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first rod/reel for kids

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hello all,  first time here posting for your suggestions.  My great nieces/nephews need their first real fishing rod.  Their ages range from 10 to 4.  Their parents don't fish so it is up to me to get them started..  I think i should buy identical rigs for all 4 kids so there are no "issues".   I was going to let the parents hold the rigs for the young ones till they got a bit older.  I expect to be the teacher for the most part.    I would like suggestions/comments please.  Considerations:

1)panfish/trout/pond fishing for bass/channel cat

2)i would like to start them with a spinning rod.  I know this is where i differ from the conventional wisdom.  I think the balance of the spinning rod makes it easier to get the hang of than closed face spin cast.  Max around $100.00 per rig.  I was thinking about a underspin closed face reel,  but selection is very limited.  Then upgrade to traditional spinning reel as their skill advances.

3)Durable equipment of decent quality that will last.  Breakdown rod so storage/transporation is easier.  Maybe the rod could be a backup in the future with a purchase of a different reel.     

Here is what I have come up with:

rods: shakespeare ugly stik GX2, 5'-0, light power, 4-10lb test, 1/16-3/8oz, 3 pc, or ugly stik elite 5'-6 ,light power 1/16-3/8oz, 4-8lb test  I was thinking the durability of the ugly stik would be a good start for kids.

reels:this is where it gets hard, I can only find a handful of underspin closed face reels on the market.  I think the Pflueger President is the best of what I can locate but I think Pflueger may have discontinued this model.  I have tried to contact Pflueger customer service but they are short staffed due to covid.  The PfluegerTrion model is still in production.  Zebco makes a micro underspin,  Bass Pro makes a "tiny lite" trigger spinning reel, and Daiwa XD trigger.  

Do you think traditional spinning reel is out of the question for a first reel?  I got a mitchell 308 on a shakespeare wonderod ultralight at 10yrs or so,  still have the reel, the rod bit the dust a long time ago but I used it for a long time.  I have to admit i started off on zebco and johnson spincast reels but I always thought they felt awkward but I could start them with a traditional pushbutton spincast if that is the general consensus of the best way to go.

thanks in advance for your suggestions

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I started with a Zebco 202 with whatever little rod came with it.  

I think simple is better for kids.  We have several old zebco 33 combos that always get hauled out when little kids are involved.  My neighbors 4 y/o grandaughter caught a 3 lb channel cat and two crappie this weekend on her barbie pole.  She carries that pole around all the time.

 

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I started all our kids with fly rods and reels between ages 5 and 10, young kids  can learn to catch fish without the bother of casting.  Simple is easier.

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The little Snoopy rods are for the little tykes that may catch a dink.

If you want them to catch a fish, provide them with a rod that will handle the stress of whatever you are going to let them fish for.  And above all, fish for something they can catch so it will keep their interest.

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19 hours ago, jdmidwest said:

The little Snoopy rods are for the little tykes that may catch a dink.

If you want them to catch a fish, provide them with a rod that will handle the stress of whatever you are going to let them fish for.  And above all, fish for something they can catch so it will keep their interest.

I don't know...this one's no dink.

 

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When I started my grandson I simply bought him a cheaper Pfleuger, rhink n it was a Trion, and a lightweight spinning rod.  Never looked back and never tried any other type. Took him a bit to get the hang of it but make practice fun and roll on.

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