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Mike’s Muskie Fishing Gear

1. Polarized sunglasses are a must and very good sun screen.

2. A 7 to 7-1/2 foot medium-heavy to heavy action rod, having a lure weight of 1 to 4 ounces.

3. A large frame bait caster reel. E.g. Abu Garcia 6000, 6500c4, 6600; St. Croix Avid AC300A; Diawa Millionaire; Shimano Calcutta or equivalent.

4. Thin diameter, heavy braid line in 50 to 80 pound test. My favorite is Cortland Spectron green.

5. A 7 to 9 inch long stainless steel leader with a ball bearing swivel at one end and a double-lock lure snap on the lure end. Test weight of 90 to 120 pounds.


Assembling the Gear

1. Mount the reel to the rod and tighten the reel wedge jam nut as tight as you can with just your hands.
2. Tightly wind 2 wraps of electrical tape around the center of the reel spool.
3. Feed the line through the pole eyes starting from the end of the pole continuing down the reel.
4. Feed the line through the spool bailer and around the electrical tape on the spool and tie the line tightly around the tape causing it to bury into the tape.
5. Overfill the spool with line; fill to the top of the spool sides.

6. Tie on the leader at the ball bearing swivel, using a doubled line and regular fisherman’s knot.
7. Tighten the line - this is the most important step of all. Load up the boat and take your pole on the water. Attach a lure to the snap on the leader. Drive the boat close to shore and hook the lure to a fixed pier or log. Press the spool release button and back up until the line is nearly empty from the spool and stop the boat. Shut the engine off. Let the line go slack for a few minutes and become saturated with lake water. Keep the engine off and reel yourself into shore using the weight and friction of the boat to make the line wind in tightly around the spool. This process will prevent the line from burying down into itself as you cast and retrieve. It also prevents the bird-nesting of the line when casting long distances.

I hope this information is helpful in your big fish adventures!

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