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Need help finding the right rod / reel for weedy ponds

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Hi all,

This is a great forum, I'm glad I found it! So, I'm looking to by a rod / reel and I need some help.

The ponds local to me have large areas overgrown with very heavy cover. Not surprisingly, that's where all the bass are. Boats and waders are not allowed, so I have to cast from the edge of the pond. To get to the prime bass spots, I often need to make truly long casts.

So I need a super long casting pole that can rip through heavy weeds.

I read as much as possible, and this is what I came up with:

1)      I need a heavy pole with lots of backbone to cut through weeds.

2)      I need to use something like 25 lb. braided line and that means I need a baitcaster.

3)      A fast action will cast a little further than a very fast action, but will still be sensitive and help me rip weeds.

4)      An 7'11" pole with a 2-handed casting grip will help me launch my lure a mile.

So I have two questions.

A)      Is my thinking about my rod / reel needs correct?

:D      Which poles and reels should I look into (I'm looking to spend about $150 $180 combined)?

I'm still a very new bass angler, and I don't even know which brands are the best for my money. (Is there anything at Sports Authority or Dicks that I can look at?)

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Hi all,

This is a great forum, I'm glad I found it! So, I'm looking to by a rod / reel and I need some help.

The ponds local to me have large areas overgrown with very heavy cover. Not surprisingly, that's where all the bass are. Boats and waders are not allowed, so I have to cast from the edge of the pond. To get to the prime bass spots, I often need to make truly long casts.

So I need a super long casting pole that can rip through heavy weeds.

I read as much as possible, and this is what I came up with:

1)      I need a heavy pole with lots of backbone to cut through weeds.

2)      I need to use something like 25 lb. braided line and that means I need a baitcaster.

3)      A fast action will cast a little further than a very fast action, but will still be sensitive and help me rip weeds.

4)      An 7'11" pole with a 2-handed casting grip will help me launch my lure a mile.

So I have two questions.

A)      Is my thinking about my rod / reel needs correct?

:D      Which poles and reels should I look into (I'm looking to spend about $150 $180 combined)?

I'm still a very new bass angler, and I don't even know which brands are the best for my money. (Is there anything at Sports Authority or Dicks that I can look at?)

http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/product/standard-item.jsp?id=0064312124146a&navCount=1&podId=0064312&parentId=cat20372&masterpathid=&navAction=jump&cmCat=MainCatcat20166-cat20372&catalogCode=9IS&rid=&parentType=index&indexId=cat20372&hasJS=true

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If you're very new to bass fishing and you want to start with a baitcaster then it's gonna take a little practice to get the hang of using it.

If I were fishing that pond (sounds pretty weedy) then I'd want a rod that fits the description of what you wrote for the most part. I'd probably get a medium heavy rod for some backbone, but not overly stiff though. I also don't use rods that long either. Mine are 6'6", and I'm thinking about getting a 7' rod too but don't have it yet. With a 6'6" rod I am able to cast way over 100 feet, depending on the lure and its weight of course (3/4 oz. hits a 100+ feet for me on this rod).

For weedy ponds I'd use spinnerbaits (fairly weedless, not completely though), texas rigged plastics (rigged weedless), jigs (again, weedless), and some jerkbaits fished up close to the weeds but not deep in them cause treble hooks would hang up. Maybe a soft plastic jerkbait rigged on a single weighted hook that's weedless, if trebles would be an issue.

All those can be fished with a medium heavy rod with a fast tip (fast tip is what I use too). I use the Shimano Compre, costs $100 to $110 depending on whether you get 6'6" or 7' lengths, and I also use the Bass Pro Shops Extreme baitcast reel which is $80 retail priced but you can get it on sale a lot of times for $60. That would be well within the price range you listed. If you have to allow for line in that price then you could either wait till the reel is on sale so you have enough for it all, or you could cut back to the Shimano Clarus rod for $70 - $80 (again length makes the price difference). It's a good rod too, just not as light weight as the Compre and therefore won't be quite as sensitive I'm afraid. Still not bad though. Those are both lifetime warranty rods and Shimano is an excellent company and the rods they make are excellent as well.  The Compre rod is very sensitive and light weight. Some don't like the Bass Pro reels but I have 5 of them and love them, but I'm only one person.

You also don't necessarily have to use braid. It's a good idea, but some other lines would be alright as well. I've read on here a few people use Yozuri Hybrid line (fluorocarbon and mono mixed) for fishing frogs in somewhat heavy vegetation and have no trouble. Depends on how heavy the weeds really are I guess. You also don't necessarily have to use a baitcast reel for braid either. I believe it would be better but it's not totally required.  And one last thing, you could go with a medium rod over a medium heavy and that would probably help increase cast distance somewhat on any lighter lures since it's more flexible than a medium heavy rod.  It would load up better and launch lures easier with lighter weight baits.   Just won't have as much backbone though.

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Thanks for the input, Rooster.

So I went to Dicks to do some recon and ended up buying a rod and reel.

I went with a St. Croix premier casting 7' med-heavy / fast action rod. It's a brute of a rod, and should be able to rip through some ugly cover. I matched it with a Corvalus 400 reel I know nothing about reels, but feeling how smooth it was in the store drove me to purchase it on the spot. The rod, reel and 40# braided line set me back about $210.

Hopefully I can adjust to this new setup from my light spinning rigs. If I can cast it 100' I'll be happy. If I catch bass with it, I'd be even happier.

Look out weeds, here I come!

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That's a pretty good rod.  The reel looks awesome too, though I think it's a bit large for bass fishing.  I looked it up and it says it's got a 14 lb./250 yd. line capacity.  That's a lot of heavy line holding.  I use 12 lb. and 14 lb. but my line capacity on my reels is less than 1/2 of that at only 120 yards.  It also says the 400 size has a line out alarm on it for trolling and baitfishing.  Would make an extremely nice catfishing reel for sure.  I love the way it looks, just think it's a bit large, that's all.

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Do you really need an 8' rod to reach fishable water?  I've fished ponds with heavy cover nearly all around, and even if you can't wade...I use solid rubber boots to stand on the waters edge or a couple of feet in.  Are we talking cat tails or trees or what?  I'd like to see a pic of what we are dealing with.  

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So I took my new setup out to the lake and it didn't take me long to have second thoughts. The thick St. Croix pole was very stout, and so it easily riped through the weeds, which was very good. However it was clearly way too heavy of a pole for bass fishing, I felt like I should be on the ocean, not a pond. Also, because it was so stiff, I wasn't able to cast as far as I would like. Finally, the reel was, as rooster pointed out, a size or two too big.

I returned it and ordered this online:

Shimano Crucial Swimbait Cast Rod 7'11" Md Hvy

Shimano Citica Casting Reel 200E

Hopefully this will give me what I want a super long distance, weedless rig.

On the good side, I caught two bass with my $19 ultralight 4.5' pole. I've really have had more luck with that than anything else...

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Not sure how much you're gonna like that new rod over the last one.  My brother in law has the same exact one for swimbaits.  I'll have to ask him how stiff it is compared to others.  He bought it cause it will handle swimbaits which are considerably heavier than most average bass lures so I'd venture to guess that rod will be stiffer than the last one you just returned.

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You think it will be stiffer? Oh man... hopefully I wont have to send the new rod back as well.

I picked the lightest version of the Shimano Crucial rod  , which is rated for ½ to 1-½ oz lures and 15 30 pound line.

The St. Croix I returned was a musky / saltwater rod rated for ¾ to 3oz lures and 20 50 pound line.

I was hoping that the Shimano will be 20% less stiff than the st. croix and add 20' to my casting distance, yet still rip through weeds with authority.... well I'll see how it is when it comes.  

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Any 7 to 8' rod in Heavy power and Mod. Fast to Fast is ideal for working hevay weeds.  A reel with a strong drag - I recommend upgrading to a dry Carbontex drag stack from Smooth Drags - and 65# braid is the final part of the equation.  Heavy grass jigs, pegged t-rigs, and hollow frogs would be ideal baits.

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25lb braid is pretty weak. I wouldn't go under 50lb braid if there's a good amount of weeds. It's still only the diameter of 12lb test.

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It turns out the lighter crucial 7'11 swimbait rod is quite good for my application. I can throw the bait as far as I want and I have no fear of weeds.

The rod does in fact have more flex than the St. Croix, especially at the tip.

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The only luck I've had is with earthworms on 4 pound line with nothing but a #6 baitholder hook attached. I catch a few 12" - 14" bass, and a lot of sunfish and tiny bass.

I'm hoping that my new rig will get me near the bigger fish I see jumping around. There's a lot of fishing pressure where I live, but not many people fish in the weeds where the big bass live.

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