My exact gear


So what does my set up look like exactly? I use 40-pound Sufix 832 Braid paired with a 7.5:1 Lew’s Super Duty LFS Casting Reel if I’m fishing fairly shallow. I don’t have anything against moving to a slower reel and do move to something like a 6.8:1 in the Super Duty if I’m wanting to slow roll the bait in more than 5 feet of water on the rare occasion. But usually, I’m fishing the bait in 1 to 5 feet and I can slow the 7.5:1 down enough for the presentation. I like the responsiveness of the faster reel when I do get a bite and need to get the fish out of the cover quickly.

I pair the Super Duty and 832 Braid with one of two rods: A 7-foot medium-heavy Fitzgerald Fishing Vursa or a 7-foot, 3-inch medium-heavy Vursa. If I’m planning to predominately fish around docks and bushes where I’ll need to skip the bait more, I like the 7-footer a bit more because it clears the water a little easier on the cast. If I plan to be fishing more around heavier cover, be it stumps, laydowns or vegetation, I prefer the slightly longer and stronger rod because I’m able to guide the bait back through limbs a little better on the retrieve and I have a little more backbone to wrestle the fish out of cover.

On the rare occasion I’m fishing something like a super-shallow flat of vegetation on a lake like Okeechobee or Guntersville, I’ll go with a 7-foot, 8-inch medium-heavy Vursa and 50- or even 65-pound Sufix 832 Braid because it allows me to make bomb casts and wrestle fish in through that dense cover. But if you do something like that, you’ll definitely want to go with a vibrating jig with a super reliable line tie like the Z-Man ChatterBait Elite or Z-Man ChatterBait Custom. These are the two vibrating jigs I use the most because I can rely on the line ties not to fail, even with braid. The line tie is a weak point on some vibrating jigs and can break your heart when trying to pull a 7-pounder 80 feet through a pasture of hydrilla in a foot of water.