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Need Rod advice for new reels

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First I am new to fishing again after 30yrs out of it. 

Rod/Braid advice

1. cabelas salt striker inshore spinning 2500 reel. I have a academy ethos 6'10 MH rod will this work or do i need to use a 6'6/7'M rod?  This will be my main goto rig for everything freshwater bass, small cat fish, strippers etc... and inshore fish. What size braid?

2. Cabelas salt striker bait feeder 40b or 4000s series. WHat rod? Should I get a catfish style rod or a reg MH rod? What size braid? Mainly for bigger catfish and inshore/offshore 

3 cabelas pro guide 1000 spinning reel for the small stuff. Thinking of just going straight mono 4 pound. Unless you guys think braid would be better. I paired it with a cabelas fish eagle UL 5'6 rod.

I will be doing salt water or inshore only a few times a year most of my fishing will be in creeks rivers and a few lakes. I will be fishing from a kayak so I need the rods to stay at or below 7'/ Like to get rods in the $50 range. 


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Lets start with question 1 That reel and that rod will work well. My wife and I have used all kinds of lines, braid, mono, copolymers and fluoros. We have settled on using 1/2 spool of 14 pound Stren mono as backing and filling the rest up with Berkley FireLine original or fused in 14 pound test (same size as about 8 pound mono) It works well on bass, panfish, stripers and cats. We live on the Chesapeake Bay and run into all sorts of big channels and blue cats while striper and bass fishing. Each year we also travel and fish deep clear lakes in Tennessee and Kentucky. We do not change anything except maybe length of leader. If you wanted to, you could move up to 20 pound test but the 14 pound has worked well for me. In addition to the braid I usually use P Line CXX in moss green 10 pound test for my leaders. This line breaks closer to 20 lb and is very abrasion resistant. The other option would be Power Pro braid in 20 pound test, again with the mono backing and a CXX leader. I would prefer the 14 pound test FireLine 

So for the second rig I would load 1/2 of the spool with the mono backing and fill it up with Power Pro Spectra 30 pound test. Since you are not spending any money for the first combo other than line here is my best suggestion. Go get an Abu Garcia Veritas 2  7 foot MH Model: VRTS70-6 This is a 7 foot long mh rated for 1/4 to 3/4 ounce lures. All Abus run heavier than they say. so it is more like a mh/hvy so it will be more like a 1/4 to 1 ounce capable rod. This with 30 pound Power Pro Spectra and a 10 pound CX leader and you are set.  My wife and I own and fish with about 20 rods and three of them are Veritas rods. We fish with many rods costing much more but these work and work well.  

For combo three good old Stren original clear blue or Suffix Siege in say 6 pound test.

One last piece of advice, if you do not own a Berkley line winder station they are great for putting line on a reel. Cabelas sells them for $20 bucks. If you get one, ignore the direction. Install the arm that holds the bulk spool of line on so it runs side to side across the tool just like the picture shows it.  Spool a baitcaster with the line coming off the top of the spool, spool a spinning reel so the line comes off the bottom of the bulk spool.  This works best. Here is a picture of the tool I mean. They are available from lots of places like BPS and Cabelas.

I have to share a pic and a story that you will appreciate. In April we were vacationing on Dale Hollow Lake located on the Kentucky/ Tennessee border. This lake is known for producing"THE" world record smallie, it was a mammoth 11.15 pounds. It still holds lots of 6 and7 pounders, which we have been fortunate enough to catch ourselves. So we arrive the week all of the big female smallies come off the beds and are roaming around on deep grass beds on main lake. They do not even want to swim and forget getting them to chase any bait. The solution was to throw a new bait from ZMan "the Ned Rig " which consists of a 1/10th ounce mushroom head jig and a special "TRD" body which resembles a 2.5 inch piece of a Senco worm. We were throwing them on a pair of $250 G Loomis 6 foot light action rods with Pflueger President reels and the same 14 pound Stren mono backing and 14 pound FireLine braid and a 4 foot CXX leader. Well we found a school of bass in the grass in about 15 feet of water next to some bluffs. They were very close to the bluff and skittish so we were keeping the boat out a long cast off the bluff. Well the depth finder showed a school of really big fish tight to the bottom just under the boat.  All week long they turned out to be cats or walleye not willing to feed. As I noticed them, my wife exclaimed she hooked a huge smallie and to "GET THE NET QUICK!!!" I reached up loosened up her drag and sat down behind the console. She screamed at me again and I laughed as this 6 1/2 pound cat ran her from the front to the back decks and back again. She had no idea I already knew what it was. it took her about 10 minutes to land it. It nearly spooled her twice. I have great respect for her angling skills. She was hugely crushed it was not a smallie but I just smiled and told her how proud I was of her and that she is one of only 3 people I know of that would have been skilled enough to land it successfully. Obviously, the gear we were using would not be my choice to chase cats like that, but it is capable with the right angler. The biggest fish she has ever caught is a 34 pound flathead cat which came almost up to her neck when held up next to her 4'11 frame. LOLDSCN0106_zpstzgaeww7.jpg 

I hope this get you going and do not hesitate to ask follow up questions a smost everyone on here help each other out.

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