Recently a bright young name in the game called me in search of some information about setting up a combination of rod, reel, and starter tackle kit that would be suitable for the vast majority of inshore species here in West Central Florida. I looked at some of my rods and reels and the fish I have caught with them. I turned to the crates of lures and junk in my garage that I wished I had never used or spent a dime on, and finally I looked at the things I never go fishing without. This query from a young man (yes ladies it’s Ben Sharp) not only got me thinking of what he should start a comprehensive kit with, but what I would do if I woke up one day without a piece of fishing kit to my name.
We first visited a few combos available at the major sporting goods retailers, with some luck, but not exactly what we were looking for. I was thinking about size, strength, longevity, price, and feel. I figured I would want a rod that would make a decent trout feel good and still have the power to turn a big Redfish or Snook, something with a lighter tip to be able to throw lighter baits but with the backbone to get the job done. I have always had my brand of reels, not to say that they are the best or the worst, but I stick to what I know so that was easy. Look for the price range and size you need and keep it serviced.
Now Ben did his research, he wanted to be in the “serious” range with his set-up without getting into the “hey look at me I buy everything I see because I’m an idiot like Carl” price point. He really couldn’t have done better in my opinion, straight up. We all have our personal feels as far as rods go, some like it a little lighter here or a little more powerful there but I think he nailed it with the rod and reel combo and a nice light kit of lures and trinkets to make said rod bend and aforementioned reel scream. I honestly thought to myself after Ben went and bought his kit that there was very, and I mean very little I would change about it.
Here’s what he came up with:
Rod- Shakespeare Ugly Stik SP1101, One Piece, Seven Foot, Medium/Heavy action with an 8-20lb line rating. A great tip with backbone to turn ‘em away from the docks, lifetime warranty
Reel- Shimano Sienna 4000, smooth as silk with all the stuff you need, nothing you don’t
Line- A little mono backing with some Powerpro braid to do the pulling, 8lb diameter, 30 lb test
Bag- Compact sized multi-pocketed deal from Spiderwire, very hip
Tackle- A spool of leader, jig heads, hooks, soft plastic baits, a topwater plug, a suspending twitch bait, a cork, and a very nice set of X-Tools floating pliers to top it off
You gotta keep reading for the best part!! Ben went out and got set up to catch nearly everything that lives in the intercoastal waterways and shallows of the southeastern United States for less tham $130!!! That’s right suckers!! I think that Hell’s Bay Boatworks and Salt-Life are selling fishing underwear that you wrap around your face for more than that!! In your face you fancy pieces of garbage!!
Look for more about young Ben Sharp and his fishing adventures here with us at The New Angler. We can’t wait until he hears that drag peel off and see him catch that itch that we’ve all been trying to scratch our entire fishing lives. (keep your mind out of the gutter)