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Friday, January 05, 2001

TUTORIAL[5]: Gearing up [rod, reel & line]

At some point, you would have to decide to get a rod and reel with lines. However, there is a long product list of rods and reel and choosing one is quite a difficult mind numbling task for a newbie.

A. Selecting your rod
If you are just starting out for general fishing purpose, some budget rods to consider would be

1. Berkley Cherry Wood. - $45

2. Shakespeare Connoisseur - $51

3. Rapala HM-30 - $45

4. Shakespeare Contender -

Points to consider
Avoid going for cheapo rods like Surecatch (don't believe), Pioneer, Exori, Tica, Tomman or unknown brands. Fishing is a lifelong hobby and equipment can be kept for 10-20 years with no problems. It is better to get one that would last you, as well as give you better enjoyment in using a good set.

Some of the reputable rods are from Shimano, Shakespeare, Rapala, Lemax and Berkley

Selecting a suitable length
Choose a length that you are comfortable with. Suggestion is that it should be slightly taller than you. Do not go below a 6 ft rod. Short rods limit the casting distance you can achieve. Longer rods can go further, all things being equal. Shorter rods are usually meant for boat fishing, where casting far is not necessary.

Selecting a suitable spec
Rods come in a variety of ratings from action:fast to slow, power:light to heavy, and are represented in the pair. eg. Medium Heavy. The fast to slow indicate the speed of which the rod can spring back. The light to heavy indicates the strength (or power) of the rod. Light for light fishes, heavy for heavy fishes. Typically, people would choose a fast rod, for setting the hook quickly (since the rod springs back fast, the line is jerked faster to drive the hook in) For general fishing, a medium rod would be sufficient. Too heavy, you wouldn't be able to feel a small fish. A normal 8lbs - 20lbs rod with a fast action is normally good.

B. Selecting a proper reel
For reels, choose one from a reputable brand. Shimano ones like Alivio, Sienna, Slade or Daiwa ones like Crossfire, Sweepfire are good choices. Reels comes in different sizes. The bigger they are, the more lines they can carry. But in turn, it is heavier. For generally fishing, a 100yards of 10lbs line would be sufficient. Remember, the heavier the lines eg. 20lbs, the thicker it is, and the less you can spool into the reel.

For general fishing, a size 2000 Shimano reel is good. For tamban jigging/luring, a size 1000 is good. For boat fishing, a size 4000-8000 is good. Surfcasting, 8000 and beyond.

Some of the reputable reels are from Shimano, Daiwa, Ryobi, Abui Garcia.

C. Selecting your line
After getting a reel, you will need to spool(action of winding in lines on the spool of the reel) in a line. There are many choices and poundage of lines avaialable.

First to decide is whether you want braided or mono. Braided is best for fishing, BUT it is an expensive line. A 125yds could easily cost $20. Mono has the poor characteristic of stretching, as well as having the memory effect. (end of line will curl up)

It is best not to choose too thick a line, as you will lose the sensitivity of feeling the bites of the fish. For general fishing, a 10lbs line would be sufficient IMO. For jigging small bait fishes, a 6lbs line would be enough. For bottom fishing, you can do with 14lbs. Other for boat fishing where you are expecting biggies in excess of 5kg, would you need strong mainline in 20-50lbs.

Lines do get used up due to abrasion and breakage. Once the spool gets half empty, it is best to change and respool.

IMO, for general fishing, a 8-14lbs would do.

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