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Harris0214

Best all around soft plastic rod/reel?

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Hello, I'm a younger angler looking for the best all around soft plastic rod/reel. I'm almost 15 so I am somewhat on a budget as I don't have a job yet. I want the rod and the reel to be less than $120 dollars.The rod and reel combo will be used for soft plastics, (Texas rig, wacky rig, weightless, and some drop shot). Any suggestions? Thanks.

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Are looking for a bait casting or spinning combo?

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For my first rod I would suggest a spinning rod. The main reason  is cost and versatility. A good baitcasting setup is okay but not as versatile overall. If I was going to buy just 1 rod to begin it would be a 6'6" to 7' medium spinning rod. This can throw unweighted or lightly weighted plastic worms, creature baits, spinnerbaits, small to mid size crankbaits ets. There are lots of rods that can throw each of those baits better but overall it will do the job. Look at a very reliable economical  reel like a Pflueger President 6930. Fill it with some 8 pound mono or thin diameter braid like Berkley FireLine in 14 pound test ( same size as 6 pound mono). This reel costs around $60  from Dicks and other places

Look at at rod like a Berkley Lightning Shock rod in 6'6 or 7' Medium with a rating of 1/8 to 3/4.  This rod sells for $50 but often can be found for around $30 online

Another rod option is a Quantum Escalade from Dicks Sporting Goods. It is available in a 6'6" IM8 rod. It is marked as a medium action rod  lure weight of 18 to 11/4. It is not marked right as I have easily thrown baits up to 3/8 and 1/2. It normally sells for $100 but is available on sale for $50

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I think spinning would be the best bet, and for your price point I'd look at Cabela's right now. You can get a Pflueger President LE for $50 and a Berkley Lightning rod for $40 for a grand total of $90 plus shipping if you have to order it online. I say the regular lightning rod over the shock simply because it sounds as if you are going to use mono, the shock is a great rod but has a really soft tip section for fishing braided line and setting the hook with that rod with mono is going to require a harder hook set. Now if you are using braid or braid and a short leader, then the shock will be fine but remember, that rod was made for a no stretch line and therefore has a lot of bend to it, a little more than you would want especially with a Texas rig and mono where you would have to drive the hook through plastic and the mouth of the fish.

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Cabelas has some decent entry level spinning and casting combos in your price range. They may have something you like. As Fishnkamp said, if this is going to be your only set up you will probably be more versatile by starting with a spinning outfit.

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Just to clarify, I have a bait-casting combo, as well as a spinning combo. I just want to start expanding my rod arsenal and I use soft plastics quite a bit.

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Welcome aboard!

I like spinning best for soft plastics, though I have
casting gear that can cast almost as light bait as
my spinning setups.

That said, in dicey conditions, and all around for 
skipping under bushes, docks, etc., I prefer spinning.

So I like Shimano reels primarily, but am also a fan of
Daiwa, and Pflueger gets a lot of love.

For rods, the Bass Pro Micro Lite in a ML power is an
excellent rod for around $60 (on sale now for $50) which
leaves you about $60-70 for a reel. Pflueger President, 
probably the best bet for the $, but if you hit up ebay 
you can find great deals on other brands.

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20 hours ago, Harris0214 said:

Just to clarify, I have a bait-casting combo, as well as a spinning combo. I just want to start expanding my rod arsenal and I use soft plastics quite a bit.

So what do you have? You might already have one that match your need.

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