What reels do you guys and gals recommend for pitching musky lures? Me and the brother are coming up this year just for the big pigs so its time to start preparing I guess. Had a couple of follows and one on last year, gotta say I'm hooked (even though I'm sure I'll still beat the weeds for pike lol). Thanks.
I just ordered a 7 foot MH fast taper Fenwick Techna AV, paired up with a shimano curado low profile 5.0:1 reel. Will use for muskies, flipping for bass, etc. Grand total over the counter, 370 plus tax. Good thing I know a little bird that gets them for me for cost : )
My wife was born/raised in York and all her family are die hard Big Red fans. I checked next years football schedule and see that the "powers that be" scheduled some cream puffs to pad the schedule--I mean why is Nebraska playing Nichols State, Louisiana Tech and Troy State? you would think they were scared of the alumni ousting a head football coach and AD. Maybe Solich wasn't so bad after all, eh? LOL
Seems I also remember you were in a tournament with your family last year and were going to target pike--so how did it turn out?
Back to muskie reels. A whole lot depends on how much you are willing to spend and how much you will actually pursue muskies in a year. But here are some tried and true options of proven equipment
Abu Garcia Ambassadeur 6500C3 or C4 or C5 or C6. Figure around 60.00-115.00 depending on the C series you get and the rebates/contacts/specials you can find. They can be had for the lower end of it if you really shop around--usually. The 6500 series has the added benefit of being a good multi species reel (good for pike/big catfish/maybe even carp if a person fishes them). Can hold a whole spool of big dacron or spectron type line.
Abu Garcia Big Game Reels and the Abu Garcia 6500 TC (trophy series) and the Abu Garcia Record series are all excellent choices but a more limited application to big lures for big fish--run 110-150 dollars a piece depending on what bells you choose. Their website www.abugarcia.com has a lot of useful criteria to help decide.
A second manufacturer from just across the river is the St Croix line. Lot's of guys use the excellent St Croix rods (I personally like the Avid series) and they have an excellent reel to match. The Avid series reels matched with an accompanying Avid series muskie rod is a hard combo to beat. They are a little more expensive--but worth it in my opinion if muskies are a passion for you. They are at www. stcroixrods.com
One final thing is that I use spinning gear throughout the season at different times--often can throw smaller baits--often better action on minnow baits and some smaller swim baits in particular. I will look through the major rod/reel companies and get something along the line of a 4000 series in size of Shimano reels and match it with about a 7-71/2 foot salmon rod. The combos designed for 30-40 pound salmon are a fairly good match for muskies and also allow you to use greater variety of baits.
Although I have not used them I have seen really good results from the Corsair reels and they give a pretty good bang for the buck.
IMHO-avoid the plastic reels like the plague--the rigors of throwing big jerk baits for a day destroy them. Stay with stuff that have machined metal gears (brass/stainless steel, etc.)
Again--it all depends on what you feel it legitimate to spend--there is NO END to the dollars you CAN--but it is certainly not necessary. If muskies are a "once in a while" fish then you may want one of the more versatile options--like the 6500 models of Abu Garcia--that let you use it for other species more effectively. But, if muskies are going to be a passionate ongoing pursuit (they will be when you have a few 30 pounders smash your bait 6 inches from your rod tip as they drench you with water) then you may want to purchase stuff designed to up the odds in your favor for the few chances you do get at a true trophy fish (say 25-60 pounds). Ultimately men buy exclusive muskie gear to give them a little edge on those few fish they do encounter only so many times in a years fishing. Boating a 15-25 pounder at 45 inches is a whole different story than boating a 45 pounder at 56 inches. Therein lies the pivot point on the choice of tackle. I figure JUST BUY IT ALL--then you have what you want no matter what. Unfortunately my wife doesn't always see it that way!
Hope that gives you a few ideas to start looking. Good luck--let us know how the "Family Show Down" goes!
Jason "The Fisher" Pence JustNorth Outdoor Columnist JustNorth Pro Staff
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If you've got short, stubby fingers and wear reading glasses, any relaxation you would normally derive from fly fishing is completely eliminated when you try to tie on a fly. ~ Jack Ohman, Fear of Fly Fishing, 1988