• Andrew

My Rod and Reel Set Up for a Fly In Fishing Trip


I am not a fishing gear head. I can geek out on lures or research new techniques but overall, I like a simple set up. Over the years there are a few brands of rods and reels that have earned my trust. I also prefer one-piece rods as IMO I find them more sensitive than a two piece (although some would argue that this isn’t true especially from the higher end brands). Finally keep in mind that on most of the fly in trips I have done we are fishing for walleye and pike only, throw in some other species and perhaps my set up would change


Me with a nice walleye caught on my Fenwick "Multi Tool" set up

Rod Combo One

Rod: St. Croix Avid avs63mxf-63 - 6’3 Medium, Extra Fast Avid 6'3

Reel: Shimano Symetre 1000 Series - product discontinued

Main Line: 15 LB Berkley Fireline Crystal Fireline Crystal

Leader: 10 LB Berkley 100% Fluorocarbon Berkley 100% Flouro


Use: This is my go-to for jigging and any finesses rigging (lindy rig etc.) I may use. I love this rod and reel combo, well balanced and very sensitive. I chose the 1000 series reel as it has more than enough capacity needed for jigging. The cost of the rod was above my comfort level but in the end two things tipped me off: 1) I find jigging to be very much a feel technique and I wanted something that was very sensitive and 2) The Avid series comes with the Superstar Warranty Service which is lifetime (please note I believe this has now been changed to 15 years). Everything I read about St Croix and the warranty made me comfortable with the purchase and so far, its been awesome.


Rod Combo Two

Rod: Fenwick HMG HMG70M-FS – 7 Foot Medium, Fast Tip. HMG Spinning Rod

Reel: Shimano Symetre 2500 Series – product discontinued

Main Line: 20 LB Power Pro Moss Green Power Pro

Leader: 10 LB Berkley 100% Fluorocarbon Berkley 100% Flouro


Use: This is my multi tool lol. Primarily I use this rod for trolling bottom bouncers and crank baits. I will also use this rod for casting jerk baits and crankbaits. Over the years I have come to prefer a 7-foot rod for this. I can fire casts but more importantly it’s got some give when trolling. If you have read any of my reports, you will know my groups preferred method for catching walleye is trolling bottom bouncers and spinners. With a shorter, stiffer rod I found at the end of the day my arm and wrist were sore and this setup has alleviated some of that. The HMG also comes with a lifetime warranty which I appreciate. Another Symetre reel. I bought both just as they were being discontinued and got a great deal. No issues at all so far and I find them incredibly smooth. Note: I only use a flouro leader when casting or if I find the bite to be soft.


Rod # 3

Rod: Older Daiwa Procyon PRCN701MHXB – 7 Foot Medium Heavy Baitcaster Daiwa Procyon

Reel: Abu Garcia Ambassador C3 5500 Abu C3

Main Line: Power Pro 40 LB Moss Green Power Pro

Leader: 10 Inch Steel 90 LB or 10 Inch Fluorocarbon 125 LB Muskie Mania Leader Flouro Leader


Use: This is my pike set up. Honestly, I would guess that on a weeklong trip I maybe do ½ to ¾ of a day fishing for pike and this pretty simple set up reflects that. My go-to tactics for pike would be casting spoons/bucktails and trolling medium sized cranks (Rapala J 13s, Bucher Bay Depth Raider). I am happy with this setup. I have had the rod and reel for years with no issues. The rod is more than capable of throwing 1oz to 1.5 oz lures and while I am sure an all-day troll would kill my arm, its fine for the amount I use it. Out of all my set ups this is the one I am thinking of changing. I am average at best with a bait cast reel and I often wonder if that is part of why I don’t spend as much time fishing for pike on my trips. On our Ogoki trip the day I focused more on pike casting was super windy and I got so frustrated with backlashes and bad casts I hung it up and went back to walleye. My plan is to go with the same set up to Miniss (Our August 2020 Destination Miniss Lake) in 2020 as I do want to fish for pike more. If I feel like my gear impedes my desire, I think I would look at a spinning set up for pike.


Overall, I am quite happy with my setups and the brands I have chosen.


One thing I always get asked is how I travel with the 1-piece rods. Before our first fly in trip I bought a Plano Guide Series Rod Tube. So far, I am happy with it. Its been with me on 4 trips and I have never had my rod (or any others) break. I have had 6 rods in the case with no issues. It can expand to hold an 8.5-foot rod if needed. Here is a link Plano Guide Series Tube


If you are thinking about or planning a trip hopefully you find the above helpful

Andrew


PS I am NOT affiliated with any of the brands or retailers covered in this post, but I am SO open to it.

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