During the lockdown I stumbled onto something called BFS, which stands for Bait Finesse System that I would like to share:
BFS was developed in Japan at first to target bass, but it evolved... and below is an extract from a website that I found after I started researching the topic. For a while I have been of the opinion that I might be fishing with too heavy gear (I'm talking about the "normal", standard bass tackle) and I don't feel the fight of the fish. With bass tackle we hook'em and reel'em in....
I resorted to buying a fly fishing setup with the idea to fly fish for bass and other species. I can definitely state that the fight with a yellowfish on a fly rod in a river is a lot of fun! Here is that extract on BFS:
"I have read that it was developed to catch largemouth bass. Because of intense fishing pressure, bass became harder to catch with traditional lures. Smaller lures and lighter lines were still effective, and could be used in open water. With very light lures, though, existing rods and reels lacked the accuracy necessary for pitching around heavy cover. Manufacturers responded with reels and rods designed specifically to pitch lighter lures.
Although the Bait Finesse System was developed to catch bass, and purists would contend that it is strictly a bass fishing method, anglers in Japan started using BFS reels to fish for trout. Seeing a potential new market, rod manufacturers developed rods specifically designed for the light lines and light lures that BFS reels made possible. Different rods were designed for stocked trout in "areas" (managed pay-to-fish ponds) and wild trout in streams.
However, I have also read that it was developed to catch trout in streams because anglers who loved their baitcasters needed reels that would cast trout-sized lures and bass anglers later adopted it to finesse fishing for bass.
Which account is correct? I don't know. How we got here may not be as important as the fact that we did get here. There are very nice reels that can cast very light lures. That's really all that matters."
This seems like something I would like to try. Not only for bass, but also for trout and also yellowfish in the Vaalriver. Only thing is that a bit of specialised gear is required. A shallow spool baitcaster that will hold max about 60 meters of line, an ultra light rod and line between 2lb and 8lb breaking strain. This combination will enable you to accurately cast light lures, jigheads and plastics between 1 gram and 10 grams.
Most people will probably say just use ultra light spinning gear, but there is just something to fishing with a baitcaster that is different.
You can do this with extremely expensive JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) reels and rods, BUT wait...there is a budget option... I found a group on Facebook who focus on using the BFS system around the world for various species and they have used and tested the Chinese rods and reels for BFS from Aliexpress with great results.
There are also a couple of YouTube channels with a guy from Singapore, one from the US and a few from the UK who share their experiences and reviews on the various types of BFS tackle and BFS budget tackle.
Also not to keen on spinning when it comes to really accurate casting. I believe a bait-caster is a lot more accurate.
I think I would approach a company like ALX Rods who does a lot of custom builds and then chat to Alex as I am sure he has done many of these.
Reels can be another rabbit hole but I have seen quite a few reviews of BFS type reels. Even normal reel reviews sometimes has a bit of this angle in it. How well does it throw lighter lures?
I suppose there are upgrade options available to existing reels like these shallow spools and maybe get a hyper-tune done with high speeds bearings can be an option as well to improve the cast-ability with lighter lures.
Following this thread with keen interest. Would love to hear other opinions and experiences.