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Now that I'm to the point where I'm not breaking my rod top every time I go fishing, it's time to start moving into what I'll label 'intermediate' fishing gear. So far I've largely constrained myself to the latest Canadian Tire special and have picked up every thing from $10 turbo rod-and-reel packages (which exploded the first time I touched it) to $30-on-sale Abu Garcia spinning packages (which seem to be hardy as heck and I think I like best of all). Pretty soon it'll be time to upgrade a step or so for the spring season or (if the river continues to open up) perhaps for February shad.

So what do you guys think would be an excellent "all-purpose" spinning rod and reel setup that's available for, say, a $100 budget (or even less if it's quality enough)? If someone gave you a hunnert bucks and said 'you must spend this on a spinning rod and reel', where would you guys put your money?

If it helps, I usually target SMB, brook trout, pickerel and white perch, and have a separate rod for sturgeon (although it's very heavy), and happily the target list continues to grow. I most often fish from my kayak.
 

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personally I have not bought a whole lot of higher end spinning gear, but when I have it has not lasted any longer then the 'cheap' stuff. In fact most cases the cheap stuff outlasts the high end stuff. Yes, the high end stuff performs really nice at first.

Those abu combos that go often on sale at CT that you mention are by far the best value for your money. I still have 2 that I still use a lot bought in 2006. I heard the 'newer models' available the last couple of years are just as good (so far). My fishing partner has a couple.

I have not been overly impression by shimano, but I do like abu and quantum mid range. I always wonder how an pfleuger or okuma spin reel would perform. I just bought my first okuma recently but its a baitcaster. So much gear, so little time!
 

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Some people may say that $100 is not enough for an intermediate rod and reel. Given you can get rods for $400+ and reels for something in the same ballpark as well, I think the highwater mark for a 'professional' top quality set up could be $750+. I don't know many people with the cash to throw around like that though!

I think I have the same AbuGarcia Canadian Tire combo that was on sale for something like $30 for my 6 year old, but I've ended up using it myself quite often for perch and other smaller fish. It's a great little light rod/reel for the price!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Was hoping more for recommendations based on personal experiences than dealer site links that have a spread of products. There's plenty of ads around for those that I could click. :)
 

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Was hoping more for recommendations based on personal experiences than dealer site links that have a spread of products. There's plenty of ads around for those that I could click. :)
In that case, from personal experience I can tell you that I have this rod: http://cgemery.com/fishing/products/rods/predator-rods/streamside-predator-freshwater-spinning-series-with-blank-through-handle and this reel: http://cgemery.com/fishing/products/reels/spinning-reels/emery-shot-gun-spinning-reel, and it's my favorite setup, however it will take you above your $100 limit (yet still under $200).

Good luck!
 

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i would suggest you come to the nbsfa spring flee market in april

you can likly get a set up that will work for 100 $ used

if you ask me ? i have spent 1000 $ over 25 years of competitive fishing

save another 100 and get good stuff !

you can get top notch stuff - 100 - 125 good spinning reel (they dont sell them at canadain tire or walmart )

and a one piece good rod - same kind of number as reel stay away from 2 piece if you want quality

better to wait and get good quality
 

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I have used a one piece and now a 2 piece Shakespeare UGLY STICK for the last 25 years. You cannot break or harm them and they are sensitive enough to fish small brook trout, haul in big pickerel or fight the nastiest smallmouth there is. Make sure you have a good reel though. See some of the rod action on fish I use on my you tube. www.youtube.com/kayakfisher63
 

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I have used a one piece and now a 2 piece Shakespeare UGLY STICK for the last 25 years. You cannot break or harm them and they are sensitive enough to fish small brook trout, haul in big pickerel or fight the nastiest smallmouth there is. Make sure you have a good reel though. See some of the rod action on fish I use on my you tube. www.youtube.com/kayakfisher63
Yep, Ugly Sticks are good rods, all right. I had one when I lived in Louisiana. You could bend that thing end for end and it wouldn't break.
 

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My personal choice is Shimano, I have several combos in spinning and baitcast from 100.00$ to 350.00$ but one of my favorites is a Shimano Compre rod 6'6'' with a Shimano Sedona 1000 spinning reel, had it for years, nice and light and very comfortable. It'll run you about 150.00$.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for all the good advice, folks. A 6 1/2' rod is about what I'd want as a max given kayak fishing is likely where it would see the most use. I keep hearing Ugly sticks are excellent quality as well.

Skeeterpro, what (when where) is the flea market? The NBSFA website doesn't seem to give many (any?) details.
 

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I'm also a big fan of Shimano quality and performance. My recommendation for the $100-$110 price range would be a Shimano Sienna 2500 spinning reel and a 6'-6" Shimano Convergence rod, medium, fast-action.

Reel should run $40-45 and the rod is around $65. You won't be disappointed.
 

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I'm also a big fan of Shimano quality and performance. My recommendation for the $100-$110 price range would be a Shimano Sienna 2500 spinning reel and a 6'-6" Shimano Convergence rod, medium, fast-action.

Reel should run $40-45 and the rod is around $65. You won't be disappointed.
I agree. Better than the Ugly Stick. Lighter, and a way better medium action. The Ugly Stick feels more rigid, I find.
 

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The Shimano Sienna can be had on Amazon.ca for $29.99 free shipping. Another thing you should consider if your kayaking in tidal is how much they will hold up with brackish water use. If you check the Shimano site you'll see that many or most of their spinning reels are approved for saltwater use.

The thing about Ugly Stiks you should know is they have a brand new more pricy generation called GX2 coming out which have more graphite / less fiberglass which make them lighter and more sensitive than the old generation and new 1-piece guides (no inserts - may end up being a + or -). Many places online have been clearing out the older generation rods and even locally Walmart had them reduced 25-40% (saw some 7' still around for $30). I managed to get a 6'6" myself for just $15.

I use a Ugly Stik Lite mostly (lighter version - more graphite + cork grip). Locally CrappyT has them $49 but they have them on sale 2-3 times a season 40% off.
 

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ugly stick, even the 'lite' model = super tough = super heavy. Not recommended if you will be doing a lot of casting. But great for trolling.
 
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