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#12516540 - 11/26/17 07:57 AM Best starter set for toddler
TMcCoy Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 03/09/08
Posts: 4
Loc: TX, Hopkins County, Sulphur Sp...
Hi fellow anglers. I have been blessed. My 2-year-old daughter saw the rod and reels in the shed and asked, “We play fishing pole?” Of course, I was quick to drop what I was doing and tie on a hookless lure and begin casting so she could retrieve it. She thought it was great fun. To kindle and grow the interest, I want to get her her owns tackle for Christmas. However, I want to get something that will grow with her, and am willing to pay a bit more for the investment. The character rod and reel combos seem like a waste. Any suggestions?

Also, I found this one on Amazon as one of the bestsellers. Any experience with this reel?

Zebco ZO2PRO

Thank you in advance.

Truly,

Todd
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Todd McCoy
Loving Living in Big Lake Country

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#12516910 - 11/26/17 02:57 PM Re: Best starter set for toddler [Re: TMcCoy]
Big Swimbait Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 02/01/14
Posts: 555
Loc: Irving
While the Omega is an excellent reel for youngsters (heck, I know a bunch of adults who use it), it might be too heavy for a 2 year old. I just took 6 grandkids to Blue Gill Cabins. Only the 10 year old (the oldest) has fished more than once, so he used a spinning set up. For the others, I bought the Zebco Splash reel with the matching 5 ft rod at Walmart. After about 150+ bluegill I can say they performed flawlessly. Total investment was less than $15 ea. As they get older and I am sure of their interest, I will upgrade accordingly.
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Take a kid fishing.

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#12517339 - 11/26/17 08:33 PM Re: Best starter set for toddler [Re: TMcCoy]
TMcCoy Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 03/09/08
Posts: 4
Loc: TX, Hopkins County, Sulphur Sp...
Thanks Big Swimbait. I’ll check those out.

Truly,

TMcCoy
_________________________
Todd McCoy
Loving Living in Big Lake Country

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#12520641 - 11/29/17 05:59 PM Re: Best starter set for toddler [Re: TMcCoy]
Monkeypuncher Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 07/12/17
Posts: 77
Loc: Cedar Creek Lake
I would venture to guess that most of us started with a zebco reel. Anytime I see one it brings a smile to my face remembering simple fishing trips.

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#12525516 - 12/03/17 04:27 PM Re: Best starter set for toddler [Re: TMcCoy]
Searsay Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 07/26/12
Posts: 234
Loc: Lewisville TX
Todd- my son is now 5 and uses that reel for a perfect fit - though it is a little on the large side for a 2 year old - it is useable and by far better/easier for useable drag & casting. I plan on buying a second this year for my daughter who will be two in February.

It is about half the size of a "normal" zebco. Has worked with both braid and mono.

I currently have it paired with a 4.5' uglystick (easier for him to cast/manage) that I found for $25. When I setup my daughter she'll get that one and (since he's proven he can manage not to break the tip) he'll move up to a 5 or 6 medium-light fast for about $40-$60


Edited by Searsay (12/03/17 04:33 PM)
Edit Reason: Added pole info

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#12529674 - 12/06/17 09:30 PM Re: Best starter set for toddler [Re: TMcCoy]
Gamblinman Online   content
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 11/26/02
Posts: 3041
Loc: Yantis, TX
Snoopy Rod.
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#12530700 - 12/07/17 04:44 PM Re: Best starter set for toddler [Re: TMcCoy]
pavlaugh Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 09/16/17
Posts: 29
I have a six-year-old and three-year-old; the former has been fishing with me regularly for about a year and the latter is just starting sometimes. For kids in the two to three year-old range, I'd go with one of the basic small spincast combos you can get at Wal-Mart and resign yourself to having them use it for only a year or two. Or, just stick with your own light tackle spinning equipment and hand the rod to them when it's time to reel in. My six-year-old still doesn't quite grasp how to cast without getting everything tangled up or nearly hooking someone in the vicinity (regardless of whether it's spincast or spinning).

My approach has been to focus on getting them into fishing by having them reel in some fish for a few years, then worry about getting them proper equipment at a later time. I tried starting off my older kid with a spincast reel and teaching him how to cast it, but now I just stick with cheap spinning combos and I'll help them learn casting when they are a bit older and more dexterous.

I wouldn't want to put anything worth $60+ into the hands of a two-year-old. Heck, my six-year-old just broke one of my rods last week when carrying it and the tip stubbed the ground. Sure helps me keep my calm in that situation when I know that all I give him are $10 combos! smile


Edited by pavlaugh (12/07/17 04:45 PM)

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#12531536 - 12/08/17 11:04 AM Re: Best starter set for toddler [Re: TMcCoy]
Searsay Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 07/26/12
Posts: 234
Loc: Lewisville TX
I go with cheap rods for the reasons you mention above Pavlaugh - but after trying with the cheaper reels i went with the Zebco ZO2PRO - the cheaper reels made it impossible for him (my son now 5) to even consistently cast/reel in anything and forget about drag options - with listed reel my son was actually able to cast somewhat even at 3 years of age, though not as consistently, or as far, or with any kind of consistent aim - also until recently heavy lures and most treble-hooks were avoided due to possible collateral damage. I put a small rod float on his rig when we are on the boat to avoid loss (though it has only gone over twice).

You are right though - I agree with you Pavlaugh on most expense and effort points - just that i found that the cheaper reels frustrated both him & me - and the risk of loss/damage on a reel is much lower than that of a rod - so for me at least it was worth the extra expense - because it has let him enjoy fishing and catch more!

I was out yesterday with him trout fishing the flower mound stocking. Fish were biting - i didn't even get to put my line in the water because I was to busy helping my son pull fish off his hooks. On his pole, for a good cast with the listed reel, my 5 year old was able to cast 30-40 feet (over halfway across the pond) with 1/24(or 1/16 smallest weight i had) split and a mousetail (though his average was closer to 20-25) - was freaking amazing. The same setup on a 6.6' pole with abu garcia revo spinning reel & line was getting same max distance for about 3x the cost (had fished the night before - so actually have a good comparison).


Edited by Searsay (12/08/17 11:04 AM)

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