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Seth Clarkson

Rod/Reel recommendations for Topwater WTD

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I'm looking to invest in a better setup, mainly for my spooks, sexy Dawgs and other walk the dog baits, somewhere between $150 to $225 or so. I have had my mind on a Daiwa Tatula Ct being my next reel purchase but it may be fals ebuild up in my mind. I've read on them some and know they are a well liked reel and I am wanting to try out the TWing system. Can someone tell me their opinion of if the TWing makes much of a difference or I may be better off getting a smaller profile reel for this type of application? Another reel option I was looking at may be a Shimano SLX based on some reviews and the brand quality. As far as the rod goes I am 6ft so I'm trying to decide if I should go with 6ft 6 to allow me to work the WTD baits down without smacking the water or if I should just go longer and get a 7ft or better and just lift up to work it. I'm thinking something along the lines of M or MH with a fast action . With my plan to use it for mainly reaction baits the sensitivity will not be as big of factor, but looking for something light, something other than a cork handle if possible (personal preference) and a short butt. A few options I've looked at on tackle warehouse mainly just due to price range and reviews are a Daiwa Aird X, a St Croix Bass X, Dobyns Colt or Fury, Lee's TP1 Speed Stick (I like the Winn grips on my spinning version).

Any information or preference is great if you could let me know why you like one thing better than another or think I'm off in terms of the rod style. The reel I am using currently is a Abu Garcia Black max 6:4:1 so Im not sure if I should stick with that same speed since I've gotten used to WTD with that reel or if I should step up to a 7:1:1 or something like that. I also use a LH setup if that would for some reason make a difference on a reel choice. 

Thanks

Seth

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I have an slx. Imo it’s the best reel under $150. There is a really good sale in the slx combo right now. Personally I’d run the 6’10” medium but the medium heavy would be better for the heavier walkers and possibly more universal 

 

https://slickdeals.net/share/iphone_app/t/13074307

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That last post was in a hurry because I’m at work but now I can add some details. 

 

The twing does work. In my experience it’s not so much that it adds distance but rather makes regular casts a little easier and freer feeling. A couple very important things to remember with the twing reels are leader knots and how you hold a reel. The leader knot is going to jam in the narrow portion of the line guide. So you either run a short leader or no leader. It matters how you hold it on retrieve too. If you’re like me and put your pointing finger in front of the reel when you’re retrieving the lure (especially when dragging) you’ll lift the line out of the narrow part of the guide and have line piled up on the spool. Personally I’ll be glad when Daiwa ditches this design for those reasons and it adds width to the reel design. I’ve fished with t3’s and tatulas for years and switched to Shimano last year. I’ve had Shimanos before but I’m generally a Daiwa fanboy because of the magnetic brake system. That said I’m very happy with my Shimano’s now. 

 

Ok rods and rod length. I’m 5’8” and use a 6’10”-7’ rod for walking baits and jerkbaits. 6’10” seems to be the sweet spot. At your height you’ll be fine at 6’10” or more. Medium would be great for poppers and most walking baits but if you go to the bigger spooks you might be wishing for a medium heavy. Both will be great for many techniques in there respective weight range. That combo I listed above is a steal. If you’re bent on something different the 13 Fishing Omens and chromes have been great budget rods for me. They generally have the power rated right and also the action rated right. That is RARE in rods. Lews and most falcons fail big time here. If you want to compare across action compare it to a gloomis. They are the standard in ratings imo. Someone will disagree but if they want to be wrong that’s cool too lol. Another great rod for the money is the Phenix Feather series rods. Order one power higher than normal though! So if you want a medium order a medium heavy. It’s just their nature. They’re very light, crisp, and sensitive rods. 

 

Also if you wanted to check out a Shimano Slx rod before ordering I know Academy in Joplin has them. No idea if the other Academy’s do. 

 

One more thing again. You can find curado k’s and 70’s (71’s for me) on eBay for $125-140 usually if you want a slight upgrade to the slx. 

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IMO a rod for WTD baits need not be expensive at all.  A regular old medium action  6'6" IM6 rod from Walmart ($30.) with decent guides and a handle design that you like is perfect.  

Mine is a Quantum that I picked up on sale (got 2 of them for under 50.00) several years ago.   $5000.00 couldn't buy a better rod for fishing spooks, poppers, light buzzbaits and square bill cranks.   I have one rigged with 12# and the other rigged with 15# line.   

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Well here's my 2 cents:

I generally use a Dobyns 705 composite CB rod for WTD baits, it is rated for 1/4 to 1 oz baits, but I think it's best in the 1/2-1 oz range.  It's light enough that a 2lb bass is fun on it, but I have also caught quite a few stripers with it.  It's 7 foot, I am 6'4'' and standing on my boat deck I have no problems with hitting the water with the rod tip.  It also a great rod for fishing cranks.

I believe Dobyns has a Fury 7 ft CB rod (med hvy) that has the same specs.  The model I have is no longer produced.  

  

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I agree with QB. I would purchase a 7ft CB rod. It works for CD, Jerkbait, wake bait, walking bait, and 2.8 to 4" swimbait. With walking topwater baits, it is mainly about casting distance and accuracy. If you are on a good topwater bite, you should only have to walk it for 3 to 5 seconds.....so it is all about distance.

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I throw mine on a Falcon Bucoo SR 6' 6" M with a Tatula CT in 6.3:1.  I like it pretty well.  It casts great, is short enough to work the bait without slapping the water and is soft enough to let them get it before I pull the trigger too fast.  I'm 6'1" and the size of this one is perfect.

https://www.tacklewarehouse.com/Falcon_BuCoo_SR_Casting_Rods/descpage-FNBC.html

 

The SLX is a great reel too for the money.  I bought one and it won't be my last.

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2 hours ago, 5bites said:

I have an slx. Imo it’s the best reel under $150. There is a really good sale in the slx combo right now. Personally I’d run the 6’10” medium but the medium heavy would be better for the heavier walkers and possibly more universal 

 

https://slickdeals.net/share/iphone_app/t/13074307

Gee thanks for making me log right in and buy another one!

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Ebay has Quantum Icon PT reels 55 bucks. Free shipping.  Reg price 120 .there were 3 left last time I looked.  I have 3 of them now and have been using 2 of them for a few years  with no problems or complaints. The finish is still in great condition too.    I throw about anything from top to bottom with them. 18lbs of drag will stop about any bass from wrapping you up. 

Also have  2 older tatulas one is type r  but I can't recall the other model.it was one of the first ones I think way back when. They both still work great.

Both the Icon and Tatula will launch a spook

Of all my reels my favorites are  the Ardent Apex Elites. They do the heavy duty work with ease. 

I've got 2 of the Icons on newer Fenwick Lunker Stiks 6'8mh for all  my topwater and most cranks. really like the new spiral veil blanks with carbon fiber and fenglass. Lightweight and perfect action imo 

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