JK School of Higher Fishing Education Presents:
Bass Fishing Basic Course 100
Today’s Class is on:
The 4 Rod setups to cover the basics!
Welcome to class students, todays course of instruction is on the 4-different rod, reel and line setups you need when starting to fish for black bass aka largemouth, smallmouth, spotted bass etc. These rods will cover your basic needs as a fledgling bass angler so you can be successful from the very beginning as you learn about the different baits in the bass anglers’ arsenal. There will be 2 types talked about; the casting rod and the spinning rod. Now let’s talk rods!
The first rod is a staple of every bass fisherman, it is used in for a technique that is a tried and true bass catcher of big bass and has won millions in tournaments around the world; and that rod is a jig rod. Now as a kayak bass angler space is a something we need to keep in mind so having just one specific rod as a beginner is not advantageous as it can make for problems with tangles and organization issues. So, we need a rod that is going to fish several styles in one setup. Look for a rod that is no less than 7’ 2” has a Medium Heavy power and a fast action. This rod is made for Texas rigs/jigs but I find it is perfect for spinnerbaits, vibrating jigs, jigs (swim, pitching, football, basically all jig styles), Carolina rigs, swimbaits and buzz baits. Now that is a lot of different techniques in one rod, and that is what you need to consider in buying your first rod. Do you need to go out and buy this exact rod…No, but it’s a basis you can use to go off of. The rod isn’t very long, at 7’ 2” it’s about medium length in the bass world, it has about 80% of the rod in heavy backbone (this is important to note as this rod is a medium heavy and explain the rods “stiffness” aka backbone is what drives the hook home in the hook set and allows you to pull the fish out of cover) with a fast tip (this is the speed in which the end of the rod or the rod itself straightens back out) that lends to the rest of the rod. The thing to keep in mind with a good jig rod is that it needs to be very sensitive and the only way to feel that is to put a reel and line on it. This is because any rod can “feel” sensitive but until the other players are involved you really can’t feel it, if that makes sense. But you can get an idea buy taking some fishing line and tying it to the tip of the rod, then rap the other end around a post, rack something stable. Now put a small amount of pressure on the line and have someone lightly tap the line. Did you feel it? How about if they can talk with the line right in front of their mouth, can you feel the vibrations on the line and rod? If you can then you have found the perfect jig rod.
Now the reel for this setup is going to have to be fast. Why? Because with many of the techniques being used with this rod bass have a tendency to run at you but also the rods fast tip and medium heavy action means that if you release pressure on the fish that it can get slack in the line and throw the lure. SO, having a high-speed reel that can catchup and keep the pressure on that fish is going to be key. Look for a reel with a 7.3:1 gear ratio or higher. “what is gear ratio” you ask well it’s the broken down as the number of times the spool (the round thing in the middle of the reel that holds the line) spins to one turn of the reel handle. So, a reel with a 5.3:1 gear ratio is going to “pickup” less line then its 7.3:1 compadre. Now there are exemptions to this rule but for our usages and basics this is going to fit. So, you have found a 7.3:1 or faster reel now let’s put some line on it.
For starters, we are going to use one line style of line for all of the rods but tone the poundage to each rod. So, for the “jig” rod we are going to go with 50lb Braid. This will last you a very very long time, on that setup and allow you to fish in any situation as long as your leader (if needed) is set for the situation.
Okay with that done let’s look at the next 2 rods in your arsenal, the “all-Purpose” rods… yes two rods in the same category and let me explain why. Both rods have the same length; 7’, the tip is going to be fast and will hold the same style of reel; 6.5:1 gear ratio, the same line; 20lb braid. The only difference is the power and action. One of them you want a medium power rod (your looking for the rod to flex about 60% of its length) and the other is going to be a medium heavy (at least 80% flex). The medium power rod is going to be used for things like crankbaits, jerk baits, lipless crankbaits, basically if it has a treble hook this is the rod you want to use. The reason is that the baits previously mentioned are moving baits with treble hooks. The issue is that you need that bass to get those baits as far into its mouth as possible to get the best hook penetration as possible as well as being as forgiving as possible as well. Why is that important? Well anyone who has ever used a treble hooked lure wonders why you can have so many hooks but not keep them hooked up or even get a hook up on the bait. Having all that flex in a medium power rod is going to allow the bass to A) give that bass some time to get that bait deep in its mouth, b) keep the pressure on the fish due to the flex, allowing you to keep enough pressure on them to hold the bait in place and C) the power and action is going to present these baits the best possible way.
Now onto the medium heavy; this one is going to basically cover all the techniques you might need to use…yes that’s right this rod can fish a crankbait like a square bill very well. Top waters? Perfect choice! Texas rigged lizard? You got it. Spinnerbaits? Of course, Basically this rod is your “jack of all trades, a master of none” kind of setup. If you keep that in mind with this rod you will be happy.
The last rod in this course is the spinning rod, and is to be used for “finesse” techniques, for this setup its very simple: you are looking for a 7’ to 7’ 4” rod that has a medium power with a fast action. This rod is going to run the gambit in light weight lures, from weightless jerk baits, soft stick baits, drop shots, neko rigs, ned rigs, wacky rigs, split shot rigs, and shaky heads, basically any setup that is less than ¼ oz. or is weightless is going to be used on this rod. The reel is going to be in the 3000/30 series of reels and again you want one that is as fast as possible. Load the reel with 10lb braid and you have the all-around setup for the “finesse” techniques listed.
With the 4 rods setups listed you know have a basis to go off to start your time-consuming addiction…I mean your new money hungry hobby…Moving on…The next few classes will detail baits, knots and leaders. As well as what water temperature, bottom contour and the difference in structure and cover. At the end of Bass Fishing Basic Course 100 the final will be for you to post photos of your bass catches using the things you have learned with the hashtag #JKbfc100 in the comments on social media. With that, class is dismissed!