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Fishing poles

Post in 'The Inglenook' started by DevilsBrew, Dec 15, 2013.

  1. DevilsBrew

    DevilsBrew Minister of Fire

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    I am considering picking up fishing again after a 20 year absence. I would try to catch trout, bass, and pan fish. What brand/type of rod would you recommend?

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  2. Ehouse

    Ehouse Minister of Fire

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    Because all those species are catchable with fly, bait or lure, I like a good quality spin/fly pack rod.
  3. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    I'm picking it up again, too. You're going to want a good spinning outfit. I love ultralight gear. My favorite rod is a St Croix 5-1/2' ultralight and a 4-pound reel. I've caught a lot of trout and bass up to about 15" on ultralight gear and it's the most fun, and less fatiguing. But probably the most common rod/reel combo you see for all-around fishing is a 6' light with a 6-pound reel (meaning the optimum line used with it is 6 pound line). I've got a couple of those too. I never need anything heavier than that for what I do in fresh water.

    Quality depends on how much you want to spend, no surprise. But definitely go for a decent100% graphite rod with a "fast" action, meaning pretty stiff. I hate those whippy, noodly rods you see cheap with cheap reels. Fast action is more sensitive and lets you feel the strike and the fight better and is just more fun. Generally, for rods and reels, just stay away from the bottom end mass market stuff and you'll be happier. You don't have to pay a fortune, though. (Unless you have a fortune, of course, then go for it!)

    For reels, look for an aluminum body that has maybe 7 or more ball bearings for smoothness and stability, and has an anti-reverse handle. Be careful of the ball bearing numbers game, though, more important is the quality of the bearings. Graphite is not better in this case. Probably the $75 category is a good one unless you want to spend more of course. Like the rods, just avoid the cheapest ones. The better ones will have a better drag system, too. I need a new reel myself, and I think I'll get a Pflueger President. I don't like the Shimano I have, but it was not an expensive one.

    Have fun.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2013
  4. DevilsBrew

    DevilsBrew Minister of Fire

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    Thanks. I have also been given the suggestion of a mid light.
  5. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    What kind of waters will you be fishing? Lake or stream? From a boat, trolling or casting from shore? What size fish do you expect to catch?

    Assuming fresh water lake fishing for bass and larger trout, then probably a 6-1/2 or even 7' medium, fast action graphite would be a good all around choice. A good reel would be a Penn Fierce or Pflueger President or similar in a size suitable for what you're catching. Figure out what size fish you'll be likely to catch and go from there. You don't want to get something larger than you need, though, and you'd be surprised at what you can do with smaller gear. Casting from shore can get tiring with large gear, too. Try to get a good balance. If the reel is too heavy for the rod, it's a lot more tiring.

    I'd try to avoid the rod/reel combo's. The tend to sacrifice too much quality for a price point.

    Of course, some people have a setup for every day of the week and every species, but you can do fine with one or two.
  6. DevilsBrew

    DevilsBrew Minister of Fire

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    Lake and rivers. Smaller fish. Trout, bass, pan fish.
  7. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    Small fish, small gear.;) My favorite too. A 15" trout is a big fish to me. Any trout that fits into a 10" frying pan is perfect. Mmm. I like fly fishing in small streams best, but whatever it takes to catch a trout is fine. Outside of flyfishing, my ultralight stuff is my go-to, but I don't do a lot of bass fishing. A 6' light or medium would be more suitable for bass, at least the smaller species just because they can be scrappier and heavier. Just about any fishing, though, will be best on a fast action all-graphite rod. Bass requires a reel with a decent drag, so don't scrimp on the reel. I guess if could only have one rod/reel, it would be a 6' light and a reel with 6 pound line, but there's a lot to be said for two or more outfits.

    I've been ocean fishing for salmon and river fishing for big sturgeon on the Columbia, but stream fishing is where it's at for me. Or a lake. Whatever. ;)
  8. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    50 years doing fine in fresh water with the cheapo rod and real sets at the discount store. All it needs to do is get the hook and bobber away from the bank and not break in two when the fish hits it. Now if they started reporting sharks in our lakes...

    Carry on. Fishing gear is a whole nother snob thing. People fed themselves with tree branches or cane poles for eons.
    Ehouse likes this.
  9. Ehouse

    Ehouse Minister of Fire

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    I love small stream fishing even those little brooks that dry up in the summer before they reach the main creek. My gran'pa taught me how to dap with a fly rod, a couple feet of line an' a bit of a garden worm or a grasshopper. It's amazing how the plump natives miraculously appear when the stream's in freshet.
  10. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    That will happen when Sharknado 2 occurs . . .
  11. rwhite

    rwhite Minister of Fire

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    For lake fishing a Zebco 33 and Mitchell 300 have never failed me. I can't tell whether a reel has 3 ball bearings or 5. As for rods I just buy whatever looks decent. I think I have mostly Rhino rods though.

    For fly fishing I do just fine with Pflueger.

    I can be as expensive as you want it to be. Stay away from the tinker bell and snoopy rods for the children. Get them the 33 and it will last them for a long while.
  12. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Ugly Sitcks & Rhino Rods used to be my staples. But always fished a river with a strong current, and big catties, bass and stripers.
    Adios Pantalones likes this.
  13. JayD

    JayD Member

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  14. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    Had the same UglyStik since early high school- it saw a LOT of use.

    I only fish for what I will eat any more- mostly surf casting (not with an Ugly Stik)
    Ehouse likes this.
  15. bassJAM

    bassJAM Feeling the Heat

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    Slightly older thread, but fishing is my passion! I started out with a zebco 33 combo. If you get the "classic" it'll last awhile longer and won't have so many tangles. Respool it with decent line too like Trilene or Stren, it'll save a lot of headaches!

    I switched to spinning reels long ago, and they are far and above better if you spend a little money. Pro Qualifer combos at Bass Pro for around $75 are decent and will keep you happy for awhile. I prefer Shimano reels, I still have (and use) a $12 one I bought 15 years ago but I've become snobby and my go-to combo is a Sahara 1000 with either a 6.5' Carrot Stick for open streams, or a 5.5' St. Croix for tight water. Set up either way I'm carrying $200 in my hand, but I cast that thing for almost 8 hours a week during the summer so it's money well spent. For the money, I think Shimano reels stay smooth and hold up the best, but more expensive ($75 and up) Quantum reels are good too, and the mid priced ($30) Shakespeare stuff is decent. I've heard really good things about Okuma reels, but I've yet to try them. Personally I think rods are less critical to a beginner, anything you spend $30-40 on should get you started. I've always like Berkely rods for the money, and still use a Berkely Lightening Rod I bought for $30 bucks when I was in high school.

    Regardless of brand, I think one of the most overlooked and important pieces of tackle is the line. Start at Trilene XL or Stren Original and go up from there. I prefer Fireline but it has it's drawbacks. But line is the one connection between you and the fish, and it is the most likely to fail during any given cast/fight/snag, so it's worth it to me to spend a little more to find something with low memory, low stretch, and that resists nicks and cuts.
  16. Warm_in_NH

    Warm_in_NH Feeling the Heat

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    My gf and j often fish for trout from out kayaks. Me with my 100s of dollars worth of rod and reel her with her 20 dollar Walmart rod and reel special (we did put good line on it though) . She usually out fishes me 2 to 1. Fish don't care who spent what.
    Just get out there and enjoy it.
  17. bassJAM

    bassJAM Feeling the Heat

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    It's sometimes so easy to get caught up in new gear, that you do tend to forget it doesn't always catch more fish. I probably did catch just as many fish with a Walmart special and a yellow jighead and twist-tail grub and carrying extra lures in an old Rapala package in my pocket back when I was in my teens! Better gear doesn't always bring in more fish, it just makes a day on the water a tad more enjoyable, and your wallet significantly lighter!

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