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Through the years I have tried many different set ups for fishing from a kayak. And when you combine paddling with casting, you can certainly wear yourself down over the course of a day. For the style of fishing I did prior to moving here my favorite is the following:

Quantum Catalyst Inshore 20 Spinning Reel
Quantum Cabo 7'6" Medium Rod

The line I use is either Suffix Braid or Power Pro in 20lb. I will usually tie on 18 inches of 20 to 25 lb fluro leader, usually Yozuri Pink or Seaguar.

Another rod that I really like is the Tidemaster Series from St. Croix. The reason I prefer either the Cabo from Quantum or this one is due to the shorter butt end. Having the butt end of the rod poking you in the stomach all day or hitting something while sitting to cast gets old.

I like the smaller size reels also, you can fight even bigger fish using them as long as you dont get too much of a drag screaming run. I use reels in the 40 or 400 or 4000 size depending on which manufacture you choose, but when I can get away with it, I will drop down to even the 10 or 1000 series.

Prefer spinning over baitcasters, because I am better at casting them. I am always amazed by those who can consistently cast a baitcaster without getting a huge bird nests.

I also use rods from 7' to 8' in Medium Light, Fast Action up to Medium Heavy Moderate Action depending on what lures I am using. But for one go to set up, I like that one. So what is your favorite set up for kayak fishing?
 

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I've had next to no success with lures so I use mainly live bait. My cheap 30 dollar ugly stick combo from wally world and my 30 dollar daiwa shock combo are what I'm loving right now. But my little shakespeare combo that you can buy at wally world for like 12 bucks is hard to beat for the panfish I'm catching right now. Casts good and reels smooth.
 
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In general I find heavier action rods harder to cast from a seated position in the kayak. I like medium/medium light action, 7'. Either casting or spinning. Haven't ever tried a 7'6" or 8', but I can hear the monkey whispering sweet nothings about them.

Probably my favorite freshwater combo at the moment is a cheap shimano spinnning reel - af2000 - mounted to a 7' St Croix triumph. Well matched for weight & balance, fresh braid, works nice for a wide variety of light tackle. Have a couple others that I like as well (mitchell 308+gander mtn guide series, Shimano Scorpion + silstar 7' M), but this one seems to stay in the front holder while the others do more of the trolling.

I'm not ecstatic with my salt collection, but its at least serviceable. Penn 440ssg on an All-star coastal 7' MH works well, but feels heavy. I like an old Abu 4600c on a BPS Bionic blade at least as well.
 

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I like the Rapid-fire that Shimano has (auto bail-flipper) so I use the Shimano Solstace 1000 for fresh. Not tied to one rod, but usually use 6.5 to 7 foot light to medium spinning. For salt, I don't trust myself with more expensive reels yet, so I use the Okuma Stratus St-30 series. These are typically on sale at Dick's for $30. But like Jeff, am auditioning the Mitchell 308 too. I have grown to like the Berkley Cherrywood Spinning Rod in 7 foot medium. Usually 20-30 dollars at wallyworld. It has a little extra length on the butt, but I like that for extra umph in casting.

Of course I may be rethinking all of this soon. The other day, I bought a new 5 ft ul rod for an old ul reel. planning on trying for some shad. Took both the new ul and my Solstace to the Falls dam area and was shocked ast how much heavier my normal reel is compared to the UL. The difference was far more than just the size difference. Over a long day of paddling 5-10 miles and casting maybe 100 or more times, a heavier reel might add up to lots of fatigue. So I am glad you started this thread Eric!
 

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Shimano Sedona 1500 w 7ft Quantum IM8 Tourney Grade ML Graphite rod. Reel was $39, rod was $40. This is the best feeling combo I have. Light and easy to handle but strong and sensitive. Casts great retreives smooth. I bought an extra spool and have one spooled with 10lb Berkley Vanish and one with 17lb Power Pro ( I know I have exceeded the drag ability but I like to get my stuff back when fishing cover)
I also have a Sedona 4000 on a Penn Pursuit 7ft Mh I use alot as well but the rod isnt so great to me now that I have tried the Quantum. I have several Shimanos Sedonas/Sonoras and I thik for the $$ they are best.
 
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When I'm fishing out of my conoe my favorite set up is a 6'6" Rapala Tournament Series Medium action rod with a 20 series Pflueger Presidential . I usually only bring one or two set ups with me when I'm in my canoe and usually bring my less expensive ones. But I have 8lb flurocarbon P-Line fishing line on it, that way I can throw plastics and crainks and don't have to worry about the line.
 

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Me since I don't tourney fish anymore, I set myself up with the good stuff from Walmart or Roses.:eek: If it breaks or tears up, its ok because I have plenty to back it up with.

I like the 7 foot 1 piece, Excursion rod ($14) and a shimano/diawa reel in the 1500-2500 series. Most of my dozen or so rods all fit in that catagorie. Spooled with 10-12 pound test mono or either 20 pound Power Pro, (drum rods).

All my rod and reels are used for everything, bass, bream, drum, trout, catfish, flounder and the like. I do have some heavy equipment for surf fishing though.;)

You don't have to spend a wad to have a good time on the water. The Zebco 33 has put more fish across a table than any other rod and reel combo in the world. And they still sell em everday.:cool:

Tight lines <*)))))>{
 

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Red X Angler
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I still have and use 4 zebco 33s Great little reels!! Even the new chinese ones are worth the money!
 

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10-4 drop...........I keep several in the barn for kids when they show up and want to fish. Tried to teach my daughter in law, she just grabbed the spinning rod and went to it like it was her best friend. She got pretty good within the next few hours, even caught herself a pound and a half bass.

Don't spread it around or tell anybody, I like to use them when casting beetle spins in close to tree tops, and under docks. :cool:

tight lines <*)))))>{
 

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Red X Angler
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Scott I never leave home without one in the boat..LOL! Great for shooting docks or catching baitfish.
 

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Red X Angler
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That's right Tadpole, Zooker swore off redheads didn't he....LOL!!!
 

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Got a 6'6" ML ugly stick with a Abu Garcia spinning reel loaded with 10 lb and the second spool with 14 lb. Not the prettiest rods in the world but those ugly sticks are tough as nails. Also have a Quantum 6' UL with Shimano spinner that I use a lot for bream and Shad. I have had a lot of fun on that light set up.
 

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I have a 7'6" Meduim action Falcon Coastal Series rod with an Abu Garcia 5500 reel and Power Pro line that seems to be the one that I reach for the most. I have gotten used to baitcasters and pretty much prefer them for everything now. Though I still get the occasssional bird's nest , I can cast farther and I don't have to deal with line twists.
 
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