Let’s Look Back: And Then Came Something New – Part 3

I used this Zebco closed face spinning reel for hundreds of my casting exhibitions around the world for many years.  Whatever reel you select for teaching a youngster, make certain it's sufficiently small enough to fit into their hands.  Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

I used this Zebco closed face spinning reel for hundreds of my casting exhibitions around the world for many years. Whatever reel you select for teaching a youngster, make certain it’s sufficiently small enough to fit into their hands. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

In my past two columns I’ve detailed a procedure that makes it easy for a youngster to learn how to use a closed face spinning reel.  I’d like to share a few additional thoughts in this third and final column dealing with the same subject.

One of the best ways to turn a child away from fishing for all time is to provide them with mismatched equipment. If you teach them the casting technique I’ve shared with you for the closed face spinning reel, by all means get them a lightweight rod to go with it.

Teach them how to use what you give them before you ever get near the water.  I have good reason for making that request.  I lived right on the shore of a popular bass and panfish lake for about 35 years.  It wasn’t unusual to hear some father yelling (at times even cursing) at the kids he had in his boat.

Much of the time the father’s anger was because the kids couldn’t handle their equipment to his satisfaction.  You can imagine how much fun that was for the kids.  You can also believe they will stay the heck away from future fishing trips if they possibly can.

If you’ve read my previous two columns you know I’ve recommended the Daiwa Goldcast GC80 or the Zebco Pro Staff closed face as a good choice for youngsters (I’m not sure the Zebco Pro Staff is still being marketed).  If you want your kids to go first class, one of the best of is a Diawa Goldcast.  These well made reels are available in three sizes.  Again, it’s the smallest of the three that is the best choice for a youngster.  The smallest is the Goldcast GC80.  It comes loaded with 75 yards of 8-pound test line.  The Daiwa Goldcast will cost you closer to $50 than $20.

Also keep a closed face spinning reel in mind if your wife, like mine, simply doesn’t have the desire to get neck deep in sports fishing.  Perhaps, again like mine, she likes to go now and then when the weather is warm and sunny.  When she does go she wants to catch her share of fish.  Most women, like youngsters, have small hands.  That’s where a smaller closed face again is a good choice.

I worked with this little guy for about 20 minutes and we were both happy with our results.  When we got finished he was casting like a pro.  Note where he has his left forefinger on the center of that closed face spinning reel.  It's controlling line with your left forefinger that lets you get accuracy with a closed face.  Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

I worked with this little guy for about 20 minutes and we were both happy with our results. When we got finished he was casting like a pro. Note where he has his left forefinger on the center of that closed face spinning reel. It’s controlling line with your left forefinger that lets you get accuracy with a closed face. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

A closed face is my wife’s favorite reel.  She isn’t interested in even trying anything else.  The small closed-face just “fits” her.  She’ll hold her own with anybody when it comes to putting panfish like crappie or bluegill in the boat.  Her ability to handle her closed face reel is the primary reason she can do it.

Both of the closed face reels I’ve recommended come already loaded with line. You can, of course, change line tests if you choose.  With today’s small diameter monofilaments you can go up to 10-pound test if you want.  I’ve loaded one of my wife’s reels with 10-pound mono.  She uses that one when she goes bass fishing with me.

I’ve been using closed face spinning reels in my casting demonstrations for a long, long time.  That’s about the only time I do use them.  They aren’t my favorite fishing tools and if you’re an experienced angler they probably aren’t yours.  But by golly they are great for kids, especially if you know how to teach them that left forefinger line control that I detailed in my previous columns.

If you’ve attended one of my casting demonstrations you’ve probably heard me say I can take any eight or nine year old with average coordination and have then casting well enough to go bass fishing within a half hour.  I can because the closed-face reel I’ll have them use is one they can handle.  All I need do is teach them that left forefinger line control and they’re in business.

As you can see, my wife caught this bass while using a closed face spinning reel and she's obviously happy about it.  She doesn't fish for bass a lot but when she does she won't use anything but a closed face spinning reel.  Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

As you can see, my wife caught this bass while using a closed face spinning reel and she’s obviously happy about it. She doesn’t fish for bass a lot but when she does she won’t use anything but a closed face spinning reel. Photo Stan Fagerstrom.

Got youngsters you want to get interested in fishing?  Study what you’ve just read. Check the previous two columns in the archives of my columns here.  I’ve had the wondrous good fortune to help thousands of young anglers get started in fishing over the past half-century.  Having had the right equipment to work with has been a great help. Where kids are concerned that’s been the closed-face spinning reel.

What has worked for me will work just as well for you and your little ones.  Good luck and may God bless you as you introduce your youngsters to the wondrous world of sports fishing.  You’ll never regret the time you spent doing it.

  • Jason Gee

    Great article. Thank you.