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xtraorange

Beginner fisherman, own two spinners, looking for advice on next purchase

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Hello all!

 

I've been fishing for less than a year now in Minnesota.  My dad gave me a pair of spinning reels I've been using for some pan fishing (I'm afraid I don't know much about them, but as I understand it, they're pretty middle of the road).  Lately, my buddy has had me trying his bait caster with some frogs and such, and I'm really enjoying it (although I haven't caught squat yet).  I'm interested in shifting my focus onto bass.  I mostly shore fish, but occasionally can get out on a boat with friends.

 

So I have a very tight budget, and I probably have around $100 or so I could spend toward fishing gear.  Is there anything, as a beginning fisherman, that would be worth getting in the bait caster arena, or should I just invest in more tackle and focus on getting better at finesse fishing?

 

Thank you so much for the advice!

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Your budget is a tiny bit low but there are some decent ideas out there.  I would consider two options.

Option 1 would be a Pflueger President reel for $60.  It would be a 6930 or 6935 model. That is a reasonably priced but very reliable rwwl I use for bass.  I would match it to a Berkley Lightning Shock rod which sometimes can be found on clearance at Walmart.  Look at a 6'6" medium action rod. It is a bit softer for treble baits but can work for lots of baits. Another good option is to go to Dicks Sporting goods. They sell a line of rods called Quantum Escalade.  There is a nice 6'6 medium and a 7 foot medium. I own the 6'6" medium but I have lots of rods so if I only had one it would likely be the 7 footer.

 

If frogs and heavier baits were on my agenda I would consider the baitcaster version of that rod.

I would consider the 7 foot Medium Heavy if you can find one.  Both of the Escalade rods are regularly sell for $100 but have been on sale for a long time at $49.99.

Match that with an Abu Garcia Black Max reel. That should come to around $ 100 for the combo.

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Kastking reel, berkley lightning rod. 7ft medium heavy.  70 dollars if not cheaper. 

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I'm not sure if this is the kind of info you seek, but I started out many, many years ago (1972) in a similar situation. I owned a Mitchel 300 spinning reel and a six-foot UglyStik spinning rod and very little cash. My bassin' mentor took me fishing in his jon boat, supplied me with some what I considered ridiculously large (4/0) hooks, a handful of Creme rubber worms, and coached me on how and where to use them. The result was my first four-pound bass and a love of bass fishing that sticks with me to this day. Up until then I just fished ... no rhyme or reason.

 

Sorry to be long-winded, but I was trying to make a point.  I love bait-casting ... and spinning gear. And with a tight budget, you appear to have a tough choice.  First, I personally believe there are some quite decent bait-casting combo packages available for under $100.00 at Walmart, Dick's, and numerous on-line retailers. Or you can search E-Bay, Craig's List, and flea markets for good deals.  But, in all these cases you will be faced with a depleted budget and no tackle. 

 

The other option is to really examine the gear you have; maybe have an experienced friend you know take look at it. If you provide as much info (usually found on the rods) and brand/model in this forum, you may also get some really helpful advice. You may find your rods, reels, or both are adequate and you can focus on getting some new tackle. Even if you need a new rod or reel you still have bucks left over for some terminal tackle, a few packs of soft plastics, a couple of spinner baits, and a couple of lures.

The worst case is that your gear may be unsuitable and you are faced with option one.

 

i suggest you don't be in a hurry to blow your budget on a bait-casting outfit right away; there is a lot to enjoy about bass fishing using either style and personally I can live with either - as long as I'm fishing.  Then while you enjoy fishing with the gear you have, you can start saving (and researching) the bait-casting rig you will purchase in the future. To me, the most important thing is to get out there and enjoy fishing!! A lot of us can't afford all the fancy gear but I'm willing to bet I have just as much fun as anyone here using the stuff I have. It ain't about the toys - it's about learning to outsmart a bass!

 

Good luck.

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Keep your spinning gear and learn plastics.  T-Rig, weightless Senko, Shakey Head, etc.  All of these techniques can be done on cheaper spinning gear and produce outstanding results.  

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If one of your spinning rods is at least medium powered, you should be able to manage most of your bass fishing on it acceptably, and if the other is medium light, you're in luck. I would add something like 8-10lb mono on the lighter one, and 15lb braid on the heavier one (mono backing of course, you can find how to do this on youtube). Then I would say go increase your tackle box instead.

 

But if you really like throwing frogs, I would say try to find a heavy bait casting combo and add 50# or 65# braid. I like throwing a variety of tackle myself, anything where I am constantly casting and reeling is largely preferred like a spinnerbait, swim jig, crankbait or frog. If you want a rod that can throw frogs and other things, try a MH fast action rod, around 7'. The Berkley Cherrywood is quite cheap and is actually a decent rod, add an Abu Garcia Black Max ($40-50) or Silver Max for around $10 more and you're good to go and spool that up with some 30# braid. Then use your spinning rods for light lures and soft plastics.

 

There is actually a 10 part Beginner's Guide to Bass Fishing on youtube I would highly recommend for beginners to watch. As someone just getting into fishing this year myself, it really helped bring me up to speed in a hurry.

 

Hope that helps!

 

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I'm a budget fisherman myself so I understand the situation your in. EBay and dicks flash sales are your friend. Actually today dicks is having a flash sale online and you can get a pinnacle solene baitcaster for $25 and a skeet Reese rod for like $40 so for $65 your baitcasting. That'd leave you a lil money for lures. Some people may not like pinnacle reels but I have 4 fish em all the time and never had a problem.

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7 hours ago, TOXIC said:

Keep your spinning gear and learn plastics.  T-Rig, weightless Senko, Shakey Head, etc.  All of these techniques can be done on cheaper spinning gear and produce outstanding results.  

 

I recommend this, too. First spend time learning a handful of lure presentations, and focus on learning about bass behavior and location, get used to feeling the bottom, working cover, distinguishing fish strikes from weed/branch/rock hang-ups...plastics can do this all very well.

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OP, look around the Internet for information about the "Midwest finesse" style of bass fishing.  It is a system/philosophy of fishing that involves "numbers fishing" with inexpensive spinning gear and lures, with a heavy emphasis on frugality in general.  Also search for "slider fishing", which is another low-cost finesse system with a reputation for being very effective for numbers.  

 

 

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@xtraorange, you should be fine with the rods you have (as long as one is at least medium lite or preferably medium powered).  I would highly recommend trying Midwest finesse style fishing, it targets high numbers of bass and has an emphasis on frugality.  Here's a link on how to get started https://www.bassresource.com/bass-fishing-forums/topic/186214-the-basics-of-the-ned-rig/

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Wow, phenomenal information!  Thank you all so much for contributing, you gave me a ton to think about and some great options to choose from.  I honestly didn't expect so much friendly help!

 

It sounds like a lot of recommendations in favor of focusing my time on finesse fishing.  I'll keep an eye out for some of the deals mentioned in the thread, and in the meantime focus my learning there.  I just received a box of lures from monthly lure site (I think I read we're not supposed to name things like that?), which included several pieces I can use to start that process, so I believe I'll begin tomorrow.  :D 

 

For those of you that asked (@GrumpyOlPhartte), my hand-me-downs are:

1.  Berkley Cherrywood HD, 6'6" Medium with a FX 1000FB reel.
2.  "Guide Series" (Gander Mountain?) Pro Select IM8 Graphite, 7', Medium Light, with a Abu Garcia AG2F reel.

I feel stupid for having never looked on the rod for its action, I've wondered what exactly they were...

Thanks for all the advice!
 

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While your learning more using your present gear, save up a little. If you could save $200 you could get a really nice casting combo like a tatula ct and a $100 rod. Today there are so many good rods in the $100 range especially if you look for sales. A medium/heavy, fast rod is THE multi-purpose rod.

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@xtraorange: With both a medium and a medium light setup, I would do the following:

1. Check both rods, particularly line guides to make sure they're clean and in good working order.

2. Check YouTube and maybe clean, grease, and oil the reels and change the line on both. (Old line can be a heart-breaker but I would suggest you consider mono or copolymer to start, just to save a few bucks!)

3. Recognize that as mentioned above, you really are ready to fish many different baits, so pick a couple of styles such as finesse and worm fishing or maybe finesse and spinnerbait fishing and obtain appropriate terminal gear to rig one rod for each style.

4. Get a small number of the appropriate baits to start. There are about a bazillion recommendations for color choice in these forums made by folks with far more experience than I. In any case, don't go crazy at first! Keep a little reserve cash for expanding your choices later. In my opinion, you should be able to get a couple of packs of finesse baits and a couple of spinnerbaits for twenty bucks.

5. Maybe review some of the excellent vids put out by BassResource on the styles you are going to fish. Between this organization and a fellow that does videos under the nickname of InfomativeFisherman you will learn a ton of good stuff.

6. Get out on the bank or water ... and kick some bass!  

 

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Thanks!  I actually have cleaned, greased, and oiled them, and refreshed the line.  Presently I think they're both on either 6 or 8 lb mono.  I will follow your advice from there!  Also, I love Nick (the informative fisherman), I've been watching a ton of his videos... love the way he teaches.

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Your budget is too low for a quality baitcasting rod and reel. There is a difference in buying cheap stuff and buying quality stuff for a good price.

The best baitcasting combo I have for the money spent is a Daiwa Tatula CT paired to a Cabelas Tournament ZX rod. I got the rod for $70 on sale and the reel for $98 shipped (no tax) from the auction site. This combo is light weight and is all the quality anyone could ask for at an affordable price.

 

My advice is stick to the spinning gear you have and learn to catch fish.

Go by walmart and pick up some 1/8 oz roostertail inline spinnerbaits. Try firetiger with the gold blade and the grey/white one with a silver blade. I always have a roostertail tied on and almost always catch when no one else is. Bigger spinnerbaits catch bigger fish but smaller ones catch more and the ocassional big one will hit the smaller one as well.

Pick up some EWG hooks and a pack of whiteice superflukes. Get a pack of grubs/jigs and jigheads. You could try yumdinger, senko, lizards and/or baby brushhogs. These all catch bass.

 

As mentioned above keep your reels cleaned, lubed and spooled with fresh quality line. Keep your spooled reels out of the sun as much as possible to keep the line from degrading.

Look into the type of line you have and the type of knot that works well with that line. Learn a few different knots (palomar, uni knot, snelling a hook etc.)

Make it a habit to retie your knots often.

Set your drag properly to keep your line from breaking on hook sets and hard fights.

Keep an eye out for an inexpensive used kayak. Fishing from the shore gets old and limits you.

Learn what to look for in conditions and water/land to know where the fish are more likely to be. Things like are there signs of life (fish jumping, birds circling the area) points, depths, water temp, lake bed depths and curves etc.

 

Your gear is fine and all you need is knowledge and practice.

Read, watch videos and practice. You'll be reeling in the big ones in no time.

Have fun brother.

Come post a pic of that big bucket mouth you catch soon ;)

 

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