Musky America Magazine

Len Hartman wrote an article some years ago sharing his experience regarding matching the rod to the lure being used. Here are his thoughts on: Picking The Right Rod For Muskie If you are a newcomer to Muskie fishing it's easy to pick a rod to catch Muskie with. If you are a regular Muskie fisherman, you are too set in your ways to make a change and nothing will convince you otherwise. But just for the heck of it, try a lighter rod one day, and notice with what ease you will be fishing and at the end of the day you won't feel so tired out. The jerk bait fisherman relies on a short stiff rod and his arms to catch his Muskie. As he gets older he soon goes to a lighter longer rod and wonders why his stubbornness didn't allowed him to change sooner. Jerk baits, being the bigger heavier type lures, one gets the idea that a five foot rod is the way to go. Now I have used the Suick lures and because of their weights soon whittled my size Suick plug. I found a five inch lure weighing three quarters of an ounce was perfect for my needs and took some good size Muskie on them. As I recall, a 37½ pounder was my limit, but the possibilities were there, it is just that I didn't allow enough fishing time with the lure. I fished the Suick on Lake St. Francis, one of the lakes created when they dammed the "Larry" [St. Lawrence]. This was as close as you could get to a typical Wisconsin lake. In casting with regular casting rods and level wind reels you pick the action by the size lure. A stiff tip 5 to 5½ feet long for one ounce or better lures. Here you add two feet by extending the arm in the cast. Pure work, and only if you are in top physical condition will you be able to cast all day. You pick your line weight by your casting ability. Big lures heavy lines...that's the rule of thumb. While experienced jerk bait fishermen use lines to thirty pound test, you will find some going to fifty pound test lines. I don't know why because you are equipped to land a 500 pound fish with that test of line. Figure ten pounds [of Muskie] for each pound of line test. 99 out of a hundred Muskie fishermen are over tackled for their type of fishing and only because they dream of seventy pound Muskie. Most will never catch one over thirty pounds. The Muskie caught by experienced Muskie fishermen do, on occasion, top forty pounds, but they are few and far between.