Getting Started: Tackle - What to use? by Gord Burton

This is a dodgy question having rods on the market carrying my name but here's a good guide on what are required. The ideal rod length for fishing with light to mid weight range topwater and crankbaits is something in the eight to nine foot range with a reasonable stiff action, after all its pike were after and such a rod is needed for setting the hooks on the strike and playing what could turn out to be very big fish. Such rods can be fished with a fixed spool reel or a multiplier, the choice is yours.

For larger topwater plugs, crankbaits and Jerkbaits etc then a specialist rod is essential and something in the six and half to seven and a half foot trigger grip medium heavy action rods are needed which must be used in conjunction with a multiplier reel. You can still cast many lightweight pike lures with these set-ups because I have done it for years. For those anglers still using mono lines around fifteen pounds test is advisable choice of line strength, but for use of heavy and long range casting and Jerkbaits fishing the fused and braided lines must be the choice.

They will stand up to rigours that go with this kind of fishing. Personally I use 20lbs test Fireline for a great deal of my general fishing for pike and for the heavy duty stuff its 30lbs Fireline and 50lbs test Power Pro. Both of these lines I have put through rigorous trials and they have never let me down.

Traces are also very important and I use several styles. Stranded traces are 30lbs test seven strand wire around 14" in length with a strong swivel on one end and a Duo-lok snap on the other, if continually long casting big crankbaits the wire strength is stepped to 60lbs test this will stand up to the stress of such work, but never over work a trace, regularly give it a check for kinks or use titanium traces.

For fishing spinners and bucktails a ball-bearing swivel is used on the trace as this assists in eliminating line twist. Although I often use this type of trace for Jerkbaits a stiff wire type of 100lbs test and around 12" in length is best for the job.

Finally, a pair of hook cutters and long-nosed pliers for unhooking purposes and a hook sharpening file are what I regard vital pieces of equipment.

Gord Burton