Baitcasting centerpin with flies...hmmmmm

The jury is in - it's officially steelhead season. This means that most of my fishing for the winter will consist of small tributary creeks in Indiana trying not to fall down any icy banks. Now here is where my predicament comes into play.

Ever since I have gotten into this fly fishing thing, I have done nothing but fly fish as I truly enjoy it. For me, there is nothing more rewarding and fun than casting a fly rod and catching fish on a fly I tied. Is it always the most effective method? Definitely not, but I make it work. The Indiana creek system is a major kink in that plan though - at least the creeks I tend to fish.

They are very skinny, loaded with overhanging trees, and even more of them in the water. A friend of mine got into the centerpin thing last year and has absolutely been killing it. The problem I have with that is the whole bait thing. On the rare occasion that I am not slinging bugs, I am at least casting lures - never bait (except for a sucker rig when musky fishing). Call me a snob, but it's just not my thing. So this got me thinking....I could just centerpin but use flies instead of spawn!! Brilliant!!

Que in the next problem with this idea. A centerpin set up is not cheap by any stretch of the imagination and it's a major PITA to cast! Well, the one time I tried it at least was but I am sure the more you do it, the easier it is. So really the main problem is the cost. I just don't feel like dropping money on a rig I will only use in the winter...if I even like it. The advantage with a centerpin, in case you don't know, is that you can get incredibly long drag free drifts thanks to a fantastically free spinning spool.

This got me thinking, "What do I already have that has a super free spinning spool?" Oh yeah!! I have a nice Shimano Curado 301e7 just sitting there in my closet!! The spool spins with ease and should be able to accomplish the same thing! After a bit of research, it seems like this is actually pretty popular out west!

I am not sure if it will feel the same as catching them on a fly rod, but I will still be using flies I tied so it should be close. Or I may conclude that it just isn't rewarding at all and go back to dealing with flies in trees and frozen guides. Time will tell, but I am pretty excited to give it a shot!

Stay tuned for some updates!!


  1. If it don't work the way you want I'll take that Shimano off your hands.

    1. Naaa. I'll keep it around as a Justin Case reel.

    2. Realixed it is a 301 and not a 300. Hope the idea works.


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