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jrwerner310

To buy a Combo setup or Build your own???

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I have been doing my research on building a few rod/reel setup and was wondering if it was worth it to build your own or to buy a already setup combo. Lews has a nice new Mach 1 speed spool for casting and spinning that look and feel nice. But my main question is are those combos not as sensitive as building your own set?

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I have the Mach 1 Baitcasting combo. Great combo that I used and abused last year. Did a lot of bank fishing in rocky areas with overhanging trees. The combo held up well and I liked the rod so much I wound up buying another one when they went on sale at Dick's for $35

 

The reel is really nice as it seems to have all the same features of my Lew's Tournament MB but made of graphite not aluminum.

 

If you are looking for a spinning combo I would go up a step to the Mach 2 as that reel is made of aluminum and is much more durable than the Mach 1

 

I was never a fan of combos as usually one of the pieces, rod or reel, is of inferior quality to make the combo affordable or seem like a deal. Some of the combos I have seen are only $10 to $20 more than buying the reel itself!

 

Lew's however, makes some great combos. I have several, including the Mach Crush series both spinning and casting. Love them all and lately have been the first things I grab when going fishing.

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If you are just starting out, a combo can save you some money and get you going and still be a good setup. As you fish more, you will gravitate more to buying rods and reels seperate. There are just so many more choices and better quality in seperate peices, but at a somewhat higher cost. You can dial it in to what you like, need, and prefer in a rod and reel as opposed to a stock combo. 

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I don’t get to fish as much as I would like. That’s why I was asking if I should get a nice higher end combo vs buying them separate. But if you are going to invest in something, might as well be something nice right? The Lews Mack 1 and 2 both looked nice and seem the be close in how they are make compared to the rods build separately. However, I’m mostly looking for a more sensitive rod and maybe should at least invest in a higher end rod and moderate reel. Was just looking for a finesse spinning and pitching/flipping rod. Found a Lews Tournament MH that I really like. It’s a nice stout rod. Then I looked at the St Croix Maga Bass ML spinning rod. I would need at least a baitcasting reel and was going to think about transferring my broke Cabela’s Classic reel to the Maga bass. 

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I've never bought a combo, but see lots of them that look.good. You can pick them up for less money too. Might be a good way to go

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Personally I prefer to build my own for the simple fact I can select the rod I want for specific techniques.

 

For $200 one can build a combo for most any scenario.

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Build your own IMO.

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Really no wrong answer here but if quality is your goal don't go with a combo.  Usually at least the rod or reel, or both is plucked from the lower shelf of a manufacturer's line up in order to offer a low combo price.

 

Although I have a Pflueger Trion spinning combo still going strong after nearly 9 years.  

 

 

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My initial reaction was to advise against,  however,  having thought a bit more, it isn't necessarily a bad idea.  Cabelas used to pair up some good house branded rods with name brand reels and offer deals.  Not sure where that is now with BPS merge.  And Lews combos are generally well regarded.  I imagine other retailers will offer deals on some combos, too.  My first baitcaster was an Abu combo years ago.  Served me well enough,  and at decent entry price point....but neither the rod, nor the reel lasted three seasons.

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Building your own is probably going to be better because you can pick exactly what you want.  That being said, American Legacy is having a combo sale on the Shimano SLX.  $129.99.  That is pretty hard to pass up in my opinion.

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a combo is good for starting out, but i would build my own combo because usually the reel or rod on a combo isn't too good. I believe that bass pro has some good combos though they match some high quality rods and reels for a slightly cheaper price

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Sometimes the rod quality goes down when you buy a combo, but this isn’t always true. A lot of bass pros combos use regular rods and reels that are sold separately so they can be better quality. Lews generally makes pretty nice combos at a good price, I’d definitely look into them as well

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Under most circumstances, buying the rod and reel separately is the way to go. That's how most of my rigs were set up.

 

Saying that, my Avocet rig was bought as a combo and has done very well for me as my finesse rig. So you can find decent combos, but investigate both pieces to make sure they work well together.

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6 minutes ago, SMITTY0045 said:

Sometimes the rod quality goes down when you buy a combo, but this isn’t always true. A lot of bass pros combos use regular rods and reels that are sold separately so they can be better quality. Lews generally makes pretty nice combos at a good price, I’d definitely look into them as well

Im thinking of getting the Lews Mach 1 Spinning and Baitcasting combos. they look like they are good quality.  I already own a Abu Garcia and Shimano Combos that I really like. I did look at the Mach 2 but they were not as stout as the mach 1

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The issue I have is non-aluminum frames reels that often come in combos.

 

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7 minutes ago, Catt said:

The issue I have is non-aluminum frames reels that often come in combos.

 

Yea, that Lews Mach 1 has a light weight graphite frame and side plates.

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14 minutes ago, Catt said:

The issue I have is non-aluminum frames reels that often come in combos.

 

I feel the same way.

 

As far as the Lew's combos go you can get aluminum framed spinning reels on the Mach 2 and Mach Crush combos. The only aluminum framed baitcasting combo they offer is the Custom Black.

 

The Mach 1 and Crush baitcasters are pretty solid for graphite framed reels though.

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The answer really depends on casting vs spinning. To be fair, I don’t recommend combos at all, just because there is rarely enough savings to be of any advantage.

 

However, the floor of usability for a spinning reel is very low. It’s hard to find a spinning reel that is so bad it’s unfishable. The handle may crank back a quarter turn, and you may seriously question where they hid that one advertised bearing, but it’ll catch fish.

 

Spincast reels, like a Zebco or Shakespeare, are surprisingly poor low end performers despite being readily available as such. These aren’t your grandparent’s 33’s. 

 

As for baitcasters, just spend the money. Today you can more readily find sub-100 dollar models that work, but that’s always been a good price point. Most manufacturers these days make some very good reels in that range. Something like a Daiwa Fuego or Shimano SLX will not only last but give you a lot of enjoyment.

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5 minutes ago, brophog said:

The answer really depends on casting vs spinning. To be fair, I don’t recommend combos at all, just because there is rarely enough savings to be of any advantage.

 

However, the floor of usability for a spinning reel is very low. It’s hard to find a spinning reel that is so bad it’s unfishable. The handle may crank back a quarter turn, and you may seriously question where they hid that one advertised bearing, but it’ll catch fish.

 

Spincast reels, like a Zebco or Shakespeare, are surprisingly poor low end performers despite being readily available as such. These aren’t your grandparent’s 33’s. 

 

As for baitcasters, just spend the money. Today you can more readily find sub-100 dollar models that work, but that’s always been a good price point. Most manufacturers these days make some very good reels in that range. Something like a Daiwa Fuego or Shimano SLX will not only last but give you a lot of enjoyment.

Well looks like im going to build my own. For my flipping and pitching rod im going with the Lews Tournament Performance TP1 Speed Stick and my finesse spinning will be the same brand.  both look great and are stout rods. reviews look good too. now i just need two new reels.   

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21 minutes ago, jrwerner310 said:

Well looks like im going to build my own. For my flipping and pitching rod im going with the Lews Tournament Performance TP1 Speed Stick and my finesse spinning will be the same brand.  both look great and are stout rods. reviews look good too. now i just need two new reels.   

 

Definitely not the fanciest reel out there but Lew’s BB-1 Speed Spool is as rock solid as they come.

 

Everyone is gonna tell ya get a higher gear ratio but believe me at 6.4:1 you'll be fine!

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I have a cheap rod and zebco 202 Im taking to trade in at Bass Pro Sunday. I will be building my own combo, I like to make sure I have a good balance and its feels right. With the trade in plus sales I can get a nice combo. 

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