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Last updated 10/15/2019 at Noon

More often than you would think, a new client pays $500 for a day of fishing only to step in the boat with a rod and reel that he hasn’t even looked at in months. I mention the fact that it is always a new client, because those that have fished with me for years either own very good equipment or fish with mine.

Here is a tip that will save you a lot of money over the years if you consider just getting a bite on the end of your string a successful outing.Go crabbing!

In the event that you really want to step out and enjoy the thrill of watching a cork twitch on the surface prior to plunging under the surge of a hungry fish, simply invest in a cane pole, a little line, a cork and a hook.I still enjoy that type of fishing, but it has its limitations.

If, however, you suspect that you may already be addicted to the thrill of hunting and catching fish, purchase the best equipment that you can afford, learn to use it and take care of it.If there is a particular species of fish or technique that interests you more than another, talk to another angler that knows more than you do.

Quantity isn’t nearly as important as quality when investing in fishing equipment.A single modestly priced combination that best suits your needs is far more valuable than an arm load of low priced specials.The same rod that will give you an advantage when dealing with saltwater bay fish or bass is not going to be the best choice for chasing crappie and vice versa.

That is also an important factor to remember when upgrading your fishing arsenal. Your second rod should be better suited to fishing lighter or heavier lures for lighter or heavier fish.You can initially cover most of your needs with a medium to medium heavy 6 ½ to 7 foot rod combined with a quality level wind reel.My second choice would be a medium spinning rod of the same length matched with a 2000 or 2500 series spinning reel.

From that point on, most of your upgrades will be in heavier longer casting rods more specific to Carolina rigging, flipping and pitching.Depending on the size of the line you elect to load on your reel, your spinning outfit will adequately handle all other needs from Wacky worms to crappie jigs.

There are techniques that will work well with both spinning and casting gear like drop shotting and fishing jerk baits, but choice of either rod is dependent of the line size that best fits a specific technique.I don’t care to flip or pitch with six to ten pound test and you will play hell fishing a 1/32^nd ounce crappie jig on sixty pound braid!

As far as type of line is concerned, I have a world of confidence in a quality braid, but fish a lot of mono as well when fishing both crankbaits and the light stuff.I even prefer a short mono leader when fishing saltwater plastics on braid as a loop knot is easier to tie.While the loop knot is not necessary for Carolina rigging or bouncing lizards off the bottom, it breathes life into everything from crankbaits to Swim baits.

Mono or fluorocarbon, which is less flexible but more sensitive, are both better choices for fishing crank baits and jerkbaits as they are more forgiving than braid and give the fish a split second longer to take in your lure following a strike.

There are countless choices of line available and none of them are cheap.I am, however, surprised at the number of accomplished anglers that select the right line for their needs, but often by the cheapest brand.Your line is the only connection between you and your fish.A four to six hundred dollar rod and reel is worthless when your six to eight dollar line fails at the knot.

Cheaper line will not only fail to step up to the plate when most needed, but is inevitably harder to cast and quicker to coil on the reel resulting in the dreaded backlash.More potentially successful fishing trips are torpedoed by cheap line and push button reels than any angler malfunction.

If you want to totally frustrate a budding angler, arm them with a push button reel.Every line problem is hidden under the cover and the next cast is always an adventure.Start out with quality spinning gear and go from there.Catching is the more enjoyable part of fishing!


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