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MDRookie

Help me catch more fish :-)

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Hi all... first time poster here.. second time typing this.. as I must have timed out.. Oh well :-)

I have always enjoyed recreational fishing but would like to take it more seriously now. I would like this board's help to become a better fisherman.  

After reading through some of the posts/threads here.. I see that there are rods, reels and line that are best suited for fishing certain lures and conditions. This is where I could use your help/expertise... Here's what I have accumulated over the years.

I have 2 ultralight rods.. that I understand are used for smaller/pan type fishing. A 4'8 UglyStik GX2 and my most recent purchase that I bought specifically to try my hand at trout fishing.. Browning Air Stream 5'6" fast action paired with a Sedona 1000FE.. that I took out for first time yesterday.. and caught 2 rainbow. Yay!

Anyway... My oldest is a BlackMax baitcaster that still works but is not as liquid smooth as my newest baitcaster. This is paired with a Berkley Scout 5'6" medium 2 piece rod. I believe I have 10# mono on this. Taking out of the equation that it is not what it used to be when new... how is this rod/reel best used... lures and line?

I also have a BPS RT1 Graphite Series 6'6" MH fast action rod paired with a Pflueger President spinning reel that i bought as a combo. I don't remember the size line that is on here.Is this a good combo? What line and lures would be best used with this combo?

Lastly.. I just purchased an Okuma Status V baitcaster. I paired this with a 2 piece Shakespeare Synergy 6' medium rod that my neighbor was throwing away. I believe I have 12# mono on this. I also have another rod I could pair this with.. a BPS Bionic Blade 6' MH fast action. Would it be better on this rod... or maybe another altogether? 

I have the funds to invest in another combo... if you folks recommend... in the $150 or less range. 

Any advice/suggestions would be appreciated.. line size changes.. combo changes.. and with lures best suited for each combo. Thanks in advance!!!

 

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8 hours ago, MDRookie said:

And another question.. my baitcasters are right hand wind reels and my spinners are left handed. Is this common?

Yes, that is the traditional set-up

:cat-in-pumpkin:

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 "Back in the day",...lol,...   typically a med action rod should be paired with a treble hooked lure. and a med heavy or heavier for a single hooked lure. This was the rule of thumb years ago before braid took off in the freshwater world, and mono ruled.,..

 I (being stubborn) have stuck to this as it works for me.

 the shorter 5'6" med action baitcaster would probably be good for a topwater/jerkbaits for the moment as the longer handles, and longer rod lengths of todays newer gear "can" get in the way when you apply some of the "topwater" techniques, and 10 pound test is what i use for this

 The 6' med heavy action Bionic Blade baitcaster Id use for worms and jigs paired with its okuma reel and 12 pound test.

The spinning rod Id put some 10 pound test on and use for jigheads and finesse techniques.

 These May work as a good start for now, and some anglers may disagree, and suggest other ways to set up the gear you have, and thats fine,... but in general, your at the starting gate.,..Get ready!, there's a ton of info regarding the sport of bass fishing. But at the very least you are at the right place to begin with. Bass Resource has it all.

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Thanks for the reply hamma!  

I have mainly fished with plastic worms,  lizard,  spinners and buzz baits. I will have to look into some topwater jerk baits, jigs and jig heads.  

Is one of my rods better suited for spinners and buzz baits? 

Thanks again! 

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It would help if you provide more information such as whether you fish from shore or have a boat, what type of waters you fish, etc. The UL combos are pretty much useless unless you fish lakes that are barren of obstructions or cover.

Without knowing anything more, follow FF's advice and wait for the sales and get a 7+foot MH fast action baitcasting rod (plenty of good choices at the $100 price point) for your Okuma baitcasting reel. Get some 12-15lb Big Game line and you'll be able to toss just about any bass baits.

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Hello and Welcome to Bass Resource ~

It would be in your best interest to continue to read as much as you can in the Bass Resource Articles section. 

http://www.bassresource.com/how-to-fish/

Learning about the type of water you plan on fishing and then passing that along here will assist the very experienced & super helpful BR membership guide you along.

Good Luck

A-Jay

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Thanks for the welcome A-Jay

I will be fishing majority of time in Maryland/PA reservoirs, rivers and small lakes. I do travel/camp quite a bit... NY, WV, VA, CT, etc.. usually around water. I have a canoe that I fish from most of the time but do fish from shore on occasion. 

thanks again...

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MD Rookie where do you live?  I am located in Baltimore MD.  If you are interested, we could meet up and go through you equipment in person.  You could get a chance to throw some of mine. Then we can see what you like or prefer and could better put together a plan to upgrade your arsenal. Perhaps some of yours reels can be brought back to life with a simple cleaning and lubing. If so there is a really good reel repair service located nearby.  If your reels are serviceable, then perhaps you can pick a couple of other rods to pair them with to reshape your arsenal.  And then we could better understand what type of a new rig would help you the most. I own some very expensive rods, but also regularly use some inexpensive rods as well. 

First I would definitely keep the two UL combos as is and use them for trout and panfish.  The 6'6" spinning combo has a terrific reel on it. I would need to cast that rod to see how it plays. Not all rod makers spec their rods the same. If it plays more like a 6'6" medium it is perfect for lots of light weight plastics, and other goodies.   If not, I have a couple of really inexpensive rod choices in mind to make that a major weapon in your line up.  You will be able to throw some of those here as well.

If the Black Max feels " okay" to me I would have it professionally serviced. Then it would go on either the Bionic Blade 6 MH or the 6 foot Synergy,  The Okuma would go on the other.  The Bionic would handle most single hook baits above 1/4 ounce like worms, jigs, creature baits, spinnerbaits,etc.  The Synergy, since it is more of a medium slower action rod will serve better as a treble hook rod. Once we play with them, toss some actual baits etc, then we can identify what you like and decide what type of rod and reel makes the most sense to purchase to round out your arsenal. 

As for the left hand right hand reels that is normal. Heck I have come to use all of my spinning reels with the handle on the left, as most anglers do. All of my baitcaster that are used to chuck and wind lures. like crankbaits, spinnerbaits and rattle traps,are  right handed and all of my baitcasters used for jerkbaits, topwaters, jigs, worms etc, just about anything you impart action yourself well they are all left handed.

I have been fishing MD and PA waters for 40 years. Lets talk some fishing. have you ever fished any of the Columbia lakes, Black Hills regional Park ( down near Gaithersburg,) Centennial Lake (Howard CO) Piney Run Lake (Carroll CO.) or lakes like Tuckaho Lake on the Eastern Shore.  Another favorite of my wife is Shad Landing (Pocomoke River) near Salisbury MD. All of these are great water to use your canoe and we have fished them from a canoe, several jons and some bass boats. There is a great stretch of the Susquehanna river we used to fish. It is perfect for your canoe, has a company that, for a small  fee, will drive you up and dump you in and you paddle back to their campground. Lots of good wading areas along that run, along with good smallies.

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Wow fishnkamp! thanks for the reply and offer! I would definitely like to take you up on that... awesome. Working today.. so will answer in more detail later...

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Send me an e-mail at fishnkamp@comcast.net

. I am located just a few minutes from Martin State Airport and the Gunpowder State Park/ Dundee Creek Marina.

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Thanks again fishnkamp.. I will email but first reply here. I am located in Westminster, Carroll County. I have only fished at Pretty Boy (canoe) and Piney Run (from the docks) in Carroll. Most of my fishing takes place on my camping trips. Yes, I have been to Tuckahoe and was great. Was down at Point lookout a month ago.. awesome. Rocky Gap last week.. nice. Otter Creek campground on the Susquehanna a couple times per year. Would be interested in the campground that offers portage... 

Attached is my canoe/rig...

canoe1.jpg

another............

canoe2.jpg

And my go to launch when I had a open bow boat was Dundee Creek.... 

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Nice I like your custom rig!

I have a friend that goes by Kris on here. He lives in Westminster. If you stop in the new Autozone ask for Ed some time.  We are both fishing and amatuer radio buddies.

Well I would meet you out there except, I have to admit there are two addicts that live in my house. I am sure glad it is legal to be a fishing addict!  LOL  Anyway i want to have my entire rod and reel selection at my disposal as we go over tackle. They will not all fit in my truck.  Anyway i believe a good arsenal can be putt together with just 4 rods, but which four rods depends on what you favorite techniques and where you fish are.

Anyway send me an e-mail so I can give you my cell number. We can do some casting right in my neighborhood, we happen to have a nice open grass field.

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Very kind gesture on your behalf fishnkamp. That is what this website is about. Helping others become more knowledgeable and better fishermen. 

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Over the years I have been lucky to meet other anglers that shared their knowledge and experience with me. I enjoy doing the same. One thing about rods and reels is specs only go so far. It is a hands on thing really.  You have to cast a few to decide what you like and what they will do for you.   My arsenal has changed and morphed over 45 years, if I can help someone key in on what they like. I can help them not make the mistakes we all make to begin with.

My wife and I have been addicted to this hobby for decades, and yes the bait monkey and his cousin the equipment monkey have regularly stopped by.  I own some $300 G Loomis spinning rods which are fantastic, and then right next to them are some very sensitive rods I fish with just as often and they cost less than 1/4 of that price.  There are lots of good rods at reasonable costs, but you need someone to help you weed through the junk sometimes. I find most equipment is like that.

In this case, we happen to be located close enough to get together. I would rather be taking him out on my boat and we could accomplish the task even easier, with a few interruptions of course.  It is fall striper feeding time here on the Chesapeake Bay. Unfortunately, I am recovering from some foot issues, so casting will have to do. Darn, those interruptions taste so good! LOL

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8 hours ago, fishnkamp said:

Over the years I have been lucky to meet other anglers that shared their knowledge and experience with me. I enjoy doing the same. One thing about rods and reels is specs only go so far. It is a hands on thing really.  You have to cast a few to decide what you like and what they will do for you.   My arsenal has changed and morphed over 45 years, if I can help someone key in on what they like. I can help them not make the mistakes we all make to begin with.

That is very kind of you to offer to help him more than you already have.

As to you, MDRookie, if you can try to meet up with fishnkamp. He helped me to find a boat, select rods, and catch fish. I have no doubt that he will point you in the right direction. If you ever want info on some of the Eastern PA waters, ill do my best. 

what i would do:

get a portable aerator. convert one of those coolers into a live well. its pretty simple. start of your day by catching or buying baitfish like shad sunnies perch or crappie. use you ultralights for this. while you have you two ultralights out, use your baitcaster to fish a spinnerbait crank bait or other lure. You could also learn to wacky/neko rig with the spinning rod. then once you have 5-10 fish tie on a live bait rig. i prefer a #4 snelled hook with a 12"leader to a snap swivel to a 1/8 oz bullet or egg sinker that is free sliding. then add your foam bobber. foam will not break. 

target structure and cover and points. places where fish will relate. Use the live bait and your baitcaster.

if you want to buy a new rod, buy a good enough rod and a good bait cast  reel. a good enough rod will be sensitive strong and light. a good bait cast reel will be smooth cast far and have a smooth drag. start with 10-12 pound mono. i recommend a 7' medium mod or a 7'medium heavy fast

let me know if you have more questions

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On 10/30/2016 at 9:41 PM, CrustyMono said:

That is very kind of you to offer to help him more than you already have.

As to you, MDRookie, if you can try to meet up with fishnkamp. He helped me to find a boat, select rods, and catch fish. I have no doubt that he will point you in the right direction. If you ever want info on some of the Eastern PA waters, ill do my best. 

what i would do:

get a portable aerator. convert one of those coolers into a live well. its pretty simple. start of your day by catching or buying baitfish like shad sunnies perch or crappie. use you ultralights for this. while you have you two ultralights out, use your baitcaster to fish a spinnerbait crank bait or other lure. You could also learn to wacky/neko rig with the spinning rod. then once you have 5-10 fish tie on a live bait rig. i prefer a #4 snelled hook with a 12"leader to a snap swivel to a 1/8 oz bullet or egg sinker that is free sliding. then add your foam bobber. foam will not break. 

target structure and cover and points. places where fish will relate. Use the live bait and your baitcaster.

if you want to buy a new rod, buy a good enough rod and a good bait cast  reel. a good enough rod will be sensitive strong and light. a good bait cast reel will be smooth cast far and have a smooth drag. start with 10-12 pound mono. i recommend a 7' medium mod or a 7'medium heavy fast

let me know if you have more questions

Update.. I did meet up with fishnkamp (Bob) and spent about 3 hours soaking in as much as I could. It was awesome and a pleasure to meet with him. He assessed my rods and reels and showed me some of his gear. He had a written breakdown of spinning rigs and baitcasting rigs waiting for me. Later that evening he took the time to email (lengthy) basically reiterating everything we had discussed with suggestions... again.. awesome. Thanks Bob!

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Tom it was a pleasure to meet you. I can not wait till I get well enough to go fish again.  There will be an invitation to fish coming as soon as possible.

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20 hours ago, MDRookie said:

Update.. I did meet up with fishnkamp (Bob) and spent about 3 hours soaking in as much as I could. It was awesome and a pleasure to meet with him. He assessed my rods and reels and showed me some of his gear. He had a written breakdown of spinning rigs and baitcasting rigs waiting for me. Later that evening he took the time to email (lengthy) basically reiterating everything we had discussed with suggestions... again.. awesome. Thanks Bob!

That's the power of Bass Resource at work right there!  I'm so proud to be a part of this community!!!!!

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Steveo you are so right. I happily answer a lot of questions on here, but I also learn a ton from others on here too. That is exactly what we discussed when we first met. What makes it cool is we both fish some of the same places, and can share lots of wheres, how and whens on this board. However I could not tell if his reel was too old, too worn out or perfectly fine to rely on in its current condition.  It is easy to tell someone else to go spend $1000 on new equipment.. It turned out that with just a little readjustment of his reel, and a little playing with it, I was throwing over 70 foot long casts. So even though his "old" reel was not a spiffy new one, it was fine to use, We determined which of his other rods met bass needs and which ones were better suited for his saltwater fishing. Instead of him thinking he might need two or three setups we determined he might want just one good medium action spinning combo for finesse baits and nothing more for now.  You also can not tell  the difference between a 7 foot medium power fast action rod that is best for bottom baits and one that is the same length but more moderate, thus better for treble baits,  just by talking about it. At least I needed to "feel" it. I had the opportunity to have him hold and cast at least a dozen of mine that I use for different purposes.  He will most likely upgrade some more equipment in the future, but his more pressing need was to go over what he could throw on each rod and how to prepare it. Again it was great to be able to help him identify a few lures, and matching hardware to put in his arsenal. I think I could have saved a lot of money in the past if someone would have focused me a little. It is tough when you walk in a great big tackle store and you get the urge to buy it all.

I see Kentucky Lake is one of your favorites. Did you fish the TN or KY part. Unfortunately I have not fished it yet, it is a long list of to dos. Don't feel bad for me though. In the last 5 years I have spent a total  of about 3 weeks on Dale Hollow Lake and a week on Center Hill.  SOOOOO Many lakes SOOOO little time! LOL  

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