Multiroll / Baitcastle
Multirolls are on the rise – at least if you believe the sales figures. But what is actually behind these trendy looking rolls?
In the German-speaking world, multi-reels are the large, round models that are particularly familiar from saltwater fishing. Such reels must be able to withstand high loads during a drill and therefore also be correspondingly robust.
Smaller models used for spin fishing are known as Baitcaster. These reels were developed in the USA especially for black bass fishing. The principle is the same and in the meantime smaller models are also available in round. In contrast to the large multi-reels, a Baitcaster can also be cast far.
This is how a multi reel is built up
In contrast to the classic stationary reel, the reel spool of a multi reel rotates on its own axis, which is why a bit more practice in handling the reel is required. In return it allows extremely accurate casting, as the line is wound directly into the hand. In addition, the angler has a direct connection to the lure and thus complete control over the lure.
On one side of a multi reel there is usually the crank (on baitcasters these are usually double cranks) and the star brake, as well as any backstop. Unlike with stationary rolls, the crank cannot be simply repositioned. So left-handed people have to buy a corresponding model from the beginning. And to put an end to the confusion: right-handed people have to buy a left-handed model because they crank with their left hand, and vice versa. The crank is usually a lot shorter than that of a stationary roller to allow for more powerful turning.
The case of high quality multi reels is CNC machined from a single block of aluminum. The cord guide is ideally made of titanium. Deep sea models can also have a so-called “line-counter”, a depth counter.
The size of a multi reel is indicated by the line capacity, the weight in ounces.
Where can a multi reel be used
Even though multi reels were originally developed for trolling and are especially popular in sea fishing, they can also score more and more points in vertical fishing and spin fishing.
There is nothing to stop vertical fishing with a stationary reel. However, a baitcaster or multi reel offers a decisive advantage here: it allows the line to be released at the push of a button. Especially in Europe, the use of baitcasters for vertical fishing has therefore become widely accepted. When using a multi reel, the rod should have a trigger handle and rings that fit tightly to the rod blank if possible.
Casting with a multi-reel is easier the heavier the lure is. Only very high quality reels have the right barrel to position even light lures far away. It should be added that when casting, the lure should be closer to the rod tip than when casting with a stationary reel.
Advantages and disadvantages of multi-reels compared to stationary reels
- In spin fishing the wrists are less stressed when using a multi reel.
- Stationary reels fit all rods, multi-reels should be built on rods with trigger handle and tight ringing.
- Stationary reels normally have a single brake which is easy to handle. Since a multi reel has several brake systems, their handling is a bit more complicated.
- Greater casting distance is easier to achieve with a stationary reel, but the lure flies much less stable. With a multi reel more precise casts are possible, because the lure is stabilized in flight.
- With a stationary reel even very light lures can be cast without problems, because the line is released without resistance. A multi reel on the other hand always requires a minimum weight.
- In case of headwind, multi-reels are not recommended, as there is a danger of wigging. Stationary reels have no problems under such conditions.
- When using multirolls there is direct bait contact, which is not the case with a stationary reel.
- When fishing vertically, the multi reel can score points, as line is released at the push of a button, whereas with a stationary reel manual work is required: Fold down the bail, release line, close bail.
- Compared to stationary reels, multi-reels are more robust and compact. They do not have any sensitive details, such as catch handles, which can easily be damaged.
The right cord for multi reels
Even though monofilament cord is often recommended for multi reels: If you are experienced and value direct contact with the fish, you will use braided line and combine it with a fluorocarbon or monofilament leader. This will provide the necessary stretch during the fight.
The thinner the line is chosen, the softer the brake must be adjusted. On the other hand, with a thinner line you benefit from further dignity and less chafing.
If you are still inexperienced with the multi reel, you should first choose monofilament. Nylon line throws much easier and forms fewer wigs. If wigs are formed, they are much uglier than braided line because of the memory effect. The best choice is a line without memory effect. This is a bit more expensive, but avoids additional line chaos.
If you have some experience with casting and adjusting the multi reel, you can switch to braided line. If you brake with your thumb in time when casting, no wigs will form.
The complex brakes of a multi reel
Basically every multi reel has several brake systems, which have to be adjusted correctly to guarantee a smooth functioning of the reel. One brake system acts against the over rotation of the reel during ejection and can function either via small magnets or via centrifugal force, depending on the manufacturer and price class. With both systems the spool is braked in such a way that the lure constantly pulls line from the reel while casting, but the spool does not overwind.
With reels that have a centrifugal system, such as most Shimano models, larger casts can be achieved and beginner’s mistakes are easier to make. A magnetic system, as we know it from Daiwa rolls, on the other hand, can be adjusted more easily and can therefore score points for special throws.
Every multi reel has a second mechanical brake. Mostly this is a button behind the star brake, with which the reel can be braked additionally. This brake can also be used as a so-called “emergency brake”. The freewheel button is pressed and with the thumb the cord drum is then braked in a controlled manner.
As a combat brake, multi reels are equipped with either a star brake or a lever drag. With the star drag, you can adjust how much resistance the fish faces during the fight by simply turning it. With Lever Drag the brake is inside the reel and is activated by pressing the lever. At the same time this sliding brake also regulates the freewheel. Especially with strong target fish the latter is preferred, as it does not heat up as much as a star brake.
To set a multi-roller braking system correctly, in the case of rollers with centrifugal brakes, the side cover is opened and the braking force is controlled via the corresponding adjustable pins. If the pins are inserted, the centrifugal force weight is switched off. One or two activated centrifugal weights are usually sufficient for common bait weights. Reels with magnetic brake usually have a wheel with numbers on the side cover, by which the brake is regulated.
If the lure pulls line from the reel with the rod held horizontally and the freewheel activated until it reaches the bottom, the brakes are correctly adjusted.
What to pay attention to with the transmission ratio of multi reels
The transmission ratio is indicated in crank revolutions for multi reels. How much line is taken in per revolution therefore depends on the diameter of the spool. Fast models, which reel in a lot of line per revolution, are often used when fishing in strong currents and therefore need to be reeled in quickly. On the other hand, if you prefer to fish close to the bottom, a slower gear ratio is a good choice. Slower reels usually have more power.
How to maintain a multi reel
This is where the opinions differ. Some people say that maintenance of a multi-roller is simple and that it is quite sufficient at longer intervals. Others say that multi-rolls require more frequent and more elaborate maintenance sessions due to their complex mechanisms.
Let’s get one thing straight away: A spinning reel casts quite well even when it is not well maintained. With a multi-reel, it is immediately noticeable when it needs to be oiled. Therefore, a few drops of oil should be added to the ball bearings at regular intervals. Also the line guide has to be greased again and again to run smoothly. As a rule, it can be said that line guides and ball bearings should be regreased every three to four months when fishing weekly. Ideally, the complete interior should be cleaned and re-greased on an annual basis.