GETTING YOUR BAIT TO THE BOTTOM
To use your reel, simply follow these steps:
1. Ensure your SPOOL RELEASE LEVER is in the forward, or retrieve position.
2. Place your hook and sinker over the rail of the boat, making sure it is free of other lines.
3. Place the rod on the boat's rail and hold the rod in your right hand
with your thumb pressing down on the line on the spool. You never,
ever want to take your thumb off the spool while the reel is in the rear
4. With your left hand, reach over and place the SPOOL RELEASE
LEVER in the rear (freespool) position while continuing to hold pressure
on the line on the spool with your right thumb. THIS IS VERY
5. Slowly release pressure on line with your thumb and the line will start
to unwind on the spool, releasing your bait to go to the bottom.
CONTINUE TO HOLD SOME PRESSURE ON THE LINE SPOOL WITH
YOUR THUMB until the weight gets to the bottom.
6. You can actually feel the weight hitting the bottom and the tension
will go off the line. When this happens, increase pressure with your thumb on the line.
7. Reach over with your left hand and move the SPOOL RELEASE LEVER to the forward "retrieve" position. You may now
take your thumb off the line.
8. Make about 5 cranks (complete revolutions of the handle) and sit and wait. Most party boat rods have a wood block epoxied
to the handkle just forward of the reel. This is it allow you to rest the rod on the rail, with the block on the boat side of the rail,
preventing the rod from being pulled over.
CATCHING FISH AND GETTING THEM TO THE BOAT
1. Fishermen are required to use what we call "CIRCLE HOOKS" now when fishing on the bottom (reef fish). They are
different from what you may be used to in freshwater where most people use a "J" hook and "set" (jerk the rod tip) the hook
when a fish bites.
2. With circle hooks, you wait until the fish bites and he will actually hook himself. You will feel the fish on your hook and the
rod tip will probaly be bounching.
3. When this happens, don't jerk, but just start reeling like mad. This will ensure the hook is set.
4. You can slow down on the reeling after you get him off the bottom, but just continue to reel in the fish.
5. Don't pump the rod or let any slack in the line, or the fish may get off.
6. If it is a large fish, the mate will gaff him for you. Otherwise, just pull
him in and swing him into the boat.
CLICK BUTTON: On the left side of the reel is a small "button" that can be slid forward and backward. This controls your
"clicker". When pushed forward, a lever hits a small metal strip as the reel is cranked, making a click sound. It is used mainly
while trolling to warn a fisherman that a fish is on and taking line. On party boats, you don't really need it and I would leave it in
the rear, or "OFF" position. Besides, most of the reels you will be using are old and probably won't work anyways.
A fishing reel's "drag" is essentially a brake for your line spool. You want to set your drag so that your "brake" will release (slip)
before the weight of the fish, or his pull, exceeds the strength of your
line. "Tightening" you drag means that you are putting more resistance
on the line spool, or applying the brake. Thus a fish trying to pull line
from your reel will meet increased resistance, allowing you to "fight" the
fish. A properly set drag will allow you to bring larger fish to be brought
to boat and landed, as the drag will "slip" below the breaking point of
People refer to "setting xx pounds of drag" on their reel. This means
they are adjusting their reel so that the drag (brake) will release when
xx pounds of pull is applied to the line. While hard core fishermen will
actually get a scale out and attach it to the end of their line and adjust
their drag to it, you don't really need to do that.
Just turn the wheel forward (clockwise) until you can retrieve your line
without slipping. If the reels begins to slip while reeling in a fish, you can
normally tighten the line to stop the slip. Most party boats use at least
60 lb line, and most fish you will be catching are less than 15 pounds.
HOW TO USE A CONVENTIONAL
SPOOL RELEASE LEVER: Two position lever that controls the spool clutch, enabling you to either release the line
or to retrieve the line. (Penn actually calls this the "eccentric lever" if you are interested)
RETRIEVE POSITION: In the forward RETRIEVE position, the reel
spool is engaged, connecting it to your cranking handle.This allows
you to retrieve your line (and fish) while winding the cranking handle
FREE SPOOL POSITION: In the rear FREE SPOOL position, the reel
spool is disengaged from the cranking handle and will turn freely on its
bearings. With a weight on the end of the line, the line will be pulled
rapidly from the spool.
STAR DRAG WHEEL
CLICKER BUTTON "OFF"
(PUSHED TO THE REAR)
CLLICKER BUTTON "ON"
(PUSHED TO THE FRONT)