I, myself, am just getting my baitcaster chops down, but there is one thing I have found made a big difference in my learning curve. What they say is true, a quality reel to learn on makes all the difference. I started out with a $69.95 low-profile baitcaster combo from Quantum. For the life of me, the only way I could cast that thing without whipping up a birds nest from hell was to throw a couple ounces of lead on and use braided line (I also learned about the same time to always use mono leaders with heavy braid). Even then, I was only successful about half the time. Before giving up on baitcasters, I decided to buy a nice Abu (7000iC3), and was amazed at what a difference it made. This is where I noticed something that I hadn't before. My cheap Quantum baitcaster had level wind, but it wasn't *synchronous* level wind. What that means is that, while it would reel line onto the spool all nice and neat, when I cast, the line guide didn't move. That meant that if the line guide ended up on the far left side of the spool, the next time I cast, the line coming off the spool could end up stopping on the far right side of the spool, causing the line to be wound back onto the spool by immediately running from one side to the other across the spool before starting a uniform winding again. Like I said, it's a cheap reel to begin with, but I do think that the erratic winding of the line over a few casts only served to compound the problems I was having. I have little to no trouble with the 7000. I know I'll never buy a cheap reel again. Hope this is helpful to someone.