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Recommended Rods, Reels and Tackle For Beginners

Recommended Rods, Reels and Tackle For Beginners

Where can I start? There is just so much to bass fishing… it can be overwhelming. It certainly was for me. My goal with this mini-guide is to make things as simple for you as possible. I’m going to give you exactly what you need. I’m going to talk about rods, reels, line, baits and terminal tackle (sinkers, swivels, etc.).

 

Keep in mind that I’ve spent hours researching all of this. If you buy any of these items and you’re not happy with them, you can always return them and get a full refund. No hidden fees or any of that stuff. Although, I’m sure this won’t happen because I’m beyond confident in my suggestions.

 

But first…

These gear recommendations are for someone who is 100% sure that they are getting into bass fishing in the long run, even if it’s occasionally. If you are testing waters, checking to see if you want to get into the sport or not, just get a Spincast Combo on Amazon. They are less than $30. There is no need in spending $150-$250 in a rod and reel that you will only use a couple of times.

 

I’m going to divide this mini-guide in 2 phases. The first phase (Phase 1) is going to be for you to just start out and get you in the water. The point is to make it as simple as possible and get you familiar with the gear. This will be the perfect way to get you started BUT that doesn’t mean that you can get away with only this equipment. Especially when it comes to rods. You will need different rods for different applications. And this is where Phase 2 comes into play.

 

Phase 2 is where you go adding different rods and reels for different applications. If you are planning to be a weekend angler, you will probably be okay with about 6 rods. Those will have you covered in most situations. On the other hand, if you are looking to become a tournament angler, you will probably end up with many more rods. I will talk about those in another article.

 

What do you need if you are just starting out? (Phase 1)

Rods and Reels

 

*Setup = rod and reel combo for a specific application.

 

If you have zero equipment, just follow this. The best approach when starting out is to get 2 setups: one spinning setup and one casting setup. Both will be generic all-around setups. This will give you the versatility you need. This will also prevent you from getting overwhelmed on thinking “should I use this rod or this one? What reel do I match it with?” and those type of situations.   

 

Before getting into the setups, it’s important that you learn the difference between spinning and casting gear. And I’m not talking about the physical difference. I’m talking about when to use each one of them.

 

There is a certain debate in the fishing community on whether one is better than the other (95% of the times, baitcasting is the winner). I encourage you not to think about it this way. Being straight forward, it all comes down to this: spinning gear is better for finesse applications and lighter/smaller baits, while casting gear is better for heavier baits.

 

Okay, I know I talk too much. Let’s just get into this. This is what you need to get started (for now, remember this is Phase 1):

PHASE 1

 

Setup #1: Spinning Setup

Rod

Style: Spinning

Length: 7’

Power: Medium

Action: Fast

Application: General Purpose

Recommended Rod: Kodiak Spinning by Big Bear. You can buy it from us by clicking here.

Why I recommend it: Big Bear is my favorite brand. The materials it uses, the blank... everything is perfect. But there is one thing that sets it apart from all of the other rods from the market: the grip. It has a patented grip design that allows you to make longer, more accurate casts and solid, more powerful hook sets without limiting sensitivity or increasing weight. It reduces arm fatigue and lets you fish for longer periods of time.

 

Besides that, you don’t have to worry about rain because it channels the water underneath your hand. It also warms up very quickly after a couple of casts by using the heat of your hand. I would pay double the price for that rod hands down. It delivers value over price by far.

 

Reel

Style: Spinning

Gear Ratio: 5.2:1

Size: 2500

Recommended Reel: Carbon X by Piscifun. You can buy it from us by clicking here.

Why I recommend it: Piscifun in general delivers great quality reels at a very affordable price. You will get a long lasting, good performing reel at a very affordable price.

 

  • If you are interested in this spinning setup (Kodiak Spinning rod and the Carbon X reel) we bundled them up for you. You can check it out by clicking here.

 

Line: Go with monofilament. It’s affordable and easy to use. Get something that is maximum 10 lb. The Berkley Trilene XL is a good option (we currently don’t sell it). You can find it on Amazon. You will eventually want to move to braided line. It’s simply superior. But for starters, go with mono.

 

Setup #2: Casting Setup

Rod

Style: Casting

Length: 7’

Power: Medium-Heavy

Action: Fast

Application: General Purpose

Recommended Rod: IKOS Promise 7 by ALX Rods. You can buy it from us by clicking here.

Why I recommend it: The quality of any ALX Rod is incredible. It’s made with cork, which is considered a higher end material. The price of this rod is really affordable. The trimmed and exposed reel seats along with the high quality blank just add more even value. I can’t recommend this model enough for your all-around casting rod, especially considering that this and the previous spinning rod will be your baseline. They will be the rods you will be using the most.

 

Reel

Style: Casting

Gear Ratio: 7.3:1

Recommended Reel: Apex Grand by Ardent. You can buy it from us by clicking here.

Why I recommend it: This is a higher quality reel. It’s exceptionally lightweight and durable. It has 12+1 ball bearings, which makes it operate very smoothly and enhances casting distance. This reel is the perfect one to go along with your main casting rod, which you will be using most of the time.

 

  • If you are interested the casting setup (IKOS Promise 7 rod and the Apex Grand reel), we bundled them up for you. You can check it out by clicking here.

 

  • If you want to get both setups (casting and spinning), we bundled them up for you as well. You can check the bundle here.

 

I just want to mention something quickly about the rods. As you can notice, I’m really big on Big Bear Rods and ALX Rods. I truly believe they are equally as good, or even superior than any big box brand. With that being said, there are other very interesting options that I will go recommending as you progress and need more technique specific rods. It’s important that you try different brands so you can determine what you like and what you don’t like.

 

Line: If you are going to choose monofilament, use 15-20 lb. If you are going to use braided line, go for 30-50 lb. For mono, get the Berkley Trilene XL (you can find it on Amazon). For braid, get the Strong Braid by Ardent (40 lb). You can get it from us by clicking here.

 

There will be situations when you will require fluorocarbon. For baitcasters, get something in the 12-16 lb area. My suggestion is to get the Bushido. Go for 12 lb. You can get it from us by clicking here. It’s important to note that you will eventually end up with all 3 lines (mono, fluoro and braid).

 

Leader line: A leader is a piece of line attached to the main line. It’s often a key piece to many rigs. A leader can either function to be more resistant than regular line when it comes to sharp teeth or rocks. The other reason why you might require a leader line is because the main line is too visible and you need something more discreet. Luckily, bass don’t have sharp teeth, so you don’t have to use such a strong line. Get a fluorocarbon leader line between 10-20 lb test.  Seaguar is a good brand. You can find it on Amazon.

 

What about terminal tackle?

From a basic Texas Rig to a rig that has many more elements involved, like the Alabama Rig, it’s better just to get a tackle box kit that comes with everything you need. Sinkers, swivels, hooks, floats… it’s better to just buy a kit. Here are a few tackle boxes with tackle included from Amazon. This is not an affiliate link; we do not earn anything if you purchase something. 

 

End of Phase 1

 

Phase 2

It’s not that you have to buy all of this separately, you can get it all at once if you prefer. I’m doing it this way so that this process is friendly to your wallet. Not everyone wants to spend a bunch of money in one go. But if you split it over the months or even a couple of years, it’s not bad at all. If you do decide to get the rod and reel setups little by little, do get the ones from Phase 1 first. After you have an All-Around spinning and casting combo, go getting these other setups.

 

Remember these are suggestions. If you feel like you would do better with a longer or shorter rod than what is suggested on a particular setup, don’t hesitate to get what you think is right.

 

There is no particular order you should follow when getting these rod and reel combos. My suggestion is to go getting them as you go needing them. If you feel like you don’t really need one of these setups, then you don’t need it. These setups have worked for many and many beginner anglers. There are 4 setups that are recommended besides the other 2 we talked about in Phase 1 (4+2= 6 rod and reel setups in total). With all 6 rod and reel setups, you will be covered for almost everything. If you are planning on doing bass fishing recreationally, then you will be perfectly fine with these 6 combos. If you are planning on being a tournament angler, you are going to need more. Tournament anglers need different rods for very specific situations, and they usually have between 12 and 16 combos, if not more. 

 

One last thing I want to mention is that this is just my approach to this. Some people are covered with less than 6 combos, and some people are covered with more than 6. Feel free to adjust these suggestions to your needs. In the end, the goal is to have a functional rod and reel system where you have a rod and reel setup for any technique, bait, situation, weather condition, and any season of the year .

 

With all of this being said, here they are:

 

  • Crankbait Setup 

Take a look at my suggestions here.

 

  • Flipping, Pitching, Punching, Heavy Cover Setup

Take a look at my suggestions here.

 

  • Topwaters and Jerkbaits Setup 

Take a look at my suggestions here.

 

  • Spinnerbaits, Chatterbaits, Swim Jigs (Moving Baits up to ¾ oz.) Setup

Take a look at my suggestions here.

 

All 6 Setups in a bundle

If you want to get it all at once, we bundled it for you as well. You can check it out here.

 


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