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LEECH21

Opinions Please on Musky Rod and Reel

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I'm thinking about buying my first musky combo in a few days. I'm looking at getting an Abu Garcia 5500C3 reel. It has a gear ratio of 5.3:1, retrieves 23" per turn, has a 2+1 bearings, and holds 205 yards of 12 pound test. The rod is a Bionic Blade XPS. I'm thinking of having it be a 6'6" medium heavy. And I'm going to spool it all with 50# Power Pro. This combo will double as my catfishing rod as well. Any opinions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks LEECH21

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The 5500 is a good reel. Is there a reason you want it instead of the 6500? ALso look at some other models that have the thumb bar. I went to a 6600 ssc3 last year, and i think i am going to switch over to all thumb bar reels.

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Check out on Reeds Sports web sight, they have some resonable combos. I own 2 of them and love em.

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In my opinion, you can't go wrong with St Croix musky rods. The premier series isn't all that expensive, and they're just plain sweet. Right on with the Garcia reel, but like esox said, the thumbar is pretty nice to have. Just make sure that the rod/reel is nice and comfortable in your hand, cause hopefully it'll be spending lots of long days there grin.gif

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I would look at a 7 or 7 1/2 foot rod. Go to the store and put the reel on a couple different rods. See how it feels, I would go longer than the 6 1/2 foot, just for the easier casting and more leverage. Unless you have a storage or transportation reason to stay under 7 feet, I would really lean that way.

Steve

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Is the only difference between the 5500C3 and the 6500C3 the amount of line they hold and overall weight? So the C3 Series has a button type release instead of a bar? Do you know if the C4 series has the bar? Thanks again.

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Quote:

Differnce between C3 and C4 is gear ratio, C3 is 5.3 to 1 and the C4 is 6.4 to 1... also the C4 doesn't have a thumb bar, it has the button same as the C3.

RU


I'd have to respectfully dissagree with you somewhat.

Abu Garcia® Ambassadeur® C4 Series

Each model features a three-bearing drive and an additional stainless steel roller bearing for the hook setting power of Instant Anti-Reverse. Each of these reels features Swedish cut brass gears, dual centrifugal weight-spool braking, synchronized levelwind system, lightweight aluminum spools, and a flip-up thumb rest. FastCast Thumbar on the 4600 and 5600.

The C4 does have a thumb bar just not on all sizes.

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I think you are on the right track. My choice is AbuGarcia 5600c4 with a Shimano Compre H 7 ft.

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Yep- RU is incorrect. I have a C-4 4600 Abu w/ the thumb bar. I love the reel. I can really burn bucktails/spinnerbaits over weed tops/rock piles w/ that gear ratio. As far as a rod-look at the St. Croix Premier MH Musky rod. I found one for $80.00.. Stought enough to troll with and sensitive enough to pinpoint targeted areas w/ a lure. I am not a millionaire, so this is my one and only Musky set-up. I can't afford separate rigs for trolling, casting, etc. This one does the job for me.. Don't go w/ a rod shorter than 7', either. You will need that extra length to pull those brutes out.

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8-ball, where did you find that rod for that price. I just bought a Abu Garcia 6500C3 and am looking for a rod.

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I use my muskie rods for kitties also. Both rods are set up with abu garcia 5500. Great reels never had a problem and ones 10 years old with plenty of fish under its belt. Like the others are saying try to get to 7 feet on the rod. I bought 2 berkley musky rods from Gander last year (about 40-50 bucks) and they work great.

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Farley- quite a ways from you- at L&M Fleet in Grand Rapids...

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Thanks 8-ball, I actually have a buddy who just moved up to G.R. He's the new public defender up there. I may just have to go visit him sooner than I thought.

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I go with the 6500s over the 5500s cuz I like the bait clicker feature for cats as well as going after muskies with suckers. If they still offer it, Cabelas has a combo with their Fish Eagle II rod and a Garcia 6500 for a good price. Fished with one last year and like it.

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Esox&Farley- I did not really pay attention, but I Think they had a few more, but this was 3 months ago. If I mosey over there in the next few days I will check it out and give you an update...8-Ball.

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Thanks for all the suggestions fellas! I see also that the 5500s and 5600s don't have the line clicker for catfishing. I like this option but all of the reels that come with this have the push button release. Is there a way to set the drag super loose on these type of reels so it acts as a clicker? I have know idea. I've only fished with a baitcaster once or twice before. Thanks again.

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You could loosen the drag to the point where it would act like a bait clicker, but you wouldn't get the noise. I would highly recommend going with a thumb bar. Casting with either style is no real difference, but being able to hit the thumb bar going into a figure 8 or as you are fighting a big fish, is where you will really notice the benefit. You don't want a big fish eating at boat side, just to rip loose with a couple of head shakes. You want to be able to give them some line as soon as you set the hook. Just make sure you keep some pressure on the spool! Free Spool doesn't mean FREE spool. Keep the line tight, but let them get away from the boat and go under water. You don't want to fight a fish on a short line at the surface. Go with the Thumb Bar option and a longer rod, you will have a much better experience.

Steve

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Leech,

I don’t know the exact model I have but it has a thumbar and a clicker. It was the latest model last year in that $80 price range. If you need it I can get the number when I get home tonight.

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Don't waste your money on a bass rod for muskie fishing. Even the heavy models don't cast good ski baits well.

Don't waste your money on St. Croix rods either. They are over rated and you don't need to spend $150 or $200 bucks on a rod that they make!!! Go get a Gander Mountain rod for $60.

Just get a C3, 5500 reel with some 50# tuff line.

Go with the 7' Heavy. You can use it for bucktails and jerks.

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LEECH I was wrong my 2 heavy rods are set with 6500s. You will need the clicker if you plan on cattin. Trying to mess with your drag when there is a 40 lb fish on the other end is something your not going to want to mess with. Especialy in the dark.

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You can get a Garcia 6500 CB that has both a bait clicker and thumbar. Its the red colored one.

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