Doing research for a new warm water fishing rig?

Steven M asked:

I’ve been all over Bass Pro and Cabala’s website researching rod and reel combo’s. To much information. Here is how I fish, tell me what your choice would be.
1. I catch and release 99% of the time.
2. I fish maybe three times a week during the warm weather months.
3. 95% small lakes. No boat used.
4. All varieties of panfish from 1″ Green Perch to 8″ Bluegill and12″ Crappie.
5. Bass, large mouth, small mouth, and rock. with 80% being under 15″.
6. Channel and Bullhead catfish from 1 to 6 pound range.
7. I use live bait 70% of the time. Night Crawlers, Wax worms, Crickets, and any other bug their biting on. Artificial stuff used are spinners and worms.
8. I fish for the fight, I need action, action, and more action. I don’t want to just set the hook and reel the fish in without a fight.
9. I’m thinking ultralight. With so many choices what’s the good stuff and what’s junk? If you were fishing like this what would you use?
Chad you and Fisher_King hit the nail on the head. Fisher_King I ordered the UL combo you suggested for BP today. I’m going with the 6lb test version. Ought to handle most fish I catch. Chad I think I’ll try your setup also. My neighbor has a boat that we lake fish with for Bass. Thanks again, there is so much stuff to sort through it hard to tell the good stuff from the junk.

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4 Responses to “Doing research for a new warm water fishing rig?”

  1. Chadd says:

    Create a video blog…instantly.

    I respectfully disagree with Artie. Or, I guess I agree with Artie in a way — if you were a hardcore tournament angler I think you really would need about 4 rods to cover all the types of fishing you describe. But I think if you got the right spinning rod and a decent reel, you could cover all those bases. My understanding is that you are a serious recreational angler and that you’re not catching tons of big fish. You’re an avid angler and you need something to fish 50 or 60 times a year, mostly in summer, to catch a variety of warmwater fish. That’s not complicated.

    I’d start with a light or medium rod, not an ultralight. I know you want to fight the fish, but you’re fishing from the bank and an ultralight pole can’t cast very far (I like Artie’s comment about not spooking the fish!). Also, if you hook into a 10-pound bass or a big catfish, that ultralight will be a goner. So, I like Ugly Stik. I don’t know what the consensus is, but I think the middle-shelf Ugly Stiks are pretty nice. Cork handle, nice rod seat, and very tough:

    Now, my favorite reel of the past 10 years or so is the Abu Garcia Cardinal, which is another tough piece of equipment that’s not too fancy or expensive. I haven’t really made the jump to baitcasting reels, so if you’re “one of those” then you’ll have to rejigger my whole proposal, but I’d get one of these to go with your Ugly Stik:

    The Cardinal reel will come with the extra spool. I’d put 6-pound mono on one of them and 8-pound on the other. If that sounds too heavy, I’d go with 4-pound and 6-pound.

    This is what I’d buy, and in fact it’s very close to what I bought about 5 years ago when I needed a lightweight go-to spinning outfit. I first bought some other brand of graphite rod (St. Croix?), but about a month into the summer the tip broke off when someone set a very small tacklebox on it. I replaced it with a cork-handle Ugly Stik, and it seems indestructible. My son stepped on it once in the boat — no harm done. It got partway slammed it in a truck door — no harm done. It’s been hung up in brush and treebranches while hiking — no harm done. I’ve seen in bend over almost in half at least a couple times — you get the idea.

    Fishing rod choice is very personal, there is a LOT of brand loyalty and advocacy, and I will confess that I do mostly fly fishing. I’m not a bass expert but I’ve been spin fishing since I was old enough to walk, and I know that you can easily overthink your choice of spinning gear. Unless you’re a bona-fide pro, I think simple and inexpensive is best.

    EDIT: Guys, I think there are at least two solid arguments against recommending two or more different outfits. The first one is the asker himself indicates he wants A fishing outfit — it doesn’t sound like he’s in the market for more than one. The second argument is that I would bet he’s not always selectively fishing for different fish — he catches small bass while targeting bluegills, catches catfish when targeting bass, and so on. This is pretty typical for a recreational, live-bait fishing style, and that calls for economical, versatile, and durable equipment.

  2. says:

    Artie is wrong , i use a spincasting setup for every thing except fly fishing.
    try a med action to med hvy action Ulystick(guaranteed for life), and a shimano FX 200-300 or XT 2000-3000 reel with 8-12 lb test berkly XT solar or Shakspeer Cjun red line
    shimano reels are tough as they come and priced to suit the wallet

  3. m g says:

    Website content

    I’m not personally a fan of the ugly stick, in fact I look for the exact opposite as I think it’s heavy construction and noodley action make it feel like waving a floppy broom handle. Though there is little doubt they are durable and effective. A 6’6″ light weight, medium-fast action spinning rod and 6 lb test is all you need to land the biggest fish you mentioned, and it will be very sensitive. Shimano reels rock. A 2500 size is probably going to balance perfectly, but a 1500 will make your combo feel super light. I use light tackle for everything until I get into situations where I need to cast big plugs from a boat for northerns, then and only then I move up and for years I didn’t even do that – you can land pretty big fish on light tackle if it’s even just decent quality gear and you fight the fish with the butt not the tip.

  4. Fisher_King says:

    ultralight fishing

    Chad has some great info and (as usual) an excellent writing style. However, I have to disagree with a couple points he makes.

    This is what you said Steven,” I fish for the fight, I need action action and more action. I don’t want to just set the hook and reel the fish in without a fight.”

    On these 2 sentence’s I make my recommendation.

    Understand, a rod that will allow you to “fight” an 8″ Bluegill is going to be too light for a 6LB Catfish, (period). Your only recourse is to purchase a Medium/Medium light rod and accept the fact that there is no “perfect action” that will allow you to fight that many types of fish well.

    In other words, if you purchase a Medium action rod the “fight” against a Bluegill/Crappie will be minimal, whereas, the fight against the Bass and Cats will be “more than fun”.

    If your OK with that then purchase a medium/medium light rod.

    However, if you don’t want to “just set the hook and reel the fish in without a fight” then you will HAVE to purchase 2 different outfit’s- a UL/ Medium Light and a Medium/ Medium Heavy.

    If I were you I’d purchase 2 outfit’s- a “cheapy” UL/ML combo for Bluegill/Crappie and a Medium Action combo for Cats & Bass. Not to mention- having a lighter combo will help you cast smaller baits, spinners and lures MUCH EASIER.

    Here are 2 distinctive outfit’s that would work well. Please read the feedback on both:

    UL/ML combo

    1. BPS Micro-lite Float n Fly- This is a STEAL at the clearance price! At $34.77, you won’t find a better buy. The 8′ size would work best as a shore rod; adding distance to your casts-

    2. Pflueger Trion GX-7- Read the reviews! 76 people give this a 4.6 out of 5. Personally, I love the President Series but this may be over your budget-

    The above outfit would be a premiere UL/ML Crappie/Bluegill outfit. It’s roughly $75- cheap for what your getting!

    Medium Bass/Catfish outfit

    1. Berkley Lightning Rod- Get the 7′ medium action. A longer rod gives you more “leverage” during the fight AND adds to casting distance-

    2. Pflueger President- The President is the best “bang for your buck” reel you can purchase in its class, (and even $20 above it’s price class!) 177 people give this a 4.5 out of 5 –

    This outfit would be an excellent outfit for small to medium-sized Bass & Cats. At $100 this is an inexpensive outfit- for what you get!

    Altogether, your spending roughly $170 for 2 VERY nice outfit’s that would allow you a “great fight” for all the species you’ve mentioned. This would be your easiest route to “pure fishing fun”!

    Hope this helps ya? Good luck in your decision.

    PS- Ugly Stik rods are good rods. They are almost indestructable. However, they are heavy and don’t transmit strikes well. If “durability” is more important to you than transmitting a strike, then this would be a great rod for you.

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