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Newbie rod/reel/general help!

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Hey everyone!

I've been reading through the forums quite a bit lately to try and find some answers.  I know this is a question that has been asked a million times, but I was hoping I could ask it yet again.


I am looking for a rod and reel to start off a bait caster set up.  I would like to spend no more than say $150 (each) - but I'd certainly be happy spending less if the increase in price doesn't get me a big jump in performance.  I was strongly considering the Mojo Bass for the rod, but wasn't sure exactly which (good idea?). My primary fishing is for Bass of course, but I also do enjoy switching it up now and then and going for the odd pike, Muskie, cat, and walleye.  I live in Michigan if that makes a difference. 

The reason I'm asking again is because after going through previous threads I've gotten a little lost in abbreviations and lingo.  I've been fishing for most of my life, but never 'seriously'. I don't know much of the fishing jargon (if there are any resources out there that could help, I would absolutely appreciate that!). This is especially true for me with rods, reels, and the various baits and retrieval styles.  If you show me a lure I'll generally know what to do with it (for the basics anyways) but I'll have no clue what it's called or the proper name for how to use it.  I apologize for the lengthy post, but thts only for my eagerness to learn!


tl;dr - Need a bait caster rig, under $150, that would excel in multiple applications.  Also, whatever resources that can be recommended for my own education (I love a good book) in modern fishing.  


Thank you so much everyone!

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A $180 rod for $80 is a steal.  I've got several Aetos rods and like them a lot.  How light a lure do you fish?  A MHF is a versatile rod, but the 7' MHF Aetos has a rating of 3/8-1 oz.  Most of my MH rods run 1/4 to either 3/4 or 1 oz.  The 7' MHXF has a rating of 1/4-1 oz. and will work especially good for bottom contact lures.  If throwing treble lures into the mix, you might want to consider the 7' MHMF.  I personally wouldn't consider either of the Heavy rods for an all-around rod.  At least not for where I normally fish.

Sportsman's Outfitters sells the original Tatula rods for $110....list is $150.  My personal opinion is they are well worth full price and the $40 is just icing on the cake.  My first choice would be the 6'10" MHF although I admit that I am coming to like their Regular action rods (have 2 with this action) so I'd consider the 7' MR as a second choice or maybe the 7'1" MH-XF.

The new Mojo rods have been getting very positive feedback, but I have zero experience with them.  Same for the Dobyns Fury, but it is another $110 rod that is well liked by several guys on here.  For all-around I'd pick the 7' MHF or 7' 3" MHF.

You can't beat the Tatula or Tatula CT at $95.  Personally I'd spend an extra $35 for the Tatula Type R.  I prefer its finish to the standard (and to the CT models), and like the 8.1:1 ratio that is available only with the Type R.   The CTs have a bit smaller frame and both models come in the same ratios with the exception of the 5.5:1 ratio.

Another reel I like a lot is the Lew's Tournament MB which can be found for just under $110.  The Daiwas are magnetic brake only and the MB has dual brakes.

I feel Pflueger baitcast reels are under-rated.  You can find a Supreme XT on ebay for under $120.

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Welcome aboard!

I'll just recommend a Medium Xtra Fast (MXF) or Medium Heavy Fast
(MHF) rod. I'll leave length to you, suffice it to say, 6'6" is the max I use
but I prefer shorter rods anyway.

For reels, tis the season for sales. Tatula is a beast according to just
about everyone. I think you'd find it to your liking, especially Daiwa's
braking ability. Personally, I use Shimano now, but I've used Daiwa and
still have one. Great stuff.

For Shimano, have a look at a Curado 70. Rods, lots of great brands, 
but the sale @new2BC4bass suggests, look at @Grantman83's post
as the Aetos are great quality rods and a steal at $80.

Do you already have spinning gear and are looking for casting?

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Thanks for the great recommendations.  I really appreciate it guys!

Part of what I struggle with is knowing which action I should go for.  What I typically find the most luck with seems to be the various crankbaits, your standard break back and what not.  I don't have a ton of experience with jigs, but that's something I'd really like to get into.

Almost exclusively I fish with my Father and he has absolutely everything. I am ashamed to admit that I essentially don't have any fishing equipment of my own, I just use his stuff. He has a million and one spinning setups - including a few that I really like (helps that he doesn't like the ones that I do) so I was looking to get my own gear started this holiday season with a baitcaster.

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If you fish crankbaits a lot and have good luck with them, then maybe you should consider a crankbait rod first and add an all-around rod later.  A crankbait rod needn't be as sensitive as a bottom contact rod and therefore doesn't need to be expensive.  Of course you don't want a "dead" rod either.  I hardly ever fish a deep diving crankbait, but I imagine the Aetos 7' MH-MF would work...and give you a decent amount of sensitivity.

BPS Crankin' Stick is a decent rod that isn't expensive.  The Powell Diesel is another rod in the same price range that often gets mentioned.   I'd visit TW's website and spend a little time looking at crankbait rods from the various makers.

When I fish a crankbait, I am almost always fishing a shallow or medium deep running crankbait.  Go to Fisherman's Factory Outlet and pick up the Aetos 7' MM for $89.  Right now they are offering free shipping on orders over $40.  I bought mine when they had a buy one, get a second rod at 50% off so I bought 2 of them.  Had to pay shipping (around $15), but I'm not going to complain about that after getting 2 rods for less than the price of one.  Save one for me, tho, as I have to return one.  First guide is bent on one of the rods.

EDIT:  Forgot to mention the Tatula rods with a Regular action.  Slower action, but still plenty of power for setting single hook lures such as a spinnerbait.  Falcon and Hammer rods have a nice parabolic bend as well.  I used my MF Falcons for crankbaits until I got dedicated rods.

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