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> Musky Rod & Reel Combos, Suggestions?
Yamaha
Posted: Mar 27, 2018 - 04:26 pm


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This will be my first year targeting Musky and i'm in the market for my first rod set up, as this is new to me i'm looking for any suggestions on Combos or certain rod lengths and such I should be looking for...

Thanks in advance

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BlackCrowe13
Posted: Mar 27, 2018 - 10:15 pm


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Amazing to hear Yamaha! I dug into the musky world last season, so I have a few thoughts. I donít have a ton of cash to spend, so I went as low on the budget as I could.

1. Donít go crazy expensive for your first rig!

2. I found that the Shimano Sojourn series of rods are a great choice for starting up. They can be had for around the $100 mark, and Iíve heard that they are a common rod used by guides. Durable, and not a $4-500 loss if the customer steps on it! Lol.

3. As for the reel, I am happy with the Abu Garcia 5500C3 round reels. Sure, you can spend 4 times more, but then Iíd have no cash for the crazy expensive tackle! Haha. Well made in Sweden unlike some of the other Abu Garciaís that are made in China. Spoil it up with some 80lb Powerpro and some 100# floro leader and youíre ready to go!

4. Tackle... if youíre rich, buy everything in all sizes! If youíre not rich (like me), try to buy an assortment of baits... 1 deep crank/1 shallow crank/a few soft plastics/a few top water/a few blade baits... you get the idea. My box is still pretty empty, and Iíve dropped at least $500 bucks! It turns in to a slight addiction... more baits! Haha

5. Come out and join our crew at Muskies Canada in Barrie. We meet the third Monday of every month at Sticky Fingers on Dunlop across from the fire house. Great group of guys, usually about 30-40 strong that have good talks, share tips and techniques. We also bring in guest speakers that range from the best bait makers, to professional guides, industry leaders, etc. All levels from the best guides in Ontario to newbies attend. We have a great prize table every meeting, and amazing group outings every year to go chase the beasts! You are always welcome to come by for a meeting (everyone is welcome), and if you want to become a member, itís only $50 a year. All proceeds go to improving and maintaining the fishery, and is 100% non-profit. If you or anyone has any questions, please feel free to ask... the more the merrier! Next meetings -
Mon, 16 April, 20:00 Ė 22:00, Mon, 21 May, 20:00 Ė 22:00, 150 DUNLOP STREET WEST BARRIE

Best of luck in the coming season! Hope to see you at the meeting... itís really the best way to fast track the learning curve for these elusive fish!

Best regards,

John Molnar
Release Director
Muskies Canada
http://www.muskiescanada.ca/chapters/barrie.php

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bassmasterrr
Posted: Mar 28, 2018 - 05:19 am


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Canít go wrong with a shimano Calcutta , with a 9 foot rod or 8í7 heavy. Youíll be able to throw most baits with that set up. One you get more into it you can specialize some setups for example I use a stiff 7 foot rod with Calcutta for glide baits and jerk baits and a 9 foot with toro winch for chucking double 10,s all day.

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OutdoorDave
Posted: Mar 28, 2018 - 08:00 am


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This will be my 2nd season trying for some musky. Last season I used my buddies gear, but I just picked up my first combo at the Ancaster Bassmaster swap and sale. 6.5ft St Croix Jerk bait rod and Abu 6500 c3 for $50. I'm hoping to get an 8ft rod and another reel for a 2nd setup but at least I've got something to get me going.

I also started purchasing some baits too last season. Bondy, Bulldawgs, Trolling baits, Blades, spinners, etc.

Good luck this season!

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Jake Trout
Posted: Mar 28, 2018 - 08:25 am


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I am relatively new to the musky world (3 years in) and have learned a couple of things. I started with the Shimano Sojourn and a Shimano Cardiff reel and found myself upgrading fairly early. I wish I had of started off with something a little better to begin with. I am using an 8ft Heavy Fenwick Elite Tech Muskie Big Bait Rod with a Daiwa Lexa reel right now and it was a big upgrade from the Sojourn. Don't get me wrong, the muskie world is an expensive world to live in so if the Sojourn is what can get you on the water then go for it. I have brought in a couple of big fish with it. I wouldn't go under 8 ft for my height as you have to work a bit harder for figure 8s. Like Blackcrowe 13, I started with a bit of an assortment of baits for differents depths and conditions, a deep crank, shallow crank, some plastics, a top water, a glide bait, a jerk bait and some blades.

Good luck!

Jake Trout

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BlackCrowe13
Posted: Mar 28, 2018 - 08:51 am


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Like JT, i am already looking at some more expensive set ups. I had fun last year, so I will be treating myself to a better rod and reel this year. The reason I say to stay inexpensive as possible, is really just to avoid becoming a KIJIJI seller saying ďI figured out musky fishing was not for me.Ē Lol

If you are really looking for a quality rod, you might want to check out the Thorne Bros customs.
https://www.thornebros.com/collections/feat...tom-musky-rod-1

These rods are all glass, so they are better for flex across the entire length rather than just the tip. They are fully customizable to your liking.

Mike Ross was a guest of Muskies Canada last meeting. He suggested Thorne Bros rods in 9.5-10 feet, making sure you choose one with the longest butt end possible if casting pound and 2 pound baits is your thing (yikes). Penn trolling reels, and Shimano Trinidad for burning baits... he mentioned a 47Ē retrieval per turn!!! For the Trinidad, he also mentioned to go with a rounder braid than Powerpro to ensure level spoiling as the reel does not have a level wind guide.

Excellent guest speaker, and great information.

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VA-65 Veteran
Posted: Mar 28, 2018 - 11:24 am


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Do you plan on trolling or casting ??

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Yamaha
Posted: Mar 28, 2018 - 12:35 pm


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Thanks everyone for all the help so far, im going to check out the Rods and reels suggested.

I have downriggers and Rod holders on my boat as well so trolling is an option too but probably cast for the most part until i get the hang of it.

Thanks again

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dmorrs35
Posted: Mar 29, 2018 - 12:50 pm


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My first set up was the Fenwick muskie rod and a curado 300 I believe. the entire combo cost me $250 I believe. it was a great set up to start with using it with small blades (double 8s) and straight retrieve for lures like believers and small dawgs. I still use it as my main jerk bait rod. (I have a different reel)

my main set up is St Croixs big nasty because it takes a lot out of casting the baits. for trolling I have the st Croix fiberglass catfish rod. it was about $50 bucks cheaper then the muskie rod (main difference is that the rod says muskie for an extra $50).

I would recommend the fenwick muskie and curado reel for a starter combo. but once you start buying bigger and heavier baits (double 10s, bulldawgs etc) you will want higher gear ratios for reels (like the tranx) and stiffer rods

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tjames
Posted: Mar 29, 2018 - 02:35 pm


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I bought a cheap rod and reel to start and quickly replaced it. Honestly, if you can spend a bit extra buy a nicer setup.

My first setup was a Shimano cardif with a BPS musky rod. It was okay, but can only throw smaller baits. My second setup is a Shimano Compre musky with Abu Garcia Revo Toro.

I plan on buying a shorter stiffer rod for jerk baits, glide baits, with a fast retrieving reel. I mainly fish these types of lures.

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Archiero
Posted: Mar 30, 2018 - 10:11 pm


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Blackcrowe13, that post was like looking at what I was about to write....ha ha ha. I bought a medium heavy shimano sojourn rod from cabelas a few years ago for $59.99 and love it. Got an abu garcia 4500 from epoisioden in the states for under $70. Put 50lb power pro on it and bought 80 pound 12Ē leaders. Found the best deal on lure was double 8Ē and double 10Ē on ebay. Forget the company, but you can buy in 2ís or 3ís and it works out to about 11 or 12 bucks a lure. Then just picked up other on sales at various points.

Archie

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dmorrs35
Posted: Apr 02, 2018 - 01:09 pm


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Archeiro does provide a good cheap set up. I have never used either the rod or reel.

The main thing for me, is Muskie fishing is typically C&R trophy fishing. (regulations are set up for the most part to help this) Muskie are not nearly as resilient as other species like pike or bass and can get stressed out very quickly which could cause them to have heart attacks or other issues that can cause them to die. I don't use anything short of 80lb test line/leaders for casting, with a minimum of heavy action rod so you can bring that fish in as quickly as possible, unhook, measure, pic and back in she goes. I try to aim from hook up to release, no more than 2-3 minutes. all those pics you see of muskie with blood red tails are fish that are for lack of a better term "having panic attacks" which can be fatal and should be returned at that very point. even when released, it is strong practice to remain in the area for at least 30-45 minutes to make sure it didn't swim off, and later die (although studies do show the most critical points after a release are the next 72 hours, but the first 30 minutes after release are the highest risk).

It might cost you extra to use a heavy action rod rather than a medium-heavy, but it could save a monster's life.

Further good practice, buy a big conservation net or sizeable cradle so the muskie, when in net/cradle can swim. while unhooking DO NOT bring the fish into the boat as this can very quickly cause it to stress. also bring a pair of jaw spreaders and wire cutters in case those hooks are lodged, you can snip them to save the fish (another common muskie fisherman's practice) most people I know, if more than 1 treble is in the fish, snip snip snip as close to the barb as possible and bring replacement hooks so the fish can swim away unharmed and you can still use your lure.

im sure other guys have seen me post this, but a VERY valuable resource to new muskie fishermen is look into Muskies Canada Inc. I joined it 2 years ago and I have learned so much valuable knowledge from meetings as well as forums and made new friendships as well. I have fished with guys I never would have met before and not just muskie fishing but ice fishing for different species and everything. I went from not even seeing a fish almost ever, to knowing where there will likely be by not only knowing more about the fish themselves, but how to read maps better, casting/trolling tips, lures, equipment, everything! even after the first meeting I went to, the next time I went out, I caught my PB and catch more fish a year than before.

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BlackCrowe13
Posted: Apr 03, 2018 - 02:40 pm


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QUOTE (dmorrs35 @ Apr 02, 2018 - 01:09 pm)
Archeiro does provide a good cheap set up. I have never used either the rod or reel.

The main thing for me, is Muskie fishing is typically C&R trophy fishing. (regulations are set up for the most part to help this) Muskie are not nearly as resilient as other species like pike or bass and can get stressed out very quickly which could cause them to have heart attacks or other issues that can cause them to die. I don't use anything short of 80lb test line/leaders for casting, with a minimum of heavy action rod so you can bring that fish in as quickly as possible, unhook, measure, pic and back in she goes. I try to aim from hook up to release, no more than 2-3 minutes. all those pics you see of muskie with blood red tails are fish that are for lack of a better term "having panic attacks" which can be fatal and should be returned at that very point. even when released, it is strong practice to remain in the area for at least 30-45 minutes to make sure it didn't swim off, and later die (although studies do show the most critical points after a release are the next 72 hours, but the first 30 minutes after release are the highest risk).

It might cost you extra to use a heavy action rod rather than a medium-heavy, but it could save a monster's life.

Further good practice, buy a big conservation net or sizeable cradle so the muskie, when in net/cradle can swim. while unhooking DO NOT bring the fish into the boat as this can very quickly cause it to stress. also bring a pair of jaw spreaders and wire cutters in case those hooks are lodged, you can snip them to save the fish (another common muskie fisherman's practice) most people I know, if more than 1 treble is in the fish, snip snip snip as close to the barb as possible and bring replacement hooks so the fish can swim away unharmed and you can still use your lure.

im sure other guys have seen me post this, but a VERY valuable resource to new muskie fishermen is look into Muskies Canada Inc. I joined it 2 years ago and I have learned so much valuable knowledge from meetings as well as forums and made new friendships as well. I have fished with guys I never would have met before and not just muskie fishing but ice fishing for different species and everything. I went from not even seeing a fish almost ever, to knowing where there will likely be by not only knowing more about the fish themselves, but how to read maps better, casting/trolling tips, lures, equipment, everything! even after the first meeting I went to, the next time I went out, I caught my PB and catch more fish a year than before.

Excellent post.

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Chad
Posted: Apr 05, 2018 - 03:02 am


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Yes, and yes!!

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redeye33
Posted: Apr 08, 2018 - 07:27 am


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As far as leaders go, I make my own out of 80lb. florocarbon and Sampo swivels and snaps. I find the store bought ones break to often and I have only had 1 fish bite thru my home made leaders and never had one break. JMO I like 50 lb. Power pro for line or 30 lb mono. I like Gander Mtn Muskie rods and Abu Garcia 5500 reels. They are not expensive set ups.

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