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J@k3 01s3n

Tournament Gear

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Well, this is going to be the first year that I stick my neck out and do some tournaments. They are not major ones, just a club. However it is a competitive club, and there are some 2 day tournaments mixed in with single day tournaments, as well as fishing on 5 or 6 lakes in multiple regions of my state. This is just getting my feet wet, but I want to get some opinions on my gear. Maybe this or that I might need as far as rod and reels go. This is what I have right now.

6'6" medium heavy rod with 7:1 baitcaster

6'6" medium rod with 6:4:1 baitcaster

6' medium rod with spinning reel

6'6" medium rod with spinning reel

I was thinking I might need a 7' rod with a 7:1 baitcaster reel for flipping/pitching, and maybe a 7' fast action rod with spinning reel for finesse fishing.

I am basically just trying to have the right tools for the various situations I will encounter throughout the year. Am I way off base with my idea of what I need? Any suggestions?

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for local tournies... it almost always seems (to me anyway) that there are 4 or 5 techniques (less if i'm on fish) that i'm going to use... all season maybe. Identify your goto methods and setup a rod for each, then go back and start doubling up so you can have 2 rigs of the same bait w/ different colors.....;)

It looks like you have a nice set of versatile rods, find out what you like them best for and then start adding the rigs you need to apply different techniques.

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Thanks for the advice. I pretty much have a couple techniques that I focus on. and these rods have done the trick so far. I am just trying to kind of designate rods to baits, as you have stated, just to maximize fishing time.

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what type of fishing will you be doing?  Michigan (I believe atleast) has a lot of Smallmouth fishing with big spinnerbaits, jerkbaits, tubes, drop shots, etc.  Correct?  Just cater your rod selection to that.  If you are going to be fishing deep open water then the 7' spinning rod w/ a light tip would be good for a drop shot and also if you are out fishing large flats with cover baits (Spinnerbaits, crankbaits, etch) then you might do well with a 7' rod just so you can make longer casts and cover more water while being able to get a good hook set.  All in All, it seems like you have a good start on the rods you will need.

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i didn't see he was from MI also-- do yourself a favor and get a drop-shot rod!! There's plenty to choose from, i like the St. Croix Avid 7' ML/Fast (SC3 blank) for an all purpose DS rod)

where at in MI?

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I think you should be focusing on your gear as a supplement to what the actual focus should be. Since this is your first time fishing tournaments, you should be focusing on building an arsenal of knowlege and experience, and then supplement that with the right type of gear. I say this becuas eit seems that bass fishing has became a sport that emphasizes what gear your use as much as the knowledge and experience you have. Realize that better or more gear will not make you a better fisherman unless you become a better fisherman. A better quality rod with more sensitivity will make it so that you can feel you rlure and feel a fish take your bait better, but it won't make you better.

Focus on learning from the guys that you are fishing with, and even against. Just be a sponge, absorb as much as you can. You make find that you may not need as much gear as you thought you did, and end up wasting more money on rods and reels that you could have spent on stocking up on a few "proven lures" in that area that work very well all season long.

I just recently contancted a guy that runs a local bass fishing club and I plan on going to the first meeting the first week of march. They also fish tournaments all through out my state as well as out of state. I plan on buying a few new set ups, but I am really focused on learning from more experienced and more knowledgable anglers.

To acknowledge your post more accurately:

6'6" medium heavy rod with 7:1 baitcaster

    Use for T rigging and jigging, buzzbaits, spinnerbait(burning)

6'6" medium rod with 6:4:1 baitcaster

    can also use this as a worm/jig rod, as well as spinner/buzzbaits/rat'l traps

6' medium rod with spinning reel

6'6" medium rod with spinning reel

I would use your spinning stuff for lighter plastics like tubes, weightless soft plastic apps like wacky worms, soft plastic jerkabits, senkos, as well as cranks,jerks and topwaters. The softer action of a spinning rod will be better for these lures with treble hooks.

I would suggest you get a crankin rod(glass or compostie) and a 7-7'6" rod for flippin/frogging/carolina rigs. So a couple hundred more dollars and you will have a d**n good arsenal or rods and reels for tournament fishing.

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Here is what I usually bring to every tourney. It basically covers everything.

   Bait Casters:

1) Xtra Heavy; 7 1/2 ft.

      Jigs & swimbaits

2) med. 6ft 3"

    Square billed cranks & rattle traps

3) med 7 ft.

    Spinnerbaits

4) med. 7 ft.

    crank baits

  Spinning:

5) med. 6'6"

   Shakey Heads

6) med 6'6"

   weightless plastics

 

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There have been some good post here.

JWO1124 made some really good points.  I wish he would posted that about two years ago before I started tournament fishing.  LOL

One thing that you need to consider, are you fishing as a boater or as a non-boater?

If your fishing as a boater get whatever you feel you need an can afford.  (yes the bait monkey has that tight of a grip on me that I say crazy stuff like that, oh what the heck, go buy a few things you can't afford, there I said it, now someone get this monkey away from me)

Really though, in my club we have some guys that will have as many as 10 rods rigged and on deck during a tournament.

Seeing as how I am boat poor, I fish as a non-boater which means I'm regulated to someone's back seat.  So when i go to fish a tournament I take two things into consideration when it comes to tackle and gear.

1.) How does the boater fish?

Does he fish fast and cover lots of water?  Does he fish slow?  I love Shakey Heads and Senkos but some guys fish too fast for me to fish that way effectively.  So I have to keep that in mind when decided what gear to take.  If I'm fishing with a guy that I know fishes "tight to the bank" that will change what I take.  If I'm fishing with someone who likes to fish fast and cover a lot of water, I probably won't take my flipping stick.  I try to compliment (not copy) what the guy in the front of the boat is doing.  However, if he starts to catch fish, I'll be quick to change lures or presentation.

2.) How big of a boat will I be on?

As a non-boater the last thing I want to be is a distration or get in the way of the boater.  I try to be considerate.  If the guy has a 16 foot Bass Tracker, I'm probably going to limit myself to 3 or 4 roads and a small plano tackle box that holds 4 360 size boxes.  If I'm fishing with a guy that has a 19 or 20 foot Triton or Nitro, I'll probably bring five rods and a bigger tackle bag.

Sorry for the long post but my point is I let who I'm fishing with kind of dictate how I fish and what gear I bring.

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