Where (and what) to Shop for Starter Fishing Reel and Rod?

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Ugly stick and mag darters. Like any hobby, you can dump thousands into bullshit to catch 2% more fish. When pulling in 15lb stripers no longer does it, it’ll be $20k tuna rigs in the canyons burning a gallon a minute by quad 450’s.
 

LuvDog

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I got started wanting to get good at bass fishing... then decided to teach my son to fish. I honestly have more fun now with an ugly stick and 1/4 ounce spinner lures catching sunfish. They're always biting

When I was bigger in to it... I dumped a lot of money into chasing large mouth too. Now I have more fun and less frustration catching sunfish with my son too
 

boiler_eng

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Starter setup, Shakespeare ugly stick with a not total bottom of barrel spinning reel. 60-100 bux should do the trick, rip off t he shitty mono line and buy a decent line and have them despoil it, I would go 8#....I like running 6#. Lighter test line casts better, and intro you want less than 10# so it can break when needed.

I ended up getting an Ugly Stick combo, spooled it up with 6# line. So far I am liking it.

I figured at some point I will switch out reels but figured I would start with the one that came with it and have not had any problems.

I got started wanting to get good at bass fishing... then decided to teach my son to fish. I honestly have more fun now with an ugly stick and 1/4 ounce spinner lures catching sunfish. They're always biting

At the moment I would just like to catch something, so sunfish are likely to be my target demographic. Have been able to get out to some local places but have not seen many people getting bites yet so not getting discouraged that I have not gotten any nibbles yet.
 

xjma99

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I ended up getting an Ugly Stick combo, spooled it up with 6# line. So far I am liking it.

I figured at some point I will switch out reels but figured I would start with the one that came with it and have not had any problems.



At the moment I would just like to catch something, so sunfish are likely to be my target demographic. Have been able to get out to some local places but have not seen many people getting bites yet so not getting discouraged that I have not gotten any nibbles yet.
That’ll be a good setup. Now you have to go out and buy every lure they make and test em all out!! Don’t worry, you’ll lose most of them the day you take them out of the package!

I haven’t been out yet, water is still a little cold for warm water species but they should come into shore soon!

FYI, you’ll be shopping for a bass boat or something to get out on the water by summer time.
 
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Bigfudge16

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I ended up getting an Ugly Stick combo, spooled it up with 6# line. So far I am liking it.

I figured at some point I will switch out reels but figured I would start with the one that came with it and have not had any problems.



At the moment I would just like to catch something, so sunfish are likely to be my target demographic. Have been able to get out to some local places but have not seen many people getting bites yet so not getting discouraged that I have not gotten any nibbles yet.
Gotta be patient, with the water still being very cold the fish are moving slowly.

What type of tackle are you using? I've had very good luck with Mepps Aglia spinner lures, smaller ones like a #1 are great for panfish

1648575491865.png
 

xjma99

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Everyone needs an F-9 golden shad rapala! I’m also a big fan of hula popper/rebel poppr for top water action (best in mid spring time). You’ll want to texas and Carolina rig rubber worms, and how to wacky rig a Gary Yamamoto worm!

I almost always set the kids up with live worms and bobbers, my 10 yo can now pretty much safely cast and retrieve on her own. 7 yo ain’t there yet!
 

RoterTeufel

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I had an 7' Ugly Stick with 12# test on it several years back. I used it for catching bait fish (saltwater) & provided hours of enjoyment!

I also still have a 12' surf casting rod (can't remember brand) that I'd bring with me as well both to the beach and docks.

I never "liked" spinning reels, but believe that they are the best choice to go for an entry level rig.

I have a boat reel, but no boat rod. My FIL has all the gear I'll ever need for that, AND the boat 😁.

Wound up giving my Ugly Stick to my BIL, so he could fish freshwater. My wife did land a schoolie stripped bass with that rig, which was the fight of her life! Drag was not set for such a big fish and the reel was screaming!🤣

Think I got both at Walmart or Natick Outdoors Store. Both under $100 (less than 15 years ago)
 

dixidawg

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Everyone needs an F-9 golden shad rapala! I’m also a big fan of hula popper/rebel poppr for top water action (best in mid spring time). You’ll want to texas and Carolina rig rubber worms, and how to wacky rig a Gary Yamamoto worm!

I almost always set the kids up with live worms and bobbers, my 10 yo can now pretty much safely cast and retrieve on her own. 7 yo ain’t there yet!
Worms and bobbers will outcatch any other bait when it comes to panfish….
 
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For lures keep it simple. There are lures to catch fish and lures to catch fishermen.
A couple of the standbys are: the gold pheobe, and The Rapala jointed Fire Tiger. both proven for cold water and warm water fish. Of course nothing beats worms and a bobber.
 

boiler_eng

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Gotta be patient, with the water still being very cold the fish are moving slowly.

What type of tackle are you using? I've had very good luck with Mepps Aglia spinner lures, smaller ones like a #1 are great for panfish

View attachment 596547


Bought a few different lures but mostly just using baited hook. Lost a few hooks this weekend while trying out new spots around the local reservoir. Amazingly was able to get my bobber back all but once, where the hook let go and the bobber got slammed into a tree behind me.

For lures keep it simple. There are lures to catch fish and lures to catch fishermen.
A couple of the standbys are: the gold pheobe, and The Rapala jointed Fire Tiger. both proven for cold water and warm water fish. Of course nothing beats worms and a bobber.

Was moving some old wood that was sitting on the lawn for the past year. Found a whole pile of worms under each, so I tabled finishing the task untill the next time I am going out. Had at least 4 worms under every piece!
 

tuna

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For lures keep it simple. There are lures to catch fish and lures to catch fishermen.
A couple of the standbys are: the gold pheobe, and The Rapala jointed Fire Tiger. both proven for cold water and warm water fish. Of course nothing beats worms and a bobber.

Thomas' Bouyant, Rooster Tail, Mepps spinner and Colorado Spoon are my go to trout lures. Lately I've been using a water bubble and something from my flybox as well.

Worms for perch / sunfish. Don't chase bass anymore, I think the river is too cold for them.

My rivers still have a lot of ice in them and on the banks, plus they're screaming with the runoff right now and higher than Snoop Dog on Willy Nelson's bus. I can't wait to get out, but it'll be another couple weeks.
 

boiler_eng

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Figured I would put a small update in, finally was able to catch some fish.

After a number of times out fishing with powerbait or salmon eggs because I hadn't remembered to harvest some worms before heading out I went out with worms and have had good luck.

IMG_20220426_121225678.jpg

Still learning a bit on how to hook them, seems I keep running into either having the worm eaten off the hook or stating to pull to hard and having the hook whip out of their mouth.
 

Bigfudge16

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Figured I would put a small update in, finally was able to catch some fish.

After a number of times out fishing with powerbait or salmon eggs because I hadn't remembered to harvest some worms before heading out I went out with worms and have had good luck.

View attachment 608407

Still learning a bit on how to hook them, seems I keep running into either having the worm eaten off the hook or stating to pull to hard and having the hook whip out of their mouth.
nice catch!

I still have trouble with that myself, people usually tell me im using a hook thats too small
 
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Figured I would put a small update in, finally was able to catch some fish.

After a number of times out fishing with powerbait or salmon eggs because I hadn't remembered to harvest some worms before heading out I went out with worms and have had good luck.

View attachment 608407

Still learning a bit on how to hook them, seems I keep running into either having the worm eaten off the hook or stating to pull to hard and having the hook whip out of their mouth.
Try using circle hooks, I've had good luck with them.
 

boiler_eng

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nice catch!

I still have trouble with that myself, people usually tell me im using a hook thats too small

Currently using #10 and #12 barbless hooks. Have had the issue with the #10, the #12 had two fish try to swallow it whole and so that seems too small indeed.
Try using circle hooks, I've had good luck with them.

Will look to pick some up, what's an ideal size for catching a fish like in my picture? (Caught a variety of similar size on a #10 barbless hook the past few days)
 
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For you guys that like catching bluegills and sunfish try a fly rod with black wooly buggers or small poppers. It's wicked fun and very effective. Same thing with Bass. After probably catching thousands of bass on things like plastic worms and senkos and spinnerbaits I figured how many more bass do I really need to catch. So I switched to almost all fly fishing about a year ago and it's like discovering bass fishing all over again.

Also if you want to have fun with your kids learn how to use a fly bubble. It's a plastic bubble you fill with water and cast it out with about three to five feet of line behind the bubble with a fly like a black woolly bugger tied on it. It's very easy for kids to cast and they can catch one bluegill or even bass all evening.
 
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Currently using #10 and #12 barbless hooks. Have had the issue with the #10, the #12 had two fish try to swallow it whole and so that seems too small indeed.


Will look to pick some up, what's an ideal size for catching a fish like in my picture? (Caught a variety of similar size on a #10 barbless hook the past few days)
I use #4 for smallmouth bass, so I would say something a bit smaller.
 

boiler_eng

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Any suggestions on what is good to throw for Bass the summer for pond/lake fishing around here?

Have had some luck with inline spinners (rooster tail and panther martins) but have not been able to connect the dots on what is working vs what was random luck.
 

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Uglystick, medium weight. Best bang for the buck ever. You can't kill'em. Then go on amazon and pick a kastking spinning reel. Inexpensive but perform great. Has a good drag. I have six of them. Ultralight, and medium sized. I even use them for ice fishing. I beat the crap out of them.

But for some true fun..... flyrod setup 😀
 
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