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Kyle S

'Ideal Rod Arsenal'

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Firstly, where has Bass Resource been all of my life?? Better yet, where have I been!? I am truly loving this site, and am thoroughly enjoying gathering everyones opinions and suggestions about this passion all of us share. This brings me to my first post/question. What brand/and or rod line would you recommend to build an arsenal upon? I can't see myself spending over $500.00 USD on a rod, however I like many, appreciate and am willing to 'invest' in quality gear. Now I realize that it is truly not necessary to spend loads of money on equipment to go out and catch fish, as I have a handful of what many would consider to be entry level rods. My current arsenal consists of 5 casting rods, Daiwa laguna, Insight pro advantage, *** black, Abu Garcia Veritas, and a Bill Dance Quantum combo my lovely girlfriend bought for me that started it all. Two rods have $50 Lew's Speed Spools, two have $75 Lew's Laser MG's, and then theirs the quantum combo which costs $50. Also I have an Ugly Stick Gx2 spinning combo someone left me. All of these rods and reels have treated me well, and I intend to use them for as long as they allow. I don't intend to purchase an 'Ideal Rod Arsenal' right away, but I'd like to have a better understanding of what I should, and shouldn't spend my money on when I am ready to upgrade. Again, I get that answers are going to be subjective and based on opinion and experience, but I guess that is what i'm ultimately seeking. I have been doing some research and their seems to be no clear cut answer. With the plethora of rods available on the market today, I see why that is. Findings on this site within the many forums seem to point to rods all over the spectrum. Some, stick with G. Loomis, while others swear by St. Croix, then there's, albeit rare, the Ugly Stick exclusive crowd. I could go on and on, Dobyn's fans, Shimano only, Lew's enthusiasts, you get it. Everyone seems to have an attachment to a certain manufacturer, and i'm truly curious as to why that is? To give some insight into my personal fishing background (perhaps these details will help guide a recommendation)..... A weekend warrior is what I would consider myself, who is always looking to get more time on the water. Largemouth Bass is the species I fish for, and is what I would want my arsenal to be geared towards. I've been fishing for going on 5 years now, and have loved every second of it. I reside in the Central Virginia area and have access to a considerable amount of places to fish, but spend most of my time beating up a few small ponds, but plan to spend most of this upcoming spring summer and fall on the Chickahominy Lake and River. Most commonly used baits are small to medium Texas rigs, jigs in various sizes, weightless senko's ( no surprise here ;) ) square bill crank baits, lipless cranks, spinner baits, small to medium swim baits, frogs, toads, flukes, pretty much everything except for huge swim baits. I'm trying to learn to drop shop, and utilize a shaky head as well so I'd like a nice rod for these 'finesse' techniques (spinning perhaps?) At the moment I am a proud owner of a 10' pond prowler. It's a great starter boat that has allowed me to fish some considerable places and learn some different techniques. I intend to purchase a bass boat in the next few years that will allow me to fish even more places and hone in my techniques. I apologize about the length of this question/post, however I felt all of the detail was necessary to help some give the best recommendation possible. I'm not opposed to any brand or manufacturer, nor would I scoff at a great budget rod line up. If you have any questions please ask away! Dying to hear any and all responses!! Thanks in advance!!!!

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Start with "The Basics"  

 

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11 minutes ago, roadwarrior said:

Start with "The Basics"  

 

Thanks for the response roadwarrior! Are there any brands that you would recommend?

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25 minutes ago, Kyle S said:

Thanks for the response roadwarrior! Are there any brands that you would recommend?

Your gonna get about 100 different replys, choose a well known company that fits your needs and feels good in your hand.

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A hardy :welcome: to the forum.  Can't help with your rod choices.  You are way out of my budget range.  I'm sure someone will suggest custom rods if you are willing to pay that kind of money.  Best to know exactly what you want if going that way.  In most cases I have usually gone for versatile production rods with a few technique specific rods such as frog, crankbait and Ned Rig thrown in.

 

There are so many good rods today that choosing a few is pretty darn tough.  But...hey...researching new gear is at least half the fun even if it can get confusing as all get out.  :teeth:  Especially now that a lot of us won't be getting out for a few months.  This is the Bait Monkey's favorite time of the year.  I've already bought myself 3 unneeded reels and one rod that I may or may not need.  :wall3:  And winter is just getting started.  :cry4:

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I'd recommend sticking with brands that have a lifetime warranty, such as G Loomis, St Croix, and Dobyns. Megabass also makes excellent rods... just not as friendly of a warranty if you or your buddy steps on it and breaks it in a few years. 

 

If you're going to go "big" with a move into higher end rods, my first recommendation would be an NRX 893. Super versatile rod that could handle a number of the techniques you mentioned and it's ridiculously sensitive. It retails for a bit above what you listed, but you can find them for 20-30% off certain times of the year to bring that price well within your budget. 

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4 hours ago, Kyle S said:

Some, stick with G. Loomis, while others swear by St. Croix, then there's, albeit rare, the Ugly Stick exclusive crowd. I could go on and on, Dobyn's fans, Shimano only, Lew's enthusiasts, you get it. Everyone seems to have an attachment to a certain manufacturer, and i'm truly curious as to why that is?

If this is accurate then I am exactly opposite of 'most' fisherman.  Once I started upgrading rods and got my first "good" rod I thought I would want to stick with a single manufacturer.  I was wrong.  I've found that there is such a wide range of rod power, taper, and "feel" characteristics that I'm gradually collecting a variety of brands that work best (for me) for different techniques.  Best case scenario would be that you have retailers in driving range of your home where you can go handle the rods before you purchase.  @roadwarrior is giving his usual great advice.  Find three good rods as he suggested to get your start and branch off into other techniques/rods from there.  Enjoy!  Oh, and you're penniless for the rest of your life now...

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Thanks guys! I really appreciate all of the feedback!

 

 

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My favorite "off the shelf" rod is the GLX but at that price point I'd look into a custom.  I haven't tried the NRX because I haven't found a good enough discount.   If you are patient you can find great sales around Xmas time....I personally won't buy a rod in that price range unless I'm getting at least 20% off retail.

 

I also really like my megabass rods but the models I have are   lighter power than the rating

 

Good luck!  

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Kyle S, there are so many good rods out there now, it's hard to pick. I like Shimano rods, which no one seems to really like that much. I also have Lews and one St Croix, and they are all good. They'll all catch bass

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19 hours ago, BigAngus752 said:

If this is accurate then I am exactly opposite of 'most' fisherman.  Once I started upgrading rods and got my first "good" rod I thought I would want to stick with a single manufacturer.  I was wrong.  I've found that there is such a wide range of rod power, taper, and "feel" characteristics that I'm gradually collecting a variety of brands that work best (for me) for different techniques.  Best case scenario would be that you have retailers in driving range of your home where you can go handle the rods before you purchase.  @roadwarrior is giving his usual great advice.  Find three good rods as he suggested to get your start and branch off into other techniques/rods from there.  Enjoy!  Oh, and you're penniless for the rest of your life now...

Some people like to stick with one brand figuring that it gives them the benefit of knowing what to expect for power and action at a given listing.  I am like you.  I have rods from many companies based on reviews and feedback from members here and other forums.  Personally I like trying different gear.  Which is why my reels also have different names on them.  :teeth:

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I would make my selection based on where you live, types of water you fish, types of cover, & structure (deep or shallow).

 

With that information I would select two quality rods, one for bottom contact techniques & one for either topwater or mid-depth techniques depending on which is more productive on your water.

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Like others have said, you will probably get 100 different opinions on what brand is best. I am partial to Duckett and Megabass, but I have actually gotten rid of all my Megabass rods and now have all Ducketts. The Megabass rods are awesome rods, but honestly I found myself using the Ducketts more, so it didn't make sense to me to spend $300 per rod on any more rods. The more expensive rods don't really make you a better fisherman, only more time on the water can do that. Now, my father on the other hand likes St Croix and the BPS brand rods. I don't think you can go wrong with whatever you choose as long as its comfortable to fish and you like the actions.

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St Croix, G loomis, Dobyns, Fenwick, and many others make quality rods. Alot of it comes down to personal preference ie cork vs Eva vs wynn grips, full vs split handles, reel seats, quide size, length, action. So many variables out there. 

 

Personally would recommend st Croix overall. Have an avid x casting rod that is fantastic. Only issue is the hook keeper, prefer open keepers but not a deal breaker for me. 

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