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River smallie crank bait/ jerk bait set up suggestions


Creek Chub 1

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Good afternoon

 

I am slowly coming out of a 15 hiatus from fishing due to raising a family. I am in the process of updating my fishing gear too and quite honestly overwhelmed at the options. 
 

I fish for smallies in rivers and normal depths run 6 foot or less with some deeper pools.

 

I am a spinning guy but have an older shimano curado 100 baitcaster that worked great in the mid 90’s and still might for small jerks and cranks.

 

Honestly, though I have a mid 90’s shimano spinning reel, one of the quick fire models mounted on an old school eagle claw fiberglass rod that works great for cranks and jerks.

 

any recommendations on some updated and modern rods and reels for cranks and jerks up to 1/2 oz would be appreciated 

 

thanks

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That’s tough, I do them on 2 very different rods. I’m tempted to say go with a spinning rod since you mentioned “small” but 1/2 oz is not small to me. I’d take a look at M/MF casting rod. I don’t know any off the top of my head but maybe someone can chime in with some recommendations. 

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5 minutes ago, Finessegenics said:

That’s tough, I do them on 2 very different rods. I’m tempted to say go with a spinning rod since you mentioned “small” but 1/2 oz is not small to me. I’d take a look at M/MF casting rod. I don’t know any off the top of my head but maybe someone can chime in with some recommendations. 

I didn’t do a good job describing the details. I’d like a rod I could throw 1/8, 1/4 on the low side weight wise with the occasional 3/8 and 1/2 oz jerk crank

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1 minute ago, Creek Chub 1 said:

I didn’t do a good job describing the details. I’d like a rod I could throw 1/8, 1/4 on the low side weight wise with the occasional 3/8 and 1/2 oz jerk crank


In that case I’d definitely go spinning, it can still be tough. I’d go with a Medium Moderate if you can find one, the moderate action should make lighter lures cast easier.
 

What’s your budget by the way? St Croix makes a 7’ M/M Eyecon rated from 1/4 oz - 5/8 oz but it is 150$. 

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Okuma Reflexions B RX-S-721MLB - 7'2" ML/MF-F spinning, rated for 1/8-5/8 lures

 

I have the Reflexions A RX-S-701MLB - same rating but 2" shorter...makes a great crank/jerk rod for lighter one...it's actually my main crank/jerk rod for anything under 3/8, but will handle up to 1/2 without an issue.

 

$75

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This may only work for me, but I have a Shimano Curado 150mgl on a Dobyns champion xp 683. Its a MH rod but with Dobyns being on the lighter end action wise it is perfectly capable of throwing those 1/4, and 3/16 oz lures. Also i was able to cast what a believe was a 1/8th oz rooster tail with that reel. This is also a 470$ combo so as your just getting back in to fishing maybe this isn't for you. 

For a budget rod and reel a Berkley lighting rod and a Pflueger president would make a great creek/ river setup. About 100$ for the setup. My 2 cents, hope it helps and good luck!!   

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1 minute ago, fishinNWA said:

For a budget reel a Pflueger president

The President has had issues since the 2018 model - I have a 2017, but I'd steer clear of any later.

 

Shimano Sedona would fit the bill - a Sahara would be better for a bit more money.

 

Or get a President XT LE-30 for $60 - I've got two of them and they're still very good reels

https://www.basspro.com/shop/en/pflueger-president-xt-limited-edition-spinning-reel

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49 minutes ago, Finessegenics said:


In that case I’d definitely go spinning, it can still be tough. I’d go with a Medium Moderate if you can find one, the moderate action should make lighter lures cast easier.
 

What’s your budget by the way? St Croix makes a 7’ M/M Eyecon rated from 1/4 oz - 5/8 oz but it is 150$. 


I would like to keep the rod cost around $200 or so. I’m probably in a bind ilon options though. I am probably in the minority and actually prefer 6 foot rods for jerk baits. I find that length easier to fish when I am fishing the jerks aggressively and don’t have to worry about the rod tip hitting the water. The eagle claw yellow rod looks funny but man I can’t tell you how many smallies I put in the boat in the 90’s ripping rattling rogues in the current. 

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8 hours ago, MN Fisher said:

The President has had issues since the 2018 model - I have a 2017, but I'd steer clear of any later.

I haven't heard this.  What are the problems?  Thanks.

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2 minutes ago, gm4511 said:

I haven't heard this.  What are the problems?  Thanks.

I don't know the exact issues - there was a discussion about it a couple years ago but basically the  quality seems to have gone down.

 

And now with the 2022 models, Pflueger is eliminating the AR switch - no more back-reeling (started with the 2021 Trion)

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7 hours ago, Creek Chub 1 said:


I would like to keep the rod cost around $200 or so. I’m probably in a bind ilon options though. I am probably in the minority and actually prefer 6 foot rods for jerk baits. I find that length easier to fish when I am fishing the jerks aggressively and don’t have to worry about the rod tip hitting the water. The eagle claw yellow rod looks funny but man I can’t tell you how many smallies I put in the boat in the 90’s ripping rattling rogues in the current. 


I hear ya, it definitely is easier to work a jerkbait with a shorter rod. These days, rods that short are a rarity and seems like in bass rods 7’0 is the “standard”, maybe even 7’3. Lots of brands still make 6’6 rods though. 
 

If not just a classic M/F will get the job done for you. A moderate action is more ideal for crank baits but I’ve caught plenty on a Fast rod. I don’t know of any at 6 feet, but Fenwick makes the Eagle at 6’6 with a lure rating of 1/8-3/4. It covers all your needs and is a little shorter. I wouldn’t fret too much over the action of the rod. 

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Your answer is a 13 Fishing 6'7" Medium Fast, I own quite a few different 13s and one thing I'll say is their Medium has enough backbone to snap a jerkbait without having to move the rod 2' like one does with a moderate action.  Add a bit more resistance(a fish) and they load up well, and I've yet to lose a fish on a jerkbait from last fall to now.

 

Shoot, I even caught a double on a KVD Deep this year and both those fish ended up in the kayak.

 

Great rods, give the Fate Black, Fate V3, and Omen Black a look.  I went a little heavy on the dollar end and opted for a Muse Black, but the other lines feature the same action.

 

If that rod can keep one pinned on #6 hooks, they'll have no issue with #4 crankbait hooks.

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Abu Garcia makes a spinning version in the Veritas “Winch”, 7’ Medium Moderate. I fish this and a couple of the Winch casting rods. I don’t think you’d be disappointed. Give a look that way if possible. I’m not gonna rant and rave about it because it has to feel right to you. I like it and I throw cranks and jerks on it. 

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I usually have a 7’ medium heavy BC and 6’6’ M for spinning . Covers most stuff. I wouldn’t mind having a broomstick rod for fishing in laydowns 

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River smallmouth rod for cranks, jerks ans 1/4, 3/8 oz spinners I have good luck with my fenwick eagle gt (hmg or hmx would be great if u wanted to step it up). It doesnt do anything great but it does everything well and when wading thats what u need. Plus the rod is going to take a beating so bang for the buck is important. Paired with a lews lfs and 20lb braid, i can cast down to almost 1/8oz jerks.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Im a river smallie and trout junky. Been doing t for years. My recomendation is based on what i do in my river.

Rods -  bring two rods if possible. I carry one spinning 1pc Med light power w/ a fast tip for jigs, tubes, flukes, soft plastics, swimbaits &spybait. Thus covering 3 depths of water and current. Keep the rod near your own height (5 5' to 6') and have  the best chance at being long and accurate with your casts. Match your ht so its easy to carry.

Every other lure and presentation xan be handle by your baitcaster.

I carry all my tackle in an Umpqua Sweeps 650.

Edited by PaulVE64
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  • 2 weeks later...

I bring too many rods, but honestly, for what you are shooting for, at a moderate price point, I picked up a Bass Pro Formula LE this winter (your Curado 100 would work just fine) and put it on a 6'6" medium H2O Xpress Ethos rod. In winter, this rod gets 10# fluoro, from April through about October, it gets 10# P-Line CX for smaller topwater walking baits. The rod is $70 new at Academy, reel was $50 at BPS. 

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I’ve got an impulse M/F, Wright & McGill M/M, Berkeley Lightning Rod M/F, and a St Croix M/F  spinning rod that I have used in Canada with jerkbaits. Cannot complain about any of them.  Depends on how much you want to spend.  My Berkeley is the cheapest and has been great.  Love my Impulse rod.  Probably like the W&R the best because its a moderate action.  Used the W&R in Alaska too.   I have a Bass Pro  6’ casting rod I use with a Kast King reel for jerk baits too.  Caught lost of walleye and pike on them.  No need to spend a fortune, but you can if you want.

 

Should mention that I use a Abu Veritas and a Falcon 5’6” with a Lew’s reel on small streams for smallmouth and rock bass.  I also have a 6’ Lews ML that I like a lot for smaller rivers.  Lots of cranks, jerks, crawdad jigs, and neds in 1/16-1/8 oz in those smaller waters.

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I definitely have different preferences for cranks and jerkbaits, I'd personally say if you have to pick one of the two setups to spend the bulk of your budget on I'd have to say a jerkbait combo is where I'd do it, you really don't have to have a ton of sensitivity in either technique compared to bottom contact setups, but finding the right crisp tip and forgiving enough backbone to get a nice quick jerk and then a dead stop isn't nearly as easy as finding a rod that will work for cranks, which no matter what I fish them on I never have to guess whether I've been bit or not. I fish a Medium Moderate glass rod for most lipless, and a medium heavy glass for deeper/larger cranks, but I have found I prefer a medium fast for squarebills, mostly because I just prefer the way it casts. Jerkbaits are on an extra fast medium rod, bit shorter so that it's more wieldy in more places and I don't smack it off rocks etc as much 

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On 3/27/2022 at 7:16 PM, Creek Chub 1 said:

Thanks for all the suggestions. 
 

I ended up ordering a 6 foot custom spinning rod for jerk baits. Hopefully I get it soon to try out.

6ft

And custom. Hope youre happy with the action.

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