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Thread: Muskie Noob Looking For a Rod and Reel Combo

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    May 2012
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    Muskie Noob Looking For a Rod and Reel Combo

    Yup, I'm another Muskie newbie looking for some help with my newly found addiction or "Musky Fever" as I like to call it. My dad and I caught our first two muskies last year on some bass rods, some heavy mono line, and some #4 Mepps. We realize our equipment needs some serious upgrades. We've got lures up the wazoo and now we need a decent setup to start throwing them.

    To start, I'm looking at spending about $150 on a rod and maybe $100 on a reel. When watching the musky hunter shows, I've fallen under the assumption that the longer the rod, the better for casting and executing figure 8's. This started me off looking at a 8' or 8'6'' Shimano Compre or St. Croix Mojo rod. However, in looking at the lure ratings, these appear to be in the 2-6oz range or the 3-7oz range. We typically throw a little bit of everything from #4 and #5 Mepps to Musky killers, to double 10's, to 6"/9" shallow raiders and depth raiders, and the largest thing being a regular sized bulldawg. Is there a descent rod out there in this price range that would be good for casting all of those?

    For reels, I have no idea where to start. I can say I'm very new to baitcasters, I've fished with one only once and ended up with a 1 hour mess. Is there a good beginner baitcaster? Perhaps something that's easy to adjust? Are the antibacklash systems any benefit at all? We're only able to get out about 4 or 5 times a year, so the more forgiving the better.

    Thank you in advance for taking the time to help, there's so many products out there and they are so expensive, I'm hoping not to screw up this first purchase.

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Twin Cities, MN
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    82
    For the rod... You should defiantly look at the Tackle Industries 9ft rods. They have full and split grip. You can get a 9ft XH rated 3-12oz. I just bought mine and it slings all the baits you listed with ease... Benn tossing lures in a lake near my house for large pike (no muskies in the lake) It will also go above and beyond what you have listed. It can throw pounders... but it loads a lot and I would not recommend it... But just to give you an idea of power. It is perfect for everything you listed. James is also second to none on customer service. One of the easiest guys to deal with and makes a great product for half the price of some of the other companies. They may even still be on special on certain websites for $120.

    As far as reels go... I would say that the Shimano Cardiff would be a good option for you. I think that they are around $110 - $120.. If you end up finding a tackle industries rod for $120. that should give you a little wiggle room to spend on the reel. Otherwise look at Musky Forums online to see if you can't find a used one for cheap... may even be able to get more than one for the price your looking at. Another good option would be the Abu Garcia C4 5600 or 6600... both work very well. Also in your price range.

    The rods that you are looking at already are all great rods, but you can get a longer one piece rod in the Tackle industries rods for less money... and IMHO a better product than what you are currently looking at. Sure you can get a st. Croix legend tournament for $350+... but I think that the Tackle industries rods match up quite well for a fraction of the price. I have used both and love both... But because of the Customer service James provides and the extreme Difference in price... I wont ever spend that kind of money on a rod when I can get one just as good IMO for a 1/4 the cost.

    Hope this helped
    God, Grant me the serenity to accept the size of the fish I catch, the courage to not lie about it, and the wisdom to know no one would believe me anyway.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Thanks FAT-Ski for the great input, that's really helpful. In all my searching I hadn't yet seen the Tackle Industry rods and they are looking like exactly what I need, and at the right price.

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    west metro, mn
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    6
    the shimano compre is a nice rod with a lifetime warranty. i have one for musky and one for walleye. when my walleye rod broke gander mtn replaced it no questions asked. a 8' 6" - 9' rod is good for a multi purpose rod. that extra leverage is nice when you get to throwing big blades, swimbaits and bulldogs. If you're going for cheap the Abu C3 is a good time tested reel, in my experience the C4 sucks. and like Fat-skis mentioned the shimano cardiff is a nice reel. Smoother and little nicer having a thumb bar.I started out in the same boat you are in a couple years ago and have been buying more expensive equipment as the other stuff wears out. The lesson i've learned is that this is can be an expensive sport and that you get what you pay for.

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Blacksburg, VA
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    2
    I just started musky fishing too. The stores are selling alabama rig rods for bass, they are weighted for 1.5-3.5oz and 7' 6" to 8'. Mine is a Field & Stream Tec Spec, but some features are a little cheap (butt cap fell off, lining on the reel clamp is a little loose, etc.). This rod was only $80. Its light and stiff. Otherwise I would probably go for one of the St. Croix, Mojo musky rods in similar weight/length. Unless you are throwing 5oz plus lures, I don't think you need anything over 8', mine is 7' 6" and I can cast a 3oz lure about 50-60 yards.

    For reel I think Abu Garcia Ambassadeur 5600 C4 is great, I got mine lightly used for about $75 on eBay. It seems to perfectly hold 150yrds of 65lb braid. I wouldn't recommend going under that, I backlashed once with my old reel and one of these big lures snapped my 50lb braid.

    Tight Lines,
    Ian

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