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How to Set Up a Bass Fishing Pole

Updated on February 28, 2013

Poles for Every Technique

Selection of Fishing Poles in Walmart
Selection of Fishing Poles in Walmart | Source

Bass Fishing Pole Set Ups

Bass fishing is a unique type of angling because is there so many different specialized fishing lures that require their own specific rod, reels, and line sizes in order to be the most effective that the average fisherman may own up to a dozen rods and still feel they could use a few more. Having a unique rod for each technique can be very important to maximize the effectiveness of the presentations of the various lures, but it is also possible to get by with just a couple of rods and reels for most bass fishing situations. A typical 7 foot medium heavy action fishing rod should be the first in any anglers arsenal matched with a standard low profile bait casting rod with 12 - 15 lbs test mono filament line. This set up if needed can make do for just about every single fishing technique, you will loose some fish, but you will also catch a ton. Once you are ready to step up your fishing game and get a specialized tool box for each technique check out some of the combinations below to match a rod, reel, line size, and line type to get the most out of every cast.

Selection of Rods & Reels

Standard Bass Fishing Techniques

Lamiglas rods makes some of the best fishing rods in the world and for a reference example, it is possible to check these exact model numbers for each recommendation. Shimano reels are known for high quality and utilized here as a reference for model numbers. There are cheaper alternatives for all of the recommendations provided and searching at a local tackle store or online will result in finding comparable rods and reels for these fishing techniques at a lower cost.

Worm Fishing Pole - It is important to have a rod that is in the medium to medium heavy action for a standard Texas rig, and always go with a slightly heavier rod for a Carolina rig. A 7' to 7'6" pole is ideal for fishing a Carolina rig, while many anglers prefer a 6' to 7' rod for Texas rigs and a weightless worm. When fishing a weightless worm or a very light weighted Texas rig, it is recommended to fish with a medium light action rod. The rods that will be good selections for this style would be a XL 663C, XL703C, or XL705C. Match these with a Shimano Curado 200 series and 12 - 20lbs test fluorocarbon line for a perfect worm rig.

Crank Bait Rod - A crank bait rod can be either made of graphite or fiberglass. A glass rod delivers a parabolic bend in the rod which can be helpful in keeping the treble hooks pinned in the fishes mouth. Two great rods for this kind of fishing include the XP 703C for standard cranks like a speed trap or other shallow to medium sized divers and the XP 705 R is excellent for a rattle trap or larger varieties of cranks. Match these rods with a Shimano Curado 100 series reel and 10 - 12lbs mono filament line or a heavier 30 - 50 lbs. braided line when fishing with lip less lures around heavy grass and other underwater obstructions.

Spinner Bait Set Up - It is important when fishing a spinner bait to have a medium heavy action rod that is 7' to 7'6" in order to make long distance casts when covering water and have the ability to move fish away from cover once they are hooked. Some anglers will prefer a short 6' rod for fishing blades when fishing in close to cover or around docks as it can be difficult to make casts with the longer rods when in close to docks and other man made structure. A fast retrieve speed reel is important when selecting a reel and a Shimano Curado 200 series will not let you down. Fish a spinner bait with no less than 15 lbs. test mono filament or consider braided or fluorocarbon fishing lines, to get the additional benefits of these materials.

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Finesse Bass Pole

A Typical Shimano Spinning Reel for Bass
A Typical Shimano Spinning Reel for Bass | Source

Special Bass Tactics

Swim bait Gear - Swim baits mean getting out the big sticks. An 8' heavy to Extra Extra heavy rod from Okuma is likely the best choice depending on the style of swim bait fishing that you are doing. There are many different variations from top water wake baits to heavy plastic trout imitator lures to umbrella rigs that fish 3 - 5 baits at once. Use a larger spooled reel when fishing with a swimmer as you will need the extra line capacity for making long distance casts. Most anglers use 25 lbs. test mono line, however fluorocarbon and braid to some extent has become popular for this style of fishing and depending on the lures that are being used may be the right option, you will need to experiment. A Shimano Calcutta tends to be the reel of choice for most anglers that are fishing with swimmers on a regular basis.

Finesse Fishing - Finesse fishing is really the only time you should be bass fishing with a spinning rod and reel. Spinning reels are able to cast very small weighted lures and light line very effectively. The typical bass fishing drop shot or other light line finesse rig will consist of a 6' or 6'6" spinning rod that is either medium or medium light in action and matched with a small reel such as a Shimano Stradic in the 1000 series.


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