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bass fishing resource tackle tips

bass fishing resource tackle tips


Choosing an affordable rod and reel combo

By Nic DiGravio

affordable rod-reel combo

When working the fishing and sportsman shows I see many anglers in deep thought trying to choose the right combo for the right price!  I try to make it simple for them by coming right to the point by asking, “What is your budget”?  Nine times out of ten they reply with honesty and enthusiasm.  I will then ask them what type of fish they’re after and what type of baits they use and what techniques they want this combo to perform.   Then I will try to match them up with what they can afford. 

Choosing a rod and reel combo is made much easier when funds are no object.  Many of us Bass anglers would like more than one or two combos to work with.  So if funds are an issue then here is something we can think about when purchasing that combo.

If we really think about it a reel used for dunking or bottom bouncing, for example, doesn’t necessarily have to be of top quality to suffice.  In these combos the rod shines.  All the reel has to have is a good drag system because the reel is not really used for its free spooling capabilities.  You set the line at the desired depth and that’s basically it.  Now what we do have to concentrate on is the rod.  A good quality long light rod with good backbone is what we need. Therefore, purchasing a lower end reel and putting the extra dollars towards a higher end rod makes sense.

Generally in Bass fishing our rods have it tough, more so with Largemouth Bass.  It’s not really the size of the fish we are after it’s where it dwells, which in our case is heavy cover for the most part.  We rely on our rods to pull the Bass out of such structure so in actual fact the rod should not be sacrificed in my opinion.  There are plenty of well made rods out there for Bass fishing that are affordable and give years of service.  I have rods that are well into their twentieth year and are still used today.  These rods were no more than 120 dollars back then and yet they are still around.  Nowadays, that same rod is made lighter, stronger and just as easy on the wallet, even with new technology. Many even come with lifetime warranties.  Basically, if one has the funds to purchase high-end rods then by all means do so because many of them are worth every penny!

But with affordability comes the pain-staking task of choosing which combo to get with the means that we have.  A fast bait rod, which is ideally used for your spinner baits, crank baits etc., rely on a fast tip for distance so the elasticity is its strong point.  Here is where the reel should get priority because you want good cast ability, a good drag for solid hook sets and smooth handling capabilities so that a thousand casts feel like fifty.  Not to mention the fact that we want that bass’ bottom lip between our thumb and forefinger!  Quality in a reel in this case should not be overlooked and therefore, if we have too, take funds saved on the rod and put it towards the reel. 

Now instead of spending all our money on one high end combo why not have two or three specialty combos instead.  After all, why limit ourselves to fishing with one combo alone in our Bass fishing!  Blessed with funds or not it is something to consider.  A days fishing brings us anglers many different scenarios that can be fished with proper rigs.  Why not be ready for them by simply switching rod and reel combos to accommodate each and every one.  It’s time well saved for fishing rather than tying! 

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