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Flipping and Pitching Setup for Bass

Flipping and Pitching Setup

​For most anglers the correct flipping and pitching setup will depend entirely on where and what type of lures they will be fishing with.

​For the majority of anglers that will mean close quarters work in and around heavy weed beds or other ​structures like docks.

When working a lure in heavy cover then you really need a rod and line choice that can handle a bass turning it's nose down into thick vegetation once it is hooked.

​Most anglers will use a baitcasting setup, although you could in theory use a spinning outfit for flippin, definitely not for pitching though.

​Flipping and Pitching Setup

  • Rod - 7'6" minimum, heavy power rating with a fast action
  • Reel - Baitcaster with a high retrieval rate(gearing)
  • Line - Braid or Fluorocarbon(heavy braid when in thick weeds)

​Rod

The rod will need to be long enough to get a decent amount of line out when flipping and have a fast action so that you can load up the tip to when pitching.

As a general rule look for a flipping rod that is at least 7'6" in length. You need a decent length rod to be able to get your enough line out off of the spool whilst swinging the lure out in front.

Shorter rods will limit you unless you are only working in extremely short range situations.

​When in and around heavy weed cover a heavy action is a must as your rod needs to able to haul bass out from thick weed mats.

A fast action is the preferred choice as it gives you the ability to load the tip when casting and also to set the hook quickly, neither of which is possible with a slower or moderate action.

​Reel

When flipping the reel is more or less just a line store so you can either use a spinning reel or a baitcaster.However, you do want a high gear ratio and a baitcaster will generally be the better choice.

​A baitcaster is just that little bit easier to use as you will have the reel mounted on the top of the rod making it easier to control the line with your free hand.

When using a spinning reel the bail arm position can also be a bit of a pain to get right, whereas with a casting reel there are no such issues.

When pitching a baitcaster is the only choice in town as you will be pitching the lure out in an underhand casting movement and thumbing the spool as normal to control the casting distance.

​Reels with a high retrieval rate are the most popular as you may need to ​pull a bass out of cover as quickly as possible to prevent them from getting bedded in.

​Line

​Monofilament is a poor choice and either braid or fluorocarbon are the options.

Mono has far too much in built stretch and when using close up casting techniques you will need to set the hook quickly and firmly, any stretch in your line will delay your strike.

Braid is the best line for flipping and pitching around heavy weeds as it can slice through weed much easier than the same breaking strain of fluorocarbon.

Fluorocarbon is best used when flipping and pitching in more open water or clear water situations as braid is highly visible especially when using topwater lures in summer months.

Best Line for Flipping and Pitching

Best Line for Flipping and Pitching

​Flippin or pitching into weed beds and in and around other structures give you the ability to really target bass without spooking them.

It's all about pin point casts with little or no splash on entry.

When it comes to tackle ​the best flipping rods will generally be seven and a half to eight feet long with a medium/heavy power rating and a fast action.

You need to be able to load the tip up easily and still have enough power in the rod blank to handle large bass that are hiding in thick weed beds.

Choosing the right line however is a bit more ​tricky and a lot of angler will swear by their favorite line regardless of how and where they are fishing.. 

Both braid and fluorocarbon are the stand out choices.

Monofilament however is rarely a good option.

Mono suffers from having way too much stretch in it to make it an effective line for flipping and pitching.

You need to be able to set the hook quickly when working lures over and through weed beds and lilies.

With the natural stretch that mono has it will delay that strike by a few milliseconds and may result in a missed fish.

Best Line for Flipping and Pitching

​1. Braid

Braid when compared to any other line of the equivalent breaking strain will slice through weed like nothing else.

It is roughly half the diameter of monofilament and as such is the best choice as a fishing line for flipping and pitching in heavy weed cover.

Braid is arguably the most visible fishing line that is commonly used. Although it has many great properties this high visibility is it's major downfall.

When you are in clear water conditions or in very sparse weed cover then fluorocarbon is probably the better choice.

​When flippin and pitching for bass into thick weeds you need a fairly heavy line to be able to a bass that decides to turn it's head down into thick vegetation once hooked.

Don't be afraid to go fairly heavy with the braid, 40 or 50 lb breaking strain is not uncommon and gives you a lot of confidence in your flipping and pitching setup when around thick cover.

​2. Fluorocarbon

Fluorocarbon gives you the same low stretch characteristics as braid yet is as invisible as mono.

Fluorocarbon excels in clear waters when you need a low stretch line.

Working over light cover in clear waters especially using topwater lures for bass means staying a hidden as possible and if you are to use braid that will kill any chances of your fishing line staying out of sight.  

It also makes an excellent leader choice when using braid and you do not want to tie directly into the braid that is your main line.

The one pain point with fluorocarbon is when you are using it in heavy weeds.

Due to it's shape and thickness it does not slice as easily as braid does through weed beds.

Thick weeds also need a high breaking strain and 40 lb fluorocarbon is too thick and rigid when compared to 40 lb braid.

Best Spinning Reel 2020 – [Buyer’s Guide]

best spinning reel

​Pairing a good spinning rod with the best spinning reel you can afford and with the highest quality line will make a huge difference in your ability to throw a lure or bait right where you want it to go.

Sure you can buy a  cheap spinning setup from your local Walmart for $20, but lets face it both the quality and the performance will be terrible if you intend to do any kind of serious fishing.    

​Think of a good quality spinning reel as an investment.

A good spinning reel if treated correctly should last years of use and abuse. 

They require very little maintenance and should reassure you that that your tackle is capable of handling that next big lunker you are in search of.

​Best​ Spinning Reels


​The Abu Revo SX Spinning reel strikes a perfect balance of affordability and performance.

With the Revo SX you get near Shimano Stradic performance at a lower price point. The SX is the perfect intermediate reel for those that are not looking to spend a fortune.

​​Where the Revo really shines is in it's line management system. The Rocket Spool lip lets line run effortlessly off of the spool as you cast - meaning longer casts and increased accuracy.

One thing that reduces casting distances on reels is when the line is laid in an uneven manner on the spool resulting in it sticking to the previous layers. Abu have used their Everlast bail system that helps ensure line is laid evenly and flat on the spool as you retrieve.​

The body is made from a carbon composite C6 whilst the frame is built from X-Craftic alloy resulting in a reel that is both light, corrosion resistant and sturdy.​

A size 20 makes a really good ultra light reel and can be used with pin point accuracy for small lures.

Specifications:

  • ​8 stainless steel ball bearings
  • Carbon Matrix Hybrid drag system
  • C6 carbon body
  • Rocket Spool lip
  • Everlast bail system

​Pflueger's top rated spinning reel the Supreme XT strikes a great balance between high end spinning reel performance at a mid-range price point.

Although there are cheaper reels out there for the money it's pretty hard to beat.

​The make a perfect choice for those that want a super light reel that still has enough pulling power to be usable in medium sizes such as a 2500 or 3000 spinning reel.

Don't make the mistake in thinking that the Supreme XT is just a slightly up-rated President.

Almost every component has been looked at and improved, even the handle has been swapped out for a carbon fiber one over a more traditional aluminum build.

Magnesium has been used throughout on the body, rotor and side plate. The spool comes braid ready so no need for extra backing if you are loading on braid. 

With a whopping 10 stainless-steel bearing operation is silky smooth and the drag housing is fully sealed meaning less chance of dirt working it's way into the internals. 


The Shimano Stradic CI4+ is arguably the best spinning reel available to buy right now and has been for several years.

The Stradic may be a touch pricier than other spinning but it beats the competition in just about every department.

With the Stradic CI4+ you get Shimano's legendary build quality combined with some of the best features and materials ever put into a reel. 

Built using their Carbon Infused(CI) technology Shimano claim that the reel casing is one and a half times stronger whilst being some twenty percent lighter than the regular graphite Shimano normally use.

​The drag housing on the CI4+ is sealed tight and is capable of maintaining smooth drag pressure even after being submerged in water for up to a minute.

The internal gearing is built from Hagene cold forged steel for maximum rigidity, resulting in less warp and more power being transferred from the reel handle to the bail arm.​

Specifications:

  • ​7 ball bearings
  • CI lightweight construction, lighter and stronger
  • Hagene cut gears
  • Highly resilient to salt water and submersion
  • Available in a high gear model(HG)

​If you are looking for a heavy duty spinning reel that can withstand the harsh environment of sea angling or bigger freshwater species then look no further than the Penn Spinfisher V.

​Penn probably the biggest name in saltwater reels whether that is their classic conventional reel the Penn International or their highly rated lines of saltwater spinning reels such as the Battle, Conflict and Spinfsher.

The Spinfisher V is as well built a reel as you can find. It is engineered to withstand the corrosive nature of salt water and all of the component and housing are built with this is mind.

Size wise the Spinfisher V starts at a 3500 and goes all the way up to a 10500 so it's clearly not a reel that's aimed at very light weight rigs or lures.

However it really excels in the medium sizes, they give a great balance of weight and power.

The beauty of the Spinfisher V is that it is extremely versatile. Perfect for saltwater spinning and bait fishing. It is also sturdy enough to be used trolling on freshwater lakes for trout. And in the smaller sizes can be use as a pretty decent casting reel for medium to heavy lures.

If you need one reel to wear many hats then the Spinfisher V is surely it - the best heavy duty spinning reel available.

Specifications:

  • ​HT-100 Slammer drag system
  • 5 stainless steel shielded ball bearings
  • Anodized aluminum spool
  • Braid ready spool
  • Instant anti-reverse bearings

​The Pflueger President has firmly cemented itself as one of the best budget spinning reels available.

For the money it has a high build quality and comes with a whopping 9 ball bearings.

​Who is the Pflueger for ?

If you are on a budget or are just starting out fishing then the President is one of the most reliable and dependable reels built at it's price point. ​

The President is available in ​only a small number of sizes:

  • 30​ - holds 145 yards of 6 lbs line
  • 35 - holds 185 yards of 8 lbs line
  • 40 - holds 230 yards of 10 lbs line

The President is best suited to use on a light to medium spinning applications and if you happen to keep a spare rod in your truck or car but don't want to keep an expensive reel in there too the President is the perfect reel to keep as a backup.

It's also a pretty light reel too, the spool is drilled to help shave off weight and the side plates and rotors are made from carbon composite. Easily the best spinning reel under $100!

Specifications:

  • ​7 ball bearings
  • 5.2:1 gear ratio
  • Braid ready spool
  • Great value for the money

​With the Stradic FK you get a lot of the same technologies and features used in the Stradic CI4+ at a discounted price.

The Stradic FK uses Hagene in both the internal gears and the body. The result is little to no warp or movement of the internal gears and body when retrieving under a heavy load.

​​Twisting or warping on a reel is a sure sign of a cheaply made reel built from low quality materials. Given it's highly durable build quality the Stradic FK feels like a spinning reel double or even triple it's price.

​Sharing a lot of the same features as it's more expensive sibling the Stradic CI4+ the major difference between the two reels is down to the body of the FK being made from Hagene whilst the Stradic CI4+ is made from a lighter Carbon Infused(CI) material.

Specifications:

  • ​6 ball bearings
  • Hagene gear and body
  • Cold forged CF aluminum spool
  • Propulsion line management system
  • Power Roller II line roller

​Hugely popular with the inshore spinning crowd the Penn Clash is on the lighter side compared to say the Penn Spinfisher V however, it is considerably sturdier and more resilient that most.

​Available in a range of sizes from 2000 up to 8000 it is well suited in inshore spinning, however even the lighter sized 2000 can be used on an ultralight freshwater spinning setup.

A full metal body gives lots of rigidity through the reel and CNC machined gears helps to further alleviate warping under heavy load.

There are eight stainless steel bearings and one anti-reverse bearing. The top drag washer is carbon fiber.

The spool and line lay are particularly suited to braid and the design is targeted and helping to reduce wind knots.

Specifications:

  • ​8 stainless steel ball bearings
  • Level-line oscillation system
  • HT-100 carbon drag washers
  • CNC machined gears

​Spinning Reels

​Most tackle setups consist of a rod, reel and line. Pairing all three of these together to give a perfectly balanced rig is one of the most important considerations when it comes to choosing what tackle to buy. 

There are two main types of spinning reel:

  • Traditional spinning reel
  • ​Baitrunner or free spool reel

All of the reels listed above are conventional spinning reels with one single drag. 

A baitrunner has the ability to set two different drag settings. One setting is to allow a fish to take a bait without it feeling too much resistance from the line/reel. Once the fisherman is confident that it is time to strike the handle is quickly turned a quarter turn and then the main drag setting comes into play. ​

Baitrunners as the name implies are usually used when fishing with bait rather than lures.

If the fish you are after are very easy to spook then it can be a good idea to let then run with the bait in their mouth until you are sure that the have it firmly in their jaws before you strike. ​

Saltwater spinning reels as the name suggests are built to be used in saltwater fishing. They have much better seals on the reel housing and drag.

Using a normal spinning reel in saltwater is possible but you need to be very careful and make sure that you rinse the reel in fresh water thoroughly after use to help avoid saltwater corrosion.​

Size

The size of reel you need is largely determined by the type of fishing you are doing and the rod that is required.​

You should choose your rod depending on what type of fishing you are going to be doing. The rod will usually have a line rating on it printed on the lower section just above the grip.

Once you know what strength line your rod needs you can then choose what size reel you need.

Reel sizes can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer but thankfully the majority of big name brands all use the same or similar line rating system.

Drag​

The drag on a reel is a measure of how much force the drag break can apply against a fish as it runs away from you and takes out line form the spool.

A smooth drag that will not seize up under load is crucial. With a cheap drag you may well end up with the spool stopping completely which puts you in danger of snapping you line.

A drag allows the fish to tire out as it runs against the resistance of the spool.​

Materials​

What a reel of built ​out of will have a direct on it's durability. Plastic gears and housing is a serious no-no.

Spinning reels under load put a huge stress on the reel housing and the internal gears. Only purchase a reel that is built from the best materials.

Stainless steel ball bearings, corrosion resistant housing and super strong internal gears are the way to go. Skimping on the quality of a reel is a sure fire recipe for buying a worthless piece of junk that will either need to be replaced quickly or may seize up within the first couple of uses.​

Anti-Reverse​

The anti-reverse feature on a spinning reel​ is pretty crucial. If means that once you start to turn the reel handle of a fish hits your lure then the bail arm will not reverse which in turn would turn the handle backwards.

Anti-reverse is a pretty crucial feature if you need to strike once a large fish has taken your lure or bait.​

Bearings​

How many bearings a reel has ​can be a good indicator as to how smoothly it will operate.

For freshwater reels stainless steel ball bearings housed in a sealed body are usually sufficient.

However for a saltwater spinning real all of those bearings need to be shielded and sealed much more rigorously.

All of the other elements of the housing and spool mechanism also need to be sealed properly in order to help protect the bearings of the reel.​

Retrieval Rate​

The retrieval rate of a reel​ is how much line a single turn of the reel handle will retrieve. 

A slower retrieval rate will generally have a lower gearing. With these types of reels you get a lot more torque applied for every turn of the handle. More torque equals more power.

A fast retrieval rate will sacrifice speed of power.

For the majority of fishermen something in the middle is best. It gives a decent amount of power at the crank whilst still allowing for a decent retrieval rate.​

Best Line for Chatterbaits

Best Line for Chatterbaits

​Like most single hook lures chatterbaits will generally perform best with a line that has little or no stretch.

Ideally you want to get as much feedback back through your line so that you can feel how the blade is performing, which lets you fine tune your speed of retrieval.

Chatterbaits are commonly thrown in summer over the top of heavy weed.

Most chatterbait rods will have a medium/heavy power rating so you need a line of at least 14 lbs fluorocarbon or 30 lbs braid.

When working this type of water you really need a line that can handle being dragged through thick vegetation and to that end braid is usually the go to choice.

However, in open water or very clear water fluorocarbon will perform much better than braid.

If you do decide on braid then you will need a fluorocarbon leader as heavy braid direct to a lure is rarely a good idea.

  • ​Fluorocarbon - Fluorocarbon will work best when working a chatterbait in either open water or around structures in extremely clear water.
  • Braid - Braided fishing line gives you a massive advantage when fishing over in and over the top of heavy weed beds or lilies. Due to it's thinner diameter it slices through weeds much easier than either fluorocarbon or mono
  • Monofilamant - Mono has the most stretch of any line, however if you are trying to work your chatterbait just below the surface so it causes some wake then it can be a decent choice as it floats much better than either braid or fluorocarbon.

​Best Line for Chatterbaits


​Seaguar Invisx is one of the best low stretch lines available and as it's name suggests it is also great when working clear and open water.

​I have found that it casts a little bit smoother than Yo-Zuri Hybrid as is a true fluorocarbon line and it less prone to coiling on your reel that Yo-Zuri.

It has great abrasion resistance properties and can take a lot of abuse off of vegetation and other submerged structures.

Specifications:

  • ​Low visibility
  • Great knot strength
  • Smooth casting line

​The choice of best fluorocarbon line for chatterbaits is usually between Sunline FC Sniper and Seaguar Invizx above.

Sunline Siper casts extremely well and spools well on any modern baitcasting reel.

​It performs really well in heavy vegetation and is considerably less visible than the equivalent braid.

Specifications:

  • ​Great abrasion resistance
  • Triple resin coating
  • Low stretch

​One of the most popular braided fishing lines ever produced Power Pro Spectra Braid is available in a huge range of strengths and spool sizes and is very good value too.

​It is a great casting braid and maintains a very uniform rounded profile even as it ages which makes it really good at slicing through thick weed cover.

Specifications:

  • ​Perfect for heavy cover
  • Uniform rounded profile

​Some claim that Yo-Zuri is the best line for chatterbaits and it is hard to argue against it.

My only gripe is that it is a little stiffer than most other fluorocarbon lines as it is a hybrid blend of fluoro and nylon.

​Being a hybrid it does benefit from the high knot strength thanks to the nylon and a really strong abrasion resistance due to the fluorocarbon.

​It can coil a bit more on your reel due to the stiffness but other than that it is an exceptional line for heavy chatterbait fishing it your are around a lot of snags.

Specifications:

  • ​Strong knot strength
  • Highly abrasion resistant

Chatterbait Setup

chatterbait setup

​Chatterbaits are absolutely dynamite for working over thick grass cover.

They are also referred to a bladed jigs, so you will often see the two terms used interchangeably.

A good chatterbait setup should have enough backbone through the rod blank to enable you to work your lure through thick cover and to play a bass out of thick weeds.

You will also need a reel that has a fairly high gearing to help rip them quickly through the water should you need to.

You can use the following combo as a rough guide for a decent bladed jig setup:

  • Rod - Baitcasting rod, medium/heavy power, fast action roughly 7 feet in length
  • ​Reel- Baitcaster reel with a high gear ratio for quick retrieve
  • Line - Braid for thick weed work or fluorocarbon for open water work

​The above setup for chatterbaits can be used in just about any scenario. Although if you are using large chatterbaits on open water you may want a more moderate tip action to help delay the hook-set ever so slightly.

But I prefer just to allow a slight pause to allow the bass really get it's mouth around the lure especially if using a really large trailer like a crawdad or swimbait.

​Chatterbait Setup

1. Rod

Pretty much any rod that you can use for a spinnerbait you can use for a bladed jig or chatterbait.

Look for a rod of between 6'6" and 7'3" in length. Personally I use a seven footer as a great compromise.

When choosing a chatterbait rod you need to look at the type of water you will be fishing in regularly.

If that water is filled with heavy weed beds then you need a decent powered rod that is strong enough to haul a bass out of thick cover.

Action wise look for a fast action for almost all applications unless you are using really big lure in open water.

In this scenario a more moderate action will be better as it will delay the hook-set and give the bass an extra few milliseconds to fully engage with your lure.

​2. Reel

Look to use a baitcaster reel that high gear ratio for quick line retrieve. A gear ratio of at least 6.3:1 should be sufficient.

Burning a chatterbait over the tops of grass is a very effective strategy. 

When burning line in quickly it really makes a bladed jig cause a lot of disturbance just below the surface and in the right conditions a big bass will smash the lures as a reaction strike.

​In order to quickly burn you need a decent gearing on your reel.

A baitcaster is the go to setup for chatterbaits as it makes casting all day much less of a chore than when using a spinning reel for bass.

​3. Line

​The best line for chatterbaits will usually boil down to a choice of using either braid or fluorocarbon and this is due to the low stretch properties of both of these types of line.

Braid is great in heavy weed cover as it can slice through thick weeds much more easily due to it's smaller diameter.

I still like to use a fluorocarbon leader though of between 4 and 6 feet in length.

​Look for roughly 30 lb braid in really heavy cover and 12 lb fluorocarbon line in open water.

However, in open or clear water it is very visible and this is where fluorocarbon line will excel.

​Saying that some anglers will use mono, the usually reason for this is that it floats much better than the other two and if you are working in the top foot or so of water then it might make sense.

Ned Rig Setup

ned rig setup

​​The Ned rig is one of only a few finesse style bass fishing techniques. Getting the right Ned rig setup can make all the difference between catching all day and going home skunked.

Most bass fishermen are used to using medium/heavy power casting rods with 20 lb plus braid main line.

Ned rigs are finesse fishing. You will be using 1/16 to 1/4 ounce jig heads and a short soft plastic worm for the majority of your fishing.

  • Rod - Spinning rod with a medium/light power rating, less than 7 feet in length and a fast action.
  • Reel - Spinning reel in a size 2000 or 3000
  • ​Line - 10 lb braid main line with 6 lb fluorocarbon leader, or 8 lb fluorocarbon main line

​Although the above specification for a Ned rig fishing setup are not hard and fast rules the general approach is to use as light as possible a setup as the type of water you are fishing will allow.

Too light and you'll have a hard time controlling a big bass that has it's head down in a bed of weed, too heavy and you'll lack the sensitivity required to get the best out of the jigs.

​Ned Rig Setup

These types of presentations require a rod with a light enough power rating to handle casting small jigs and a fast action that gives you a lot of tip sensitivity.

Ask most anglers and you'll actually get told to go ultralight or medium/light.

​Rod 

Although a finesse type of rig in the trout fishing world would call for an ultralight rod only when fishing for bass you may need a little more back bone from your Ned rig setup.

In shallow waters that are free from any thick or dense cover an ultralight is actually a good choice.

But;

Once you start fishing near any kind of cover that bass are likely to turn into once hooked the best Ned rig rods to use will have a medium/light power rating.

A bit more backbone is required to steer a bass out from thick weeds. You can still get all the sensitivity you need with a medium/light power rating once the action is fast and the rod is less than 7 feet in length.

The shorter the rod the easier it is to twitch the Ned rig jigs lightly. If you have a long rod then it is very difficult to delicately twitch the jigs.

Reel

Given that you will be using a spinning rod only when using these light jigs a good quality spinning reel is a must.

You need to size the reel appropriately to match your rod and line.

If you choose a reel that is too big then it will throw off the balance point of the rod and make it feel awkward and unbalanced in your hand.

A size 1000 reel if you have one will handle really light lines with ease. You also get less line per turn of the handle so when slowly moving the jig through the water this can be an advantage.

A size 2000 reel is generally best. On a ​light setup the 2000 is ideal as it will be a few ounces lighter than the larger 3000.

With a size 3000 reel you get a good bit more line capacity.

If you already have a drop shot setup and use a 3000 sized reel then try to get another spool for it and keep that spool purely for Ned rig fishing.

Failing that a size 2000 is the best compromise between either extremes.

​Line

​Every angler has their favorite line that they swear by. Some are life long monofilament devotee's regardless of the scenario.

Others will stick with braid for everything.

The correct line choice is the type of line that matches how, what and where you are fishing.

When using a jig you want to have minimal stretch in your main line. The reason for this is that when using a jig you need to add all of the life into the lure by twitching your rod tip.

Too much stretch in your line and you won't communicate these movements in the correct way.

That is why you should choose either braid or fluorocarbon as your main line.

Both have very little stretch. When using braid you should use a fluorocarbon leader of 4 to 6 feet in length.

Braid is thinner and lighter than fluorocarbon as a main line and it can get you slightly better casts.

The only downside to it is that at very thin diameters it can be prone to wind knotting.

Most Ned rig setups will not use anything heavier than 10 lb braid main line.

Best Ned Rig Rod – [Buyer’s Guide]

best ned rig rod

​Of all of the available bass rigs the ned rig is undoubtedly suited to extremely light tackle. This type of bass fishing is generally called finesse fishing and using very light tackle in order to cast light lures.

​Most bass anglers probably do not own an ultralight spinning setup and may well probably dismiss these types of rods as being too light for bass.

But;

Ned rigs work and their popularity is growing year on year!

Without the right tackle you will not cast these light soft plastics very far.

The Best Ned Rig Rods will have a fast action, light to medium/light power rating and be roughly 6'6 to 7' feet in length

You'll want to pair the rod above with a size 1000 or 2000 spinning reel and braided line in the 6 to 10 pound range with a fluorocarbon leader of roughly the same strength.

​​Why you choose either a light or a medium/light rod for ned rigs is that if you are working bass in and around heavy cover then you will need a rod with a bit of backbone to help haul them out of the cover.

Ultralight rods such as trout spinning rods are just that little bit too ​weak for bass in heavy weeds.

In open water where there are no obstructions or weed beds an ultralight is fine.

Also on an ultralight you might not set the hook as easily as when using a light or a light/medium powered rod blank as a ned rig rod..

​Best ​Ned Rig Rods

​I’ve been fishing for a while and have put numerous rods to the test. But, in all my years, I’ve never used a rod that has performed as well as Dobyn’s Fury Series FR 702SF fast action spinning rod.

​This is by far one of the best Ned rig fishing rods I have ever used. ​You can consider this a semi-high-end rod despite its low price tag, because it can easily compete with any high-end fishing rod.

Not many other rod has even come close to beating the durability and sensitivity that this rod has.

One of the factors responsible for the Dobyn’s Fury Series FR 702SF rod’s sensitivity is its incredibly low weight.

The rod is light enough for all vibrations to be transmitted with ease throughout the stick. While using this rod, you will be amazed at how well you can detect a bite!

The lightweight also makes the rod very easy to carry around, which I always find useful on my fishing trips.

The rod features high modulus graphite blanks, a Fuji reel seat, and Kevlar wrapping.

All these features combine to make the product an incredibly lightweight yet sensitive and durable rod. The AA grade cork handle with a Hypalon butt provides a fantastic grip.

There's no point in using various sensitive techniques for fishing if you don't have the right equipment.

No matter how favorable all other factors, such as the weather, maybe, if you don't have the right rod, fishing can quickly get frustrating.

I can always guarantee a good fishing day when I’m taking my Dobyns Fury Series FR 702SF rod with me.


​I tried a friend’s Lew's Tournament Performance TP-1 Speed Stick Spinning Rod once to compare it to my old rod and was blown away by how well it performed! 

Lew's are mostly known a a casting rod manufacturer but they are making serious strides with their spinning rods.

​My decision was made easier when I saw the price of the rod. You’d be amazed at the retail price of this rod. It is most definitely a steal. Believe it or not, this rod has proven to be one of the best Ned rig fishing rods for me. It looks great, feels great, and performs wonderfully.

Since I started using this rod, I’ve compared it to a bunch of other rods as well, to see if I could find something better. But to my amazement, no other rod has come close to giving me the same results as Lew's Tournament Performance TP-1 rod.

I’ve caught some of my best catches with this rod, and after using it for so long, I can decipher which factors help it perform so well.

For starters, the rod comes with an American tackle microwave guide System. 

This helps to eliminate wind knots and improve both casting distance and accuracy. I’ve used the rod in bad weather conditions as well and was surprised to find that the rod still retained its casting accuracy.

The rod is made from IM8 graphite blanks, which make it lightweight and sensitive yet durable.

Lew's exclusive skeletal SoftTouch graphite reel seats are lightweight and allow transmission of vibrations as well.

A Winn’s super-comfortable Dri-Tac grip handles provide the ultimate control while casting. Even if you have wet hands, the hold that the handles of this rod provide is unparalleled.

The best part is that the rods come in a wide variety, and you can select one according to which fishing technique you use. I use Ned rigs​ a lot and bought the one rod especially suited for it, and so far, it has been my favorite rod for bass fishing!


​Being a bass angler means that I am particular about nearly every aspect of my rod. I don’t mind being called finicky; I just want a great rod.

St Croix are ​known for making some of the highest quality rod blanks especially when it comes to spinning rods.

​It is, therefore, safe to say that I’m not easily impressed by every rod that comes my way. However, the one rod that did manage to blow me away was St Croix’s Premier spinning rod.

This is one highest quality ned rig ​rods I have ever come across. I love fishing with Ned rigs, but I could never find a good rod to help me get a great catch with these rigs. 

That is until I stumbled upon St Croix premier rods. These rods are simple yet powerful and tick all the right boxes when it comes to fishing with Ned rigs.

The light-to-medium rod is made with SCII graphite, which provides excellent strength, power, and durability to the rod.

Other than being rugged, the rod also manages to stay lightweight and highly sensitive.

This is because of the durable and hard aluminum-oxide guides and double-plated black chrome frames spanning the blanks individually.

The Fuji TCS reel seats on the rod are well balanced and stable. The handles are premium grade and made with top quality cork to provide a comfortable grip.

The entire rod has two coats of Flex Coat finish, which can last for up to five years!  ​


​SHIMANO Zodias rods are well known in the fishing community for their innovative nature and casting accuracy.

​No other rod has come close to the performance that my SHIMANO rod gives me, especially with Ned rigs.

Therefore, I can tell you from experience that this is one of the ​rods currently in the market. I have yet to find a rod that has the same balance between power, sensitivity, and weight that my Zodias rod has.

​These rods are constructed especially for bass anglers and are made with advanced Hi-Power X Blanks for a more efficient and effective transfer of power.

The rod is fine-tuned to be as responsive and sensitive as possible and transfers vibrations excellently throughout its length.

SHIMANO uses Fuji SiC and Semi-Micro Alconite K Guides, which make its Zodias rods lightweight and allows smooth passing through of knots.

The rod contains a custom CI4+ reel seat, which helps to enhance the sensitivity further. The EVA handle grips are comfortable to hold and control the rod with, even while wrestling with larger fish.

​Most bass anglers are unsure whether they should stick to traditional rods or go for more innovative ones. I was faced with the same dilemma as well.

Traditional rods are more trustworthy, but you can never deny how well a new-age rod works either. SHIMANO’s Zodias rods are the perfect balance between conventional and innovative rods.

I find that they have all the qualities that are generally found in traditional, old fashioned rods such as strength and durability, and new features such as improved casting accuracy and distance, and sensitivity.

​If you want to try more technique sensitive fishing, then you should definitely try SHIMANO’s light-medium Zodias spinning rods. All the features on this rod are well-thought and beyond impressive, making the rod a popular choice with the bass anglers in my community.


St Croix rods are generally considered to be an all-time favorite in the fishing community. Their 6’6” light-to-medium rods are perfectly suited for use as a ned rig rod.

 What I love about this rod is that it has a bit more backbone compared to other rods in the same category. Yet it is soft enough to allow light jigs to be loaded on the rod as well. The rod is quite sensitive and responsive and transfers vibrations well. 

I’ve caught my best fish, a 17-inch long largemouth bass, with my 6’6” St Croix spinning rod. 

The proprietary high-grade SCIII graphite, and Integrated Poly Curve technology that the rod is made of, lends it excellent strength and durability, while still allowing the rod to be lightweight and sensitive.

The Fuji Concept Guide System with black frames and Alconite rings provides exceptional smoothness to the rod.

The Fuji DPS reel seat is well balanced, and the double coat of flex-coat slow cure finish can easily last for more than five years! The handles on this rod are soft and comfortable and made with select-grade cork.

 The price isn't too high either, and the rod has a strong warranty backing it as well. Besides this, St Croix rods even look great! Not a lot of companies pay too much attention to the aesthetics of a fishing rod. However, St Croix makes sure that all of their rods not only perform well but look sleek too. 

I’ve been using my 6’6” rod for a while, and it's the best rod in my collection. I absolutely love how it gives me a great casting distance and is light enough for me to feel all vibrations and movements while fishing.

 Although it’s pretty light, the rod is quite durable as well. I’m always a happy camper when I go fishing with this rod. 


​I’ve always loved Fenwick’s fishing rods. They’re the pioneers of graphite rods and have been continuously finding new ways to ensure that their equipment stays a class apart.

With well over 60 years of experience in the fishing industry, Fenwick really knows its stuff and is continuously improving its rods.

I’ve always loved Fenwick’s fishing rods. They’re the pioneers of graphite rods and have been continuously finding new ways to ensure that their equipment stays a class apart. With well over 60 years of experience in the fishing industry, Fenwick really knows its stuff and is continuously improving its rods.

As an avid bass angler, my favorite rod from Fenwick has to be the 7’ medium/light spinning rod. ​I have come across a couple of good rods for casting Ned rigs. But no rod could ever beat the performance I get from my Fenwick Eagle 7’ spinning rod.

First and foremost, let’s talk about this rod’s durability and low weight! The rod’s guides are made from premium quality stainless steel and have chromium-plated SS304 inserts. This makes the rod strong yet lightweight and corrosion-resistant.

​A lot of other rods that fall into the same category are made with heavier metals, causing significant fatigue after only a few casts. Thankfully, this is not the case with Fenwick’s Eagle Spinning rods, which are lightweight enough to allow you to cast as many times as you like without feeling tired.

The reel seat is well balanced, and the burled cork handles are chip resistant and durable. Compared to foam handles, they also allow better transmission of vibrations.

You can cast very light lures to great lengths with this ultra-lightweight rod and still get good casting accuracy. A feat that very few rods have been able to master.

These 7’ medium/light rods by Fenwick are the gold standard in fishing rods when it comes to spinner rods for Ned rigs. They’re lightweight, durable, reliable, and still incredibly affordable.

Specifications:

  • One​

​I’ve been using Cashion’s Elite Series Spinning Finesse 7’6’ rod for quite a while now and am highly impressed by its performance. I have never had a rod deliver such excellent performance while casting Ned rigs before.


For me, this rod has been one of the greatest Ned rig fishing rods I have ever come across. Although the rod may not be as popular as some of its other contenders, it is a dark horse compared to other rods in the same category.

Having the right equipment makes a huge difference while fishing, especially if you’re fishing with light tackle such as a Ned rig.

Cashion’s Elite Series Spinning rods have excellent tips to improve casting accuracy. All while retaining the ability to reel in a big catch hooked by a light wire hook.

The rod has a strong yet sensitive backbone with adequate flexibility, which prevents it from snapping when wrestling big fish. It is made of uni-directional wrapped carbon-fiber blanks that transmit vibrations well, making the rod both responsive and sensitive.

This ensures that you are immediately able to detect when your lure comes into contact with a catch.

Cashion’s Elite Series Spinning rods utilize premium Fuji Micro Guides to make the rod as lightweight as possible.

The Fuji Blank Exposed Reel Seats ensure that the vibrations can be transmitted easily to your fingertips. A split carbon fiber grip handle provides maximum comfort without dampening any of the vibrations.

Although the Ned rig rod by Cashion is said to be Medium-Fast, it has specialized blanks that can handle all sizes of fishing Ned rigs ranging from 1/32 to ⅜ oz — making it extremely versatile to work with!


Best Line for Jerkbaits

Best Line for Jerkbaits

​For years the best line for jerkbaits was monofilament, but the times they are a changing...

Flourocarbon now reigns supreme as the go to choice for jerkbait fishing line.

However, some fishermen are just plain stubborn and they will use their favorite line for just about any bass technique.

For most freshwater fishing applications there is usually a choice of four different types of fishing line, below we have ranked them in order of preference for use with jerkbaits:

  • Flourocarbon
  • Monofilament
  • Braid
  • Coplymer

Each type of fishing line has their own specific characteristics and some are suited to some applications and not others.

What Line do you Use for Jerkbaits?

​Flourocarbon fishing line is best for jerkbaits in the 8 lbs to 12 lbs breaking strain range.

It runs well on both spinning reels and baitcasting reels ad can cast very good distances even when using smaller jerkbaits.

Best Line for Jerkbaits

Flourocarbon

​The top choice for jerkbaits is flourocarbon as it beats out all others under especially in colder weathers when waters are running clear, it is low stretch, hard to detect in clear water and does not float.

  • Low stretch
  • Low visibility
  • Does not float
  • Good casting ability

Low stretch is almost a must as you need to transmit every jerk or twitch from the rod tip into the line an eventually to the lure. If there is any stretch in the line then some of the energy is lost.

Low stretch also means that you get quicker and more secure hook sets especially if you are using smaller treble hooks.

It is also slightly thinner than mono which helps make it even more invisible.

When working a jerkbait you need to allow the line to go slack on the pause. If you use mono that slack time usually means a bow in the line as it floats on the surface especially if it is windy out.

Any bow in your line will mean less power through to the lure when you strike.

Beause it is low stretch it will also cast better than monofilament and less memory.

Monofilament

Monofilament has just a little bit too much stretch in it for my liking when fishing with jerkbaits. The best jerkbait rods have either a fast or extra fast action and a medium power rating, meaning they are really sensitive in the tip section.

Pairing a super sensitive rod with a line that stretches makes no sense.

Mono also floats so if you are trying to work a suspended jerkbait deep down in colder weather then it will be more of a hindrance than a help on that front.

No mono is a great all round line especially on a spinning setup but it does lack sensitivity.

​Can You Use Braid for Jerkbaits?

Braid can be used for jerkbaits as long as you are using a flourocarbon leader. The main issue with using it is that it is so visible.

Bass will generally be attacking your jerkbait from below and braided fishing line will stand out like a sore thumb when viewed from underneath.

​Braid is an excellent choice as a frog fishing line as it can cut and slice through thick weeds but low visibility is the name of the game when considering what line to use for jerkbaits.

Using a flouro leader does create a problem in that you are now creating an extra weak point in your jerkbait rod setup - the braid to flouro knot!

​More often than not you will also be fishing a jerkbait in winter which may mean windier conditions and braid can be  troublesome in the wind.

Copolymer

You can think of copolymer as a more modern monofilament. It lies somewhere in the middle in terms of it's characteristics and personally I'm just not a fan.

Bass Fishing Rod Selection Guide

Bass Fishing Rod Selection Guide

Choosing a bass rod is a little confusing especially if you are just starting out.

​We have put together this bass fishing rod selection guide to help you figure just what type of bass pole you will need.

​If you've just discovered the wonderful world of bass fishing you may at first seem a little bamboozled by all of the different techniques, terminology and lure types that make bass fishing the sport it is today.

Bass fishing has more tackle configurations and techniques than any other freshwater fishing species.

​Some bass ​fishermen will have up to twenty rod for different setups on their boat on any given day especially if they are tournament anglers.

For most fishermen that is definitely overkill not to mention expensive.

Types of Bass Rods

The bulk of bass fishing is going to be done on a casting rod or baitcasting rod setup.

Spinning rods are generally used in the bass world for lighter type techniques or finesse type lure fishing such as drop shots, finesse jigs, small soft plastics and walkers/poppers.

Basically anything that requires you to present the bait or lure in a very natural way is where a spinning rod for bass setup will excel.

Saying that a medium power 6'6" or 7' spinning rod can work as a great all rounder especially if you are on a limited budget. Pair this with a decent spinning reel and all but the heaviest of applications like frogs or large spinnerbaits are available to you.

However, some people quite simply refuse to learn how to use a baitcasting reel and they will stick religiously to spinning tackle. 

​Choosing to learn how to you a baitcaster removes a lot of limitations and as your skills grow you will over time realize that for specific techniques they really do beat a spinning setup hands down.

​Bass Fishing Rod Selection Guide

​Lets breakdown rod choice by the different techniques or lures that you will commonly encounter when bass fishing.

This list is not exhaustive nor is it a necessity to buy a dedicated rod for every type of lure you fish with, there will be some similarities and carryover between different bass techniques.

​1. General ​Bass ​Rods

Let's look at two all rounder that are perfect for those starting out or those on a budget.

If you could limit yourself to just two rods then I opt for:

  • ​Casting Rod - 7' feet in length, medium-heavy power with a fast action
  • Spinning Rod - 6'9" in length, medium power, with a moderate to fast action

These two can cover a wide range of applications and are good for most small to medium sized lures.

One important point to make is that for heavier applications like working frogs over deep weed cover or ​big swimbaits for bass you will need a pole that is specifically suited to that type of fishing.

​The casting rod will be useful for:

  • Jigs
  • Texas rigs
  • Fipping/pitching
  • Small or light frogging work
  • Small to medium swimbaits


The spinning rod will be able to handle:

  • Drop shots
  • ​Small spinnerbaits
  • Light jerkbaits
  • Light crankbaits

 

​2. Crankbaits

​Crankbaits tend to need a rod that have a medium power and a moderate action. Unlike a lot of other bass fishing rods an ​traditional ​fiberglass rod is generally considered best.

  • ​Power - medium/heavy, medium for lighter shallower running crankbaits and medium/heavy for larger deeper running lures especially when near thick cover.
  • Action - Moderate action to help reduce setting the hooks too quickly.
  • Length - 6'6" for smaller cranks, 7' or 7'6" for larger lures that require a longer cast.

​Fiberglas rods of old when compared to graphite were considered to be heavy and lacked any kind of sensitivity. Modern fiberglass rods however a light and extremely sensitive.

Why fiberglass though?

​Modern fiberglass or a fiberglass/graphite blended rod blanks allow you a more softer hookset than a graphite rod. With crankbaits you need to allow the bass to take the lure into there mouths before striking.

​When a rod has a faster action you can end up loosing a lot of bites as there needs to be a slight pause to allow the treble hooks to catch.

For larger crankbaits a 7 foot rod is ideal. It allows you to really load the rod blank when casting and also gives you a bit more control of the lure when you are working it at distance.

For lighter, shallower diving crankbaits a 6'6" rod is fine especially if you are making short casts in and around cover or structure.

​3. Drop Shots

Drop shotting is all about accuracy and light presentation. That usually calls for a spinning rod as the type of bass fishing rod to choose.

  • Power - light/medium when using small plastics you need a light rod to help casting lighter gear
  • Action - fast action is the way to go when using a drop shot rig
  • Length - 7' is probably the best length, if you are using very little techniques then a shorter rod is better especially if you are not casting that far.

​A good all round drop shot rod would be a spinning rod of roughly 6'10" in length with a fast action and a medium/light power rating thee will also double as a really good ned rig rod.

​When selecting the rod you can use a slightly shorter or longer rod depending on how and where are fishing.

You will want a nice light rod that is easy to cast light gear on and that has enough tip sensitivity to allow lots of feedback through the rod.

Ultimately you are using some form of a finesse rig and that will always call for a light, crisp and sensitive rod that is capable of running light braid fishing line in the 8 to 15 lb rating range.

​4. Frogs

Frogging is one of those techniques that usually requires a dedicated rod. The best frog rods ​ needs to be capable of hauling frog lures over or through deep weed beds and dense lily pads.

  • Power - heavy power rating
  • Action - fast and even extra fast action
  • Length - Between 7 and 8 feet in length

Your fishing pole will need to be able to handle heavy braid and have enough of a backbone to work lure through thick cover all while having a good casting performance.

A lighter spinning setup is not really an option here as they will not have the backbone for such heavy work.

A heavy power rating is a must and for really large frogs and super dense cover you may even need an extra heavy power rating.

Action wise a fast action is the best choice for really quick strikes especially when working topwater action.

Braid is a must and it needs to be quite heavy, look at 40 lbs at a minimum.

​5. Jerkbaits

When using lighter jerkbaits a spinning rod can be a good choice however once you move to larger lures then a casting rod would be better.

On windy days and if you are using a small jerkbait then spinning gear can reign supreme. On really windy days baitcasters using braid can fall victim to lots of wind knots.

  • Power - light/medium to medium
  • Action - you'll want a fast action
  • Length - between 6'6" and 7' is the sweet spot

​For a jerkbait rod a light to medium rated rod with a fast action and one that is on the shorter side make best choice.

The fast action s crucial as you need to twitch the rod tip to put the action into the lures. A slower action rod will not be suitable for this style of bass fishing as you need to make crisp movement of the rod tip.

With a slower action rod it will just end up absorbing too much of the energy from your arm and will end in both a more tiring day and less than ideal technique.

​You'll usually be using line with a rating of about 12 lbs so a light/medium power rating fits the bill just nicely.

​6. Spinnerbaits

​Spinnerbaits are the oddballs of the lure world but they are one of the few lures that can catch all season.

They allow you to cover a lot of water on a day out and that usually means a lot of casting, that's why I'd opt for a baitcasting rod. A good spinnerbait rod should be roughly 6 to 7 feet in length, have a fast action and medium/heavy to heavy power rating.

  • Power - medium/heavy to heavy
  • Action - fast
  • Length - 6 to seven feet

Spinnerbaits get thrown around structures and deep cover, not to mention all that drag that the large skirt and blades produce so you will need a rod with a decent backbone to handle all that extra strain.

If you are only ever making short casts that are targeted at a specific structure then a 6'6" rod should be just fine.

However, if you are aiming to cover lots of water then a longer rod will tend to cast better. It will also give you a little more control of your hoot sets from a distance.

7. Swimbaits

Choosing a swimbait rod will depend entirely on just how big a swimbait you intend on fishing. For bigger swimbaits then you'll almost certainly need a casting setup, for smaller finesse style swimbaits a spinning setup can be more than suitable.

​8. ​Flipping and Pitching

​For close quarters work you will need a rod than can handle heavy cover and yet have enough tip sensitivity to allow you to sling jigs with pin point accuracy. The best flipping rods will have a heavy power rating, a fast action and be roughly 7'6" in length.

Best Line for Spinnerbaits

Best Line for Spinnerbaits

​Although line choice can and does come down to personal preferences some lures are best used with a certain type of fishing line.

Spinnerbaits sure do look strange with their large skirt and double blades.

Both of which cause a lot of drag when retrieved through the water. 

Because of this I tend to avoid a line with a lot of stretch.

​With a single hook lure it is better to know what is going on, so feedback through the line and rod tip is crucial.

This is why a spinnerbait rod should have a fast action plus a medium/heavy to heavy power rating.

​Best Line for Spinnerbaits

​The best choice of fishing line for spinnerbaits is generally going to be flourocarbon. It has lower stretch than monofilament however if you are only working the short game then mono can be a decent substitute. 

Braid for me personally is far to visual. That being said how you fish a spinnerbait can have an influence on whether or not you use braid. If you are working them through a lot of thick weed cover the braid can be a better option.

If you only have braid or are used to it's casting performance then always use a flourocarbon leader.

The problem with braid to flouro/mono knots is that they create a weak point.

Lot's of anglers tend to over tighten the joining knot resulting in a high rate of breakages.

Braid works great as a good line for frog fishing when you need to cut through dense weeds but I tend to avoid it especially in clearer waters.


​Strictly speaking Yo-Zuri Hybrid is not a true 100% flourocarbon fishing line. As the name suggests it is a hybrid line of flourocarbon and nylon.

It is a great low stretch, low visibility and small diameter line.

You get the low knot and tangle characteristis of a nylon line combined with the abrasion resistance, low stretch and sensitivity that a full flourocarbon line offers.

​It is also incredible value for money. A big 600 yard spool is peanuts compared to some of the other big brand name offerings out there.

The only real downside is that it has negative s that it has slightly higher memory than other flouro's so make sure not to overspool your reel or it will come out in coils if you are not regularly using it.

Specifications:

  • ​Great sensitivity
  • Low stretch
  • Abrasion resistant

​Seaguar Invizx certainly lives up to it's name as it is extremely hard to see once in the water.

​Being a full flourocarbon line it is super low stretch and has great sensitivity.

​When compared to the Yo-Zuri Hybrid above it is probably the better casting line of the two as it is considerably less prone to coiling.

It sits nice and flat on the spool and will generally result in less backlashes. One of the main selling points of any flourocarbon line is just how robust it is.

Invizx is the type of line that can take a lot of beating and is highly abrasion resistant.

Specifications:

  • ​High knot strength
  • Low visibility
  • Stays supple even in low temperatures

​Just like the Seaguar Invizx above the Sunline Super FC Sniper flourocarbon line is super low at coiling or twisting once spooled onto your reel.

​A good spinnerbait line needs to be low stretch to help maintain sensitivity. And the Super FC Sniper is just that.

​It also casts really well for a flourocarbon as it lays down well on the spool. A poorly laying line will cause havoc with most baitcasters.

It is also quite highly rated when it comes to abrasion resistance so if you are working your spinnerbaits around or near submerged structures you can have a little more confidence in it.

Specifications:

  • ​Triple resin coating 
  • ​Good abrasion resistance
  • Good for working through cover

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