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Discussion Starter #1
What is the lightest you would go with a musky rod?

I have a Bass Pro IM7 graphite rod for big bass that rates from 8-17 pound line.


Would that rod work for the occasional musky when visiting lakes with both largemouth bass and musky?

(I have a much heavier musky rod for specifically musky and saltwater king mackerel)

Thank you
 

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I'm probably not a good one to help on this, all my musky rigs seem too big to double for bass. I have a 7'6" BP Pete Maina rod that is rated 2-10 oz lures. That is my sort of all purpose rod. The others are 8 to 8'6 and medium heavy to extra heavy musky rods, Gander Mt and St. Croix.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah I would be targeting bass (much more numerous down here than musky) but there are a few musky around.

Just in case I saw one, I don't want to use too light of a rod and break it.
 

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What type/size of lures are you planning to fish?

IMO the greater concern is whether the rod can handle the baits you will be throwing rather than handling the fight of a fish (although this can be a concern if you go too light). Mosts rod designed for bass fishing won't suffice very well for throwing 1 1/2-3oz typical musky baits.

My primary musky stick is a Fenwick HMX Musky 7' MH.
 

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As was already mentioned, its not so much the fish, but the size of the lures. Not that a musky can't be caught on smaller lures, it happens all the time. If you're fishing that particular rod, you'll want to be carrying those smaller musky style baits. Small bucktails like the Mepps Musky Killer, and the biggest size suspending rapalas, jointed x-raps, etc. The big rat-l-traps work really well too, and your rod should be able to handle that. The other concern you might have is actually setting the hook in a bigger fish. It takes a lot of backbone and muscle to put big hooks through their bony jaws. Make sure your hooks are razor sharp, and you may even want to pinch the barbs. It will make hooksets a bit easier. I do on all of my musky baits anyway to reduce the damage to the fish. Carry some 20-24" 80-120lb flouro leaders with a heavy barrel and snap or leader material to tie to your mainline in the event that you actually decide to target Muskies. I still fish some 7' heavy action bass rods for musky, they handle up to 2oz baits, which covers the vast majority of my lure selection and preferences, and have no problems with large fish.
 

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Esox_Hunter said:
What type/size of lures are you planning to fish?

IMO the greater concern is whether the rod can handle the baits you will be throwing rather than handling the fight of a fish (although this can be a concern if you go too light). Mosts rod designed for bass fishing won't suffice very well for throwing 1 1/2-3oz typical musky baits.

My primary musky stick is a Fenwick HMX Musky 7' MH.
I agree with Esox, the musky rods we choose are geared more around the lures we plan to throw and trying to minimize the fight time for the fish. Muskies are not like salmon and can't sustain long fights with equipment matched close to them. A heavy bass rod with superline would probably land one hooked by accident moderately well, assuming no bite off occurs (bad for fish and your lure)........ if you are actually targeting a musky though the more important things to consider would be heavy line, a wire leader and good release kit/plan (hook cutters, longnose pliers, adequate net to do the unhooking in the water, and minimize handling).

Obviously bass guys probably don't want/need the big musky net taking up space, that is understandable when bass fishing. That means the fish will probably have to be tired out pretty well to handle it at the boat. This is certainly not ideal by musky guy standards, but I'd be grateful for a bass (or any other) angler doing what they can. Maybe - Reduce the time out of the water to a few pics (if you want them) and don't let them flop around the bottom of the boat. Yes I know this still could result in delayed mortality, especially in warm water with a long fight, but for non-musky people to do what they can is all we can ask.

One thing I have noticed by catching plenty of big bass on my musky tackle is that the wire/and heavy flouro leaders don't bother bass much when they are combined with big faster moving musky baits or spinner baits. Using a leader on the rod combined with the lure you think you may catch a musky on would definitely help with bite offs if you can swing it. Good post. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Carry some 20-24" 80-120lb flouro leaders with a heavy barrel and snap or leader material to tie to your mainline in the event that you actually decide to target Muskies.
I've never used a leader for black bass but there are musky in this one lake, along with a few 6-9 pound largemouth bass.

I was just concerned that if I was fishing for big bass and hooked into a musky if it would break my bass rod.

I do have some mid size Rapalas, crankbaits and Mepps bucktail spinners I could use to target and catch both but right now I would be primarily targeting largemouth bass.

So basically the suggestion is that since there are both musky and bass, use some type of leader even if bass fishing?
 

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The notion of using a heavy leader like that when primarily fishing for black bass probably isn't your best bet. While it probably wouldn't hinder your ability to catch bass, a heavy leader does tend to negatively effect the action of most lures, unless you're tying directly to the lure, and not using a snap. Your chances of catching a musky while bass fishing are pretty slim. I've been fishing for smallmouths in the Susquehanna my entire life, and have never caught or hooked a musky while fishing for them. If for some reason you decide to specifically target Muskies by fishing those bucktails or larger baits, then add the leader. If you wanted to fish with a leader at all times, try some 50 or 60 lb flourocarbon tied with a double uni knot to your main line, and then tied right to the bait you're fishing.
 

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I have a 6 acre private lake on my property in north central Pa, and its loaded with largemouths, but also has its share of northern pike. They're smaller fish, mostly 20-30" and they typically eat just about anything that moves. I normally fish 10-12lb mono main line, with a 6 ft length of 40lb flouro tied directly to my baits. The long leader lasts for about 20-30 reties. When I'm specifically targeting those pesky pike (we're trying to eliminate them), I fish my musky gear with 80lb braid and 120lb flouro leaders, throwing bigger baits, trying to target the mature fish. There are several in there pushing 40", and I'd like to get them out.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
While it probably wouldn't hinder your ability to catch bass, a heavy leader does tend to negatively effect the action of most lures,
Agreed and big pressured bass are spooky. I'll just not bother with the leader unless I go there specifically for musky and then I will use my musky rod and fluorocarbon leader. I have flouro leader but its several years old.

OT:

Why would you want to remove the large pike from your lake and not the smaller ones?

Are they eating all the bass?
 

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Absolutely. Pike are very voracious feeders, and although the baitfish population is usually pretty decent in our lake, we rarely if ever see or catch small bass. We've even cross stocked with a neighboring lake to mix up gene pools. I've caught numerous pike now with bass tails and perch tails sticking up from their throats, and have had the larger pike attack 1-2lb bass as they're being reeled in. Not to mention we catch a number of bass with big bite marks. Pike will eat just about anything they can fit in their mouths. I want to focus on building a better bass population with a better age and size structure, and its difficult to do with those major predators there.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Figured. That makes sense.

I'm not much for largemouth bass fishing. I prefer smallmouth but I will target big largemouth bass.

Good luck in removing all the pike.
 

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fishdoctor said:
Esox_Hunter said:
What type/size of lures are you planning to fish?

IMO the greater concern is whether the rod can handle the baits you will be throwing rather than handling the fight of a fish (although this can be a concern if you go too light). Mosts rod designed for bass fishing won't suffice very well for throwing 1 1/2-3oz typical musky baits.

My primary musky stick is a Fenwick HMX Musky 7' MH.
I agree with Esox, the musky rods we choose are geared more around the lures we plan to throw and trying to minimize the fight time for the fish. Muskies are not like salmon and can't sustain long fights with equipment matched close to them. A heavy bass rod with superline would probably land one hooked by accident moderately well, assuming no bite off occurs (bad for fish and your lure)........ if you are actually targeting a musky though the more important things to consider would be heavy line, a wire leader and good release kit/plan (hook cutters, longnose pliers, adequate net to do the unhooking in the water, and minimize handling).

Obviously bass guys probably don't want/need the big musky net taking up space, that is understandable when bass fishing. That means the fish will probably have to be tired out pretty well to handle it at the boat. This is certainly not ideal by musky guy standards, but I'd be grateful for a bass (or any other) angler doing what they can. Maybe - Reduce the time out of the water to a few pics (if you want them) and don't let them flop around the bottom of the boat. Yes I know this still could result in delayed mortality, especially in warm water with a long fight, but for non-musky people to do what they can is all we can ask.

One thing I have noticed by catching plenty of big bass on my musky tackle is that the wire/and heavy flouro leaders don't bother bass much when they are combined with big faster moving musky baits or spinner baits. Using a leader on the rod combined with the lure you think you may catch a musky on would definitely help with bite offs if you can swing it. Good post. Thanks.
Great advice!!

If you are new to muskies, search out a site called mid-atlantic muskies and look at the Conservation menu.
 
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