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Thread: $50 bass pro card...thoughts?

  1. #1
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    Default $50 bass pro card...thoughts?

    So I want to break into LTJ for striper...and I've got several ugly stik rods (regular, bigwater, and elite). I have heard baitcasters are a better choice for jigging compared to my spinners, and I do have an old ugly stik casting rod I used to use 10+ years ago. So with my gift card...should I put it towards a nice rod like a St Croix mojo inshore and pair it with one of my better spinners, or put it towards a decent baitcaster and pair it to my old (but otherwise pristine) ugly stiků or what? Getting a $200 rod and $100 reel isn't really on the horizon for a while, plus I don't wanna drop serious cash for a style of fishing I'm just learning how to do. Thoughts? Thanks everyone. Also thanks to those like slobber Bob ( I think) who have given me rod recommendations before.

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  2. #2
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    For what it is worth, you can now use a Bass Pro Shop card at either Bass Pro Shops or at Cabelas. This morning I searched the Cabelas Black Friday specials and nearly bought a St Croix Premier split grip rod for $89.99 (either spinning or casting -- that is $40 off of retail). I decided I did not really need that rod and spent my money on other items, all at large discounts. Note that if you choose to use a Bass Pro card at Cabelas, you cannot place your order online. You must talk to a live person on the phone.

    As a side note, while some may prefer baitcasting setups for LTJ, I do not. I use only spinning tackle. You can do LTJ just fine with a spinning reel.
    John Veil
    Annapolis
    Native Watercraft Manta Ray 11 and Slayer Propel 10
    Member - Pro Staff team for Native Watercraft

    Author - "Fishing in the Comfort Zone" - light tackle fishing techniques for kayaks and small boats

  3. #3
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    I agree you can use spinning tackle for LTJ -- not that I am expert. I need to read Alan's book! But I have been casting for stripers and other fish species for years. I suspect I'll find that I have been doing some variant of LTJ during that time.

    I have much better accuracy with baitcasters. They're preferable to me when I am fishing visible structure.

    But baitcasters are not always the best tackle.

    Although not an issue in my kayak, I generally throw my baitcaster with a right-hand forearm cast. I can achieve more distance that way. That style of casting can be problematic in close quarters, like when I am on a boat with two other anglers. In those cases I prefer spinning reels because I can toss lures farther than a baitcaster with a backhand cast if space limitations on the boat require me to do so.

    But I really enjoy and prefer a baitcaster, feathering the spool with my right thumb to drop the lure just where I want it. That's almost as much fun as a hookup. Not quite, but close.
    Mark

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  4. #4
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    I love my baitcasters but they can be a bit daunting to someone when first starting to use them. The set up and thumbing technique is important if one doesn't want to spend a lot of time trying to get birds nests out. Most new users resort to cutting them out but there are a couple of tricks that makes clearing them fairly easy. Once that is out of the way they are a joy to use. For years I used a right handed retrieve because I am right handed. What always bugged the crap out of me was having to switch hands after casting. Cabelas had a sale on their Curados so I picked up a couple left handed retrieve and man I kick my self for not switching sooner as now my others are collecting dust. However there are a couple techniques when using spinning rods that one can be just as accurate casting as with baitcasters. I ponder selling them just so they would get some use.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oldbayrunner View Post
    I love my baitcasters but they can be a bit daunting to someone when first starting to use them. The set up and thumbing technique is important if one doesn't want to spend a lot of time trying to get birds nests out. Most new users resort to cutting them out but there are a couple of tricks that makes clearing them fairly easy. Once that is out of the way they are a joy to use. For years I used a right handed retrieve because I am right handed. What always bugged the crap out of me was having to switch hands after casting. Cabelas had a sale on their Curados so I picked up a couple left handed retrieve and man I kick my self for not switching sooner as now my others are collecting dust. However there are a couple techniques when using spinning rods that one can be just as accurate casting as with baitcasters. I ponder selling them just so they would get some use.
    Yes. I understand. I use left-hand retrieve baitcasters for the reason you cite.
    Mark

    Slate Hobie Revolution 13
    Hidden Oak Native Ultimate 12

    Author: The Simple Joys of Kayak Fishing (Tips and Tales From an Old Guy in His Plastic Boat)
    Available on Amazon.com

  6. #6
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    Nah, probably wasn't me. I have to have a rod in hand for me to know if I think if it'll work for me or not. Rod spec language is essentially gibberish to me haha.

    If I had $50 in gift cards and I already had a rod and reel, I'd probably buy jigging terminal tackle. You might find out the rods/reels you have already work perfectly fine and then you'll be mad you wasted money on a rod and reel you never even needed.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slobber Bob View Post
    Nah, probably wasn't me. I have to have a rod in hand for me to know if I think if it'll work for me or not. Rod spec language is essentially gibberish to me haha.

    If I had $50 in gift cards and I already had a rod and reel, I'd probably buy jigging terminal tackle. You might find out the rods/reels you have already work perfectly fine and then you'll be mad you wasted money on a rod and reel you never even needed.
    I agree with Slobber Bob that you can often use a rod and reel for more than one style of fishing -- I do it frequently. This is particularly important when you are starting out in the sport and have a limited budget. Having a $200 rod that is specifically built for LTJ will most likely perform better than a $75 rod that you originally bought for trolling. But until you are certain that you will embrace LTJ as a primary style of fishing (and not all of us have made that choice), you can still catch plenty of fish with the $75 rod. Also, not all of us choose to carry a $200 rod on a kayak where it will be splashed with saltwater regularly and stands some chance of falling overboard.

    I follow this philosophy to an extreme. I am a tackle user, not a tackle collector. Also, I have no sentimental attachment to my old tackle. I fish a lot of days each year (>160 days in 2016, about 140 days so far in 2017). Despite all that fishing in many different environments and for many species, I own just 13 rods (and one of those is a travel rod that rarely gets used). I must confess that over several decades I gradually upgraded my equipment to use high quality rods and reels -- but when I started out fishing and was unsure of how much long-term interest I actually had, I bought low-cost tackle.

    As a side note to follow on Slobber Bob's suggestion, if you are interested in some LTJ lures, I have a tray full of jigheads and plastic tails made by "Coach" Rich Jenkins. He now sells high quality Coach jigheads semi-commercially, but at that time he made jigheads for his own use and to share with his fishing buddies. When I bought a bunch of them from Rich a few years ago, he was selling off that year's collection of the actual jigheads and plastic tails (mostly large Bass Assassins, but some with BKDs) that he used during the previous year. Most of the lures have multiple contrasting colors in both the jighead and plastic. Some of the tails have rattles inserted in them. They may not be exactly like his current stock of Coach jigheads, but they are close in quality. Some examples are shown below.

    011.jpg

    Since then, I found that I spend only a small portion of my fishing time practicing LTJ and have been selling the used Coach jigheads and tails for a very low price ($1 for a jighead and plastic tail). They are used, but the fish don't care. Compare that to his new jigheads at over $2 for just the jighead. I plan to have some of these for sale at the Jan 20 HOW fishing flea market, but would be happy to sell some or all of them prior to then. I have approximately 30 of these that I would like to sell.
    John Veil
    Annapolis
    Native Watercraft Manta Ray 11 and Slayer Propel 10
    Member - Pro Staff team for Native Watercraft

    Author - "Fishing in the Comfort Zone" - light tackle fishing techniques for kayaks and small boats

  8. #8
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    No reason you cannot jig with your current setups, I'd try that first. You're welcome to try out a jigging rod of mine, either spinning or casting. I need some new line on one of my baitcasters anyway, haha. Also, don't overlook buying something used, though that does you no good with your gift card. I wouldn't hesitate to purchase a nice reel from eBay, I've done so in the past. You can tell how hard a reel has been used from the wear on the outside. In my experience, the old tried and true Ambassadeur are great for the money if you decide to buy a baitcaster, and the older one you can find the better. They can cast a mile, super easy to maintain, lots of cheap replacement/upgrade parts out there, and with the only downside being their weight and size.

    I also endorse the use of left handed reels for right handed people, but it really comes down to personal taste.
    2015 Hobie Outback
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    John

  9. #9
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    Thank you everyone for your advice. I do want to try jigging with my current setups first, and I think my ugly stik elite might be the best option since it's the most sensitive. I think the hardest thing for me in a paddle kayak is keeping position, because every time I want to jig (late in the season usually) it's always very windy. But hopefully as I start to get a feel for the technique, I will just be able to change out some baits on my current setups and jig them. I may buy some of those coach setups from you John. And thanks John (Silas), def will take you up on your offer too.

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  10. #10
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    I really think the best thing for me would be to spend a few hours fishing with someone who's good at jigging, and just watch their technique(s) and learn. Any takers? I can provide donuts, a half dozen to start, and a second half if you put me on a fish through jigging. Or a 6/12 pack of choice, whatever you fancy. I would like to go out fishing with Walleye Pete or Lonnie but I think it'd be best to see someone jig from a kayak, and learn that way right off the bat. They're probably very similar, but this way I will already be on the vessel that I will use most frequently.

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