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mike morris

Summer Rods

32 posts in this topic

I haven't been that into summer fishing to really look into the details of the equipment.

So, with that said, what's the difference in quality of rods? I've seen rods from $10 all the way to $300. What makes the expensive rods that much better?

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The higher end rods are more sensitive, lighter and have a good warranty. They also use better guides, reel seats, and cork. I use the higher end rods and can tell you when I pick up someone $50 rod and fish with it, it feels dead, you just can't feel anything with them.

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There are some really decent value priced rods out there, but they really don't compare to the higher end stuff. Like 250 said, you can tell the difference between the two in your hands. 300 is not that high, just last night I saw a rod with a tag of 420. Then what reel do you put on it, there is another 300, and line. It can get expensive, and I do not yet own the top shelf stuff, but someday if I can afford it, I do want to splurge a little. For around 200 to 250 you should be able to get an excellent rod and reel put together that will do everything you ask it to. Some might think that is a little high, but at that price range, you are really starting to get into some of the better equipment.

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warranty

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Just my opinion...

25 vs 100--->Big Difference

100 vs 300--->Not so much

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dtro,

That is pretty much what I was getting to, 100 bucks for a rod and 100 bucks for a reel, is putting you on some nice stuff. Above and beyond that 100, is where people can start to get finicky with their needs and desires to get it just perfect, but then you are up in that 200-300 range per component. Lots of good stuff out there at reasonable prices.

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I got a couple of St. Croix rods last spring for $50 each on sale at Joes. I always used an ugly stick before I got those and they are decent, but what I like about the croix is how sensitive it is. You can tell what you're running along the bottom, if it's sand, rock, weed and you can feel the bite a lot better as well. I agree with dtro from $25-100 it's a big difference, after that they are better but not as noticable.

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When it comes to the difference in rods, you get to the point of diminishing returns on your $$$.

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I cannot justify spending over $225 on a rod, weird enough that I have 3 of those, but that is my personal limit. The difference between a Loomis IMX and a GLX is only noticible by someone with enough experience to know the difference in the components, and maybe the feel given the right line and fishing method. Honestly, Jigging and Lindy rigging rods have always been my best rods. Bobber, cranks, and spinner rigs have always been a middle of the road rod like a St. Croix Avid or Premier. I actually really like the new Shimano's as well and your can get into a nice one for about $135.

Someone mentioned reels. If you are going to spend money on a rod, be willing to spend almost as much on the reel. It's like a gun and a scope, your only as good as your weakest element.

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If you stick with a GL3, Walleye Series, or IMX by loomis. You won't be disappointed.

For rigging, I would spend a little more and go with the IMX.

I can't justify tying up a GLX for the extra $100 for the blank.

As far as spinning reels go - the sky is the limit!!!

The Shimano Stradic is hard to beat!!!!!

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Gosh, I just can't justify spending over $50 for a rod or a reel unless they were trolling rods and linecounter reels. But just for jigging and trolling rigs, I won't spend over $100 for the entire setup.

I guess the way I look at it....if I can't catch fish with a $50 rod and $50 reel, then I've got bigger problems than just the "quality" of rod and reel I'm using.

But hey, that's just me. I'm a "cheapo" when it comes to buying rods & reels. I got a 6'-6" IM6 last year and absolutely love the thing. Cost $30. If I had the extra money to get a more expensive rod/reel setup, I'd certainly do it, but I'd have to have everything else I could possibly want for gear before I'd do that.

Sincerely,

Mr. Inexpensive.

grin.gifgrin.gifgrin.gif

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not so much the cost which the higher end, more sensitive, better built are, but you also need to look at the action and the graphite (if that's what you want) blank...I would go with IM6, IM7, or IM8...but I have been able to find less expensive rods, due to my budget, that work just as well, for my applications. For the amount of time I do fish I can't justify getting the rods I want, but have the rods I need and use. Good luck always fun shopping especially this time of year with great deals everywhere!

I will add one more thing, I have had good luck with comparing store branded rods to the top rod makers and for much less get a very similar product.

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This is a good topic. I personally am looking to buy myself one Really nice rod this year but that is to already add to my much to large collection. But you know what? If I had only so much money to spend and my choice was $450+ on one set up or 3 set ups for the same money I would go for the 3 set ups. All told you are going to have more success with the ability to have 3 set ups ready to go for different presentations or to use when a set up goes bad than that little extra sensitivity will help most people. This is not at all saying anything against having the best but when dollars count sometimes more is better.

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i am a big lake troller, superior, lotw rainy and st loius river. my rods are cheap. if you abuse rods and are hard like i am on them, get cheaper rods but quality lines

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For my 18th birth day my old man got me a fenwick rod it was about 100 dollars (not a combo) i spent about 15 dollars on a shimano reel and have never looked back I sent it in for warranty three times (each time cost me 10 bucks shipping) but every time it was my fault. At 18 I wasn't the most responsible but they all ways sent a new one back. Fenwick has me as a customer for the rest of my able body fishing life. I'll buy my son his first fenwick, and he will abuse it also!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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If you are rigging, jigging, I would spend a little more. G. Loomis are VERY nice, the Walleye series if your'e looking for a Walleye rod.

so are some of the St. Croix. Cabelas has nice rods the fish Eagle II's are under 100. The XML are nice.

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Excellent topic as Im in the same "boat"- I usually buy "cheap" as for the amount of usage I get out of it and my budget just don't equal a set-up of over $60. Now that Im a little older and will have more oportunities to get out Im looking for a little nicer set-up. I was considering going with the Wave Cast DH3000 and Ugly Stick Lite spinning rod (Im also by no means "nice" to my equipment). Any feedback? Ive had a lot of problems with breaking tips and the guides popping out and Ugly Stick is made to last, but other nice rod options in the $30 range would be deeply considered as well.

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my combos average about $300, And i think those work just great, of course I do have a few higher end combos pushing $400. I do think the difference between a 100 dollar rod and one that is $170 is big to me. Of course I bass fish so I am constantly casting and need to be able to feel the bottom, I dont just put my rod in a holder and drag my line behind the boat or throw a bobber out like the walleye guys do. I know the majority of people dont need to spend a ton of money on a rod, just find what feel comfortable to you.

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I have a couple Fenwicks that I really like. I picked them up at Fleet Farm on an off season clearance a few years ago for $40-$50. I have a couple Loomis that I love fishing with, but these two Fenwicks don't give up a lot to them especially considering the difference in cost. One is an Eagle GT and the other an HMX.

I'd go dig around in the rod racks in the stores and check it out. They clearance a lot of last years stuff to make room for the newer models and you can find yourself a nice rod for 25-35% off. Especially the stores like Fleet that have rack after rack of rods and don't carry a ton of high end stuff. The higher dollar stuff tends to move a bit slower in stores like that and few always get carried over into the next year. They are always a good candidate to get a clearance sticker on it.

You can also really see the difference between a $20 rod and an $80 rod at Fleet. Go grab the best rod you can find in their rack and then go pick up a lower priced one. The difference is very obvious. At a place like Scheels, You don't really see much for lower end stuff and its hard to see the difference from an $80 rod to $150 rod especially for a novice or one that doesn't fish a ton.

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Ooh, I always forget about Fleet Farm (unless I make a trip to Owatonna to go to Cabelas.. not much need to go with Gander in town). Good suggestion- they always have good stuff at great prices!

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If you want a high end rod, go with a ML or M, fast action rod for Walleye jigging and draging.

If you can't feel a Bass or Walleye hit a crankbait with the rod you have, I don't think even a $500 rod will fix that.

Other then the High end fast action rod above. A good reel with a good drag and a bail that stays open on the cast is more important then most rods.

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I had a Cherry Stick that was the "Green Hornet" of summer fishing until it got snapped in a tailgate. I do a lot of canoe-and-carry fishing into Canada and the generic couple-piece rod is good enough. And even with the kids we have good rods but willow wands.

The only rods I've spent big money on are the heavy duty for sturgeon and lake trout.

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Lets not forget to throw in where they are made. The lower cost rods are made overseas with suspect quality control. Check the spine on some of these $30 IM6 or $50IM7 rods. The guides arent always put on straight either.

Spend a long hard day fishing with a very good (lightweight) rod/reel combo and your still fresh, try that with a cheapo rod and you might not be able to feel that trophy fish of a lifetime smelling your bait.

As mentioned before, the warrenty on good stuff is better than the cheap stuff for obvious reasons. The sensitivity is better than you can imagine, the weight very little and quality control is where it should be. On top of that you can get into specifics, like a drop shot or lindy rig rod. It starts to get complicated but with the expensive rods you can find people that know what the difference is and guide you into a rod that fits your style of fishing instead of a "one size catches all". By the way, I will be selling a boatload of less than $100 rods this spring, moving up to the good stuff.

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Fenwick has a great promotion on rods - you get a free $70 Columbia rain/wind proof jacket with purchase (I think the rod has to be over $100). I love their HMG rods (6'6 or 7') - very light, sensitive, and life time no questions asked replacement warrenty. I already used the warrenty once. They run around $120, and with the rebate it is a sweet deal. Buy a combo at Joe's and they will spool up both your primary and spare spool for free with any bulk stock line.

I'm looking to buy another rod for verticle jigging. Will be buying one of these and hope to mate it with one of the new redesigned Shimono Stradics. I've heard the redesign is a big imporovement over the old design.

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I have Loomis rods in several varieties, St Croix Avids, and some custom made rods for specific applications. I also have a variety of other rods and reels that range in price from $25 to $100 each. My opinion is that if you go to a GM or Cableas or a local bait & sport shop you will find a huge variety of spinning rods and reels priced each between $50 & $100. You can get an excellent rod and reel priced between $100 to $200. Bait casters might run a little more for a good reel. However, there are many $79 models that will handle the load effectively.

I also have picked up many good deals by just walking around the stores and looking into the barrels, or asking the staff what is on sale. I just bought a Shamano Stratic 1500 ($139) and a Shamano Claras Medium Fast ( $70 ) which is a great walleye combo for $125.00. This will be my son's Opening Day present.

The big box stores also offer some great deals on combos and can put it in your hand so you can try it out.

I also think that custom made rods are the best value for rods priced over $200. This way you can get the advice of the rod builder and they sometimes have some good deals on blanks that have slight blems. I would say that anyone this market isn't looking for a Saturday afternoon slip bobber rig.

My opinion of rods and reels that cost $400 and up each. Knock your self out if you want to, but I can't find any increased advantage unless you are after the big saltwater fish.

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