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the combo's at walmart are a good idea, but understand they will mostly only last 1 year, same with ct, except for the big ugly stick combo's at ct. dorions have better combo's as do some of the other local shops. what part of N.B. are you at Bobd?

i actualy buy most of my rod and reels on line, either discount stores or the big guys - bass pro and cabelelas. the rods are easy, it's the reels that are a pain. in most cases it's less expensive to by a combo than just the reel - seriously! i picked up a few reels on sale, a bunch of us got together for that.

i like a couple rods: a shammano can be nice light rod, 8-9', very comfortable; abu garcia 9', parabolic like the ugly stick but heavier rod - much easier to cast and land numbers of big stripers; ugly stick, a good light rod for boat/kayak - the big surf rod is okay - make sure it's a casting and not a trolling rod; beachcomber, these and mako are the most common surf combo's - good for feel - harder to cast - 1yr life ecpectancy.

all of those are spinning rods, my preferance.
 

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Bobd, try cabelas, they seem to have the best price for a high capacity reel last time i checked. i have bought several combos just for the reel, and one just for the rod. i use the same 6'6" ugly stick for stripers from th kayak and also for when my arms need a break from shore. it will land stripers. the big problem is a reel that hods enough line. i have taken a reel from the combo i bought just for the rod and put it on the ugly stick - works so far...! i use the alpha that come with it on my 6' ugly - not as good, smaller capacity. the problem with small capacity is after you land a numbe rof fish, gotten caught on the logs, sheared of on some muscles...you quick have to change line again so you don't spool on th cast...! i'll look around and see if i can find some other buys.
ps: i keep striper combos under $150 - things get broken inthe dark...!!! lol
 

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BobD gofishin.com prices from $14 and up on the reel sale. add shipping and delivery, get here for $21 and up. they have a selection of the combo reels (without the rod)$14-16 calypso (bottom of the line but works okay), okuma baitrunner for $44, other okuma for less and a few other that wouild work for stripers. always double check their prices, these sound great but cabelas or bass pro might have the same offer (i doubt it for these reels)
 

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mudman i have a 12' i bought for surf and long distance delivery of heavy baits. i have caught a few stripers on it but still looking for a monster to fit it's size.
do you mostly surf fish with live bait? cut bait? lures? in Maine the mostly use cut bait, often either the head or tail of a mackeral. in NS they mostly use whole mackeral.
 

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check. it is the one in maine. and they have buff's! just what i've been looking for. now i'll have to find some other stuff there to make the order worth while.
 

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i haven't had any problems with the okuma gear i have, but i have certainly heard of problems from others. i wonder if donnie got some bad gear? i didn't get my stuff there but i did find the reel arms are a little short for landing big stripers.

i like abu gear and have several of their striper combo's. the rods are great,the reels okay at best - i trade them out now and use them in the 'yak, instead putting a much heavier reel on them. the big advantage ot hte abu rod is that it's parabolic like the uglysticks, so it's easier to cast and much easier on you dureing the fight.

i do have to disagree with one thing - the longer the rod the more control and easier it is to land fish, not the shorter the rod. this has limits - a 12' rod doesn't make much difference for your average schoolie, but it turns a small fish into a joke. i have actualy fished smallies with this rod, just for fun. landing a 5# smallie on a popper with a 12' rod just isn't the same as a normal length. learning to make little pops with the big rod - now that's hard!! lol
 

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bigfish, i realy enjoyed reading your last write up!

i wasn't actualy saying it was easier to fish with longer rods, just easier to get them in. trying to get a popper to move only 3" with 144" of rod isn't easy! i mostl use 8 & 9' rods for stripers from shore and power boat, 6-6.6' from the yak. i bought an uglystick sturdy stick single piece 6.6' rod just to fish stripers in the falls...and hated it! rats!!! i paid good money for that one. it sounded great on paper, and the problem wasn't the rods fault, it was just with my arms i couldn't keep ahead of, or any tension on the line fighting stripers in heavy current when they run fast too. i lost a big one trying. now that rod is for cut bait from a dock and i'm lending it to jim to try - he's looking at getting a fancy better version of the same thing.

yes, they were abu spinning reels....

yup, thats the okuma problems. i have had the same problem with line going bettween the roller on those same abu reels too and some bass pro stuff and a few otyhwers besides. i landed one of only two stripers i have caught on live eels while sitting on the walkway to the shuttle dock with the eel just running over the side on my spare uglystick while i was rebuilding a abu bruiser reel from the parts all over the dock. suddenly the rod just started danceing! lol a little schoolie must have thought i needed cheering up, i sure was a frustrated fisherman at the time.

i miss abbies shop too, although his prices were, well... pricey. but i think all the striper gear was more expensive about 6-8 years ago, and is now coming back up to that price stage again.

dunc taught me to fly tie when i was young. i have the 2 page spread from the reader showing a couple hundred of his flies as the background for my fly section at home. like you i buy all over, i still try to by local when i can but expect value for my money. i know most locals can't compete with mega stores, just don't guage me for quality AND price! lol
 

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i had a mako/south bend reel die last night, one of the gold ones, big spool. to bad, i liked it's large line capacity. i'm just glad it happened on a cast, no fish on!! lol
 

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i just replaced that "gold" reel with a large bait runner reel. we haven't mentioned them here yet, so this looks like the section to go over them.

a bait runner reel will normaly have two drag systems or settings. the first is the regular drag, normally front mounted. the second is the "bait runner" that is a much lighter drag system or it allows a complete free spool in some reels, normaly this is mounted on the back of the reel. most will have a thumb switch so you can instantly switch from one to the other drags. this lets you run cut or live bait on a very light drag, so you can keep it where you want and yet it allows the big fish to take the bait without felling the resistance of the drag and rod. this can some times mean they will take the bait deep, which you have to watch to avoid(circle/octopus hooks help with this) but most importantly, they take the bait! lol, i don't let them take it far. this is the best way to run live bait like eels or suckers, either on bottom, suspending and/or balloning (the ballon act like a big bobber, keeping the bait above cover and structure, moving with the wind, making a tempting target. i have done the same with cut bait and even swim baits and cranks.) hook ups can be tricky, try to make sure they still have preasure on, and try not to set the hook if using circle hooks.
 

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i got asked about leaders last night, so i thought i would give it my 2 cents here. our fishing set up for stripers is actualy very similar to that used for tarpon. we use leader to handle the sharp gill plates, needle sharp barbs, razor edged structure, vampire fanged teeth (blue fish), and as a shock absorber and soft stretch for better hook ups for braid.

most times, when using 30# or heavier main line, i don't use a leader, unless there has/is blue fish acttivity, when i will step up to either 40-50# floro/ co-polamar or 75-125# steel leader.

if using lighter main line from shore or normal boat, i would suggest 2-4' of 30-50# floro, co-polamar or mono leader. try to avoid wire leader, stripers don't like it much and most of them are only 35# at best.

when using braid, i would suggest 3-4' of mono or co-polarmar, this gives good protection form gill plates and some stretch to help with hook ups, especialy using cranks. a common braid set up that has become popular is called a hot shot. the idea here is to use braid for backing, and a lot of it, and 100-200 yrds of mono in front of that, connecting to the lure, most consider this the beat of both worlds, and this is how they fish for even bigger game fish like bill fish. it allows the soft bite for a good hook up and a ton of line in case it desides to go zooming off some where, like the next postal code....

when kayak fishing for stripers i use from 17-25# main line, and only when blue fish are here do i use any leader. this is an exceptionm because it's hard enough to break off striper line from a kayak, even to cut it speedily, and i would rather be safe than drown. i have only lost 3 fish due to this, and it was all due to jagged structure.

one thing to watch for is connecting the main line to the leader with a swivel or snap swivel. it's a bad idea in most cases for stripers because we are fishing at night and i have seen a number of top eye's broken by reeling up to the swivel over and over, eventualy breaking the ceramic incert - a reel pain! some times you can't avoid this danger (like using a planer board, blues, etc.), so try to keep it in mind and don't reel the leader right into the rod, leave about a foot of main line down - this will also help with casting distance.

if you don't have or can't find heavy line, doubling or tripling the line works well to, it just takes more work.
 

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i landed a 9-10# keeper on a fly rod the other day, actualy looking for mackeral. there were 2 of us trying fly rods, the other guy was using an 8# leader according to him, while i was using the heavy tappering leader i listed before. he never landed a keeper size fish, but did fine with schoolies with no break off.

i had a lot of touble with some striper flies and other salt water flies, some were just too light for the heavy rod & line, some obviosly needed to be trolled, but it was nice to try it out. oh, and i did land a mackeral - great little fight on a fly rod!

hmm, i just checked and i guess i didn't tell ya'll about leader for fly fishin stripers, so here's my info.

you can get away with a 8-13# leader fly fishing for stripers, if you are lucky and are hooking schoolies, however you should step up to a tappered leader for the big guys. after a lot of research i have come up with this tappering formula used in maine:
4' of 30# mono connecting to 3' of 25# mono connecting to 2' of 20# mono connected to 1-2' of 17-20# floro (floro working better on those gillplates and other shearing problems). the original said 1' of floro - wrong! unless you like retieing a leader on the river, these are big flies and you go through a lot of leader just tieing them on, so 1-2' of floro on the end is a good idea. use the heaviest rod and reel you can find. that all said, a 6-8weight combo will get you into the action.
 

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the abu reel i was talking about earlier, the one that comes on the great rod, but isn't such a great reel?! i had taken it off the rod, since i knes these reels don't stand up, and put it on one of my kayak rods for stripers, and also used it for mackeral. jimies son landed a striper on it he hooked himself, which is nice
and anothwer local that hadn't landed a striper and was breaking off due to trout line landed a couple on it when i saw what was happening and lent it to him. when i got it back it barely worked - i thought it was sand, so no biggie. when i tried to use it next it was frozen solid
no suprise but still disappointing, it didn't even last a season. so, thinking i was wasting my time
i decided to try to fix it. my low expectations were due to tring this before on another one of these reels and finding destroyed parts. this time i found it was full of rust and corrosion. i stripped it down and at every step i found more, even to the frame. a lot of cleaning, a bit of emery cloth and file work, some new grease...and it works again!
i have no idea for how long, but i do like it's medium size and large line capacity. i have my fingers crossed! lol
 
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