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Hello, new here and am in need of some opinions.

I am looking to buy a new baitcasting rod but don't know what to buy. I am 17 and going to college soon so I am on a tightish budget..

I have been looking at a Shimano Voltaeus or a Berkley Lightning rod.. I am brand new to baitcasters having used spinning all my life.

Are either of these rods decent? I know they aren't Loomis or anything, but it's my first so..

Thanks for any help.

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The voltaeus is virtually unbreakable, but it's a bit whippy. If you get one make sure it's the MHF and don't expect it to excel in any finesse/bottom contact fishing. It Should be good for moving baits though. My 18 y/o bro is in the same situation with you and he grabbed the 7' MF and it jumps around enough to be a pretty decent open water shallow-medium crank rod.

But like you said, it's no loomis. :)

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You can get by with Med Hvy/ Fast graphite rod for just about any bass fishing application. Check the flea market forum here for deals on better, used equipment. Get the best you can afford and upgrade when you can.

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A few bucks more and you can have an Abu Garcia Vendetta rod.  Plenty of choice in that line, and they are solid rods that should serve you well for your first (or 2nd or 6th) baitcaster.  I'd recommend something around 7'0" and Medium-Heavy, Fast or Extra-Fast action.  Should work for most applications including spinnerbaits, jigs, pitching plastics, topwater, etc.  About the only thing I wouldn't recommend on it would be crankbaits, but you can use a slightly-whippier spinning setup from your existing arsenal to chuck crankbaits.

I personally have the 7'3" H XF Vendetta and use it for my heavy cover jig fishing. Its quite sensitive (it's no Loomis but its certainly respectable!). Its got plenty of backbone. It casts a mile if I want it to. It was $72 (Canadian!) so I'm extremely pleased that it performs like a few of my $150+ rods.

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the berkley lightning rod is a good low budget rod. many fish been swung in a boat with one of those.

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the volteaus is basically an ugly stick.  The Lightening Rods are good rods but the Lightening Rod Shock and Abu Garcia Vengeance would be better.  The Field and Stream Tech Specs are nice for the price too if you have a Dicks near-by.

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Dick's does have some good sales.  Several of my rods are Shimano Convergence rods, which are a great value for what I paid for them (about 20 a pop).  Fuji components, IM-6 graphite, decent sensitivity...if you can find them, they're great value rods, as is the Clarus line. 

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A few bucks more and you can have an Abu Garcia Vendetta rod. Plenty of choice in that line, and they are solid rods that should serve you well for your first (or 2nd or 6th) baitcaster. I'd recommend something around 7'0" and Medium-Heavy, Fast or Extra-Fast action. Should work for most applications including spinnerbaits, jigs, pitching plastics, topwater, etc. About the only thing I wouldn't recommend on it would be crankbaits, but you can use a slightly-whippier spinning setup from your existing arsenal to chuck crankbaits.

I personally have the 7'3" H XF Vendetta and use it for my heavy cover jig fishing. Its quite sensitive (it's no Loomis but its certainly respectable!). Its got plenty of backbone. It casts a mile if I want it to. It was $72 (Canadian!) so I'm extremely pleased that it performs like a few of my $150+ rods.

I second the recommendation of the Vendetta. A number of guys in my bass club have them, and they are all impressed with the rod, believing that it's a great value.

I recommend that you also consider buying a good used rod.  Sometimes they can be had at 50% off their new price.

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