BC in the first place. I’ve gone from frustrated to happy. Now that our local stay at home order has been lifted, I can head out to try it on the river. I have a feeling I’m going to love fishing this combo.

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