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Let's Go Fishing!

GET TO KNOW YOUR ZEBCO COMBO: The Three Most Important Components

We understand the excitement of hooking a fish more than anybody. We can think of few things more enjoyable than the tug on the line, and then the challenge of getting that fish to the bank or the boat. For folks who have never experienced catching a fish, we hope you'll find a Zebco rod and reel to be the perfect tool for the accomplishment. And we hope the following tips will help you to get more fish to the bank or boat, and help you get the most out of your Zebco fishing gear.

It's important to understand your fishing equipment. Zebco combos are designed as a package; we match the reel with the rod and the line for the type of fishing you want to do. You're purchasing one product, but you'll be using three different components. Though the reel, rod, and line act together as one tool, each of these three parts of your fishing setup serve a unique purpose and understanding their function better will help you catch more fish. Furthermore, knowing how to use them correctly will also help to extend the life of you gear.

Let's talk about the reel first. Seems simple enough: You cast the line out with a bait on the end, a fish bites the hook and you turn the handle to get the line in, right? Well, yes but the reel serves several other purposes as well. For starters, most Zebco reels have a drag system that is used to provide a way for line to be taken out by the fish under tension. This help keep the line from breaking when the fish decides to put up a big struggle. To start with, you want to set your drag somewhere in the middle of its range, then add more or less as you need to during the battle. Avoid the urge to dial up the drag too heavy, it's better to let the fish take out the line than to increase the chance of breaking it. Besides, when a fish has to work hard against the drag, it will tire more easily.

The gear system in the reel is also another consideration, particularly when it comes to presenting your bait. Many reels are designed with a specific retrieve speed and are used in conjunction with a specific type of retrievable bait (crankbaits, spinnerbaits, topwater poppers, etc.). In general terms, crank bait fishermen prefer a slower retrieve speed (4.1:1 to 5.3:1 for example) and baits like spinnerbaits or jerk baits are better used with higher speed retrieve rates (6.3:1 to 7.3:1). Most Zebco spincast reels have a 3.4:1 or 4.3:1 gear ratio for slower retrieves and a more relaxed bait presentation. Understanding the retrieve speed can help you better present whatever type of bait you happen to be using.


Now lets talk about the rod. For general recreational fishing, a medium action rod is ideal. They provide a lot of sensitivity in order to feel even the slightest nibble, and they have enough strength to control just about every medium-sized species from perch to crappie to smallmouth bass and even some largemouth bass. Most Zebco combo rods are built out of fiberglass which is a very durable material that also provides a smooth even bend across the entire length of the rod. There are many different rod actions available, and they all serve a specific purpose, but most importantly an experienced angler knows how to use the rod to get the most performance from it.

It may seem like all you need to do when you hook a fish is just to keep the rod bent over while you reel it in. This is not the best way to use the rod, and in a lot of cases you could be putting more strain on the rod than it is designed to handle. A bent rod is good, bent too far is not good. Very rarely will you ever need to lift the rod over your head to land a fish. Even when setting the hook, simply lifting the rod quickly just a little will more often than not do the trick. And when you keep your rod lower in front of you, using slower side swipes you'll probably tire out the fish quicker. Remember, a rod's capability is maximized when it's not under excessive stress and is simply being used to provide tension to control the fish.

The third important part of your fishing setup is the line. Zebco reels that are pre-spooled are done so with monofilament line. One of the benefits of monofilament line is its ability to stretch, particularly when its wet. This is a built in safety device against line breakage. Your Zebco reel may be spooled with 4-pound, 8-pound, 10-pound or even heavier line, and even if a larger fish happens to bite you lure, this stretching characteristic can often times be the key to a successful catch. Additionally, this stretching also means you do not need to over-stress the rod in order tire out the fish.

When you add up all of the points of tension provided by your fishing gear, the reel's drag, the bend of the rod and the stretch of the line, as a whole amount you should have plenty of power to land the fish that your Zebco combo was designed for. When you understand how to use each of them correctly, not only will you be a more successful angler, you'll also be able to enjoy your equipment longer by reducing the amount of stress you put on them. Your Zebco rod and reel will give you many years of fishing when you take a little time to get acquainted with each of the components. There's a distinct purpose for every one of them, but together they are designed to do one thing very well…catch more fish!

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