Are there fishing rods that can be used for both fresh and salt water?

I am new to fishing and am planning on going a couple times with some friends. Some may be freshwater everglades and others could be off a pier. It would be nice if I could get a rod that can be used for both. However, I don’t know rod and reel brands whatsoever. I’m a college student so It would be nice if the rod and reel didn’t exceed $60-70 total.

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3 thoughts on “Are there fishing rods that can be used for both fresh and salt water?

  1. Your request is a tall order!

    #1. Pier fishing generally requires a heavier action rod than Freshwater/Inshore Saltwater ‘Glades fishing. The reality is- you need 2 different outfit’s.

    Can you go Freshwater/Brackish-water Glades fishing with an 7-8FT Pier outfit?-Yes.

    Will it be major “over-kill” and will you look like an @ss?- Yes

    Can you go Pier Fishing with a 6′ 6″ – 7′ ‘Glades outfit? Not really. Why?

    Pier fishing generally requires you to use Pyramid Weights in the 2-5OZ range. Even an expensive 7′ Backwater/Frshwater rod can’t handle those weight allowances, (period). Add the weight of your bait and the weight of the potential Pier fish your trying to catch and BANG!

    You’ve got a busted rod or broken line!

    (On MANY, MANY occasions (while fishing a variety of Florida Piers) I’ve watched poor, ignorant, souls trying to land a medium-sized Saltwater fish with an obvious “crappie spinning outfit”. None succeeded, and in most instances, they ended up tangling their neighbors lines in the process- resulting in “bad blood” and “comments made”. When you go to the pier, look at your average neighbor- do they look like people you want to “upset”? Esp if your using a “Mickey Mouse rod” that couldn’t land a 6LB fish?)

    #2. $60 – $70 (for the rod AND reel) won’t get you anywhere NEAR quality.

    You could start looking in pawn shops and at garage sales. Having a slightly used Penn, Shimano, Daiwa or Fin-Nor reel would be 100% better than purchasing a “Walmart Special” POS combo.

    Here are some specific Brands and reels to look for when prowling the pawn shops & garage sales:

    1. Daiwa, Black Gold model BG15- http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10151_-1_10001_2038____SearchResults

    2. Penn, “Slammer” model 360 or 460- http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10151_-1_10001_96639____SearchResults

    3. Fin-Nor, Sportfisher model FS50- http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10151_-1_10001_10204504_151001002_151000000_151001000_151-1-2

    4. Shimano, Symetre model 4000- http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10151_-1_10001_102360_100001002_100000000_100001000?cmCat=CROSSSELL_THUMBNAIL

    Rods????

    Because of your designated budget, Ugly Stik, Daiwa Coastal, and any big dept store brand, (like Bass Pro Shops, DDicks Sporting Goods, Gander MT, Cabelas, Etc) will be your best bet. If you can, purchase your rod NEW. Used rods tend to be abused more than reels. Here are some specific Brand examples:

    1. Ugly Stik, INSHORE Lite 7′ MH- http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10151_-1_10001_17946____SearchResults

    2. Daiwa Coastal Inshore 7′ M- http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10151_-1_10001_97106_151002002_151000000_151002000_151-2-2

    3. BPS, Goldcup 7′ 6″ – http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10151_-1_10001_10204611_151002002_151000000_151002000_151-2-2

    Even though you may only intend to use your rod & reel a handful of times, it’s important you understand that it’s better to have a quality product than to purchase garbage that “might or might not” work the 8th time you decide to use it.

    Do you have an account at Ebay? Ebay generally has great deals for reels.

    If you decide to purchase a combo outfit know this- Buying a “combo” outfit is rarely a good idea. Combo outfits come 30 to a box- with very little packaging or care taken to keep them safe during the shipping process. Combo outfit’s are frequently “2nds” that the manufacturer has sold at a discount price and assembled to get rid of surplus that is slightly defective or un-popular. They will match a good reel with a 2ND rod or vice versa…….That is how a retailer can SELL a combo so CHEAP……..be LEARY of any “insane deal”.

    Hope this info helps ya somehow?

  2. F_K is giving you the harsh truth!

    There is no way you can buy a rod & reel that you can use for both pier fishing with 1 – 5oz weights, then switch and throw a worm under a bobber. The rig would be way too large to use for Bluegill, Bass, or Crappie and would make you look like a fool.

    You need one rod & reel consisting of a 7′ or 8′ rod with the ability to handle up to 4 or 5oz of weight, and the other one should be a Medium/Light or Medium set-up that will handle about 1/2 or 5/8oz of weight. Here’s just some choices for what you need..

    Lake fishing :
    IMO, you can go relatively cheap when just occasionally fishing for Bluegill, Bass, Crappie, Trout, or Catfish but make sure it’s something that’s going to work when you need it to. There’s some cheaper Shimano, Daiwa, and Pflueger spinning reels that work great for the price. The Shimano Sienna, Shimano Syncopate, Daiwa Regal, Pflueger Trion. You’ll want a reel that holds 120 to 160-yards of 8lb fishing line. Spool your reel with 8lb fishing line. Trilene XL is a cheap, limp monofilament to use.

    For rods, there are Berkley Cherrywood’s, Shakespeare Ugly Stik’s (the more durable rods for the price), Shakespeare Ugly Stik Lite’s (more sensitive than the regular Ugly’s), Berkley Lightning Rods, and a few Cabela’s/BPS rods. Get something that is 6’6″ in length and Medium/Light or Medium in action.

    Pier fishing:
    For bigger fish and throwing bigger baits you need bigger, better equipment. The Daiwa Opus Spinning reel which is $40 to $50 would be a fine reel to fish with, the 2nd largest model should handle any 15lb, 17lb, or 20lb line you’ll need and most fish you’ll run into. For rods’, the Daiwa Beefstick’s for $25 are hard to beat in the 7′ or 8′ length. For line, use 15lb or 20lb Berkley Big Game.

  3. This really depends on what type of fishing you plan to do. There is a big difference between fishing for crappie vs bass or channel cats and an even bigger difference if you are talking about even larger species such as blue cats or flatheads. Your best bet is to get a good baitcasting reel and learn to use it. Make sure and get a model that holds a lot of line. That and a properly adjusted drag are the keys to landing a big fish.If you are willing to spend a little more, something like this http://www.academy.com/index.php?page=content&target=products/outdoors/fishing/reels_baitcast&start=8&selectedSKU=0112-01065-6500 will serve you very well. There are also other models out there that will serve you well for less. You can also sometimes find reconditioned reels for much less. The biggest issue will be the rod. You do not need to use a stubby little 6 foot rod to fish freshwater. I don’t even own a 6′ rod. A good 7′ rod or even longer will be relatively versatile. You can throw anything from a spinnerbait to a 2 oz weight and a hunk of bait reasonably well with the same rod. You can buy a decent rod pretty cheap if you look around. As already mentioned, an Ugly stick is not a bad place to start. For line, I personally preffer braided. It is extremely strong yet very thin and flexible. Most of my rods are spooled with 50 lb power pro which is the same diameter as 12 lb test mono. If you plan to jig for crappie, your best bet is to buy a cheap spinning combo but for bass and catfish up to most saltwater fish, the above mentioned setup will work. FYI, most guides who fish for blue cats which can weigh over 100 lbs catch them on 20 lb test mono. Whatever you choose will definitely be a compromise but there are some pretty versatile setups out there. You could also buy a rod geared toward saltwater use and later on buy a lighter action rod for freshwater use and switch the reel between them and eventualy get a second reel. While two different rods and reels would be ideal you certainly have to make compromises when you are on a budget.

    Btw, if you decide to go the baitcaster route, start out with some mono to practice with till you get the hang of it. You will backlash it a few times while you are learning and mono is a lot cheaper if you have to cut it. Also, turn the brake up at first and gradually loosen it as you get the hang of it. This will greatly reduce the number of backlashes as you learn.

    Whatever you do, do NOT buy a spincast reel. If you do not want to learn to use a baitcaster, then the next best thing would be a spinning reel.

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