Off Topic New here, looking for rod/reel recommendations

I'm pretty new and still have a lot to learn, so take this with a grain of salt...

My penny-pinching attitude is to acquire used gear cheaply, and I'll be the first to admit this isn't always the best idea!! My gear is a mish mash of whatever I could get my hands on, and it works once you figure it out, but I'm finding out that some of the stuff that I've got isn't necessarily what I like.

Rods:

Jos told me that a dipsy rod should have "dipsy" written on it. I've run dipsies off of other stiff "trolling" rods without any problems, so I'm not sure what the concern is. My rule is to make sure the rod is rated for the line. If you're planning on running a spread with 4 dipsies, make sure you get some longer rods for your outside dipsies and shorter rods for your inside dipsies.

A rod suitable for a downrigger should have a ton of flex. You want to be able to bend it in half, so that you can load up tension on your clip. When the clip releases, the rod will spring up and take a bunch of slack out of the line. When I started, I had a downrigger rod spooled up with lead. It looked like a wet noodle pulling 5 colours. It had very little backbone left for fighting a fish. I quickly replaced it with a stiffer rod.

Reels:

For me, I find that a smooth even drag is very important, and this is what cheap reels lack. Line counters are essential for dipseys, but for me they aren't essential for leadcore or downriggers (nice to have but not essential). Calibrate your line counters for dipseys. If you're looking at used gear, I'd take my old Penn 209's (with no line counter) over my newer cheap gear (with line counter) any day.

The Penn Rival reels are a great value for the money right now. I bought the 30 size, which are great for lead but I'd prefer a smaller reel for my dipsies. Easier to get your hand around them.

Rod Holders:

You didn't mention rod holders in your post, but it is a very important piece of the puzzle. If you are new to dipsies, they have a ton of pull. Dipsey rods should be near horizontal and held in something metal. Avoid plastic!

That's all I've learned so far.
Thanks for all the info! The boat has 3 flush-mount rod holders, plus 6 of the Scotty ones mentioned by hvyhaul above, i've used them before and they have been very sturdy, so I likely won't be making any changes regarding rod holders.
 

ozzie

New Member
Cheers to all.
I've been lurking this page for awhile now, and all of your info and insight has been much appreciated.

My father and I started fishing Erie and LSC 2 years ago when we bought our first boat, a 15' Lowe with a 40HP Yamaha. We've been fishing our entire lives so we know our way around the sport to a certain degree, but had never got onto the great lakes until we got this boat. It has been good to us, but we've decided we want something that's more sturdy, spacious, and safer on the great lakes so we can also fish Huron and Ontario.

We just purchased a 1992 23' Seaswirl Striper with a 4.3L Volvo Penta. Needless to say, I think this boat will handle worse weather than I'd ever feel comfortable being on the water in.
We're really looking forward to getting this thing out on the water and getting into some walleye. We have fished walleye out of Port Burwell the past 2 years and done a very basic setup just trolling deep diving lures. However, this new boat has downriggers and all the gear necessary to get a bit more serious about fishing for not just walleye, but trout and salmon as well.

So, I'm looking for some insight into what I should be purchasing for our new trolling and downrigging rods and reels.

Currently, we have some light spinning rods and 2 heavy rods for Muskie. This is all we've been using so far for walleye and it has had mixed results.
The 2 heavy rods are Ugly Stik Tiger's with Daiwa Millionaire reels, running 50lb test with a 6' (75lb) mono leader.

I look online and there are "trolling" rods, "dipsy" rods, "downrigger" rods, etc...

My question for you guys: is there a rod and reel combo I can buy that will perform adequately for all these applications? We would like to try everything out a little bit and see what method we enjoy fishing the most, but at the same time I don't want to have to buy a dozen rods to find the right one.
I'm going to assume that having a multi-purpose rod for muskie, trout, salmon and walleye is a bit far fetched, but I would like to buy 4-6 rods that we can use for walleye and trout at the very least.

Sorry for the long-winded leadup to the question, your feedback will be much appreciated though!
 

Polish-Newfie

Well-Known Member
I echo a lot of the above comments, one thing not mentioned is the size of the knob on the handle for your reels- okay, not jokes about size not mattering here. I have used a variety of reels but do like the Okuma because they have a larger knob to hold onto with my arthritic hands, I find some of the cheaper/ smaller ones cause a lot of pain when reeling in larger more active fish. I read you are fishing with your father and thought I should point this part out in case it is something to be concerned about.
 
I echo a lot of the above comments, one thing not mentioned is the size of the knob on the handle for your reels- okay, not jokes about size not mattering here. I have used a variety of reels but do like the Okuma because they have a larger knob to hold onto with my arthritic hands, I find some of the cheaper/ smaller ones cause a lot of pain when reeling in larger more active fish. I read you are fishing with your father and thought I should point this part out in case it is something to be concerned about.
Good point! He's not too old yet, just turning 60 this year but that may be important in the future. He already hates right-handed reels but there's not going to be much I can do about that.
 

Ryan Bambach

Well-Known Member
Good points @anonymoose but I will suggest this one thing.

Don't dismiss all plastic, I have 2 Scotty Orca mounts and everyone who uses them including me on the boat love them.

View attachment 17054

Very, very solid and simple to open when you need to get the rod out.

I bought 2 less expensive ones for the front rails and regret doing it. Should have spent the little extra and added 2 more Orcas. :(

Then I went and added a mast and boards and don't use anything on those rails now. LOL :LOL:
I run a vast array of Scotty's and really like all of them BUT.....The Orca's have no place for a dipsie rod holder! I run them for my rigger rods as they work great for that application but the sheer stress on them in a dipsie application especially when I have my wire rods out with mag dipsies they just can't take it and actually want to open up in the back section. Also if you get a large fish thats actually running and you try to pull the rod out it can be near impossible! The Scotty dipsie rod holders you want to use are the Strykers and are meant for the job! they are stainless steel reinforced and you can lock the rods in them or just leave them open and the rods are not going anywhere...They work amazing and there is absolutely no flex in them at all and best of all they are super easy to get the rod out when a fish is on!

Ryan
 

Josh Roelofsen

Well-Known Member
I run a vast array of Scotty's and really like all of them BUT.....The Orca's have no place for a dipsie rod holder! I run them for my rigger rods as they work great for that application but the sheer stress on them in a dipsie application especially when I have my wire rods out with mag dipsies they just can't take it and actually want to open up in the back section. Also if you get a large fish thats actually running and you try to pull the rod out it can be near impossible! The Scotty dipsie rod holders you want to use are the Strykers and are meant for the job! they are stainless steel reinforced and you can lock the rods in them or just leave them open and the rods are not going anywhere...They work amazing and there is absolutely no flex in them at all and best of all they are super easy to get the rod out when a fish is on!

Ryan
Are you referring to the older style Orcas? Been using the new style for 2 full seasons and notice zero flex in the holders (old version did flex) and no problems removing the rod with large fish on. I use mine for everything from dipseys to Musky trolling without an issue...

Josh
 

Ryan Bambach

Well-Known Member
Are you referring to the older style Orcas? Been using the new style for 2 full seasons and notice zero flex in the holders (old version did flex) and no problems removing the rod with large fish on. I use mine for everything from dipseys to Musky trolling without an issue...

Josh
I run brand new ones (I do run them on my rigger rods) but I will not put them on my dipsey rods especially when fishing for kings which I try to do regularly. Just don't trust them especially on my $600+ wire rods! On the rigger the mono takes alot of the flex out of them but thats not the case with my dipsey rods
 

Josh Roelofsen

Well-Known Member
Fair enough, I don't run mag dipseys myself but no issues pulling big musky baits on short leads and 50" fish smacking baits on down rods with them...

I didn't do much trolling for King's last year but plan to get in a couple trips in the near future for stagers, we'll see how they handle those fish.

Josh
 

Maestrolaker

Well-Known Member
there's a company out of the US called FOLBE that Scotty 'borrowed' the Orca concept from. I have run these for everything for 6 years now and never had a failure. They are a heavier grade plastic and have a simple lock button I use on occasion.
 

Letsfish

Active Member
Good points @anonymoose but I will suggest this one thing.

Don't dismiss all plastic, I have 2 Scotty Orca mounts and everyone who uses them including me on the boat love them.

View attachment 17054

Very, very solid and simple to open when you need to get the rod out.

I bought 2 less expensive ones for the front rails and regret doing it. Should have spent the little extra and added 2 more Orcas. :(

Then I went and added a mast and boards and don't use anything on those rails now. LOL :LOL:
I run 4 scotty orcas and would never change. It is preference for sure but they are versatile, durable, secure, easy and they dont damage ur gear. Great bang for the buck.
 
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