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Here in Illinois, we don't have a lot of monster bass, and I don't fish too heavy of cover, so my 5 favorite setups in which I find I can do everything I want to do are adjusted accordingly.

 

I don't use frogs or braid. I prefer 6'6" rods over 7'+ rods. I feel like I have more accuracy and control, and it feels more natural to me. I'm an average 5'11" 185lb guy, so I'm not really sure why 7' rods feel so off putting to me.

 

Baitcast:

7' MH/F, 17lb Mono: Used for everything from Jigs to the Texas Rig to the Whopper Plopper. FC leader when appropriate.

 

6'6" MH/F, 14lb FC: Spinnerbaits and Chatterbaits, mostly. Certain Topwaters.

 

6'6" M/F, 12lb FC: Crankbaits, Lipless Crankbaits, Jerkbaits, mostly. Certain Topwaters.

 

Spinning:

6'6" M/F, 8lb Mono: Used mostly for Smallies, downsized baits, and finesse baits. Certain Topwaters. FC leader when appropriate.

 

SpinCAST!!!:

Here's a weird one. I like having a spincast setup. I only use it for Senkos. It allows me to do a lot of cool, ultra accurate, super controlled stuff. And as I said, the cover I fish isn't considered very heavy (usually) and we don't have very many monsters, so I never run into trouble. 6'6" M/F, 10lb FC.

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Good stuff! You have tuned your setups to your circumstances.

 

I'd second your preference for short rods, especially the way I use them: fishing from a kayak or canoe. One of my favorites is a 5'6" Medium power I use for pitching a Drop Shot rig. I also have a 6 footer, MH, for larger worm presentations, say a T-Rig.

 

And, for sure, your comment on a spincast in the right circumstances, for example, fast repetitive casts for white bass or schooling bass chasing shad on the surface. Too bad there aren't more high quality spincast reels with really well-made internals. For making rapid casts, pin-point accuracy, it'd be hard to keep up with a casting reel, certainly a spinning reel. 

 

Brad

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10 minutes ago, Brad in Texas said:

Good stuff! You have tuned your setups to your circumstances.

 

I'd second your preference for short rods, especially the way I use them: fishing from a kayak or canoe. One of my favorites is a 5'6" Medium power I use for pitching a Drop Shot rig. I also have a 6 footer, MH, for larger worm presentations, say a T-Rig.

 

And, for sure, your comment on a spincast in the right circumstances, for example, fast repetitive casts for white bass or schooling bass chasing shad on the surface. Too bad there aren't more high quality spincast reels with really well-made internals. For making rapid casts, pin-point accuracy, it'd be hard to keep up with a casting reel, certainly a spinning reel. 

 

Brad

I didn't put much into my spincast setup. It's a Berkley Cherry Rod and a New Zebco 33 Platinum. Good enough for what it's used for. The New 33s are pretty well made and durable. For what it's used for I wasn't going to go all out, but it is a quality setup. Something like $55.

 

I've just recently gotten into Kayaking so I am considering getting all of these setups for that purpose at 6 inches shorter each.

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Still fairly new to different techniques of bass fishing, and just upgraded my equipment over late fall and winter so my setups are too new to really choose my favourites. But if I were I’d have to say;

 

baitcasters 

 

1.) 7’ medium-heavy fast Kistler Helium jig and worm rod, teamed up with a shimano Chronarch mgl, 15lbs invisx.

 

2.) 7’6” *** *** heavy extra fast flipping stick, with a Curado 201k hg 50lbs power pro 

 

3.) 7’ g.loomis imx pro 845c cbr that will be used for shallow, mid, lipless and squarebill crankbaits and certainly topwaters. Concept  C, 15lbs invisx 

 

4.) 7’3” Dobyns Sierra 734c, planning on chatterbaits, small swimbaits, paddletails. Daiwa Tatula sv tws

 

spinning

 

5. & 6.) g.loomis e6x 2 piece walleye rod, 6’6” medium fast, teamed with a Shimano Stradic ci4+ for my walleye rod and 7’ st. Croix avid x medium fast, teamed with a shimano nasci for bass fishing drop shot, and smaller finesse fishing.

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1. ALX custom built "Deputy" 7'1" MH/F - Daiwa Tatula SV - 15lb Tatsu

2. ALX custom built "Dragger" 7'4" H/F - Daiwa JDM Zillion 1516 (my favorite reel) - 18lb Shooter

3. St Croix Legend Elite 6' ML/F - Daiwa Fuego 1000A - 4lb Sniper

4. Abu Garcia Fantasista Regista 6'10" ML/F - Daiwa Luvias 2000H - 8lb  Tatsu

5. Whisker Seeker Chad Ferguson 7'6" H/F - Daiwa Lexa CC300H - 20lb Trilene XL

 

I don't just fish for bass. I catch a ton of crappie, walleye, wipers, stripers, catfish, etc. So I have a full compliment of rods for a variety of techniques. Of my 30-some rods, these are probably the 5 I reach for the most often. That Deputy blank is something special and it will forever be my favorite rod. 

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St Croix mojo 6'8 m-xf : ned, neko, Texas rigged worm, grubs,inline spinners. 

 

St Croix Avid X 6'6 Mh-f : jigs, Texas rigged creatures, chatterbaits (new for me), & frogs (also new for me). 

 

I am a minimalist that values versatility from the bank. 

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I fish from the bank and usually just take 2 setups with me, but have more than two to choose from depending on where I'll be and the conditions. The 5 setups I anticipate getting the most use this year are:

 

Spinning...

 

SC LTW 7' ML/F... Shimano CI4 1000 w/6lb Fireline Crystal

SC LTW 6'8" M/XF... Pflueger Supreme XT 30 w/8lb Fireline Crystal

 

Baitcaster...

 

Dobyns Champion XP 703C... Tatula CT 6.3:1 w/12lb Yo-Zuri

Dobyns Champion 734C... Lew's LFS 6.8:1 w/12lb Yo-Zuri

SC LTB 7'4" H/F... Lew's MB 7.5:1 w/50lb Power Pro 

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I've been retooling my setups over winter and currently have 2 outfits, the plan is to have 6 by Summer to cover everything I do.. here's what I have now.. 

 

1. Daiwa Tatula Elite AGS 7' MMH/XF paired with a Tatula SV 7.3:1 and 12lb P-Line Ultimate Flourocarbon. Mostly bought this one to replace my spinning rod as I greatly prefer casting gear. I throw underspins, wacky and neko rigged senkos, weightless plastics and also jerkbaits. 

 

2. Daiwa DX Type LT 7'4" H/F with a Tatula CT 8.1:1 with 65lb Power Pro.. pads, mats and other heavy vegetation.. frogs and flipping. 

 

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G Loomis IMX-PRO 853c JWR 7'1" MH/XF with a Shimano Curado HGK

 

G Loomis PR 844c M/F with a Abu Garcia Revo S

 

G Loomis E6X 842s SJR M/F with a Daiwa BG 2500

 

Dobyns Fury 735c with a Daiwa Fuego CT. Also a Abu Garcia 4600 cb for when I use small swimbaits.

 

Dobyns Fury 795 SB with a Shimano Cardiff 300A

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Well currently I only use three... but I'd like to add a few more... so let me list what I use and then dream a little just for fun....

 

1.) A ML/fast rod with a KK Royale Legend- weightless texas rigs, ned rigs, light topwaters, general finesse set-up. Baitcasting.

2.) M/F for drop shotting, weighted texas rigs, carolina rigs, light live bait applications (cut bait, crawfish, worms, minnows, etc), buzzbaits and whopper plopper: heavier topwater up to about 3/8 oz or so, light jigs. Baitcasting.

3.) M/F that is closer to a moderate-fast. Used for light drop-shotting, heavier finesse stuff, accuracy applications. Spinning.

 

Yeah, they're all fast action. I feel like that's a good action for the most part. Is comfortable to me, I can generally make it work pretty well for me.

 

Now we go to dream world...

 

4.) A MH/mod-fast for heavier topwaters, crankbaits or chatterbaits and the like. Baitcasting or spinning.

5.) A frogging set-up. Not sure what power/action I would want. Leaning towards a medium/xfast rod with a high speed reel. I don't do much punching so a medium should be fine. Baitcasting obviously.

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1)Daiwai tatula CT 6.3.1/Dobysn fury 7' med hvy/ 12# big game/ Senko

 

2) Daiwa tatula CT 6.3.1/Dodyns fury 7' med hvy/50# power pro /weighted Texas rigged creature baits

 

3)Bass pro shop qualifier 6.8.1/Dobyns fury  7' med/hvy /spinnerbait

 

4) Lew's Carbon Blue combo 6'10" med hvy/7.1/12# big game/ scum frog

 

 

5)Lew's Carbon Blue combo 6'10" med hvy/7.1/12# big game /rattle trap

 

6Lew's Carbon Blue combo 6'10" med hvy/7.1/12# big /jig with rage tail 

 

****Might be switching big game reels to power pro.

 

***** Those Lew's Carbon Blue combo 6'10" med hvy /7.1 are blowing my mind that how good they have performed for such a cheap combo ($50)for the last 3 years,once they start having problems going to replace them with Daiwa tatula CT reels and Dobyns fury rods

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8 hours ago, Tywithay said:

1. ALX custom built "Deputy" 7'1" MH/F - Daiwa Tatula SV - 15lb Tatsu

2. ALX custom built "Dragger" 7'4" H/F - Daiwa JDM Zillion 1516 (my favorite reel) - 18lb Shooter

3. St Croix Legend Elite 6' ML/F - Daiwa Fuego 1000A - 4lb Sniper

4. Abu Garcia Fantasista Regista 6'10" ML/F - Daiwa Luvias 2000H - 8lb  Tatsu

5. Whisker Seeker Chad Ferguson 7'6" H/F - Daiwa Lexa CC300H - 20lb Trilene XL

 

I don't just fish for bass. I catch a ton of crappie, walleye, wipers, stripers, catfish, etc. So I have a full compliment of rods for a variety of techniques. Of my 30-some rods, these are probably the 5 I reach for the most often. That Deputy blank is something special and it will forever be my favorite rod. 

What type of customization did you have done to your ALX Dragger ? I pick one up every time I go into a Cabelas, but always think to myself, "I wish the handle were just a tad longer."

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10 hours ago, Glaucus said:

I didn't put much into my spincast setup. It's a Berkley Cherry Rod and a New Zebco 33 Platinum. Good enough for what it's used for. The New 33s are pretty well made and durable. For what it's used for I wasn't going to go all out, but it is a quality setup. Something like $55.

 

 

Is that new 33 Authentic Platinum with a metal frame?

 

If it is that one tough reel!

 

Bought one for my grandson who did wear it out but only after 478 bass including a few big bass.

download (1).jpg

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33 minutes ago, Catt said:

 

Is that new 33 Authentic Platinum with a metal frame?

 

If it is that one tough reel!

 

Bought one for my grandson who did wear it out but only after 478 bass including a few big bass.

download (1).jpg

Yep, that's the one. Really like it for putting a quick Senko right where I want it. 

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2 hours ago, LionHeart said:

What type of customization did you have done to your ALX Dragger ? I pick one up every time I go into a Cabelas, but always think to myself, "I wish the handle were just a tad longer."

I had him add a longer full EVA rear grip, because I didn't like the short handle, or the split grip. Think I went with 14", if I remember right. I also added spiral wrapped micro guides. I think that's pretty much it. I kept it simple so it wouldn't cost much more than msrp and to keep the weight down. I did the same thing on my Deputy. Alex will work with you to get it exactly the way you want it. You can go as fancy, or as simple, as you like.

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1. Alpha Angler Tac Mag- Shimano Stradic FK 2500. 10 pound braid/10 pound fluoro leader. Tubes.

2. Alpha Angler DSR- Shimano Stradic Ci4+2500. 10 pound braid/6 pound fluoro leader. Drop shot.

3. Daiwa Cielo 7'2" ML- Shimano Stradic Ci4+ 2500. 10 pound braid/ 6 pound fluoro leader. Spybaits and neds.

4. Shimano/Jackall Poison Adrena 7'2" Med- Shimano Scorpion 71HG. 10 pound Tatsu. 5-6 inch jerkbaits.

5. Dobyns 804CB- Shimano Calcutta Conquest 101HG. 10 pound Tatsu. Deep cranking.

 

I put a ton of time researching the best setup for me and big water smallmouth. These are my top 5, but my honorable mentions also make me smile. 

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Here's what I have queued up this year (so far):

 

  1. G.Loomis GLX CBR 845 7’ MH Mod
    1. Daiwa SV103H
  2. Kistler Helium Three 7’ Light MH Fast
    1. Daiwa Steez SV103H
  3. G.Loomis NRX JWR 852S 7’1” M Extra Fast
    1. Shimano Exsense Ci4+ 3000
  4. St.Croix LTB 7’3” MH Fast
    1. Shimano Chronarch MGL HG
  5. G.Loomis GLX MBR 844C 7’0” H Fast
    1. Shimano Metainum XG

Baitcasters have 30# Sufix 832 with whatever leader for the outing (Mono or FC).

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All casting

 

St Croix legend 6' mh it's an old one from the mid 90s that I picked up at a flea market for $10.  It's paired with an Abu orra SX

 

A brand that can't be mentioned here 7' MH/XF paired with a BPS extream 

 

Quantum team KVD 6' MH/F with an energy PT

 

Old diawa 5'6" ml pistol grip with an h2o mettle. This is my panfish rod and is usually rigged with a slip bobber.

 

An old 5'6 Remington rod unmarked power and taper with an h2o mettle this one lives in my car because it's short enough to not take up much space and seems to load well with everything from Ned rigs to Texas rigs

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Good stuff, everyone!

 

The 3 outfits I use 90% of the time are:

 

6'6" Lightning Shock Rod (Casting - MH/F) paired with an Abu Garcia Silver Max.

 

6'6" Lightning Rod [Original] (Casting - M/F) paired with an Abu Garcia Black Max.

 

6'6" Abu Garcia Vengeance Rod (Spinning - M/F) paired with an Abu Garcia Cardinal SX20.

 

Nothing fancy. I really like Lightning rods and Abu Garcia as a company. Gets the job done just fine, and for a good price.

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Currently I use primarily three rods:

 

6'10" MH/F Tatula casting rod with a 7.1:1 Tatula SV and 40lb braid for soft plastics, jigs, paddle tail swimbaits, frogs

7'2" MH/MH Glass Tatula casting rod with a 6.3"1 Tatula SV and 15lb fluorocarbon for spinnerbaits, chatterbaits and square bills

6'9" St. Croix Avid X spinning rod paired with a Daiwa BG 2000 and 12lb Sunline SX-1 for finesse.

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32 minutes ago, Boomstick said:

Currently I use primarily three rods:

 

6'10" MH/F Tatula casting rod with a 7.1:1 Tatula SV and 40lb braid for soft plastics, jigs, paddle tail swimbaits, frogs

7'2" MH/MH Glass Tatula casting rod with a 6.3"1 Tatula SV and 15lb fluorocarbon for spinnerbaits, chatterbaits and square bills

6'9" St. Croix Avid X spinning rod paired with a Daiwa BG 2000 and 12lb Sunline SX-1 for finesse.

How do you like the 7'2" for spinnerbaits and chatterbaits? Been eyeing it for this purpose. 

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1 hour ago, Dtrombly said:

How do you like the 7'2" for spinnerbaits and chatterbaits? Been eyeing it for this purpose. 

It's a perfect spinnerbait or chatterbait rod. The tip has some initial flex but it has a lot of backbone behind that so it has enough power to set the hook although I will use my MH/F rod for anything above 1/2oz. The overall action is a little stiffer than most deep diving crankbait rods with a lot of hidden power reserves. It's also really good for fishing square bills around cover as the rebound is not too slow, but stiffer than the ideal open water crankbait rod. But given the limited space I have in my car, it's the most versatile moving bait stick I could find.

 

If you are familiar with the St. Croix Mojo Bass Spinnerbait rod, the action is overall quite similar.

 

It's also extremely sensitive for a glass rod. Vibrations are slightly muted, but you still can fell just about everything. It's a little heavier than it's graphite version, but the weight doesn't really bother me personally.

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25 minutes ago, Boomstick said:

It's a perfect spinnerbait or chatterbait rod. The tip has some initial flex but it has a lot of backbone behind that so it has enough power to set the hook although I will use my MH/F rod for anything above 1/2oz. The overall action is a little stiffer than most deep diving crankbait rods with a lot of hidden power reserves. It's also really good for fishing square bills around cover as the rebound is not too slow, but stiffer than the ideal open water crankbait rod. But given the limited space I have in my car, it's the most versatile moving bait stick I could find.

 

If you are familiar with the St. Croix Mojo Bass Spinnerbait rod, the action is overall quite similar.

 

It's also extremely sensitive for a glass rod. Vibrations are slightly muted, but you still can fell just about everything. It's a little heavier than it's graphite version, but the weight doesn't really bother me personally.

Awesome, thanks for all the info. Sounds like exactly what I'm looking for 

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7’2” MH/ moderate action for crankbaits, spinners, topwater.

 

7’ M/fast action for plastics, jigs. I own about 12 rods and atleast 7 are 7’ Medium power fast action rods. I used to use them for literally every technique and species.

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2 favorites: One spinner for lighter (generally panfish) and one baitcaster for heavier (generally for bass), and one serves as backup for the other if one combo goes down, and can handle either species in a pinch. This covers a variety of techniques and species and offers simplicity and redundancy.

 

But if you say take 5 favorites, and since that was the original question:

 

In order of preference:

  1. 6'6 M/F baitcaster, 12# mono
    • The favorite. General purpose bass, wide range of lure types/weights
  2. 6'6 L/F spinner, 6# mono, 1000 size reel
    • general purpose spinner biased to lighter techniques and lures, for panfish and bass
    • Note: Untested; just ordered it today. Hoping it covers panfish and light bass techniques.
  3. 5'6 UL/F spinner, 6# mono
    • panfish using lightest lures, tight spaces
  4. 6'8 MH/F baitcaster, 12# mono
    • heavier duty bass and lures, possibly inshore salt
  5. 6'6 M/M Ugly Cheap spinner, 12# mono, cheap 2500 series reel
    • topwater (don't need sensitive) and inshore salt (don't care if it gets abused)

Favorite 1? #1

Favorite 2? #1 and #2

 

 

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