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Jay Ell Gee

Hoping For Some Input On My "ideal" Three Rod Setup.

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Hello everybody! :hello:

This May I had made a post looking for some advice on my first "college student budget" spinning setup (coming from using baitcasters exclusively) and got some outstanding advice here. After working and stashing away some money this summer, I have decided that I really want to upgrade my two baitcasting rods before school starts back and my hours dwindle. I am still in pretty much the same boat (budget wise) but I digress... While I am looking to upgrade my baitcasting rods, I am also wanting to keep my setup fairly versatile. I understand that I will not get the best of many worlds here, but I am just trying to do what I can for now. I guess what I am looking for here are suggestions on both action and tip speed for the two rods that I will be purchasing, as well as suggestions as to what lures to throw on which rod with the best effect. Due to the amount of slop and cover that I fish, I believe that stepping up to two medium heavy rods will be my best bet. I would prefer to keep them under 7'0 if at all possible. I bank fish with the girlfriend pretty often and anything longer is difficult to transport depending on who drives.

First and foremost, I live in south Louisiana. The water is certainly not the clearest and always full of surprises. I fish in some seriously snaggy conditions, so I keep my treble hook lures to a minimum. I have been known to use a square bill now and again, but it is fairly uncommon. In general, I fish primarily single hooked rigs to remain as weedless as possible. When I am in the boat, I am typically the co-angler (with Dad or the girlfriend's dad and brother), so I really prefer not to spend my time passing valuable cover tending to snags and re-tying lures. I fish a lot of weightless Texas rigged Senkos, Ribbit Frogs/Booyah Pad Crashers (pretty much every outing, they just work so disgustingly well in south La, definitely a primary), hook weighted Lake Fork Magic Shads, Spinnerbaits (kind of my new big thing, really trying to learn these), and while I do pitch/flip jigs, my favorite method of pitching is using bulky/compact soft plastics (weighted and Texas rigged), such as the Super Hog, Pit Boss, Sweet Beaver, and Fat Ika (another primary setup). If my frog's don't produce up top, I am also extremely confident with poppers. I also do some saltwater fishing with the girlfriend's family for speckled trout and redfish, so if these rods ended up being useful there as well, all the better. However, I am more concerned about setting them up optimally for bass fishing.

As for my current setup, it is as follows:

Shimano Sahara 2500 FD riding a St. Croix Mojo Bass MBS68MXF. I primarily use this for weightless soft plastics as well as finesse spinnerbaits. If you believe that it can be used optimally for anything else in my list of usuals, I would gladly appreciate the feedback.

My two baitcasters are both Shimano Citica 200DSV's. They ride a 6'0 Abu Garcia Conolon Premier and a 6'0 Ugly Stick, both medium with moderate action. They came with the reels and while I have been doing well with them, I am starting to see the advantages of nicer rods now that I have my St. Croix. My dad was right... once you get a nice rod, you can't go back!

One thing that I do have going for me right now is the fact that I lucked out and picked up a great little job to finish out college at the local outdoor world. *cough* That being said, discounts certainly apply and I plan on taking advantage to stretch my budget. While I really would prefer to not spend another hundred dollars on a rod this time around (keep in mind I need two), it seems that I have some fantastic options in my price range: For the sake of keeping things simple, all of these rods come in at 60.00 or less when applying my discount:

Abu Garcia Vendettas. I apparently missed the boat on the huge Academy clearance sale on these ( :sad10: ), but we have them on sale as well. They feel and look amazing, but I am concerned about warranty issues as they are being discontinued.

Bass Pro Shops Carbonlite. I can't tell too much of a difference between these and the Vendetta, to be completely honest. They do seem to be pretty sensitive, maybe a touch more so than the Abu, but I couldn't notice a huge weight difference in comparable action rods.

Shimano Sellus. I could care less whether or not I have a white rod, but these certainly seemed pretty nice for the money. They have really impressed me so far.

I also handled a 6'10 Field and Stream Tec Spec Elite. It was MH Extra fast with micro-guides. I really liked the rod as well but I am waiting on action/tip speed suggestions before thinking too hard on this one.

If you made it this far, I really want to thank you for taking the time to read about my situation and I also thank you in advance for any information that you may offer regarding my ideal three rod setup. I'm looking to pick up my rods this week if I can get some ideas rolling. If perhaps anyone local to the Baton Rouge area in La have some decent rods lying around (or you could give me a stellar deal with shipping :P), you are more than welcome to PM me as well, as long as that is allowed. Have a great week everyone, and thanks again!

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As for rods, I would recommend a MH, and a H for what you want to do. The Carbonlites are certainly a great option, along with the Falcon Bucoos. I think the Falcons are the best rods you can get for $100. I would look at their 6'10" MH/F and their 7' H/F.

However, if you want to try an awesome rod for the price, look at the Powell Diesel rods at Tackle Warehouse. From what I hear they are EXTREMELY nice, but I have yet to fish one. However, I do have a lot of experience with the Max, and Endurance line, and they simply cannot be beat by anything under $200.

Another rod I own, that I'm impressed with so far is Daiwa's T-Rods. They run a bit powerful, so a M is somewhere inbetween a M and MH.

As far as tip speeds, for most applications I really like an X-Fast tip speed, but fast will be fine. My three rods I take with me are a 6'8" M/XF, a 6'7" MH/XF, and a 6'9" H/XF. I like you, like shorter rods, and almost always use single hook lures for their lack of snagability. I can use almost anything on these 3 rods, and when I do have the urge to throw a crank, which is almost always a Squarebill, I can do it very nicely on my M/XF, or MH depending on the water i'm fishing.

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I live in cental LA, so I fish the same stuff you do. Out of all the rods you have listed, I would opt for the Carbonlite. I own two Vendettas (got one last week at Academy for $39.99 lol) and a Carbonlite and the Carbonlite is flat out a better rod. If I were you I would buy one H/F for your frogs and pitching and a MH/F for spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, ect.

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Well, I took a chance and ordered a Powell Diesel rod for my first upgrade. I want to thank BASSclary for the suggestion. At 7'2, it's not overly long, it's MH (we will see how true to rating it really is when it comes in,) with an extra-fast tip, which I prefer for most pitching/flipping uses. I'm also pretty good about timing my frog strikes, so I'm hoping it will be a decent frog rod as well.

As an update, I finally caved and let me friend buy an old collectible from me, and it payed for the Powell and left me with about 120 to spare. I saw a Dobyn's Savvy rod the other day and loved it, but I really can't see myself spending that much. It seemed really nice.

I am now looking at some more St. Croix Mojo's, but I am concerned that it may leave me with three really stiff rods. I am also taking a liking to the Shimano Compre as well.

Does anyone have any suggestions for one final rod to round out my setup?

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Since I cannot find an update feature, I wanted to add for clarification that my last rod will be used for mainly soft swimbaits (LF Magic Shad,) spinnerbaits, the rare crank/popper, and possibly for treble hooked applications for speckled trout and redfish.

This is the main reason that I am taking a liking to the Compre. It seems like it has a decent backbone but at the same time is rated a bit soft in flex. Would this be a good idea, or am I wrong?

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