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BronzeChaser

Top 3 go to River Smallie Setups

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I love fishing for smallies in rivers, and do it mostly from a kayak. I'm most comfortable in the rivers with 3 rods. So I'm wondering what you guys like to use for your top 3 river smallmouth setups. Right now mine are probably a 6'9 m/f spinning rod, 6'10 m/f casting rod, and a 7'2 mh/fast casting rod. The last one maybe switched to a ml spinning rod or a med casting. So what are yours?

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On the river in my yak I take a ml casting, a med casting and a mh casting.  I don't use spinning unless I'm drop shotting. 

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I use either 3 or 4 setups with the medium casting rod being the variable.

1. MH casting - jigs and Texas Riga

2. M Moderate casting - Cranks and topwater

3. M casting - small stuff like little buzzbaits and frogs or plastics between 1/8 and 1/4

4. M spinning - shakeyheads other finesse

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7'2" MH/F casting with 15# flurocarbon (texas rigs, jigs)

7'0 M/F casting with 12# mono (treble hooked lures, spinnerbaits, buzzbaits)

7'0 M/F spinning with 15# braid/8# fluorocarbon leader (NED rig, trick worms, grubs, tubes

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6'3" M spinning small jigs/grubs

7'0" ML wacky rig 

6'6" M casting all purpose 

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If I could only take 3 it would be 

a medium light spinning rod, a medium spinning rod and a medium heavy casting rod. 

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I usually end up just using one.

6"6' M/F Spinning rod with 10lb braid / 8lb flouro leader.

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6' 10" MLXF spinning, 10# braid fluoro leader. (Tubes, finesse, 7" worms, craws, small jigs)

6' 6" MF spinning, 6# mono. (Small spinners, grubs, aglias, poppers)

7' MH spinning, 8# yo-zuri. (Everything else)

I mainly fish a tube and craw setup and a grub or Aglia setup for smallies here. Eventually husky jerks will heat up too and topwater too. 

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This changes for me depending on the season and since I limit myself to 3 setup on others boats I'll go from that perspective.

 

Late winter/early spring - 7' ML-F spinning, 6'9" M-XF spinning, 6'6" ML-M casting. I'm using hair jigs, tubes and small jerkbaits.

Spring - 6'9" M-XF spinning, 6'6" ML-M casting, 7'2" M-MF casting. I'm using tubes, larger hair jigs, jerkbaits and shallow cranks.

Late Spring/Early Summer - 6'9" M-XF spinning, 7'2" M-MF casting, 7'MH-F casting. I use flukes and tubes, shallow cranks, and spinnerbaits.

Summer - 6'9" M-XF spinning, 7' MH-F casting 7'2" M-MF casting, I still may use tubes or flukes, spinnerbaits, and shallow/mid depth cranks

Late summer/early fall - 6'9" M-XF spinning, 7'2" M-MF, 7' MH-F, the same as summer for the most part.

Mid fall - 6'9" M-XF spinning, 6'6" ML-M casting, 7'2" M-MF casting, I'm using tubes, jerkbaits, shallow and mid depth cranks

Late fall/early winter - 6'9" M-XF spinning, 7'ML-F spinning, 6'6" ML-M casting, I'm using tubes, hair jigs and jerkbaits.

 

You'll notice that I always have a moderate or mod-fast rod, and that is because I use cranks heavily when it comes to river smallmouth, I found when it is really tough a shallow crank banging in the rocks gets more and bigger fish than trying to finesse. In the summer the fish are in the riffles if the water is low from lack of rain, shallow is the way to go but mid depth cranks work well when water levels are stable, the smaller fish feed in the riffles but the bigger ones will wait in the deeper pools for the stuff the little ones miss and going through a hole with a deeper crank is something they don't see often and so it is often a good way at getting a 4lb or 5lb fish in summer.

 

 

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If I could only use 3 rods? I'd use a 6' med action spinning rod for topwaters/jerkbaits, a 7'6" flippin stick for a jig and pig, and a 6'6" med heavy spinning rod for plastics

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7 ft Medium casting and 7 ft medium light spinning covers it all for me.Casting for spinnerbaits and cranks,Spinning for jigs, craws and tubes.

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I river fish for smallmouth from a personal pontoon. I carry 2- 7' ML F spinning rods and 1-7' M spinning rod. I throw inline spinners, Senkos, a few jigs and top water baits

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I only have 3 rods in my arsenal and they all have their own specific uses.

6'6 MF -- I spool that up with #10 mono. I throw my topwaters and senko's on that. Also, lightweight jigs with twister tails.
6'6 MH -- #35 PowerPro to #12 Fluoro. I throw heavier crankbaits and heavy jigs with this.
6'9 ML -- I never use this on the river, everrrr. 

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I have a hard time keeping to 4, but here's what I carry on the river depending upon the techniques I'm fishing.  

7' Med Fast spinning  (tubes, jerkbaits, senko, and kind of an all around Rod)

6'9" ML XF spinning (tubes, grubs, drop shot, light poppers)

7'1" MH F casting (jigs 1/4oz and over, spinnerbaits, large walking baits)

6'9" M F casting (tubes, T-rigged plastics, light jigs, jerkbaits, flukes, etc) 

7 Med crankbait/moderate  (Crankbaits, lipless cranks, most treble hooked lures)

6wt Sage VXP ( streamers/wooly buggers, poppers, mouse patterns)

i tend end to spool them all with braid and then run a variety of leaders based on technique.  The North Branch of the Susquehanna is a pretty big river and offers a lot of conditions, so I fish all of those set ups pretty regularly... Except the fly rod, that's the new toy for this summer.

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6'6" mf spinning rod 6-8 lb. Floro or mono for finesse.

7' med. spinning 10-12 lb floro For tubes, jigs, and lighter treble hook lures.

7' mh casting 12 lb+ floro or mono for jerkbaits, spinnerbaits, heavier treble hook lures.

With these I can throw just about any lure presentation I want for river smallies.

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Carry light stuff. 2 rods and a bag for lures

Elite 6'8 med ex fast for Texas and jigs

6'6 klx med light for open hook fishing. I carry all my cheap lures with me because they get stuck on rivers more often and they work.  

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