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i have a question for those of you that own expensive setups. i do a lot of fishing, 3-4 days a week, and i catch a lot of nice fish. i've always used cheap setups that you can get at walmart. right now i'm using michtel avocet rods and reels. and a shakespere dimension reel. the mitchel combo costs $30 and the shakespere reel and the rod that its on cost about $50. i use medium action 7' rods.(spinning gear)

i'm primarely fish for bass. but i have caught walleye, pike, suckers and carp on this setup.

so my question is, what is the advantage of spending more for your gear?

i think i'm ready to buy something a little nicer i just would like to know if its really worth it.
 

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I think if you fish occasionally inexpensive gear is fine. But if you fish on a regular basis, you'll enjoy (and be able to justify ;)) more expensive gear. You don't need to spend a ton but get yourself either a nice combo or go out and shop for a nice rod and reel separately. You can get something in the $75 to $100 range and I think you'll notice the difference and be happy you did. You don't need to spend $200+ like a lot of guys do but a good mid-range setup really makes a difference.

Just my .02

John
 

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there are some definite advantages to buying a higher end rod... *most* are lighter and more sensitive as well as tuned to specific presentations... as for a reel... i think you can get by with less expensive stuff as long as it has a good drag and is built well. i buy a lot of used BPS extreme baitcasters for 20-30$ a pop and slap them on rods i would sell for 100-150 dollars.
one of my best spinning reels was 15$ and has a great drag.
 

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You have a PM

Rich
 

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All of my rods are ugly sticks, at $39.00 a piece they are reliable as heck. I use $19.00 gander mountain spinning reels and have no complants at all. Unless you are going to cast and flip lures all day I'd go with the cheap stuff. I do have a a nice bait casting reel and rod but don't use it that often. Like stated by thedude, a smooth drag can't be beat. Cheap stuff you don't have to baby. Just a couple pros and cons for ya.
 

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I can tell you one more thing about expensive gear and that is I have been able to skip lures under docks using my new Energy PT baitcaster. I could never get away with skipping docks with el~cheapo equipment. I cast to a lot of areas with my expensive gear that I don't think I could get away with my cheaper stuff because of the "Professional Overruns"....

Good Luck!
 

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80% of my rods are "ugly sticks" (gasp). They work very well for me. I do like the Shimano spinning reels, nice and smooth. If your happy and catch fish with cheap stuff, then so be it. Fish with what works for you. I'm willing to bet if you can catch em with the cheap stuff, you can catch them with the pricey stuff. I'm also willing to bet it will be the same quality fish.
 

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for most fish, mid priced stuff is all ya need to get some pretty good, long lasting equipment.

now, for specialized setups and for things such as big water (there are good deals to be had there too on some lines of tackle) and especially mid to heavy salt, don't be bringing that cheap stuff..... it wouldn't last one fish.
 

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i should say, for most all freshwater spinning, i like symetres.... not too pricey, though i am looking at the new saros also.... my rods run the gammut, trolling i have some lower mid priced shimanos and okumas, my walleye jiggin sticks are high end customs, my perch rods are a bit cheaper, as I beat the bejesus outta them during the fall.
 

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there are some definite advantages to buying a higher end rod... *most* are lighter and more sensitive as well as tuned to specific presentations... as for a reel... i think you can get by with less expensive stuff as long as it has a good drag and is built well. i buy a lot of used BPS extreme baitcasters for 20-30$ a pop and slap them on rods i would sell for 100-150 dollars.
one of my best spinning reels was 15$ and has a great drag.

And I own TWO of those , as well as selling you that one!
:evilsmile

The better rods ARE lighter & stronger the best reels are also the same build.

You will find the more expensive stuff will last you longer AND you can generally get parts for them when they fail also.
:fish2:

The better baitcasters will be hard to back lash opposed to the cheaper ones and the spinning reels will have fine drags that LAST.

:coolgleam
 

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Higher end rods are nearly always lighter and more sensitive (especially when matched up against any Ugly Stick). The most important thing on a reel is the drag.... a good drag can be bought for $40 at Gander and I own many of them.
 

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I have 3x Nick Buss ESX (century blank) Custom 12ft 3.5 tc SU rods, fuji real seat, jap shrink butt gripp, stainless butt cap, SIC rings, progressive taper.
Handmade by English rod builder Nick Buss.
[/COLOR]
Around $600.00 each + shipping from the UK.
My reels are shimano big pit ultegra 12000 xsa ($375) which coupled with the rods can cast 175 yards.

You pay for quality and if you want the best, its top $$

But do you need it.... "NO".... But it looks so pretty :D







 

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I use Ugly Sticks(UL, M, MH) For most of my fishing and Shimano and Diawa Reels. I don't have any problems catching fish no matter if it's crappie, trout or bass. - Bryon
 

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Up until now I've only had Uglystik's, they work great and all especially for the price. But recently I got a St. Croix Premier 6'6" M rod using a couple gift cards I had, normally wouldn't purchase this rod but hey I had gift cards :)

I really notice how sensitive it is compared to the Uglystik's, not to mention the weight. I was out fishing last week and my gf was using one of my Ugly combos after using my new St. Croix all night I picked her rod up to head to the car and I was like damn, this thing must weight 2x my St. Croix.

Now will I go out and buy a bunch of expensive rods right now, no, cause I don't have the money for them. But I think spending a little extra on a rod is worth it, if you can afford it. If I start fishing more and I've got the money, I'll slowly rotate out the Uglystiks and either sell them or they can be loaners.
 

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I have been Uglystiks for year and have had no problems with them. Would I get an expensive rod if I could afford one? Probably, but I catch pleanty of fish on my '4"8 UL, '5"0 UL and '6"6 Medium Uglystik Lite's so I am content.
 

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I've always used cheaper gear like the quantum synergy series combos. I break them every season without fail. About 3 years ago I was fishing in Labo park in South Rockwood and something hit my line so hard it broke off the rod tip and my line pulled off 2 guides before finally snapping. God I wish I had caught whatever did this. Anyways I got fed up with the cheapness and went to gander to look for some higher end combos. The sales guy talked me into a guide series rod and reel and I must say its the best setup I've ever used. I locked onto a 5lbs smallie last weekend about 100yrds out and it was almost disappointing how effortless this setup made the whole ordeal. I'd suggest trying out Guide Series products because they aren't expensive, but have the feel of higher end rods/reels.
 

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If you fish 3-4 times a week then you obviously enjoy fishing. As with many things in life, an upgrade in tools/equipment can enhance the enjoyment as well. Seems to me that you've earned the right to upgrade at least 1 rod/reel combination. Choose something that is the most versatile (which in my opinion would be a spinning combo) and go for it. Lay down $80-100 for a nice Shimano reel and drop another $75 on a rod of your choosing. I'd guess that Waterfoul or KD outdoors would have a pretty impressive (suggested) range of rods at that price point. Then you can say definatively whether it makes a difference. I truly suspect that once you use lighter, you'll eventually get another. After 2 years of fishing, I'm beginning to realize the benefits of strength but lighter. Comes down to fatique and ultimately focus. If you can throw an Ugly Stik Lite 300 times in an outing, then a savings of 10-20 ounces (rod+reel) could give you another 100 casts which equals another 100 opportunities for landing that catch of a lifetime.

:coolgleam

fwiw - I saw and bought a 7' Shakesphere Micro-graphite ($14) at Wal-Mart for my brother. He mated it with a Shimano Solstace and it became his favorite rod - due to the lightness. So much so that he had me buy him 3 more. He still uses his Ugly Stik Lites but the first rod he pulls and the last he puts away is this lightweight combo - simply because he loves the lightness and ease of casting. Imagine what a real lightweight rod/reel combo would do.
 

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I'm really surprised that a high number of people...people I assume fish regularly still use Ugly Sticks. Are these at least Ugly Stick Lites or are these the original foam handled models? I know these rods are durable as all get out, but casting accuracy and feel/sensitivity leave a a lot to be desired.

As far as spending more money it depends in a lot of cases. Vertical jigging for walleye? A good rod is worth every penny and then some. Crappie fishing with light line and small jigs...again, a good rod is very valuable.

I don't use high end gear...$40-$80 Shimano and Quantum reels (try hard to buy sales/closeouts when possible) and I use a lot of Bass Pro Shop house Rods. For the money, the BPS rods are pretty nice. I have a bunch of Micro Lights, that only cost $40 ($30 every spring sale), Crankin sticks, Bionic Blades, Extreme XPS's etc. The most expensive is $100 (think sales though!!) and all are, imo, about the best you can get for the money. They aren't Kistlers, they aren't Loomis', etc but for mid range rods, they work great. I also have Cabelas rods like the Pro Comps and the Fish Eagle II's and they are nice for the price as well.

Good gear is an investment, as it tends to last. Is it needed? Nope, I still fish with whatever I could, whenever I could. Does it help? I think it does in many cases.

One of the best panfish fisherman I ever new, fished from the deck of his $30,000 bass boat with nothing more than a 12ft cane pole and crickets...so go figure??!!
 

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Here's a challenge: I'll use one of my more expensive and sensitive rods... you use your favorite ugly stick combo and we'll fish the same lake at the same time from the same boat... we can even rotate to the front seat. Bet I out fish you!! So who's on???
 

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i'm like kryptonite to you when we're in the same boat... so i should take you up on that.
 
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