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WRangler506

Do you prefer ML or M for smallmouth? Baits for each?

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Looking to upgrade a couple older rods, to an Avid X or Legend. What do you think is a better match for smallmouth and some walleye fishing, a MLF or MF? Probably get a 7' this time. Clear open water maybe 75% of the time.

 

Normally which rod would you reach for and what baits do you use most on ML vs M?

 

Since Im looking in the St Croix line, is the ML more powerful/useful if they run heavier than some brands?

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I use a custom 6'9 medium rod for smallmouth, and it is maybe a tad overkill for what I'm catching (a 14" smallmouth would be top-5 of the day, however). A medium light would would be a tad easier to fish dropshots with because you can see/feel the deflection when shy fish pick up the bait, but if you're looking to bring only one rod, I'd still recommend a medium personally. I feel much more confident if I hook into a lunker on a M than a ML, but I also run the risk of hooking into big largemouth and possibly stripers where I like to fish. 

 

If it's 100% smallmouth/walleye all the time, ML. If you want to use the rod for anything else, M.

The avid X line is (supposedly) a very well rounded rod in weights Medium and lighter (I bought a 7'MH casting rod and returned it two days later because it was just so tip heavy for a $230 rod). 

For baits I like to throw dropshots and small wacky rigged senkos. I regulary cast 1/8 oz tungsten weights with a M, so I don't think you'll have much problem casting them on a ML. Small swimbaits are pretty popular too, and you may have some trouble managing them on a ML, but I can't comment on that from personal experience. This is all for spinning rods btw. I usually don't fish for walleye or smallies with a casting rod very often. 

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It really depends on the type of casting and the weight of the rig.  I use both.

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Right. Rod power choice should be driven by bait, presentation and cover. Species may play a part but the differences between the basses is irrelevant here. 

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There have been a really large number of anglers on here that I remember preferring St Croix ML to M power for smallmouths.  And preferring it to any other rod.  Yes, St Croix ML is a little more powerful than most other brands' ML's.

 

My favorite smallmouth tube rod is a St Croix SCV 7 foot medium.  I have used a Rainshadow ML, same length, in a pinch, and IMHO, it is not as powerful as it should be for finesse techniques.  Rainshadow M's are fine. but the St Croix is my favorite.  I built a 6 1/2 foot SCIII for my grandson, M power, and it's a lot like my SCV for power. 

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I have a 7’ mlf (1/8–1/2 oz.) and a 6’6 mf (3/16–5/8 oz.) that I use for smallmouth.  I can barely tell the difference between the two for most presentations. I throw a lot of different lures on both bc a lot of the time I only bring one rod with me. Everything from grubs and ned rig to sammys, small square bills, and spinnerbaits. Some of these presentations aren’t ideal, but it gets the job done when I only have one rod with me. 

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2 hours ago, MickD said:

There have been a really large number of anglers on here that I remember preferring St Croix ML to M power for smallmouths.  And preferring it to any other rod.  Yes, St Croix ML is a little more powerful than most other brands' ML's.

 

My favorite smallmouth tube rod is a St Croix SCV 7 foot medium.  I have used a Rainshadow ML, same length, in a pinch, and IMHO, it is not as powerful as it should be for finesse techniques.  Rainshadow M's are fine. but the St Croix is my favorite.  I built a 6 1/2 foot SCIII for my grandson, M power, and it's a lot like my SCV for power. 

I've heard the same many times. My LTB 610MLXF feels that way. The MLF rods didnt strike me that way but havent fished one.

 

My Fenwick ETB 610MLXF feels very soft and not powerful, but its super fun. My ETB 7MF, feels great, and versatile (may upgrade to Aetos MF). Im wondering where the Avid and LTB ML/M fall in with those Elite Techs.

 

I was somewhat wanting to splurge on a Legend if I think I would use it most of the time. I already have a 610MLXF LTB, but I dont use it much, and Im not sure Im an XFast type guy. If a Legend 7 MLF or 7MF is flat out amazing, Ill purchase just that one. Otherwise Ill be experimenting with an AvidX  and just have to do trial and error. ALthough I think the Avid X 7 MLF will be a good rod, and then I would stick with my 7MF Fenwick.

 

Part of this just trying rods, and selling off what I dont find to be a personal favorite. You guys got me, and somehow made me very selective with something I never thought possible lol. Most expensive forum ive ever visited haha.

 

If any of this sounds ridiculous, I HAVE to buy a rod. I have an old unfixable St croix rod that I was issued a credit towards a new one. Dont necessarily need one, but trying to buy a rod that stands out as a great rod, in AvidX or LT lines.

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I have the 7mlf eyecon rigging rod and it's good for ned, drop shot, smaller walleye and panfish jigs, grubs.  I wouldn't throw senkos or anything over a 1/4 oz on it.  I use a 66mf or 7mf for that.  

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7' MF/ Tatsu #6.

 

:fishing-026:

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I have the legend tournament 610 mlf and the 610mxf. the mlf is my favorite for smallmouth with drop shot wacky rigs small swimbaits etc.the medium gets used for flukes shakey heads etc anything texas rigged I like the medium exposed hook the med light.

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I only use a ML rod for 1/32-3/32 oz hair jigs. They work really well in the spring, and you can't really cast them using anything heavier, so it's worth it IMO.

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I think Im going to get the 7MLF Avid X or LTW. I like the new cork full handle of the LTW. For the Medium, Ill think Ill stick w my ETB or an Aetos. Something about that Avid MF just feel too stiff to me, maybe it comes to life when fishing it.

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I would say it depends on what I'm fishing. I will use my ML/XF rod for drop shots and ned rigs, and a M/F for shaky heads. I gather guys in areas with 10 pounders generally like M/F rods better, but in the northeast where I'm happy to get a 2 pounder, the ML/XF seems pretty ideal to me. I can also bass fish for trout on it.

12 hours ago, WRangler506 said:

I think Im going to get the 7MLF Avid X or LTW. I like the new cork full handle of the LTW. For the Medium, Ill think Ill stick w my ETB or an Aetos. Something about that Avid MF just feel too stiff to me, maybe it comes to life when fishing it.

I have the 6'9" ML/XF Avid X with a Daiwa BG 2000 sized reel. As you hinted at in your original post, it is a little bit stiffer than some of the other ML rods I looked at but not quite a medium power either so I think you'll like it.

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2 minutes ago, Boomstick said:

I would say it depends on what I'm fishing. I will use my ML/XF rod for drop shots and ned rigs, and a M/F for shaky heads.

I have the 6'9" ML/XF Avid X with a Daiwa BG 2000 sized reel. It's a little bit stiffer than some ML rods which aren't stiff enough, but not quite a medium power either so I think you'll like it.

 

3 minutes ago, Boomstick said:

I would say it depends on what I'm fishing. I will use my ML/XF rod for drop shots and ned rigs, and a M/F for shaky heads.

I have the 6'9" ML/XF Avid X with a Daiwa BG 2000 sized reel. It's a little bit stiffer than some ML rods which aren't stiff enough, but not quite a medium power either so I think you'll like it.

That 69mlxf didnt strike me as stiffer than normal ML but I havent fished it. I have the LTB 610 MLXF, but something about it I just cant pinpoint. It a little tip heavy but plenty strong, I think the 69mlxf feels a lot different to be honest, maybe the FK 3000 i have on my 610 it is part of my issue, not sure. I just havent found it to be a favorite of mine yet like some on here...

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2 minutes ago, WRangler506 said:

 

That 69mlxf didnt strike me as stiffer than normal ML but I havent fished it. I have the LTB 610 MLXF, but something about it I just cant pinpoint. It a little tip heavy but plenty strong, I think the 69mlxf feels a lot different to be honest, maybe the FK 3000 i have on my 610 it is part of my issue, not sure. I just havent found it to be a favorite of mine yet like some on here...

I've heard people say the 6'9" ML/XF is tip heavy, but with a slightly heavier reel it seems to balance quite nicely! I haven't tried it with anything else to be honest.

 

As in comparison to others, I probably should have said that I found some that feel comparable but haven't found too many that felt stiffer.

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11 minutes ago, Boomstick said:

I've heard people say the 6'9" ML/XF is tip heavy, but with a slightly heavier reel it seems to balance quite nicely! I haven't tried it with anything else to be honest.

For comparison, i think the 69mlxf avidx is LESS tip heavy than my LTB 610 mlxf. The 69mlxf either has a much softer tip, or the 610 transitions in a reasonably strong backbone pretty quickly.

I guess in my opinion they feel quite different, more than 1 inch would suggest.

 

The Avid x 69 actually weighs 1/2 oz less than the LTB 610 per their website also, and that seems to match what i noticed. They dont offer the trade program anymore, otherwise id probably trade up this 610 LTB for an extreme 69mlxf. I think that rod would match what i want better, any 69mlxf really though.

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On 3/12/2019 at 2:50 PM, J Francho said:

It really depends on the type of casting and the weight of the rig.  I use both.

Like he said.  I use both.  

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I fish a medium more than I do a ML not because of the baits or presentation but because of the hooks I use. I have found a ML even with braid to be less powerful than I would like when it comes to the hook set.

 

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M - Deep drop shot (over 3/8 oz), spy baits, small swimbaits, blade baits, weightless & wacky worms, Shakey heads & Neko rigs, small & medium topwater, small & medium soft & hard jerkbaits, tubes & grubs, and finesse worms & jigs.

 

 ML - Light drop shots (less than 3/8 oz), & hair jigs, ned rig and that's about it. 

 

:smiley:

A-Jay

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I have both the 6'6 M and ML regular avid. For what you're describing, go ML. Especially because St Croix does run a bit heavy. My M handled 28" walleye and 18-20" river smallies in current pretty well. Given these are exceptions, the ML is perfect for everything smaller. 

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St Croix user here.  For spinning rods: 6'10" MLXF for Ned Rig and light drop shot.  Wrestled 4 and 5 pound smallies on it no problem.  6'8" MXF for senkos, tube jigs and Ikas.  I own a couple legend elites, but my favorite all round spinning rod for plastics and smallies is the LTB 68MXF.  

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I have a 6'8'' M XF Avid, 6 ML Fast Avid and a 7'6'' Fenwick Elite Tech Walley ML XF that I use for smallmouth and walleye.  Out of the 3, the most fun is the Fenwick.  It is not for tight spaces but on open water or wading in a stream/river, this rod is king.   It does well with light lines, long casts, and just about any bait that I fish.  Hook sets are easy as well.  

 

Now with that said.....  The 6'8'' Avid is the most functional of the three.   The only thing I don't like is that it is stiffer (faster) at the tip than other rods but other than that its great. 

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On 3/13/2019 at 2:40 PM, padon said:

I have the legend tournament 610 mlf and the 610mxf. the mlf is my favorite for smallmouth with drop shot wacky rigs small swimbaits etc.the medium gets used for flukes shakey heads etc anything texas rigged I like the medium exposed hook the med light.

I didn't know there was a 610 mlf, or was that a typo?

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I fish the Great Miami for Smallies,My number one stick is a Loomis E6X 803S JWR

6’8” MHXF.It handles any lure I want to throw and Is light and super sensitive.It also 

has enough backbone to handle any fish in current.

11850A0E-E379-4BE0-9071-4CC5BE59BD0B.thumb.jpeg.5a11121ab0f80a362a460a0d700a8e54.jpeg

 

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Love my pair of Avid X 6’9”MLXF spinning rods for fishing finesse stuff!

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