Rigging rods & reels
by Mike Gerry
In my boat there are always questions from my customers about how to rig their rods and reels with respect to reel speed, rod length, rod action, and line size. So, I thought I would give you some quick advice as to how I see this issue.
First, I believe that there is a generic common length and reel speed that works in most situations, that being: 7 ft. 1 in. to 7ft. 3 in. in rod length with a medium heavy tip, and a 6:3:1 reel. This is as close to a generic set-up, that can be, that will work for most types of fishing.
When you move on from generic set-ups, you must consider what you are trying to do. If you’re fishing heavy grass, or deep, or need a great amount bait action, all things require some set-up changes.
If you need to retrieve line quickly, like fishing a jig or worm, increase your reel speed to 7:1:1 or 8:1:1 or even faster. If you’re fishing a crank bait, where the bait needs to go deep, slow the reel speed down to 5:2:1 or slower.
Line size also affects all this set-up. The heavier the line, the shallower the bait will run, and the slower it will fall. In grassy lakes, 14 lb. test is a good generic strength, but in clear, deep water, ten pound test is as common as it gets.
The key to fishing heavy cover is strength in rod tip selection, where heavy to extra heavy tips are needed. The key to getting a bait to run deep is a soft rod tip and a light line that are used on what are called cranking rods, or medium to light rod tips.
The key to sensitivity is line stretch. Fluorocarbon has no stretch and is more sensitive, braid has no stretch. The key to top-water action is line with some stretch, like copolymer line and a medium rod tip.
An important part of this is understanding what you are trying to do with your bait. What do you want it to do, or act like? All this requires thought and set-up change if you want to get the most action out of your baits.
To be successful, always consider what you’re doing, how deep you want to get, how much action you want and what strength you need to bring in a fish.