Thoughts on rod/reel combos

This article is going to be a little esoteric to say the least but like many things I write on it’s just something that I have been thinking about lately and if it serves to make anybody else think about it or consider trying something new next time they go fishing, then it has served it’s purpose.

To start, I say this is going to be esoteric because most people won’t have the sheer amount of kit to do it yet. You’ll notice I put “yet”, because it really wasn’t that long ago I was looking at other anglers decks and wondering how they managed to get it all. I clearly remember fishing my first non boater event with a total of two outfits both of which you could consider dubious at best. Don’t worry, give it a little while longer and you’ll slowly start to build a “quiver” of rods and a stack of different reels to put on them. But like I said, if you start to think about it more now you may be able to avoid some of the pitfalls such as ending up buying way too many rods that serve the exact same function and never get used. Personal preference also plays a big part in this and the is just my thoughts on it at the moment. Ask Chris or Kris Hickson and they love having six rods to serve similar functions while they are out fishing and then another six to serve another purpose, laid next to another six and so on…….. At times I have had 12 rods ready to go but in truth I really never use more than about three. That’s not to say it’s not handy having a rod ready if something specific arises but they tend to go to waste on me.

This is mostly going to be concerned with the lighter end of the tackle range because thats where I have the kit to do it. My tackle has taken a bit of a 180 in the last few years and gone from owning super high end reels on average rods to  nowadays using the lowest price reels I have on higher end rods. At first I wasn’t keen on this idea either because there is nothing better than a pretty piece of bling to catch the eye on the bottom of a rod but the fact is, when it comes to light spinning reels, they are pretty much just something that holds line on the bottom of the rod. There are some small things like speed that go into the choice but honestly, I have used Exists, Steezs and Certates and more happy using a Freams these day especially because I don’t freakout and cry in the foetal position if they take a decent splash of saltwater on them. Size is the more important factor and I have a enough 1000, 2000 and 2500 size reels that I can play around with.

For a long time, it used to be that a combo was simply set in stone. That rod goes with that reel and has braid on it. This one with this one running fluro. Of late though I’ve been playing a lot of mix and match to suit whether I’m in a boat or kayak and the kind of structure I think I’ll be fishing. A lot of times I like a longer rods, like a 7’6″, in the kayaks for casting distance and fish control but I ended up fishing both days at the Glenelg with four rods from 6′ to 6’3″ because it became apparent that distance wasn’t really key and accuracy that comes with a shorter rod was. Now I know I extolled the virtues of 2lb straight through when fishing Stick Minnows in my last article but truthfully I don’t like using 2lb unless absolutely necessary and use 3lb most of the time and 4lb is getting a fair run lately but the night before the Georges River kayak round I shifted all my reels a rod weight up to accommodate the 1003 with 2lb on to the lightest slow tapered Black Label rod I have. I found that I actually preferred the setups that way and will be more open to fishing those combos again. Coming up to St Georges Basin  this week, I already have a bit of a plan in my head which will consist of putting some of my lighter straight through reels on the longer 7’6″ interline rods.

What I’m really trying to get to is the idea that by thinking about what you’re going to be doing and playing a bit of mix and match with your gear can be a good way not only to put fish in the boat but can teach you more about your gear and that things aren’t set in stone. Give it a try next time you’re on the water

2 responses to “Thoughts on rod/reel combos

  1. Thanx for that insight Josh great read bud, its realing daunting at times that i do have a fair of gear that im particularly happy with but some sit in the rods sit in the rod rack most times as for my battler king bolt paired with a 2500 certate it rarely gets a go just sits there with its velour rod bag and neoprene reel cover as mates say I’m nuts not using it as often but as you also mentioned in the black label rod you use a slow tapered rod in that series as which one is the slow taper??

    Regards Rich

    • It’s the BL 631ULFS, the one with the EVA handle and the top three guides bound in white. It’s fast becoming a favourite 🙂

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