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David Russell

Complete Set-up: Rods, Reels and Tackle

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Hey folks.

I've been perusing the boards here for the past few weeks, lurking in the deep water. :) I thought I'd breach the surface and get some ideas from you.

I am re-discovering fishing after a 10-year hiatus. However, in my younger years, I really didn't learn much about gear. Reading this forum has been very enlightening, to say the least. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and creating such a great community to glean from. I realize now how little knowledge I actually have about fishing and especially about fishing gear.

That said, I recently came into a bit of money and my wife is "letting" me spend about $200-$300 on fishing gear. (God bless her.) But I currently don't even own a spool of fishing line. :)

I'd like to get a couple of good spinning combos, but understand what I really want is a couple of good rods and decent reels. :) I'd like to have at least two rods and reels so I can invite a buddy along with me on occasion and have the option to switch between baits a little faster if it's just me. However, I'll take advice along these lines as I know most good spinning setups are going to cost me at least $100 and it might not be feasible under my budget conditions. (I think I have decided to hold off on a baitcasting setup for now. But again, your opinion matters.)

Beyond the rods and reels, I need to get a good tackle box (or backpack) and fill it up! :) Any advice on where to start with that would be much appreciated. (Admittedly, the I haven't quite tackled the tackle forum yet, so let me know if there is a good starter thread in there. In fact, I might even need to post over there to keep things organized. Let me know Glenn/moderators.)

Right now, my main goal is to fish on the shore at public lakes in Virginia (and possibly Maryland if I spring for that license as well.) Except for the odd canoe rental, I probably won't fish much out of a boat. I am hoping to mainly fish for bass, but I'll probably also occasionally go in for some smaller fish types as well, crappie, sunfish, bluegill, etc.

I have a really nice Bass Pro Shops nearby in Hanover, MD. So I'll probably go there so I can get my hands directly on some gear.

Perhaps this type of question has been posed here in the past. If so, point me to those responses. But I did a fair amount of searching and general browsing of the boards and couldn't come up with any request quite like this one. ("I have nothing. Want to fish. Please help.") :)

Thanks everyone! Again, I'm really glad I stumbled into this forum. You all seem like you know your stuff.

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Well, I would spend most of the money on a reel (Shimano Stradic

2500FI) and a little on the rod...But to answer your question within

your stated parameters, buy a BPS Combination on sale:

Shimano Symetre reel with whatever BPS rod they match up. On

sale, you pay for the reel and the rod is practically free. The total

price should be around $130. However, trying to buy two rigs and

accessories for $200 is a recipe for disappointment.

8-)

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At $200-300 total for everything, you're going to have a problem buying 2 spinning outfits that are halfway decent.  I'd suggest a couple Lightning rods from Walmart and a couple Pflueger Trion spinning reels.   That should put you at around $150 leaving you the rest to spend on tackle.  

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First, welcome! Fortunately, you can get a lot of spinning reel for the same amount of $$$ as you normally could with a baitcast reel.

For example, the old Shimano Symetre used to be at $79.00 and that is a whole lot of spinning reel. Given the chance, I wouldn't waste my $$ buying a low profile casting reel at that price.

I second the recommendation of the Symetre, in the 2500 size or the Saros or Stradic, depending on how much you're willing to spend.

Spend $70-90 on the rod and you'll have about $100 for your tackle. An "all around" rod if there ever is one will usually have a Medium to Medium Heavy Power and a Fast to Extra-Fast Action. I would lean toward a Medium Heavy powered rod with a length of at least 6'6" to 7' in length. The Medium Heavy powered rod ought to help in setting the hook with single hook lures and if you take it easy, your treble hook lures. After you gain experience, you will eventuallty start to draw conclusions as to what you want for future rods.

I would also highly recommend getting a backpack or bag, whatever, as long as it is a "soft" bag. Do not go with a hard plastic, traditional fishing box because they are bulky. When you fish from the shore, you are going to want to maximize mobility and minimize encumbrance. I am a shorebound angler myself, so let my experience in this department save you some cash.

You can also buy Plano storage cases to hold your lures and other itmes and storing your items by type will enable you to take only the boxes you need for that day and put them into your bag. This is the advantage of the soft bag. You can always take out the plano boxes you don't need and put in the ones you need.

So to retrace, roughly

$80-130 ($100) for your spinning reel (This is quite sufficient for a spinning reel)

$70-120 ($100) for your rod - There are a great deal of decent values at this price point. I would pay attention to the guides. When possible I like alconite. In descending order in terms of price and hardness of the guides, Alconite, Hardloy, Aluminum Oxide. If the rod doesn't have any of these, I ain't buying. All of these three are braid worthy too. If you had to ask for a company, I'd have to say Shimano's Clarus, Compre, or Crucial. I've never held a BPS rod so I can't comment on them, but every time I compare components to price, in general they are on paper to be decent deals.

The rest for your other stuff. The backpack I use is from Flambeau and I got it for about $14.00 at Walmart. It was mispriced but the manager overrode the $29.00 price because it was mislabeled and gave it to me for $14.00.

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Hey, I should have asked my wife before posting here! My budget is now $500. Woo-hoo. :) Thanks for the feedback so far, I'll look into the suggestions but feel free to revise, roadwarrior and cart7t, as I'm sure you might have a different idea now. I definitely like what I see in the Shimano line of reels and I'm really open to the idea of investing more there than in the rod roadwarrior. (I had just spotted a different thread that advised the other approach.)

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islandbass Wow! Terrific advice, especially about the bag and smaller boxes. I will certainly do just that. I'll hope for a similarly lax Wal-Mart staff and mislabeled pricing. :) We'll see if I can fare as well as you on that one... $29 isn't bad at all though.

On the spinning reel, the price factor is part of the reason I'm starting there instead of going for a good baitcaster. I was hoping to get two spinning setups for roughly the price of one good baitcaster setup.

Thanks again for the advice.

Y'all are fast and thorough! Keep the ideas coming!

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islandbass One other note, I've actually been considering a MH rod because a few other threads had mentioned similar reasons why it's a decent all-around starter rod. Much thanks for pointing that out as it confirms what I've heard elsewhere.

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No problem. An MH powered rod is as close to a panacea as you can get to an "all around" rod.

I was in your shoes about 5 seasons ago and not knowing anything, my first rod was a Medium Light action Walmart special. It was not suited for single hook lures for sure.

Now with your increased budget however, the door is definitely open! With that budget, at least a Saros or Stradic mated to the 6'6" to 7' rod in the Crucial line up in a MH power. The rest is up to you. I might even be tempted to look at the Zillion or Cumara line ups.

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I agree with RW and the other guys. I like Quanutm reels but the Shimano Symetre is a great reel in either the 2500 or 3000 series. Very light reels and very very smooth. Since you are near a BPS I'm sure they have combos on sale all the time or you can even create a combo and see if they can give you a deal. There are also the in store deals which you can only get by going into the store. I also agree on getting the bag from Wal Mart. I have a couple of okeechobee bags I got from Wal Mart on clearance for less than $20.

Good luck and the guys here give great advice and welcome to the board.

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A few more points to consider:

Rod vs Reel

Opinions vary, but in summary, the rod may be more important

for "catching, but the reel makes "fishing" more fun! On average

my reels represent 65-75% of the cost of a combination and my

rods aren't cheap.

Rod Power & Action

I prefer Medium Power for spinning tackle especially in an "all-around"

set-up. Casting is easier with abroad range of bait/lure weights and

suggested line sizes match up better.

The Action should be fast or extra fast. This facilitates the broadest

range of applications or techniques.

8-)

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500 bucks... this is what i would do.

2 x symetres (2500)

a plastic plano 2700 box

senkos (green pumpkin)

trick worms (green pumpkin)

3/0 and 4/0 gamakatsu ewg hooks (for the senkos and trick worms)

3/16 oz worm weights (for the trick worms)

small crankbait (rapala)

3/8 oz white spinnerbait

3 x 1/4oz bitsy bug jigs (green craw) and a bag of 3" paca craws for trailers

spend the change on 2 good rods. i recommend fenwick, falcon and st. croix. id get both with fast actions and a length of 6'6" to 7'.

id get one rod rated for 1/8-3/8oz lures (usually ML or M) and another rated for 3/16-5/8oz lures (M or MH)

id use the lighter rod for small cranks, and finesse presentations and pan fish baits. the heavier one would be good for texas-rigged worms, small-med sized jigs, spinnerbaits...

if you want one of the rods to be dedicated to jigs and plastics you might want to look into an extra-fast tip.

dont spend too much of your "allowance" on baits. get good rods and reels and buy the bait as you go.

edit: i guess you need some line too. id get 6lb yo-zuri ultrasoft in green or trilene XL mono in clear.

welcome back to the sport!

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with $500, I would focus on getting two good setups first, and leave about $100-150 for the gear. Rods and reels are more expensive and you have to have a good chunk of change to buy them all at once. You can always spend $20 here and there on lures when you have some extra cash. Overtime your arsenal will grow.

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It's great to see a few others chime in.

I went over to BPS today with my 20-month old son (found a rig for him too) and I spent a couple of hours browsing through the fishing section, especially the reels. That Shimano Symetre is one sweet setup. I liked the Saros and Stradic, too, but I liked the value of the Symetre of them all for me right now. I also checked out the Pflueger line and put my hands on all the other competitors as well (Daiwa, Quantum, etc.) The Shimano definitely stood out to me from a quality standpoint. Who knows if my opinion might change down the road with experience? (In fact, I'm almost sure it will.) But for now, the Symetre feels like a great reel.

I scoped out the rods as well, but quickly found it difficult to really "feel out" what I was looking at (where the reels have more components to gauge quality by, I was a bit lost with the rods.) But I managed to get my hands on a few of them and I liked the St. Croix rods, from a price point and a "what I could tell" point. The BPS salesman told me St. Croix sold well, so that helps, I suppose. Fast action, medium power and 6'6" is the consensus here and that's exactly what he recommended as well.

Now where I was really lost was in the lure aisles! Wow. There are a lot of products out there. I'm going to spend some time tonight researching that side of things.

So I feel like my main rod/reel setups are for the most part locked in. Now for the rest of the story! Thanks again, everyone! If anyone else stumbles in the thread and has two pennies to lay down, go for it.  8-)

ChiCityBasser Thanks a ton! I didn't realize BPS might cut me a better deal on a combo I create. I'll ask.

roadwarrior Excellent. Thanks for the follow-up, especially on rods vs. reels. You seem to have a great perspective on all things fishing.

bigfruits You dialed in a formula I like on the rod/reel setups. I really appreciate the advice on lures as well. That's where I am most lost at the moment (but rapidly fixing that.) At this point, I'm probably going to get your lure list verbatim. :) I've read up on the senkos and trick worms and it seems like they work well for most others. The jigs and crankbait I don't know much about, even the techniques for fishing them, but I'm learning that as well thanks to these good ole Interwebs. I'll check out the Fenwick and Falcon rods. Good idea on getting different power rods between the two. I'm considering that.

wrangler569 Great point about investing in the lures as I go.

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Dont skimp on line with your new combos trilene XL is user freindly and reliable ,get urself some gamakatsu WORM and EWG hooks 2/0 3/0 and 5/0 and bullet weights 1/16 1/8 1/4 along with ZOOM flukes and LIZARDS White, babybass and pumpkin seed ,STRIKE KING RAGE TAIL ANACONDAS ,RAPALA j-7- and 9,s silver and gold ,STRIKE KING MINI spinnerbaits,MEPPS SPINNERSsilver and gold size 1,and last but not least BEETLE spins any color

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Maxximus Redneckus I appreciate the suggestions.

roadwarrior Holy cow, that is a great thread! Thanks. I've started marking favorites as well. Hopefully, that will keep things organized for me. So many treasures on this forum. :)

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