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Hey all I'm new to the forum as well as bass fishing. I'm trying to get some equipment to begin bass fishing and I'm totally confused on what to look for. Firstly, I know as a beginner it's not a smart thing to go out and buy everything a pro has in their boat, however, I would like to get some rods and reels for I've decided three different techniques... I'm interested in top water fishing jigging/worming and spinner-baits. Now would I be able to get some rod's and reels that would virtually work for all these lures regardless of size and weight. I guess what I'm asking is, is there a middle of the road (Performance wise) rod that works for all spinner baits and so on with the other techniques I've mentioned and what reels would matches with them? I've tried to do some homework, but what ends up happening is what one person tells you another will slightly vary. I've been told spinning rod and reels are the finesse set-ups but then I see KVD using Baitcasters reels and rods for finesse fishing?? Also what specs should the rod be for finesse, topwater, and spinner baits? thanks.

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First and foremost, Welcome.

Now for your question. I use a medium heavy rod for topwaters and cranks, as well as for jigs, and most plastics. I use a medium for my finesse fishing and small cranks. Seeing as how I can catch a thing with spinner baits I can't help you on that. Everyone's opinion will vary as to what length and action they use. I've just found that medium heavy seems to be the all around choice. For instance, I use a 7'6" moderate fast for my top waters and medium depth cranks. My fishing partner uses a 7' fast for his cranks and a 6'6" fast for his topwaters. It all comes down to what you length you are comfortable with. A longer rod will also tend to cast farther than a shorter rod. However if you are bank fishing, around a lot of shore based vegetation a longer rod will tend to be more limited in the cast you can make. With your question about finesse fishing. That again is a matter of preference. I use a baitcaster for all but the lightest of my lures, for which I use a spinning set up. Everyone has an opinion on what to use and what works best. As for spinning and baitcasting, again it comes down to personal preference. A baitcaster is going to take time and practice to become sufficient with. Whereas a spinning reel is easier and to cast and takes little or no practice to start chucking baits. (accuracy with a spinning reel will take some practice) As for what rods and reels to get, what price range are you looking at? Will you be fishing from the shore or a boat? I wouldnt get the cheapest thing you can find, but don't buy the most expensive thing out there either. Quality can be had at an affordable price range. The flea market on this site is a good place to look. There are some amazing deals to be had there.

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Ok it sounds like it's tough to make a decision pryor to getting out and doing some actual fishing. I just don't want to buy a bunch of stuff and then find out through short experience that something else would have been better weather it be a lighter action or lighter power rod or the other way around. Is that kind of the reality though? I would say I don't want to spend more than $220 for a reel and rod combo... I'm partial to st. croix... I dont know why lol and I don't know there standing among bass fishermen. It will have to take some research on my end... I'll probably try to find the lightest, cheapest yet well known rod for whatever style I choose to use it for. What do you suggest? Is $220 a good average price for equipment that for a beginner will give the best opportunity to get the feel of things and learn or is there stuff that is way cheaper that will offer the same experience? oh and I'm a novice user of baitcasters already. I regularly use baitcasters for stripers and always used baitcasters just because i felt they were an ease of use compared to spinning reels but if there is definitely a use for spinning reels that requires skill and you just can't do the same with a baitcaster I would like to pick one up again and become familiar with the potential use of one.

First and foremost, Welcome.

Now for your question. I use a medium heavy rod for topwaters and cranks, as well as for jigs, and most plastics. I use a medium for my finesse fishing and small cranks. Seeing as how I can catch a thing with spinner baits I can't help you on that. Everyone's opinion will vary as to what length and action they use. I've just found that medium heavy seems to be the all around choice. For instance, I use a 7'6" moderate fast for my top waters and medium depth cranks. My fishing partner uses a 7' fast for his cranks and a 6'6" fast for his topwaters. It all comes down to what you length you are comfortable with. A longer rod will also tend to cast farther than a shorter rod. However if you are bank fishing, around a lot of shore based vegetation a longer rod will tend to be more limited in the cast you can make. As for spinning and baitcasting, again it comes down to personal preference. A baitcaster is going to take time and practice to become sufficient with. Whereas a spinning reel is easier and to cast and takes little or no practice to start chucking baits. (accuracy with a spinning reel will take some practice) As for what rods and reels to get what price range are you looking at?

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A 6'6"-7' MH Baitcaster can do all of your techniques fine. When I fish from my kayak I only bring 3 rods and reels because I don't have a whole lot of room. You can cover almost all techniques of fishing with a 6' M Fast or Xfast Spinning Rod, a 6'6"-7" MH Fast Baitcasting Rod, and a 6'6"-7" M-MH Moderate Baitcasting Rod.

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Ok it sounds like it's tough to make a decision pryor to getting out and doing some actual fishing. I just don't want to buy a bunch of stuff and then find out through short experience that something else would have been better weather it be a lighter action or lighter power rod or the other way around. Is that kind of the reality though? I would say I don't want to spend more than $220 for a reel and rod combo... I'm partial to st. croix... I dont why lol and I don't know there standing among bass fishermen. It will have to take some research on my end... I'll probably try to find the lightest, cheapest yet well known rod for whatever style I choose to use it for. What do you suggest? Is $220 a good average price for equipment that for a beginner will give the best opportunity to get the feel of things and learn or is there stuff that is way cheaper that will offer the same experience?

A good all around combo in that price range would be a St. Croix Premier 7' MH Fast paired with a Shimano Citica 200E or a Curado 200E.

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220 is a excellent starting point. And there is cheaper stuff that works just as well. As I said in my edited post. Check out the flea market for some deals on reels and rods. There isn't a dang thing wrong with a used reel or rod that is in good condition. St Croix makes some good rods, from what I've been told. Personally I have never used one so I can't really vouch for them. As far as baitcasting I'd check out the pro qualifier reels from Bass Pro. I have thoroughly enjoyed mine. It's a dang good reel for the money. Or if you can find an e7 curado that is on sale, assuming there are still some to be had, those are awesome reels. Especially for the price they have been selling them at. As for spinning I've been using a Bass Pro Shops Johnny Morris Signature series reel. I think it works very well and really like it. Someone else can probably guide you better as far as spinning reels and rods go. Like I said I very rarely fish with them. As for baitcasting rods. St. Croix, H20 express Ethos (if you have an academy sports near by), ABU Garcia Veritas and Vendetta, the bass Pro Shops Carbonlite. Those are my rod recommendations. Those are all within the 70 to 100 dollar price range. Other people will have some different ones for ya. Just do a little research on the different rods and reels that are out there. Read the customer reviews, search through the forum here for reviews also. And lastly don't be afraid to ask questions about what you have seen or read. Everyone here was new once as well, and they will be more than happy to help you out, and answer your questions.

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A good all around combo in that price range would be a St. Croix Premier 7' MH Fast paired with a Shimano Citica 200E or a Curado 200E.

This is what I use, all the other rods just sit back most of time. I'll sound crazy but I even throw light jigs with it too. Though the premier isn't the most sensitive in the price range it takes every beating I give it, notices all the subtle strikes, and serves me well

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Bass do not know how much you spend on equipment. You can put together a pretty good combo for around $100. It's not a Curado and St. Croix Tournament series, but like I said the bass don't know that. Buy a 6'6" M or MH rod and a 7' M or MH rod and fish the heck out of them and see what you like. Take a look at some of the Quantum reels. I have one that was $80 that was on sale for $50 and I would put it against anything else out there. When I started I wanted the fastest action rod I could find. After fishing for some time I found what actions I liked for each technique. Good luck with what YOU pick.

Mike

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This is what I use, all the other rods just sit back most of time. I'll sound crazy but I even throw light jigs with it too. Though the premier isn't the most sensitive in the price range it takes every beating I give it, notices all the subtle strikes, and serves me well

I love my premier, I don't have a dedicated purpose for it but I throw Lucky Craft RC1.5's, Lucky Craft Sammy 85's, Rage Craws, Lucky Craft Pointers, and the occasionaly swim jig. It's a great rod and I think it is a sensitive stick in that price range.

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Bass do not know how much you spend on equipment. You can put together a pretty good combo for around $100. It's not a Curado and St. Croix Tournament series, but like I said the bass don't know that. Buy a 6'6" M or MH rod and a 7' M or MH rod and fish the heck out of them and see what you like. Take a look at some of the Quantum reels. I have one that was $80 that was on sale for $50 and I would put it against anything else out there. When I started I wanted the fastest action rod I could find. After fishing for some time I found what actions I liked for each technique. Good luck with what YOU pick.

Mike

I don't recall anyone steering him towards overly expensive gear. He said he liked st Croix and people advised him on which ones were decent. I also don't recall anyone telling him to get an overly expensive reel. So ease up there. And yes you are right about being able to get a decent combo for around a hundred bucks. You are correct about quantum having some decent priced reels as well. Also true that bass don't know nor do they care how much said combo cost. However you do get a increased amount of sensitivity in a medium to higher end rod. As well as better components. How about being helpful and giving him some names of more affordable rods.

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ok sounds good. I notice in all these responses that people suggest dominately on getting a rod that has a fast action... is that just a bass thing for making sure every bite can be detected... is there a use for slower action rods in bass fishing that are non-dependent on preference? meaning is there some technique that is mandatory in having something other than a fast action rod?

Bass do not know how much you spend on equipment. You can put together a pretty good combo for around $100. It's not a Curado and St. Croix Tournament series, but like I said the bass don't know that. Buy a 6'6" M or MH rod and a 7' M or MH rod and fish the heck out of them and see what you like. Take a look at some of the Quantum reels. I have one that was $80 that was on sale for $50 and I would put it against anything else out there. When I started I wanted the fastest action rod I could find. After fishing for some time I found what actions I liked for each technique. Good luck with what YOU pick.

Mike

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ok sounds good. I notice in all these responses that people suggest dominately on getting a rod that has a fast action... is that just a bass thing for making sure every bite can be detected... is there a use for slower action rods in bass fishing that are non-dependent on preference? meaning is there some technique that is mandatory in having something other than a fast action rod?

Mandatory, defiantly not. Alot of people like moderate actions for cranks and spinners, but I throw both with fast actions, not optimal, but they work.

I would suggest getting a spinning rod thats a M power and a casting thats a MH or H and you will be able to cover all techniques.

As said before, bass dont care about price tags, my PB came on a rod and reel combo that MIGHT have cost $25 total. Just get something you can feel confident in, if that means getting a $400 rig, and you can afford it, go for it. But I dont see a reason you would HAVE to at all.

NGaHB

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Yes, bass don't care about price tags. BUT, a moderately expensive ($150+) rod is usually way more sensitive than a cheaper rod ($50 rods like Abu Vendetta, BPS house rods etc). What that means is you can detect more bites and set hooks on more bass that you wouldn't have otherwise caught. People generally use a more sensitive rod for stationary techniques, like jigs and worms, and a less sensitive rod for moving baits, like cranks, spinnerbaits etc. For the later, more sensitivity may actually be counterproductive, since by setting the hook too soon, you're taking the bait away from the fish before he can engulf it.

A M/MH power F action is supposedly, and I endorse this theory, a good all-around bass rod. It's neither ideal for jigs, nor for crankbaits, but it will do both jobs. And if you ever decide to get an extra-fast rod for jigs, and a medium/ slow rod for cranks, you can always use you fast action rod for spinnerbaits (moving single hook baits) or texas-rigged plastics etc...

P.S. Went through the entire thread, and I agree with the posts. With $200+, you can get one decent baitcasting combo. I'd buy a general purpose (fast action, power depends on the size of lure) rod with that money, and that should work very well with your topwaters and spinnerbaits, and suffice with the jigging.

**** I've been told spinning rod and reels are the finesse set-ups but then I see KVD using Baitcasters reels and rods for finesse fishing??****

No, no, and no. Finesse fishing does not mean what bait you're throwing, but how you're moving it (presentation). Turns out that a lot of guys like to throw tiny baits on spinning gear, and guess what sort of baits gets dead-sticked, shaken or crawled on the bottom most often? Those little plastics, jigs and shakey-heads. So technically you can finesse fish a 5 oz bait on a 25 lb line, which is precisely what some trophy anglers do out on the west coast; enter the huddleston trout.

But I digress. Yes, little 1/8 oz baits can also be thrown on baitcasters, depending on the rod, reel and line. The rod that excels at throwing 1/8 oz baits will have a hard time casting a 1/2 ouncer though. Otherwise, you can always finesse fish a 1/2 ounce jig or a 3/8 oz shakey-head on a baitcaster. Problem solved. :)

You see, it's a whole system. The bass you're trying to catch maybe sitting in a brush in 5 feet of water, but it's not very active. So you might have to coax him into biting. So maybe you want to use a 3/16 oz shakey-head or a weightless worm and keep that bait in front of his face until he bites (or you get tired of it). So now you wanna look at the rods on your deck and see which rod/ set-up will work best with that bait and the cover. Now let's say there are fish on the outside edge of a grass bed in 25 feet of water. If you decide to use a jig, you'll probably want something heavy, like 1/2 oz or more. So you pick up a different setup. Another scenario, bass are schooling and you want to run a crankbait through them; yet another set-up...

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Just tossing this out there.

Take a look at Cabelas Bargan Cave they have sales on some nice rods/reels Shimano and Dobyns

like this 6'8" Dobyns Champion MH/F $170 match it with a $50-$60 bc MAD mentioned and that might be a good starting point. Have heard many good reports of those Dobyns rods.

http://www.cabelas.com/product/Bargain-Cave/Fishing/Rods%7C/pc/105591780/c/105740280/sc/105742080/Dobyns-Champion-Series-Casting-Rods/1166212.uts?destination=%2Fcatalog%2Fbrowse%2Fbargain-cave-fishing-rods%2F_%2FN-1102769%2FNo-48%2FNs-CATEGORY_SEQ_105742080%3FWTz_l%3DSEO%253Bcat105591780%253Bcat105740280%26WTz_st%3DGuidedNav%26WTz_stype%3DGNP&WTz_l=SEO%3Bcat105591780%3Bcat105740280%3Bcat105742080

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Three setups should cover you for common bass fishing techniques:

7' MH/Fast casting (jigs,t-rigs,spinnerbaits...)1/2oz>

7'Med/Fast spinning for <1/2oz

7' MH/Mod casting for crankbaits and other trebelhook lures

For bottom contact applications (jigs, plastics..) scew your budget toward the rod and get the lightest most sensitive rod your budget can accomodate

For fishing moving lures like deep cranks that have a lot of resistance a strong smooth reel is more important than ultimate sensitivity.

As far as brands go, there are as many opinions as there are anglers. In general, $100-$150 budget for a baitcast reel, $60 for spinning reels and $100-$150 for rods gives you so many choices for quality gear it's almost hard to go wrong. You can certainly fish successfully on a tighter budget too, you just need to shop carefully and ask for reviews before you plunk down your cash.

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I’ve learned years ago never to name my rods that way if I decide to throw a jig on my worm rod or a rat-l-trap on my spinner bait rod it does not get confused.

I teach my students to buy quality reels first since it will last a lifetime and a moderately price rod second, you can gain additional sensitivity with either braided or fluorocarbon line. Learn how to develop your sense of feel by night fishing!

My suggestion would be to buy 2 or 3 identical reels and then 2 or 3 rods from the same manufacturer. I find no need for a 7.0 or 5.0 gear ratio, I teach to simply control retrieval speed by either one more turn of the handle or one less turn.

For a beginner you would be hard pressed to find a better rod than Falcon, American Rodsmith, or Castaway.

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It's funny you mention dobyn's... the guy works just about a mile from my house!!

Just tossing this out there.

Take a look at Cabelas Bargan Cave they have sales on some nice rods/reels Shimano and Dobyns

like this 6'8" Dobyns Champion MH/F $170 match it with a $50-$60 bc MAD mentioned and that might be a good starting point. Have heard many good reports of those Dobyns rods.

http://www.cabelas.c...%3Bcat105742080

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ok i think you guys answered my rod questions now a little about reels... how do you match a reel to a rod? obviously I know the difference between a casting rod and a spinning rod and reels that go on them but say i have a casting rod, and I do, that is 7'0 medium/fast 10-17lb test recommended what kind of baitcasting reel should be matched to it... are there specs for reels that are supposed to go hand in hand with your rod?

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There are no reel specs that match any particular rod. About the only thing relevent there would be weight and profile. These traits help you balance the setup. Basically you just want it to feel good in your hands. There are many whole threads about "balancing" a rod or combo so I won't get into that here.

Reels have different line capacity and gear ratios that can be used to fine tune presentations.

Right out the gate you can keep it simple. 6.3:1 is a standard gear ratio for all around use. Again, a search here will provide hours worth of reading about ratios and IPT (inches of line retrieved per turn of the handle). Invest in a quality reel and take care of it and it will last a life time. Shimano, ABU, Daiwa, Quantum and BPS all have quality reels in the $100-$150 +/- dollar range. Post for feedback on any model you're interested in and I'm sure you'll get lots of feedback.

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There are no reel specs that match any particular rod. About the only thing relevent there would be weight and profile. These traits help you balance the setup. Basically you just want it to feel good in your hands. There are many whole threads about "balancing" a rod or combo so I won't get into that here.

Reels have different line capacity and gear ratios that can be used to fine tune presentations.

Right out the gate you can keep it simple. 6.3:1 is a standard gear ratio for all around use. Again, a search here will provide hours worth of reading about ratios and IPT (inches of line retrieved per turn of the handle). Invest in a quality reel and take care of it and it will last a life time. Shimano, ABU, Daiwa, Quantum and BPS all have quality reels in the $100-$150 +/- dollar range. Post for feedback on any model you're interested in and I'm sure you'll get lots of feedback.

Exactly ;)

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You can make it as simple or as complicated as you want, if, in my case, the rod I fish the most of the time in most ocassions is a 6' MH then simply put, I really only need one rod, the rod I will use most of the time in most ocassions. But let´s make it a little bit more complicated, 3 rods, I M/fast spinning, 1 MH/fast casting & 1 H/fast casting, that´s pretty much all you need. You don´t need a big bunch of gear to fish for bass ( not quite what The BaitMonkey says and wants ).

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Did anyone know the two rods from st. croix (triumph and premier) are the exact same rod just different name. The difference is one is made in U.S. and the other is made in mexico thats it. they are the exact same blank and hardware. Not suprising the one from the U.S. is more expensive by like $50. Man when is this country gonna stop... You know what I mean!!!

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Did anyone know the two rods from st. croix (triumph and premier) are the exact same rod just different name. The difference is one is made in U.S. and the other is made in mexico thats it. they are the exact same blank and hardware. Not suprising the one from the U.S. is more expensive by like $50. Man when is this country gonna stop... You know what I mean!!!

I dont know what you mean, but I dont think your political musings have anything to do with fishing rod selection.

NGaHB

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Here are some good tips on rod:

A lot of people get mistaken by power for action. Action is what you want for different type of fishing style. Power is were you want to fish it at. Length is how far or accurate you want your lure to land.

Action: There are a couple of action type. Extra Fast, Fast, Moderate Fast, Moderate, Moderate Slow, and Slow. If you're fishing for Bass you don't need anything below Moderate.

Here is what I recommend on action:

1) Use a Fast action rod for Finest, Frog, or anything that is weedless rigged "Somewhat like Texas rig." Why? You need the stiffness of the rod to set the hook so it can pierce the bass mouth. If your rod isn't stiff, it will not have enough Action strength to pierce.

2) Use a Moderate Fast action for non-weedless swimbait without treble hook and Spinnerbait. Why? This rod is a bit less stiffer then a fast action rod and it will not tear out when you set the hook. Spinner bait and non-weedless swimbait have expose hook. This exposure will set the hook better then a weedless or Texas rig without too much action strength for tearing.

3) Use a Moderate action for Cranking. Why? All crankbait have treble hook. You don't hardly need to set the hook because there is no way a bass will not be set if it gulps it. Why the moderate action? The bend of a moderate action rod keeps the line tight so it doesn't give much play for the treble hook to be release when the bass tries to shake it off.

Here comes power comes into play:

As for action, power also has a couple too. Ultra-Light, Light, Medium-Light, Medium, Medium-Heavy, Heavy, and Ultra-Heavy. For Bass fishing we're only going to use Medium to Heavy.

Here is what I recommend on power:

Someone stated that use a MH or Medium Heavy if you are weary. Yes, that is true, but sometimes if your casting for 3-4hour you would get tired.

1) Use a Medium rod if you're going to cast a lot such as crankbait, spinnerbait, swimbait, and spoon. Why Medium and not anything lighter? I wouldn't go lighter unless you're willing to risk losing your rod, lure, and fish if you catch anything big by mistake. You just never know when you catch a 6 to 9lb and wish you could have bought a heavier rod. Usually a medium would be enough power to handle anything what i'm saying when casting the mention lure above unless you are casting huge lure's then you'll switch to a more heavier rod. Then again, when you cast huge lures you would hardly reel it fast in except walking it back or slow retrieving it thus making you cast a lot less.

2) Use a Medium Heavy rod if you are weary. Also use it if you tend to cast bigger and heavier lures. This rod power is probably the best for jigging. Sometimes you need the extra power if you jigged in a heavier cover to bring out the fish.

3) Use a Heavy rod if you are pitching jig/worms into thick heavy cover. Heavy rod are excellent for frog fishing too. A heavy rod is were you need the power to pull out the bass from thick grass, moss, or whatever it's bind too. It's great to set the hook on a weedless lure as the bass pulls it into the cover so you don't snap the rod.

I've talked about Action and Power, but there is also length. There isn't much to length on rod except what I mention before. A longer rod gives more distance but lesser accuracy. A shorter rod gives more accuracy but lesser distance when casting. Longer rod are use more for pitching too, where as shorter rod are use more for casting. Sometimes length plays preference to a person and his like. Most people often buy 6'6" to 7'2" for casting and 7'2" to 7'11" for pitching. I've seen people use heavy rod that are 7'11" just to cast huge lures too. These are known for heavyweight bass fishing.

And last and not all, we have rod balance. If you're new and don't know what it is, it a weight that you put at the end of your rod to balance you're rod. Hardly everyone uses it. I would only recommend you to use it if you are putting a heavy lure on your rod and you notice the balance isn't correct anymore on your rod. What I mean by this is when your rod tip feels heavy and you end up trying to balance your rod with your wrist. In time it will cause your wrist to sore if you cast a lot. Use a weight balance and your wrist won't be so strain.

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