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radrick96

Starting to Get Obsessed
May 4, 2020
242
531
26
Orlando, Florida
I’m looking at getting a nice rod and reel for fishing. I live in Central Florida so there’s plenty of spots plus I boat so saltwater is an option too.

I’ve only ever used a 60$ Open combo from Walmart and it worked great for fresh/salt. But aside from that know nothing about the fish, baits, etc and wish to start learning!

I will be fishing both fresh/salt waters in Centra Florida and South Carolina areas. I wish to obtain a rod/reel that will be good enough I don’t need to upgrade from later.

Any recommendations for rod/reel?

Any recommendations for bait/lure?

Any recommendations for learning sources?

Figured I’d ask you guys since this forum is so awesome.
 

prndl

Lifer
Apr 30, 2014
1,571
2,897
Not sure if this is kosher to mention but, bassboatcentral has an excellent salt-water board.

There are several out there.
 
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tbradsim1

Lifer
Jan 14, 2012
8,884
9,435
Southwest Louisiana
If you don’t have big bucks . Go to the junk, thrift store and you might find some good tackle. Zebco in my day made some good reels that were all around for salt and fresh water fishing. They even made a big one for heavy salt water fishing. Lures are different for each place you might fish, bait shops can turn you on to what they are biting on. Have a good knife, pliers, on you, I’ve had to pull a bait out of my hand, and forearm. If you fresh water fish and hang up in a tree, put safety glasses on, the kickback can pit an eye out. Have fun, I did for over 50 yrs.
 

mso489

Lifer
Feb 21, 2013
39,479
52,398
Whatever you get won't be just right for every fishing situation. Like surf fishing you need length in a pole that might not be wanted for freshwater. I'd go with an open reel bait casting set and a medium length pole, and work around that. You can get a longer pole for surf, if you are doing that. The basic kit would do for pier, freshwater, and small boat use. Fly fishing is a whole separate endeavor, so you'd have to get that gear another round. I think brad's idea about used gear is excellent. You can spend a lot of money on gear. Focus on the fishing and the bait and the shoreline, and talk to locals. They won't tell you their favorite spots, but they might keep you from wasteful mistakes. Get your license info so you don't get hassled. What you don't plan to eat, release.
 

mso489

Lifer
Feb 21, 2013
39,479
52,398
philo', considering spincasting versus open reel, I guess I'm going with what I know best. It seemed like the spin casting reels I used were easy mostly, but still prone to bird-nesting, and then harder to straighten out. I always kept my thumb (very lightly) on the reel going out and that mostly kept it from backing up. I found it easier to learn.
 

MattRVA

Lifer
Feb 6, 2019
3,130
30,771
Richmond Virginia
I always had good luck with the “Ugly Stik” brand by Shakespeare. I believe you can still pick up a 6’ Ugly Stik at Walmart. As far as reels are concerned... I’d go with a spin caster, possibly a open face combo included with the rod. Shakespeare is a decent brand.
 

lawdawg

Lifer
Aug 25, 2016
1,792
3,787
Bass Pro and Cabelas (now owned by Bass Pro) make great inexpensive store-brand rods. I have one lightweight Cabelas rod that I fish with regularly, and have used others from Cabelas and BP before, as one of my good friends used to be the manager of a Cabelas store fishing department. Much better than the Shakespeare Ugly Stiks (though I have a couple of those as well and they are adequate). I should say that all of my experience is freshwater, so I have not used any of their saltwater gear.
 

radrick96

Starting to Get Obsessed
May 4, 2020
242
531
26
Orlando, Florida
If you don’t have big bucks . Go to the junk, thrift store and you might find some good tackle. Zebco in my day made some good reels that were all around for salt and fresh water fishing. They even made a big one for heavy salt water fishing. Lures are different for each place you might fish, bait shops can turn you on to what they are biting on. Have a good knife, pliers, on you, I’ve had to pull a bait out of my hand, and forearm. If you fresh water fish and hang up in a tree, put safety glasses on, the kickback can pit an eye out. Have fun, I did for over 50 yrs.
I will be sure to keep those handy then! I’ve never hooked myself but then again I’ve only fished a dozen times. Hoping to start fishing a couple spots a week.

I will also keep my eye out at thrift stores then. Thanks for the advice!
Whatever you get won't be just right for every fishing situation. Like surf fishing you need length in a pole that might not be wanted for freshwater. I'd go with an open reel bait casting set and a medium length pole, and work around that. You can get a longer pole for surf, if you are doing that. The basic kit would do for pier, freshwater, and small boat use. Fly fishing is a whole separate endeavor, so you'd have to get that gear another round. I think brad's idea about used gear is excellent. You can spend a lot of money on gear. Focus on the fishing and the bait and the shoreline, and talk to locals. They won't tell you their favorite spots, but they might keep you from wasteful mistakes. Get your license info so you don't get hassled. What you don't plan to eat, release.
I would be okay getting more than one rod in that case. One for fresh, one for salt?
Surf fishing?? I have to look into that! New to me haha. As for birds nesting, yes that’s happened once but I just cut it and put new line on. I do plan to only fish small stuff, no sharks or anything haha. Although gator gaffing is fun. So is noodling haha
I plan to stick to piers, small boats, beach, and ponds or lakes.
I like everything said so far, but I would recommend a spincast or spinning reel for a relative beginner, as a bait cast reel can birds nest on you real quick if you aren’t paying close attention.
Spinning reels seem cool! I’ll look into it!
I always had good luck with the “Ugly Stik” brand by Shakespeare. I believe you can still pick up a 6’ Ugly Stik at Walmart. As far as reels are concerned... I’d go with a spin caster, possibly a open face combo included with the rod. Shakespeare is a decent brand.
Sounds like the original combo I had. Might do it again! I would get an ugly stick for sure
 

radrick96

Starting to Get Obsessed
May 4, 2020
242
531
26
Orlando, Florida
Bass Pro and Cabelas (now owned by Bass Pro) make great inexpensive store-brand rods. I have one lightweight Cabelas rod that I fish with regularly, and have used others from Cabelas and BP before, as one of my good friends used to be the manager of a Cabelas store fishing department. Much better than the Shakespeare Ugly Stiks (though I have a couple of those as well and they are adequate). I should say that all of my experience is freshwater, so I have not used any of their saltwater gear.
I’ve been wanting to make a trip to BP. Thanks for the info. I like the idea of a lightweight rod
 

lawdawg

Lifer
Aug 25, 2016
1,792
3,787
I’ve been wanting to make a trip to BP. Thanks for the info. I like the idea of a lightweight rod

Welcome. I use the lightweight rod in creeks and in little cove-type areas in ponds and lakes... it's not much use for any water bigger than that, but lots of fun on small water.
 
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mso489

Lifer
Feb 21, 2013
39,479
52,398
lawdawg's got a point. Buy the gear for the water nearest you, that you are likely to use most often. If saltwater, for shore fishing, get the longer pole, etc.
 
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May 2, 2020
4,664
23,758
Louisiana
All-Star is my go-to for bass fishing rods. I’ve used several open face spinning reels throughout the years. I use Pfleuger Presidents mostly now. Pretty smooth, but not super expensive. There are lots of good options that won’t break the bank.
 
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May 2, 2020
4,664
23,758
Louisiana
Also, around here, watermelon/red (green with red flake) brush hogs are good on bass during the summer. So are Senko worms. I like a good top water late in the afternoon when bugs are coming out and hitting the surface of the water, though. It’s always fun to watch a big bass hit a popper. Gamakatsu hooks for rubber lures.
 
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crawdad

Lifer
Jul 19, 2019
1,460
11,334
Virginia
I’ve fished quite a bit in Florida and there isn’t a one size fits all reel/rod combo. It’s one thing to fish bass and another to fish tarpon or snook. Rods and reels need to fit the fish. Talk to the experts in those areas you’re interested in fishing, those that aren’t selling the gear that is.
 

instymp

Lifer
Jul 30, 2012
2,348
839
Whatever you buy, rinse softly with hose freshwater, rod reel & any tackle you use in salt water when you get home.
You can't beat Ugly Sticks for the price, just buy the right one.
Penn & Diawa make some of the best lower priced open faced spinning reels.
You get what you pay for.
Figure out what you are going to fish for and go to a reputable tackle shop and talk to someone that knows what they talk about.
You go in & buy one or to fit all situations & end up with 20 like me.
Like pipes, cigars...fishing is as addictive.
 
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