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  1. #1
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    Nov 2015
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    Default Clutch or backwind

    I have a few reels all of which from memory have a backwind facility. However I have never used it when playing a fish and only rarely when releasing line when rebaiting. I automatically go to the drag, fighting drag on a few Shimano reels and would never start backwinding.

    Am I missing out on a better technique either for all occasions or just a few and if the latter which circumstances would justify its use?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Clutch or backwind

    In the days pre-carp, and with many unlikely to encounter a barbel, backwinding was the norm for match anglers and most of us fishing for small to medium size fish. For a long chunk of my fishing life, I'd have a drag set to reduce the chance of cracking off on the strike with very light line and a fish a bit bigger than normal, or one that was moving in the opposite direction as you struck, but everything else was dealt with by backwinding. That's still largely what I prefer.

    With bigger fish - all the carp around these days, and plenty of big barbel in some waters - it's a different picture, and the drag is more useful with fish that run hard or fight more stubbornly near the net and need more heavy-handed playing. I pay a lot more attention to setting, adjusting and using the drag, but backwinding still plays a part.

    I'm guessing some anglers use their drag a lot more than I do. For instance, some are happy with reels that can't be backwound, and that's a no-no for me. And many say how much better drags are these days, whereas I've never had problems with reel drags in the past or felt especially impressed by the progress claimed. ( Although I do like the Shimano Fightin' Drag system)

    Perhaps it's also true ,although this is just an idea, that some anglers are more "technicist" than others, setting and adjusting their drags minutely by x numbers of clicks and making full use of their high-spec reels; others, and I'm probably one, go more with a "good-enough" drag, and rely on feel and a combination of backwinding and drag and finger pressure on the turning spool.

    I don't have any fs reels with no backwind, but I do use cf reels with no drag.

    I expect there'll be some very different answers, according to species and fishing style.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
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    Default Re: Clutch or backwind

    Quote Originally Posted by mikench View Post
    I have a few reels all of which from memory have a backwind facility. However I have never used it when playing a fish and only rarely when releasing line when rebaiting. I automatically go to the drag, fighting drag on a few Shimano reels and would never start backwinding.

    Am I missing out on a better technique either for all occasions or just a few and if the latter which circumstances would justify its use?
    Don’t all fixed spool reels have a backwinding facility, you just flip the anti-reverse off? I tend to buy decent reels with front drags and use the drag for what it’s designed for. If I was using the vintage gear beloved of some anglers, like Ambidexes, etc then I’d definitely be backwinding as the drags are cack.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
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    Oxford
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    Default Re: Clutch or backwind

    I use the drag all the time. I suppose I should try back winding when I'm trotting lures downstream but leaving the bail arm open works perfectly well. When playing fish back winding must surely make a break off more likely as reacting to a sudden tug must be slower than the automatic reaction of the drag?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    on the move
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    2,425

    Default Re: Clutch or backwind

    I use both methods mainly because I started fishing at a time when reels were not that good. I remember the front drag on Mitchells would jam up and I went over to rear drag.
    Now all the reels I have bought over the last 10 or so years my preference is for front drag over rear. I find them easier to use and set.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Leicestershire
    Posts
    785

    Default Re: Clutch or backwind

    I very very rarely backwind, I now always set my clutch on the light side and just use my finger to give extra pressure if required. I much prefer FD reels to RD.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
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    Cheshire
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    Default Re: Clutch or backwind

    I do both but that's largely due to me not being quick enough to switch the backwind off or underestimating the size of the fish. That's not to say it's the best way, horses for courses. I'm not comfortable putting a lot of pressure on fish but it does lose me fish in snaggy situations as you know. In theory using the drag can induce line twist but if you're not having problems, stick with what you know. That said I don't think I've ever heard your drag going!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    South East England
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    Default Re: Clutch or backwind

    I always back-wind, just cannot get on with those drag systems, they can fail sometimes. back winding is instant, never fails, and as I do it all the time I can feel when its about right, how much etc, adjust speedily as I go along with whatever the fish is doing and I am playing the fish relying on me and not engineering to do the job, not that I am bothered by that; just feel I have more control. Mind you, it might be different if I was angling for really big fish like carp or catfish, I can see where back winding might not work or be enough.
    Last edited by markg; 06-04-2020 at 09:59.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
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    Default Re: Clutch or backwind

    Quote Originally Posted by wetthrough View Post
    That said I don't think I've ever heard your drag going!
    I blame tiddlers for that or blanking.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Leicestershire
    Posts
    785

    Default Re: Clutch or backwind

    Quote Originally Posted by mikench View Post
    I blame tiddlers for that or blanking.
    Set your clutch light enough and even a 4oz Roach will give you a run Clutch or backwind

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