Beginner Musky Setup - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-25-2011, 09:21 PM Thread Starter
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Beginner Musky Setup

Looking for advice on a beginner muskie rod & reel. I've never specifically targeted muskie and this year that is changing. However I know nothing about bait casting reels and I'm wondering if you guys have any suggestions for rod/reel combos. I'm willing to spend some money but I'm not looking to empty my wallet either. The rod I can probably figure out but the reels I'm clueless on. It's worth noting that I will be fishing primarily the Susquehanna.

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-26-2011, 12:40 AM
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Re: Beginner Musky Setup

I primarily use Abu Garcia Ambassaduer series reels. Not because they are the best or because they never wear out, but because they are affordable and when they do wear out, I have found Abu's service department accomodating. I have always got parts, or sent reels to be fixed for relatively cheap, and the few reels that have had problems within the reel's warranty period (usually due to my abuse when it comes down to it) has been replaced for free. I use a 6500 series (around $100)for smaller baits, and the 7000 series ($150 or so) for cowgirls, bulldawgs etc. These are matched with appropriately sized Gander Musky Extreme rods which run from around $90 to $120 or so.

I do have a Shimano Curado reel(about $65-70) that is pretty much low end. This thing has surprisingly held up for 6 years or so(longer than anything else) with no repairs. Of course, I tend to have it as my 3rd option on the boat, and primarily throw smaller plastics and topwaters on it. Being rigged on a Bass-Pro (Pete Maina) glass/graphite composite rod, which gives a bit with the heavy braided line, probably has helped the drag life on that one.

I even have one spinning reel (Shimano 4000 or so I think)rigged on a St. Croix rod (gift) for the non-casters that go with me. It has caught a lot of fish; but, the reel handle is bent a bit from one of the hooksets I think.

I would say I am probably one of the "cheap" guys who are into it though. I would love to be able to give you some first-hand info on Revo Toros or Shimano Calcuttas, but they are a bit out of my price range. Of course, if you are just getting into it, maybe spending more on one of these upfront will save $ in the long run. Good luck!

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-26-2011, 03:02 AM
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Re: Beginner Musky Setup

I will second fish on the abu 6500 reel. It is a great reel and will handle just about any application. I have been fishing the same one for a few years and it has been trouble free. The Calcutta series are real nice but about double the cost. For the money I would do a 6500 and you can get 2 for the price of one.

I like the pete Mania rods from bass pro because they are a good value, about 100 bucks. St croix are one of the most popular rods out there and I have fished a friends before and loved it but they are 150 to 200 bucks. I have not owned the Gander rods but hear good things about them.

Dont go to cheap or you will be replacing equipment. Many guys will use bass gear and land fish but it will not last. One of the advantages of heavy gear allows you to get the fish in ASAP so you can release it quickly reducing the mortality rate. Big fish can tear up rods and reels quick. When throwing some of the big baits we use a good reel will make it a bit easire on your arms.

I would sugest a mid lenght rod in the 7 to 7.5 range because it will work for many different baits. I prefer a longer rod myself. Rods will range from 6 to 9 feet. There are different rods for jerking, bucktails, cranks and trolling.

For line I like Power Pro braid 65lb.

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-26-2011, 07:14 PM
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Re: Beginner Musky Setup

I use the Abu 6500 myself and St Croix rods.Would like to second the dont go cheap statement,cheap equipment will just end up costing you twice in the long run.Quality line and leaders are just important as quality rod and reel.I use the Mason Tiger Braid line (though I did pick up a spool of Power pro to try this year).
With lures costing anywhere from $15-$40 a little extra for good line pays for itself the first snag or backlash you get.
One other piece of advice, sell all your other fishing gear now because once you catch the fever you'll have no use for it
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-26-2011, 07:52 PM
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Re: Beginner Musky Setup

http://www.tackleindustries.com/muskypikerods.html

i find it to be incredibly worthwhile to spend the extra money and buy shimano, daiwa, penn, etc....

i don't have anything against abu's but my calcutta's and tea daiwa luna are incredible.

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-26-2011, 07:54 PM
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Re: Beginner Musky Setup

Another Abu 6500 vote.

Don't skimp on line either unless you like watching those expensive lures fly away

I use 65# PP
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-26-2011, 07:59 PM
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Re: Beginner Musky Setup

i can make some good straight wire leaders but these are the best i have used. i have yet to have one kink.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgPbN...layer_embedded

Kids!!! Get your camo on. We are going to Cabelas!!

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-27-2011, 12:53 AM
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Re: Beginner Musky Setup

I also agree with the Abu Garcia Reels and St. Croix Rods.I have 6 different set ups for different presentations. I had the Shimano Calcutta and the drag washers went bad in a month. Got it replaced and the same thing happened. I use 80lb power pro and some 100lb for my plows and 15: Talonz deep threats. Use good steel leaders with the sampo snaps. Mine are 120lb single strand crimped then melted with rubber tubing. I have not had one break in 10 years. Good Luck. Get some good release tools also.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-27-2011, 01:07 AM
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Re: Beginner Musky Setup

that's the funny thing about musky gear and different folks....i have had plenty of abu reels break and never had a calcutta break or luna.

sampo are the best.

watch the video i posted from above. never heard of one breaking and they have landed a handful of 50+ fish with no known fails ever.

Kids!!! Get your camo on. We are going to Cabelas!!

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-27-2011, 03:09 PM
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Re: Beginner Musky Setup

Are there alot of muskie on the susquehannah? Or are they few and far between?

You and tequila make me crazy!
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