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Help a 2nd-Year Angler Build 3 Setups Covering All/the Majority of Presentations

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-No brand names - please specify the properties of the rod/reel/line that make it versatile in your mind for multiple presentations

-Specify line on each setup (main line/leader/# test)

 

I'm going to be off the shore this year on a Pond Prowler (a 10ft plastic boat/electric trolling motor). Assume I can fit 3 setups and that all presentations are on the table. Consider that another angler may occasionally be in the small boat with me (potentially tight casting quarters/rod length issue).

 

Looking for practical solutions - I understand 3 "perfect" setups don't exist for the entire spectrum of presentations. Consider it an exercise in determining the most versatile set of properties in rod/reel/line that gives the best chance of correctly presenting and landing bass on any given presentation, within the given limit of 3 setups. 

 

If you have to omit any presentations in order to build the three please specify which presentations would be omitted. 

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So tough to break it down to just 3 setups, but below would be my 3 top picks.

 

6'6"-7' medium fast action spinning rod for weightless plastics, dropshots, shakeyhead, tubes, etc.

2500-3000 size spinning reel

8-10lb. test fluorocarbon OR 15lb. braid with a 8-10lb test flourocarbon leader around 10ft in length

 

7' medium or medium heavy fast action casting rod for spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, swimbaits, lighter texas rigs

6.3.1 bait casting reel

12-15lb. test fluorocarbon

 

7' heavy fast action casting rod for heavier jigs, texas rigs, frogs, flipping and pitching

7.3.1 bait casting reel

65lb. braid and 15-20lb. test fluorocarbon depending on what kind of cover you're fishing

 

 

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1.  M/Mod with 20 lb braid for cranks, small poppers

2.  H/Fast with 50 lb braid for topwater in the slop, bigger swim baits, punching

3.  MH/Fast with 20 or 30 lb braid for everything else such as jigs, jerks, spinnerbaits, plastics

 

I fish in a kayak and use braid for everything.  I've used leaders in some instances but saw no difference so don't anymore. 

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If I was starting over and wanted three rigs to cover most everything, this is what I'd do.

 

8.1:1 or faster baitcaster, 7' Heavy/Fast rod, 50# or 65# braid - pitching, flipping, frogging, heavy spinner/buzz/chatter/jigs (3/4 oz+), heavier Texas/Carolina rigs (5/8 oz+)

 

6.6:1 to 7.3:1 baitcaster, 6'6" to 7' Medium or Medium Heavy/Fast rod, 15#-20# flouro or 20# braid - most crank/jerk baits, moderate weight (1/4-5/8 oz) Texas/Carolina rigs, spinner/chatter/buzz baits or jigs

 

5.3:1 to 6.6:1 baitcaster OR 3000 size spinning reel (5.2:1 to 5.4:1), 7' Medium Light or Medium/Fast rod, 10#-12# mono or flouro - lighter crank/jerk baits, light Texas/Carolina rigs (1/16-3/16 oz), finesse rigs (Ned, wacky, drop shot, weightless worms, etc)

 

I direct tie all my lures, don't use leaders at all.

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7'-7'2" MH, Fast BC

6'6"-6'8" Med, Fast BC

6'6"-6'9" Med Fast Spinning

 

 

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You need to have 1 rod dedicated to bottom contact lures.  Jigs, worms, etc.  It should be able to easily throw 1/4 to 1 oz baits.  A lot of rods can do this but won't work as well with 1/4 as 1 oz and Visa versa, so I'd shoot for a rod that excels at the lighter side since you will likely throw 1/4-1/2 oz lures the most.  Put a fast reel on this rod.  At least 7 speed (8 is better).  Spend your money on this setup.  Weight, balance, and sensitivity will matter.

 

Get another medium heavy rod with a bendy tip.  You can use it for spinner baits, chatter baits, heavier crank baits, and other heavier treble lures like whopper plopper.  A 6 speed reel should work great.

 

Lastly either a medium  moderate or a medium fast for other lighter treble hook lures.  Put a 6 speed reel on it.

 

Enjoy the boat.  I have one and it is a blast.  You can certainly carry 4 rods on it though.  I often carry 5 on mine.  Check out the Sun Dolphin.  It has raised sides, so you don't have to worry about your rods rolling into the lake.

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10 hours ago, LionHeart said:

You need to have 1 rod dedicated to bottom contact lures.  Jigs, worms, etc. 

Dedicated and 3 rods is going to be hard to do without asking the other 2 rods to do a lot. There are several MH rods that will do well with plastics as well as most moving baits. The 4th and 5th rod can be a plastic and frog/large bait rod to round out things.

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1. 6'9"-7' Spinning Medium / Fast

  • Drop shot, shakeyhead, wacky rig, weightless plastics, tubes, crankbaits, jerkbaits, poppers
  • 10# braid with 8# fluoro leader

2. 6'9"-7'2" Baitcaster Medium Heavy / Fast (7:1 reel)

  • Texas rigs, up to 1/2 oz jigs, swim jigs, spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, buzzbaits, lighter carolina rigs
  • 30# braid with 15# fluoro leader

3. 7'0"-7'6" Baitcaster Heavy / Fast (8:1 reel)

  • Frogs, pitching & flipping, punching, 1/2oz+ jigs, heavier carolina rigs, swimbaits
  • 50-65# braid
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15 hours ago, LionHeart said:

Get another medium heavy rod with a bendy tip.  You can use it for spinner baits, chatter baits, heavier crank baits, and other heavier treble lures like whopper plopper.

How about this? I already own it (sale @ Dick's last year). It came in a combo with a 5 bearing, 7.1 ratio reel that I would replace. 

 

E9UJ8Ge.jpg

 

I know it's hardly a top tier rod (though I am willing to spend a little more and am open to suggestions?). 

 

I can't find any specification from the manufacturer whether or not the tip is fast or moderate - the rod definitely has some good bend in it. I'm thinking it could be good for topwater trebles (thinking whopper plopper).

 

Would this be at least an "okay" option for moving baits with single hooks (spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, buzzbaits) in addition to larger treble applications (plopper)? Or, for the single-hook moving baits, is a legitimate fast tip something that shouldn't be sacrificed?

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11 minutes ago, TotalNoob said:

I can't find any specification from the manufacturer whether or not the tip is fast or moderate - the rod definitely has some good bend in it. I'm thinking it could be good for topwater trebles (thinking whopper plopper).

IIRC - all American Hero Speed Sticks are a Fast.

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6 hours ago, TotalNoob said:

How about this? I already own it (sale @ Dick's last year). It came in a combo with a 5 bearing, 7.1 ratio reel that I would replace. 

 

E9UJ8Ge.jpg

 

I know it's hardly a top tier rod (though I am willing to spend a little more and am open to suggestions?). 

 

I can't find any specification from the manufacturer whether or not the tip is fast or moderate - the rod definitely has some good bend in it. I'm thinking it could be good for topwater trebles (thinking whopper plopper).

 

Would this be at least an "okay" option for moving baits with single hooks (spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, buzzbaits) in addition to larger treble applications (plopper)? Or, for the single-hook moving baits, is a legitimate fast tip something that shouldn't be sacrificed?

Tough to say without handling the rod, but should work fine for moving baits.  Most moving bait techniques don't require the most sensitive or well balanced rod.  This is one of those setups where top tier gear absolutely isn't required.

 

As far as the rod tip.  I like a rod tip with a little give to it for moving baits but as long as the rod has enough muscle to toss a half ounce lure, the action of the tip is total preference.  Some dudes like a faster tip, I just don't.

 

What you got there should do nicely IMO.

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You would get widely answer for this, each individual fish different lure, techniques and speed. You would have to tell us how you like to fish, crankbait, finesse or power, cover or not so much in your area.

 

my goto set up is Daiwa Tatula MH 6’10. I fish down from weightless Senko, light Texas rig all the way to 3/8oz jig and 3/8-1/2 oz, chatterbait/spinnerbait and 3/8 jerkbait. I hardly fish anything heavier than this and my lake don’t have a lot of cover so this setup is cover the most of my fishing. So I have 3 of these.

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My 1st bass rod, tubular glass, was 5'6" pistol grip,  today's power/action would be MH(4) mod/fast action bait casting. Fished this style rod for about 15 years adding a second rod during that time period. Caught 1,000's of bass on that type rod.

My next different rod was a salt water, tubular glass popping rod 7' trigger stick (straight handle) for diving plugs (crank baits)Heavy(5) mod, fished this rod for 25 years, catching 1,000's of bass. Changed the 5'6" to 6'10" graphite rods MH (4) fast around the early 70's and still use type of rods.

You don't need a lot of different rods unless you use a wide verity of different weight and types of lures. What 3 rods you do need;

Basic bass rod for the majority of lures you use. 6'6"-7'4" MH/F graphite bait casting rod. 6.3:1-8.0:1 size 100 reel, 12 lb monogram FC line.

Crabkbait rod if you use crank baits. 7'-7'4" MH/Mod fast composite or tubular glass bait casting rod. 5.8:1-6.3:1 size 200 or 300 reel, 12 lb mono line.

Finesse spinning rod for lighter weight smaller size lures. 6'6"-7' M/fast graphite spinning rod. Size 2000-2500 size spinning reel, 5 lb - 8 lb mono or FC, braid optional.

If you don't use crank baits, use 2 basic bass rods.

Tom

 

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23 hours ago, TotalNoob said:

1) a 5 bearing, 7.1 ratio reel that I would replace. 

 

b) Would this be at least an "okay" option for moving baits with single hooks (spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, buzzbaits) in addition to larger treble applications

1) Why? Is there something wrong with it?

 

b) Only one way to find out.

 

The best way to end up with a bunch of tackle that you don't use is to buy something because a bunch of guys on an InterWeb® site said it was a good idea. A better plan, specially if one already has a rod or 2 is to go fishing with that and see how well (or not) it does with a given lure. As with any other tool out there, when you use your rods, reels, lines and lures ask yourself "what if anything do I wish was different about it, that would make my fishing better or more efficient in some way". and make the changes (wether it involves purchases or not) in that direction. 

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On 1/28/2019 at 5:46 PM, MN Fisher said:

If I was starting over and wanted three rigs to cover most everything, this is what I'd do.

 

8.1:1 or faster baitcaster, 7' Heavy/Fast rod, 50# or 65# braid - pitching, flipping, frogging, heavy spinner/buzz/chatter/jigs (3/4 oz+), heavier Texas/Carolina rigs (5/8 oz+)

 

6.6:1 to 7.3:1 baitcaster, 6'6" to 7' Medium or Medium Heavy/Fast rod, 15#-20# flouro or 20# braid - most crank/jerk baits, moderate weight (1/4-5/8 oz) Texas/Carolina rigs, spinner/chatter/buzz baits or jigs

 

5.3:1 to 6.6:1 baitcaster OR 3000 size spinning reel (5.2:1 to 5.4:1), 7' Medium Light or Medium/Fast rod, 10#-12# mono or flouro - lighter crank/jerk baits, light Texas/Carolina rigs (1/16-3/16 oz), finesse rigs (Ned, wacky, drop shot, weightless worms, etc)

 

I direct tie all my lures, don't use leaders at all.

MN, I have never used braid. I personally have only used mono and flouro versions. Thought about trying it 1000 times. Have not because of being a creature of habit and ignorance I guess. My question do you color your line black, green, yellow or blue to camouflage it some. First 6,8, or 10 feet?

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I used to wear them out with only two setups. A 6’6 MH fast and a 6’0” medium fast. 

 

If if I had to do 3 setups today it would look like this:

 

1. 7’3” Heavy fast. 

2. 6’10” MH fast

3. 6’8” M modfast

 

1 covers jigs, punching, frogs, etc. 3 for lighter lures, shallow cranks, jerkbaits, topwater. 2 for everything else

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9 minutes ago, Spankey said:

MN, I have never used braid. I personally have only used mono and flouro versions. Thought about trying it 1000 times. Have not because of being a creature of habit and ignorance I guess. My question do you color your line black, green, yellow or blue to camouflage it some. First 6,8, or 10 feet?

I just use the PP green, don't color it, don't do anything but spool it on. Doesn't seem to affect my catch rate. Of course most MN waters I fish are a bit stained - 3-4 foot visibility, so that might have something to do with it. Clearer water, I MIGHT put a leader on...length dependent upon how clear...but it's not a given.

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The OP is fishing from a small boat and located in Colorado. Unless the lakes/ponds have heavy cover you don't need braid. Berkley Big Game 12 lb to 15 lb mono will perform nearly every bass lure presentation with ease. The exception is finesse spinning then you need smaller diameter line like Sunline Natural mono or Sniper FC 6lb to 8 lb line.

15 lb to 20 lb braid with a leader of mono or FC is optional, to reduce line twist.

I only use braid when fishing heavy cover with a bait casting combo a few times a year.

Don't over think this, go fishing and catch bass.

Tom

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2 hours ago, JustJames said:

You would get widely answer for this, each individual fish different lure, techniques and speed. You would have to tell us how you like to fish, crankbait, finesse or power, cover or not so much in your area.

 

my goto set up is Daiwa Tatula MH 6’10. I fish down from weightless Senko, light Texas rig all the way to 3/8oz jig and 3/8-1/2 oz, chatterbait/spinnerbait and 3/8 jerkbait. I hardly fish anything heavier than this and my lake don’t have a lot of cover so this setup is cover the most of my fishing. So I have 3 of these.

Yea this is spot on. Because this is a Bass forum (and because I mostly seek to catch Bass) I am hesitant to mention that I fish a multi-species fishery; it's primarily a Walleye lake honestly. The State does a Walleye egg-take operation every Spring and as a result it seems like they generally don't want any other species to out-compete the forage (gizzard shad) for all the Walleyes. 

 

HOWEVER, we have a lot of Smallmouth, a good amount of Spotted, and some Largemouth bass (in my experience). They stock some Wiper fry every year as well. 

 

Much like your fishery, we seem not have a lot of cover. Having said that, I've been fishing exclusively from shore the last 1.5 yrs and haven't even been able to fish any of south side of the reservoir. This year I'll be able to explore some new areas in hopes of finding areas more likely to hold Largemouths but the takeaway is that we don't seem to have a lot of traditional heavy "bass cover". 

 

12 minutes ago, reason said:

1) Why? Is there something wrong with it?

Not that I'm aware of. It's a graphite frame and a "Rulon" drag system (?). I didn't use it hardly at all last year frankly, either the rod or the reel. 

 

I have concerns about the random Wiper I occasionally catch. Those suckers grow quickly, are exceptionally fierce fighters, and pull a lot of drag. If there were no Wiper in the lake I'd have no particular concerns with the reel. But that random chance of a wiper picking up a jerkbait or topwater or a chatterbait or a keitech swimbait make me think I should have gear that's at least a step or two above low-grade. 

 

Cy5jjsP.jpg

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2 minutes ago, TotalNoob said:

Not that I'm aware of. It's a graphite frame and a "Rulon" drag system (?). I didn't use it hardly at all last year frankly, either the rod or the reel. 

From what I've read on reviews and such, the American Hero combo is a good starting setup. Certainly up there with the combo I just retired that served me well for a couple decades.

 

A 7.2:1 gear ratio on that reel is a good mid-level one. Crank/chatter/jerk is the 'sweet spot' for that ratio IMO...my new replacement for those techniques is a 7.3:1.

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20 minutes ago, WRB said:

The OP is fishing from a small boat and located in Iowa.

Southern Colorado

21 minutes ago, WRB said:

Don't over think this, go fishing and catch bass.

+1, multi-species fishery has me a little stumped/overwhelmed

51 minutes ago, reason said:

The best way to end up with a bunch of tackle that you don't use is to buy something because a bunch of guys on an InterWeb® site said it was a good idea.

Love this btw. I'm ending up with a bunch of tackle probably from watching a lot of youtube vids but mostly because I'm trying to find a balance between all the different species I end up catching in my reservoir, while Bass fishing. The purpose of this thread is to identify as clearly as possible what kind of tackle best suits my situation. 

 

When jerkbaiting I run across a LOT of walleyes and their mouths aren't real thick like that of a bass. Heavy gear is not needed at all for these guys. By contrast, while bass fishing, I've had Wipers and Catfish crush my lure out of nowhere and absolutely run with it. So having too light of tackle also seems to be a problem. I've broken off several times this last Fall on 8 and 10lb test creeping weedless keitechs across the bottom by what I'm sure were wipers or catfish. Trying to find a good balance. 

 

See pic below of walleyes caught on TOPWATER and FLUKES and a wiper on a whopper plopper. Note that I was fishing for black bass at all of these times. I was in the middle of a terrific Smallmouth frenzy on the whopper plopper that morning when the wiper came out of nowhere, stopped the plopper like I hit a brick wall. I actually caught the walleye on a pink fluke in late Nov semi-intentionally. I was HOPING for bass but frankly I rigged it up specifically just to see if a walleye would hit. No pics but I've caught multiple walleyes on green pumpkin tubes and texas rigged 5" senko(knock-off) plastics as well. 

 

Most days I really envy you guys who have straight-up LMB or mixed black bass fisheries. It definitely would simplify things. 

 

If anyone's read this far would definitely appreciate any thoughts or insight into how they might go about fishing this type of fishery from a rod/reel/line perspective. I know there have to be other folks out there who have fisheries similar to this. 

 

yD6SVwf.jpg

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If it was me, I'd go with 12 lb mono or 15 lb braid with a 15 lb mono leader, Unless you are running into wipers and cats that run over 20 lbs, a tight drag and good knots should have those fish by your side with minimal line going out. If  it's going to be mostly small walleyes, somewhat lighter tackle would be my choice. 

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33 minutes ago, reason said:

Unless you are running into wipers and cats that run over 20 lbs, a tight drag and good knots should have those fish by your side with minimal line going out.

State record Blue and Flathead catfish are out of the reservoir I fish that's practically in my backyard.

 

 

Blue 2016 --Reservoir 24lb-7.712oz 35 1/2"  
           
*Flathead 2017 --Reservoir 30lb-9.6oz 38 5/8"
 

 

It's a highly pressured lake with lots of anglers from the Denver metropolitan area (and their 50K bass boats) coming down to fish it.

 

For this reason I try to fish it at night ... I feel like that's MY edge; sometimes I'll get there a couple hrs before sun-up and fish through the dawn bass bite ... sometimes I'll get there for the dusk bite and fish into the night some. 

 

Oh yea, state record Wiper out of here as well

Wiper 2004 --Reservoir 26lb-15oz 37.50in

 

FWIW I literally had no idea I was going to run into all these species when I picked up my Dad's old bass tackle in 2017. I watched Bill Dance and Bassmasters when I was a kid. I just wanted to Bass fish. 

 

34 minutes ago, reason said:

If  it's going to be mostly small walleyes, somewhat lighter tackle would be my choice. 

Turns out there's some tank walleyes ... caught this post-spawn 30"er last April - thought she was a random toad but this last Fall fishing at night I saw walleyes in the water as big & bigger.  

 

T0VoAVV.jpg

 

This reservoir is supposedly named one of the top Bass fisheries in the region but I have yet to come up with any tank Smallies, Spots, or Largies. It's been somewhat frustrating. My biggest Smally is 17"/2lb, biggest Spot is 16"/2.5lbs and biggest Largemouth is smaller than either of those two. Where the heck are all the Bass at in a reservoir like this? I'm gonna find em this year. 

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When I fished in Lake of The Woods, Ontario with my inlaws all they fish for are walleyes and lake trout, bass were considered trash fish along with pike.

My first trip was in '73 and I packed my bass stuff that included 3 custom Lamiglas 6'10" rods 3, 4 & 5 power along with a 2500C and 2 ea 4500C reel, 6 lb and 10 lb Max Ultra Green line, intended to fish for walleye and smallmouth bass. My lures included hand poured Smitty plastic worms I use on my home lakes and Garland grubs, jigs, hooks and sinkers. Figured I could get what else need in Canada. 

I caught a lot of walleyes on motor red flake grubs out fishing my inlaws using live minnows, they were impressed. My farther in law had me bring him a 2500C reel and gave him one of my rods, plus more grubs. For the next 20 years we made the trip to Cananda bring more hand poured soft plastics and the local tackle store put in Garland grubs. 

The locals didn't fish for largemouth bass and told me very few were in Lake of The Woods back in early 70's. I thought that was strange considering I was catching them regularly along inside weed lines up to 6 lbs. It didn't take long before the word got out and each year more and more LMB anglers.

My point is buy quality tackle, it performs good for decades and bass will eat walleye lures, walleyes will eat bass lures.

Tom

PS, Colorado not Iowa.....:huh:

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