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Hi All,

 

A bit of a newbie buying nicer equipment - in the past it has been whatever came as a package off the shelf.

 

I'm on Gulf Coast, but have an annual fishing trip to Canada for smallmouth, lake trout and northern pike ... would like a single rod I can use for general fishing - specs on the coast and smallmouth mainly in Canada.

 

Read lots and just bought a Ugly Stik GX2 in medium, 6'6" two piece (travel required) and a Ugly Stik Intercoastal medium in 6'6".  Huge difference in diameter of the two - and the weight of the GX2 is significantly more.

 

Gonna buy a nice reel - looking at Stradic FK or Ci4 vs the Daiwa Ballistic LT.

 

Yep - cheap rod and expensive reel cause I have seen lots of broken rods, but few broken reels :-)

 

Thoughts?

 

Thanks!

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All great reels!

The rod is really going to be a disappointment but nearly impossible to break.

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I too fish for both species and my go to rig is a Stradic FJ 2500 with a Fenwick HMG 7’ medium-light. To me it’s a little heavier than most ML rods but not a stiff on the tip as a medium, which you will want if a good red or gator trout decides to bite. I use 10# braid to a 8# floro leader for smallmouth but I like a 10# mono leader in the marsh, I think the stretch helps not to rip the hook out of the trout’s mouth. I have a few of both the Ci4’s and regular Stradic’s and prefer the plain version because I feel it balances better with the heavier rod. 

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Good point on balance, Chris.

 

I put an old light reel (think 6 oz or so) I had on the 6'6" Ugly Stik ... way out of balance ... need a heavier reel to balance, I think - not bad since this means the heavier reel is usually less expensive.

 

I have a 5'6" (two piece) old Ugly Stik - was thinking about taking to Canada along with the 6'6" Ugly Stik (either the GX2 or the Intercoastal).  Weird, but I can't find much on the Intercoastal model ... apparently, a Wally World only item?  I kind like the larger cross section on the GX2 - easier to hold for larger fish (saltwater usage), weight isn't much different from the Intercoastal.

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So - going to have to change my mind :-)

 

Getting the feel for the rod and reel interaction - a very lightweight, expensive reel is going to be a waste on a relatively heavy rod like the Ugly Stik ... so, I'm going to buy a Daiwa 2500 BG as a starting point ... the weight will be about right for the 6'6" rods I bought.

 

Wally World has them for about 100 bucks shipped ... it is easy to deal with them on returns - anyone like another source with same pricing and easy returns?

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Think you will like the BG.  Bought the 1000 for my Ned Rig rod.  Personally I like its looks and it feels like a little tank.

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