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Another year has gone by and I've gotten much more comfortable with various techniques on my current three rod setup. That coupled with the fact that I now have a super crew pickup that I can fit 1-piece rods in now and not worry about my kids breaking them. It also gives me a reason to replace my 2 piece rods with 1-piece rods and potentially get another combo. I'm currently using Bass Pro Shops Pro Comp rods and one Lew's IM6 rod. Please bear in mind that these will be pretty budget friendly setups ($100-$150) and I don't fish very heavy cover. Here's what I'm currently looking at and wanted some opinions on the setups.

 

Combo #1: This would be a new 6'10"-7' MH/F combo and I'm looking at either a Lew's Mach I baitcasting combo or Abu ProMax combo. I think I'd use this for bottom contact mostly jigs, T-rigs, and creature baits. I'd spool with some existing 14# Spiderwire Ultimate Mono or 12# Trilene XT that I have already.

 

Combo #2: I would pair my existing Lew's Carbon Fire baitcaster with a new 7' MH/F 1-piece rod. I'm looking at the Abu Vengeance rods since Walmart has them for $40 at the moment. I'm also interested in trying the new Kast King Perigee II rods ($60) since I like their reels so much. I'd use this for spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, and possibly double as a light frog setup. I was thinking of spooling with 30-40lb PowerPro braid that I have already.

 

Combo #3: I would pair an existing Kast King Stealth or Assassin reel with a new 6'6"-7' M/F 1-piece rod. Options here include the above mentioned Abu Vengeance, Kast King Perigee II, and also the Berkley Lightning Rod Shock. I'd use this for squarebills and other smaller treble hook baits and spool with some existing 10# Trilene XL.

 

Combo #4: This would be my finesse setup. I currently use a Lew's American Hero 6'6" M/F spinning combo spooled with 6# Trilene XL. I may keep this but also thinking of passing it to my wife and getting slightly better setup and use a 10-15# braid mainline and some mono leader. I could try a Pfleuger President or maybe try the Kast King Mela II reel and pair it with a spinning version of one of the above mentioned rods.

 

Let me know if this sounds like a decent start or if I'm way off. Thanks guys.

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No thoughts? Did I forget to include anything? Dumb question?

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Well let me first tell you I fish with more than a dozen rods in my rod box. Many of the rods alone cost more than $200 each.  So that being said, I fish for bass most of the time, however in the fall I fish for stripers.  At that time I need 4 rigged combos with different rattle trap baits. In order to do so I add 2 Berkley Lightning Shock rods, with Daiwa Tatula reels, into my arsenal on the boat. My wife on the other hand uses a 6'6' medium action Lightning Shock rod for all her treble hook baits. Those rods work great and do not break the bank.  They perform just as good as my much more expensive crankbait rods. They are just not as lightweight as a $200 G Loomis rod.  So hands down I would go Berkley Lightning Shock rod on combo 3.

 

Combo 1 I would go with the Lews Mach 1.  If you can swing it you will be happier with the Mach 2 combo. It is only about $30 more.

 

For combo 4 I can tell you the Pflueger President is a nice reel. My wife and I have 6 or 7 total and we have fished some of them HARD for over 2 decades. Several others are less than 3 years old. I would suggest a getting a better rod for this application.  Perhaps a Powell Inferno, or even a Lews Mach 2 Speed Stick.  Another really good one is a Fenwick HMX rod. Check online at places like Gander Mountain and Dicks Sporting goods for your best price. Fishing Factory Outlet sometimes has great deals too.

 

The abu Vengeance rod is okay but jigs is a feel technique. Try and find a deal on at least a Vendetta rod.  Sensitivity is a priority for these baits. At around $75  there are a lot of better choices. 

 

 

 

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FFO has Veritas 2.0 rods for $60 as well. Not sure about their sensitivity, but it looks like they're a bit stiffer than their stated rating.

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Be aware those Veita 2.0 fro $60 are refurbed. Probably had a guide issue repaired. Nothing wrong just be aware of it.

I have fished several of the original Veritas and they are good rods.  The Veritas 2 replaced them and were a bit stronger.

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Ahh....I heard about tip issues on them and didn't think about that being an issue on the refurbs. Great point.

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Refurb or not, you could do a LOT worse than one (or 2) 7'MHF Veritas 2.0 for the things you've described.  It was a very good rod at $100.  It is a fantastic rod at $60.  Will work for everything you mention in Combos 1 and 2 in OP.  May be a little stiffer than other rods in the 7'MHF sphere, but not by a lot...and sensitivity is surprisingly good.

3 minutes ago, rcg703 said:

Ahh....I heard about tip issues on them and didn't think about that being an issue on the refurbs. Great point.

Not sure what the 'tip issues' are...I lost the insert from original tip of my 7MHF.....but....I'll grudgingly admit that I was trying to free a lure from a tree branch, using the rod like a lure retriever at the time.  I will NOT assess blame to AG for that prize maneuver.

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The issue I was referring to, was all the people whose rods have broken at the tip. All seemed to break 4-6" down. I'm not rough on my equipment so I might be okay. I also came across the Lew's Laser Pro Speed Spool combo at Cabela's on sale for $99, down from $169. I may run to my local Cabela's this weekend and check it out. That would be for combo #1.

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With the Veritas 2.0 being a little stiffer, will it load up enough to launch 1/4oz baits that it’s rated for?

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8 hours ago, fishnkamp said:

Be aware those Veita 2.0 fro $60 are refurbed. Probably had a guide issue repaired. Nothing wrong just be aware of it.

I have fished several of the original Veritas and they are good rods.  The Veritas 2 replaced them and were a bit stronger.

I like em.  "Spinning"  Caught a 10 on one, and when another snapped, Abu sent me a new one.    Both are 6'6" med heavy spinning rods and I give them a thumbs up because of the 10lber, price, feel and warranty.

 

29 minutes ago, rcg703 said:

With the Veritas 2.0 being a little stiffer, will it load up enough to launch 1/4oz baits that it’s rated for?

Yes

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I have a 6'6" Medium Veritas 2.0 casting rod. I sometimes use it for senkos which are 3/8 oz. I mostly use it for 1/4 Keitech jig with a paca chunk, which is probably 1/2 oz total. Works well for both baits for me. I haven't tried anything lighter.

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Are the Veritas that much better than the Vengeance? I just saw that my local Walmart has a 6'6" MH/F Vengeance on clearance for $11. I want to try a 7' rod, but for $11 it may be worth it even if I don't use it right away.

 

*EDIT* - Nevermind....the $11 deal is only at one store that is 40 minutes from me. I'd burn up more than that in gas lol...especially if you guys don't recommend the Vengeance.

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