Best Musky Rod and Reel Combo Reviews and Buying Guide
Musky is like the king of freshwater. There are the biggest and the most powerful fishes of all. If you have been fishing for a very long time, you already know that fishing muskies will need equipment that area made rock solid.
The first thing you will need to buy as a musky angler is the right rod for fishing, and the second will be the reel.
We have gone through some of the best musky rods and reels in the market. Considering the factors like budget and value for the money, these will lure those fishes to on your line for sure.
Best Overall – St. Croix Rods (LM86MHF) Musky Fishing Rod
- 0.1 Best Overall – St. Croix Rods (LM86MHF) Musky Fishing Rod
- 0.2 Best for Beginner – St Croix Mojo Musky Rods
- 0.3 Best Value – SHIMANO Sojourn 1-Piece Casting Muskie Rod
- 0.4 Best Heavy Action – Okuma EVx-C-861XHT-FG EVx Musky Telescopic Rod
- 0.5 Best Overall – SHIMANO Tranx 500 Fishing Reel
- 0.6 Best Baitcasting Musky Reel – Daiwa LEXA-HD400PWR-P Lexa Type HD
- 0.7 Best Built – Shimano Corvalus 300 Freshwater Fishing Reel
- 0.8 Best Low-Profile Musky Reel – Abu Garcia Toro S Low Profile Reel
- 1 How to Choose the Best Musky Rod and Reel Combo? Buying Guide
- 1.1 Choosing the best rod
- 1.2 The perfect rod capacity
- 1.3 The perfect length with the perfect action
- 1.4 Choosing the perfect reel for muskies
- 1.5 The right drag weight
- 1.6 The right combination of reel and rod
- 1.7 How long should a musky rod be?
- 1.8 What is the best bait for musky
- 1.9 Why musky fishing is hard
- 2 Fishing Tips and Guidance for Musky
- 2.1 Best Season for Musky Fishing
- 2.2 Best Time in a Day for Musky Fishing
- 2.3 Proper Way to Reel in a Musky
- 2.4 Use a Tough Long Leader
- 2.5 Manage the Setup Properly
- 2.6 States for Musky Fishing
- 2.7 Where Do you Find Muskie in a Lake?
- 2.8 Bait for Catching Musky
- 2.9 Storing Musky After Fish
- 2.10 Trolling Tips for Musky
- 2.11 Regulations on Musky Hunting
- 2.12 Tips for Catch and Releasing a Musky
- 2.13 Removing Lure from Muskies
- 2.14 Removing the Hook
- 2.15 Don’t Forget to Try the Weed Line.
- 2.16 Musky VS Pike: Difference and Similarity for Angler
- 2.17 Musky
- 2.18 Pike
- 2.19 People Also Ask About the Best Musky Rod Reel Combo
- 2.20 Conclusion
To start the discussion, we will begin with the best musky rod available at a very affordable price range. With comfort and heavy-duty performance, we considered this one as the best musky rod for fishing.
So, what makes it stand out from the rest?
This has been made for the rod power and the stability that most affordable rods cannot offer for musky fishing. Muskies are generally very powerful when setting the hook, they will pull the rod hard, and if the rod power is low, it will surely break down. But with this rod, you will be covered.
The strength of this musky rod is to let you play with the big fish with comfort and reel it in rather quickly, especially if you want to release the fish. You can be assured that the advanced reinforcement will give you a better strength to fight with the big fishes.
Though it has advanced reinforcement, it is not that thick at all. But you can definitely feel the heft this fishing rid has. Compared to all the other rods, this is sleek and has good maneuvering capability.
On the other hand, the overall medium-heavy action is smooth. Because of the distributed weight and action distribution, you will have the confidence to easily fight with big musky fishes. Regardless of the strength and the rod length of 8’6″, it is lightweight and more suited for beginners. You can easily catch 30 to 6 lbs. of fishes, and this rod can handle them all.
The guides are also made for sports category performance. Graphite finish on the inner layer gives it smoothness.
- Super long length with satisfactory strength for catching musky fish
- Advanced reinforcement does make it thick and keeps it more compact
- This casting rod comes with heavy power
- Comes with medium-heavy action for perfect muskie hunting
- This musky rod is made explicitly for muskie fishing
- The action distribution can set you off as a beginner
Best for Beginner – St Croix Mojo Musky Rods
Another St Croix musky rod. We are including this because of the reliability St Croix has throughout the anglers community. This is far cheaper than the last one. Most possibly, this is made for the people who are starting to get into musky fishing.
Being the best beginner musky rod, what does it offer to attract the professional?
The easy handling of the rod doesn’t only help the beginners but also lets the pro angler benefit. With it, the fast action and far superior capacity will give you more to deal with.
It may not be as long as the LM86MHF model, but the rod length of 7 inches is better for playing with the musky. If you are deep into the lakes, getting muskies that are over 6 lbs of weight is going to give you the advantage to fight with bigger fishes.
The most beautiful thing about this rod that most people like is the line guide. You can quickly go through several years with braided lines, and it is not even going to show you a scratch at all.
You should match an Abu Garcia TORO or Shimano reel to get a nice balance for catching musky. On the other hand, this feels super strong and stable.
You will also get amazed by the quality of the handle. It is made of high-quality cork elements that give a good grip and yet no slippage.
- Weight and the capacity ratio is super-efficient for big fishes
- Line guide rails last longer than most of the average ones
- This musky rod comes with very comfortable grips and handles for holding it long
- Fast and top-heavy action rod is efficient for musky
- Easy to handle and maintain for a long time
- The cork handles can be felt rough on long fishing sessions
Best Value – SHIMANO Sojourn 1-Piece Casting Muskie Rod
The most incredible thing people like about SHIMANO Sojourn is that this comes in one piece. This graphite blank makes it more lightweight for traveling and handling.
The decent price point, lightweight design, graphite rigid composite construction, and comfortable grip are why we reviewed this item. The only complaint we have is the support. The first order came without the tip eyelet. And the second-order came fine, but the packaging was a mess. So, the service support has to improve a bit. However, the product was up to mark at any angle.
These handles are super tough, and they feel amazing when it is about to fight time. The thick and full handle feels robust and solid on hand. These are not like the regular ones that can be found on any other fishing rods. These are some of the custom cork handles made especially for this rod.
The reel seat, along with the super solid trigger, is necessary for bigger fishes like muskies. Those guides on this rod are perfect for small reels. They are low profile and made of aluminum.
So, it is impossible to damage and decay those aluminum metal parts.
The overall value you can only count on this rod is the price range. These are not that expensive rods yet provide a premium experience and feel on long fishing sessions. These super long (rod length) 8 feet rods with fast action will help you a lot when it is about those big fishes.
- A very inexpensive fast action rod with top-grade stability
- A perfect casting rod for fighting big fishes
- Longer rod of 8 feet in length for better performances in fishing
- Fast rod with high gear ration is going to help you get a good result easily
- The custom shape cork handle might become a bit awkward for beginners
Best Heavy Action – Okuma EVx-C-861XHT-FG EVx Musky Telescopic Rod
Okuma EVx-C-861XHT-FG EVx is specially made for using braided lines for a very long time. If you see overall specifications, you will see that it can easily handle braided lines for a very long period. The line guides are made smooth, and it has been coated with zirconium which will be necessary for reel and rod combo for muskies.
It is mentioned in the spec sheet that these graphite blanks are made of premium quality materials. The tips are the real deal here.
Though it is a one-piece telescopic model, it will never feel that loose or never going to come loose. The accuracy of this quality reel is on point if you practice enough with this for enough time.
If you talk about the versatility, you can not only use it to catch muskies but also use it for long castings. It is made to cast long distances. The over 8 feet in length is going to let you cast further for sure.
- Perfectly combines the power, price, and the action combination
- This is capable of taking any kind of braided lines for a long time
- Can play with larger fish, trouts, walleye, etc
- The line guides are stable and sturdy
- As a long one-piece rod, it is a bit hard to carry around
Best Overall – SHIMANO Tranx 500 Fishing Reel
Now it will be time to look at some of the best reels for muskie fishing. This reel is made for big fishes.
What makes it ideal to be recommended in this list?
In general, SHIMANO Tranx has incredible built quality, and it has the power to easily fight muskies. 6.6:1 gear ratio will give you fast winding and yet the power you will need to hook up the fish on your line.
We also liked that the low-profile design with egg shape technologies like Shimano’s other models makes it rather popular in the USA.
The “8 balls bearing” setting lets you put up to 25-27 pounds of drag, making you confident enough to play with big fishes.
When it comes to the gears’ quality and feel on this reel, it is all smooth and sleek. You will not feel any kind of jittering while fishing. Overall, aluminum construction is perfect for long-term usages.
The gears on the inside give it a long-lasting lifetime. Rated X-ship is a technology or a design language with which you will find the gears smoother on lightweight to heavy loads.
As soon as you unbox this piece of gear material, you will see that it has a low profile built. It is lightweight, and you can take this with you however you like to.
- A premium quality saltwater reel which is perfect for muskies
- Can drag up to 27 pounds
- Low profile musky reel for smoother experiences
- The gears with the integrated technology ensure top-notch quality
- Lightweight and compact for traveling with ease
- These are expensive fishing reels
Best Baitcasting Musky Reel – Daiwa LEXA-HD400PWR-P Lexa Type HD
This is another compact fishing reel that comes in only black color. You should go for Daiwa LEXA if you are looking for an exceptional set within a budget range. The most attractive and pleasing thing about this reel is the knobs and wheels. All of them have satisfying clicks, which are necessary for the best feeling on hand.
The drag knob is big and convenient. You can change the drag weight on the go according to your need. It is excellent if you want to adjust after you have got the musky on your fishing line.
If you are worried about the quality of the metal, it is super-premium, and there is no clue it will have any corrosion or rust at all. The outer black layer is there to protect this from any oxidation in any water condition.
The handle is another reason you should buy this. It is big and bold. This fits inside your palm easily. The EVA grip over this handle is impressive. It does not slip off from your palm easily.
- All the knobs are dials are clicky, and they are all accessible easily
- It has good heft and solid built quality
- Comes with heavy power for handling musky
- Handles are super comfortable and have a good grip
- The gear ratio might seem low for fast operation
Best Built – Shimano Corvalus 300 Freshwater Fishing Reel
Shimano is one of the companies that make some of the best gears for sports and performance. In design, this is not made to be compact and portable. It is made of thick metal and a combination of high-grade elements. The rounded shape is for the best experience in casting and rough and tough usage.
The traditional high-profile design is the best design language if you want to get more out of these gears. When you are cranking the handle, you will feel that the thicker gears are giving you the most out of this reel.
The stopper assistance is a great thing to have if you are a versatile angler. It is a variable all-rounder that is going to give you an on-the-fly adjustment system. You can change all the mechanisms like drag weight, braking system while casting. The consistent braking system is a must-have for accurate casting and longer casting distance.
Despite the considerable weight, this is considered the most wanted reel because of the robust built quality. We have actually mentioned this in this list because of this built quality.
- Made of solid aluminum cast and robust feel on hand
- The price range is in the affordable range
- Sturdy build quality makes it ideal for trophy musky and Pike
- Thicker and more consistent gear mechanisms for handling big fish
- This is a heavy unit, and you might have to struggle on long fishing sessions.
Best Low-Profile Musky Reel – Abu Garcia Toro S Low Profile Reel
Abu Garcia Toro S is in the lower range because of the capacity. But this is mentioned because of the size and ratio difference. This compact reel is almost tiny as 6 inches, but you can quickly get up to 60 lbs of fish in this. The drag adjustment is cool enough to give you this range of capacity.
This is not recommended as a musky reel, but you can still get a lot out of this. This is mot probably the most versatile fishing reel in this review. Any one of these rods is compatible with this. The reel seat offers a better area for handling large fish to set more giant reels for musky fishermen.
The best part of this reel is that you can palm it in your hand quickly. This is so compact and lightweight that you barely have to struggle to carry this in your carriage.
Another big thing that is worth mentioning is availability. You will find this in both left and right-handed designs. These handles are super grippy, and the thicker handle knob is going to make everything handier.
- A minimal and lightweight design language for long fishing sessions
- Corrosion resistance metal used in construction
- Consistent gear mechanism combined
- The high-quality braking system of this reel are a must-haves for big fishes
- Capacity is not that great
- Thicker braided lines can be a bit struggling to use with this reel
How to Choose the Best Musky Rod and Reel Combo? Buying Guide
Musky is one of the fishes that anglers find more challenging to get to. The most annoying thing about musky fishes is that these are worth fighting for. You will have to have a more robust and hard-hitting rod and reel combo for fighting muskies.
We have mentioned four reels and four rods that are some of the bests in the market.
You can buy two of these and use them as combos; that just works fantastic. We will mention some of the criteria that you should maintain to make sure that you are not wasting your money on things that are not worthy.
Choosing the best rod
Muskellunge is the most prominent member of their family, and with your basic instinct, you can be sure that you have to use the best and the most robust musky rod and reel combo to get the best experience.
The perfect rod capacity
Muskellunge, generally known as musky, can weigh up to 50 to 6 lbs. This incredible weight is the reason you should give more attention to the spinning rod capacity.
In general, if you are living in North America, you can find these muskies in 40 to 5 pounds. In this case, you should make sure that the rod capacity should be more than 65 to 70 pounds.
The perfect length with the perfect action
As Muskies are some of the most giant fishes in the lakes, you should try to reach the deepest and the farthest distance to get the suitable fishes on your fishing hooks.
From the opinions of many professionals anglers, it can be ensured that you should at least go for 8 feet to 9 feet. You should not go more than 9 feet because the length can be an issue of the flimsiness of your musky rod.
Rod action means where your rod will bend when you have got an on your angling line. The topper the bend will be, the faster the rod action will be defined. For fishes like muskies, you should choose a fast fishing rod. This will give you a better performance on sensitivity, and fighting will be easier for you.
In terms of power, you should not choose light and medium-powered rods. All the rods we have mentioned in the recommendation are fast and heavy powered. You should choose any one of those and combine them with one of the reels mentioned here.
Choosing the perfect reel for muskies
While choosing the perfect reel, you should be choosing it like you have chosen the rod. The reel should be a baitcasting reel. So, these reels are perfect in this case.
It is because of the power delivery and the gear ratio.
You could use a spinning reel in this case. But the spinning rees have a very high gear raion which might not be suitable for fishes as big a 30 to 40 pounds.
The right drag weight
The drag weight is the tension and or the weight when the line will be slipping from the fishing reel.
In almost all of the fishing reels, they have variable drag weight. On every baitcasting reel, you will find a dial or a cranking arm that will change your reel’s drag system. Not all of the fishing reels have the on-the-fly drag adjustment capacity. But if you have got yours with adjustability on the go, that will be a plus point for you.
The right combination of reel and rod
The final part of choosing a reel and a rod is to get the right fit for each other. When you are going through the specifications of the musky rod or the reel, you should always keep in mind that the musky reel seat and the reel intake of the rod have to match.
In most cases, these specifications will not be specified. You might have to assume or see the reviews for that. You can also look for local anglers or experts to ensure that you are getting the perfect match.
How long should a musky rod be?
The length will matter because of the range you are covering. As you will be using a baitcasting reel, you have to keep in mind that the longer the rod will be, the further you can cast.
The action should also be considered before choosing the length of your musky rod. You should go for fly fishing rods. With this short fishing rod combined with the long length, you can easily fight with the bigger fishes.
What is the best bait for musky
There are numerous types of fishing baits available in the market. No one is better than the other. As muskies are some of the most aggressive fishes, you can choose any kind of live bait.
The first one would be the artificial bait. You can find different types of artificial baits like rubber and silicon insects, small fishes, and so on.
Rattle traps are the most common type of musky lure for fishing. These are not that cheap, but these are the most reliable ones. You can reuse these baits. You will not have to buy more than just the rattle trap unit. In this category, crankbait is one of this kind.
It is also essential to keep in mind that you should have experience with these baits. Not every bait is the same. They have different tricks to play underwater. You will have to practice a lot playing with these baits. Combative fishes like musky will fight for their food and the lures (like Bucktail, Whopper Plopper, Double Cowgirl) on your fishing line.
The last thing about choosing the bait is to keep in mind that you should never get bait that floats on the water surface. The baits should be submerged underwater, which will reach the muskies quickly and effortlessly.
Why musky fishing is hard
The first reason is that these are monstrous fishes. The size of an average musky goes up to three to four feet. This sums up the overall weight up to 50 to 6 pounds. This enormous weight is not that easy to be fought by an average fishing rod. You will have to use high-quality and high-capacity musky rods to fight these big fishes.
The razor-sharp teeth are another reason most people use braided lines to target musky. These sharp teeth easily slice through monofilament lines. This is why muskies are considered to be some of the most challenging breeds of all.
Most of the anglers know about the 10000-cast rule for musky. This means that you will have to be experienced enough to say that you have cast more than 10000 times or more.
Fishing Tips and Guidance for Musky
Without a doubt, the muskellunge is the most prized freshwater gamefish. Many experienced anglers have never hooked one. On the other hand, they’ve probably had many followers and didn’t even know it.
The sly musky will routinely follow a lure right to the boat before turning with a good-sized swirl and then slipping back into the depths.
Best Season for Musky Fishing
The fall months have always been prime times for musky fishing. You should keep an eye on your lure during every cast and retrieve. If you think you see a follow, don’t stop your lure; speed it up a bit and when it gets to the boat, maintain a figure 8 pattern.
To find productive fishing areas for northern Pike on hot summer days, look for giant river mouths and cold-water springs in lakes. During the winter, holes in the ice caused by springs will give you clues about where to look during the summer.
In the early spring, dead baits can actually outproduce live baits because Pike scavenges the baitfish who died during a long, hard winter.
Don’t be surprised while fishing tight cover for bass if you hook a big pike. Like bass, Pike also likes protection from the sun.
Best Time in a Day for Musky Fishing
Early morning is the best time to catch Pike. If you want a lure that covers a lot of water fast, use a white or chartreuse spinnerbait.
If the Pike is feeding, they’ll go after this bait if your presentation is proper. Northern Pike is delicious but should be skinned and have their “Y” bones removed before you eat them.
Proper Way to Reel in a Musky
When live bait fishing for muskies or Pike, always wait for these fish to swallow your bait before setting the hook. Muskies and Pike will take quite a while to turn a baitfish around in their mouths before swallowing it.
So, relax and let the musky gear do its work; for musky time can be challenging, in case they will take a lot of your patience before taking your lure.
It just may entice a monster to hit at the last moment. In clear water, giant muskies tend to go into the deeper depths of the lake. No lure seems to be too big for these deep-dwelling trophy muskies. Pike are known to hide in some of the weediest spots imaginable.
You can use weedless spoons for fishing these areas, but they have the disadvantage of having insufficient hooking power, particularly when the Pike’s bony mouth is taken into account. Heddon’s Dying Flutters and other bass surface lures that don’t pick up subsurface weeds can be very effective in very weedy areas.
When they take it, you can strike it? The muskies will give you the most challenging pull testing your angling rod and power.
Just relax, hold the rod from a 40 to 45-degree angle, and then start reel in the musky. It will be a challenging job, especially for this fish, because if you need to release them, you will have to be quick to reel in them.
Use a Tough Long Leader
Leaders are a must when musky or Pike fishing. These fish tend to roll on the line when they are being fought. Use an extra-long leader for the best results. If the leader isn’t long enough, the line may be cut on the fish’s gill rakers or fins.
The chief food for muskies is other fish. Don’t be afraid that the lure you are using is too large – the more significant, the better.
Most seasoned pike anglers use black wire leaders. In a pinch, you can make your own pike leaders by purchasing an extra heavy monofilament line (17-to 30pound test) and some snap swivels and barrel swivels. Homemade leaders are cheaper, and you can make any length you want.
Big flashy spinners are readily taken by both muskies and northern throughout North America. Cast or troll them near structure, shorelines, or weed beds. For these situations, you can take these leaders:
- Bucher Jerkbait Leader
- KastKing Kovert Fluorocarbon Line
- RIO Products Leaders Pike/Musky II
- Stealth Tackle Swimbait Leader
- Premium Fluorocarbon Musky Leaders (Crane Swivel)
- Seaguar 80AX25 2237-0252 Abrazx Musky/Pike Fishing Equipment
Manage the Setup Properly
An easy method for storing long wire leaders is to coil them together and then use a garbage bag tie to hold them in place. If a musky or Pike follows your heavy lures to the boat, don’t slow down your retrieve. This setup is not like striper rod reel setup, rather a heavy one. So, you need to manage them properly.
Instead, reel faster to change the action of your lure. It just may trigger a big one to bite. Mud, sand, and gravel flats located at river and creek mouths are ideal areas to look for muskies and Pike.
States for Musky Fishing
Muskies are mainly found in the lake and big rivers from Northern Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin and can be found in Canada. They are native to the Mississippi valley, St Lawrence River, Tennessee River valley, Hudson Bay, Great Lakes, etc.
Where Do you Find Muskie in a Lake?
Muskies stay close to their home grounds, containing weed beds, drop-offs, and even rock bars. Trophy northern and muskies can be found suspended in water depths of 15 to 40 feet (4.5 to 12 m) close to major structures, weed beds, and shorelines. Pike tend to hang inside weed beds, whereas muskies most often cruise the outside edges.
When you locate small fish, such as perch, sunfish, and rock bass, you should also find Pike and muskies looking for these same fish, their favorite sweet spot. Any of the larger spoons will produce Pike anywhere, anytime. Silver and red-and-white patterns are the most popular.
Motor noise from your outboard may actually attract northern Pike and muskies. Try some speed trolling, trailing about 25 to 40 feet (7.5 to 12 m) of line directly behind the boat. The prop wash and water agitation seem to stimulate the curiosity of these monster fish. After coming in close to the boat, they often strike a lure.
Bait for Catching Musky
Jerk baits, such as the Suick, are floating lures that do not possess their own action. The angler’s rod has to provide the action for the lure.
The Suick utilizes a rear metal fin and downcurved head to drive it underwater when it is jerked. Use a pumping motion, pulling the lure in and reeling in slackline, and then repeat the process.
Large suckers, 8 to 14 inches (20 to 35 cm) in length, make ideal baitfish for muskies and Pike.
Storing Musky After Fish
A Styrofoam cooler or pail is used by many musky anglers to store large musky and pike plugs. Just remove the lid, drape your plug inside, and pierce the last treble on the top inner edge. Some anglers who have many strikes but have difficulty hooking fish choose plastic musky and pike plugs over wood.
Pike and muskies can imbed their teeth into wooden plugs, and when the angler tries to set the hook, nothing happens. A plastic plug slides between a fish’s teeth until the hooks penetrate the jaw.
In lakes with a lot of daytime boat traffic, muskies seem to become very lure-shy. In such areas, it’s best to troll or cast at night. Large black plugs, moving just below the water’s surface, work best.
Muskies are not the least bit shy about feeding on the surface for small mammals, frogs, or waterfowl. You can take advantage of this by casting large Arbogast Jitterbugs or noisy bucktail “buzzbaits” near weed beds or stumps.
Trolling Tips for Musky
Muskies like a faster-moving lure than northern pike. When trolling for muskies, increase your speed near deep weed lines. Here’s a trolling tip for catching king-sized muskies.
- Speed up your boat to about twice the speed you’d typically use for other species.
- The best musky spots in most lakes are along weed lines adjacent to deep water or near lake inlets, stumps, or log areas. Any points extending out into the lake are also worth a try.
- Different types of wooden plugs jerked through the water close to the surface are great musky and pike baits all season long.
- Because muskies are usually solitary and territorial in their habits, a large area must be covered to locate them. So, you troll for musky, don’t rotate your boat in the same area. Cover as much as you can.
- When you’ve hooked and played out a good-sized musky and have it at your mercy right beside the boat, do yourself one favor – watch out.
- Muskies are notorious for producing one last thrashing run beside the boat, often snapping the angler’s line. Loosen your drag when a musky seems exhausted. If it struggles at the last minute, the drag mechanism will simply release the line, and no harm will be done.
Regulations on Musky Hunting
Keep in mind that most provinces and states have a minimum size limit for muskies. The minimum size limit is 36 or 40 inches (90 or 100 cm) in length, depending on the area in Ontario.
Different areas of Michigan, Wisconsin state, Northern Zone, or Canada have different regulations for musky hunting. Some states will allow you to fish them from May to December; some states only covered some weeks for catching them.
There are also some regulations for catch and release a musky; check out the state’s regulation page for a better idea.
Lymphosarcoma is cancer found in muskies and Pike throughout their range. If you catch a musky or Pike with one or more open sores on its skin, keep it and report your catch to the nearest Ministry of Natural Resources or Department of Fisheries and Oceans office. Not much is known about this disease, so authorities recommend not eating fish suffering from it.
Tips for Catch and Releasing a Musky
Whenever you hook a musky, try to land it as soon as possible if you intend to release it. Muskies, when running and jumping, experience a lactic acid build-up in their bodies. After they are released, this acid build-up can paralyze and eventually kill them.
So, when fishing them with a musky setup, you need to carry some gears like pliers, scales so that you can quickly release them right after the catch.
Removing Lure from Muskies
When trying to remove a lure from a pike or musky without pliers, always jam the mouth of the fish open with a large lure or even a stick, then proceed to remove your lure. This precaution may save your hands from cuts and scrapes.
Since these particular fish have bony mouths, you may find that single-hooked lures work better. Generally speaking, it’s easier to sink a single hook past the barb than a three-hooked lure.
It seems a shame to see a good pair of pliers become sticky and unusable. After your fishing trip, place them in the front pocket of a pair of old jeans and run them through the washing machine. When the cycle is finished, your pliers will look like new. All you have to do is dry them and keep them oiled.
Removing the Hook
More and more anglers are releasing trophy muskies and Pike. Remember, the less you handle your catch, the better. Since unhooking the lure is sometimes tricky, take hold of the fish by the head with your thumb and forefinger just behind the eyes.
The other fingers should be pressed firmly against the skull bone. Remove the hook and place the fish in the water. Grasp your catch by the tail and hold it in place until it has enough strength to swim away on its own. If you intend to keep a pike, respect its sharp teeth and use a gaff.
Don’t Forget to Try the Weed Line.
In shallow-water areas, you may see a musky lurking along a weed line. Don’t assume that a fish that you can see won’t hit your lure. Keep casting near it. Sometimes muskies will hit out of sheer aggressiveness.
On many northern lakes, vegetation is sparse. On these lakes, troll the shorelines with Rapalas, Rebels, and other large musky plugs. Also cast to any points, deep bays, or islands.
The muskellunge prefers slightly colder water than the Pike and should be fished in open waters of a lake rather than in the weedy bays.
Musky VS Pike: Difference and Similarity for Angler
This ferocious-looking gamefish is often confused with the Northern Pike, but they differ in several ways. In appearance, the musky lacks scales below the eyes on both cheeks; in comparison, the cheeks of the Pike are fully scaled.
Muskies spawn about two weeks after northern Pike. They migrate to open water or travel up small streams and creeks. They prefer slightly colder and deeper water than Pike and are known as solitary fish covering large areas searching for food.
The musky is a much stronger fighting fish than the Pike. Once hooked, it may run for a great distance, often jumping high out of the water while trying to shake the hooks free. Known for its aggressive strikes and spectacular aerial acrobatics, it can snap conventional monofilament lines with ease.
Although they can grow to more than 50 pounds (23 kg) in weight, the average musky caught is between 5 and 10 pounds (2 and 4.5 kg). However, muskies in the 40-to 50-pound (18-to 23-kg) range are caught annually in Ontario. The world record is just over 69 pounds (31 kg) landed by an angler trolling in the St. Lawrence River.
Many anglers frowned upon Pike because they often catch smaller fish; however, most of these anglers have never known the thrill of catching a fish over 12 pounds (5.5 kg). Smaller fish may be easier to catch, but hook a lunker, and you’ve got a battle on your hands.
These warm water gamefish live in shallow-water bays and drop-offs close to dense vegetation. Their varied diet includes minnows, frogs, snakes, crayfish, and other pikes. They specialize in ambush tactics and will wait along weed beds or other covers for passing prey.
They spawn earlier than muskies, as soon as the ice melts, and prefer quiet, weedy waters 2 to 10 feet (60 cm to 3 m) in depth. Trolling, live-bait fishing and casting are among the most productive methods for catching northern.
People Also Ask About the Best Musky Rod Reel Combo
Is Musky Hard to Catch?
Musky fishing is considered one of the most challenging fish to catch. It’s because of the hard teeth and robust nature. They can fight veraciously when you try to pick them up. But with proper preparation, training, and experience, and set up, you can catch muskies.
First, you will have to use the best gear to have the chance for muskellunge. You can use some technology like a sonar system to find the right spot.
Where in the Water Should I Find Musky?
Pike are usually found in more significant numbers than muskies in shallow water. Numerous Pike will move in and occupy a weed bed, whereas only one or two muskies will be found in the same type of bed. Pike usually slash at the bait to kill it before turning it in their mouths and swallowing.
How to Know if the Musky Has Taken Bait?
One of the problems of bait fishing for Pike is knowing when the bait is firmly in the Pike’s mouth so the hook can be set. This is solved mainly with quick-strike rigs, two hooks, one on each end of the bait. The hook can be set immediately with this type of bait.
What Line to Use for Musky?
If you’re using a premium monofilament line, make sure you use at least 25- to 30-pound tests for big Pike or muskies. You may want to try the Dacron line if your hook sets are poor. Dacron has less stretch than monofilament.
Big fish sometimes go after lures that you would think are too small to appeal to them. Try using Piscifun Lunker Braided Line, RIO Products InTouch Pike/Musky Fly Line, Scientific Anglers Sonar Musky Fly Line. You’ll be surprised at how many 10-to 15pound (4.5- to 6.5-kg) fish you’ll catch.
What is the Right Time for Larger Musky?
Fishing in the late fall for Pike and muskies will definitely produce larger fish. These fish feed very heavily in preparation for winter.
You should take a strong rod and reel or rod reel combo for fishing muskies for winter fishing. Without a perfect setup, the fish can break your setup.
With the perfect balance of weight and excellent material combination, you can quickly get the best musky rod and reel combo without busting your budget. We have talked about how these fishes react to different kinds of lures and what rod choice should be the best for you.
Due to the popularity of portable and more compact setup, you can now get more out of a small and more portable setup nowadays. Rod and reels we mentioned in this review are all compact and also have good value for the money.