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Dear all,
I just got introduced to fishing this summer by a friend of a friend in Virginia Beach ? better late than never. I now plan to get a good ?entry level? rod and reel and would like to solicit the advise of the seasoned veterans, if they could be so kind enough, to point me to the right direction.

First, the rod and reel. I first planned to get it from Modell?s but read somewhere that it is better to go to the tackle shops. I went to a couple but was overwhelmed by everything around. I wanted to ask the staff for some advise but being at the height of the season and the number of customers, I didn?t want to rob the other patrons of their attention. (I haven?t been on any of the party boat either for the same reason). So, to the net I went and have my eye on an Ugly Stick (bws1101-7) and an Abu cd6-8000 (what?s the diff between center drag and front drag?) which I plan to spool with 20# mono. Any comments on the rod / reel? Is this a good match/setup? Can I use it for fishing on the pier? surf? boat? What kind and size of fish can I catch with this? (Shows the optimist in me). What are the other alternative equipments in the same rod / reel class (budget up to $300). Sorry for all the questions. But I know there are a lot more coming ? tackle and of course where I can get my line wet ? as soon as I get the right equipment, but I?ll save those other questions for later.

I could really use and appreciate all and any advise to get started ? and hopefully get in the action and catch whatever is left for the season.

Thanks to all . . .
 

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first, go back to your local tackle shop. if possible go mid-morning or mid-afternoon mon,tues, or wed, when they will not be so busy.
they should be happy to invest their time in a new customer starting out. if not,(unlikely) go elsewhere. stop by often, they will be most able to meet your specific needs.
likewise for party boats.
for surf you will want a 10 or 11 foot rod, and for boat a 7 foot rod. assuming spinning, a penn 6500ss or 7500ss is a decent reel. parts are everywhere, and easy to fix or get fixed locally.
you could use this reel on either rod, and maybe pick up a spare spool for a diferent line option.

set,
opinari
 

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Same advice about your local tackle shop, go in when it is slow, know what type of fishing you are going to do,
and if they don't show interest in helping, go to another shop that will.
Believe me the tackle shops and party boats would rather help out someone like yourself who is just starting and have questions,than "the know it all, one size rod and reel will catch anything fool".
Good Luck and welcome to the sport!!
 

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As was mentioned, there is no one rod that is ideal for all inshore situations. But if I was to pick only one rod that is good for most boat fishing, I would go with a seven foot medium action Penn Powergraph rod or a Gold Cup rod, and I would match it with a Penn 965 baitcasting reel with about 20 pound mono (I use 30 pound braided line).

This is about a $250 combo. It will be a little heavy for smaller weakfish and a little light for big bass but it'll do the job and it is quality equipment. This is an excellent rod for casting and bottom fishing. You just have to get used to using a baitcasting reel instead of a spinning reel. Once you get into it you will know what to look for in picking other rods and reels for different purposes.

I also have a 7 foot medium action fresh water spining rod with a Penn 4400 that I use. It is a lighter rod that I wouldn't baitfish with but I have landed 20 pound stripers on it casting on the north shore and from the boat.

J&H in Oakdale has very good prices on all Penn reels. And on the right days they can be friendly there too. Haha Shep...

Chris
 
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