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View Full Version : fishing poles, reels, etc..... walmart????


joodaman
08-06-2007, 2:29 PM
anyone have any opinions or experience with the rod/reel combos at walmart???
ive caught the fishing bug, and was looking for a relatively inexpensive rod/reel combo that i could use mainly saltwater fishing.
probably something around the 8' range.

im not getting too serious, and am not willing to drop hundreds on a set up, so i was just wondering if the equipment at walmart was worthwhile for some surf, pier, "deep sea", fishing.

thanks.

p.s. also, if anyone knows any good ocean fishing forums that they could refer me to where i can learn some more itd be appreciated.
tia.

Chris M
08-06-2007, 3:17 PM
There's a great forum that I belong to for fishing in northern CA: www.anglernet.net

PM me if you want.

You might want to check out Sports Authority. Sometimes they have killer sales. My brother picked up a nice 7' Shimano rod there for $12 a couple weeks back.

Stay away from Big 5. They've got worse stuff than Wal-Mart.

The Surf/Pier combos at wal-mart will be OK. Keep them clean by thoroughly rinsing the salt water off of the rod and reel, to prevent corrosion, and it should last you at least a few years.

I would highly recommend picking up a crab net if pier fishing. It's a good way of lifting larger fish up on to the pier.

Another good site is www.pierfishing.org

El Barto
08-06-2007, 3:33 PM
I am of the opinion that you should buy to your skill level or interest level.

If you are new and just want to try it out, then buy a cheaper combo from Wal-Mart. That way, if you lose interest or end up not going as often as you like, then you won't feel that you spent too much. You can always upgrade to your comfort level and you can consider the Wal-Mart rig a "trainer".

Go to any pier and see what everyone else is using first. I can almost guarantee you that the guy catching the most is not using the biggest or the best. I have seen some guys using fresh water rigs that were just decimating the local fish population.

joodaman
08-06-2007, 3:33 PM
thanks.
for the info

im trying to self teach myself knots, rigs, etc.
we'll see how it goes. =)

Fjold
08-06-2007, 6:40 PM
Joodman, What type of saltwater fishing? Are you going out on charters for rockfish, mooching for Salmon, fishing the islands off of the Santa Barbara Channel, chasing yellowtail off of San Diego, pursuing pelagics off of Mexico? Not to be a smart *** but each type of fish takes different equipment.

It's kind of like asking "What kind of gun should I buy for hunting?" Everyone would have to know what you're hunting for to tell you what they would recommend and even if you say "jack rabbits", we would have to know if you want to shoot them with the shotgun on the run, maybe with dogs. Maybe you like to walk around and shoot them with the 22 rimfires or my favorite, sitting on top of a hill and shooting them at 300 yards with a high speed varmint gun and high power scope.

BTW most people say "fishing rod", instead of "fishing pole" out here. I used to fish alot:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v214/Fjold/YFT96.jpg

hung380
08-06-2007, 7:06 PM
fishing forum:
www.Hookupsportfishing.com
www.allcoastsportfishing.com
www.Bloodydecks.com
I like Hookupsportfishing for beginners.
Lets us know what kind of fishing you're most likely targeting and we can lead you in the rite direction.(lake, ocean pier, ocean boat, ocean boat 1/2 day trip, ocean boat 3/4 day trip,)
Good fishing reel at walmart would be shimano.
Good fishing rod at walmart would be ugly stick.
Reel size and rod length depends on your type of fishing. Pm me if you need any tackle suggestions.

rg_1111@yahoo.com
08-06-2007, 7:27 PM
Walmart stuff is OK with name brand. Shimano is real good they back there product with replacement if it goes bad.

gn3hz3ku1*
08-06-2007, 9:31 PM
whats the best deal for a 1/2 day trip?

CSACANNONEER
08-06-2007, 9:59 PM
BTW most people say "fishing rod", instead of "fishing pole" out here. I used to fish alot:


I was born in a Ca 41 years ago and I usually say/hear "pole." But, then again, I've never been like "most people."

Sheldon
08-07-2007, 12:14 AM
You can always save money by get some nice used stuff. I like the AllCoast.com site as well as the the Pierfishing.com site.

aplinker
08-07-2007, 1:34 AM
My only big suggestion on this is to avoid any combo that has line pre-filled on the spool. It's these bottom end combos that are really terrible. They're spooled up with line that tangles, is weak and just plain sucks. They are not a bargain and are destined for failure. It makes me upset to see people buy these because I know what they're going to be doing the day they fish -- untangling line and getting frustrated.

I would suggest that, if you're doing a trip, you rent equipment. You'll have the opportunity to bend the ear of those on the boat and the deckhands. They'll have good, real-world suggestions.

btw, nice yellowtail, Frank. And yeah, don't call it a pole. A pole is something with line tied to it. A rod is used for casting.

Bongos
08-07-2007, 7:20 AM
Turners got a good sale starting this Thursday, for a solid set up for beginners, I would recommend the following
Rod: 15-30lb rating
Reel: at least 300 yrds of 15lb test

Beginner Rod Recommendations:
The Ugly stick ($40-$60)
Seeker E-Glass ($60-$80)


Beginner Reel Recommendations:
Penn 506 or 500 ($40-$60)
Diawa SLX ($109-$134)

The above is tried and true, they are more than your Walmart shakespear set up but will last you decades of fishing.

Word of advice...don't go cheap on the line and hook, it's what connects you to the fish and can be the difference landing a fish of a lifetime or lost the big one stories...

Line/hook recommendations:
P-Line CXX 15lb test, this is an extremely strong line with a very small diameter...very expensive to your Andre or Trilene... a big part of catching fish is presentation, with a small diameter line, there is less drag on your bait

Mustad off-set hooks are the best design for CA fishing, I like their tri-point circle..these are very sharp...

Think of it this way, how much does it cost to go on the 1/2 day $50? The cost between good line and regular is abotu $12-$15...

I would pass on lures and jig as these are for someone whom what to do a little more advance fishing.

Buy torpedo sinkers (1, 2, 3, 5 oz.)
Learn the palomar knot and reverse dropper loop and you are already in the top 20% to catch fish

Remember, pick the bait that is most lively, the ones that are the hardest to catch in the bait tank..you % will increase..

Now, go fishing and let us know how you did...

I think Sand Bass, Barracuda, and Bonita is in season with occasional Yellowtail...

Best locations would be San Diego.... Talk to the deck hands if you need help, remember they do this day after day and knows what works... the more fish on the boat, the more secure is there job,,, remember to tip them!!!

Fjold
08-07-2007, 7:27 AM
btw, nice yellowtail, Frank.

Yellowfin

Chris M
08-07-2007, 8:09 AM
thanks.
for the info

im trying to self teach myself knots, rigs, etc.
we'll see how it goes. =)

Whatever you do, stay away from the Trilene Knot (http://www.animatedknots.com/trilene/index.php). I used to use this as a kid, and had the knot slip (untie) way too many times.

Learn the Crawford Knot (http://www.stripersurf.com/knot_terminal.html#crawford), the Perfection Loop (http://www.killroys.com/knots/perfecti.htm), and the Dropper Loop (http://www.animatedknots.com/dropperloop/index.php), and you probably won't need to learn any other fishing knots. They are all very easy to tie. These are the only ones I use, whether I'm fishing for Rockfish, Halibut, Striped Bass, Largemouth Bass, Panfish, Trout, Salmon, Sharks, or Catfish.

I use the perfection loop when fishing live bait. Paired with a light hook, it allows the bait to swim more natural. The crawford knot is just plain strong. A lot of people like to use the Palomar where I use the crawford. I've been using the crawford knot for about 3 years now, and haven't had one slip yet. If you're going to be making hi-lo rigs (Very common for surf & pier fishing), the dropper loop is a great knot.

joodaman
08-07-2007, 1:28 PM
thanks for all the info guys
and thanks for pointing out the whole pole/rod issue, didnt know it was so sensitive.
im looking for as versatile a rod/reel combo as possible so i dont have to buy a ton of gear.
just like an ar that can get the job done most of the time, im looking for the same thing with the setup.
looking to fish mainly surf, pier, and the occasional 1/2 day charter out of long beach.
not looking to catch monster fish, just something that will put up a fun fight and maybe some dinner on the table after the day is done.
like i said, im a noob, so forgive me if i sound so lost. trying to read as much as i can, but i know nothing beats experience.

anymore suggestions are more than welcome. thanks.

Chris M
08-07-2007, 1:34 PM
not looking to catch monster fish, just something that will put up a fun fight and maybe some dinner on the table after the day is done.
like i said, im a noob, so forgive me if i sound so lost. trying to read as much as i can, but i know nothing beats experience.

Are you in Northern or Southern CA?

joodaman
08-07-2007, 2:04 PM
southern cali
los angeles


another question, spinning or casting reel? lures or bait? so many questions

Chris M
08-07-2007, 2:14 PM
southern cali
los angeles


another question, spinning or casting reel? lures or bait? so many questions

I know very little about fishing in SoCal, so I won't be able to help you much as far as what to catch and where.

From surf/pier, I'd highly recommend a spinning reel. You'll never be able to cast as far with a baitcaster. Spinning reels definitely have their disadvantages, but they're easy to use and once you get the hang of it, you can cast really far.

Stick with live or frozen bait when pier & surf fishing.

When I go out on a boat for rockfish, I mix it up. I'll start with swim baits or metal jigs to try to get lingcod and larger rockfish. If that's not working, and I'm far from my limit, I'll switch over to baby octopus (you can find it at Asian supermarkets) on a hi-lo rig. Baby octopus stays on the hook longer than squid, and is re-usable, fish after fish. You'll only need a few of them for a whole day of fishing. No more 'stolen' baits.

Bongos
08-07-2007, 4:00 PM
If you want to get the feel and practice of big fish on a small budget, get a the baitcaster and rod set up i recommeded and a large 2/o trible hook, put three squids, one on each hook over twice on the hook and toss it into the surf, 5-7 feet from shore is OK, just in the white water where the surf breaks. Do this in the evening about 7-8pm......

did I mention hold on!!!!!!!!!
the bait will soak anywhere from 10-20 minutes, possibly sooner..........
then a monster will hook up!!!!

When I say monster, I MEAN monster... if could be a 5-6 foot 60lb sand shark or a 150 lb Bat Ray.... I would eat the shark , just make sure you bring a long screwdiver to kill it, by sticking it right between the eyes, the reason for the quick kill is because if the shark dies slowly amonia is seep into the meat and your filet taste like urine..... otherwise it should taste like swordfish with a hint of crabmeat.

Chris M
08-07-2007, 4:29 PM
...screwdiver to kill it, by sticking it right between the eyes, these reason for the quick kill is because if the shark dies slowly amonia is seep into the meet and your filet taste like urine..... otherwise it should taste like swordfish with a hint of crabmeat.

Bongos is right about killing the shark immediately after catching it. I personally take it a step further and gut & bleed (cut gills) them immediately, too.

There's some good recipes for shark on the FishSniffer website.

Thrillbilly
08-07-2007, 4:41 PM
Honestly I have caught fish my Ugly stick and quantum reel purchased at wall mart. I also catch fish on my Orvis fly rod and reel. But the point is that you can catch fish with inexpensive set ups.

Sheldon
08-07-2007, 9:32 PM
As with shooting, in fishing you can get very specific with your equipment with various applications. I use a smaller setup while fishing off the jetties (small baitcaster on a 6 1/2' rod using 6 lb. line and 3" plastic swimbaits and 1/4 oz leadheads) and heavier ones while off the 1/2 and 3/4 day local sportboat trips (all conventional reels with everything from 12 lb to 80lb line and typically 7' rods with longer ones when needed).

On the sportboats I bring multiple setups to maximize my chances for different situations. When the action is on the bass or the live bait is small, a lighter outfit can really make the difference in casting distance. For fishing the iron lures a longer rod and a reel with heavier line is beneficial.

This is not to say any given setup won't work in any given situation, but there are some better suited then others. If you start to spend more time on the water you'll more likely than not end up with different setups to suite your specific needs and situations.

As far as distance casting goes I believe the conventional reel rules. I believe all the long casting records are held by conventional reels. Yes, there are actually competitions. For lighter weight casting a spinner may do better, but for heavier weights I think the conventional reel is superior. The conventional reel has better drags and less line twist as well. It takes a while to get used to casting the conventional reel without backlashes, but is well worth the effort.

Bongos
08-07-2007, 10:28 PM
on Half day you want a surface set up, I like 8' rods with bass reels like Abu Garcia 5600 with 12lb test and bottom set up with 7' rods and Penn 506 or 501 with 15lb. Good starter set ups.

By the way, these are my loaners.. it can get real expensive when names like Grafighters and Trinidads come in to play:chris:

Chris M
08-08-2007, 8:11 AM
Sometimes cheap rods are the way to go. I was out in the SF Bay fishing for Halibut and Stripers a few weeks back with a friend of mine, his son, and his dad. None of them had fishing rods, so I loaned them mine. The son is only 5 years old, so I let him use a cheap spincast combo...not quite a Snoopy rod, but close. That fishing rod was on fire the entire day. First fish to the boat was a 6lb striped bass caught on that rod, which was the only keeper of the day. The rest of the day was a bunch of small halibut and ~28-30" sand sharks. It seemed like for every fish landed on any of the other rods, this one landed 2.

joodaman
08-08-2007, 10:00 AM
quick question
i know longer rods are better for longer casts, but whats the difference when youre just dropping the line for bottom fish like halibut?
does a shorter rod help somehow? i was always confused because of this.
it just doesnt make sense to me

ivanimal
08-08-2007, 10:06 AM
The difference between a rod and a pole is...........about 100 bucks.:D

Chris M
08-08-2007, 10:20 AM
quick question
i know longer rods are better for longer casts, but whats the difference when youre just dropping the line for bottom fish like halibut?
does a shorter rod help somehow? i was always confused because of this.
it just doesnt make sense to me

One of the big advantages of having a longer rod (granted it's not too stiff) is that the long bend it the rod keeps constant tension, not allowing the hook to come loose, when you're going through the motion of lifting the tip of the rod to pull the fish closer and reeling as you lower it to take up the slack. This is especially helpful when you're dealing with barbless hooks. Also, sometimes Halibut grab just the tail end of the bait. A longer, more limber rod will not put as much tension on the line, allowing the Halibut more time to eat the bait. In this situation, a short or stiff rod would simply pull the bait out of the Halibuts mouth. Especially when trolling or drifting in a fast current.

If you go out on a party boat for Humboldt Squid or Tuna, a shorter, stiffer rod is more suitable.

Chris M
08-08-2007, 10:35 AM
Another thing you want to do while shopping for a Spinning reel...avoid rear drags! They may be easier to adjust while fighting a fish, but very rarely do you want to adjust your drag when fighting a fish. Front drags on a spinning reel are more reliable, and easier to maintain or upgrade.

Speaking of drags - make sure you have it set correctly before you start fishing. Personally, I like to set my drags at about 2.5lb for most of the fishing I do...Salmon, Halibut, Striper, Rockfish. I simply do this by tying a 2.5lb weight to the end of the line and lift it off the ground, adjust the drag accordingly, and lift again until the drag is just barely able to hold the weight.

That method has been working for me for years, and only once did I have to adjust the drag while fighting a fish...I was using a 6.5' spinning combo, fishing for Halibut when a 5' sand shark grabbed my bait and nearly spooled me. I only had about 100 yards of 12lb test line on the reel. I had to tighten the drag to prevent from getting spooled. I fought the fish to the boat about 5-6 times before the line got too frayed from the sharks skin and broke. The people I was with didn't want to bring the shark into the boat. I wasn't too happy, but I'll live.

joodaman
08-08-2007, 10:46 AM
that clarified things for me a great deal.
the way a lot of people were talking here and on other boards, it made it sound like the rod length had some sort of effect on whether the fish would bite or not, not whether or not it helped reeling it in.
now it makes sense.
ive been reading a lot online, and have decided that the most versatile rig for me should be the reverse dropper rig on an 8' rod (probably an ugly stick) with a casting reel of some sort (one that fits my price range).
correct me if im wrong, but even though the reverse dropper is best for shallower water, it will still work for bottom dwellers in the deep.
i really want to go with a double dropper rig b/c of the mentality that two baits are better than one, but a lot of people seem to swear by the reverse for beginners so...
any more input is appreciated.

joodaman
08-08-2007, 11:37 AM
one more question popped into my head,
how deep?
witht he dropper loop and reverse, should they go all the way to the bottom?
can you use them mid depth also?
other than halibut and rays, what can you catch on the bottom, mid, top, etc.?
damn im a noob
sorry guys

rg_1111@yahoo.com
08-08-2007, 12:10 PM
Sense your going for big fish forget Shimano, Go with Penn.
It will cost more, but save you in long run.

Chris M
08-08-2007, 12:15 PM
one more question popped into my head,
how deep?
witht he dropper loop and reverse, should they go all the way to the bottom?
can you use them mid depth also?
other than halibut and rays, what can you catch on the bottom, mid, top, etc.?
damn im a noob
sorry guys

About 80% of my fishing is done at/near the bottom. I'm not familiar with the species down south, but I would imagine it's probably similar.

Chris M
08-08-2007, 12:52 PM
Sense your going for big fish forget Shimano, Go with Penn.
It will cost more, but save you in long run.

Don't discount all Shimano's. My favorite rod is a Shimano Clarus 8.5' medium action. It's basically a re-badged g-loomis at a fraction of the cost. It's got an Abu Garcia C3 5500 spooled with 15lb test. It'll handle 35#+ Halibut, Striper & Salmon with ease. I ain't gonna take it out for tuna, though. At $180, this combo is pretty much out of the price range of a beginner.

I really like Penn Reels, though, mainly because of how simple the design is. It's fairly easy to clean, maintain, and upgrade the drags on these. I've got a 320 GT, a couple of 155's, a 109, a 309, and a big ol' 116 Senator.

Bongos
08-08-2007, 1:27 PM
that clarified things for me a great deal.
the way a lot of people were talking here and on other boards, it made it sound like the rod length had some sort of effect on whether the fish would bite or not, not whether or not it helped reeling it in.
now it makes sense.
ive been reading a lot online, and have decided that the most versatile rig for me should be the reverse dropper rig on an 8' rod (probably an ugly stick) with a casting reel of some sort (one that fits my price range).
correct me if im wrong, but even though the reverse dropper is best for shallower water, it will still work for bottom dwellers in the deep.
i really want to go with a double dropper rig b/c of the mentality that two baits are better than one, but a lot of people seem to swear by the reverse for beginners so...
any more input is appreciated.

Depending on the depth and current, the capt of the boat will tell you where they are at, the reverse dropper is degisned for deep water or bottom fishing, though you can use it with a light wait fro surface fishing.. For surface I like to use a slider rig.


Also in regards to the 7' rods, on party boats if your rod is too short ...6"... and the fish goes under the boat, you have a chance of getting sawed off...buy rubbing the bottom of the boat

Fjold
08-08-2007, 7:17 PM
I went fishing off of Gaviota pier (just north of Santa Barbara) today. Using 6' spinning rods with sabiki rigs and a 7' spinning with cut bait, I caught about 50 Mackerel and 20 or so sardines, croakers and lizard fish. The bite was on from 9 AM until about 1 PM.

There were no big fish caught at all.

Sheldon
08-08-2007, 9:52 PM
Rod length won't help you get bit, unless you count it helping to get a bait/lure out further than your fellow fisherman in situations where distance might matter. It will shift the leverage between you and the fish as far as fighting a fish might go. A longer rod shifts the advantage to the fish since it puts you literally on the short(er) end of the stick when compared to a shorter rod.

Dropper loop or reverse would work and depending on how far up the line you tie the loop can fish different depths. Bottom fish will include halibut. rays, sharks, and depending on how far out you cast may also include the perch, and corvina.

Lately I have been using a 6 1/2' rod with a Daiwa baitcaster loaded with 6 lb. line, casting 1/4 oz leadheads with 3" Big Hammer swimbaits. I hit the local jetties and basically throw the lure out as far as I can and bounce it along the bottom on my retrieve. I catch mostly undersized halibut and bass, but every now and then I get a legal one......22" min. on the halibut and 12" min. on the bass. I might be out there 3 hours and just get a couple short fish, but I enjoy it none the less.

Bongos
08-09-2007, 5:53 PM
HOT NEWS FLASH...Sand Bass is officially on the Bite..local boats limiting out
these are usually TOADS...7-10lbs
Usually after or during the Sandbass bite the Barries move in

Newport Beach is the location