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Thread: Rod & reel setup for under $200?

  1. #1

    Default Rod & reel setup for under $200?

    I'm looking for a rod and reel setup that will do the following:

    1) Cast a looong ways
    2) Handle salmon to ~20 lbs in rivers.
    3) Good sensitivity for river fishing
    4) Reel has to be left handed

    I'd like to use it as primarily a river fishing rod, but will want to be able to shore fish lakes & ocean at times and throw an ounce or two a long ways. I've been very happy with Shimano reels but have never owned a baitcaster style. I'm thinking the Cardiff 401, anyone have any experience with it?

    As far as rods, 9-10 ft is what I'm after, but there's so many I have no idea where to start. I'm thinking M-H action and fast taper? Needs to be 2 piece or more so I can fly with it.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Member kwackkillncrew's Avatar
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    might as well forget about buying a bait caster if you have no experience with them... thats my advice
    I will never be a "Prostaffer" its not that I am not good enough
    but its because I refuse to pimp products for free.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwackkillncrew View Post
    might as well forget about buying a bait caster if you have no experience with them... thats my advice
    I fail to believe it will be that hard to master. I can fly fish and tie my own shoes. Well ok I use velcro and slip ons but I can fly fish.....

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    I learned how to use a baitcaster when I was 7 years old bass fishing in TN. Don't let them intimidate you. It's easy. Just keep your thumb very gently pressed on the spool to control the line as it spools off. You'll be fine. You might go through a bunch of line learning, but you'll get it. You'll be very good at picking out birdnests too. Good luck!

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    Member AKBighorn's Avatar
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    Follow the directions that came in the box. Yes, this is one case that imo they shouldn't be just tossed in the can if your not familiar with the reel. Set the casting drag a little tight, practice, adjust at increments no more than an 1/8th of a turn at a time until you get it loose enough it rat nests. Tighten a tad and start practicing, you shouldn't have to use your thumb unless your trying to cast long distances although most people do. The biggest issue is that when you change lure or weight you really should change the casting drag accordingly but most of us are to lazy.

    Kids actually pick up baitcasters rather quick imo. They don't try to slingshot the lure near as hard as adults do. In the event they get a rat nest its generally easier to get out vs mine since it wasn't going a hundred miles an hour when it stopped. Aside from my ultralight rods, I'll never use another open face reel.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by sthrcave View Post
    I learned how to use a baitcaster when I was 7 years old bass fishing in TN. Don't let them intimidate you. It's easy. Just keep your thumb very gently pressed on the spool to control the line as it spools off. You'll be fine. You might go through a bunch of line learning, but you'll get it. You'll be very good at picking out birdnests too. Good luck!
    Thank you. I grew up salmon fishing on the great lakes and am very familiar with how to keep backlash and bird's nests from occuring. Back to the original topic, anyone have any favorite reels or rods of this type?

  7. #7
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    When I was a kid, my dad got me a bait caster. This was a long time ago and bait casters were not what they are now. I didn't get to fish it to much as I was always trying to untangle the mess while dad was fishing. One day I tried his set up which was a Mitchell 300 spinning reel on a cheap fiber glass pole. It was 50years before I tried another Bait caster. I wish I had spent my money on something else. About 40 years ago I took up fly fishing and although that is my favorite, sometimes you may want or need to throw spinners or even bait. My favorite rods are fly rods but the reels really suck for retrieving lures. My favorite reels for lures are good spinning reels. So for river fishing lures or bait I use a 10wt fly rod with a good spinning reel big enough for the fish I'm after. Sientific Angler makes a cheap 9ft 10wt rod (about $30 at Wally World) and I combine this with a D.A.M. spinning reel. I modify the rod to accept a 6" or so fighting butt and for me I have the best there is. The rod will cast forever long and is very sensitive, the reel is easy to use and doesn't snarl and I don't have to switch hands after casting. I also use Spyder wire or the like as it doesn't take a set like mono can. This probably breaks every how to fish rule in the book, but it sure works for me. If you have spinning reels and fly rods on hand , you may not have to buy anything to try it. I don't know how or why the small guides of the fly rod work but they do.

  8. #8
    Member chico99645's Avatar
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    For 200 bucks, I recommend an Abu Garcia Ambasador 7000 with a Med/Heavy Ugly Stick. Some will argue that its too much reel and the 6500 C-3 is plenty. I own a few 6500's but the 7000 is my go to setup. The 7000 is a beast of a real but still not bulky nor heavy. Its really a strong workhorse. The ugly stick stands by their product and they are really hard to break, and actually have great action, spine and sensitivity. Lamiglas also makes a good rod and also has a great warranty, but the ugly stick is bullet proof. When you get started, spool that puppy up with cheap line, tie a washer to the line and practice in the back yard. Follow the instructions on how to use it, its not really hard and if you get a bird nest and you will, just cut it out and restart. Once you get good with that, change washer sizes, make your adjustments, and let her rip again until you get comfortable. Changing washer weighs will get you in the frame of mind of fine tuning your reel before you cast. You'll get the hang of it in short time. I like to use washers as they are handy, easy to tie and don't hang up on the lawn etc... Once your comfortable with it, put some good line on it and you will love it. Just don't get excited, loose your head and forget your technique when you make a hasty cast after a fish. Its like golf, you got to keep your swing/mechanics down to a science, or it will remind you screwed up with a bird nest, and you will be cussing it out, when in fact you should be knocking yourself in the forehead for loosing your head to begin with. In short order it will be very natural. I grew up with spinning rods and push button reels and was threatened by a baitcaster, but once I got use to my baitcaster, I really prefer nothing else. Good luck on what ever you decide.

  9. #9
    Member Mark Collett's Avatar
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    Default Abu Garcia

    In 40+ years of fishing i have gone through many reels.I have to agree with chico about Ammbassadeur reels,decent price,strong,easy to work on/with.As with anything else ,you have to practice to make it work and work well.Any abu-Garcia reel,from a 4500 to the 7000 models will serve you well and stay in the price range your looking for.Bigger numbers for bigger fish.Just do it !!!!!!!!!

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by chico99645 View Post
    For 200 bucks, I recommend an Abu Garcia Ambasador 7000 with a Med/Heavy Ugly Stick. Some will argue that its too much reel and the 6500 C-3 is plenty. I own a few 6500's but the 7000 is my go to setup. The 7000 is a beast of a real but still not bulky nor heavy. Its really a strong workhorse. The ugly stick stands by their product and they are really hard to break, and actually have great action, spine and sensitivity. Lamiglas also makes a good rod and also has a great warranty, but the ugly stick is bullet proof. When you get started, spool that puppy up with cheap line, tie a washer to the line and practice in the back yard. Follow the instructions on how to use it, its not really hard and if you get a bird nest and you will, just cut it out and restart. Once you get good with that, change washer sizes, make your adjustments, and let her rip again until you get comfortable. Changing washer weighs will get you in the frame of mind of fine tuning your reel before you cast. You'll get the hang of it in short time. I like to use washers as they are handy, easy to tie and don't hang up on the lawn etc... Once your comfortable with it, put some good line on it and you will love it. Just don't get excited, loose your head and forget your technique when you make a hasty cast after a fish. Its like golf, you got to keep your swing/mechanics down to a science, or it will remind you screwed up with a bird nest, and you will be cussing it out, when in fact you should be knocking yourself in the forehead for loosing your head to begin with. In short order it will be very natural. I grew up with spinning rods and push button reels and was threatened by a baitcaster, but once I got use to my baitcaster, I really prefer nothing else. Good luck on what ever you decide.
    Lots of good info here, thank you very much! I'll definitely practice before hitting the river.

  11. #11
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    I have a shimano cennan 8 1/2 ft rod and a shimano cardiff 401 reel with 50lb power pro braid. I have used it a few times, but still cannot cast it near as far as my 9ft cennan spinning rod with a shimano spheros 6000fa with 50lb power pro braid. I have used the spinning rod in Seward from the beach and had to watch for the boats because I could cast about as far as they were going by. It seems that it would cast a mile. I picked up both rods/reels for right at $200 ea at Boondock's in Eagle River. The Cennan rods and the Spheros reels were both on clearance sale and I think they still have some of both. The Cennan rods have a lifetime over the counter warranty and are great rods. I think they even have a 10 1/2 ft rod in the Cennan line. Great Rod for the money at around $90 on sale.

  12. #12
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    I would suggest a spinning setup with a good Shimano reel. I use a Spirex 4000 w/ 17 lb mono. I put it on an Ugly Stik. Mine is 7 1/2' MH, but you can go longer. I think the whole setup was just over $100.

  13. #13
    Member Albradley's Avatar
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    I have been using a shakespeare ugly stik medium-Heavy and an Okuma Avenger reel spooled with 25# test it worked wonders for silvers,Reds,Kings and everything in between.I Found casting far is usually based on the line.I like to use p-line it is amazing.
    There's a fine line between fishing....

    and standing on the shore like an idiot! ALLEN BRADLEY-TANGLE LAKES ADVOCATE/FANBOY

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    Ugly Stik's are Gods gift to Alaska. For Salmon i fish a 8'6'' Ugly from Soldotna Hardware. I put a Pfluger President on it. I have one spool with braid if i want to fish Kings and one with mono for reds. Total cost 115.00. I have had for three years and its still going strong

  15. #15

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    A good inexpensive set up would be an ambassadeur 6500 or left handed 6501 and an IM7 Berkley Air baitcasting rod (for the price,about $80, there's really no other rod that compares). One of my first setups and it worked great for years. I've upgraded to a penn international 965 with a gloomis rod, but sometimes find myself going back to the 6500/berkley combo. The 6500/6501 has a small profile that kinda fits in your hand and the berkley rod is light enough for all day fishing. I've never broken a berkley rod, however, my girlfriend has. But, it was her fault not the rod's fault. This set up is good for just about anything from reds, kings and silvers to dollies and trout... Good luck and have fun. Also, check craigslist, you can get some good deals on there....

  16. #16
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    I broke down and bought a Lamiglass Kenai Special last year because my Penn rod was so dang heavy trying to flip for reds all day. The Lamiglass is great-very light and very sensitive. Although it was expensive, I feel that it was worth it for me. However, since it was so light my kids ended up using it most of the time. I was at Mtn View Sports the other day looking at spinning reels, and was pointed towards a $45 Shimano that the staff said was a great reel.

    Eric

  17. #17
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    Default A few

    In general you need better rods than reels, for salmon, I lean the other way

    http://www.ffo-tackle.com/detail.cfm?PassProdId=5189

    http://www.ffo-tackle.com/detail.cfm?PassProdId=5010

  18. #18

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    Thanks for all the replies guys. I went with a combo from Cabelas. Ended up with another spinning reel....Salt Striker 7' MH 3 piece rod, reel and case for $110 and it gets good reviews. Will be good for traveling and it's a nice reel. I'm loading it with 30 lb braid and fluro leader. Bring on the fish!!

  19. #19
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    I just got a 9' XH Ugly Stik Light with 6500 Fluger Reel, I put 65 lb Power Pro on it. (Sportsman's Warehouse, out the door $151 with line) Bring on the Kings!

  20. #20
    Member AKBighorn's Avatar
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    If you plan to fish in the combat zones I would advise against using braided line unless you just love to untangle it from mono all the time.

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