When fishing heavy vegetation, whether choked cabbage and coontail beds or thick stands of reeds, a high-speed reel can be a godsend for quickly hauling bass out of harm’s way.
While a pitching a California Reservoir Lures’ Grass Poison jig tipped with a Trigger X Flappin’ Craw in a recent tournament, for example, I needed to hook and haul beefy largemouths out of both types of vegetation before the fish could dig back into the greenery, or wrap the line around the reed stems.
My go-to reel for red-line applications is a Lew’s Tournament Pro Speed Spool baitcaster, which features a 7.1:1 gear ratio. I know there are even speedier reels out there, but this is just the ticket for powering bass out of cover.
Lew’s Tournament Pro Speed Spool.
Of course, a fast reel isn’t much help if you’re not ready when a bass bites. Pay attention to what’s going on, and be prepared to hit the fish with a hard hookset the second you feel anything different on the end of the line. Start reeling as fast as you can, too, and keep reeling as you pull the bass out of cover toward the surface.
As a footnote, there are different schools of thought on what type of line to use for bass in cover. Some anglers favor stout monofilament, because the line’s stretch results in a smaller hole in the bass’ mouth, reducing the chance of losing the fish. I prefer superbraid such as Sufix 832 in camo coloration, for the sensitivity and control it offers. Braid also slices vegetation like a knife, giving you yet another tactical advantage over bass that might otherwise be lost to the salad.
Bonus Video: $35 Lure Retriever