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BassSam5

Quality rod vs reel

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I don’t have a lot to spend on combos so I’m wondering if I should lean toward a quality rod or a quality reel. What’s your opinion on the topic?

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Spinning or casting and approx budget would help.

Tom

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Agree with post above. A cheap reel is more likely to fail/break than a cheap rod.  

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I have to agree with dodgeguy.  I can fish with about any rod, but a reel that sucks is no fun.  You can always upgrade the rod later, and give the old one away if you don't want it.  I caught tons of fish on a K-Mart rod in my youth with a Mitchell 300 spinning reel.

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Joining the party - reel, then rod. I've got three levels of reels on a single line of rods. Even with the 'budget' rods, I can tell the difference between the three reels - the Fuego is much smoother and easier to setup/cast with than the Nitrous.

 

So the reel matters more than the rod. Start there.

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You have a wider choice of entry level decent quality spinning reels then bait casting reels. Spinning reels are about 1/2 the price compared to bait casting reels of equal quality. 

I will repeat my initial reply; spinning or casting and approx budget?

Tom

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It depends on what you are doing.  Chunk and wind the reel is more important to me than the rod.  For bottom baits a good sensitive rod is much more important to me than a device that takes up line slack.  I say let your type of fishing tell you what to do.

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As Tom @WRB asks, we need more info.  The argument for reel first is only valid up to about $40 for spinning and $70 for BC.  If "I don't have a lot of money to spend" means you have $150 to spend on a spinning setup then you should absolutely be spending the majority on the rod.  The same amount on a casting set-up is going to split that money between rod and reel.  

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A quality reel can be had for a minimum of $100 & so can a quality rod.

 

At any price point a rod will break long before a reel!

 

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28 minutes ago, Catt said:

 

At any price point a rod will break long before a reel!

 

Amen!

 

quality reel first, then rod IMO. For example I have a $100 Lew’s LFS that I brought on my July vacation to Florida. Packed it in my luggage. When I arrived down there I made a quick trip to Bass Pro to purchase a $25 Berkley Cherrywood casting rod. I was set for the rest of the trip.

 

Rods are the weak link in the chain. I have broken mine in doorways, car doors, ceilings or bumping them on rocks or the ground. I rarely spend more than $100 for a rod for that reason.

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The OP isn't asking for any recommendations on which rod or reel to buy.  Only which he should spend more money on.  Since he doesn't have a lot to spend, I am going to assume he isn't asking about specific technique gear.  I am sure everyone would prefer a $100 reel on a $300 rod then the reverse for bottom contact.  If I only had $100 to spend on a combo, I would prefer a $60 President on a $40 Lightning or a Fuego CT on a Lightning for a few dollars more.  As stated, casting is going to be more expensive than spinning.

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31 minutes ago, NYWayfarer said:

For example I have a $100 Lew’s LFS

Tackle Warehouse has Lew's Tournament MB for $119.97, I got mine last month for $109.97!

 

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Depending on technique.......

But I'm going to go the opposite here. 

I'd rather put the money into a quality rod, especially for contact stuff like jigs and plastics.

That's as long as I can have a decent reel. 

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For me a reel hits the point of diminishing returns a lot faster then a rod will, but at the bottom of entry-level gear I would rather spend more on the reel then the rod.  

 

 

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I could probably live with a cheap(ish) spinning reel but fishing with a bunk baitcaster sucks. These days even lower end rods are decently crisp compared to 20 years ago.

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I am going rod first on this one.....  The rod to me does what matters most, communicate.  It tells me what's going under the water, it detects the bite, it sets the hook, and controls the fish.  The reel only has two functions that it needs to do> cast and retrieve.  If a reel can do those two things well, cost/quality is not that important, especially with today's offerings.  A $100 (or less) reel today is far better than what was out years ago.  Of course, like Tom said, we need to know the OP's budget before making a true assessment.  

 

 

 

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Better reel components and smoother operation is more important than rod sensitivity for me. Cheaper rods tend to have softer tips so using a longer rod and watching the tip has helped me detect more bites with bottom contact baits on cheaper rods.

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19 hours ago, Catt said:

Tackle Warehouse has Lew's Tournament MB for $119.97, I got mine last month for $109.97!

 

Awesome deal. I didn’t mention it but I bought my normally $100 Lew’s LFS for $70 on clearance sales for last years model.

 

A decent graphite rod will transfer all the sensations you need. I find watching your line more important than how much the rod costs. I was Smallmouth fishing today and noticed my line moving in a different direction way before I felt the bite in my IM7 graphite rod.

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The OP hasn't responded but it looks the reel is a 3:1 favorite over the rod.

Tom

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why make it rocket science ... you live in michigan ... should be a cabela's or bass pro nearby ... they offer decent rods at the 70 dollar price pt. and as low as 50 fifty dollars ... the fish eagle II is a good buy ...

 

a decent reel at 70 price range can be had too ...

 

too high ... walmart sells casting and spinning combos from abu garcia and lew's for around 70 dollars ... they can't keep enough of the black max ...

 

right here on this site ... kastking ... perigee II rod 50 dollars with your choice of baitcast or spinning for another 50 dollars .. and you're fishing ...

 

good fishing ...

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20 hours ago, Catt said:

Tackle Warehouse has Lew's Tournament MB for $119.97, I got mine last month for $109.97!

 

$99 on ebay.  Outstanding reel for the $

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Why does everyone assume the OP is looking for inexpensive rods or reels, he hasn't stated a budget or casting or spinning combo?

Tom

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7 minutes ago, WRB said:

Why does everyone assume the OP is looking for inexpensive rods or reels, he hasn't stated a budget or casting or spinning combo?

Tom

Yup, he does state that he doesn't have " a lot to spend " which could mean just about any amount under say 300.00 or so. More info is really needed to offer a educated answer.

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On 9/13/2019 at 6:37 PM, BassSam5 said:

I don’t have a lot to spend on combos so I’m wondering if I should lean toward a quality rod or a quality reel. What’s your opinion on the topic?

 

Sounds kinda straight forward to me 😉

 

He is asking which should he spend more on a reel or a rod!

 

The budget could be $100 or a $1,000, I'm picking buy a quality reel first & be done with that part of the combo.

 

Quality reels when properly maintained will last many years while a quality rod can break on day one... believe me...been there done that!

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