New at Fishing: How to spend $100

OK, this might be the most pain-in-the-butt question to most of you but I’m hoping someone thinks of this as a good challenge. I’m new to fishing (well, fished probably 30 years ago but I forget everything) and want to fish from my Pungo 140 as well as from my 16ft powerboat (yeah, I know I know).

I’m in central NY, on Cayuga Lake in the Finger Lakes and also spend time in the Adirondacks. I don’t even know what kind of fish are here.

so here’s the challenge: If you only wanted to spend $100 and lived near a BassProShop and you were me, what would you buy?? Rod/Reel combo? Which lures? What pound line? A full sized tackle box? Do I need a net?

Anyone want to point me to a good forum for beginning fisherpeople?

Thanks for the patience. Please feel free to throw name brands and even models at me. Or just general tips.


Ithaca, NY

Go Shopping
Go to the pro shop. Tell the person how much you have to spend and what you would like to get. This way you can try many different brands and styles and see what works for you. Also tell them where you will be fishing. They should point you in the right direction for tackle.

Good Luck!

what I would do.
If you’ll be fishing for fish less than 10 pounds.

Bass Pro Shops Micro Light 6’6" spinning rod (Medium Light action) - or a Berkely Lightning Rod of similar length and action. ~$30

Shimano Sidestab spinning reel either the 1000 or 2000 would work fine - ~$30

Depending on what you’ll be fishing for and with or get both - Spiderwire fusion 4lb diameter (no stretch line - or a braided) and some good monofilament or flourocarbon line rated at 6 lbs. - each around $7 per 300 yards

Then spend the rest of your money on a couple plastic lure boxes for a buck or two a piece and some lures.

If I was going to spend $100 I’d go to Wally World. You’ll get more bang for the buck. Get a open face spinning rod/reel combo. I bought a Quantum 7’ light action rod/reel combo for less than $25 there. I’ve had it for 4 years fishing over 100 days a year with no problems. Look for Quantum, Shakespere, Abu Garcia or Okuma. No need to spend big bucks on a rod and reel…yet. When you get addicted like I am then you can throw down some serious money on a rod and reel.

Get some 10 lb. test line, pliers,a net or lip gripper and a small to medium sized tackle box.

Fishing live bait or lures?

Live bait: get some hooks sized 8 to 2. Sinkers from split shot to 1/4 or 1/2 oz. and a slip bobber or two. For bait use worms, shiners or salmon eggs.

Lures: Rapala original minnows, some deeper running crankbaits, Mepps spinners, Rooster tail spinners, Johnson Daredevle spoons, plastic worms and grubs and some lead jig heads. Get a couple of packs of snap swivels, it’ll make changing lures easier.

I grew up near Cortland, NY and we used to catch sunfish, bass, trout, carp, bullheads, perch, pickerel, pike and walleye(?).

Good luck and welcome to the addiction.

Wally World
With all due respect, I disagree about shopping at WalMart. You may pay less, but the extra money you’ll pay at an honest to goodness fishing store is well worth it for the quality of advice and customer service you’ll get. Bass Pro isn’t a bad way to go, but whenever possible, support your local dealers, they are typically far more knowledgeable. Sorry for the unsolicited rant. I agree that you should look for an open faced spinning combo from the likes of Daiwa, Shimano, Abu Garcia, etc. Most of these will serve you well, and for under $50. Get light to medium action, 8-10 pound test monofilament line. You will need to target certain fish to start off with. I would recommend Smallmouth Bass (one of the best gamefish in the world), and Northern Pike, which are aggressive, relatively easy to catch, and a lot of fun. As has been recommended, Rapalas and Mepps spinners are a great place to start. You probably won’t need a net to start with, unless you get into some big pike. $100 should be plenty to get you started. Good luck!

Pungo fishing
I fish from a Pungo 140. I have:

Ugly Stick 6’6" spinning rod

Shamano Reel

10lb test Fireline

A Berkley Lip Gripper (you don’t want

to mess with a net on a kayak)

Assorted Rapala minnows,

Spinners, Spoons, and soft baits.

Once you start fishing from your kayak, you’ll get a feel as to what works for you. You will have a blast. Good luck. Jim

Bass Pro Shops…
…the man defined his shopping place as Bass Pro Shops, so there he goes.

Talk to the staff and see what works for the people fishing where you fish. Whether I like to admit it or not, the lure and presentation is more important than the exact rod/reel/line I use. I caught the biggest bass of my life on a $2 Jitterbug casting a $10 Berkley Cherrywood rod and an $8 Johnson spincast reel. I haven’t used any of them in years, but it proved that it was the right lure, in the right place, at the right time.

So, hopefully you have a preference for the style of rod reel you are comfortable with–something that casts reasonably far, holds enough quality line (I like SpiderLine Fusion because it lasts forever and costs about the same as monofilament), and will last longer than a season or two. If stuck with only one rod/reel and lures for $100, here is what I would choose first “up north”:

Shakespeare Catera spinning reel $25 on sale. 5 ball bearings, I can’t believe how nice this reel works for being so inexpensive. It was also named (after I bought it) a Best Buy by Outdoor Life. Still kicking away after 2 years’ hard use.

Rod–this one is tough. There are ton of quality rods out there. Ugly Stiks are very durable, but the ones I have owned were heavier and poorly balanced. I currently use a Shakespeare Intrepid—$15 on sale–but I don’t trust it to last very long. I suggest finding a brand-name 6-foot spinning rod on sale like a Shimano, Berkley, or Quantum, and make sure you like the action of the rod for the size of lures you use. If you fish light, go a little whippier. If you fish heavy or throw a lot of crankbaits and spinnerbaits, get something a little heavier.

Line: Spiderwire Fusion is great as noted, but if you want something a little less visible to fish, I like 6-lb Berkley Iron Silk. It is not cheap, but it will last longer than a cheap spool of no name monofilament. If they don’t make Iron Silk in a color you like, just find some regular Stren or Trilene in clear; it will do fine. I don’t like the “Extra Tough” because it seems to hold a lot of coil memory for me.

Lures: Assuming you now have about $35 left after taxes, I would ask the clerks in Bass Pro Shops what works well. If they steer you obviously astray ("buy the huge ‘big-name-bass-pro-junk-pack!’ "), then I would start with the following in this order:

–One 3-inch floating Rapala in black/silver ($5).

–One package of 6-inch plastic worms ($3) in black, smoke, or pumpkinseed. I like curly tails because you can pinch them off and have a shorter, jig/worm when the fish are being picky.

–One package of 2/0 worm hooks or Aberdeen hooks (if you laugh at Aberdeen, Roland Martin used them for years) ($2).

–One small package of 0-sized pinch-on sinkers (cheaper than worm weights and work just as well–also come off the line more easily. You can also put one ahead of the Rapala and fish it as a sinking lure) ($2).

–One medium-sized yellow or white spinnerbait. No brand preference. If you like, you can substitute a medium-sized Johnson Silver Minnow. ($3), and use either of them in weeds, rocks, or lilly pads.

–One or two 1/8 ounce maribou Blakemore Road Runners, one in black, the other the color of your choice. ($3)

–One noisy surface lure. This depends a LOT on your local fishing conditions. I tend to like a yellow/white/red Popper-type lure with a spinner on the tail, but I have to carve and assemble them myself to get what I am looking for. Rebel Poppers are about $4.

–One deep-diving crankbait in a crayfish pattern. My personal favorite is a light brown Bomber 5A with the long lip, but I also like the Cordell big-O, Rapala Fat-Rap, and Norman Deep N. The Bomber is under $4.

The remaining $9 I would spend on tiny lures–a little jig, a spinner, a bucktail streamer, and a small jigging spoon. Add a piece of a worm or a sectioned nightcrawler to any of the above and you might turn a hopeless day into a decent day.

Good luck!

where do you keep the fish you catch?
In a Pungo or other open cockpit boat, Where do you keep the fish as you catch them? Please tell me I’m not supposed to toss that catfish between my legs! Soft-sided cooler? Bucket?

thanks, guys. your advice should get me started. I began spending money tonight and am now itching to get out there and toss a line. I bought a Quantum Pulse PL30 reel on ebay for $36 including shipping. Comes with a spare spool and takes 8lb. line. Seemed like a good deal on a good reel. It’s a beginning.

Thanks again for the advice. I really appreciate it.


Ithaca, NY

Why didn’t you say so? I’m guessing you’re the type of guy who doesn’t want to fish too hard. Kind of take it easy and enjoy the time on the water (congratulations, I envy you, I’m psychopathic when fishing).

I agree with what several people have said:

Low end Shimano (or Shakespeare) spinning reel ~$20

Medium action rod rated for 8-10 lbs line, 6’, give or take 6", ~$20 (buy what feels good to you )

8-10 lbs Stren Original line ~$5 (mono is easier to tie knots in, more forgiving, etc, than most super lines) Super lines are great, but not worth the extra cash if your just fishing for the hell of it.

Then buy:

Tru-turn hooks, some size 2 and 4: $5

Thill (or generic) clip on bobbers: $5

Assorted split shot: $3

Assorted egg sinkers: $3

Two dozen crawlers: $3

Couple beers: $4

Determine where fish are feeding (bottom/suspended) attach bobber if necessary. Put worm on hook and crack beer. Relax. Catch sunnies, bass, catfish, etc.

I put the fish I catch in a mesh laundry bag bought from Walmart and throw them between my legs when paddling on Scupper Pro. Gets pretty heavy with 15 cats in it, but the mesh prevents most scratches.


Have a great time

– Last Updated: Jul-24-04 10:47 AM EST –

Oh - Your a Lady, me also. Sounds like you found the rod and reel. I like the 'ugly stick' rods and for fresh water I always use zebco reels. I also fish in salt water using either a bigger ugly stick or a shimano rod and so far my favorite reel for that is the garcia reel. But I learned to fish before I could walk and just recently bought my yak... I caught my first fish from the yak last weekend, a Redfish in saltwater - 28 inches!--I was so unprepared that I almost released it. But it was great for dinner almost all week! Have a great time and let us know what you catch! cw

On my ScupperPro
I keep a soft-sided cooler stuffed into the milk crate in my tankwell. A couple of those blue ice bricks keep em fresh for several hours. I don’t want any snarling, chomping bluefish anywhere near my cockpit ; )

Hey Tim - what’s bling bling?

More free advice…

– Last Updated: Jul-24-04 4:01 PM EST –

worth every nickle you'll pay for it...

You might consider starting out fishing for good ole bream and catfish with live crickets, worms and/or minnows. By targetting bream/perch and catfish you should experience a higher degree of success which will likely serve to feed your desire to fish more often. It's what we start the kids on for the same reasons.

Local fishermen on the water and at the docks will be your best resource for advice. You'll likely get a little extra attention and advice being female and fishing from that "funny lookin" little boat.

When fishing for catfish I carry a pair of wire cutters. I clip their fins off before putting them in a soft sided cooler.

WalMart sells a soft sided cooler made by California Innovations called a Thermal Freezer Tote. It sells for about $8. It folds over and will fit between your ankles with minimal hassle.

Add a couple of those frozen blue things, keep the tote bag in the shade, and you're set for a 3-5 hour outing. I like to bring 1/2 of an old bath towel to line the cooler with to help ensure the bag isn't punctured by fins. Keep the frozen blue things on top of the fish (cold air moves down).

Good luck! Tight lines!



Where ya from Cher'? Sounds like you're a Loozyanna goil. "been fishing since before I could walk".

almost LA
Yak_a_lou… I can tell you are a smart fisher, very excellent advice. My Mom claims to be cajun and was born in la as you thought. Yes she put the fishing pole in my hand as I sat on a blanket when I was just a baby. Mom used to go fishing every morning before 5am so she could clean up for work before 7am. Im not that devoted to fishing at all, but I do find it a to be relaxing and fun! Mom is getting older now and does good to fish once a week. I live on the south texas coast. Where do you live?

Close counts…
in horseshoes, hand grenades and cajun bloodlines.

We’re between Baton Rouge & New Orleans but we head for the coast (Fourchon/Grand Isle) whenever possible. Right now, it just ain’t possible. The Honey-do list is overwhelming and MUST receive attention ASAP. whine

Have you discovered the good folks at yet? They have a few female type yak-fisher-persons signed up on their site as well. They’re a pretty active group along the coast.

Spend some of that money…
on membership in a good fishing club. I’m a member of trout unlimited and it was the best $18.00 I spent on fishing. I’m currently looking for a good Bass Club here in N.J.