Pro-Staff gear recommendations: Freshwater

Continuing our look at some of the best gear used by Fishbrain pro staff, we caught up with Misty Wells to talk about her bass setup. Normally known for her saltwater fishing, Misty is packing her bass gear on the way to a fishing tournament hosted by country music start, Luke Combs.

Pro-Staff gear recommendations: Freshwater

Freshwater fishing gear has come a long way since cane poles and worms on hooks. The worm may have stayed, but the cane pole has transformed into some of the finest fishing rods we have ever seen. We are always looking for the next rod, reel, or lure that will make our favorite pastime even more enjoyable. Fantastic rods and reels no longer cost and arm and a leg and the baits we fill our tackle boxes with are better than ever. 

The vast selection of all these can be intimidating, however, when you're looking to upgrade your rod and reel combo, or tackle box.

Last week we interviewed Fishbrain pro staffer Chasten Whitfield on the gear she uses specifically for inshore saltwater in her home waters of Tampa Bay. This week we are taking our magnifying glass on gear to the freshwater with Fishbrain pro staffer Misty Wells.

Wells usually spends her time fishing offshore for grouper and snapper in the Tampa Bay area. Next week, however, she's dusting off the freshwater gear to participate in a bass tournament in Tennessee hosted by country singer Luke Combs.  

We caught up with Wells before heading to Tennessee, to see what gear she plans on making a splash with at this inaugural tournament.

The rod: Quantum QX36 one piece 

The Quantum is a graphite rod sensitive enough to feel the slightest takes on a cold day, but the aluminum oxide guides and one piece design are strong enough to handle a ten pounder. 

The medium rod power gives you a perfect mixture of casting distance and accuracy for medium range shots into tight weedbeds, lilies or near structures like sunken trees.

The reel: Abu Garcia MaxToro baitcaster

Smooth, sleek and with 20 pounds of drag Wells’s Max reel keeps the backlashes to a minimum and stops bucket mouths from getting into snags. This power and functionality is packaged in a low-profile with five stainless steel bearings that provide a smooth operation that will help Wells place nicely in the upcoming tournament.

The line: Moss green braid 40 lb vicious fishing

Florida’s bass waters are often colored in a deep green and your line needs to match it to blend in. Wells likes to run moss green braid from Vicious Fishing to fool line shy lunkers in the weeds. The 40 pound durability will hold up to any bass in Florida and there is almost no stretch, or give, to this ultra stiff line. Combining this powerful line with the rod and reel combo mentioned above gives Wells the ultimate power to horse a large bass away from anything it can get tangled in. Docks, branches, lilies and weeds will be of no use to a bucket mouth when this 40 pound braid is tied to your hook.

The lures: Whopper Plopper/Googan Squad Mini Zinger spinner bait

(Bass caught on Whopper Plopper)

Topwater strikes are the pinnacle of bass fishing. The Whopper Plopper is masterful at creating topwater disruptions to get bass and other predatory fish’s attention. The front acts as a stick bait, while the tail is pliable and rotates. Each twitch of the fishing rod creates a satisfying plop that will get the attention of bass, pike, muskie and other predators. 

Wells likes the Plopper because she can use it in a variety of ways. She can crawl it slowly over, or on the edge of, a weed bed, or give it some speed for frantic splashing that will trigger an instinctive bite.

The two razor sharp table hooks are sure to latch on to whatever mouth that envelopes them and are just as sure to not let go.

(Spinner bait getting it done)

When the topwater bite isn’t on, Wells goes for a tried and true spinner bait, like the Googan Squad Mini Zinger, or the Mission Tackle Spinnerbait Colorado. The sights and sounds of one of the classic bass baits are exactly what you need on warm days, when fish are active, but maybe not looking toward the surface.

Make sure to follow Misty Wells as she travels with this gear and more to Tennessee to compete in Luke Combs’ upcoming bass tournament. 

Also make sure to check out these great gear options and more on the Fishbrain Shop for your own tournament needs, or for that relaxing day on the lake.

Now let’s go fishing. Misty will bring the Whopper Plopper 

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