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Crappie Fishin Fanatic
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Discussion Starter #1
I hate to rain on everyone's Ice parade, but I can't wait for the ice to thaw again and I can hit them pre-spawn Crappies up! Since there's not much else to talk about besides gear for folks like me, anybody want to weight in about fishing gear? i.e. fishing poles and reels

I realize that a fishing gear brand, make, etc does not make you a better fisherman or catch more fish for that matter, but it sure does help in making it a more enjoyable experience, so please, let's not dive into the "just use an ugly stick with a 20 dollar reel" thing.

Rods

A little background: I have several of rods handed down from my dad to me (or should I say the ones he didn't want anymore) and they've been serviceable to say the least. The ones I got from my dad were one 7' Falcon Lowrider med moderate action, one 6' 3" Pinnacle something med fast action and one 6' 6" Falcon something med fast action rod, all of them have served me well but they were all primarily for Walleye fishing on the Maumee which I did a ton of when I used to live in Toledo. My dad has since moved onto a complete GLoomis lineup all the way up to the NRX.

Since then I've started building my own collection of rods more geared for Central Ohio fishing.

My very first rod was a St Croix 5ft 6 Ultralight paired with a Pfleugar 1000 President reel which I believed at the time was the way to go for my favorite type of fishing, which is Crappie. When I first brought it out, I thought for sure this was the "setup" but I quickly realized that it definitely was not the way to go. First off, 99% of time I'm bank fishing so it made casting a chore, not terrible, but not ideal either. I was still relying on my hand me down rods for most of my bobber fishing, which was all I did when I first started fishing Crappie. Another issue is as most of you guys know, not all the time will a Crappie be at the end of the line when there's a minnow involved. The times when a good size Channel Catfish is hooked, I was sweating bullets! Back to the drawing board.

My second rod was an 6ft 6 Ugly Stik GX2 which I waited a couple months for the release after the announcement and was completely exited for because let's face it, Ugly Stiks are pretty darn durable right? At least from all I've read off the internets and plus the new one was supposed to be "lighter". When I first held it in my rookie hands, I was thinking "YEAH BABY, this is IT!". I paired it up with a Penn Fierce II 2000 reel because you know it's red and the color theme matched, not really. Now this setup was almost perfect for the bobber fishing I was doing, but then my fishing buddies introduced me to jigging/swimbaiting for Crappie and well, for that application, it fell short. This rod and reel combo was just a tad on the heavy side to be constantly casting all day long so thus, back to the drawing board again...

At this point, I'm like "Alright, this is it, let's go full on and take this to the face!". I decided I was going to read the entire internet and watch all the YouTube videos, make my decision from there. The only video that I found was helpful was some guys on a boat fishing for Crappie by using swimbaits and basically selling Abu Garcia Veritas rods and they did a great explanation of what they were using and how the rod "worked" basically. The rest of the videos and review I found were mainly geared towards Bass fishing. There were several guys with long 12 ft rods and the whole spider rigging deal which I can't do anyways (no boat + 2 pole limit). Granted at this point in time, I was still far from understanding fully how to read specs online, but the Veritas rod seems like a rod that would fit my needs. I was ready to order one but I was unsure of the right heights, action, etc.
Just so happens my fishing buddies, aka cousins have more of their tackle set and let me fish with one of their best setups 6' 8" GLoomis NRX 802S JWR paired with a Shimano 2000 Stradic Ci4+. Granted the biggest hurdle in getting an NRX is obviously the price, 500 bucks can go a long way and the accounting department still needed to approve it (Wife). After weeks of convicing, the purchase was approved and I finally got a 6' 8" GLoomis NRX 802S JWR and man, it is in my opinion the best rod hands down! I can catch anything the waters here could produce on this rod and enjoy doing it, except of course Muskie or Pike, which I have no plans on doing. I ended up pairing it with a Shimano Stradic FK in the 2000 size and the setup could not feel any better. Originally I paired it up with a Pfleugar Supreme XT 2000 but ended actually being too light so I ended up needing to go with a slightly heavier reel and I'm glad I did.
So there you have it, this is how I ended up with my primary go to rod and reel setup. I can feel the farts that Crappie let out with this setup and I can even tackle a 6 pound Carp that I accidently snagged by the tail fin.

Currently I've been looking for a backup rod and reel setup but I'm not willing to plunk down another 700 dollars for another NRX setup. I want to ask you guys on here if you have any recommendations for a more common Crappie fishing setup. I've decided I want a 7' rod and about hundred dollar reel. So far, I think I have my picks but I'm no pro.

Rod - 7' Pinnacle Perfecta DHC5-701SPML
Reel - Daiwa BG 2000 size, I want see what all the fuss is about Daiwa

Thoughts guys?

I was going to continue on covering all my reels and lines I've used or currently using but I'm not sure if you guys will even like long winding posts like these. Depending on the responses, I might do a follow up spinning reel post and line post.
 

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Haha havnt taken the time to read your entire post yet. Bit for crappies I don't like using a ultra light. I use a light action for a bit more back bone. But still light enough for fun.
I don't really target deep crappie much so my one 6'6" light action with 10/2 powerpro works great for my style of crappie fishing-dipping brush/docks from kayak an tossing jig/twisters at suspended fish.....
When I do "rig" in open water ice found my 13" bnm(not sure on series) does very well with a double minnow rig. It also serves me well fish rip rap an other structure from the bank after a lake has been drawn down. I can comfortably reach my spots w/o crawling around rocks....
 

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Loll k seen your last part... Ice herd good things about the bps micro light rods. They have light action.
I keep my crappie gear fairly cheap. I don't ever drop more the 100 for a crappie rod or crappie reel. Until a couple years ago I just used my saugeye gear. But have gotten lazy. An its nice having rods rigged for different species on deck
 

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Crappie Fishin Fanatic
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184 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
I mainly try to focus on Crappie but when all the guys go out for Saugeyes, I give in just to get out and fish lol! I'm not as excited for Saugeyes mainly because I'm so used to fishing for bigger more powerful Walleyes in the Maumee and Lake Erie. I don't know why, but I love the tactics and just finesse involve in catching Crappie.
 

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I love g.loomis bronzeback rods and they are very much on sale at www.americanlegacyfishing.com. Thry are around 190. I have never seen them go on sale so I have a bad feeling they are getting discontinued. The light action 6'10"and medium action 7'2" spinning rods are fantastic, the reel seats are super comfortable. I also saw a 6"6 on sale at the cabellas in centervill last weekend also. Just a heads up.

So to the OP the 6"10" light loomis bronzeback is a sweet rod for crappie and light duty saugeye and fishes a 1/16-1/4 jig like nobodys business I use mine constantly
 

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Light action and throwing smaller stuff,, you can't pry my St.Croix model # PFS70LXF out of my hands. Use 4 lb. NanoFil on it. Just a great crappie, perch and gill rod. Have even caught a few nice saugeyes and bass on it but you really have to play them.
 

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Ling winded... Challenge accepted... Absolutely personal opinion... I'm certainly in the "more is better" camp.

If you are fishing for steelies or wetting the reel then the reel does become a highlight - but crappie or bass - I'd suggest a targeted setup for each type of presentation. NRX are ridiculous rods (expensive - but almost flawless nice - used one twice - was more worried about all the terrible things that might happen vs. fully enjoying it while on what can only be called a bass yatch). Although I love SnapOn tools - I'd rather have a full complement of cheaper wrenches than the very best pair of pliers from them. So moving onto another setup - you might consider filling the gaps rather than backing up the primary.

I'm sure many will cast a shadow of doubt upon my comment... There are a HUGE number of decent rods available in the 35-65 range (especially for the consummate consumer watching). Reels tend to be 40-90 in my book. I bought three Vendettas for 75 last year on clearance at wally world - just couldn't pass that one up. 25 each out the door with tax. Did I want them – yep (duh), did I need all three – NOPE – did I ultimately figure out what to use them for – YEP. Now I have three setups targeted to a specific method of fishing – and I’ve got less than 200 in them. So, if you think you can buy a rod you can effectively throw a 1/16oz jig or a 5/8 oz jig and still be 'perfect' then your reading too much of the marketing. Yes - I have several (semi is added here since we mentioned a $500 rod) expensive setups - and some are go to if I'm not targeting a specific method or species. However - if you are going to fish a specific way for a specific fish - then pick the one you know is for that exact method, and I try to perfect the relationship with each setup with every trip out…Yes - its a disease, not a philosophy - but I think I've supported many in the tackle industry for years...

Example – I’ve been through so many wormin rods back in the day… What I’ve had for 20 years is a cheap setup – but it works with me… An OLD lews speedstick complete with Tennessee handle and duct taped to the old ABU 154 (absolutely the toughest drag IMHO). Lightning fast sets - period, with sensitivity and weight which matches my presentation. It is stout and has survived many challenges for its spot. Neither of those was ever that expensive – and the reel – its gritty – but that ‘dumb” drag setup simply works. I still throw often with a BC - but in certain areas or layouts - Edna (when you get lots of setups you name them) gets her turn.

You mentioned shore fishing for crappie…

With a beetle spin or a small roadrunner tipped for crappie - retrieved with a gravity pull (drawn up slowly - then fluttered with taunt line) working your way around the shoreline - then I'm into a weird setup - small noodle with excessively lite line. I'm the guy using 4lb mono when everyone else has 20 pound braid. The noodle give me distance on the cast and control on the draw - and enough reach to un-hang when hung up, but its most useful feature is once you cast - you can take the slack out before you reel without killing the presentation... When you are into (and believe in) light line - the cast to retrieve of a rod/reel becomes the #1 factor. A small lure on light line on a short rod will produce so much twist on the cast - the added length reduces this (that is actually the original reason steelhead and salmon guys used longer rods). The reel - I'd take a clunky grinder with a smooth transaction from the bail to the line roller over a $500 one with a crappy transition. Its not something you can look at and know - unless there is line - and even then you need to mark it on one side to see it. Every time your line 'bumps' (hits the transition while on the retrieve and already on the roller) it puts a small twist onto the spool tightly - not a problem until it unwinds freely between the reel and the first guide on a cast - natural recoil in the line causes more issues - vicious circle of events. This may sound light mad scientist stuff - but if you have never fished with 2lb mono - then you have NEVER seen what a reel's transition can do and how quickly... Moral - line twist of the setup (not just the reel) is my #1 concern from a shore fishing setup. I personally select the rods action based on how I want to present the offering - not fight the fish. Further, my noodle setup will reach places you can't cast too - and with a lure excessively light on light line. In the end, you can with an ultra slow retrieve and draw - nearly work a 2' range in the water at a speed most can't match. Yes with a 1/32 jig I will pickup some fish most will call 'bait' - but when they are finicky - my setup serves me well. Nothing more satisfying that others looking at you like you are OUT OF YOUR MIND - and with each fish they just keep scowling at you. Now mid-season when the bite is on, you may not need the stealth gear - but it’s still fun. This is a specific setup for a specific approach (example of). Details like this allow for a better justification.

My answer is this... Tell me what you are going to throw - how you will work it, and what you’re throwing it into - and I'll give you my justification for what I would use from my collection. The justification is the key - not the equipment – as we have all seen – the kid with the 202 can catch them just like our prized gear. So if you are going to use the secondary for early season - and for (you fill in the rest)... Then we can look at function vs. fashion (so to say).

I am in NO WAY bashing the NRX - perhaps (yeah right - assume insatiably) jealous - but not bashing - If you can justify the NRX - by all means - but I'd argue you need to define it with a specific task. Then you can 'target' your need for #2 - use a more function oriented view - fitting - and filling a need. It sounds like you have several setups already - but knowing what you use them for would help. If you are tourney fishing - you don't untangle - you drop and move on to the next setup. If you are going to throw a jig/pig - you already have a rod of choice. You don't need to get this into it - but you should have a plan for each setup. I've more than 50 setups (40 years) - and if they were in the NRX price range - my butt wouldn't be slummin in aluminum - I'd have the fish trucked into my pool and fish from a rafted cooler with a bikinied guide holding my coozy while I fought each fish (OK - last notation on the NRX - feel free to leave it to me in your will)!

On the flip side - you don't want a collection and don't want to get specific - just a backup to the 'one' then I'm sure the Shimano and Diawa guys will battle it out for you (I have a couple of each and do like them).

Equipment threads - its too darn bad theses aren't face to face with larger groups - cuz with all that HOT air - the temp would rise, Ice melt, and we'd be fishing the next day!
 
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