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Budget?  Most suggest a 6'6" to 7" Medium or Medium Heavy Fast action rod (depending on lure weight and cover) as a good first all-around rod.

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First, welcome to the forums.

 

Agree with new2BC4bass on rod action. If your budget allows, get a decent combo from Bass Pro, either their house brand, a Shimano, Daiwa, or other combo.

 

Personally, I have tried cheap combos ($100 on down) and found them to be awful to learn on. Knowing what I know now, I'd have chosen a Daiwa Lexa 100, Pro Qualifier, etc., and a decent rod between $60-110. That'll put you around $200, but the quality of the Lexa makes baitcasting almost effortless. Few, if any backlashes. Great reel all around.

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I'm really looking for something I can use almost everything on. My budget would have to be $150 and down.

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Theres a guy in the fishing flea market section, selling Daiwa excelers for 50 bucks. They are good reels. Ive had two of them. I sold one and still have the other. I think they retail for 90.00 . Darren is right, some of the cheaper baitcasters are hard to learn with. A pro qualifer might be a good idea too.

As for rods to pair with it, depending on what you spend on the reel. Check both shimano and Abus lower cost line ups.

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Check out the Pro Qualifier at Bass Pro its on sale.They had a reel trade in but may be over now not sure.They also have a rod trade in this weekend and I would check out the Shimano Compre.You could get one of them for around 100.00 or less with a trade in and they have a lifetime warranty.Just cheked and the reel trade in ends the 27th if you have a Bass Pro around you.the PQ reel is on sale for 80.00 minus 15.00 for a trade in 65.00 total.You could get a 6'8" Compre m or mh for 99.00 minus 15.00 for a trade in 84.00 total that would be 149.00 plus tax. That would be a very good combo for that price.

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I'm really looking for something I can use almost everything on. My budget would have to be $150 and down.

Get the BPS Pro Qualifier reel on sale now at Bass Pro Shops, if you can find an old reel to turn in like bassfinder stated even better at 65.  If you afford it get a Compre, if not then may I suggest getting either a Shimano Sellus, Daiwa T Rod or Berkley Lightning Shock, or if you look hard I'm sure you can find a Veritas at a good price, get a  6'6"-7' MH/F Rod.  I recommend a 7' rod as it would be more versatile imo over a shorter rod.  You could use it for almost every application (like I do with my 7' MH Veritas and 6'10" Compre).

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My first baitcaster was an old quantum with a plastic spool and no breaking system. I couldn't cast it more than 20 ft and it soured me on casting reels for years. In other words...with baitcasters,often you get what you pay for. However,you can find a shimano caenan ($45-80)and daiwa strikeforce ($35-50)dirt cheap used and they aren't bad to learn on (just may not last a long time). A PQ is nice for $65. Pair it with a Berkeley lightning rod and you still have money left for a couple jigs.

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Shimano Compre is on sale at Cabela's right now.

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To learn on I would suggest the Bass Pro Megacast combo; under $50 so if you break it you aren't out that much.  i would higly recommend spooling it with 20lb mono at first until you can onto thumbing and can keep backlashes to a minimum.

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I'm really looking for something I can use almost everything on. My budget would have to be $150 and down.

Assuming here that you are set on a baitcaster, despite fact you mentioned it in your second post?

Comments spot-on that the Pro Qualifier + a Berkely Lightning (or Shock) rod would make for a really nice, affordable combo to learn on. You could do a lot worse.

If you have an old, still working reel you could trade it in toward the PQ. Same with an old rod trading in toward a new one. Bassfinder is right that you could even up the rod to a Compre and come in right around your price point. Compre is a nice couple steps up from the lightning rods.

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