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Gort

Musky Beginner - Looking for general tips

19 posts in this topic

I have never gone musky fishing, but want to start. I am going to be on Mille Lacs later next month and want to make sure I'm doing the basics correctly and am looking for some tips from all you pros.

What would you suggest for a rod (length and action)?

What would you suggest for a line strength?

What's your favorite lure/bait for Mille Lacs muskies, or just for muskies in general?

Once I get my equipment, I may post a few questions looking for general info about finding muskies.

Thanks for any help...

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Start with a 6'6" or 7' to start . I like 80 pound tuff line then get a mixture of baits such as buck tails, top water like a viper then some glide baits like a suick, then maybe a crankbait.

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8 ft med hvy rod, 80# tuff,cowgirl,bulldog,topwater,

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muskiedreams hit it right on the head.

Long rods make for easier hook sets and less stress on your arms. Make sure you get the reel to match. Like a Abu 7000(faster retrieve and easy cranking). It will make fishing much more enjoyable when you arms dont get sore (or as sore). Cow Girls and Bull Dawgs have been the key on Mille Lacs. Good Luck

Duck

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I think if you go with a 7'6" or 8'medium heavy rod you can't go wrong. The lures mentioned above are perfect. I would suggest a Calcutta fishing reel. Spend the extra money on your reel. It is well worth it.

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I agree with the longer rod and baits. My question is: Is the Calcutta that much better of a reel for the price? If so, what makes it better? I'm not being a smart a**, I'm just curious. I looked at the calcutta but decided on the AG 7000 because of the price difference, and I love the 7000. I also have a couple 6500's. I do like the Cortland Blackspot line in 80 lb.

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Quote:

I agree with the longer rod and baits. My question is: Is the Calcutta that much better of a reel for the price? If so, what makes it better? I'm not being a smart a**, I'm just curious. I looked at the calcutta but decided on the AG 7000 because of the price difference, and I love the 7000. I also have a couple 6500's. I do like the Cortland Blackspot line in 80 lb.


The calcutta TE 400 is the only musky reel I will ever use. Kind of spendy, but worth it. The smoothest, most dependable reel I have ever had.

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for the money the a.g are just fine.esp,for guiding they take alot of abuse.and when 1 finally does burn out there not to expensive to replace.

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Get a Calcutta. I've used the cheap reels and they burn out not far down the road. The Calcutta is such a smooth reel. If I have a problem with the reel I send it in and a lot of the time they fix it for free. One time they sent a new reel at no charge. Go with 80lb TUF line

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I just went to an 8' rod this year and what a difference. I love it. I have two calcuttas of which I will never part with. I used to have 6500's, which are still nice reels, but when you're throwing lures all day, you want comfort to go along with reliability. I had a 250 poop out after 3 years and Shimano replaced it with a new one.

Try both reels out if you can. You will find there is really no comparison. You get what you pay for.

I use power pro line. I switched from tufline a couple years ago and prefer powerpro.

Look at a couple bucktails (cowgirls I like) in various sizes, walk the dog and prop surface baits, a couple spinner baits for the reeds, a crank or 2, and a bulldog or 2.

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Gort,

Tough to answer without a budget. I can't disagree with any of the post on 8' rods, baits, line etc. However, half a dozen baits, a Calcutta, a decent quality rod, line, leaders, tools, net and you are talking $500-$600 easy. And that is with no tools and a cheap net. If that is within your budget, go for it. You can get going, if you need, at more reasonable prices. Check out the Mania combos at BPS. For baits, ebay if you have time. In a perfect world, I would try to hook up with another, experienced angler who has the tools, net and some baits you could try. May even want to do the guide thing this year and start the equipment addiction over the off season. Like I said, nothing to disagree with in previous posts. Just don't want you to take a look at the suggestions and determine it is beyond what you can or want to spend. Not many of us walked into a musky shop, with zero hours under our belt, and dropped the better part of a grand before our maiden voyage.

Roger

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I would agree. I just started this year and it comes with a large price tag. I actually had the reel on one of my pike set-ups buy with the line and baits and leaders and all the other gear you need, it is expensive. I actually had been using my pike rod, but found that not to be a good idea so I bought a mid range rod at Gander. It was under $100 and I am going to use it for a couple of years and if I really get into it, I will buy a nice G. Loomis or St. Croix. I did get into it for under $200, but consider it $300 with a reel. FYI, Cabela's has some nice combos on sale too. It is not the cheapest species to go after.

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Thanks for the all information! I won't be diving in head first just yet, but will be purchasing some lower level equipment, but with the specs that you all suggested.

Great tips and much appreciated!

(Now that I have my equipment list and I get it all, I need to know how to catch one of those beasts...NEXT POST! smile.gif

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I like to use power pro braided line in the 80 or 100 lb. test. I use a lot of gander mountain GS series rods and have had good luck with them, plus they are cheap. Cabelas makes a cheap but good quality rod also. Abu Garcia reels are nice, but the calcutta is a much better reel. Just depends what you want to pay. Invest in titanium leaders also, steel leaders are shot after one muskie gets on. Get yourself a good array of bright colored and natural colored bucktails, crankbaits, topwaters, large plastics, and jerkbaits. Make sure to have the proper tools to cut through muskie hooks so you can make fast releases. Also, a good net is also a good investment, you aren't going to lift a 30 or 40 pound ski out of the water with your pole or a cheap net! You'll just watch your cheap net bend in half like a wet noodle. Better yet, get yourself a muskie cradle. Finally, good luck and don't get discouraged if you are not putting fish in the boat right away. Muskie aren't easily conquered in the first couple months of fishing!

GoggleEye

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please for the love of god never lift a fish out with the net!!!!!!!!

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Quote:

please for the love of god never lift a fish out with the net!!!!!!!!


Just what I was thinking. Use it as a holding pen in the water for unhooking.

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I agree guys, but I have seen several people over the years lift smaller muskies out of the water with their net. I always use the net as my holding pen too and unkook with a pliers if possible, then lift the ski out by the gill plate and snap a photo quick. I try my best to minimize handling and lifting when possible.

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I gotta agree with Muskiedream... I went fishing with him... from net to photos back to water for release took less than a minute... I definitely cannot go fishing without a quality muskie net for sure!!!

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I will also say that a quality net is a must as there are SELDOM times when you have to lift a ski into the boat with your net because they are so entangled in the net from rolling after the "capture" that freeing hooks is impossible in the water. Granted, this doesn't happen very often, but I will never be on the water without a net that is capable of lifting a 40 pounder out of the water into the boat to cut hooks and get the fish back in the water asap. Sometimes you just can't get everything unhooked or untangled from boatside. It's a last resort, but once in a while you have to be able to stand over top of 'em and do some fast surgery!

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