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harpoon

Rods and Reels, Noob Style..

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Ok Noob here, to this forum and to fishing. I started fishing again a few years ago when my kids were old enough to bring them and teach them what little I know.

I just bought a fishing boat and wanted to get more serious this year and after reading many thread in this category my head just about exploded off of my shoulders.   soo many different makes and models and wow these are expensive.

My experience has been to go to Walmart and just grab a set that looked adequate, I never knew about all the different aspects of a rod, like the tip sensitivity, grade of the rod ( medium/heavy), the different lengths. etc.

There are rods specific to what reel you are using?  spinner or caster??  and what the heck is the difference between them?

Some have said to go and try out some rods to see what feels good. Again, the only place I know of around me would be Walmart. What types of places are you referring too?  I live in Massachusetts just below the NH border.

So I guess any decent name brand rod and reel would be much better then what I have been using, I basically do small to medium lake fishing with fake worms and some small lures. but have been reading alot about "crank bait".

Can you point me in a direction for a medium level rod and reel that is sub $100.00

Also is the money better spent in the rod or the reel?  I am seeing that those can be very expensive as well.

And can you also explain the differences in these reel types that would be great as well, I guess I would like to know why I would by one type over the other.

thanks alot guys and keep in mind I am very new here hence all of the questions.

I appreciate your input.

Harpoon

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First of all, you need to spend some time reading through the

BassResource Library at the top of the Page: Fishing Articles

and Tacklebox. This is a sample:

http://www.bassresource.com/beginner/beginner.html

Here is an overview for rod & reel selection:

http://www.bassresource.com/bass_fishing_forums/YaBB.pl?num=1196114229

And here's something specific:

http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/product/standard-item.jsp?_DARGS=/cabelas/en/common/catalog/item-link.jsp_A&_DAV=MainCatcat20166-cat603798&id=0064501124398a&navCount=1&podId=0064501&parentId=cat603798&masterpathid=&navAction=push&catalogCode=9IS&rid=&parentType=index&indexId=cat601233&hasJS=true

Get the 6 1/2" Medium Power/Fast Action rod, 2500 series reel.

8-)

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Get the 6 1/2" Medium Power/Fast Action rod, 2500 series reel.

8-)

X2

Medium Fast Spinning, usually 1/8 to 1/2 oz lure rating, will be fun for most Northeast fishing situations. Panfish, Bass & maybe even trout. If you get "hooked" on bass fishing, it is likely that you will eventually want to move up to a Medium Heavy rod to handle the large lures.

At the <$100 range, it is hard to beat the BPS and Cabela's combos that feature their proprietary rods (Only when ON SALE). The sales today aren't as good as they were before the holidays...  However, it is a great time of the year to find closeouts and clearance deals on higher end gear. Also, make sure your budget includes room for line, lures etc.

Cheers

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if you bought a fishing boat youre going to be in it for the long run. do yourself a favor and spend a little more on a combo or you will prob end up with a rod and reel you will never use in the near future.

for spinning reels id get shimano, daiwa or pflueger

there are tons of good rods out there. i agree with the two posts above on the specs.

if you do some homework online you can usually find some good deals with free shipping.

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Awesome guys, thank alot, this is a great start. I will do all the reading that you mentioned and will surely be back for some more specific questions.  This is awesome I am excited.

Thanks again

Harpoon

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It  is always fun to try to increase your skill and knowledge about fishing.  I remember when I first started reading more into it and I had the same overwhelming feeling you had.  For years I fished with a 30$ combo.  (I still use it from time to time).  but it was also fun to learn more about different equiptment and upgrading my stuff and learning more techniques.  It certainly incresaed my enjoyment of fishing.

But we were all Noobs are one time!  here is some info that seemed to help me out a bit.  This forum was a great resource also.

Reels:

There are 3 basic types.  The first is a spin caster.  This is the one with the "cap" on it and you cant see the line until it comes out that hole on top.  These are often used for young children and beginers because it keeps the line contained.  The next is the spinning reel.  This is probably the most common ones you see in the stores.  It has the bale that you have to flip up and down to retrieve the line.  The last is the baitcaster.  This comes in 2 basic varieties: Round and Low-Profile.  These are the reels that look like a drum or a "spaceship" as one of my kids put it lol.  The handle will usually have 2 paddles instead of 1 also.

Line:  There are many types but the big ones are the following:

Monofilament (mono)= This is your basic line that everyone is used to. $ lowest cost.

Braid: This line is usually made of spectra or some other type of high strength materials.  THis line is very strong and thinner than mono and doesnt have much line stretch or memory.  Great for beginers. $$$=more expensive (power pro brands, suffix braid etc)

Flourocarbon= A type of mono that has improved properties over monofilament.  But it can be pricey also.  Some brands seem to have more line memory than others.

Hybrid line or Co-polymer line= a mix between mono and flouro lines.

Ohh also this is just the bare basics.  There are lots of different chracteristics of each line.  And "Memory" is how much the line stays in its current shape.  You know, how when you toss out the line and it how much it likes to stay in that circular shape.

Rods: Many types (hundreds of variations with each)

Spinning rod is for spinning gears or spin casters.  The eyes and line guides are at the pointed downwards or in a 6'o'clock position when you hold the rod.  The reel also points downwards.  

Casting rod: is for baitcasters.  The eyes are pointed upwards in the 12 'o'clock position.  The reel is also placed on the rod facing upwards.  Casting rods also have a trigger on them near the handled to help you keep the reel in the upwards position.

(when I first started learning more, I didnt know there was a difference either and placed a baitcaster on a spinning rod.  I had a lot of cramps in my arm using this lol)

Fly rod: for flyfishing

Trolling rod: used for trolling in a boat.

Now there is also power, action, length, composite, sensitivity of each rod.  But that is to much for me to go into here.  

But these are the basics that helped me out in the begining sort through everything.  Ohh crankbaits are hard plastic baits that imitate fish or other things in the water.  They are also designed to be pulled through the water at certain depths to imitate baitfish.

Vic

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Vic, thank you very much for this awesome and detailed information, I really got alot out of it.

I especially liked this statement:

"(when I first started learning more, I didnt know there was a difference either and placed a baitcaster on a spinning rod.  I had a lot of cramps in my arm using this lol)"

You know why? because I spent the entire last season with this uncomfortable cramp and now I finally know why. DUH!! I replaced my damaged reel and now I know that I picked the wrong type.

Again I really appreciate you taking the time to write all this excellent information.

Harpoon

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Vic, thank you very much for this awesome and detailed information, I really got alot out of it.

I especially liked this statement:

"(when I first started learning more, I didnt know there was a difference either and placed a baitcaster on a spinning rod. I had a lot of cramps in my arm using this lol)"

You know why? because I spent the entire last season with this uncomfortable cramp and now I finally know why. DUH!! I replaced my damaged reel and now I know that I picked the wrong type.

Again I really appreciate you taking the time to write all this excellent information.

Harpoon

LOL  I bet more than a few of us has done this when starting out also!

But your very welcome Harpoon.

 If you have 100$  look for a Bass pro shops, Gander mountain, or Cabelas store arround you.  You can usually pick up a house rod and reel for that price. The people there are usually nice enough to help you out with any quesitons and they have great warrantees. I also like to support local rod and reel stores, but for 100$ there, you may have slimmer pickings. Now if you had 200$, I would certainly try out a local store.  

There is a bass pro shops in Foxboro.  But I dont know how far that is from you.  Stay away from WalMart though lol. They do have some good stuff, but its mostly behind glass hidden away.

Try out different rods after you get your new setup.  You can really start to learn the difference in rods once you start tossing on a few more.  Be careful though, once you start, you might find yourself "upgrading" all the time :)  But about your question regarding how much for the reel and how much for the rod:  If you are going for a spinning reel, spend at least 50$ on the reel.  If you are going for a baitcaster, spend at least 85-100$.

What you are looking for is balance.  You want to have a good balance between a good rod and reel.  But if I had to choose one to spend more on, I would have to say the rod. It is the less "glamourous" answer.  But it is what will help you hook the fish the most and get your line out there.

Best of luck!

Vic

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There is a Bass Pro in foxboro and a Cabelas in Scarboro, ME, check those places out, someone that works there will defiantly point you in the right direction.

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There's a Cabela's in Hartford too. The Bass Pro Shop in Foxborough is brand new and, I hear, pretty nice. I haven't been home to Worcester in a while, but I'd love to check out the Northern Bass Supply showroom. They're a little company with a lot of gear and the staff there will help you out. They're located in Brentwood, NH (03833). So, If you're in western Mass, I'd head to CT. If you're closer to the coast, you should be able to hit up BPS or NBS pretty easily. Have fun!

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Get the 6 1/2" Medium Power/Fast Action rod, 2500 series reel.

I've fished all of my life, but never paid attention to the equipment much, I was just as happy with a cane pole as my spinning tackle, time has changed.  Anyway with that said until a couple of years ago I didn't know what a 2500 series reel was.  If you are like I was you size spinning reels by the little bitty ones, ultralight and on up to the big uns.  Anyway a 2500 series is the medium sized one.  Good luck BTW taking children fishing is great, my four year old loves to bluegill fish.  Also a crank bait is a Rapala type lure.  

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Recommendation 1: Shimano Sahara 2500 and Berkley Lightning Rod.  A little more than $100.  This is a SMALL compromise on the reel and a bit better rod than my next recommendation.

Recommendation 2: Spend as much as you can afford on the reel.  I would even say spend all $100 on the reel (Shimano Symetre $99.00 retail, or Shimano Citica $101 on-line) and get ANY rod that will get you on the water.  You could probably keep the cost under $125.00.  I am just getting into fishing too and just bought one of each of these reels.  I can tell you, they are the way to go.  Here's my thinking; you'll have one VERY nice piece of quality equipment and another that will get you through until it needs replacement or as soon as you feel like it.  You will be able to cast with ANY rod that you end up with, however, the smoothness and better anti-backlash systems in a higher quality reel will allow you to learn to cast more quickly, the drag will be better designed, it will weigh less than less expensive reels and it will last longer, and will produce FAR less frustration.  Even a cheap rod could last you for years if you're a casual weekend fisherman.  See what kind of rods are out there for $19.99!  Check out Berkley (Lightning) fishing rods for a little more money.  You could also try to find a good used rod from someone on one of the boards.  Try to get a medium-heavy rod with a fast action in the longest length you can find, or whatever is cheap enough that you can get on the water.  Medium action for any rod 6 feet or less.  Try to go to an event and meet some people.  Most people who've been fishing for very long probably have an old rod they would part with for "dinner-money".  You can always save your pennies and buy a better rod as time goes by, but you probably won't need to.  I have an old Spinning rod that I would just give you, but packaging and shipping would cost almost as much as a cheap new rod.  Good Luck.

Davo  

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Recommendation 2: Spend as much as you can afford on the reel. I would even say spend all $100 on the reel (Shimano Symetre $99.00 retail, or Shimano Citica $101 on-line) and get ANY rod that will get you on the water. You could probably keep the cost under $125.00. I am just getting into fishing too and just bought one of each of these reels. I can tell you, they are the way to go. Here's my thinking; you'll have one VERY nice piece of quality equipment and another that will get you through until it needs replacement or as soon as you feel like it. You will be able to cast with ANY rod that you end up with, however, the smoothness and better anti-backlash systems in a higher quality reel will allow you to learn to cast more quickly,

When I first started, I thought about this first. As I said earlier, spending more on a quality rod before a better reel is certainly less "sexy". But after I picked up my first Avid, I wish I would have started with this rod in the begining rather than later. The rod and reel work together for a balanced feel, but the rod has more to do with learning to cast than the reel. You are right about a better drag though and how higher quality lasts longer.

You do have a great point about being able to have one good reel while learning about what rod you like best. In the begining you might not know what rod actions and powers you like. So you will more than likley get many different rods before settling on one you like. At least with a good reel, you can transfer that to try out various rods.

Vic

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harpoon i am pretty new to bass fishing and baitcasters. I also was a great fan of walmart. I did buy a cheap combo at sportsmans warehouse for 39.99. It was a shakespheare BC reel on a MH Ugly stick. I soon decided to buy a diawa megaforce for 59$ and I love it. I cant help but wonder how much better casting could get with say a 100-150 reel and a better rod. Maybe this year Ill find out. This was a great thread for me as well, I learned a great deal. Like I said Im new as well and feel like a sponge, thanks for all who contribute.

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Yeah Vic, that's pretty much where I was heading.  Thanks for your feedback.  I've recently been in almost the same situation as Harpoon is now and for all practical purposes I still am.  I'm not bragging at all, but I've been amazed at how well I've been able to cast the Citica ever since I took it out of the box.  I literally had not owned or even tried to cast a baitcaster in 30 years (1978 Ambassadeur 5000D).  I completely attribute this to the features and quality of the Citica and NOT any ability of my own.  Right now it's mounted on a $49.00 American Rodsmith's Apex Titanium MH fast tip rod and I couldn't be happier.  If I had to go with a less expensive rod or a less expensive reel than what I have now, then I'm keeping the citica but like you said balance is also critical.

Take Care,

Davo          

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