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TN Mountain Man

Did I pick the right reel/rod?

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I have been lurking for almost a year now, but this is my first post.  I've read all the "sticky" threads re rod power vs. action, casting reel setup, and a bunch about different lines.  I still have a few questions, though, as I select my first quality rig.

Background:  I have been fishing since I was a toddler, but always with varying grades of "Walmart specials."  I started off using spincasting gear and am still most comfortable with the reel-on-top setup.  I have had several spinning rods, though, and am willing to use them more.

I did buy a $30 casting reel once 10 or 15 years ago, put 17 pound Stren on it and found it wouldn't cast worth a darn.  I think I gave it away.  I never really got any backlashes.  Having read a lot on hear, I'm guessing now that I had the brake and/or cast control set way to high.

Fishing Style.  I do 80% of my fishing with soft plastics.  I use T-rigs a good bit, and every now and then a weightless worm.  I started trying a C-rig this summer, but no success yet.  At night, I sometimes use weedless frogs.  By far, though, my most common baits are Superflukes near cover and weightless lizards (or Superflukes) on, across, and through grass mats.

At twilight and at night, I'll also use Jitterbugs, and maybe a popper.  I had some success using medium size spinnerbaits this summer, too. Occasionally, I'll through a Rattle-trap.  Every now and then I'll use live worms, minnows, or crayfish.

I usually fish from the shore, although my brother has a canoe I can use some of the time.

Pupose of new rig.  My new rig must be suited for the weightless lizards/Superflukes.  I would also like to be able to do t-rigs, spinnerbaits, and weedless frogs.  Anything else is a plus, but not a requirement.

For several years, I've had some Walmart rod (Rhino?) with a fairly soft tip, labeled "Power: Medium."  It doesn't say anything about the action, but I'd guess it's Moderate Action.  I've been using Berkley Trilene 10 lb. test.

This rod casts excellently with lizards, T-rigs, and Superflukes.  However, I think it is rather lacking in the hook-setting department.  Superflukes and magnum lizards have a lot of plastic to get the hook through.  I miss some strikes with them--but I've missed EVERY strike I had this year with the weedless frog.  (Partly, I was reacting before I felt the weight, and partly I wouldn't hook up even when I waited until I felt the fish tugging.

New rod and reel.  I bought a new rod and reel this weekend.  I leaned toward a casting reel, but I was concerned about castability with lighter T-rigs, and weightless lizards or Superflukes.  The clerk did nothing to ease my concerns, so I went with a Pflueger President spinning reel, 5.2:1 gear ratio, rated for 8/10/12 lb. line.  I also purchased a 6'6" St. Croix Premier spinning rod, Medium-Heavy power, Fast action (unsegmented).  I think the rod is rated for 3/8 to 3/4 oz bait.


1.  Are my concerns misplaced regarding castability of flukes, lizards, and light t-rigs on casting gear?  I can still return this spinning rig.

2.  If I should stay with spinning gear, is the rod a good choice for my fishing style?  The clerk thought that I might have trouble casting my soft plastics unless I got a rod with a more "limber tip."  If it's not a good choice, should I go down in power, action, or both?

3.  What line(s) would you recommend?  Since the reel came with a spare spool, I can swap out pretty easily.  I am willing to try braid again, although I got lots of tangles/twists with it on a spinning rod this summer.  Would 100% flouro work on spinning gear for t-rigs and non-surface baits?  For frogs, Jitterbugs, and lizards/flukes on the grass mats, would YoZuri Ultrasoft work, or does it sink too much?

Thanks in advance for your recommendations!!

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I think that the spinning gear is deffinatley the right choice for the weightless. If you could only get one set up for all of those then I think you got the right one. By the way I have a president and I am very satisfied with it.

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 If you are going to stay with spinning equipment for now, it sounds like a good set-up to me. The line you are talking about (Yo-zuri) is supposed to be pretty good. RW, one of the mods, gives it really high marks. I've never used it myself (always used momo) and would imagine if the sinking was going to hurt you it would be with top-water baits. Maybe not even then. Someone should chime in soon that could probably tell us. Also, WELCOME to the forums...

                                     As Ever,


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Welcome to the forum.  It looks like you realy did your homework. And i think you made a fine choice for an upgrade.

1. I use only spinning gear so I cant say.

2. From what I understand you need the stiffer tip for the hook set more than you need the softer tip for the distance.


a. I use Sufix Braid with InvizX florocarbon leader for all my fishing. I like the braid for its castability and sensitivity. The floro leader is for its invisibility.

b. Yes


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My preference is a MH G Loomis MBR843C baitcasting rod for weightless soft plastics, Senkos, flukes, spinnerbaits. Looking at the St Croix Premiers the baitcasting rod that has the same line and lure rating as my rod is the PC66MF, a 6'6" M action rod. The St Croix Premier rods may be more powerful for their rating compared to G Loomis rods. I've never used St Croix rods so the MH may be the same as the MH G Loomis despite the different ratings. Someone hear is probably familiar with these rods and could give you the correct info.

I think the rod and reel you selected is fine for weightless soft plastics, Senkos, flukes, and texas rigs. Depending on how often you throw a spinnerbait I would consider a baitcaster. If you intend to use soft bodied frogs I think the rod you have will work. However, if you meant hollow bodied frogs it may not be powerful enough if you're fishing in heavy cover. In my opinion, considering all the lures you want to use, a baitcaster would be more versatile. I'm partial to baitcasters so this info is definitely biased.

If you've never used a baitcasting combo before it can be frustrating to learn. So if getting into fishing right now is your primary focus then the spinning setup works. I think you get more value spending the amount of money you did for the Plueger reel. If you went with a baitcasting reel you'd probably have to spend a bit more to get the same quality. The rod would be about the same price.

If you decide to go with a baitcasting rod and reel let us know how much you're willing to spend on the reel. I'm sure with all the knowledge here you'd be able to select a reel that can handle weightless lures.  :D

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Welcome aboard!

Your new rig will work well for everything you have in mind, but it is especially well suited for fishing soft plastics!

For spinning tackle I recommend Yo-Zuri Hybrid Ultra Soft #6 (11.9 lb test). Also, this line floats.

Good luck!


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