To begin bass fishing for northern bass in the Midwest, specifically northwest Ohio, southeast Michigan, and northeast Indiana, you will need a basic rod, reel, fishing line, clips and lures. If you have never fished before, you need to start out with good quality equipment that is budget friendly. You have to find out how much you like fishing first and how often you will use your fishing equipment. The rod, reel, line, and clips are the most basic necessity, the rest of your money should be spent on lures.
You need to start out with a 7 foot rod with medium to medium heavy power. This will give you the most versatility to be able to fish most applications. You will be able to finesse fish, power fish, throw light or heavy baits and do almost everything. One rod that fits all of these characteristics is the Ugly Stik by Shakespeare. (Links to buy will be provided at the bottom). The 7 foot Ugly Stik GX2 is a very nice composite rod. You can get them in medium heavy and they have a fairly sensitive tip. You would be do almost anything with this rod and it’s fairly indestructible. The guides for the line can handle, braid, mono, and fluoro type of fishing line.
Your first reel needs to be a spinning reel, not baitcasting. Spinning reels offer you a lot of versatility and are capable of doing anything that a baitcasting reel can do, but baitcasting reels can’t do everything that a spinning reel can. Shakespear makes a combination Ugly Stik and reel combo that retails for around $50, links below. It’s a great combo and has continuous anti-reverse, which is essential. The reels they use are fairly indestructible.
You can also invest in a separate reel that is an upgrade to a beginner reel. Truly, the reel matters more than the rod. Mitchell makes great reels and they last forever. You want a 25-30 size reel. Some manufacturers use 2500-3000 to define the size. Anything bigger would be overkill. Some of the guys on bass fishing tournaments used to use size 40 (4000) reels, mainly to avoid the line twist and so that the line comes off faster and possibly get a further cast, but for our purposes, we will stick to smaller, lighter reels. The newer lines don’t have as many issues with line twist. Those bigger reels and spools are very heavy and awkward.
There are 3 basic kinds of lines, mono, fluoro, and braid. Then you have all kinds of blends. The best line to start out with will be braid. Braid is the strongest type of fishing line. It’s impossible to break and can be used for almost all applications. For beginners, this will be your best friend. The best braid is Spectra’s Power Pro. It was one of the first invented, and is still the best. They’ve improved it over the years and it’s remarkable with what you can do with this braid.
You need high quality clips that won’t break. Most fishing puritans will be upset with us for suggesting clips, but we highly recommend clips. Tying new knots every time you want to change lures is crazy. Like, really crazy. Using clips allows you to switch lures instantly and get your line back in the water fast. Get very strong clips. We’ve all used the smaller, thinner clips, and they have broken off when that monster bass gets hooked. You plan on hooking monster bass right? We recommend Tactical Angler’s clips. See below
We are not affiliated or sponsored by any of the companies mentioned in this article.
Now that you got your basic equipment, we will talk about the basic lures you need to get started.