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Close to Finalizing Setups for Upcoming Season - Thoughts?

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Starting my 2nd year of fishing. I'm definitely a Bass fisherman at heart but my reservoir is multi-species so I fish for what swims.

 

Lots of Smallmouths and Spots, some Largemouths, Wiper, and Walleyes.

 

Not much in the way of heavy cover. Primary forage base is gizzard shad and, for the big fish, I assume the stocked Trout are on the menu.  

 

I'm running a lot of new presentations this year (new to me). I'm looking for confirmation that I'm on the right track (or not) and whether or not I can reasonably "get away" with certain things (see Casting Setup #4).

 

My gear is not the high-end stuff I often see posted about here ... I'm not comfortable dropping large sums on high-end gear at this point in my fishing life. I'm perfectly content with my "mediocre" gear while I continue to learn. An important part of fishing this year is expanding my understanding of correctly applying rod/reel/line combinations to specific applications.

 

There are 2 spinning setups and 5 potential casting setups. Input is needed to match Presentations for the Rods and Reels I own and subsequently the optimal line-type for that setup. I mostly need input on the casting setups. 

 

I don't need to have 5 casting setups, in fact I'm fine consolidating a little here for the time being if possible. Four of the Five casting rods aren't yet matched up with the listed reels. I'm not sure there are any glaring differences in the characteristics of each reel, primary reel pairing concern is on Casting Setup #4. 

 

I've basically just copied and pasted my own notes as I was going through this in my head. If you've read this far (and are willing to read more) I'd very much appreciate any thoughts on matching up Presentations to Rods. I'm eager to start spooling line. 

 

Edit: Earliest Season Priorities are with Spinning #1, Spinning #2, Casting #4, and to some extent Casting #1 (as it applies to jerkbaits). 

 

Spinning #1
 
Rod: 6'6" M/F - BPS Pro Qualifier 2
Reel: Pfluegar President 30 
Line: 10 or 15lb Braid Main Line/10lb Fluoro leader
Potential Applications:   
 -vertically ripping Blade Baits up to 1/2oz 
 -vertically ripping Lipless Cranks up to 1/2oz 
 -Jerkbaits (?)
 -light walleye jigs 
 -light T-Rigged Plastics   
 
 
Spinning #2
  
Rod: 6'10" M/F - Wright & McGill (Yellow "Skeet Reese" Rod - rod is labeled "Drop Shot") 
Reel: Pfluegar President 30  
Line: Application-dependent, TBD
Potential Applications:    
  -Countdown (sinking) Crankbaits for Early Spring Walleye feeding at the Bottom of the Water Column - this very important application might be best suited for straight fluoro (?); lack of stretch in braid combined with Fast tip can result in the lure being pulled away from fish's mouth before a good hookset OR fish being able to throw the hook due to leverage allowed from combination of Braid/Fast Tip
-Jerkbaits - this is tricky depending on the main line; straight fluoro would result in 1) jerkbait sinking substantially during retrieve 2) result in less sensitivity to feel bite (vs braid main to fluoro leader) and 3) curtail ability for a good hookset at distance due to stretch in fluoro
-Flukes (?) - weightless flukes cast well on this rod but in the limited time I threw flukes late last Fall I had issues with lack of backbone to set 4/O texposed hook, definitely not without a braid main line
-Drop Shot 
 
 

Available Casting Reels:

-BPS Pro Qualifier 2 in 6.8:1 (brand new; 10 lb max drag)

-Daiwa Fuego CT in 6.3:1 (max drag 13.2 lbs, spool will hold 150 yds of 12lb mono - the same diameter of 40lb Power Pro .32mm)

-BPS JMX10HFA in 6.4:1 (10 Bearing System, has a "flippin switch" - this is an older reel, probably ~10 years old. Can't find specs on the max drag of this reel but I did find a description of the reel stating the spool holds 120 yds of 12lb mono)

-Lews American Hero Speed Spool (reel from combo rod) in 7.1:1 (non-aluminum frame, non-carbon drag system max 15 lbs)

 
 
Casting #1  
 
Rod: 6'8" MM/F - Okuma (rod is labeled "Jerkbait/Topwater") 
Reel: BPS Pro Qualifier 2, Ratio: 7.5:1
Line: 20lb Braid Main Line/10lb Fluoro leader (possibly mono leader rather than fluoro)  
Potential Applications:    
 -Jerkbaits (with thicker hooks only, no Shadow Raps or other thin-wire hook jerkbaits)
 -Squarebills/Shallow Cranks 
 -Small Topwater (Whopper Plopper 75/90, Spook Jr, Poppers)
 
Casting #2
 
Rod: 7'0" MH/F - BPS Pro Qualifier 2
Reel: __, Ratio: __  
Line:  Application-dependent, TBD    
Potential Applications:    
 -Spinnerbaits
 -Chatterbaits
 -Buzzbaits
 -burning Lipless Crankbaits
 -Crankbaits (deeper diving than Squarebills) - would need fluoro exclusively due to rod being MH w a Fast tip?
 -Jigs (large skirted bass jigs, not lighter walleye jigs
 -Swimbaits (Keitechs) and Underspins
 -Whopper Plopper 110 (?) - no fluoro, braid only or braid-to-mono leader if on this rod
 -A-Rig (?) - "finesse" A-rig (Flash Mob Jr?) - for Wiper
 
Casting #3 
 
Rod: 6'9" MH/F - Abu Garcia Veritas
Reel:  __, Ratio: __    
Line: Application-dependent, TBD   
Potential Applications:    
 -Flukes (?) - rod is very sensitive, more than enough backbone to set hook (4/O skin-hooked at a distance) but tip seems really stiff to me when trying to cast a Zoom Super Fluke 
 -Chatterbaits (?) .. rod is rated for up to 1oz lures but seems to have a super stiff tip, should probably use for single jig hook applications not exceeding 1oz
 -Buzzbaits (?)
 -Jigs (?)
 
Casting #4 
 
Rod: 7'6" H/F (telescoping) - BPS Bionic Blade
Reel:  __, Ratio: __   --Can I get away with the Fuego CT 6.3:1 here if I keep line diameters acceptably low for the spool? Will an FG knot cleanly pass through the line guide (.32-.36mm braid to .38mm mono)? Please let me know if this is feasible or if I really should get a dedicated reel here for the below applications. 
Line: 40lb-50lb Braid Main to 15lb Mono Leader     
Potential Applications:  
 -S-waver 168 (and other misc glide baits up to 2oz)
 -6-7" soft Trout Swimbaits up to 2oz (Savage Gear & Storm)
 -5.5" GT360 Searchbaits 
 -Alabama Rig (primarily thinking Wiper) 
 -Spro BBZ-1 Rat 40
 -WP 110s (on this rod? Or better on another casting setup?
 
Casting #5
Rod: 6'6" MH - Lews American Hero
Reel:  __, Ratio: __   
Line:  Application-dependent, TBD         
Potential Applications:  
 -TBD - this rod is not sensitive at all, I tried using it for jerkbaits last year, had fish on and couldn't feel it at all, hard to imagine using this rod for any application where "feel" is important

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Casting #1: don't think I would use braid for topwater applications 

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Believe I would switch the #1 rod with the #5 rod due to sensitivity.  I tend to use my least sensitive rods for topwater.  You mostly see the strike then feel it.  Keep the jerkbaits and square bills with the Okuma rod.  TRD's for me are for spinning and need a sensitive rod. Just my two cents.

Edit:  My bad.  Just move the TRD to Spinning #1 and topwater to #5 casting.  

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4 hours ago, Catt said:

Casting #1: don't think I would use braid for topwater applications 

Yea, I guess there's two schools of thought on topwater, right? The mono approach for headshake absorption on treble hooks and the braid/heavy rod approach for the "pin 'em down tight and get 'em in quick" technique (or something like that). 

 

I think this rod was designed to be kind of a combination of both approaches. It has a lot of give (but a Fast tip for snapping jerkbaits). I think that softer rod helps with the no-stretch braid, allowing me to get the benefits of braid. Though I will say I have bent hooks on Rapala Shadow Rap jerkbaits easily on this rod with 30lb braid. This is part of why I want to drop to 20lb braid. Those Shadow Raps are killer ... a main staple in my arsenal in Spring and Fall. 

 

Note that I categorize "Small Topwater" separately from other topwaters that I wouldn't throw on this rod (Buzzbaits, WP 110, Spro Rat 40). Categorizing groups of presentations allows for the consolidation of multiple presentations per setup, thus maximizing efficiency (and keeping me from buying more gear ... for now 😉)

 

Anyway, I definitely can't spool that rod with straight mono if I use it for jerkbaits; I can't feel a thing on straight mono. 

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14 minutes ago, TotalNoob said:

I can't feel a thing on straight mono. 

 

That my friend has nothing to do with monofilament! 😉

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i think you might be slightly overthinking everything, especially given that you are "newer" to bass fishing. i understand you're really trying to break every single technique down to a science, but you are going to overwhelm yourself with uncertainty. keep it simple, have fun, and slowly gain confidence with as much as you can without complication

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43 minutes ago, Catt said:

 

That my friend has nothing to do with monofilament! 😉

Yea I may have desensitized myself to mono to some extent by starting out with braid and fluoro. Heck, last Spring I couldn't figure out why anyone would choose mono over fluoro if given the choice. That was before I tried fishing topwater with fluoro... 😂

 

As I progress I'm definitely seeing the benefits mono brings to the table (especially as a leader material) in terms of knot strength, shock absorption, and buoyancy. More tools in the arsenal. 

 

59 minutes ago, EWREX said:

i think you might be slightly overthinking everything, especially given that you are "newer" to bass fishing. i understand you're really trying to break every single technique down to a science, but you are going to overwhelm yourself with uncertainty.

Perhaps, perhaps not. 

1 hour ago, EWREX said:

keep it simple, have fun, and slowly gain confidence with as much as you can without complication

Sound advice for sure 👍

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Everyone has there own opinion on what is right, wrong or best.  Put a reel on a rod, spool it up an go fish.  But most all have fun.  No offense, this is not a science project, it is a hobby for most of us.

 

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30 minutes ago, Heartland said:

Everyone has there own opinion on what is right, wrong or best.  Put a reel on a rod, spool it up an go fish.  But most all have fun.  No offense, this is not a science project, it is a hobby for most of us.

 

No offense taken. There is a little more to it than just putting a rod on a reel and going fishing. 

 

Like most folks I just want to give myself the best chances I can on the water this year with the gear I have and the presentations I'm interested in throwing. Hopefully you can see that's why I'm here. Better to seek advice and input now rather than potentially be scrambling in a month or two when the fishing really turns on 👍

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10 hours ago, TotalNoob said:

Starting my 2nd year of fishing. I'm definitely a Bass fisherman at heart but my reservoir is multi-species so I fish for what swims.

 

Lots of Smallmouths and Spots, some Largemouths, Wiper, and Walleyes.

 

Not much in the way of heavy cover. Primary forage base is gizzard shad and, for the big fish, I assume the stocked Trout are on the menu.  

 

I'm running a lot of new presentations this year (new to me). I'm looking for confirmation that I'm on the right track (or not) and whether or not I can reasonably "get away" with certain things.

 

My gear is not the high-end stuff I often see posted about here ... I'm not comfortable dropping large sums on high-end gear at this point in my fishing life. I'm perfectly content with my "mediocre" gear while I continue to learn. An important part of fishing this year is expanding my understanding of correctly applying rod/reel/line combinations to specific applications.

 

There are 2 spinning setups and 5 potential casting setups. Input is needed to match Presentations for the Rods and Reels I own and subsequently the optimal line-type for that setup. I mostly need input on the casting setups. 

 

I don't need to have 5 casting setups, in fact I'm fine consolidating a little here for the time being if possible. Four of the Five casting rods aren't yet matched up with the listed reels.

 

I've basically just copied and pasted my own notes as I was going through this in my head. If you've read this far (and are willing to read more) I'd very much appreciate any thoughts on matching up Presentations to Rods. I'm eager to start spooling line. 

 

Edit: Earliest Season Priorities are with Spinning #1, Spinning #2, Casting #4, and to some extent Casting #1 (as it applies to jerkbaits). 

 

Spinning #1
 
Rod: 6'6" M/F - BPS Pro Qualifier 2
Reel: Pfluegar President 30 
Line: 10 or 15lb Braid Main Line/10lb Fluoro leader
Potential Applications:   
 -vertically ripping Blade Baits up to 1/2oz 
 -vertically ripping Lipless Cranks up to 1/2oz 
 -Jerkbaits (?)
 -light walleye jigs 
 -light T-Rigged Plastics   
 
 
Spinning #2
  
Rod: 6'10" M/F - Wright & McGill (Yellow "Skeet Reese" Rod - rod is labeled "Drop Shot") 
Reel: Pfluegar President 30  
Line: Application-dependent, TBD
Potential Applications:    
  -Countdown (sinking) Crankbaits for Early Spring Walleye feeding at the Bottom of the Water Column - this very important application might be best suited for straight fluoro (?); lack of stretch in braid combined with Fast tip can result in the lure being pulled away from fish's mouth before a good hookset OR fish being able to throw the hook due to leverage allowed from combination of Braid/Fast Tip
-Jerkbaits - this is tricky depending on the main line; straight fluoro would result in 1) jerkbait sinking substantially during retrieve 2) result in less sensitivity to feel bite (vs braid main to fluoro leader) and 3) curtail ability for a good hookset at distance due to stretch in fluoro
-Flukes (?) - weightless flukes cast well on this rod but in the limited time I threw flukes late last Fall I had issues with lack of backbone to set 4/O texposed hook, definitely not without a braid main line
-Drop Shot 
 
 

Available Casting Reels:

-BPS Pro Qualifier 2 in 6.8:1 (brand new; 10 lb max drag)

-Daiwa Fuego CT in 6.3:1 (max drag 13.2 lbs, spool will hold 150 yds of 12lb mono - the same diameter of 40lb Power Pro .32mm)

-BPS JMX10HFA in 6.4:1 (10 Bearing System, has a "flippin switch" - this is an older reel, probably ~10 years old. Can't find specs on the max drag of this reel but I did find a description of the reel stating the spool holds 120 yds of 12lb mono)

-Lews American Hero Speed Spool (reel from combo rod) in 7.1:1 (non-aluminum frame, non-carbon drag system max 15 lbs)

 
 
Casting #1  
 
Rod: 6'8" MM/F - Okuma (rod is labeled "Jerkbait/Topwater") 
Reel: BPS Pro Qualifier 2, Ratio: 7.5:1
Line: 20lb Braid Main Line/10lb Fluoro leader (possibly mono leader rather than fluoro)  
Potential Applications:    
 -Jerkbaits (with thicker hooks only, no Shadow Raps or other thin-wire hook jerkbaits)
 -Squarebills/Shallow Cranks 
 -Small Topwater (Whopper Plopper 75/90, Spook Jr, Poppers)
 
Casting #2
 
Rod: 7'0" MH/F - BPS Pro Qualifier 2
Reel: __, Ratio: __  
Line:  Application-dependent, TBD    
Potential Applications:    
 -Spinnerbaits
 -Chatterbaits
 -Buzzbaits
 -burning Lipless Crankbaits
 -Crankbaits (deeper diving than Squarebills) - would need fluoro exclusively due to rod being MH w a Fast tip?
 -Jigs (large skirted bass jigs, not lighter walleye jigs
 -Swimbaits (Keitechs) and Underspins
 -Whopper Plopper 110 (?) - no fluoro, braid only or braid-to-mono leader if on this rod
 -A-Rig (?) - "finesse" A-rig (Flash Mob Jr?) - for Wiper
 
Casting #3 
 
Rod: 6'9" MH/F - Abu Garcia Veritas
Reel:  __, Ratio: __    
Line: Application-dependent, TBD   
Potential Applications:    
 -Flukes (?) - rod is very sensitive, more than enough backbone to set hook (4/O skin-hooked at a distance) but tip seems really stiff to me when trying to cast a Zoom Super Fluke 
 -Chatterbaits (?) .. rod is rated for up to 1oz lures but seems to have a super stiff tip, should probably use for single jig hook applications not exceeding 1oz
 -Buzzbaits (?)
 -Jigs (?)
 
Casting #4 
 
Rod: 7'6" H/F (telescoping) - BPS Bionic Blade
Reel:  __, Ratio: __   --Can I get away with the Fuego CT 6.3:1 here if I keep line diameters acceptably low for the spool? Will an FG knot cleanly pass through the line guide (.32-.36mm braid to .38mm mono)? Please let me know if this is feasible or if I really should get a dedicated reel here for the below applications. 
Line: 40lb-50lb Braid Main to 15lb Mono Leader     
Potential Applications:  
 -S-waver 168 (and other misc glide baits up to 2oz)
 -6-7" soft Trout Swimbaits up to 2oz (Savage Gear & Storm)
 -5.5" GT360 Searchbaits 
 -Alabama Rig (primarily thinking Wiper) 
 -Spro BBZ-1 Rat 40
 -WP 110s (on this rod? Or better on another casting setup?
 
Casting #5
Rod: 6'6" MH - Lews American Hero
Reel:  __, Ratio: __   
Line:  Application-dependent, TBD         
Potential Applications:  
 -TBD - this rod is not sensitive at all, I tried using it for jerkbaits last year, had fish on and couldn't feel it at all, hard to imagine using this rod for any application where "feel" is important

Honestly to read your post that says you are starting your 2nd year of fishing I think your learning curve and knowledge is way past most at that point. When I was starting my second year of fishing my thoughts were purple or green pumpkin worm? 

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17 minutes ago, Fishin' Fool said:

Honestly to read your post that says you are starting your 2nd year of fishing I think your learning curve and knowledge is way past most at that point. When I was starting my second year of fishing my thoughts were purple or green pumpkin worm? 

Haha yea there's a long way to go for sure ... of course I have countless thoughts/questions on the terminal tackle front (like in your example). I don't think I've even begun to dive into that yet. 

 

I like your comment and I think it puts things in perspective. In my mind, I'd first rather lay down a solid foundation of understanding rods/reels/lines, their pros and cons, and their applications. 

 

From there, I think it's easier to make the transition to tackling the infinite details of color selection, retrieve, etc etc etc - the stuff that takes a lifetime to learn and probably nobody ever masters. 

 

I picked up bass fishing in mid-2017 so technically I'm starting my 2nd full year. My Dad used to casually Trout fish when I was a kid so I figure the fishing bug was bound to genetically bite me at some point. 

 

As to the learning curve, I suppose the internet is responsible for most of it. 

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1 hour ago, TotalNoob said:

 In my mind, I'd first rather lay down a solid foundation of understanding rods/reels/lines, their pros and cons, and their applications. 

 

I think it’s a mistake to think or rods/reels/lines as a foundation.  I think of them as tools and you need to know what you’re trying to accomplish before you can determine what tools are needed to accomplish it.

 

It’s pretty clear you love the sport and have the commitment needed to master it.   I would encourage you to focus on mastering the type of fishing you enjoy the most and then work on becoming more diverse.

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4 hours ago, TotalNoob said:

Haha yea there's a long way to go for sure ... of course I have countless thoughts/questions on the terminal tackle front (like in your example). I don't think I've even begun to dive into that yet. 

 

I like your comment and I think it puts things in perspective. In my mind, I'd first rather lay down a solid foundation of understanding rods/reels/lines, their pros and cons, and their applications. 

 

From there, I think it's easier to make the transition to tackling the infinite details of color selection, retrieve, etc etc etc - the stuff that takes a lifetime to learn and probably nobody ever masters. 

 

I picked up bass fishing in mid-2017 so technically I'm starting my 2nd full year. My Dad used to casually Trout fish when I was a kid so I figure the fishing bug was bound to genetically bite me at some point. 

 

As to the learning curve, I suppose the internet is responsible for most of it. 

Take your two best spinning combos use them for light weight baits. Ned rig, drop shot. Senko and small jigs.

     Take your two best casting combo's.  Tie on a 7-8" Texas rigged worm with a 3/16-1/4 oz weight (Green pumpkin, black/blue or Pumpkin seed) on one and a Jig 3/8-1/2 oz with a matching trailer craw (using the same colors) on the other. Fish the worm and jig till your arms fall of then fish them some more before picking up the spinning rods.  The best way IMHO to become a really good bass fisherman is to master the worm and the jig. Imagine the bait falling through the water watch your line as it falls. Be the bait, feel the bait and then you'll get bit. the bite will feel "alive" you'll know it is a bass.  Only after your arms have fallen off and your eyes are crossed can you pick up one of the spinning rods. 

     The Texas rigged worm will catch better numbers I think and the Jig will yield better sized fish. Carry a original floating Rapala, a size 5 or 7 Rapala shad rap and a 1/8 oz jig head for the spinning rods. Remember the KISS theory. And always slow your retrieve down when fishing worms and jigs.

FM

 

p.s. Accurate short casts are much better then long inaccurate casts. You can feel the bait and set the hook much better the closer the bait it is to you.

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9 hours ago, EWREX said:

i think you might be slightly overthinking everything, especially given that you are "newer" to bass fishing. i understand you're really trying to break every single technique down to a science, but you are going to overwhelm yourself with uncertainty. keep it simple, have fun, and slowly gain confidence with as much as you can without complication

I’m just going to say where I fish there aren’t a wide enough variety of conditions to do so many different things. And don’t judge the quality of your gear by the look I got the most expensive one posts on the internet. I have still caught most of my fish in my lifetime on pretty mid market priced gear. Trust me, I stopped buying $100+ jeans years ago because the $25 jeans fit me better.

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All those different lures, lines, terminal tackles, etc...

 

If I could start over again, I would've put the money towards 2 or 3 really nice combos instead...

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On 2/25/2019 at 12:16 PM, TotalNoob said:

No offense taken. There is a little more to it than just putting a rod on a reel and going fishing. 

 

Like most folks I just want to give myself the best chances I can on the water this year with the gear I have and the presentations I'm interested in throwing. Hopefully you can see that's why I'm here. Better to seek advice and input now rather than potentially be scrambling in a month or two when the fishing really turns on 👍

I understand your point, I have far too many rods and reels, but I can tell you from experience, I could take a couple of your rods and reels, and probably fish 90% of every technique you listed and it would make very little difference in the number of fish I catch.   Fishing only has to be a hard, laborious task if we make it that way.  If you are not fishing to make a living who cares if you miss a fish or two, you will anyway.     Fishing at most of our level is suppose to be fun and something we look forward to, not something we lay awake at night running spread sheets of rods, reels, lines, techniques and like through our heads.   I promise the fish won't mind if you are not fishing a lure on the optimal setup.  /RANT

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wait until tw has a sale for an upgrade on that American hero, that or amazon has okuma tcs Rods for $100 if you can swing it. One for any application you want. Get rid of that junk I’m in the process of ridding my carbon fire for that reason. If it doesn’t function well use it for a reaction rod

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On 2/25/2019 at 5:22 AM, Catt said:

Casting #1: don't think I would use braid for topwater applications 

+1.... After reading several past posts, I’ve successfully used mono (12 lb) for a topwater/jerkbait rod setup the last couple years. 

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