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Tyler23

whats a good rod/reel for northerns?

27 posts in this topic

For smaller northerns (1 to 5 lbs) anything that you could throw normal spinnerbaits and cranks with. The standard medium to medium-heavy rod/reel combo in either spinning or baitcast would do the trick. Now if your going for the bigguns I'd recomend a decent muskie setup. Last summer I got into muskie fishing and while doing so caught some nice northers aswell. I didn't want to break the bank so I picked up one of the C2b31as Tourney Trail Muskie rod found a 6000 series Abu on sale and got the whole works for a hundred bucks. Caugth numerous pike in the mid to upper 30's, a couple of muskies biggest being 43 in and it hasn't let me down yet.

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ill be going for a spinning reel most likely. but i would like to we able to use it for walleye also if that will work? the northerns i usually catch are pretty much around 30 inchs or a little higher nothing huge. would a medium work for this? what kind of length should i go for?

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For spinning I paired up the biggest Gander reel they have with a medium Abu 7 ft rod. The rod actually falls more into the catagory of medium-heavy but loads up really nice and has a faster tip allowing use for a wider range of bait sizes (spinnerbaits to medium sized muskie plugs).

For avid walleye anglers this settup would be a little on the big

side. I think a medium would rod work fine for you just get one with some backbone and a sensitive tip if you plan on jigging for the walleyes. Also find a Medium sized reel with a large spool to accomadate the heavier line for northerns and an extra spool for switching to the lighter walleye line. I've had great luck with the 20 lb spiderwire. I know other poeple would say differently about it though, just my preferance.

As far as rod length goes I would'nt go less than 6'6" and go 7' whenever possible. More rod to fight the fish with and better casting. Just make sure you go with an IM7 graphite or higher on the longer rods for sensitivity and strength. Should be able to find an IM7 or IM8 reasonably priced at any of the outdoor retailers just make sure the eyes line up under a load.

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A walleye rod would work fine for Northerns 35" or less. It is not so much how the rod will fight the fish but how big of lures you will be throwing. 3" spoons and crank bait would work fine. I catch a lot of Northern in that range while trolling Hot'N'Tot with a ML rod and 8lb fireline. If you are fishing around weeds and brush you will want to go with heavier line and a beefier rod. I troll with out a leader and only lost one #4 Salmo hornet to a cut off last year. That is a small lure for such s big mouth full of sharp teeth.

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well i was thinking about getting a 7ft st.croix medium rod? as far as when i fish for northerns when i cast for them i usually use shad raps. would this rod make a good rod for walleyes as well as northerns. i usually never incounter anything over 35". or should i look at getting 2 seperate rods? i just want to get the right stuff the first time. also i would like to give bass fishing a try could i use this rod for that also. ive never done it so idk what i would use for lure? if my choice isnt what you would do please let me know. if theres a rod that will do all this that would be the one for me!! but im guessing there probley isnt? Thanks for the comments!!

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Sounds perfect. I have a pair of St Croix spinngin Avids in Medium power and 6'6" length. It has enough whip to cast most lures effectively, can work for most of the finesse walleye tactics, and has enough backbone to troll with if you want. Best all around rod I have used. I catch 4x more northerns than walleyes and it works well for me. Bass fishing fits right in there also, though sometimes a baitcaster is better.

I do also have a Med Light for casting lighter lures and jigging, but the Medium does a decent job for those also. The Med Light does not troll well.

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If you are tryign to get to one rod I would go with the Shimano Cumara M 7'2" or the St croix legend tournament 7' M F rod "tube rod" to be able to do double duty on spinning gear - I own them both. I did land a few 38"+ fish last year on my 7' ML and it is doable but definitely not something that is recommended - especially if near any cover (weeds, logs, pads, etc).

I would defintely say for this application one high quality rod is MUCH better than two moderate rods.

As far as a reel I would look to a 20 or 25 series reel (personally I love the Quantum Energy tour) as with a lite rod going with a 30 or 40 series reel is just too heavy to have proper balance with a high quality, medium action rod.

You may wanna consider moving to baitcaster if you like throwin shad raps and such.

Email me if you would like at Dustin@freemydollars.com

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Quote:
whats a good rod/reel for northerns?

any old rod will work for slimers. grin

whatever rod i'd choose would be at least medium power and have no less than a fast action. too much bone in a northerns mouth and i'd want to make sure the hooks sank in. for a reel, i'm partial to a rear drag reel and for pike i'd want it to be rated for 17 pound test. like a shimano size 4000 series. theres a lot of reels out there that come with extra spools so it could double as a walleye set up. and the rod would be 7'6''. that would be my choice on a set budget.

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My favorite set-up (its all I can catch on this set-up) is my 6'6" St.Croix Legend Elite Medium with a Shimano Curado 200B. I'll throw lures up to 1 oz. I sure 15-20lbs superline. I've taken fish in the 30"+ range without issue. Its an awesome set-up. A bit spendy but very nice.

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I would really look at a 7'+ rod for hook setting and longer casts - also if you like 1oz+ lures.

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I would suggest getting two rods - you'll be much happier IMO. 6'6" medium light spinning rod for most walleye stuff & tossing lighter cranks for bass/northerns. Get a 7' Medium bait casting setup can provide a lot of flexibility for casting pike/bass. Works great for crankbaits, spinner baits, etc.

If you are looking for a value price - love my Fenwick HMG's, and Pflueger reels are a lot of reel for the price. Also , can't go wrong with Shimano combo's IMO. Less flexibility for mixing/matching, but you can save a lot of money if you buy preset rod/reel combo's.

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If you are looking for a value price - love my Fenwick HMG's,

I have to agree on that, most everythiing in my guide is turning into Fenwicks, great rods. Personal stuff I still swear the best pike rod I have ever owned is my ol Penn 6'6" MH with a slower tip topped of with a 5500 Abu(Maybe 5600?). Got it when I was 18 and swear buy it for a all around pike rod.

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I use a Medium/ Heavy rod, 7', With 15lb stelath spider wire and a Pflueger Maxx Spinning reel, I mostly only fish for slimers and Ive been doing it for a long time now and I havent been able to beat that set up, I havent had my line break, Havent missed a fish from a bad hook set and I still can throw heavy pike lures and still be able to give them some action with the rod. I used to have a 6' 6" rod and that worked well and cought over 15- 40+" Northerns, it was a Medium heavy action aswell

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For those using lighter superline, have you ever had a bite off? I have 14# test, 6# diameter Fireline Crystal on one of my reels and was wondering if I should use a leader?

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For those using lighter superline, have you ever had a bite off? I have 14# test, 6# diameter Fireline Crystal on one of my reels and was wondering if I should use a leader?

I would recommend you use one. I used to think that these lines were mainly "tooth-proof". One day, I had a pike, about 26" long hit a custom spinner. I managed to fight it all the way to the boat. Then all of a sudden, just as I was putting the net in the water to land it, the pike simply moved it's head about 1-2 inches to the left and sliced my line. It sat there for a couple seconds about 6 inches below the surface, lure hanging from it's mouth, before slowly sinking out of sight. I tried to net it but missed. Ever since then, I use leaders MOST of the time.

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I wouldn't be caught without a leader...ever again. I went through a phase a few years back when I took leaders out of the line-up...won't do that again. It would have been one of the biggest fish I ever caught and I watched it cut 80lb superline at the boat side.

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While we're on the subject, what are the pros and cons of the different kinds of leaders people use??

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It would have been one of the biggest fish I ever caught and I watched it cut 80lb superline at the boat side.

Was that a muskie or giant pike that you lost, Jonny P? I did say MOST of the time I use leaders now. I did manage to net a 48" 'ski on a glide bait last year without a leader. I think, in retrospect, I got lucky. The lure was only 7" long and could have easily been inhaled. The thing is, I didn't like using a leader on the jerk/glide baits... seemed to affect the action negatively. The worst was using flourocarbon- fouled too much and too much slack-action. Single-strand wire got bent-up too much and tended to pull the lure down. This year I'm going to try a titanium leader. They seem strong, lightweight and almost un-bendable. They do cost alot... at $10-15 APIECE, I better not ever loose one. Anyone have any expierience using titanium leaders? Anyone know of a good place to get some relatively cheap?

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I bought some of the 30lb Terminator titanium by mistake last year, meant to get the 75lb. Needless to say they didn't get the workout that the 75lb ones would have got. So I personally could'nt give you a good report other than they absolutely will not kink no matter what you try to do to them. Now my friend that turned me on to them has literally caught 100's of 30" to high 40" northerns up on Great Slave and has never had one fail or kink. He actually only used the one leader during the whole fishing trip. Yeah they're expensive but you may only have to buy a couple as long as you keep a fresh knot.

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I have another question: I have an Ambassadeur 6000 and 7000 which are both set up for Great Lakes trolling currently. I was going to pull one of them out of the rotation and spool it with superline for Muskies/Pike. Should I just use the 7000 or is there any benefit to using the smaller, lighter 6000?

Steve

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For casting the 6000 is a lot lighter to use all day. Also a higher gear ratio for faster retrieves. Line capacity shouldn't be an issue.

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Thanks for the advice, I will do that. I just ordered a power handle for the 6000 earlier this week and have some 20 lb diameter, 75 lb test line to put on.

Steve

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The power handle is awesome, it made a world of difference for me on the higher gear ratio.

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Got the power handle yesterday, it sure is nicer than the little-bitty factory handle that was on there.

Can't wait for open water....

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