I want to delve into the perfect rod and reel combination for this type of angling.
This article has a rather ambitious title, since each fisherman has his own preferences for rod length and reel size.
To further complicate things, many fishermen have their own preferences for rod and reel brands.
One man swears by Shimano, while another chooses Daiwa (to name but two popular brands). (Having fished both those brands, I’ll admit that I fall squarely within the Shimano camp; I bought a Daiwa Saltiga at one stage; worst fishing buy of my life; should have gone for the Shimano Stella.)
Throw in rod action, line retrieval rate, line thickness and maybe a million other factors and this article’s title seems downright silly.
However, I believe that you can sufficiently get by with a small selection of fishing gear to make the most of your fishing outing.
In fact, I think the man with too much gear could end up spending too much time worrying about which rod and reel to use for a fishing outing.
Keep it simple, Susan, I think the saying goes 🙂
The best all-round rod and reel combo
If you fish a number of different spots in your region, perhaps you need to look at a 7’6 foot rod.
For instance, in Jeffreys Bay we have beautiful, highly varying fishing spots. There’s Kabeljouws beach, which offers superb surf fishing.
Then there are the lagoons that, although they don’t hold trophy fish, offer a quick way to get your fishing fix.
Then there are the Gamtoos and Kromme rivers. The former is well-known for producing record kabeljou; the latter not as well known, but still a lovely river to fish.
To not mention the bass fishing holes around Jeffreys Bay. We have fantastic bass fishing spots around Jeffreys Bay, Humansdorp and the Tsitsikamma region.
Truth be told, if you had to have a kit for each of these spots, you’d have a hard time maintaining all of your fishing rods and reels.
To me, this is overkill. I prefer to kiss Susan (or is it, keep it simple, Susan? I get confused).
A 7’6 foot rod gives you enough reach to make the most of your fishing outing, whether it be at Kabeljouws or at the Kromme.
You could argue that the 7’6 foot rod is too short for surf fishing, but remember, the longer your rod, the more strain you place on your arms when you cast.
That’s not ideal for lure fishing.
Because you’re constantly active, unlike our live bait brethren, you want to keep the strain off your arms as much as possible.
That’s why I believe that a 7’6 foot rod gives you the best of both worlds.
It’s sufficiently light to be able to make plenty of casts and retrieve without breaking off your shoulder and it gives you more than enough casting distance to reach the places where the fish might be waiting for your bait.
Nothing takes the joy out of fishing more than a limp rod. For me, in any case.
I can’t stand fishing a rod that’s so limp that a swivel makes it bend.
OK, I’m exaggerating slightly, but you get the point.
A rod needs to be stiff. It needs to handle a large sized lure without compromising too much when you add something smaller.
Sure, a slapchip rod might cast a lure farther (a highly debatable argument, especially if you consider how uncomfortable it is to cast a lure that’s too heavy for a rod), but it’s more difficult to hook a fish with such a rod than with a rod with good backbone.
With that in mind, a decent 7’6 rod with a medium power range and fast action should be the best all-round rod, if you’re looking to purchase only one rod for all your fishing needs.
The ideal reel for a 7’6 foot rod
I am a 20 pound fan. I’ve been using 20 pound breaking strain braid for years now, and it’s a fine line to use for saltwater lure fishing.
Recently I had an itch to switch to 15 pound breaking strain. I would like to try out a thinner line, but for an all-round kit, 20 pound line is a sweet spot.
Based on this information, a good reel for the 7’6 rod should be comfortable wearing 20 pound line.
For instance, if you’re the quality-over-quantity kind and know the importance of acquiring good equipment, there really would be no other reel than the Shimano Stella for you.
It’s a beautiful reel.
It oozes perfection and makes German engineers cry with delight.
This is the pinnacle of proper reel design.
It’s not in everyone’s price range though. In fact, it’s rather pricey.
But if you buy a Shimano Stella, you’re investing in years of trouble-free fishing.
So yes, the initial cost might be heavy, but in the long run you’re buying reliability such as is seen in the Rolls Royces and Mercedes-Benzes of the world.
And because you’re a quality-over-quantity type of fisherman, you decide to invest in this top quality fishing reel. Yes, it takes a chunk out of your savings or your bond takes a knock, but it’s all for the greater good; it’s for a worthy cause; it’s for years of seamless fishing and the utmost in angling pleasure.
Fishing, after all, is known to increase patience. And you’re more bearable when you’ve fished, but only if your fishing outing’s been good. And what better way to enjoy your outing than investing in gear that won’t let you down?
But what size would fit nicely with a 7’6 rod?
I’d say the STL5000SWBXG is a good bet.
It offers 245 yards of 20 pound braid (224 metres of 9.07 kgs). It has more ball bearings than an SKF factory and a drag strong enough to tame a rabid bull.
You can hardly go wrong with this stellar product.
What if I want more than one rod?
If you’re not happy with the idea of using one rod to fit all your fishing needs, just buy more rods.
For instance, if you would like a good rod for the surf, look at something between the 8 to 9 foot range.
Remember, going too long might put a lot of strain on your arms. This is detrimental to fishing time. And fishing time is what you need to produce good catches.
So I’d say, settle for an 8’6 medium power fast action rod.
A reel to go along with that would be the Shimano Stella STL6000SWBHG with a braid capacity of 290 yards of 30 pounds.
If you’re fishing a river from the bank get your hands on a medium power fast action 6 foot rod. The Stella STL5000SWBXG should work fine on that.
If you have the cash, get yourself a Shimano Stella.
If you’re able to afford a Stella, you’ll most probably be able to afford any brand fishing rod. Perhaps take a look at St Croix’s range of rods. They’re beautiful.
For me, less is more. I prefer to have as little as possible, in terms of stuff. One rod, two max, and a matching reel. That’s all you need, really.
As always, tight lines, and don’t forget to subscribe.