Lakecaster Online Archives - May, 2004


By Joe Joslin
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I have been asked several times recently by friends and guide clients to suggest a minimum of fishing rigs to cover most aspects of bass fishing for the average weekend angler. I will try to keep budget in mind, while yet making sure all rigs are high quality in performance and durability. While I have more rods/reels than my wife has pairs of shoes, (I hope she doesn't read this) I think I could handle 90% of most fishing situations with three rigs. Those three include A medium heavy action baitcast rig, a medium action baitcast rig and a medium heavy action spinning rig.

For the med. heavy baitcast rig I suggest a 7' Fenwick HMG Carbon Veil Triggerstik GT70MH rod ($100-$119) with a Abu Garcia Torno T3006HSI low profile reel($139-$159). A cheaper alternative yet still dependable rig would be Berkley's Lightning Rod Professional LPC70MH ($50-$65) with Abu Garcia 4600C3 reel ($75-$85).

For the medium action rig I suggest a 7' Fenwick HMG Carbon Veil Triggerstik GT70M rod($100-$119) with a Abu Garcia Torno T3006HSI low profile reel($139-$159). A good 2nd option to save some bucks on a medium action rig is Abu Garcia Torno Baitcast Combo 3003/661MC featuring a 3 bearing Torno reel with a 6'6" Abu Garcia rod with cork handle with a price tag of just $94.95 for both rod/reel.

For the third and final suggestion I want to recommend a spinning rod/reel. WHAT? A SPINNING RIG? You bet ya'. I'll explain later why I'm such a fan of spinning tackle. My favorite spinning rig consist of a med. heavy 7' Fenwick HMG Carbon Veil GS70MH (1 piece) rod ($100-$119) with an Abu Garcia Cardinal/7 bearings 670 C672 reel ($74.95/only 7.8 oz.). A close 2nd choice and several dollars cheaper is Berkley's Professional Model 7' med-heavy spinning rod/LPS701MH (1 piece) for $50-$65. Another excellent choice in a quality spinning reel is Abu Garcia's Cardinal 600 Series C602 for $45-$55.

To give the general use for each(this is not an all inclusive list) I will list some the major applications for each of the three choices. The medium heavy rig will work on Texas rigged soft plastics,Carolina Rigs, swimming soft baits(Gulp Sinking Minnow, ReAction Salty Dogs, Senko) as well as most jig n pig situations. Here you need the rod to be strong enough to, when setting the hook, force the hook through the soft plastic and into the mouth of the fish.

The medium action rig works great on spinnerbaits, crankbaits, Frenzy Ratl'r/Rat-L-Trap, top water and jigging spoons. A rule of thumb that I use is.....if it has treble hooks, use a medium action rod. The medium action has enough backbone for a good hook set but enough flex/cushion for the fish to fight and not rip out the hooks.

MY SPIN ON SPINNING RIGS: All spinning tackle is not ultra light and numerous serious bass anglers are regular users of spinning tackle. Most, including this bass fishing fanatic, are not using 'ultra light'. The spinning rigs that I use (and recommended earlier) for bass fishing are not wimpy tools. They are not as heavy duty as the baitcast rigs but that is the beauty of them. I have caught numerous bass between 5-9 lbs. on them and they allow the angler to down size in line and baits in order to frequently get bites when clear water and heavy fishing pressure conditions are present. These rigs shine like the noon day sun when fishing finesse techniques such as wacky, drop-shot and split-shot. I am convinced that spinning tackle makes me a more consistent angler and helps to put bass in the boat on days when nothing else will. I use 8,10 and 12 LB line on my spinning rigs and pay close attention to sharp hooks, proper drag, quality line, always use a palomar knot and re-tie often.

AUTHOR INFO: Joe Joslin is a syndicated columnist and pro guide on Toledo Bend. His sponsors include Yamaha/Skeeter Boats and Motors, Berkley, Abu Garcia, Fenwick, G.T. Industries, ReAction Lures, Stanley Jigs Inc., Jay's Carpet One and TTI Industries. He can be reached at 337-463-3848, 409-565-1288 and jsoutdrs@wnonlin