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Panfish Bill

Is there a cheap combo to use with Swim baits?

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I want to start using big 2 oz swim baits for Bass, Stripers, and the occasional Muskie.  Is there a good entry combo anyone would suggest around the $100 mark anywhere?  

From what I read you need at least a 7 foot mh rod with moderate action tip.  The reels suggested are always the expensive ones while most bass reels could accept 50 lb braid just fine (12lb mono diameter).  The casting of said braid would be another story.

I am not ready for a $200 rod and $200 reel lol!

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Since you mention 50# braid I am going to assume you are looking for a baitcast combo.  The 7'6" Heavy Berkley Lightning Shock ($55) would be a good rod to start with.  A cheap baitcast reel is a bit harder for me to recommend.  Look at the used market.  An Ambassadeur 4600 C3 can be found new for $60 and less for used.  That is about as cheap as I'd want to go.  These reels are tanks and can be passed down to your children as long as you take proper care of it.

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I have a China made Abu 5000 or 4000.  It's an older reel/rod combo.  Short rod though (6'6" Abu rod, m or mh I forgot).  It was a trade and I have never used it.

I also have a Sweden made Abu 5500C3 on one of my catfish rigs.  Having a side button to cast with is a bit of a pain but it is underpowered for what I use it for lol.

Maybe I can get away with the China Abu and a rod and hope for the best?  I will have to get exact name of that combo when I get home.

I only mentioned 50 lb braid because it's 12 lb diameter.  Most bass reels I have seen, like a pro max, show 12 lb as max line.

 

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Okuma guide select swimbait rod

$90-110

Shimano cardiff 200 or 300 reel

$70-100

About the cheapest dedicated swimbait combo you can buy. 

2oz is on the lower end for 'big' baits. so you'll also have enough rod for heavier baits when you decide to do so. 

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1 hour ago, rippin-lips said:

Okuma guide select swimbait rod

$90-110

Shimano cardiff 200 or 300 reel

$70-100

About the cheapest dedicated swimbait combo you can buy. 

2oz is on the lower end for 'big' baits. so you'll also have enough rod for heavier baits when you decide to do so. 

x2, I looked around for a little bit because I was a little wary about dropping 200 on a technique specific combo, for a technique I wasn't even sure if I would like to fish yet. Both the rod, and the reel....they were about the cheapest I could find that still had very positive reviews and feedback from people. I have the H guide select (1-6oz). Lures in the middle of that range will load the rod very nicely, so the 2-3 oz ones that you might start off buying will fish very well on it. I think the 6oz upper range is a little bit generous on Okuma's part though, not that it can't be done but the rod seems a little overloaded IMO with anything in the 5/6 ballpark. 

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3 hours ago, Panfish Bill said:

I want to start using big 2 oz swim baits for Bass, Stripers, and the occasional Muskie.  Is there a good entry combo anyone would suggest around the $100 mark anywhere?  

From what I read you need at least a 7 foot mh rod with moderate action tip.  The reels suggested are always the expensive ones while most bass reels could accept 50 lb braid just fine (12lb mono diameter).  The casting of said braid would be another story.

I am not ready for a $200 rod and $200 reel lol!

Academy Sports has a 7'6" XH rod that will handle a 2.5 oz SPRO Rat 50 and it's only about $70 regular price but once in awhile they'll sell em for $50...or mismark them at $50. And the Cardiff is probably gonna be the cheapest/best big bait reel you'll find. A step up is the Okuma Citrix 364a for @ $170 (which I have and it's a beast of a reel...good investment!). 

Also, at Academy, I found a Castaway 7'6" XH rod rated to 2 oz that was marked down from $80 to @ $36! Score!!!!

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Thanks for the advice!  Still well above what I was thinking of paying for a starter combo!  I will have to check out Academy more often and see what they have.

However...

I have been drooling over the new Okuma Komodo SS series baitcasters.  Maybe I should just wait and save up for one lol.

This Abu I have is a 5600 BCX on a 6'6" MH Abu rod.  1 1/4 oz max rod.  Not really up to spec for a 2 oz swimbait.  I have considered taking it to my local side of road tackle dealer.  May be able to trade it for something else lol.

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Get the right tool for the job. Think of it as a snap on screwdriver. It's an investment but will last you a long time if taken care of. The baits are cheap either. $25 for a hudd 68. $20 for a spro 50 rat. $50-75 for a good bluegill hardbait. It all adds up quick. 

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32 minutes ago, rippin-lips said:

Get the right tool for the job. Think of it as a snap on screwdriver. It's an investment but will last you a long time if taken care of. The baits are cheap either. $25 for a hudd 68. $20 for a spro 50 rat. $50-75 for a good bluegill hardbait. It all adds up quick. 

I do agree with that.  Skimping anywhere could create a hole in the water to throw money at (lost bait, lost fish, or worse!).

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21 minutes ago, Panfish Bill said:

I do agree with that.  Skimping anywhere could create a hole in the water to throw money at (lost bait, lost fish, or worse!).

Yea, swimbait gear especially is probably not the place to look to save large amounts of money. In a niche technique where a backlash could cost you 20....30....50....100 dollars, a 50 dollar "budget reel" in hindsight might not be the best decision. 

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Cabelas, bass pro, gander mountain, and academy all have store brand rods well under 100 bucks rated to 2 oz. Now as to whether they can actually handle it or any other info on them, I have no idea. Another idea would be to look at musky rods as they are made for bigger lures and an entry level rod should be fairly easy to find. As far as the reel goes, if you are trying to stay under that budget I'd look for a used abu round reel or maybe a low profile in a low gear ratio, but you may have to use braid with lower priced low profiles since it won't hold enough heavy line

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1 hour ago, timsford said:

Cabelas, bass pro, gander mountain, and academy all have store brand rods well under 100 bucks rated to 2 oz. Now as to whether they can actually handle it or any other info on them, I have no idea. Another idea would be to look at musky rods as they are made for bigger lures and an entry level rod should be fairly easy to find. As far as the reel goes, if you are trying to stay under that budget I'd look for a used abu round reel or maybe a low profile in a low gear ratio, but you may have to use braid with lower priced low profiles since it won't hold enough heavy line

He's trying to keep the total for rod and reel at or under $100 (which is going to be basically impossible, especially if he buys new stuff). Pretty sure that $125-175 range would be about the best he could hope for with a $50-70 Academy H2O Express rod and and a $70-100 Shimano Cardiff reel. 

I kept my expenditure as low as possible but still got a helluva set up with a Dobyns Fury 795 ($100 after bassresource discount from a local tackle shop) and an Okuma Citrix 364a reel ($150 NIB shipped from an online tackle dealer that went out of business)... $250 total investment in a very good set up.

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Cabelas Tourney Trail rods are $65 & can be had for ~$40 on sale.  This year they might be calling the swimbait-able models "Musky" rods.  Get a 5500/5501 Abu C3.  Used ones are $25 & up.  25lb Maxima or whatever mono you want is $15.  That is not sexy but it works.  Like me laid over the hood of a 98 Toyota Tercel.

 

 

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2 oz swimbaits are far from being BIG swimbaits, a H rod of whatever brand a reliable AbuGarcia C3 reel will do the job with less than $150.

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casting a 2 oz. bait can easily be done on a flipping rod and pretty much any low profile reel with lower speed gears , as for line , you only need 15 lb. which you can fit plenty on a low profile reel ..

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My first swimbait set up ran me about $180 and consisted of a Cardiff 300 and a BPS 7'6"MH Graphite Musky rod.  Still use the rod although I upgraded to a EXO 300 reel.  Works great for all my swimbait needs and is able to handle larger baits in the 6-8oz range as well as throwing 2oz baits.  Just an option.

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2 hours ago, Raul said:

2 oz swimbaits are far from being BIG swimbaits, a H rod of whatever brand a reliable AbuGarcia C3 reel will do the job with less than $150.

Not all heavy rods can handle that. An abu garcia mh could probably handle it, and definitely the heavy. My tatula heavy frog rod can throw that weight. Phenix, loomis, and lots of other heavy power rods struggle with much over an ounce, even a lot of flipping sticks. If I was the OP with a hundred dollar budget, I'd be searching the Web and looking at store brand and clearance rods and reels and used reels. I buy a lot of used rods and reels, but it will be hard to find a used rod with that budget since whoever is selling it will be paying at least 20-25 bucks just to ship a rod long and powerful enough to throw them. I've used a Berkley lightning rod shock 7'6" heavy that could handle 2oz and cost was around 50 bucks, and I had a team daiwa t rod I bought on closeout at tackle warehouse for 48 bucks and change that could handle it. You might try looking on ebay or on store sites for one of these. I donated both of them to a buddy after I upgraded, but those are the only two off the top of my head other than store brands that would leave enough room for a reel and still be under 100 for the combo. If there are any bass pro, cabelas, gander mtn, academy, or other outdoors stores, try searching their websites for store brand heavy or ex heavy baitcasting rods, musky rods, inshore rods, and others 7'-8' long that have the lure weight rating that matches the baits you want to throw. Most places offer free shipping to the retail brick and mortar stores and free shipping is the only way you will meet budget imo. As long as the rod is rated up to 1 1/2 oz or so it should be able to throw those, but you may end up having to do easy lob casts. Good luck in your search and let us know what you come up with.

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Thanks for the replies!  Lots of good stuff here.  I will have to continue saving for now.

In the mean time I came up with an idea.  Use what I have.  That includes making my own swim bait.  All at no cost while I save for the bigger reels since I have everything I need to do so. I will make videos of this adventure if I catch anything.  Well under $100!

As for Muskie rods used as a a swim bait rod how about an Okuma EVx matched with the Okuma Komodo SS?  That is really throwing the $100 budget out the window lol!

 

 

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