The United States Catfish Association Forum and Community banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I found a thread on this the other day, but it was back from 2009, so I’d just like some updated opinions to see if anyone’s has changed. And sorry I’m advance if this has been beat to death.

I just recently ordered two baitcast reels with bait clickers. I use circle hooks almost exclusively. My question to everyone is; will a circle hook still do it’s job running the reel free spool with the clicker on?
All I’m using the clicker for is an alarm. As soon as I hear it, I’ll switch the clicker off and engage the reel. Hopefully that will let the rod load up. I dont plan on letting the fish run with the bait for any real amount of time.
Iv heard a lot of people say that they miss a ton of fish in free spool. Can anyone shed any light on this for me? Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Winston, Indiana
Joined
·
4,127 Posts
Zach,
Circle hooks used with the clicker will work BUT.....
If you engage the clicker when a fish is running away, the sudden “stop” is the same as setting the hook which we know is not the thing to do.
So, by all means use the clicker if you need some kind of bite alarm or you don’t have very sturdy rod holders but thumb the spool to load the rod gently and then engage the reel.
Fishing this way is obviously not advisable if you want to set a bait close to a snag as by the time you react and everything tightens up, the fish will most likely be in the snag.

...W
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Zach,
Circle hooks used with the clicker will work BUT.....
If you engage the clicker when a fish is running away, the sudden “stop” is the same as setting the hook which we know is not the thing to do.
So, by all means use the clicker if you need some kind of bite alarm or you don’t have very sturdy rod holders but thumb the spool to load the rod gently and then engage the reel.
Fishing this way is obviously not advisable if you want to set a bait close to a snag as by the time you react and everything tightens up, the fish will most likely be in the snag.

...W
Thanks for the reply! That’s actually very good advice. I didn’t even think about the sudden stop of the reel being virtually the same as a hook set. I’ll be practicing!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
366 Posts
I had pretty decent success using clickers and circle hooks, heck I even had good success using circle hooks with very stiff rods and both of those scenarios aren’t supposed to work. However, I have gone back to J hooks when using a clicker because I never fully broke the habit of engaging the reel and setting the hook.
 

·
Registered
Winston, Indiana
Joined
·
4,127 Posts
I had pretty decent success using clickers and circle hooks, heck I even had good success using circle hooks with very stiff rods and both of those scenarios aren’t supposed to work. However, I have gone back to J hooks when using a clicker because I never fully broke the habit of engaging the reel and setting the hook.

Fishing is strange in that there’s really no right/wrong when it comes to catching so if something works for you it works; simple as that.
I guess the only real “rule” is you can’t catch ‘em unless you go!

...W
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
743 Posts
I use the circle hooks: 1.) tight lining (no or little current), 2.) with the free spool and clicker on (when that will hold the current), and, 3.) with the spool engaged and the drag set for the conditions (to hold fast current) and the clicker on. The last two...the clicker is used as an alarm only. In the case of 2.) I engage the spool and turn the clicker off and watch the rod tip, and in the case of 3.) I tighten the drag if need be and turn the clicker off and watch the rod tip. Works for me...your results may differ.
 

·
Registered
Stacee from Indiana
Joined
·
2,081 Posts
I use bait feeder spinning reels and use them when I can let the fish run with the bait or can't have a rod holder on the bank.
I miss more fish than a regular locked down rod but it's exciting when you hear the line peeling out.
Using bigger baits I like to use bait feeders so the fish has time to get the whole bait in there mouth.
Not used a bait clicker much since the gar play havoc on my bait cast reel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,388 Posts
I fish with my reels locked in and clickers on 98% of the time. Only exception is a portion of river me and a buddy fishes for flatties, blues and carp. Its mostly white water with a few calmer pools that we paddle out to and we fish anchored from a canoe. We can't fish locked in due to stability issues in the current. But we have caught some nice 40lb flatheads and 50lb blues and surprisingly we don't miss many cats, just the carp. However in lakes and all other rivers hookup ratio seems to drop drastically for me in free spool compared to locked in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
I don’t use them anymore except at night and only then if I’m far enough away from heavy cover. I’ve had some big ones rip out line and go under cover. I like circle hooks but it’s not the best set up for clickers in my opinion I like that tight line as fast as possible with that style hook!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
So here’s a follow up question for everybody that uses their clicker but not in free spool; how low are you setting your drag to ensure the fish hooks up, but still trips your clicker?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
743 Posts
So here’s a follow up question for everybody that uses their clicker but not in free spool; how low are you setting your drag to ensure the fish hooks up, but still trips your clicker?
If I am fishing current (from the bank), and the free spool/clicker wont hold the current, then I use the free spool on/drag on/clicker on... just enough to hold the weight and bait in place. I usually just set the drag after the weight and bait has settled and find that it will usually come in around 5 to 10 lbs of drag (depending on the flow of the current) which is just about what I set the drag at under still water or slow current conditions when I use free spool on/clicker on.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
10,464 Posts
Zach, I think the norm is to just have the reel locked down without using the clicker. That is a relative term but to me it is my normal drag that is set to keep the line from breaking but will also let a circle hook set itself.

If I am using a clicker, (which is very rare for me) the norm is to be in free spool. But in current sometimes the clicker will not hold the bait so then the reel is engaged and the drag is reduced to just enough to hold the bait in place. In this case the fish can run, the clicker will sound but the fish will not hook himself so at the proper time you would need to reel down on him to set the hook. This would best be done without picking up the rod at all until there is a strong bend in the rod and the hook is set.

Does this answer the question you are asking or am I messed up on what others are doing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,388 Posts
Where I can barely pull line out by hand if by trees, rocks and barges. A little less when I'm fishing flats. Small fish won't trip the clicker only the bigguns which is what I'm after anyway 90% of the reason I use clickers locked in is because I don't like staring at rods. I'm Normally working on stuff around the boat, cooking something on the grill, reading, playing on my phone or napping. The clicker just gives me a heads up. Sometimes you just hear the sound of the fish trying to rip the rod off the boat lol but when you hear the clicker there's no doubt a big girl grabbed it. From the bank I don't do well in freespoool if fishing current.

So here’s a follow up question for everybody that uses their clicker but not in free spool; how low are you setting your drag to ensure the fish hooks up, but still trips your clicker?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
I use the Whisker Seeker triple threat hooks because they can be used as circle hooks or like a traditional hook. During daylight I keep the reel engaged, and after dark I open spool with the clicker set. Works great for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Where I can barely pull line out by hand if by trees, rocks and barges. A little less when I'm fishing flats. Small fish won't trip the clicker only the bigguns which is what I'm after anyway 90% of the reason I use clickers locked in is because I don't like staring at rods. I'm Normally working on stuff around the boat, cooking something on the grill, reading, playing on my phone or napping. The clicker just gives me a heads up. Sometimes you just hear the sound of the fish trying to rip the rod off the boat lol but when you hear the clicker there's no doubt a big girl grabbed it. From the bank I don't do well in freespoool if fishing current.
The main reason I’m wondering if freespool/clicker is better or running a light drag is better with the clicker is because right now I’m limited to just pond fishing. There’s some 7+ pound channels in the waters I fish, but I also want the smaller cats to be able to trip the clicker as well. I like the clicker so I dont constantly have to watch rods. Especially at night. I like to be able to do other things while I wait.
I guess my best bet would be to just run freespool since there isn’t any current but then I guess I run the risk of a big one overrunning my reel.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top