October 23, 2010

This Is Not A Fly Fishing Blog - Informal Spinning Gear Overview/Review

Over the last two years I've become immersed in fly fishing.  To the point that most of my posts have been fly fishing in nature, for better or for worse.  If you read the description of this blog over in the the upper right side of the page, it professes an environment for "equal opportunity angling." While this has always been my mindset - I don't care what you use - the content hasn't exactly reflected it recently.

So today, I'm going to give you a peek into my small stream trout spinning outfit.  I most often use it the early spring when the waters are rich with uneducated stockies, but it really excels in all conditions.  It's also kinda budget conscious, so in my opinion, it gives a really good "bang for the buck" if you're looking to invest in some new tackle this holiday or for next spring.

Bass Pro Shops Micro Lite Graphite Spinning Rod, 5.0', UL Fast Action

Okay, this is a relatively inexpensive rod at $45 (when I got mine a few years back it might have been $35 or $40), but what I really love about it is its sensitivity.  Yes, it's an ultralight (UL).   Yes, when a fish is "on" you get a deep bend.  Despite both it's not a noodle and is still pretty darn sensitive.  You can definitely feel ticks on the bottom well when slowly retrieving spinners. It's something I attribute to the fact that it doesn't have a screw down reel seat, rather rings that snug around your reel to keep it against the cork handle.  It's handle "B" if you look at it on the BPS site.

Random Pro - It's good lookin', pretty even.  Not another black fishing rod.
Random Con - No hook keeper.  You'll need to get one of those Fuji hook keepers, that's what I use.

Pflueger Trion 4520 GX-7 UL Spinning Reel
Note: My reel (the smallest in the Trion family) only has a 4 bearing system

If you ever fished with a Pflueger reel you know how smooth they are.  This reel, even though it's only $30 is just as smooth - like glass.  When I bought it, I figured I'd try it out and when it broke down, I'd upgrade to its older brother the President.  Well, it's been 4 years and I've had no reason to - no wobble, no give.  It works just as well as the day I removed it from the box.  If you're fishing ultralight - 2lb to 6lb test, I honestly don't think you need to spend more on anything else.

Random Pro - Comes with a spare aluminum spool
Random Con - Rosewood knob.  I actually prefer it, gives it a retro, classy look.  I know some anglers don't like them and prefer the more typical nylon/rubber knobs.

So that's my "go-to" set up.  I usually pair the rod & reel with 2 or 4 pound Berkley Trilene XL (red box), a small box of assorted spinners, and go get 'em.

Who else fishes spinners?  If you do, what's your set up?  Short rod, long rod, and what reel?  I know technique (and not gear) catch fish, but honestly isn't "stuff" always more fun to talk about...

I don't consider this gear overview a real gear review by this blog's standards, however it should be made clear that I bought all the stuff mentioned above with my own money...or at least a gift card I was given by a family member.  Neither Bass Pro, Pflueger, or Berkley prompted this review; it's just gear I've found works well for me.  As with all independent gear reviews at Troutrageous!, I try my best to keep my reviews honest and unbiased. 


  1. Hey Mike. You know me, I fish everything. Most of the time when I use spinners, I use a 6' ultralight Diawa or Shamano (I have one of each) with 4# Trilene XT. Since I mostly fish lakes, it gets the lure out as far as possible.


  2. Well...I now know what I want, I mean need for Christmas...outstanding review Mike. I do need to upate my lite gear and this set up fits the bill (in more ways than one) perfectly (thumbs up).

  3. My box is usually made up of Panther Martin, Wyld Edge, and Rooster Tail spinners. i use two rods depending on rather I am fishing a stream or a lake. A 5' ultralight for small streams and a 61/2' for lakes or larger rivers. By the way, I think you just convinced me to try a Pfleuger Trion. I own a bigger Pfleuger President for a heavier rod when I need it. I recommend using as light a line as possible for the fish you are fishing for. Don't forget a little fluorocarbon leader really helps.

  4. Michael
    Great Post---I have been using the 7 1/2 ft. micro light from Bass Pro for a number of years and love the acton on these rods. I use the small light actin spin cast reels spooled with 4 lb. test line with the rods. I like this set-up with tiny lures in the early spring when the water temps is too cold on the local lake to fish the fly. It give me a sense of using a 7 1/2 ft. fly rod. Great action on light tackle.

  5. Michael
    I have been using the 7 ½ ft. micro light rod from Bass Pro for a number of years with a light action reel to balance. I spool the reel with 4 lb. test line. I get the feel of a fly rod with the micro light and also a lot of play out of the catch. I usually fish this set-up in the early spring when the water temp is too cold to fish with the fly. Tiny lure works to perfection with these rods. I did a post on the set-up I used some time back http://btrussell-fishingthroughlife.blogspot.com/search/label/Micro%20Light%20Fishing Great action with light tackle. Great Post.

  6. Good post as always. I'm a fan of a "one step up rod" St. Croix Premier... $70 rod. It is an ultra-light. I have caught browns over 21 inches on it. I am also a fan of Shimano Spyrex reel. It has a quick cast... big fan. I also use Trilene XL... best mono available.

  7. I did this for a long time and have given it up for the most part but I still have all of my good stuff and use it to beat the snot out of the bass from time to time..
    Ugly stick rods 6 to 7 feet were always the best, I like how you can touch the tip to the handle, and reels the Okuma never did me wrong but alittle on the pricy side, now the diawa's seem to be the best for the money, I have one of the bass pro rods rigged up with the diawa, and hate the missing hook keeper, honestly I have always just reeled it up to the tip anyway. Line-- "trilene XL smooth cast" dont know what it is about that line its strong its slick and it sits on the surface film for fishing top water baits also sinks good once it goest through the film.
    So If Im going spinner rig, then its a 6'6 ugly stick a 75$ okuma reel, full, of trilene Xl smooth cast. 6lb tied to the end... a number 1 or 2 gold blue fox, no swivel.

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