QUESTION: Hi I have a question about something I am a budget angler and can't afford a new pole and reel for every bait that I'm their I already have a setup for crankbaits but want another all purpose rod sort of speak that I can throw basically any single hook lure like Texas rig frogs jigs plastics etc what's a good rod for this I was thinking 7"3 mhvy fast

ANSWER: Marc, Well It is good to get a question that really relates to fishing.  I get so many questions that ask something like, I have this old pole and reel that grandpa used to use it is  a xxx brand with the number 77777 on it.  Can you tell me how old it is and what it is worth.  I do not know beans about old rods or reels.  Now your question is a valid fishing question that I
think I can help you with.  

First let me say that it is not necessary for the non pro angler to have a rod for every lure.
A few years ago I always fished with only two rods and reels.  Then I went to having at least
six and sometimes more. In the later years I have gotten back down to two.  One is a medium
action six foot rod with an Abu Garcia 5500 reel and 17lb mono line. This I use for everything
from medium crankbaits, Spinnerbaits and most anything else including my bigger baits that I
use when I have been in Wisconsin on a lake with Muskies in it. I have caught bass up to nine
pounds and muskies up to 37inches along with pike and even some walleyes.  My second rod and
reel is a 7foot Spinning rod and open face spinning reel filled with 8lb mono. I have tried the
braids but have gone back to Trilene XL and use this for many smaller baits like small plastic
worms or critters and jigs along with some of the really light lures like Rapala balsa lures in
the smaller sizes.  I can see why a pro fisherman trying to make a living fishing needs the best of everything including 30 or 40 rods and reels especially for specific lures and other situations.  About the only reason I would need more than two outfits would be if I wanted a
longer or shorter rod. I used to fish the Apalachicola River for many years and I needed a
longer rod for more open water and a short one for tossing lures in under the overhanging
brush along the river bank.  When I got to the point where I had fifteen rods and reels they
became a problem. I do not have a huge rod storage place like most pros have and they would
invariably get tangled no matter how I might try to prevent this.  I found that I seldom used more than two or maybe three outfits for all my fishing. If I lived in an area where there
were trout I would have a fly outfit for that use.  So as far as you go I would say spend
your limited money on a good reel and a rod that feels good.  When I used to go to buy a new
casting rod I would take my $65 reel and a small practice casting plug to the store with me.
I would pick a rod that I liked but would never buy until I had tried it out by putting my
reel on it and getting the feel of the rod loaded up with the practice plug. If it did not
feel exactly right I would look for a different rod.  I did not find this as important when
buying a spinning rod. Here again a good reel is important although not so much as with a
casting reel.  I have been using one of my Abu Garcia 55C reels for nearly 30 years and it
still casts well.  I take it apart and clean it two or three times during a year of fishing.
Of course up until 2011 I fished about 300 days a year.  Also I found that it is foolish to
put a relatively expensive line to fill a reel.  I start by buying the cheap line and fill
the spool about half way.  After using this for several weeks I would remove that line and
if it hasn't been broken off turn it around and put the end that had been the used end on
first. If necessary use the line remaining on the line spool that you bought. 75to 100 yards
is plenty for most fresh water fish This will save money and give you the best use of your line.  This applies to most fresh water fish that do not make very long runs.  When buying a rod make sure you check the guides.  Cheap guides will cost you weakened line and perhaps a fish of a lifetime. Cheap rods and cheap guides are not only worthless they cost much more than they are worth.

I hope this has been of some help.  I know if I tried to keep up with KVD I would soon be
broker than I am as it is.

Thanks for asking a fishing question. I get tired of telling people that I am ignorant about
antique fishing tackle.

Jack L. Gaither
Lake Seminole, Georgia

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I appreciate taking the time to right me back jack this is what I decided
St Croix mono bass 6'10 moderate action lews tourney pro speed spool
And for all other lures like Texas rig,jiggin,topwater,all plastic lures well pretty much anything thats not crankbai
Dobyns 7'3 fast action

Could I throw spinner baits on my st Croix mojo bass 6'10 moderate
And also I'm deep in thought which reel I should buy I'm in the 300 budget

Just to recap jack ! that Dobyns rod good for the things listed
2.could I throw buzzbaits and spinnerbaits on my st.Croix
3.what's a great reel for 300or under

Marc,  The only thing that I can see about your Bobyns rod might be if it is too stiff. To throw
buzz baits and spinnerbaits  you need a somewhat more springy tip to accept the lighter lures.
My basic response is if it casts what I want to cast and puts it where my own skill allows then
the rod is good for that use. Unless you will be fishing for giant fish like 50 pounds or more
the only thing again is stiffness.  I haven't caught any that big but I have caught 38 inch Muskie on one of my bass rods and my nephew caught a 44inch Muskie on an ultra light outfit so
It is the fisherman who breaks rods or loses fish not the rod.

As to a reel I have used nothing but Abu Garcia 5500c reels for 50 years and find they are very
good casters and hold up well.  There are many good reels on the market for around $60 to $100
U.S.  I do not know how that relates to your 300.  


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Jack Gaither


PLEASE, PLEASE, READ THE FOLLOWING BEFORE ASKING YOUR QUESTION. THANK YOU. PLEASE, I HAVE BEEN GETTING MANY QUESTIONS ABOUT ANTIQUE RODS, REELS ETC. I hate to refuse questions but I really can not be of help in this. If you have an old rod, reel, lure etc. try contacting the maker if still existing or try antique fishing tackle on the web. I am genuinely sorry that I CAN NOT ANSWER SUCH QUESTIONS. I have been bass, crappie, brim and catfishing for over 70 years. Most of my recent experience has been on the Apalachicola R. in Fl. panhandle, and Lake Seminole. I can answer many questions on places to go and some ideas on tactics especially for largemouth bass in these waters. I can`t tell you what fish will bite but can give some lures and methods that have worked well for me over the last 33 years in this area. I am also well versed on boating safety and small boat handling.


I am not a guide nor a writer or publisher of any magazine on fishing. All of my ideas would come from my experiences and those of fishing partners in local bass clubs in Panama City, Florida or from reading many books and magazine articles over the years.

Basmasters. Past member (25 years) and instructor in boating and navigation classes in the United States Power Squadrons.

ST. Andrew Bay Power Squadron local publication "Stuffing Box"

United States Power Squadrons courses in Piloting and small boat handling, celestial navigation, trouble shooting on outboard engines and other non eletronic equipment in boats.

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