Starting any tournament season as a non-boater means two things...that one must be able to consolidate the equipment that is required for a successful competition day, and to be versatile with the limited amount of gear that is on hand.
My dilemma now is how do I consolidate 10 rods and reels into 5 or 6 primary combos that will be used on tournament day? Well, when I think in those terms, I should be looking at all of the lures that I wanted to throw with the combos I have already purchased.
1) Swim Jigs 2) Football Jigs 3) Large Texas rigged plastics 4) Small Texas rigged plastics 5) Spinnerbaits 6) Buzzbaits 7) Topwater 8) Senkos 9) Frogs 10) Carolina Rigs 11) Square Bill Cranks 12) Jerkbaits 13) Medium Diving Cranks 14) Deep Diving Cranks 15) Lipless Cranks 16) Shakey Head 17) Drop-shot 18) Flickshake
With these in mind, how can I consolidate each different lure into 5 or 6 primary combos? In order to approach this correctly I need to think of commonalities between all of these lures...starting with the type of hooks used...
Single hook: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 16, 17, 18
Treble hook: 7, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15
The hook type will help me determine what rod action will be needed. In the case of a single hook I am more comfortable using a fast to extra fast tip to help drive the single barb hooks home quicker. As for treble hooks I prefer a moderate to moderate fast action to drive the hooks home while also keeping the hooks pinned inside of the bass' mouth during the fight.
So it seems like I only need two rods to do everything right? Wrong! The next thing I need to determine is what type of cover I will be using each of these lures in and the weight of each lure
Heavy (Heavy Cover/Heavier Weight): 2, 3, 9
Medium Heavy (Moderate Cover/Moderate Weight): 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15
Medium (Little Cover/Little Weight): 12, 16, 17, 18
Now I have three combos based upon the rod power needed for each technique...now how do I expand those out further to make my 5 or 6 combos??? This is the time to implement technique specific categories to correctly define the rod length that will give me the advantage to fish my lures most effectively. In addition to this, on the water time with each rod will help me understand what setup gives me the most overall "feel" and "confidence".
I) Reaction Baits: 1, 5, 7, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15
II) Senkos/Small Texas Rigged Plastics: 4, 8
III) Finesse Baits: 16, 17, 18
IV) Flipping/Pitching: 2, 3
V) (Surface Reaction Baits) Frog/Carolina Rig/Buzzbait: 6, 9, 10
As you can see, the reaction baits have at least 5 more lures than every other category so this is when I would implement the 6th combo...
VI) Crankbaits: 12, 13, 14, 15
From the combo list that you see on my home page this is how I would assign each rod/reel pair according to their techniques...
** (#) = combos that can be used as backups/alternates for same technique **
I) 1, (3), (4), (8) II) 9, (10) III) 10, (9) IV) 7, (5), (2) V) 2, (5), (7) VI) 6, (1), (4), (8)
So even though I have 10 combos, I was able to narrow down to 6 primary combos. This allows me 4 spares to use in case I need a little bit different approach to a technique or if I need a replacement.
The reels that have been paired up with each combo were chosen because of their overall balance with the rod, the specific gear ratio that works best with the rod's technique, and the amount of drag that the combo would need while fighting a fish. Beyond that, features like flipping switches, twitching bars, and other reel bells and whistles are all based upon user preference.
...next topic to be discussed will be FISHING LINE for each technique specific rod...so stay tuned!
Tight Lines Everyone!