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What Is Your Preferred Gear When Fishing Smallies?

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Spinning or baitcast

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Baitcast is my preferance for just about everything, but I don't think the fish your after should determine your choice of reel.

 

I would look at the type of tackle you'll be using and line.  If you are using real light presentations, spinning would be my choice.  Heavier I prefer baitcasting.

 

If your bank fishing, take a look at what kind of room you have around yourself to cast as well.  If your in cramped quarters, you can usually throw spinning gear a little better.

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Obvioulsy, it depends on what I am fishing.

 

Drop Shot: Spinning

 

Jerkbait: Casting (and sometimes Spinning)

 

Tubes: Spinning (and sometime Casting)

 

Jigging Spoons: Casting

 

Blade Baits: Spinning

 

Weightless Plastics: Casting (and sometime Spinning)

 

Hair Jigs: Spinning

 

Standard Jigs: Casting

 

Shakeyhead: Spinning

 

Lipless Crankbaits: Casting

 

Soft Jerkbait: Spinning

 

Spinnerbait: Casting

 

That covers most of what I use for Smallmouth.  As you can see it is a pretty even mix, though, the techniqies I use the most seem to put a spinning rod in my hands a little bit more throughout the day.

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It depends on where they are, the cover present, current/no current, depth, and what bait.  That could mean any combo in my rod box!

 

I caught this on my flipping stick:

 

john-L.jpg

 

And this on a ML spinning rig:

 

20101113-ErieWithNoel-07-L.jpg

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It depends on what the fish are doing, for example, if I'm fishing a crankbait, hard jerkbait, or basically anything that a 1/4oz or larger then I'm all casting gear. If I'm throwing tubes, small finesse jigs or split shot rigs then I'm using spinning.

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on lake Erie, we do some live bait rigs using a 3 way, and some drop shot rigs. we also troll some. I like a baitcaster in those situations. when jigging, or using crankbaits, I always use spinning gear. I always seem to use both every time we go fishing.

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If I'm in a tournament I'd rather get them on heavier baitcasting gear so I can get them in the boat quickly and not have to play them out so long. For the pure enjoyment of fighting them my 6' 10" ML LTB spinning rod is the way I prefer to go. 

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I use both. Baitcaster probably 60% & spinner 40%. Jigs, drop shot & jigging spoons & blades on spinning. Everthing else, mostly jerkbaits on casting gear.

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If they are aggressive then a baitcast reel and power fishing techniques.  Otherwise it's spinning gear and finesse all the way!

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Technique and line size should determine this. I'd rather fish with a baitcaster any day, so would most top pros, but sometimes you have to use spinning gear because it's called for.

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Depending on where you are fishing i am probably 90/10 spinning to baitcast.  The rivers i target smallmouth don't need the heavier gear but i do keep one baitcaster for the larger topwaters or crankbaits.

 

Usually though i take my Sage 9' 7wt XP fly rod and call it a day but i do have my eyes on a Sage Bass II series for having an additional pattern rigged and ready to go

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I have caught them with every rod in my boat. The majority though, on spinning gear. Truth be told, if I could dictate to them how I want to catch them, it would be flipping heavy grass, with the big sticks. Even though it's primarily a largemouth tech. on the lakes I fish, I catch a good number of smallies doing it, and they are usually good ones. It's way different than the LM in grass bite, they thump the bait so hard it just about rips the rod out of your hand, and on a short line...............it's like grabbing a cat by the tail. They don't head shake and try to bury themselves in the cover like largemouth, they don't make a drag stripping run to deep water like pike, they come straight up out of that grass...........TICKED!!! And they want you to know it. That's how I want to catch them...........but most of the time it's with spinning gear, light line, in deeper, lighter cover water. I'll take that too.

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I catch them on every rod in my arsenal. My preferred way. 6'6 light power fast action rod, 1000 size spinning reel, and 10lb pp.

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If they are aggressive then a baitcast reel and power fishing techniques.  Otherwise it's spinning gear and finesse all the way!

This!

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Depends more on the location than the fish. In faster moving streams and rivers, I like medium action spinning rods with a strong mono like Yozuri. In deeper, clear lakes, I like baitcasting gear.

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My preferred tackle is a baitcaster with braid, you get more control and feel on the bottom with braid and baitcasting will let you put the bait in that tight spot you want to get to.  Also the high speed on the reel when you need to horse the fish out of heavy cover.

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Yesterday, it was a heavy rod, 65# braid, and a Yumbrella rig.  Anyone that says heavy line takes the fight out of them is nuts. 

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It depends on what I'm throwing. Generally, anything under 1/4 oz. gets thrown on spinning gear. The heavier stuff, on baitcasters.

 

Tom

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My 2 smallmouth setups: orvis 8'6 4wt fly rod Clearwater Series ($198) or a Mitchell 300XE medium action fast tip spinning combo ($59.99) both perform very well.

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