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If you had to pick 1 rod and reel...

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If you had to pick 1 rod and reel combo for all-around fishing, what would it be
I'm just getting started and really only plan on being a 2-4 times a month angler. I'm mostly going for 1 to 8 pound channel cat, but I also plan on going for 1 to 5 pound trout, and bream/crappie. I'm pretty much gonna eat whatever I catch. I know that there's a vast difference in the species and what sort of gear I'm looking for with each one, but just getting started I'm looking at two specific combos.

First is the Abu Garcia Blue Max. Medium, 6'6". I've heard great thing about this as well as the silver max, but I'm not comfortable using a baitcaster yet. Price point of $60 + tax

The other is the Ugly Stik Cat combo. Medium heavy, 7'0". The big thing about this one is the price point that's half the price point of the Blue Max, and may be slightly better for catfish. $30 + tax

Which of these is the better buy? If neither of these, what is preferable?

The high end of my budget for now is probably around $80. I'm comfortable at $60 but can be persuaded to go up a little if it's worth it.
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Re: [Crispyweetabix] If you had to pick 1 rod and reel combo for all-around fishing, what would it be In reply to
With the choices given, I would go with the second rod, put 6lb test and also get some 2lb flourcarbon leader for the Trout fishing.

My own preference would be the Okuma Halogen 7 1/2' rod and reel combo with 4lb test and 2lb flourocarbon leader for the trout. This would work awesome as a starter rod and reel for most people with baitcasting skills.


Once you develop some advanced skills, I would surely switch to a flyrod for the Trout, 6' light rod for Panfish, 7'Med for Bass and Cats.


Bass are toys. Gills and Trout are food.
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Re: [Crispyweetabix] If you had to pick 1 rod and reel combo for all-around fishing, what would it be In reply to
IMO, you can't go wrong with that Ugly Stik Cat combo but it is way too heavy for bream/crappie or smaller trout. With the amount of money you save by buying the Ugly Stik combo you could still buy a cheaper Zebco 33 combo, that should work fine for those smaller fish. By the way, welcome to the site.
WH2


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Re: [Crispyweetabix] If you had to pick 1 rod and reel combo for all-around fishing, what would it be In reply to
Welcome to BFT! The fishin you want to do actually requires a couple of different types of rods and reels. For catfish you want something medium heavy that can hold 12 lb test line. Break go with ultra light setup with 6 lb test line. Trout a nice medium light set up with 8 lb test will work fine. In time you will like the baitcast rod. I have medium for a good all around for for bass and catfish.

Albinotrout
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Re: [Crispyweetabix] If you had to pick 1 rod and reel combo for all-around fishing, what would it be In reply to
Thanks, guys! I'm probably gonna go with just the Ugly Cat Combo for right now.