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My new Bass Pro Summer catalog came and the first page it fell open to was the Shimano Calais with the digital control braking system ($649 - but I won't pay a penny over $639 for a baitcaster:eek:!!).

I remember when these came out a few years ago the promise was huge improvements in casting distance. I've never seen one in person. Has anybody ever tried one? Are they noticeably different from regular Calais?
 

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I really didn't see a huge improvement in my casting when when I tried one out but I did blow mountain dew all over the boat when my buddy told me how much he paid for it!:D J/k In all seriousness you'd have to be a hopeless case to justify spending that kind of money to avoid learning how to cast properly. Distance is more a function of how fast the spool is spinning rather than how you slow the spool down. What I'm trying to say is if you fish often then you will become a good enough caster that you won't benefit much from the slight gain in distance that digital spool braking would probably be able to achieve. Digital control just becomes an expensive crutch that is more likely to cost you fish than gain you fish. Better to learn to cast something that you could replace several of and you won't be dependant on one reel. Most tournament bass fishermen carry 4-6 outfits each already rigged and all rigged differently. Usually the reels are similar except for gear ratios. The rods are the Big story.
 

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Red X Angler
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I never could get the hang of a baitcaster.. I'll just stick to spinning reels. I have a Penn baitcast for trolling/catfishing from the boat and that's it.
 

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Jeff, Basically what the dc controls do is instantaneously change the amount of braking applied to the spool according to input it recieves during the cast. Ideally you never backlash and you get maximum distance per amount of effort. Normally you want to be far enough back fromthe bank not to spook the fish with the boat, but not so far that that you can't make your bait or lure land softly if you are pounding the banks. Rarely are you going to need all the distance you can muster. Maybe on occasion when throwing to schooling fish you might wish for that extra distance.
 

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I don't think these reels are intended for people who aren't good with a baitcaster! In fact, most of the high-end reels, probably including the few DCs out there, it takes a well-trained thumb to be able to use them efficiently. Some shops even advise customers to avoid certain reels of this caliber unless you are well-experienced with baitcasting (I've seen this with the Daiwa Steeze).

Most people will never be able to justify half grand on a reel, but the people that do aren't buying it because they can't cast far enough. They just want every last ounce of refinement available. They probably want every slight advantage they can get, but it's definitely not worth the money to most.

Myself, $650 is way too much. But just 2 years ago $300 was way too much for me. Now I can't find a reel I want for much less than that. Guess I'm becoming reel snob!
 
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