Watch any of the fishing tournaments on TV or check out a weigh-in the next time a tournament comes to your local lake and you will notice one thing on each of the anglers boats, a variety of fishing rods in several lengths and actions. You can compare this with a professional golfer carrying a bag of clubs. Golfers have several clubs with them because they don’t know what the round ahead is going to throw at them and bass anglers are no different.

I am sure that many of you remember when your bass rod was also your trout , shad, trolling, striper rod but now you have a several different rods in your boat for all the techniques you have mastered and few more your still working on. I am no different and what rods aren’t in the boat are in the rack in my garage waiting to go!

It seems that when I am at sport shows in the spring I get asked so often about baitcasting rods and reels and so often these ‘necessities’ that we all have to have are a good source of frustration. I usually find the biggest problem new baitcasting anglers have is they fish too light a bait and too light a line for this combo to be effective. If the bait is too light the line will not go out and you are going to have a lesson in knot removal. Under most conditions if you are using a bait that weighs less than ¼ ounce and your fishing line lighter than 8lb test you need to keep this on a spinning rod. My personal choice for spinning rods are  7’ to 7.6” medium light Lamiglas rods. I am a bit weird that I really like the longer spinning rods and Lamiglas will be coming out with a 7’4 pro series drop shot rod that is becoming one of my favorite rods. This rod with a Pflueger President spinning reel and 6-8 pound test Berkley Vanish is always in my boat.

I fish a variety of baits including drop shot rigs, dartheads, weightless worms, Senko’s, and small minnow and topwater baits on my spinning rods.

My choices for spinning rods and reels is quite simple compared to my baitcasting selections and we don’t have the space to get into every technique and rod and reel choice but I want to cover some of the standards you would find in most of those boats you see at your local tournament. My bait casting rods are always at least 7’ and several rods that I fish are even longer. These are just a few of the rods that I have found as a favorites, hope this saves you some time and money.

Lamiglas 766 Flipping Stick with a Pflueger President Reel: This combo is my workhorse, not only do I use this rod as my Flipping Stick but it is also my frog rod, and I will use it in the spring when I am throwing spinnerbaits and buzzbaits

on Clear Lake and the Delta. Lamiglas makes an 8’ flipping stick (the 806) that is a great rod but you all know about that old dog new trick saying. I still flip with 20 to 25lb Big Game Mono line but when I am fishing the frog I usually fish 65lb Spiderwire Stealth. I am using the 8’ rod with 80lb Spiderwire when I am flipping the big 1 to 11/2 ounce weights in very heavy cover.

Lamiglas SR 705 with Pflueger President Reel:  This rod is one that I carry about 4 of in my boat. It was designed by my good friend Skeet Reese and this rod is a fiberglass 7’ medium reaction bait rod. I am not sure of the reason we made this rod yellow but I am pretty sure it was to match Skeet’s hair. This rod is my topwater rod, spinnerbait rod, crankbait rod pretty much any bait that I am moving through the water with a steady retrieve I use Fiberglass. These rods will load up with a big fish on and not pull the hooks out like a stiffer action graphite rod. This rod I usually have anywhere from 10 to 15 pound Berkley Big Game line.

Lamiglas XC 767 with Pflueger Trion Reel: This combo is my big swimbait rod and the Trion reel is a the only round reel I use but I want the bigger reel for more line capacity. I usually fish this combo with 20lb Big Game line and I am finding it rarely leaves my boat. The swimbait is fast becoming one of the best big fish baits here in Northern California.

Lamiglas XC 724 with Pflueger President Reel: One of my favorite rods and although it is called the “Senko Special” it is my jig rod as well. This is without a doubt the best big jig rod I have ever fished with. In the fall and winter I fish a lot of ¾ to 1 ounce jigs in deep water and I will always have this rod in my hand. It does make a great Senko or weightless bait rod.

Lamiglas XC 764 with Pflueger President Reel: This combo is another one of my workhorse rods. I fish everything from small plastics, Senko’s , jigs, bigger spinnerbaits, spoons, Carolina Rigs you name it. I can’t tell you how many of these rods I have. Skeet actually turned me on to this rod several year ago and he said “you better get more than one” and he was right. If you are looking for a medium flipping stick that you can do anything with this is the rod.

There are several more rods that I use but we will have to save that for another column and I am sure that many of you will check out several of these models the next time you are in Fishermen’s Warehouse and not agree with my choices and that is ok because there will be a rack full of rods and I am sure you will find the right one to fill your bag of clubs. See you all on the water!