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Old 06-13-2010, 19:24   #1
Hooah, Hooah.
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: The Sunshine State
Posts: 1,776
I want to start fishing.

What's a good starter pole? It will be used in fresh water, north FL. Want a basic beginner pole. Are portable, break downable poles practical? Thanks.
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Old 06-14-2010, 10:06   #2
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Black Hlls
Posts: 19
There is no easy answer to this question. There are many things to consider when purchasing a rod, and just as many opinions. Here are some things to consider:

The size/species of fish
The type of tackle/bait that will commonly be used
Amount of money you are looking to spend
What reel you may decide to pair with it
Length of rod
What the rod is made out of
What type of line will you be fishing with

It can all get very technical.

To make it as simple as possible, I would recommend a graphite rod. Graphite is generally more sensitive than fiberglass. I like a 6' 6" or 7' rod for many applications. Search out a medium or medium/heavy action. I also don't mind it being a two-piece rod, especially for a starter pole. Some graphite rods can get quite pricey, but it is not necessary to have a super expensive rod to begin with.

I would also start with a spinning reel as opposed to a bait-caster. Make sure you get the right rod to go with the appropriate type reel. Many times you can buy a rod/reel combo that will save you money. This is a good way to go for a first purchase. Reels have different gear ratios. This determines how many times you must turn the handle to reel in X number of feet of line. I'd go with a higher speed ratio to start with. Reels are almost marked what the ratio is and how much line of various pound test they can effectively hold.

I like Shimano reels. They are good quality and you don't have to spend a fortune to get one. I also like Berkely rods.
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Old 06-14-2010, 12:09   #3
Dennis in MA
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Taunton, MA
Posts: 58,931
All good ideas. I fished a 2-piece rod for years when I was younger and didn't have a truck to fit a 6'+ rod into.

Because of the lightness, I ran full spinning tackle this past weekend. (Texas-rigged Wacky Worms with no weight. VERY hard to cast with baitcasting tackle.)

Find someone local that can show you the ropes. That'll help immensely.

If you have access to funds, I'd recommend a $30-40 combo rod/reel from Bass Pro or Dick's Sporting Goods. Neither will be the best you can get, but they'll get you started. Get some Berkley XL Smooth Casting line.

I've never been a rubber worm guy. Ever. I suck at them. Caught all of my fish this weekend on them - only b/c my buddy is a die-hard worm tosser and had caught 4 fish before I switched tackle. I'd reco going the rubber-worm route for sure. Maybe a loud surface bait (Rapala floater, Money Frog or a buzz-bait) if it's warm out and not TOO warm (read: july & august in FL) to push the fish deeper. The Rapala can double as a diving lure (altho not that deep) as well.

I'll say it again - find someone you know who fishes and go with them.

STOP when you buy a boat. LOL
I cannot tell you how long this road shall be, but fear not the obstacles in your path, for fate has vouchsafed your reward. Though the road may wind, yea, your hearts grow weary, still shall ye follow them, even unto your salvation.
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Old 06-14-2010, 15:42   #4
Hooah, Hooah.
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: The Sunshine State
Posts: 1,776
Great info, thanks guys.
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