Most helpful positive review
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Great value, but no instructons are available. Here are some tips.
on June 24, 2013
I bought the Spiderman version of this rod and reel combo for my 4-1/2 year old for around $14. My kids was so excited to get it, and it has totally gotten him into fishing. The set comes with a 2.5-foot rod and baitcast reel. All of the Shakespeare children's rod/reel combos are the same - Disney Princess, Mickey, Cars, Toy Story, Star Wars, etc.), although some of them include a tackle kit with hooks, lures, etc.
This is a great value for the price. The reel comes pre-wound with 6-lb. test monofilament fishing line. It is a great combo for catching panfish (sunfish, blue gills, crappies, pumpkinseeds, etc.) from a dock or a boat. Some kids have caught huge lunkers with these rods. The kit comes with a rubber plug for practice casting. After some practice, my kid was casting 50-60 feet, and it is a serviceable combo even for an adult.
However, there are no instructions to be found on the package or online, and these reels are prone to tangle if you don't know what you are doing.
Here is what I would do:
(1) The hole in the practice plug is going to tear. Reinforce it with some superglue or duct tape. Don't glue the hole closed!
(2) Be sure to adjust the drag (the plus-minus dial on the reel) to a light setting. You should hear some clicking when you pull on the line, and there should be just enough tension so you definitely feel it, but not enough that it is significantly harder to pull out line. If your kid gets a fish on the line, you might need to quickly increase the drag to tire the fish and make sure you don't run out of line. The drawback of spincast reels is that they don't hold much line, and these are smaller reels.
(3) Unless you carry pliers, consider replacing the hex nut inside the reel with a small wing nut. To do this, unscrew the top cover of the reel. The round silver thing is the pickup housing assembly/winding cup. The tiny hex nut on top in the middle of the round silver thing should be replaced with a wing nut. Invariably, some line will get tangled underneath the pickup housing assembly, and you are going to have to open up the reel - many times. When you open it up, just cut away all the tangled line, rethread the line through the cover and the guides on the rod, and retie the hook. Keep any extra wing nuts in your tackle box.
(4) To prevent tangles, remind your kid to wind up the slack after they cast, and whenever the wind or a fish causes there to be slack.
(5) Remember to make it fun for the kids! They don't care about how big the fish is, just whether they catch any!