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Why You Really Only Need Two Fishing Rod and Reel Setups

Texas Kayak Fisher Blog

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Why You Really Only Need Two Fishing Rod and Reel Setups

Clint Taylor

Many professional anglers have countless rods and reels. You often see several different setups on their kayaks or bass boats and it can be easy to think that you need a bunch of different fishing setups too…but you don’t. What do you really need?

The Truth Behind the Pro’s “Unlimited” Fishing Pole Setups

The Abu Garcia Orra SX is one of the best valued baitcasting reels in my opinion.

The Abu Garcia Orra SX is one of the best valued baitcasting reels in my opinion.

Both Pflueger and Abu Garcia make excellent spinning reels. I use a Pflueger President Reel and it has served me extremely well.

Both Pflueger and Abu Garcia make excellent spinning reels. I use a Pflueger President Reel and it has served me extremely well.

I won’t lie, having the right reel and right rod can make a difference. You may need something a little different depending on the type of water, time of year, time of day, and of course the type of lure you are using. However, you don’t need countless setups like the pros.

The pros are typically in a timed tournament so time is of the essence. They don’t want to waste time tying on a new lure so they have multiple rods setup with different lures. Instead of tying on a new lure, they simply grab the rod and reel that is already setup with the lure they want. This can save a lot of time.

Outside of time, pros are called pros for a reason. They don’t pay for a lot of the gear you see, so it is easier on them financially to have multiple fishing setups than the weekend angler - don’t be fooled thinking multiple rods are a necessity.

Lastly, pros have to catch fish and win tournaments to maintain a professional status. They are going to use the best gear they can to catch fish…even if they have just a little bit better chance catching fish.

Why I Recommend Two Fishing Setups

When fishing with weightless soft plastics, a spinning setup is often the best choice. I caught this bass on a weightless Rage Tail Structure Bug and a spinning rod and reel setup.

When fishing with weightless soft plastics, a spinning setup is often the best choice. I caught this bass on a weightless Rage Tail Structure Bug and a spinning rod and reel setup.

I have played around with having one pole with me to four. I have found that two is the ideal number. Why?

There are two main types of fishing setups - spinning and baitcasting. Spinning is better for some applications and baitcasting is better for others. There are other reasons, but this is why I recommend having two fishing setups…one spinning setup and one baitcasting setup.

By having both a spinning and baitcasting setup, you can fish a wider variety of lures than if you only had one type of setup. You also have a backup rod if something were to happen.

On a kayak, you are limited in the amount of rod storage you have. Two rods is manageable and often times a fishing kayak has two flush mount rod holders…so two setups work great for most fishing kayaks. It is possible to carry many rods on a kayak, but it can get a little messy.

Another benefit of having two different setups, is that you can have a follow up lure to throw. Often times if you miss a fish you can throw a different lure and the fish will bite again. Having two rods lets you do this.

What Type of Setups Do I Recommend

Guadalupe Bass fight really hard, but typically they don’t get much bigger than 2-3 pounds. I try to use a medium-light spinning setup to catch Guadalupe Bass such as this one.

Guadalupe Bass fight really hard, but typically they don’t get much bigger than 2-3 pounds. I try to use a medium-light spinning setup to catch Guadalupe Bass such as this one.

As I previously mentioned, I recommend a spinning setup and a baitcasting setup.

For the spinning setup, I recommend a 6’ - 6’6” medium light action rod with 10lb. braid or 6 lb mono on the reel. I often use my spinning setup for lighter lures (1/8 - 1/4 oz.) and finesse fishing. You want a lighter setup for finesse fishing and I have found a slightly shorter rod to be beneficial.

For the baitcasting setup, I recommend a 7’ medium heavy action rod with 30 lb braid on the reel. If I am fishing with my baitcasting setup I am going to be using larger, heavier lures (1/4 - 1 oz.), casting into cover, and fishing for big bass. I want a beefy setup which a baitcasting setup can provide with ease.

Other Recommendations

Larger bass in cover require a beefy setup such as a medium-heavy baitcasting setup.

Larger bass in cover require a beefy setup such as a medium-heavy baitcasting setup.

When you are fishing for larger bass, a baitcasting setup is often the preferred setup.

When you are fishing for larger bass, a baitcasting setup is often the preferred setup.

The saying you get what you pay for is true… to a point, but then you start reaching diminishing returns. Don’t feel like you have to buy a $200 fishing rod and reel to catch fish. Quite frankly, you can catch tons of bass with a $50-$75 setup from Academy, Bass Pro Shops or Cabelas. You can get some really good combos out there, and if you are a little pickier, just buy the rod and reel separate so you can customize your setup. I often by my rod and reels separate, but I have bought many combos that work really well too.

It is very easy to get caught up in thinking you need some fancy setup to catch fish…you don’t. Look at spending around $50-$75.

Lastly, if you can only afford one fishing pole, go with a spinning setup. Some people may disagree, but I think a 6’6” - 7’ medium action spinning rod can do a lot of bass fishing, and do a good job at it too! Don’t feel like you have to have two setups, especially if you can’t afford it.

In my opinion, it would be better to have one good setup than two okay setups. Start out with a good spinning setup and then purchase a baitcasting setup when you can.

Conclusion

Bass fishing is one of my favorite types of fishing to do (if not nearly the only type of fishing I do). Bass are aggressive, fight hard and you don’t need a lot of expensive gear to get going.

It can be easy to get caught up in needing the gear that professional fisherman have, but you honestly don’t need it. Will it help, yes. Will it cost a lot, yes. You can get 80-90% of what the pros use at a much cheaper cost.

Lastly, I am a big believer that one spinning setup and one baitcasting setup can catch a lot of fish and let you fish nearly anywhere you’d want to. Two setups will be just fine for anyone wanting to fish for bass!