I've caught smallmouth to over 5 3/4lbs and wipers over 8lbs that will outpull any bass out there. I use a spinning rod with 8lb flouro and play them carefully. Never had any issues with the hooks unless I net them and the hooks get stuck in the net.
I just use a very slow retrieve with them paired with a bulky trailer to allow for as slow a retrieve as possible. I've caught them in water down in the low 40's pretty well on them. The biggest key for them to be effective in cold water in my experience is some grass. If there's no grass, I'm not even going to try them.
I like to see other people catch fish almost as much as I like to catch them myself, so I'm always talking about what worked for me. Having a Youtube channel would be pretty counterproductive if I was trying to keep secrets also. I've seen too many times when 2 people in a boat are fishing almost the same thing and 1 of them is catching while the other isn't to worry about someone else fishing what I'm fishing with.
I make some 3/4 and 1 ouncers with a big 6/0 hook and the magnum sized blades that I put 5-7 inch paddle tails on for a huge profile. They don't run much deeper than standard bladed jigs though. Right now is when I fish them when bass are after the big gizzard shad.
I've had better success with the Bang-O than the floating Rapala when targeting bass for whatever reason. Black and silver foil is an old school color but it's still effective.
They love a Ned rig, but I've caught them on all kinds of stuff fishing for bass. Caught one on a 3/8oz bladed jig this year. I've caught several on 1/2oz lipless, wiggle warts, even caught 2 of them on 1/2oz flipping jigs. Stocker trout are kind of like Forrest Gump.
Second, you're going to overwhelm yourself at the rate you're going. You need to focus on being safe as a new boat owner. Operating a boat is not the same as a car if you've never done it. Make sure you know and understand the rules for operating on the water.
Third, fish your strengths and do what you're comfortable with. I can't claim to have tons of tournament experience, but of all the ones I've done well in, I did what I'm good at doing and stuck with it. Especially in a big bass tournament where you're only after one big bite. Focus on the likely areas and fish them hard.
I can't slow down when I get a fast reel and I'm using a moving bait, I've tried, it doesn't work. Fishing a deep crank or big spinnerbait with an 8.1 reel is exhausting too, mentally and physically.
I used the green Curados for years for everything and caught who knows how many fish on them. If I had to pick one ratio for the rest of my life, it'd be something in the 6.2 range. 8.1 is great for the specific uses I have for it, but the 6 ratio reels are my workhorses that could make work in place of those specialty reels if I needed to.
At some point you're just going to have to get out and let the bass answer the questions for you. Will a bass eat a finesse jig with a Keitech trailer? Sure. Is it the best option? Probably not. What's the best finesse jig trailer? Depends on so many different variables that nobody can really give you a perfect answer because even in a tournament where a guy might win on a finesse jig, the bass might have eaten another one better if someone would have just fished it.
Fishing is about trial and error, mostly the latter at the beginning. The key is learning from those failures and how to avoid them and paying attention to the successes and learning how to duplicate them. You can ask every question you can possibly think of until the end of time about every possible little detail of fishing and still not have learned half as much as the guy who gets out there and grinds on the water to actually figure out the answer to his questions.
Cavitron 3/8oz black skirt with a black blade, no trailer or trailer hook. Fish it on a MH rod 6' 6" to 7' with a higher speed reel and 15lb copoly line and you'll be good to go. Just fish them slowly around shallow cover.
Watch this video and read the article for further directions.
As long as you aren't affiliated with the company or receiving some kind of kickback for pushing them it's okay, save a few companies that are notorious spammers. We all like hearing about good products that might work better
A lot of casual fishermen don't know the difference between the two and will call a small largemouth a smallmouth like others have said. Plus, like Dwight said, if you're talking about a pond in Florida there aren't any smallmouth, problem solved
Jigging spoons or flutter spoons cast under the diving birds or dropped on baitfish schools you mark on the finder. Biggest mistake guys make when they see diving birds is motoring right up to them. You have to be quiet and move up slowly with the trolling motor and make long cast a lot of the time or the fish will spook and scatter and you'll be out of luck.