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Rod, Reel and Line Selection (newb to forum) #13378782 12/21/19 03:34 AM
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FishinDonkey Offline OP
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Evening anglers,

Spent the first 30 years of my life exclusively fishing in the Atlantic ocean, and moved to TX, approx. 6 years ago after getting out of the Marine Corps, and slowly entered the freshwater fishing scene, and now a full blown LMB addict. We predominately used spinning rods back east- and bait-casters were used for- well- dropping bait, or down rigs. As I have slowly been trying to increase my knowledge for bass fishing in the south, and many of my fishing buddies, exclusively use bait-casters, I too have made the switch. There is so much information to learn between gear ratio, rod length, rod action, reel selection and line choice. And clearly there isn't one option- or one right answer. I know guys have flipping rods, jigging rods, worming rods, crainkbait reels with different gear ratios, etc.

To simply things; if you could only have three rods on a boat with you; what are going to be your go to's, from length and action, to gear ratio and application. As we said back in the Corps, break it down Barney style. (as in the pink dinosaur)

Much appreciate any and all responses.

Tight Lines,

Matt

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Re: Rod, Reel and Line Selection (newb to forum) [Re: FishinDonkey] #13378818 12/21/19 04:58 AM
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dkershen Offline
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welcome Matt

Re: Rod, Reel and Line Selection (newb to forum) [Re: FishinDonkey] #13378842 12/21/19 10:03 AM
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The length and action of the rod depends on the weight and action of the lure cast.
1. light action 5 1/2"- 6" rod cast a 1/32 - 1/8 oz jig a good distance, is sensitive to the strike and won't yank the hook out of a fish's mouth.

2. 6-7' medium action rod used for heavier lures and/ or those greater action: heavier jig & trailers, larger billed crankbaits, large blade spinnerbaits

3. 7' heavy action rod used for working heavy lures in heavy cover (never use mine)

Spinning or baitcast reels that have a ratio from around 6:1 usually enough of what it takes to make reeling in heavier action lures at a steady retrieve.
A ratio less than that works fine for light lures and yet allows line to be reeled in fast enough after pulling a fish towards you.

Line for the above is preferential - mine is braid for any set up and allows the longest cast and hook set of any line, for any reel.

If your asking what companies produce the best rods and reels, again a preference thing and cost consideration. None of my rods and reels cost over $70 and I catch hundreds of all species of fish every year.

Re: Rod, Reel and Line Selection (newb to forum) [Re: FishinDonkey] #13378851 12/21/19 11:42 AM
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ezbassin Offline
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That's a tough one, limited to 3. I like to throw a drop shot but I do that with a baitcaster not spinning equipment.

1) 6ft 8" drop shot rod, 1/4-5/8 lure rating, 10 pound fluorocarbon line, 1/0 Owner rigging hook, 1/4 oz Finch Nasty drop shot weight. Finesse reel of whatever brand you like best. I use a Daiwa Steez as my drop shot reel but they are expensive so you may want to choose an alternative. You could also use this for a light weight shaky head rig.

2) 7ft M/H rod 3/8-3/4 lure rating for throwing soft plastics and light jigs. 7-1 gear ratio reel This would probably be one of the most versatile for throwing most soft plastics. It is soft enough to throw lighter weights like a 3/16 Tx rigged worm to a 1/2 oz jig and It would still have plenty of back bone. Depending on the manufacturer it will have a lure rating that ends in 3/4 and for others this would be a 4 power rod, it just depends on how each company chooses to label the power rating on their rods.

3) 7ft 3" crank bait rod, buzz bait, top water. 7-1 gear ratio reel

If you would have room for a 4th one I would do a rod with a 3/8-1 lure rating that is either 7ft, 7ft 3in. or 7ft 6in. in length for heavier baits and for a Carolina rig.

The reels I use are Lews, Diawa, and Shimano brand. Favorites are the Daiwa Steez,... Daiwa Tatula SV TW,,,,, Daiwa Tatula CT,,,,, Lews Super Duty,,,,, Lews BB1 Pro, and the older Shimano curado E series reels. These are not in the order as being a favorite numerically, I like them all the same for what I am using them for.
If I had to choose only one, I would go with the Lews Super Duty (the standard one) not the G model. I have several of the Super Duty wide spool reels for when I need a reel that holds a lot of line....Carolina rig, deep cranking, and swim baits. and the wide spool super duty is awesome. Very smooth and it comes in a 5-1 ,6-1 and 7-1 gear ratio to cover everything you need. Even though it is a wide spool it still retains a low profile so it easy to fish with all day same as any other low profile reel.


Last edited by ezbassin; 12/21/19 12:03 PM.
Re: Rod, Reel and Line Selection (newb to forum) [Re: FishinDonkey] #13378860 12/21/19 12:09 PM
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CCTX Online Content
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Go to the Tackle warehouse website and see what is on sale/clearance on the 25 days of Christmas. After Christmas, BPS and Cabelas usually have an online clearance. Staring early February, Academy and Wmart clear things out Then in March BPS has their Spring Classic sale

Three versatile rods in versatile lengths, strengths and tapers I recommend under $100
I donโ€™t know how tall you are. In general, if you are tall, lean toward longer rods and visa versa. With that being said, I really like shorter rods like 6โ€™10โ€ for lighter topwaters and Iโ€™m 6โ€™5โ€
If the addiction develops, your rod collection will grow from here

There are about five reels I recommend under $100
I will recommend one reel today because it is on clearance at BPS
It is in a versatile gear ratio that will be fine for all applications

One rod for for treble hooked crankbaits and topwaters
The 7โ€™4โ€ KVD Quantum Cranking stick in medium heavy is on clearance at Tackle-warehouse $79
Alternate suggestion. Falcon Bucoo SR Trapcaster
Line 40lb Power Pro braid to six foot leader of 12lb PLine CXX

One rod for single hooked middle of the water column (spinner baits/chatterbaits/smaller single hooked swimbaits)
Phenix Maxim 7โ€™7โ€ MH on clearance for $75 at TW
Line 50lb Power Pro braid to six foot leader 15lb PLine CXX

One rod for single hooked bottom of the water column (Texas rig, Carolina rig, jigs)
Falcon Jason Christie JCC-73JW Jig/worm pitching stick
Alternate suggestion TFO Pacemaker series Heavy Structure rod on clearance at TW for $80
These rods also work great for frogs on straight braid
Line 50lb Power Pro braid to six foot 17lb Pline CXX leader

Donโ€™t know which hand you use for retrieve, but this one is RH retrieve

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]


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Re: Rod, Reel and Line Selection (newb to forum) [Re: FishinDonkey] #13378879 12/21/19 01:02 PM
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Jpurdue Offline
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Need more information man. Where are you fishing primarily? What style of fishing are you wanting to do? Deep cranking offshore on Toledo Bend is a lot different than ned rig fishing a local pond. The rod set ups are just wildly different. I'd recommend finding a guy on this forum you can fish with locally. Check out his gear. See how he's catching them. Ask a lot of questions. Go from there. Otherwise, CCTX's advice is solid. Welcome to the forum!


"Bragging may not bring happiness, but no man having caught a large fish goes home through an alley." -A.L.

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Re: Rod, Reel and Line Selection (newb to forum) [Re: Jpurdue] #13378936 12/21/19 02:08 PM
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FishinDonkey Offline OP
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Thanks for all the responses, to quickly answer your question- yes a lot of variables are missing. I supposed I meant financially- if you could only have three rods- what are you taking- I want to upgrade my gear. If I go out and buy 20 new rods and reels to cover every applications, Im going to be spending a lot more on a divorce attorney. grin

Re: Rod, Reel and Line Selection (newb to forum) [Re: FishinDonkey] #13378940 12/21/19 02:15 PM
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ezbassin Offline
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Ok with money bring an issue I would do like stated above, holiday sales, and equipment brands that are reasonable but still good equipment. Another option is to search forums for used equipment. You can get quality equipment there for less than retail. I have bought a lot of used stuff over the years, and still do.

Look for rod and reels for sale on here and on Bass Boat Central. Both are good sources of used equipment.

Last edited by ezbassin; 12/21/19 02:16 PM.
Re: Rod, Reel and Line Selection (newb to forum) [Re: FishinDonkey] #13379086 12/21/19 04:22 PM
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Fish2222 Offline
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I've recently purchased Lews rods & reels exclusively.
I was an Abu Garcia man for years, but have crossed over to Lews.
You can even get Lews combos at Academy or Dick's for under $80.....check them out.


"I only catch the ones that bite"
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Re: Rod, Reel and Line Selection (newb to forum) [Re: FishinDonkey] #13379108 12/21/19 04:50 PM
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I was in your position 6 or 7 years ago--knew I was about to start fishing a lot more, knew I needed to upgrade my equipment, and wanted a starting point. Here's what I would do:

If your starting point is 3 rods, you need some versatility. In my opinion, there's nothing much more versatile than a 7 foot, medium-heavy action rod. I would get 2 of these. You can throw T-rigs, shakey heads, light jigs, flukes, senkos, spinner baits, chatter baits, top-waters, square bills, the list goes on...on a 7 foot MH rod. Is this rod the best rod for each of these applications? No. But it's versatile and can handle them all. My idea of budget friendly is $80-$120, and there are plenty of rods in this range (some favorites on the forum are Falcon Bucoo, TFO, and Dobyns Fury).

I would pair these rods up with a reel in the range of $50-$100 (one of my favorites in that range is the Bass Pro Qualifier. Not the most incredible reel ever, but in that price range, I think it's hard to beat for durability and ease of use. It often goes on sale for $50-$70.). I personally would go with a high speed reel, 7:1. I use fluorocarbon almost exclusively, and so depending on the cover in the lakes you are fishing (grass, heavily treed, not much cover?) I would consider putting 15 lb fluoro on both. For me, and on Texas lakes, this is a very versatile line size.

For your third setup, I would start thinking about specializing a bit more. Gear it towards something you like throwing and predict you'll do quite a bit. If you like drop-shotting and other finesse techniques, consider getting a nicer spinning set up than you already have. If you like fishing jigs and frogs, consider going with a 7' to 7'3" heavy (or even Mag-Heavy) action rod. If you like throwing cranks, consider getting a crank devoted rod.

If you have "the disease," you'll quickly start adding rods to your arsenal, and as you add rods and your knowledge base expands some, you'll start adding more technique specific rods. You'll gravitate towards throwing these technique specific rods more, because they'll better fit what you're throwing, but then you'll still have 2 7' MH rods that are versatile and can still handle whatever technique you don't have a "technique-specific" rod for.

Re: Rod, Reel and Line Selection (newb to forum) [Re: FishinDonkey] #13379217 12/21/19 08:30 PM
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Part of the rod / reel selection has to do with the baits chosen.

Part of it also has to do with the line weight.

Unfortunately, there is no absolute answer to your situation.

A few "rules" come to mind that have served me well over many, many years.

Line under 12# should be used on spinning equipment. Line over 12# on baitcasting. (talking mono here)

Anything 1/4 or under I prefer spinning rods. Anything over 1/4 I use baitcasting.

That said ... those things are not written in stone nor are they absolutes.

Fishing tools are like mechanical tools. A 5/8 wrench will do the job, but would a ratchet be better? And is it a 3/8 drive or a 1/2 drive? Standard or deep well?

Before I jumped into 3 rods at once I would get a 7' med/hvy casting rod of good manufacture and pair it with a good reel. As things progress and you see what other friends are using for various baits, you can add to your arsenal. And if you think that 3 rods will be all you'll carry in the boat .............. roflmao Well, good luck with that.

And most of all, THANK YOU for your service to our Country! flag thumb


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Re: Rod, Reel and Line Selection (newb to forum) [Re: FishinDonkey] #13379375 12/22/19 12:52 AM
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Ken A. Offline
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First of all, Thank you for your service to our great country. flag

There are way too many variables to list and the rod & reel companies have made it way more complicated than it needs to be with all the technique-specific stuff.

Lots of good info above. I would also recommend a 6' 6" to 7' MH rod as your workhorse. Many good brands on the market to choose from. Rod handle length comes down to personal preference.

As far as reels, I like to use a high speed reel like a 7:1 to 8:1 gear ratio for soft plastic baits like worms, Senkos, Flukes, or jigs. The reason I like a fast reel for this baits is because there will be times you won't realize the fish has taken the bait right away and you will need to catch up to the fish as you are setting the hook.

I also like a faster 7:1 reel for lipless rattling baits. For spinnerbaits, bladed jigs, squarebills, most deep diving cranks I like a 6:1 gear ratio.

Last edited by Ken A.; 12/22/19 12:53 AM.
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