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BrackishBassin

Left hand retrieve set up.

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I've been fishing with an Abu Garcia Black Max combo I picked up for cheap, and a Penn Fierce II 2000 paired with an Ugly Stik Elite 7' med/light. After spending some time fishing with the Black Max combo, I realize I might have messed up. I spend most of my time bank fishing (have a boat, but it doesn't have a trolling motor on it and gas motors aren't allowed on the only local bass fishing lake) and the MH rod with the Black Max combo just isn't cutting it for me. I'm finding that I can't fish a majority of my baits without dealing with serious bird's nest issues. The bodies of water that I fish most frequently have quite a bit of grass, so anything heavy (1/2 ounce and above) is just getting buried. So, I'm looking to pick up something a little more versatile (like something in a med power).

1. Does anyone know of a decent combo (around $170) that's available in both a medium power and left hand retrieve?

2. Does anyone have any suggestions for rod/reel pairings in that price range?

Any and all assistance would be appreciated!

 

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I have a berkley heritage 6'6 medium light/ xf. But it fishes like a medium fast. And a diawa lexa both been used only a couple times. 120 shipped.

Also lews makes some nice combos. I was actually looking at a mach 2 combo and they look sweet. Buy your best bet would be a carbonlite/ pro qualifier combo for a tad more than your budget. 

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Casting lures at 1/2 ounce shouldn't result in backlash. Try adjusting your brakes and casting technique. As far as lures buried in grass goes, try going with a lighter bait and a faster retrieve. How deep is the grass you are fishing? I tend to match the weight I'm using to the depth im fishing. Also, when fishing shallow grass, I benefit greatly from a higher retrieve/higher gear ratio reel. Say 6:3:1 to 7:31 ratio. Also, weedless lures help. Spinnerbaits, Texas rigs, buzz toads, spinnerbaits, zoom flukes and rattle traps. The shallower the water the lighter the weight lure. I think a medium heavy weight rod is perfect for fish for fishing grass. Bass tend to dig themselves in when hooked. The medium light though is a rod I would avoid in the grass. Especially shallow grass... Unless you are using ultra light lures. 

As far as as a combo is concerned. The carbon lite/ pro qualifier combo starts at 159. That is a killer combo for the price. Get a higher speed reel for the shallow grass. 

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20 minutes ago, Poolshark said:

Casting lures at 1/2 ounce shouldn't result in backlash. Try adjusting your brakes and casting technique. As far as lures buried in grass goes, try going with a lighter bait and a faster retrieve. How deep is the grass you are fishing? I tend to match the weight I'm using to the depth im fishing. Also, when fishing shallow grass, I benefit greatly from a higher retrieve/higher gear ratio reel. Say 6:3:1 to 7:31 ratio. Also, weedless lures help. Spinnerbaits, Texas rigs, buzz toads, spinnerbaits, zoom flukes and rattle traps. The shallower the water the lighter the weight lure. I think a medium heavy weight rod is perfect for fish for fishing grass. Bass tend to dig themselves in when hooked. The medium light though is a rod I would avoid in the grass. Especially shallow grass... Unless you are using ultra light lures. 

I'm not having issues with the 1/2 ounce lures backlashing, but they're just getting buried in the grass. Grass covers pretty much the entire bottom. So, anything light enough to stay above the grass backlashes on the cast unless I'm crazy careful. I could fish exclusively with my spinning set up, but I'd really like to work on my technique with baitcasters. The med light has worked great so far, but I'm using it to fish weightless plastics almost exclusively. 

54 minutes ago, d-camarena said:

I have a berkley heritage 6'6 medium light/ xf. But it fishes like a medium fast. And a diawa lexa both been used only a couple times. 120 shipped.

Also lews makes some nice combos. I was actually looking at a mach 2 combo and they look sweet. Buy your best bet would be a carbonlite/ pro qualifier combo for a tad more than your budget. 

I was looking at the Mach 2 as well, but that's a MH rod. Already have one of those. Carbonlites appear to all be right hand retrieves. I need a left. 

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Just keep practicing and keep your breaks set correctly. It also helps to keep the lure weights within the rods rating. A medium rod might help. 

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Just now, Poolshark said:

Just keep practicing and keep your breaks set correctly. It also helps to keep the lure weights within the rods rating. A medium rod might help. 

Yeah, that's exactly what I'm looking for. A decent combo that offers a med power rod with a left hand retrieve reel option. Rare as hen's teeth. 

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41 minutes ago, BrackishBassin said:

Yeah, that's exactly what I'm looking for. A decent combo that offers a med power rod with a left hand retrieve reel option. Rare as hen's teeth. 

Instead of buying a preset combo buy a rod and a reel. If you go to outdoor.bassdistributing.com you can get a left handed lews lfs for under $75.  Then pick your poison on a medium/fast rod around $100.00.

 

 

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Consider purchasing a Diawa Tatula, or Tatula CT or even a Diawa Tatula Type R from one of the internet sites. All of them can be had for around $120 some cheaper. Another option is to get a Diawa Exceler for $60 from this website.https://www.*.com/Daiwa-Exceler-EXE-Reels-p/daiwa-excelerexe.htm   By the way, I fish both left and right hand reels. I like lefties for baits I jerk, or impart action to. I like RH reels for lures I chuck and wind. All of the Diawa reels I suggested are available in RH and LH models. I fish with some of each.

As for a rod, look at Dobyns Fury like a FR 703C. This is a very sensitive rod, made well using good components and can throw Sencos, light tx rigs, light jigs, spinnerbaits, and flukes. For the type of waters you fish, I would throw some Reaction Innovation Skinny Dippers and medium size Dippers. They can be thrown on spinning gear if unweighted, or on a rod like this with a belly weighted swimbait hook, and also in deeper water with a fish head style jig head like the Picassos. These baits are hollow bodied swimbaits and get eaten very quickly in all types of waters. I would throw some small to mid size spinnerbaits, texas rigged 4 and 6 inch worms, lizards, and creature baits. All of these would be thrown with light tungsten worm weights,  I would also throw some smaller topwaters and chatterbaits. Lastly I would rig another rod to fish hollow bodied frogs for most of the summer time.  On this Dobyns rod do not worry about the MH Fast action designation. These rods are a little lighter than what they call it compared to some other manufacturers. Compare them more by their lure ratings and suggested lures and you will have a terrific combo.

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6 hours ago, fishnkamp said:

Consider purchasing a Diawa Tatula, or Tatula CT or even a Diawa Tatula Type R from one of the internet sites. All of them can be had for around $120 some cheaper. Another option is to get a Diawa Exceler for $60 from this website.https://www.*.com/Daiwa-Exceler-EXE-Reels-p/daiwa-excelerexe.htm   By the way, I fish both left and right hand reels. I like lefties for baits I jerk, or impart action to. I like RH reels for lures I chuck and wind. All of the Diawa reels I suggested are available in RH and LH models. I fish with some of each.

As for a rod, look at Dobyns Fury like a FR 703C. This is a very sensitive rod, made well using good components and can throw Sencos, light tx rigs, light jigs, spinnerbaits, and flukes. For the type of waters you fish, I would throw some Reaction Innovation Skinny Dippers and medium size Dippers. They can be thrown on spinning gear if unweighted, or on a rod like this with a belly weighted swimbait hook, and also in deeper water with a fish head style jig head like the Picassos. These baits are hollow bodied swimbaits and get eaten very quickly in all types of waters. I would throw some small to mid size spinnerbaits, texas rigged 4 and 6 inch worms, lizards, and creature baits. All of these would be thrown with light tungsten worm weights,  I would also throw some smaller topwaters and chatterbaits. Lastly I would rig another rod to fish hollow bodied frogs for most of the summer time.  On this Dobyns rod do not worry about the MH Fast action designation. These rods are a little lighter than what they call it compared to some other manufacturers. Compare them more by their lure ratings and suggested lures and you will have a terrific combo.

Thanks! I'll definitely take a look at the Tatula line. It'd be even better if Dick's carries it in store. I've got a friend that can get me a 25% discount on anything they carry, but it has to be in store. I'll look at the Dobyns, but I think I'd rather spend most of the budget on a reel. 

I've had quite a bit of success with weightless plastics (worms, lizards, and brush hogs), and some with smaller crankbaits. My PB actually came from the pond I referenced. I caught it on a 6" Zoom lizard while the bluegill were spawning. I've thrown both a frog and spook, but I think I'm missing the morning bite and haven't been able to stay around to see if they hit top water in the evening. 

7 hours ago, MBB Nate said:

Instead of buying a preset combo buy a rod and a reel. If you go to outdoor.bassdistributing.com you can get a left handed lews lfs for under $75.  Then pick your poison on a medium/fast rod around $100.00.

 

 

It looks like that's the direction I'm going to have to go. I was trying to avoid it, if I could, because I'm still somewhat new to the freshwater side of fishing. So, I was trying to limit costly purchases I would decide I don't need down the line.  I figured combos would be the most versatile, but that doesn't seem to be the case. They almost all come with MH rods. 

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My take is a med heavy for single hooked lures, and med and lighter for treble hooked lures,.... In general,..

 If the reel is backlashing even with correct adjustment,.. have it serviced by Delaware Valley Tackle. (site sponsor) Mike did an awesome job on my reels, better than new in my opinion. I used to have a local shop do my servicing but no more since I got my reels back from Mike.,..I thought these reels were almost junk as they served me for over 20 years, but they are now as good or better then when I bought them.

 Also, for left hand retrieve baitcasters? look into the shimano reels. I got a left handed canean from dicks sporting goods that casts like a dream for a $80 reel, their citica, and curado's are well known top choices in their price ranges as well.

 Typically,.. you can build a better setup yourself, than what you will find in a combo. The above mentioned canean and a lightning rod would be less money than what your looking to spend and probably better than any combo  found at that price

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5 hours ago, BrackishBassin said:

It looks like that's the direction I'm going to have to go. I was trying to avoid it, if I could, because I'm still somewhat new to the freshwater side of fishing. So, I was trying to limit costly purchases I would decide I don't need down the line.  I figured combos would be the most versatile, but that doesn't seem to be the case. They almost all come with MH rods. 

i agree with trying to find a solid reel and solid rod, but separate rather than a combo.  you can score a great setup for around your $170 budget no doubt about it.  

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9 hours ago, "hamma" said:

My take is a med heavy for single hooked lures, and med and lighter for treble hooked lures,.... In general,..

 If the reel is backlashing even with correct adjustment,.. have it serviced by Delaware Valley Tackle. (site sponsor) Mike did an awesome job on my reels, better than new in my opinion. I used to have a local shop do my servicing but no more since I got my reels back from Mike.,..I thought these reels were almost junk as they served me for over 20 years, but they are now as good or better then when I bought them.

 Also, for left hand retrieve baitcasters? look into the shimano reels. I got a left handed canean from dicks sporting goods that casts like a dream for a $80 reel, their citica, and curado's are well known top choices in their price ranges as well.

 Typically,.. you can build a better setup yourself, than what you will find in a combo. The above mentioned canean and a lightning rod would be less money than what your looking to spend and probably better than any combo  found at that price

So, does the single hook rule apply to something like a weightless senko or creature bait? I can't imagine throwing something like that on my MH rod without a backlash, but maybe I just haven't cast it enough. 

I don't really think the reel is worth sending off to get serviced. I got the combo on sale for $50 and then got a $20 rebate, so I'm looking at a combo that cost me $30 total. Between shipping and the cost for the service, it'd probably be cheaper to just buy a new one. 

Thanks for the suggestions on the reels. I'll definitely check them out. Any clue if they'd stand up to a little saltwater usage? As my name implies, I fish some areas that are technically considered freshwater, but I bet have some salt in them if you were to test them. 

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BrackishBassin  I see you are located in southern MD. Would you be interested in taking a field trip to baltimore. I have two things that might help you. First is we could meet up and you can test multiple rods and reels I have set up in my arsenal and secondly you can check out a fantastic tackle shop we have located in Hunt Valley ( 15 to 20 minutes from my home). It is called Anglers Express. They are the only local shop in MD that carries a full line of Powell, Dobyns, Irod,  Shimano, Duckett, one three, NO.8, cashion and others.  They sell some Abu reels, Ardent, Diawa, Shimano & one three, casting reels. It might help if you bring up your rod and reel. You would also run past Bass Pro as well.  I used to keep a camper down on Port Tobacco River and it took about 2 hours to get there, so you can judge from that. 

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1 hour ago, BrackishBassin said:

So, does the single hook rule apply to something like a weightless senko or creature bait? I can't imagine throwing something like that on my MH rod without a backlash, but maybe I just haven't cast it enough. 

I don't really think the reel is worth sending off to get serviced. I got the combo on sale for $50 and then got a $20 rebate, so I'm looking at a combo that cost me $30 total. Between shipping and the cost for the service, it'd probably be cheaper to just buy a new one. 

Thanks for the suggestions on the reels. I'll definitely check them out. Any clue if they'd stand up to a little saltwater usage? As my name implies, I fish some areas that are technically considered freshwater, but I bet have some salt in them if you were to test them. 

I dont use senko's , But the guys I've fished with that do,.. some use baitcasters and a few use a med heavy spinning rod.

 Some of the better shimano baitcasters are good to go in salt water. But I dont use them in nothing but freshwater I know curados and calcutta's are designed for saltwater use, but the less expensive? im not sure

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2 hours ago, fishnkamp said:

BrackishBassin  I see you are located in southern MD. Would you be interested in taking a field trip to baltimore. I have two things that might help you. First is we could meet up and you can test multiple rods and reels I have set up in my arsenal and secondly you can check out a fantastic tackle shop we have located in Hunt Valley ( 15 to 20 minutes from my home). It is called Anglers Express. They are the only local shop in MD that carries a full line of Powell, Dobyns, Irod,  Shimano, Duckett, one three, NO.8, cashion and others.  They sell some Abu reels, Ardent, Diawa, Shimano & one three, casting reels. It might help if you bring up your rod and reel. You would also run past Bass Pro as well.  I used to keep a camper down on Port Tobacco River and it took about 2 hours to get there, so you can judge from that. 

I really appreciate the offer, truly, but I had newborn twin sons. Unfortunately, a two hour trip for fishing related purchases just isn't in the schedule. If I happen to get even an hour to myself, I'm either wetting a line or taking a nap. I'll definitely keep that in mind though, for when they're a little  bigger. An all day trip just isn't feasible with them at the moment. Sounds like the shop has what I need though. The local one here just carries saltwater gear and a few ridiculously priced baitcasting combos ($375 is the cheapest). So, it'd be nice to get to talk to some guys that have a clue what they're talking about. 

1 hour ago, "hamma" said:

I dont use senko's , But the guys I've fished with that do,.. some use baitcasters and a few use a med heavy spinning rod.

 Some of the better shimano baitcasters are good to go in salt water. But I dont use them in nothing but freshwater I know curados and calcutta's are designed for saltwater use, but the less expensive? im not sure

Thanks! I'll add the Curados to my list of reels to consider. I've been doing some digging on eBay and have found some decent deals. 

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Where are you located in southern Md?

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44 minutes ago, fishnkamp said:

Where are you located in southern Md?

About as far south as you can go before you fall in the water. 

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Well if you would like I could meet you somewhere down there. Perhaps there is a school ball field to cast some rods. If so I would consider meeting you down there . Then after I would probably stop back at my old stomping grounds Goose Bay Campgrounds to see some old friends.  I wonder if Captain Billy's, Capt Robertson's, and they used to be called Gilligan's restaurants are still offering some great crabs?

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Reel: Daiwa Tatula 100, lefty 6.3:1 or 7.3:1, $90:

http://www.americanlegacyfishing.com/daiwa-tatula-100h-casting-reels.html

Rod: Fenwick Elite Tech Smallmouth, 6'3" Med. power, mod-fast action, $75, minus $15 current promo discount:

http://www.ffo-tackle.com/ffo-rods-casting/fenwick-elitetech-smallmount-casting-rod/FFOM3000215.html

 

There's $280 original retail value total ($150 reel + $130 rod) for about $170-180, shipped.

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16 hours ago, MIbassyaker said:

Reel: Daiwa Tatula 100, lefty 6.3:1 or 7.3:1, $90:

http://www.americanlegacyfishing.com/daiwa-tatula-100h-casting-reels.html

Rod: Fenwick Elite Tech Smallmouth, 6'3" Med. power, mod-fast action, $75, minus $15 current promo discount:

http://www.ffo-tackle.com/ffo-rods-casting/fenwick-elitetech-smallmount-casting-rod/FFOM3000215.html

 

There's $280 original retail value total ($150 reel + $130 rod) for about $170-180, shipped.

Thanks! I'll definitely check those out. 

18 hours ago, fishnkamp said:

Well if you would like I could meet you somewhere down there. Perhaps there is a school ball field to cast some rods. If so I would consider meeting you down there . Then after I would probably stop back at my old stomping grounds Goose Bay Campgrounds to see some old friends.  I wonder if Captain Billy's, Capt Robertson's, and they used to be called Gilligan's restaurants are still offering some great crabs?

I'll shoot you a PM if I can work something out. I'm not familiar with the first two restaurants, but Gilligans is still around. 

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The first two are located right next to Gilligan's. Coming south on the river Capt. Billy's and Capt Robertson's were 1 and 2 and Gilligan's was third in line. Gilligan's had the best pier punch and "swamp water" I believe they called it.  Drunk is what you could be if you had a bit too much of either. LOL

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