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eyedr

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Please forgive me if this has been beaten to death already. I am used to fishing with pretty cheap rod and reels. Most of my rod real combos are $30 or less. I am wondering how much difference the more expensive rods are for detecting the bite. I mostly fish walleye and crappies. I really dont want to spend $200 on a rod but I would be open to some suggestions.

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the rec guides are great if you fish outside of a shack for the majority of the time. I fish mainly in my portable so I stayed away from the rec guides and saved myself some money. I have the Perch Sweetheart from TB and the Noodle from TB and they are IMO the two best rods for Walleye and Crappies. Just got back from LOW and broke in the Deadstick from TB and all I can say is WOW!!

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When you go up from the mass produced better rods, $30 area, you get very limited return on the dollar in my opinion. I even wonder about the $30 one sometimes. Thats just an opinion, everyone has a fovorite rod.

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as someone who started out the same way as you,even buying old combos for dirt cheap on online sites, these custom ones are worth it. i went from old used, to $30 retail combos, to my first thorne bros powernoodle this year. the cheap old ones i discovered the reels sucked from not being used for so long, $30 retail combos started to help catch fish but i was breaking tips off for no reason and sick of it....u do get what u pay for, & custom rod sensitivity does make a difference.

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I have been tossing around the idea of getting a better rod myself for walleye jigging. How sensitive does one go when targeting walleye or perch? Does the length make a huge difference as well?

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I was looking into getting a 28" tb perch sweetheart. Would this be a good all around rod? I do fish with the smallest chubby darter from time to time. And could someone explain the recoil guides in a little more detail? I should also note that I seldom hole hop. I do most of my fishing in a portable or if I'm on the ice it is pretty mild conditions. Thanks

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everyone has a fovorite rod.

Very true.

And I'm only mildly embarrassed to say that my favorite, "go to" rod is a 7 dollar, 18 inch HT.

I bought it a couple years back so I would have a spare for this trip I went on. I have used it about 90% of the time ever since. It has nice big guides that won't freeze up, and if it ever breaks, I will be out 7 dollars.

I don't think this thing will break. It seems to be indestructible.

I did spend almost 40 dollars on a rod once. A JM Meatstick. Nice rod, that I doubt I'll ever use again.

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I am sure the custom ones are great, I have thought about buying one several times.

I just can't get myself to move away from the "custom" ones I have made myself.

They work awesome and I probably have at most a few bucks into them plus my labor.

To me that is custom, I built them with the tip I wanted and mounted which spring bobber that would be effectice with the rod.

I have only heard good things about TB and Others.

Use the one you believe in, confidence is what really matters. wink

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And I'm only mildly embarrassed to say that my favorite, "go to" rod is a 7 dollar, 18 inch HT.

I bought it a couple years back so I would have a spare for this trip I went on. I have used it about 90% of the time ever since. It has nice big guides that won't freeze up, and if it ever breaks, I will be out 7 dollars.

I'll ever use again.

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I have the 28" TB Perch Sweetheart and it is a great rod for all lures around the 1/8th to 1/4 oz. I haven't tried anything smaller than an 1/8th, but it might be a little stiff to handle some of the lighter lures and light bites if you don't use a bobber. The rec guides help prevent ice build up better than the regular guides do. For what you described your type of fishing, save yourself some money and get the regular guides. This rod is a perfect all around rod for perch and walleye and will handle any of those type of fish no matter the size. I caught a 6.1# pout on it last week on LOW with ease.

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I have never used an expensive rod. All of mine are from FF and wallyworld. I don't like stiff ones. I like a soft tip with a solid middle. To me I would rather have better reels (more ball bearings)and good line. Most of the time I am in a house so not too concerned about ice build up.

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I must say I have many combos in the $25-$50 range,but at the Wausau ice show I picked up a TB perch sweetheart with reg.guides,very nice rod!

And did drive to Mn. to get a double door for my wheelhouse and had to stop by TB,i'll be darned I walked out with a tripwire with the rec.guides,wife did not like the $96 price tag but I love this rod!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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i have kind of run the gammit on ice rods...and kind of rods in general from top to bottom. I have kind of come to the conclusion that you should be buying GOOD rods as it does make a difference, BUT after a certain price point you will see diminishing returns. Maybe most important to match combos to your fishing style.

one of the simplest things you can do to increase sensitivity is using one of the superlines.

Right now in my walley rod bag i have:

1. 36" TB Walleye Sweetheart (M)- 1st set-up used each time out, rigged with a BB reel, fireline, snap and #4 chubby darter. Very solid fish catcher.

2. 36" HT Ice Pro (M) - i bought this rod many years ago and was my go to rod until picking up #1. Cork is about shot and have iced thousands of LOTW walleyes with it. Not quite as sensitive as #1, but its good and was roughly a 1/3 the price...dont think they even make this rod anymore. Use it primarily as an outside rod now with Abu spinner with 10LB Blue Berkley ice mono, still i think the best outside ice line. Primarily fishes large jigging spoons.

3. 30" Gander MTN IM7 - got this a few yrs back and is primarily a back up or use when iside in smaller house. My son also uses. Rigged with Abu spinner and fireline.

4. 32" JM Walleye Series - new this year, been using it as my bobber rod. Very happy with it so far. Rigged with Abu spinner and 8lb micro ice.

5. 28" Cabelas XML - this sucker is an oldy but a goody. Prefer longer rods mostly now but keep with if i end up with a buddy in a small house.

My basic system is very similar to others as one rod is used as a jigging rod the other as a deadstick. I think for jigging having a sensitive rod is important but really most of the bites are pretty solid, but more importantly you can really feel the lure/bait and that is big for me. For the deadsticks, since i use bobbers any quality rod will work most of the sensitivity needs to be in the float.

I also think one of the overlooked parts of sensitivity is setting up rod balance. All of my rods are tennessee handle so i can get the exact balance i want, I like a very light tip.

Would like to get a good deadstick rod and try to ditch bobbers completely..but bobbers are cool.

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Years ago I used the combo's that were $25.

Now, I have mainly custom built rod and also make my own and for others.

One can get a better rod for sensitivity, reel seat that fits your hand, not just one off the shelf and one can also make the length neeeded and put the right guides on for each application. One can also offer a customer a well balanced rod.

Can one catch fish with a less expensive rod, yes. Can one do better with a rod built for each specie with a better blank and one that fits your hand well, yes.

I guess if I would fish only once a month, I may go with a less expensive rod. I fish 2-5 days a week and like the higher quality gear and I believe I do end up catching more fish with the better gear.

If one is looking for a high quality, well built deadstick, one has to look no farther than a Thorne Bros Deadstick. No bobber needed, you can see the minnow action on the tip of the rod. great rods that will help one ice fish.

If one is looking for a rod for panfish to ice finiky light biting gills, just add a good spring bobber to the tip and that will help alot. St Croix, Thorne Bros and others offer great spring bobbers to help ice those light biters. If you have the rod and do not want to spend more cash, the spring bobber will help alot.

It's all up to each angler.

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For me the desire for a better rod comes with fishing the lures bare bone. You have a better feel for how the lure shimmy or wobble, how it darts and planes, when it is shaking or subtly quivering. The next thing is how the fish fighting/play action comes out. Being able to tell if the fish is turning it's head or shaking it wildly could be useful. That as opposed to just feeling weight and some pull on the other end of the line. The bite detection is kind of more on the lower end of better detection. Since there's a visual cue and then there's the vibration telegraph through the line. I've had no problems fishing with my ugly icesticks for bite detection. They just sort of lack those other performance merits that I kind of like to have.

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I have used everything from cheap ht combos to Thorne brothers sweetheart. I actually like the $30 combos best. I don't feel bad if they break.

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