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BigTerp

River Smallie Setup

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Looking to get a new rod/reel for the upcoming season. Am looking for a decent all around setup for specifically chasing smallmouth that I can use on my 16' jet boat on the upper Potomac river. I'm looking to get a rod around 6' (I tend to like shorter rods for whatever reason) and am pretty set on getting a Pflueger President spinner. Not sure what size President I should be looking at though. Either the 25x or the 30x? I'm afraid the 25 will be to small and the 30 will be to big? This past year was the first I really started chasing river smallmouths. Mostly shore fished for largemouth and catfish in the past. So most of my rods are on the larger/heavier side. I mostly used a smaller mitchell (not sure the exact size) on an ultralight ugly stick this past year. This is basically my trout setup, but my catfish/largemouth rig just seemed to big. This worked ok, but seemed to light/flimsy. I found myself using all your typically smallmouth lures last year, tubes, in-line spinners, small cranks, small top waters, etc. What size of the President would you guys choose?

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i've got the 30 size and its nowhere near too big. especially if you use braid you'll be able to fit a ton of line on there and it holds up really well for smallmouth fishing (shaky heads, drop shots, light jig and grubs). if you're gonna be fishing in tight areas like under bridges and stuff like that I would definitely go with a shorter rod, but if you aren't, I would honestly go with something longer just for the added sensitivity and casting distance

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Thanks!! You think the 30 will fit nicely on something like a M-ML 6'-6'6"? What kind of rod would you guys reccommend? I'm pretty rough on my equipment so I generally stick with the Ugly Stik's since they are pretty darn tough. Looking to stay under $60 for a rod.

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Thanks!! You think the 30 will fit nicely on something like a M-ML 6'-6'6"? What kind of rod would you guys reccommend? I'm pretty rough on my equipment so I generally stick with the Ugly Stik's since they are pretty darn tough. Looking to stay under $60 for a rod.

I had mine on a 6'6 ml st croix triumph for about 2 years and it worked great for fishing small plastics and small topwater poppers. cant necessarily recommend a rod in that price range but if you're willing to spend a few more bucks i'd check out the triumph. its a solid rod for the money

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Thanks again man!!! To give you an idea of the rod/reel combo that I feel is to much for the way I smallmouth fish it's a 5'10" medium Ugly Stik with a Shakespeare medalist ml035. It may be the reel rather than the rod that feels to much/big. But the rod still feels long to me. Works really nice for largemouth though. Either way, a Pflueger President 30 with a ML rod in the 6'range might be just the ticket for me.

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The 30 size is perfect - I use the 40 on a couple of heavier rods.

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Thanks for the help!!! Feel better about going with the 30. Now I just need to decide on a rod.

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After reading countless reviews and looking at TONS of different rods, I think I've settled on a rod. Not trying to spend a fortune here, but want a decent setup. Trying to stay in the $50 range for a rod. Looking at this one from bass pro in 6' ML. How do you guys think this would pair with a Pflueger 30 size?

http://www.basspro.com/Bass-Pro-Shops-Micro-Lite-Graphite-Spinning-Rods/product/10204875/

I'd go with the 6'6"model if it was one piece. In not a big fan of two pieces rods.

Thanks!!!

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I'd find a lightly used Shimano Clarus for $50 or less and feel better having a lifetime warranty, and a better rod.

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I advise moving away from the Ugly Stick and toward the best graphite rod you can budget for. A ML/XF makes a nice little river smallie rod. The Pflueger Pres. is possibly the biggest bang for the buck you can find in spinning reels. 

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Thanks for the tips. I ended up going with the Pflueger President on a Berkeley Lighting Rod, ML. The lighting rod has great reviews and with a Berkeley rebate, I couldn't pass it up. Finally got to use this setup yesterday for the first time. Love it. Not the most expensive setup out there, but quite the improvement from what I'm used to.

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What length rod did you choose?

 

Great water you have to fish up there. I live in DC but make the trip up that way pretty often. Next you're going to have to pick up a good Muskie rod (if you haven't already got one, that is.)

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What length rod did you choose?

 

Great water you have to fish up there. I live in DC but make the trip up that way pretty often. Next you're going to have to pick up a good Muskie rod (if you haven't already got one, that is.)

 

I went with the 6' length.

 

I have some family that are pretty big into Muskie fishing. Do pretty good in this area as well. I'll have to give it a try sometime.

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I went with the 6' length.

 

I have some family that are pretty big into Muskie fishing. Do pretty good in this area as well. I'll have to give it a try sometime.

I haven't targeted muskie specifically on the Potomac. I've had a few follows while fishing larger swimbaits for smallies, but no strikes or hook-ups yet. 

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I've yet to see any for myself. Looks like a fun fish to battle though. We did find the head of one late this fall right below the dam while duck hunting. It was impressively big.

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You'll be very happy with the ML rod.  I've used a ML spinning rod for the past year and those 12" bronze backs we have feel like monsters!

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