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Florida canal setup

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I fish Florida canals at all time with some lakes. I do like spinning rods for most time and can get away with it. I was going to invest in one nice combo with a shimano Stradic ci4+ 3000 size on a number 8 tackle co. *** medium or medium heavy. I mainly fish light Texas rigs because of all the Lilly's and weeds in the water. I do have a baitcaster I use for a lot of heavier things like jigs and spinner baits. I was just wondering if that rod and reel are good together or for some reason the rod or reel are made for only finesse applications only. I am going to throw most every thing but nothing to heavy. Also don't know what rod size to go with.  Thank you all. 

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I grew up in Florida and what you just described is precisely a rig I have gravitated to over the years.

A lot of the canals are full of weeds and vegetation that a lure can get lost in real fast and so I had to lighten up the lure to the point of throwing nothing more than a hook and a piece of rubber. I have tried this on various baitcast reels but can not get them to cast as well as a spinning rod.

I use a hefty 7' MH-F spinning rod and I like to use just one type of reel on it made by shimano. There are several different models available, but back in the 1980's shimano patented a fighting star mechanism for their baitcast reels. It is a drag mech that allows the user to dial in their preferred drag on the dial, and then use the star to tighten it up or back it off without changing the original preferred setting at the midway point. Shimano modified this patented drag mech and adapted it on to some of their spinning reels in the 1990's and I have been using them ever since. Shimano has even recently reintroduced this type of drag mech to some of their spinning reels, but I have tried their newer version and found that I like the older drag mech much better. The older one just worked better than the newer one I tried out.

On this reel I use 20 pound braid.

I can use this rig to cast long distances and hit precise spots accurately. I can pitch and flip with it to some degree too. It is sort of a finesse set up using heavier gear, but it works.

7' long rod is about perfect- at least to me. Going shorter just does not feel right and does not cut it for me. Anything longer is just not necessary. And for the reel, definitely try out one of those shimano fighting drag spinning reels. They are easy to adjust when a bass is on the hook.

I set the fighting drag knob to midway point, set the drag dial to where I want it, and then lock down the drag with the fighting drag handle so when I need to set the hook it is there and once hooked, I can back off on the drag with that fighting drag handle as needed. It works for canals!

Here is a reel I found on ebay similar to the one I use. Same reel, but I do not use a double handle like this one has. I would change that handle to standard.


Here is a look at that fighting drag... when the handle is straight up and down at midway point, then set the round dial for the drag you want it to stay at, and then you can play around with the fighting drag handle all you want to without changing your original drag setting. This is ideal for throwing light weedless rubber through thick cover in canals. If it works, it works.


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I can't say much about the rod but that is one nice reel but the price point is high

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The reel should work well. I was out in LA earlier this week and went calico bass fishing. We used ci4+ 3000s with at least 40 lb braid and the drag cranked tight. The reels performed flawlessly fighting the fish out of the kelp. The kelp is no joke. Way tougher than any Lilly's I've ever seen. Should be perfect for your application. 

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