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Good all around beginner angler setup.

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Sorry, I know this question has been asked a billion times, but just needed more answers specific to my price range. Plan to catch anything and everything that I can(Bass, panfish, catfish, maybe even the occasional Carp since they run rampant here).

Already looking at a 7'0 M-H/F rod I've heard good things about Abu Garcia and Lightning Series, but I'm open to more options. What I'm really not sure about is the reel. Was looking thinking of spinning reels because that's what I used mostly when I used to go fishing as a child, but also open to a baitcaster if for some reason that would be better. Price range looking to spend about $140 at most for the combo(And that's backdooring it through e-flea market places like Ebay, Craigslist, etc...).

What kind of setup would I need for pier fishing btw(Regardless of any of the preferences I previously suggested)? Fishing off the pier is pretty big here in Chicago if you plan to catch something that's not a panfish type, so I plan on starting out at smaller creeks and ponds around the city and eventually moving up to fishing Chicago River and Lake Michigan.

Again sorry if this question has been asked a billion times, and thanks gentlemen.

 

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Lew's® American Hero 6'10" MH Baitcast Rod and Reel Combo @ Academy for $79.90

Gear ratio: 7.1:1

6' 10" MH Fast

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For one all around first rod I would start with gear that is affordable, but not cheap and will not need to be upgraded later.  So my combo would be a medium spinning rod in 6'6" to 7 foot.  With the idea you may fish everything including live bait off a pier, I would go 7 foot.  My reel choice is simple, go get a Pflueger President spinning reel for $60. There are plenty of reels that cost less and many cost more, but it is a 10 bearing reel and I have fished some of mine for almost a decade. I would choose a model 6935.  That means you will have plenty of spool capacity for line but will not be too big either.  I would choose a line like Berkley original fireline in 14  pound test. I suggest this because the line will lay nice on the reel and since you are just getting started it will help avoid line twist and other issues.  Also when you cast, always close the bail with your hand, this will help avoid line twist and you from having a big birds nest to deal with.  

Now that leaves you with plenty in the budget for a good rod and some tackle.  Go to Dicks Sporting Good either in your area or online. They sell the 7 foot medium Berkley Lightning Shock rods for $49.  Right now Dick's even has a $10 mail in rebate on Pflueger reel.  There are plenty of other options, but I know that one will work for you. My wife is an accomplished angler, with several $300 rod and reel combos to fish with and along with them is that exact rod/reel combo.  She uses it to throw crankbaits and rattle traps for rockfish. It has caught bass, rockfish, panfish and even a few catfish.   Once you get some time with this combo you will be able to choose other gear that is more technique specific to add to your arsenal . Good Luck and let us know how it turns out.  

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I bought a M and a MH Lightning Shock and did not have a good experience with either of them, unfortunately.

For a beginner rod chasing after panfish and bass I would go with a 6'8" - 7' Medium.

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Great replies. Thank you so much gentlemen for wasting time on a young noob like me.

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:welcome:

 

A spinning rod would be easier for you at this time and do it all.  However, my preference is always a baitcast rod if I can get away with one.  I would definitely go for a baitcast combo if going with a MH rod, but that is me.  I much prefer heavier lures on a b/c outfit.  If going with a Medium power rod, then consider a spinning combo.

New:  A Berkley Lightning...or Lightning Shock...spinning rod plus a Pflueger President will get you there with money left over for line....and a couple lures depending on the line used.  How far off the water are the piers?  I wouldn't want to be lifting a decent fish with the rod if very far.  However, SirSnookalot (for one) has plenty experience doing it and could offer advice on how not to break the rod.

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7 minutes ago, new2BC4bass said:

:welcome:

 

A spinning rod would be easier for you at this time and do it all.  However, my preference is always a baitcast rod if I can get away with one.  I would definitely go for a baitcast combo if going with a MH rod, but that is me.  I much prefer heavier lures on a b/c outfit.  If going with a Medium power rod, then consider a spinning combo.

New:  A Berkley Lightning...or Lightning Shock...spinning rod plus a Pflueger President will get you there with money left over for line....and a couple lures depending on the line used.  How far off the water are the piers?  I wouldn't want to be lifting a decent fish with the rod if very far.  However, SirSnookalot (for one) has plenty experience doing it and could offer advice on how not to break the rod.

Ditto

 

Mike

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I would guesstimate anywhere about 6-8 feetish from the pier ground to the water, but not 100% sure. To give you an idea of the locale

 

Also was planning to buy a loaded tackle box with lures and everything I'd need so my budget isn't too strict.

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7' Medium Ugly Stik GX2 + Pflueger President 6935

will cost around a $100 brand new for this set up. Should last you a long time as well.

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thebillsman I am curious what was wrong with your Berkley Lightning Shock rods?  I am sorry you had trouble but you have my curiosity running wild. Here in MD we chase rockfish from mid September to December, when they leave the main part of the Chesapeake Bay and enter the warmer waters of its tributaries.  Now instead of needing a big boat and planer boards with parachute rigs I can catch them from my bass boat throwing rattle traps (perfectly imitates the baitfish). We throw Bill Lewis Rattle Traps, Redeye Shads, and Xcalibur XR and XRK traps in 5/8,1/2 and 3/4 so I needed to have multiple rods on deck. For the last 4 years I have been throwing these baits on a $300 Irod/ Diawa Tatula combo, a $150 dollar Falcon Buccoo/Diawa Tatula combo and 2 Berkley Lightning Shock 6"6" M rods with Bass Pro Extreme reels.  All of these have either Fireline braid or PowerPro braid on them. I have caught numerous rock and blue cats up to 20 pounds.  These rods were purchased because I do not normally need 4 $300 combos on board to fish rattle traps.  Instead I have about $100 in each of the two combos. I have never had any trouble with them. Their performance is why i set my wife up with her spinning combo. Please elaborate because I am truly curious. Maybe they changed the rod or something?  How recent did you get yours, mine as I said are 3 and4 years old. 

Hey Speed thanks for the video that looks like fun and dinner as well.  That rod will work well for you, that bridge would be a problem if it was 20+ feet .  Here on the Chesapeake Bay lots of guys fish bridges and bulkheads like that for perch, spot, croaker, even blues.

You should have a blast and  it will last a good long time for you.

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27 minutes ago, fishnkamp said:

thebillsman I am curious what was wrong with your Berkley Lightning Shock rods?  I am sorry you had trouble but you have my curiosity running wild. Here in MD we chase rockfish from mid September to December, when they leave the main part of the Chesapeake Bay and enter the warmer waters of its tributaries.  Now instead of needing a big boat and planer boards with parachute rigs I can catch them from my bass boat throwing rattle traps (perfectly imitates the baitfish). We throw Bill Lewis Rattle Traps, Redeye Shads, and Xcalibur XR and XRK traps in 5/8,1/2 and 3/4 so I needed to have multiple rods on deck. For the last 4 years I have been throwing these baits on a $300 Irod/ Diawa Tatula combo, a $150 dollar Falcon Buccoo/Diawa Tatula combo and 2 Berkley Lightning Shock 6"6" M rods with Bass Pro Extreme reels.  All of these have either Fireline braid or PowerPro braid on them. I have caught numerous rock and blue cats up to 20 pounds.  These rods were purchased because I do not normally need 4 $300 combos on board to fish rattle traps.  Instead I have about $100 in each of the two combos. I have never had any trouble with them. Their performance is why i set my wife up with her spinning combo. Please elaborate because I am truly curious. Maybe they changed the rod or something?  How recent did you get yours, mine as I said are 3 and4 years old. 

Hey Speed thanks for the video that looks like fun and dinner as well.  That rod will work well for you, that bridge would be a problem if it was 20+ feet .  Here on the Chesapeake Bay lots of guys fish bridges and bulkheads like that for perch, spot, croaker, even blues.

You should have a blast and  it will last a good long time for you.

I originally bought a MH to use it for braid/jigs. The rod itself had no flexibility or sensitivity. It was the very definition of a broomstick. Difficult to cast with, very little feedback no matter the lure, and it was heavy. I eventually gave it to a friend.

The Medium was a little better. I hadn't written off the Berkley and figured it was my mistake for getting a cheap/heavy rod. I didn't even get a day out of this rod fishing from a wing dam for a few hours. The blank broke right in the middle in the strangest way I have ever seen. Three huge vertical cracks went up the blank. I was really disappointed. I honestly don't know how it happened. It didn't break on a hook set or a snappy cast. Needless to say I got my money back the next day.

I bought a Fenwick Silverhawk on sale for $60 at Cabelas the next weekend and I still have it. Great inexpensive rod with solid components. 

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Sorry to hear that i am glad you gt your money back though.

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:fishing-026:

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I would get a tatula or lews lfs speed spool, and a h20 xpress ethos rod from academy sports. Equals up to about 140 and I think that's about the best setup you can get with that money. Trust me I've been in your boat trying to get the most for your money on a budget. 

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