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Im 14 and Im starting to take my fishing to the next level. Im learning from YouTube channels like TacticalBassin and Flukemaster. I also have read bass resource religiously. 

Im switching my fishing arsenal over to baitcasters after about 2 years of using only spinning gear. Im a broke 14 year old and my parents are NOT helping me financially with any of my hobbies, so Im looking for a budget rod to build my arsenal around. 

Shimano SLX vs Shimano Exage? These will be for bottom contact lures or lures I throw a lot. To save money Im throwing my reaction baits on a Shimano Sellus, $50 dollar rod. Which has better sensitivity? Better overall quality? Not too worried about weight since Im not a all day tournament fisherman. Any help will be appreciated. Thanks! 

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Sorry to hear that your parents won't help you. In today's world, if a kid says they want some fishing gear and that's the hobby they choose, we adults should be all over it. It's hard to get some kids outside and keep them out of trouble. SMH 

 

As far as rods, I don't have an SLX but I've heard they're great rods. I looked into them but their selections are so minimal that I couldn't find a use for any of them. I either already had something better or I didn't like the rod action. Since you're just starting out you should easily find something you need and the selection should look quite large. The tactical bassin guys give rave reviews on the SLX as well. They are biased towards  Shimano but they know their stuff. 

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I've never used an SLX rod but I just bought the SLX reel and I love it. If the quality of the reel gives any indication of the rod than I'd say it's probably a good rod. The TacticalBassin guys like it too. 

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49 minutes ago, Glaucus said:

Sorry to hear that your parents won't help you. In today's world, if a kid says they want some fishing gear and that's the hobby they choose, we adults should be all over it. It's hard to get some kids outside and keep them out of trouble. SMH 

 

As far as rods, I don't have an SLX but I've heard they're great rods. I looked into them but their selections are so minimal that I couldn't find a use for any of them. I either already had something better or I didn't like the rod action. Since you're just starting out you should easily find something you need and the selection should look quite large. The tactical bassin guys give rave reviews on the SLX as well. They are biased towards  Shimano but they know their stuff. 

 @Glaucus  Alright, thanks a lot! 

I should mention my parents do gift me stuff at Christmas or my Birthday, but other than that Im pretty self sufficient in all my hobbies. 

I do watch TacticalBassin and see their biased towards Shimano, but are they sponsored? Or do they just really like them? 

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17 minutes ago, ElijahH said:

but are they sponsored?

No they are not sponsored per say but more like pro-staff. They do receive Shimano's product at little to no cost.

 

As for the rod I can only speak for the Exage(7'2" MH), it is sensitive enough for bottom contact if you know what you should feel but it is not the most sensitive in the price range also does not balance well IMO. Another rod to look into is the Dobyns Fury I wouldn't say it is more sensitive but IMO it balances out better. 

 

I would suggest going to a retailer and get the rods in your hands and get what feels good to you.   

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2 minutes ago, matbellon3 said:

No they are not sponsored per say but more like pro-staff. They do receive Shimano's product at little to no cost.

 

As for the rod I can only speak for the Exage(7'2" MH), it is sensitive enough for bottom contact if you know what you should feel but it is not the most sensitive in the price range also does not balance well IMO. Another rod to look into is the Dobyns Fury I wouldn't say it is more sensitive but IMO it balances out better. 

 

I would suggest going to a retailer and get the rods in your hands and get what feels good to you.   

Thanks @matbellon3 I have looked at the Fury but it's a little out of budget at around $110 to $120..... I may have to up my budget to get a decent rod :)

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51 minutes ago, ElijahH said:

 @Glaucus  Alright, thanks a lot! 

I should mention my parents do gift me stuff at Christmas or my Birthday, but other than that Im pretty self sufficient in all my hobbies. 

I do watch TacticalBassin and see their biased towards Shimano, but are they sponsored? Or do they just really like them?  

They aren't sponsored but they are biased towards products they have confidence in. I would argue they are Homers, in the sense that they push local products before some comparable brands that aren't based in California. For example, go on TW and read the reviews on R2S Big Poppa squarebills, there are many mentions of bills cracking but Matt and Tim push them in every cranking video. They're also $10-11 cranks, and there are many cranks on the market that are flat out cheaper, better quality with more colour selection. They even push the Goon DD crank, doesn't get mentioned anywhere but tactical bassin. I love them but I take they gear selection with a grain of salt. Another is the LV500, $16.99 bait, 15 reviews, I believe all of them, and I bet you there's a handful of anglers on here that stand behind it. But when I can compare it to the Spro Aruku that's less than 50% of the price, has twice the reviews and just as many colour options. I know what I'm buying.

 

Back to the rod topic, I would put most of your budget into the rod, especially if it's for applications where you want to feel a fish fart. The Fury is a good starter, but not exactly the cheapest. Fenwick HMG's are decent and come with a great warranty same goes for St. Croix. I've heard good reviews on the cheaper Daiwa rods, like the Procyon and Fuego if you want to be in the sub $100 range.

 

I'm a review junky, so start digging, the way this forum is built the search button works A LOT better than other sites, plus there's a great community here that'll chime in.

Edited by Dangerfield
typooos

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I will make a suggestion as far as your bottom contact rod. Go budget on the reel and get the best rod you can afford. This is just the opinion of an amateur and should be taken as such. For me, feeling what's going on at the end of your line when fishing bottom contact is more important than bomb casts or "bells and whistles" from a reel.

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20 minutes ago, Dangerfield said:

They aren't sponsored but they are biased towards products they have confidence in. I would argue they are Homers, in the sense that they push local products before some comparable brands that aren't based in California. For example, go on TW and read the reviews on R2S Big Poppa squarebills, there are many mentions of bills cracking but Matt and Tim push them in every cranking video. They're also $10-11 cranks, and there are many cranks on the market that are flat out cheaper, better quality with more colour selection. They even push the Goon DD crank, doesn't get mentioned anywhere but tactical bassin. I love them but I take they gear selection with a grain of salt. Another is the LV500, $16.99 bait, 15 reviews, I believe all of them, and I bet you there's a handful of anglers on here that stand behind it. But when I can compare it to the Spro Aruku that's less than 50% of the price, has twice the reviews and just as many colour options. I know what I'm buying.

 

Back to the rod topic, I would put most of your budget into the rod, especially if it's for applications where you want to feel a fish fart. The Fury is a good starter, but not exactly the cheapest. Fenwick HMG's are decent and come with a great warranty same goes for St. Croix. I've heard good reviews on the cheaper Daiwa rods, like the Procyon and Fuego if you want to be in the sub $100 range.

 

I'm a review junky, so start digging, the way this forum is built the search button works A LOT better than other sites, plus there's a great community here that'll chime in.

Thanks a lot! @Dangerfield

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Good for your parents.  Nothing wrong with making you work for what you have.

 

IMO opinion Leadhead nailed it.  For bottom contact, the rod matters.  Not saying to get a subpar reel, but rod matters more.  $100 is a magical price point because all manufacturers know it is a common budget.  Best $100 bottom contact rod is a tough one.

 

What models of each did you have in mind?

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46 minutes ago, LionHeart said:

Good for your parents.  Nothing wrong with making you work for what you have.

 

IMO opinion Leadhead nailed it.  For bottom contact, the rod matters.  Not saying to get a subpar reel, but rod matters more.  $100 is a magical price point because all manufacturers know it is a common budget.  Best $100 bottom contact rod is a tough one.

 

What models of each did you have in mind?

Probably a 7'2 or 7'3 MH Fast action 

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On 3/4/2019 at 10:33 AM, ElijahH said:

Im 14 and Im starting to take my fishing to the next level. Im learning from YouTube channels like TacticalBassin and Flukemaster. I also have read bass resource religiously. 

Im switching my fishing arsenal over to baitcasters after about 2 years of using only spinning gear. Im a broke 14 year old and my parents are NOT helping me financially with any of my hobbies, so Im looking for a budget rod to build my arsenal around. 

Shimano SLX vs Shimano Exage? These will be for bottom contact lures or lures I throw a lot. To save money Im throwing my reaction baits on a Shimano Sellus, $50 dollar rod. Which has better sensitivity? Better overall quality? Not too worried about weight since Im not a all day tournament fisherman. Any help will be appreciated. Thanks! 

https://www.americanlegacyfishing.com/shimano-slx-casting-rod-reel-combo.html

I recommend you save up a little more and go this route, if you sign up for American legacy's email newsletter you'll get an additional 10% off. I dont have experience with the Slx rod but I do have the reel and its awesome!

 

PS. The 6'10 mh, 7' mh, or the 7'2 mh will probaly the best multipurpose rod.

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I've no experience with them, but I read great things about the Daiwa Aird X.  Find a post by ww2farmer and send him a PM.  I think he has fished with most models and has been very impressed with them.  Check out TackleWarehouse reviews.  Normally there will be a comment or two telling you how a certain rod is junk even tho most posters are praising it.  The only bad comment I found was that one person had to replace the tip as the insert kept falling out.  He liked the rod, tho.

 

Another option is to wait for a closeout sale.  Some great deals can be had.  I've gotten a $200 rod for $69, but my best ever deal was a $300 spinning rod for $75 shipped to my door.

 

If you don't mind used, you can often find one at half the new price.  Sometimes even less.

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1 minute ago, new2BC4bass said:

I've no experience with them, but I read great things about the Daiwa Aird X.  Find a post by ww2farmer and send him a PM.  I think he has fished with most models and has been very impressed with them.  Check out TackleWarehouse reviews.  Normally there will be a comment or two telling you how a certain rod is junk even tho most posters are praising it.  The only bad comment I found was that one person had to replace the tip as the insert kept falling out.  He liked the rod, tho.

 

Another option is to wait for a closeout sale.  Some great deals can be had.  I've gotten a $200 rod for $69, but my best ever deal was a $300 spinning rod for $75 shipped to my door.

 

If you don't mind used, you can often find one at half the new price.  Sometimes even less.

Where do you look specifically to find such big savings?

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One way to save money if you can would be to order one off eBay. There's always deals going around the site and most of the time, you can find the rod you're looking for cheaper than what most sites are selling it for. There's a combo out there right now for the SLX combo (reel and rod) for only $140!!

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Do you have any local tackle shops in your area? If so, take a look.

 

We have a locally owned/operated store who sells consignment rods and I've gotten some absolute steals on some very lightly used semi high dollar rods.

 

 

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In that price range I like the Abu Garcia Veritas. They run a little heavy (a MH is closer to H), but that's what I started my arsenal on and they never let me down. Pretty good sensitivity for the price, and I've caught a lot of fish off of jigs on them. I've played with the SLX, and they feel good, but I prefer the Veritas. Honestly you'd probably be fine either way.

I also second the Fury recommendation. They're physically a bit heavy for me, but if you don't care about weight then they're a good bet. 

On 3/4/2019 at 12:04 PM, Dangerfield said:

Fenwick HMG

I've heard a LOT of positive reviews about these rods, and know some guys who swear by them. I'd give them a look too (no split grip, so they don't match my flat-brimmed hat or big lens sunglasses lol). 

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Check out the Dobyn's Colt series of rods. They are made for budget anglers who want good quality components but can't afford top (or even mid-range_ dollar rods). For $80 shipped you're getting a really nice rod!

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Using braid as a main line will greatly help with sensitivity regardless of which rod you choose

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if it were me i would pick up one of the SLX baitcasting rod combos. a lot of bang for the buck i would think. a 7 foot med. power or longer should do the trick with the SLX reel, which has the VBS brake system which is very easy to use and cast. 

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FWIW don't abandon your spinning tackle completely. There are times that you'll need it.

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HI Elijah,

     That Shimano Sellus you have is not a bad rod for the bucks.I have a couple of them and they are good with both reaction baits and bottom contact.  You might check out the Berkley Lighting or Shock rods also. They are also a decent "cheap" rod. Often times you can find them at Wal-mart for under 30 bucks. Good luck in your hunt.

FM  

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On 3/4/2019 at 10:33 AM, ElijahH said:

Im 14 and Im starting to take my fishing to the next level. Im learning from YouTube channels like TacticalBassin and Flukemaster. I also have read bass resource religiously. 

Im switching my fishing arsenal over to baitcasters after about 2 years of using only spinning gear. Im a broke 14 year old and my parents are NOT helping me financially with any of my hobbies, so Im looking for a budget rod to build my arsenal around. 

Shimano SLX vs Shimano Exage? These will be for bottom contact lures or lures I throw a lot. To save money Im throwing my reaction baits on a Shimano Sellus, $50 dollar rod. Which has better sensitivity? Better overall quality? Not too worried about weight since Im not a all day tournament fisherman. Any help will be appreciated. Thanks! 

Keep your eye out for sale if you have not already bought a rod. I got a Dobyns Sierra on tw for $115 and they are very good Rods imo, I would save and wait for an opportunity like that. Maybe just buy a colt for now if you can’t wait for a sale. Stick to st.croix or dobyns. Best for your money. Keep your spinning tackle for finesse baits like drop shots Ned’s and little swimbaits. If you go on amazon tcs Rods are good as wel I have 2 and love them both and they run $95 to $110 but get a medium heavy for now to cover most bases. I can’t apeak for shimano Rods but like others have said if they hold a candle to the reel quality you cannot go wrong but being young, be careful with your Rods. I broke a lot when I was your age, now you may be wayyy more careful than me but take st.croix into consideration for the warranty. Also, on that note buy yourself a rod sleeve, save the tips from ceilings when admiring your Rods in the house lol good luck whatever you do

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