Originally Posted by toy02ota
How much you looking at spending? I'd suggest paying more for the rod and less for the reel. Honestly the abu is good for most applications (depending on the gear ratio) But a great rod that isn't horribly high is an okuma C3. I have a Med-Hvy 6'6". It is great. Awesome sensitivity. around 100 $ i think. Also Falcon Rod Co. and St. Croix Co. are great too. A little higher tho.
x2 those are some good choices.
What you need is something that can help you be accurate and handle multiple types of lures, on different types of water. In my opinion you need 2 different set ups.
A good spinning combo with a 6 to 6'6'' MH rod around $75-100 will last you a lifetime if you are good to it. String it with 8 or 10 lb test. Use this rod almost solely for plastics, top water plugs, jerk baits, and it also can be used for live bait if you wish.
The next set up should be a good open face reel set up for your moving baits. Spinner baits, crankbaits, bigger jerkbaits, buzzbaits and such. You want a rod that can move the bait at a good rate of speed. Faster than a spinning reel can. When you are shopping for open face reels, get quality, you kind of get what you pay for with this type of set up. Usually string these with 10-14 lb, kind of depends on the water you are on, and the structure.
If you can only afford one rod and reel, get the open face. It would be very versatile and easy to master. An open face set up is not easy to master, it takes practice, and you will cuss it quite a few times when you end up with a big birds nest worth of unspooled string...it happens to everyone.