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Hello, I am new to the forum and just getting into fishing. I fished some when I was a kid but I need a new setup. I’m in NE Ohio and will mostly fish in creeks, small lakes and ponds, and Lake Erie. Mostly will probably fish for bass and crappie. I want a solid rod/reel combo for under $100. I have no idea why a good length and strength rod and what size reel to get for this type of fishing. Any suggestions are appreciated. 

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You can't go wrong with a 6'6" or 7ft rod that's medium to medium heavy power and a fast action for most of your bass fishing.  

For casting combos the Abu Garcia pro max is really solid for around 70 dollars.

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Thank you, I appreciate it. I should have specified a combo with a spinning reel. Thanks again. Also what do you recommend something like a 2,500 or 3,000 reel? I don’t know much yet. 

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Adding Crappie into the mix kind of confuses things between a ML and a M. It really depends on what lures you will be using. 

 

For small creeks, small ponds, Erie SMB, Crappie ... I'd say a ML rod, 6'6" to 7'. Daiwa Aird X rod with a Pflueger President size 25 reel. The only problem is you will limit yourself to finesse style fishing, but it catches a lot of fish, some really solid fish too. You just won't be able to fish a more broad range of lures.

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For an all around rod you’d want more like a medium or medium heavy. 

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Creeks will most likely be best fished with a short rod.  Same for any ponds or lakes fished from shore if you have to contend with obstructions near the shoreline.  I agree with a ML rod when crappie are in the equation.  Most MLs are going to top out around 3/8-1/2 oz. maybe less depending on the rod.  What Glaucus means is that rod power is limiting because you aren't going to have much success fishing a 3/8 oz. jig...with or without a trailer.  Not going to do very well with a 5/8-7/8 oz. rattletrap.  A 3/8 oz. spinnerbait may be within the rod's lure range, but the ML is unlikely to have the necessary power to set the larger hook on such a lure.  Etc.

 

A ML can land some pretty big fish and can be a blast to fish.  My largest Smallmouth came on such a rig.  A ML is considered a finesse rod for bass.

 

Look at a Berkley Lightning or Lightning Shock.  Sometimes on sale at Wally World, but always a good deal at FFO.  Here is an E-Motion an $80 rod for $37.  http://www.ffo-tackle.com/ffo-rods-spinning/berkley-e-motion-spinning-rod/FFOM1363816N.html#start=2  Or up your game to a $130 rod for $65  http://www.ffo-tackle.com/ffo-rods-spinning/abu-garcia-ike-signature-spinning-rod/FFOM1373582N.html#start=4  Lightning Shock for less than $30.  http://www.ffo-tackle.com/ffo-rods-spinning/berkley-lightning-rod-shock-spinning/FFOM1363819N.html#start=10

 

A Pflueger Trion makes for a good low priced reel.  Also look for store brand combos.  I can't speak for any of them, but there are guys on here who can.

 

I have not used a Lightning Shock (can't get past the color.), but have an old 6' ML Lightning that has been a great rod for me.

 

Also I would check out the Flea Market and other For Sale forums on other fishing sites for a better used reel that would fall within your budget.  Hard to find a used rod in your budget due to the cost of shipping.  Closeouts are a great way to buy quality gear at a great price.....if you can wait.

 

As mentioned, the Aird X is highly rated for its price.  Walmart currently has the 7' ML for $46.63, but you would be paying tax if purchased there.  Free shipping to a store near you which is what I did after receiving one at my door in two pieces.  It was originally a one piece rod.  No problem getting a refund tho so I could order another rod.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Chris244 said:

What exactly do you mean by what lures you won’t be able to fish? So would you go ml to be beat all around then?

An all around spinning combo for bass and crappie isn't really "all around". It's very whippy and finesse-y. Casting crappie lures and catching crappie on a medium powered spinning rod is going to feel off because you're going to want a medium light powered rod; meanwhile casting lures a 1/2oz or more in total weight (which is a lot of stuff) for bass on a medium light powered rod is going to push your rod to the limits and feel bad. The compromise is finesse bass fishing with a medium light powered rod, which covers both species and more and is a ton of fun as finesse fishing catches tons of fish with some good sized ones too - but that isn't "all around".

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So medium is mostly for bass with any bate type and won’t be good for for crappie then and medium light won’t be good for bass unless it’s with something like a rubber worm or jig basically?

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9 minutes ago, Chris244 said:

So medium is mostly for bass with any bate type and won’t be good for for crappie then and medium light won’t be good for bass unless it’s with something like a rubber worm or jig basically?

My Medium-Light rig is my Finesse rig - Ned, Drop-Shot, Split-shot, etc. Anything that's within the rod's specs can be tossed. Since my rod is rated to 5/8 oz lures, I could even toss 3/8 spinnerbaits with a trailer if I wanted to...though that's usually on my Medium rig.

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My biggest ever crappie was caught on a MHF casting rod fishing a 1/2 oz. spinnerbait....in Florida...while fishing for Largemouth Bass.

8 minutes ago, Chris244 said:

So medium is mostly for bass with any bate type and won’t be good for for crappie then and medium light won’t be good for bass unless it’s with something like a rubber worm or jig basically?

Again....just saying 'medium' is leaving out a lot of information.  Medium Jig & Worm rod?  Medium crankbait rod?  The first would make a decent all around bass rod...once again depending on manufacturer...while the second would be a poor choice.

 

Single hook lures require a light hook when using a ML rod.  Not enough backbone in most to drive a heavier hook home.  Again...saying ML is not sufficient to give a good recommendation.  Example:  AFAIC 1/4-3/4 oz. is a good range for a MH rod (casting rod).  Many of my MHF rods fall in that range.  However, my 7' MF Compre carries the same lure rating.

 

Abu and St. Croix are known to fish heavy.  Some Fenwicks, too.  Dobyns and Phenix are known to fish light.  Also spinning rods sometimes have a wider lure range than casting rods.  I have a 7' MF Aetos spinning rod that is listed 1/16-3/4 oz.  Now I don't know if it will fish both ends equally well. but if it will, then it will make for a very versatile rod.

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