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iamham3

Trying To Build An Arsenal

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I've viewed many of the posts since I was introduced to the site a couple months ago, and posted an introduction yesterday.  I received some friendly replies and was told not to be shy about asking questions, so here goes.

 

I've been fishing since July and have caught some decent bass; the biggest was 6.5 lbs.  I bank fish mostly at ponds and small lakes/resevoirs in and around Houston, TX.  I've recently met a friend of a friend that took me out in his boat and asked if I'd be interested in fishing tournaments with him, although I'm not holding my breath on that actually happening.  However, I'm looking at purchasing my own boat in the next year or so.  I have 4 rod/reel combos right now, but I am looking to gradually upgrade.  I need some insight on what I need for a well balanced arsenal of equipment.  Whether that be getting rid of what I have and starting over, switch my combos up, and/or adding supplemental pieces. 

 

This is what I have now:

 Ambassadeur 5500C3 5.3:1/BPS Graphite Series 7' MHF

 Ambassadeur 5500C3 5.3:1/All Star Special Poppin' 7' MM (saltwater rod, I assume)

 Diawa TD100H 6.4:1/Castaway Carolina Honey Rig 6'8" MM (same rod is now called Skeleton Weightless Worm rod)

 BPS Pro Qualifier 7.1:1/BPS Carbonlite 7'6" MHF

 

I use the 5500 with the BPS rod for spinnerbaits, swim jigs, and plastic frogs, the other 5500 with the All Star rod for any open water apps (crankbaits and topwaters), the Daiwa/Castaway for Flukes and Senkos, and Pro Qaulifier/Carbonlite for pitching, light flipping, and punching with jigs and plastics.  As I read the forums and watch the videos I try and add different techniques to my repertoire, but these are the majority of the lures I have confidence with.

 

At my current skill level I can't justify spending any more than $150 on anything I purchase, with $125 being more in my range.  If I decide to purchase any other pieces I know I can get the Curado G's on sale very soon for $100, and I've been reading a lot of good things about the Lew's brand of reels.  I have no complaints with my Pro Qualifier and they will probably be going on sale soon for $80.  There are so many different rod choices I guess it depends on what holes I'm trying to fill.

 

Sorry so long but I wanted to get as much info out there as possible.  I'm open to all suggestions.

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Take a look at the Fenwick Smallmouth rod series and the new Fenwick HMG rods.  The Smallmouth series sells for $129.95, but can be bought for $99.95 from fishusa.  These are exceptional rods.  However, my understanding is they were actually designed for smallie river fishing thus you won't find any Heavy rods in this line nor any 7'6" rods.  I can highly recommend the 6'10" MF, 6'9" MXF and 6'10" MH-MF in the Smallmouth series.  I have the first two.

 

The MF is a very good all-around rod.  The MXF does a good job working topwater baits, and has good sensitivity for fishing bottom contact baits.  This is what a good friend of mine had to say about the MH-MF:   "....extremely light with a moderate fast action that is closer to fast, you can throw deep divers with that rod no problem but I really like it for larger square bills like the Xcalibur 200 and 300 series and it has become a favorite for larger jerkbaits like the vision 110 and the pointer 100, the tip is a little faster than most moderate fast action rods which gives me total control over the bait but when you hook up it has the flex that allows you to fight the fish without pulling the hooks out."  This is why I will have the MH-MF before next season starts.

 

I also suggest keeping an eye on the different forum classifieds.  A pair of Quantum Superlites just sold for $150 shipped on another forum.  This was a super deal.  They listed for something like $229 new.  I have the 6'10" Heavy which was one of the pair.  They are well built rods, light, and seem plenty sensitive to me.  I'd have bought them if I was still working a second job, but with the economy being what it is there hasn't been any work for me since last May.  Sure cuts into my fishing money.   :sad78:

 

The Shimano reels you mentioned should do well for you.  My Shimanos are all older models...a couple Chronarchs and a Curado 51E.  I picked up a like new Lews Tournament Pro 2 years ago for $125.  The reel is light, palms well and looks good to boot.  :teeth:  Reels are something else I would look for in the classifieds.  Some very good deals can be had.  Read and know which reels are good and what they normally sell for.  I've seen Daiwa Fuegos go for $100 and less.  Some may have more rash than I would like, but these reels are very good performers and have plenty of options for upgrading and adding bling if desired.

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Take a look at the Fenwick Smallmouth rod series and the new Fenwick HMG rods.  The Smallmouth series sells for $129.95, but can be bought for $99.95 from fishusa.  These are exceptional rods.  However, my understanding is they were actually designed for smallie river fishing thus you won't find any Heavy rods in this line nor any 7'6" rods.  I can highly recommend the 6'10" MF, 6'9" MXF and 6'10" MH-MF in the Smallmouth series.  I have the first two.

 

The MF is a very good all-around rod.  The MXF does a good job working topwater baits, and has good sensitivity for fishing bottom contact baits.  This is what a good friend of mine had to say about the MH-MF:   "....extremely light with a moderate fast action that is closer to fast, you can throw deep divers with that rod no problem but I really like it for larger square bills like the Xcalibur 200 and 300 series and it has become a favorite for larger jerkbaits like the vision 110 and the pointer 100, the tip is a little faster than most moderate fast action rods which gives me total control over the bait but when you hook up it has the flex that allows you to fight the fish without pulling the hooks out."  This is why I will have the MH-MF before next season starts.

 

I also suggest keeping an eye on the different forum classifieds.  A pair of Quantum Superlites just sold for $150 shipped on another forum.  This was a super deal.  They listed for something like $229 new.  I have the 6'10" Heavy which was one of the pair.  They are well built rods, light, and seem plenty sensitive to me.  I'd have bought them if I was still working a second job, but with the economy being what it is there hasn't been any work for me since last May.  Sure cuts into my fishing money.   :sad78:

 

The Shimano reels you mentioned should do well for you.  My Shimanos are all older models...a couple Chronarchs and a Curado 51E.  I picked up a like new Lews Tournament Pro 2 years ago for $125.  The reel is light, palms well and looks good to boot.  :teeth:  Reels are something else I would look for in the classifieds.  Some very good deals can be had.  Read and know which reels are good and what they normally sell for.  I've seen Daiwa Fuegos go for $100 and less.  Some may have more rash than I would like, but these reels are very good performers and have plenty of options for upgrading and adding bling if desired.

 

Thanks.  I will definitely begin watching the classifieds.

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