River Smallmouth Gear
So my main setup for river smallies is a 6' 6" "St. Croix Triumph" Medium Power Fast Action rod. I bought it for around $80.00 and is a great rod. It's not the most expensive rod in the world but it is super lightweight, balanced, and sensitive.A lot of people use longer rods for extra casting distance, but the extra length can be awkward when you are trying to bushwhack to get to your fishing spot. The medium power is perfect because I can cast lures weighing anywhere from 1/16 oz to 3/8 oz effectively. This way I can use one rod for a number of techniques. I picked the fast action because it has the perfect taper for jigging (one of the main techniques I use). To soft of a taper and the rod would absorb all the energy while trying to jig the lure up and down, to fast of a taper and when you try to set the hook you would rip it right out of the fishes mouth. Also, the fast action taper aids in getting my lure out of thick weedy cover and minimizes me getting stuck in snags.For a reel I use a "Shimano Symetre 2500 FL". The reel is super lightweight, and has high quality bearings which allows for a super smooth reel. Many people use 1000 size reels when river fishing but the bigger size arbor on the reel gives you extra casting distance and let's you bring more line in when retrieving. This reel I purchased for just over $100. This setup is my favorite for river smallmouth bass fishing
and 95% I will be using it for them. The only time I will use a different setup is when fishing in smaller creeks and I have to downsize the lures I'm throwing. There I will usually use a light power rod paired with a 1000 size reel.As for lures I mostly use tubes, but I also use hair jigs, soft plastics, and the odd spinner. For tubes the main sizes I use are anywhere from 2.5- 3.5 inches. I rarely go outside these sizes. The main tube I usually use is a 2.75 "Strike King Bitsy Tube" usually in the "Pumpkin Green Flake" color. The color "Green Pumpkin" is also a strong producer.They are usually rigged on a 1/8 oz jig head. This weight lets it sink slow enough but has enough weight in case there is some current involved. If the fish are very aggressive I will usually up size to a "Phenix Tournament Tackle" 3.5 inch tube in "Gobie" colour. This is usually rigged on an 1/8 oz tube jig-head but I will sometimes up-size the weight if I'm dealing with faster current or deeper water. These two types of tubes are great because they are durable and mimic the crayfish in rivers so well. When I fish these tubes I usually jig it a couple inches of bottom at a slow to medium rate, and if the bite is slow I will sometimes let the tube sit on a bottom for a few seconds.The hair jigs and soft plastics I use are usually worked the same way. If the fish are more interested in flash and color that particular day I will throw a "Mepps" spinner in 1-3 size. Silver or black blade colours are usually very effective. When working this bait I will try to keep it off bottom as much as possible to prevent snagging . I also work it at a medium to fast rate.https://www.facebook.com/CanadianRiverAnglerTV//www.canadianriveranglertv.com/
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