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walleyvoyager

Trout line rods and reels

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I'm looking at getting a new rod and reel and some new line and try a little trout fishing. Can anyone give me a tip on what set up works well? I'm thinking of a heavy to medium heavy 30" rod, a mitchell reel with floral line.

What are people using for line strength?

Or rod stiffness? Do I need to go all they way to a heavy 36"?

Thanks guys

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Considering the details in your post, I'm assuming you are talking lakers?

Polar HT makes a very nice and inexpensive heavy action 34-inch rod in spinning and baitcasting models. Some prefer spinning, some baitcasting. I have several of each type of rig. While the Polars say "heavy" action, a 5 lb laker gives the rod a nice bend, and they have enough backbone for much bigger trout.

I'm not talking about the blue thick "broom handle" Polar rods, but the "Polar Lites" series.

Another excellent laker rod is the Jason Mitchell Mackinaw, a 36-inch spiral-wrap baitcaster. For those who prefer baitcasting, the spiral wrap rods are sweet, because they balance in such a way that the reel doesn't want to spin the rod upside down like traditional baitcasting rods. I have two Mackinaws and like them a lot.

If I'm fishing braid, which I do when I'm in a heated shelter, I use a superbraid in 15/4. If I'm outside, I use one of my mono rigs (mono clears ice buildup better than braid), and they are spooled with good ole Trilene XL 12 lb.

If I'm in a shelter, I like to keep rod length to 30-36 inches. Outside it's fine to go a bit longer if you like. I have one custom-made spinning rod on a heavy St. Croix blank that's 40 inches (spinning rig), and it's my new favorite.

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I am talking lakers. Sorry I did not mention that in my first post.

Do you have any pros and cons to using a floral compaired to a mono? I am thinking that with the depth of the fish running so deep one would be able to feel his jig better with a floral.

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I think fluoro would work pretty good for lake trout because it's heavier than mono it would help baits get to deep waters faster and I imagine it would shed ice like mono does, although I can't say for sure. Using mono in the deeper water shouldn't be a problem though because lake trout typically hit lures very hard and a strike should be pretty noticeable.

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The drawback to fluorocarbon is its stiffness. At least the fluoros I've used are noticeably stiffer than XL. That's a disadvantage out on the ice, though not as much of one in a heated shelter. Hooksets with mono have gone well for me over the years. I don't often have more than 30-40 feet of line out when a fish strikes, since even if I'm fishing over 60 FOW my lure spends no time down by the bottom except when I slam it against the bottom half a dozen times every now and then and reel it up to resume jigging.

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I have been really happy with the 32” Rapalla medium heavies, if you can find them. I went in to the small local shop and asked for them to be ordered from the wholesale supplier. I think that they are one of the best values on the market, and they handle ten pound plus trout really well. They fish well in the house if you get stuck with that, or out in the open. I think that they sell for around $15 per, with a nice reel seat.

For line, I have found that the P-Line 12 pound fluorocarbon line works best out of the house to about 25 below F. It is a little board like, but for some reason it doesn’t dump off of the spool like the lighter lines. From there I like to use a small swivel and four to six feet of Frogs Fur fluorocarbon fly fishing tippet in six, eight and ten pound for the tippet.

At the end of that I have also been using some no knot, fast-on’s. I am down to bringing out three rods with me for the day rigged this way. The terminal tackle makes jig changes in the cold a breeze.

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I like the 36" & 46" Gary roach walleye series mh rods. They have good backbone and handle lakers 15# and up well. I would not reccommend the Polar HT Rods in MH. I bought 4 last season as they looked like nice inexpensive rods, but they do not hold up, I am now down to just 1. I suspect it will shatter on hooksets like the last 3 have.

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The Roach rods are nice; I have run the longer ones in the past. I like the long jigging length especially if I know I have a good gaff man nearby. Otherwise I know I can watch the heads work into the hole to land fish with the shorter rig.

I have also been thinking of laminating slip on carbon extensions for the butt ends of my shorter rods, to gain overall length, while keeping the reel to tip length the same. The box on my sled and quad will only accommodate rods up to 34 inches.

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Thanks for all the input guys.

I ended up getting a Jason Mitchel 38" MDH. Put a Daiwa exceler 2000 on it with a 10lb braid. This is my first trout rod so I will see how it works. I do most of my fishing in a heated shack so I think the braid will work good.

Headind to Burntside for the weekend to try it out.

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If you have an Ambassadeur 5500 series from your summer bass/pike fishing, that mates up really nicely with the baitcasting laker rods. If you're planning on buying one specifically for winter lakers, the 4600 is just right, and it has plenty of applications in summer, too.

For spinning, any of the Shimano 2000/2500 series reels work very well for ice lakers.

But those are just my own preferences, and on any of these reels, silky smooth drag is the prime consideration. You get a double-digit laker spinning pirouettes just below the hole and making bulldog runs and you'll be thankful for a smooth drag. A jerky drag is, well, a drag! gringrin

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i use a northland trickstick pike/lake trout rod, i think it's 36". i topped it off with an ambassader 55oo baitcaster spooled up with 15 lb fireline. i then use a good quality spro barrel swivel with a 8 lb gamma co-polymer ice line. if your using spinning gear, be sure to use a swivel, spoons will twist the line up bad.

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