: Open Face Versus Level Winds.
11-26-2002, 07:51 AM
Heres a subject for us to kick to death for a while. I probably won't get to many arguments if I said, "level winds reels are best for both trolling and controlling walleye and bigger game fish species". Most will have line counters of some type and drag systems more refined than most open faces. But how about for casting/retrieveing purposes. I personally have been won over by the level winds for casting just about everything except jigs, and wonder just what type and how many of you guys use them versus open face. And in general, your feelings on the matter. Release the hounds.
11-26-2002, 10:43 AM
Ok, I'll chime in again because I liked a repsonse you had on another post.
First, a little background, I came over from the dark side of musky fishing well before moving to walleyes, level wind was in my blood. That said, I now spend more time fishing with open face spinning reels that anything else. My reasons are justified by these two thoughts:
1) My style of fishing is more of a finesse / precision angler versus the put the boards out and cover water with cranks. That's not to say that I don't do that or I don't see the light, I simply prefer to rig, jig, and finesse fish if given the option. I am not a tournament angler and I value my time and prefer to do something I find more enjoyable. I feel a spinning rod and reel provide me with a better platform for fishing my way. I prefer lighter line, and softer rods.
2) This is closely linked to the aforementioned reason, I think that there are fewer rod options in the casting style rods than there are for spinning rods. I grant that for trolling, boards, leadcore ect I use the same counters and level winds that others do, however for my style of fishing there are many more and better options in the open face style rods. I am a snob when it comes to my rods (hate to admit), either GLX or Legend Elites and in my experience there are fewer models in the casting line ups of these companies that will allow me to fish certain styles. There are a few exceptions, most seems to be more applicable to bass fisherman.
In summary, there is a time and place for each style, I think we will note a trend if we compare where people fish and the prefered style, I believe smaller lakes, structure fisherman, and precision anglers are going to lean towards open face. Open water, trollers, and crankbait fisherman will lean the opposite. Then again, who knows and maybe I'm wrong.
Best of luck, eyewall
11-26-2002, 12:47 PM
You sound like one savvy fisherman. As far as I'm concerned you are not wrong, but right on the money with everything you said. I to above all, love that (Hands On/Feel bite). Its almost an art form as far as I'm concerned, especially when verical jigging or quarter casting jigs. I belive nothing can do a better job of getting a sluggish or inactive walleye to bite than this method of fishing.
On the opposite page, I love some of the benefits that my level winds gives me while casting lures/plugs/cranks. Some being, virtually no line twist. Less goof-ups with line and bail mishaps while both casting and playing a nice fish. And the already mentioned, sensitive bail settings. And I guess the thing I really appreciate, is the fact that I can fish and catch really BIG fish with the same small reel and outfit I use for everything else. Case in Point: I catch 25 pound King Salmon on my little Balck Max Abu-Garcia 3000 spooled with 30 pound Rip-Cord and mounted on a 6 foot Berkley Roughneck rod in the fall. And simply switch to 12 pound Big Game to cast for walleye in the spring or fall with cranks. And never use more than 150 yards of each line to do either. Theres other benefits, but I'll leave some room for discussion.
11-26-2002, 05:10 PM
out of most everyone i know/fish with i'm the "odd one"
except for trolling/bottom bouncing/polelining, i use spinning, less wrist strain (weight hanging on the bottom side of the rod, expecially when jigging for hours), easier casting into the wind, no over runs, easier drag adjusting while fighting large fish in current ( for me anyways). i have gone to nothing but braided line (mostly 20lb test/8lb dia)my drags have never let me down...i tie mono leaders on when needed. i (me)can cast father, more accurately, skip baits, work top water baits better, can keep the line over my finger easier (again less strain)for sensitvity, while fighting large/tough fish, spinning allows the rod handle to be under your arm for more leverage and better control and hook sets. free spool a jig to the bottom faster than a flippin switch.
but that's me....
now the "can of worms" can open :)
11-26-2002, 06:05 PM
I too prefer an open face reel.I like to vertical jig more than anything and I sure like the finger on the line and a sensitive rod.But man I've had some wrecks with this set-up.Sometimes the line will not catch in the bail just right and either open it up or the line will just flip around the spool and not gain an inch.
I usually go to level winds when slabbing(3/4 oz. and above) or when using bigger cranks or trolling.I think when casting jigs an open face is a must.I would have to say 75% of my fishing is done with an open face reel.
That being said... I think there is one more combination I would like to try.This would be a 7ft. medium rod where the eyes rotate from the top side near the handle to the bottom side at the tip.My nephew won a custom rod like this and I could not believe the sensitivity.I'd like to try a rod like this with one of my accurist level wind reels.I think this would give you the feel and sensitivity of most spinning rods with the ability to use a good level wind.Maybe some of you have this set-up already and can give us some input.
11-26-2002, 06:19 PM
No worms in this can Ebijac.
All your points are very good and valid. And I personally never thought I'd learn how, like, and use level winds myself. But just about everything you mentioned likeing about open faced reels can happen with level winds. The professional overruns have become very rare with me. The magnetic break adjustments on modern level winds are something else. My accuracy with the level wind has also become almost unreal. Its really a feel/weight thing. When playing BIG/STRONG fish like a river King, I put the hadle in my belly and hold the rod just above the reel. I haven't quite got the hang of underhanding a lure under a dock or trees yet, but don't ever see me needing that manuver. I truly love my 6 1/2 foot IM6-Loomis that was custom made for me by a close friend some 14 years ago. This rod teamed with my ancient Cardinal 3 has boxed many a walleye together. But I would lose my open face in a hurry, if I ever found a level wind that I could toss 1/4 and 1/16 ounce jigs any distance with.
Comparing the two is like saying which is the better golf club, a driver or a putter. It all depends on the situation. Personally, I prefer to use my level winds when the opportunity is right. But there are times when one style of level wind is more appropriate than another. Trolling vs. casting for instance. Then there are times when the open face is more appropriate. Like when your using light weight jigs or spinners.
11-27-2002, 02:09 PM
I personally perfer the Driver....seems like I cant get any distance with my putter....but on the other hand my touch around the greens is not good with the driver and I cant get any backspin on that 100 yd shot with either club....only thing I can think of that will help is more BEER.
11-28-2002, 10:08 AM
Walleye Express- Why not use your level winds verticle jigging? I use My low profile Abu Royal Extreme jigging so I can switch hands (arms ) during the day. Loaded with 8lb. Grn. Fireline, it handles jigs down to 1/8 but that is verticle, not casting. Teamed with a medium action 7` rod, it`s a sweet combo. For what it`s worth, I throw 1/4 oz. jigs with 12lb. mono in My local River. Real shallow, mostly rock and gravel- quite swift. The 12lb. slows the sink rate and I quit donating so many jigs while wading and the Eyes don`t mind the heavyier line either. My .02- Bob WC#253. PS- That Abu also has a flippin` switch, must have for jigging!
11-28-2002, 10:51 AM
I did indeed try that for a season or two. All my level winds have the thumb release/casting bar. Great indeed for casting and retrieving. But I seemed to have some difficulty keping my BIG thumbs from depressing it when virticle jigging and setting the hook. Plus when your drifting along on the Tittabawassee/Saginaw, often the bottom both comes up or goes down in sharp/short distances. Of course simply pulling out the needed extra line or reeling in some on the level winds wasn't that hard. You simply adjusted the drag a little on the loose side. But re-adjusting them when a nice fish was on seemed weird and awkward, becasue the star drags are almost always on the right side of the reel. With the open faces, I simply palm the spool in an emergency situation. In other words, it didn't work for me.