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Thoughts On A Quality, Entry-Level Baitcaster Setup

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Background:  Got back into fishing recently and picked up an inexpensive Quantum Octane combo at Dick's to get me going.  Well, I'm comfortable with the baitcaster now and am starting to feel unhappy with the overall quality/performance of the combo.  I also opted for the RH reel and feel like I need to move to LH so I can control the rod with my dominant hand. 

 

I'm thinking about a BPS Pro Qualifier on a 7' Med/Hvy Abu Vendetta.  

 

This would be my "do everything" rod and reel until I start to work on specialized setups in the future.  Ideally I will stay under $200.  Suggestions, thoughts?  

Thanks

 

- Steve

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Basspro has a Pro Qualifier/Carbonlite combo for $159. Can't go wrong with it if you're looking at the PQ. Another combo in your price range would be the Gen 3 Revo S with a BPS Extreme casting rod for $199.

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x2

 

Id take a carbonlite over a vendetta any day

 

 

I also switched to LH, prefer it, night and day difference for me.

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Can I recommend a 7'1 medium heavy *** *** black and an orra sx. This would run right at $200.

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A trip to BPS is in order.  Too bad it's ~1 hour away.  

 

I totally forgot the Carbonlite.  I'll have to give that one a look.  

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I picked up a BPS pro Qualifier and got that deal from Walmart a while back for the Abu Garcia Vendetta gen 1 for 30$.  The BPS PQ is pretty nice, took a little time dialing in the dual brake system, but pretty good reel.  The Vendetta is a 7ft medium and pretty stiff tip, way stiffer than my MH Bill Dance bait caster combo rod/reel.  I also agree on the left handed reel, switching hands feels awkward. 

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PQ/Carbonlite combo fo sho. Unless you find something used, you won't get a better deal than that.

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I'd go with the BPS PQ/CARBONLITE set up. I have the original Carbonlite rod and reel combo and I love it. Honestly the BPS Carbonlite rod's are a really good rod and not just for the money but period. I'd go with it if I were you cause I just ordered me the same combo two week's ago! I got the 7'6 H with PQ reel and I absolutely love it.

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Carbonlite combo all the way. Like all the others stated.

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Love the PQ. I don't have the carbonlite yet but will have one in a couple days. With all the good feed back on it it the combo is a good deal

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I bought the BPS combo you're looking in 7' med action @ last Summer & love it. I decided to relearn baitcasting and am very happy with this set up. Best of luck with whatever you end up with.

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Here's a question... if I bump my budget up to $300 how do my options look?  

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If I were you, I'd buy a Citica D/E/G, or a Curado B/G (Curado D and E's seem to be pretty expensive these days) to go with a Shimano Clarus/ Compre or a Powell Diesel. Several other $100 rods and reels seem to get good reviews, but I like to stick with what works for me.

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Basspro has a Pro Qualifier/Carbonlite combo for $159. Can't go wrong with it if you're looking at the PQ. Another combo in your price range would be the Gen 3 Revo S with a BPS Extreme casting rod for $199.

No better combo IMO than the PQ carbonlite.

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$300 is a nice range.  New: Daiwa Lexa can be bought for $100.  Lews TP about $155.  Used:  Lots of good reels for $150 or less.

 

New: Fenwick Elite Tech Smallmouth MSRP $129.99, Powell Endurance $170, Powell Max $140-$170, *** Black $110, Daiwa Ballistic on closeout $65, Denali Jadewood $100-$110, Shimano Crucial $150-$160, Compre $100-$110.  Used:  Who knows.  I got a custom built rod over the winter for less than the cost of the blank.  I've seen Zillions going for $150-$160.

 

I'm a big fan of the Fenwick Smallmouth series.  A Curado 50E/51E and Smallmouth 6'10" MF is a great combination.  My combo (both new) came to $169.  You won't find those prices anymore.  Today's price will be closer to $250 or more and still would be a great combination.

 

Another great used reel is the Daiwa Fuego.

 

Once you start talking $300 for a combo, the field really opens up on your options.  Especially if willing to buy used.

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$300. I'd get the pq/carbonlite combo (7' MH) and a spinning set up too (Sahara and Diesel 6'10" M) . You'll get more versatility and 95% of the performance of one $300 combo.

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Heading to BPS this Saturday to check some things out.  We'll see what I come back with.  :) 

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Buy "gently used" on our Flea Market.

 

St. Croix Avid AVC68MXF/ Curado 50E or G.Loomis IMX MBR844C/ Curado 50E or 200E

 

 

 

:fishing-026:

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300 on a combo can buy you some nice things.

 

I'd buy a KLX or ALX rod and put it with a PQ or lews BB1 (Can be had for great deals on fleabay).  Getting fantastic value out of the rod and reel.

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I picked up a Revo 3 SX and a 7' AG Veritas rod for a tad over 200 all on eBay. No sales tax and free shipping. Being my first baitcaster I don't have anything else to compare it to but so far so good. Casts very well and I've taken the setup for some saltwater calico and sand bass action with no issues.

I would say if you can go 200 you can save a little more to get the quality you want.

I also went with a LH retrieve and it makes my life easier. Just cast and retrieve no switching hands 50+ times.

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Hit BPS today. Tried a lot of different reels and rods but ended up with the PQ/Carbonlite combo. I got RH 6.4:1 and 7' MH. Very happy with my purchase. The balance is great and the rod and reel perform very well. I'm happy with my purchase and I don't feel bad at all about spending $159 for it. Felt just as good, if not better, than some of the more expensive options.

I took it out today and also brought my cheapo Quantum Octane combo. After casting with the PQ I picked up the Quantum since i had a wacky senko on it... Felt like junk. I made the one cast, reeled it back in, and set it down. I doubt I will ever use that rod and reel again.

Thanks for the advice, guys. I appreciate it.

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