Featured on Fisherman's Blues - Talksport2
Lure fishing for pike can be as simple as you make it, essentially all you need is a rod and reel with a mainline tied to a trace and then attach your favourite lure and you’re good to throw!
But what’s more complicated is the huge range of rod and reel combinations out there and knowing which is right for your fishing. Get it right and you could be in for a lot of fun, get it wrong and you may have just wasted your hard-earned money.
This short guide sets out to explain just a few rod and reel combinations and what they’re best used for when it comes to pike fishing, whether that be lure fishing for pike or dead baiting for pike.
Ultra-light lure rod and reel combination
Rod weight: 2g – 10g
Reel size: 1000
Ultra-light fishing can be a lot of fun when it comes to fishing for predators, especially pike. What’s better than travelling light, covering lots of water with a rod, a net and a handful of lures right? You’d typically find with an ultralight setup you’d be good to catch pike up to the weight of around 6-8lb, above that you might struggle to gain control of the fight, risking snapping off or worse snagging the fish.
Pros when using an Ultra-light rod and reel combination
- The outfit is light enough to also use for perch, chub and some zander fishing with lures.
- It’s light-weight and tends to be smaller so less weight to carry.
- Paired with a strong enough braid you can have a lot of fun.
Cons when using an Ultra-light rod and reel combination
- Bigger pike might prove difficult to control and could lead to a break of the main line or snagging up.
- Ultra-light reels tend to be smaller meaning you won’t have as much line loaded on, impeding your casting range.
- Your limited to smaller lures due to the lighter casting weight of the rod.
Medium-weight lure rod and reel combination
Rod weight: 10g – 30g
Reel size: 2500 – 3500
A medium-weight rod and reel combination is where we think you get the most out of your fishing when it comes to lure fishing for pike. Medium-weighted rods tend to be the general work-horse in many types of fishing – not just for predators! A medium-weighted rod and reel combination will allow you to target larger pike as well as the jacks, zander and even specimen perch. If you’re new to predator fishing and looking for a place to begin we recommend this option.
Pros when using a medium-weighted rod and reel combination
- The outfit is a good place to begin your lure fishing journey for predators.
- Allows you to target a wide variety of predatory fish on lures including pike, perch, chub and zander.
- Has enough back-bone to control the fight in almost all situations.
Cons when using a medium-weighted rod and reel combination
- May not be heavy enough to cast the larger and heavier lures.
- Bites from smaller perch or zander are possible to miss where a more finessed approach with a lighter set-up may be more suitable.
Heavyweight lure rod and reel combination
Rod weight: 40g+
Reel size: 3500 – 4500+
At the most extreme end of the scale, we have the heavyweight setups, these are the ‘broomsticks’ of the sport and great for casting the biggest lures on the market. Each rod manufacturer has their own casting weight range for their rods so it’s important you know what the rod is capable of before you purchase. The weight is typically mentioned in grams and this correlates to the weight of the lures you’ll be throwing or trolling. You’d tend to up the reel size with a heavier rod and lure set-up as it offers more line capacity for a thicker mainline as well as allowing you to cast further.
Pros when using a heavy-weighted rod and reel combination
- Allows you to cast the biggest lures on the market.
- The rods tend to have enough backbone to cast medium to heavy lures much further.
- Larger reels offer more range when it comes to casting.
Cons when using a heavy-weighted rod and reel combination
- Unless you fish for large predators including pike, zander or even some catfish in most situations this outfit may be too heavy.
- Bites from smaller predators are difficult to detect.
- This set-up can be heavy and uncomfortable to carry all day.
Dead baiting rod and reel combinations
Rod weight: 2lb – 3lb test curve
Reel size: 3500 – 4500+
When it comes to dead baiting for pike you can be less picky in what you use. Of course, there are rods and reels you can purchase that are dedicated to this style of fishing but they aren’t always necessary.
If you have a carp fishing rod (2.75lb – 3lb test curve is ideal) and a medium to big pit-style reel you’re almost good to go. Be sure to change your mainline from mono to braid, use a trace (whether you float fish for pike or ledger) and then add a dead bait.
There is no better experience than getting out there and testing rods and reels for yourself, you’ll quickly learn that one rod may not be heavy enough to cast certain lures, or that another just doesn’t offer the finesse style of fishing you’re looking for. That said it can be an expensive endeavour in doing so.
Our recommendation, if you’re new to predator/pike fishing, is to begin in the middle with a medium-weighted rod and reel combination. This will allow you to fish safely and still enjoy the battles. When you’ve caught enough fish with this set up you’ll then know which direction to take with your next purchase based on what you want to target (bigger fish) or whether you might want to try a different approach that requires a lighter or heavier rod and reel combination.
- Is it important to have the correct weighted rod for differing-sized lures?
Not necessarily, after all, a heavyweight rod and reel will catch you even the smallest pike or perch but what you’ll find is bites can be tougher to detect or the action isn’t right when playing the fish.
- Can I use a carp fishing rod and reel for dead baiting?
Absolutely yes you can. If you’re new to pike fishing but also have a carp set up anything around the 2.75lb – 3lb test curve rods will do nicely. Be sure to switch your mono line for braid and use a trace though.
- Is there a rod and reel combination that will do for most of my lure fishing?
As mentioned above if you’re looking for a rod and reel combination that will serve for almost all types of lure fishing we’d recommend a medium-weighted outfit.
- What happens if my lure fishing set-up is too heavy?
If your rod and reel set up is too heavy you’ll still catch fish but you might find bites difficult to detect from smaller fish such as perch, or you’re ‘over-gunned’ for the fish to put up a good account of itself.
- What happens if my lure fishing set-up is too light?
If you are fishing with a light-weight rod and reel combo this can be great for perch, smaller pike and zander but when you catch a monster you could find you’ve lost control of the fight – or worse the mainline breaks or the fish snags you.