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That was the first baitcaster combo I ever bought. I'd say it's an ok combo but I don't love it. Spend just a little more and get a Lew's Mach 1 or the new Mach 2 that should be in stores soon. 

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I'd get a daiwa exceler off eBay for a little over 60, or h20 mettle from academy on sale for a reel, or look for a used bps pro qualifier or shimano citica d. Then I'd get either the Fenwick hmx 6'6" mh or 7ft mh or the Abu Garcia vendetta 7'mh from ffo tackle for about 45. Any of those reels has a better braking system and I'm not for sure on the mettle but the other 3 I mentioned have an aluminum frame that should be more durable than the graphite(plastic) pro max, and the rods are a definite step up from the rods that come with the combos

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Boy Timsford and I agree. I would suggest a Diawa Exceler and a Vendetta,or go find a  Berkley Lightning Shock rod.  Sometimes you can find a 6'6" Lightning Shock rod from WalMart on clearance for $40.

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Or look around here for good used reel. That way you dont have to upgrade too fast. For rod lightning rod is good start and should last you for a long time. You can also check pure fishing outlet for discount price for rods and reels.

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I only suggest, the best you can afford (do some research/read reviews) Know exactly what you want to use it for i.e bait finesse, power fishing, etc. You can find some outstanding deals if you source hard enough. You can get lucky and get $300-500 reel for less than half. Good Luck

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Never used either but some on here have and apparently were satisfied with the combo as a first one. I see that it can be had for about  $80.  I like the idea of an aluminum frame.  For the same money I'd rather have something like a Lightning, H2O on sale , or a rod from FFO teamed with a Mettle on sale or for a little more the Exceler. Or a used reel.  Such a combo would run another $20 or so but would be worth it if you can find the extra few dollars. 

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16 hours ago, fishnkamp said:

Boy Timsford and I agree. I would suggest a Diawa Exceler and a Vendetta,or go find a  Berkley Lightning Shock rod.  Sometimes you can find a 6'6" Lightning Shock rod from WalMart on clearance for $40.

found 2 of the shock rods on clearance last week 20 bucks each !!!  walmart. 

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What rod is best for a specific reel sorta has things turned around. The technique you wish to fish helps determine what rod, line, reel gear ratio works best. Some reels do have line restrictions due to capacity, but for the most part selecting technique works best in that order. If you are trying to purchase that reel because you like it that is fine. Determine your rod budget, what you would like to fish it with and that will help you determine which gear ratio you should get that reel in.

That reel retails for $250 so obviously I would expect you would be looking to match that reel up with a rod from the $100 to $200 retail price. A lot of rods in that price range are available for much less, but they still must be thought of as being in that range for comparison purposes. I would use the 6.4-1 for general purposes like spinnerbaits, crankbaits, jigs, carolina rigs and texas rigs. I would use the 8-1 for things like pitching, throwing frogs, maybe even spinnerbaits if I wanted to burn it like a wake bait. As for a general purpose rod look for 6'8" to 7'3"  mh fast action. Something like a Dobyns FR 703C that would run right around $110. If your budget is higher look at the Dobyns Sierra SA 683C or SA 703C. Both of these run $155 to $165. There are great rods in several St Croix lines of rods in the $120 to $240 range. Look also at some of the Irods Genesis II rods.  Consider the IRG744C or the IRG 693C. Both very versatile rods. If you want a softer action rod for cranks then it takes a whole other bunch of suggestions. Tell us what you want to spend and what you want it to do first.  Oh by the way that should be a beautiful reel.

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On 9/30/2016 at 7:23 PM, fishnkamp said:

Boy Timsford and I agree. I would suggest a Diawa Exceler and a Vendetta,or go find a  Berkley Lightning Shock rod.  Sometimes you can find a 6'6" Lightning Shock rod from WalMart on clearance for $40.

$22 + $8 shipping on Fisherman's Factory Outlet.

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