Suitable for: Fishing (kids)
Pros: Great for beginners, budget rod and reel, short and light, easy for small children to use, can catch good fish
Cons: Top runner can come off, line is weak, reel is feeble
3’6” combo (1.05m), rating 2-4kg , line 4lb 240m
4’6” combo (1.53m), rating 2-4kg, line 4lb 240m
Colour: Blue or pink
RRP: $29.95 (3’6”), $39.95 (4’6”)
Available from: All leading tackle stores throughout Australia
More information: Jarvis Walker
Make no mistake, these fishing combos are a budget range rod and reel, which come spooled up with line ready to go and although they may not be high quality, they are designed for the first-time angler. My kids have gone through numerous 3’6” minnow combos, some they have lost over the side of the boat, others have been towed away by big fish which they couldn’t hold (it’s true) while some have just plain broken.
What I love about these rods is that they are very short, which means little people (even two-year-olds) can hold them easily. It also helps when you are fishing from a confined space such as a boat or if there are a few kids fishing together, then it is less likely to be hit by a wayward rod.
The other bonus is that they come in fun colours of blue or red (which looks more pink) and they are relatively inexpensive so if your child accidently drops it off a jetty or the side of a boat, then it wont be too costly to replace. The minnow combos are also a great present idea as it provides a child with the opportunity to try fishing and if they love it, then down the track you can look at upgrading to better quality gear.
Although the rods are short, you can still catch awesome fish with them. Our youngest, Bailey was only four-years-old when he landed a great tuna in Exmouth (we did upgrade the combo with a slightly better reel on the rod with braided line). The fish was so heavy he had to get his friend to help him wind it in and hold it up for a photo. Jarvis Walker believes it may be a record for the biggest fish ever landed on minnow rod and Bailey and his friends were delighted. Have a look at the Tuna School article in articles if you wish to read about their record-breaking catch. Aside from tuna, the kids have caught everything from good King George whiting, skippy, herring, bream as well as the tiniest puffer fish.
The minnow rod and reel is designed for beginners but older kids can still use them and I often find myself fishing with it when the kids have given up. As they are a budget range, and only cost around $30, you cant expect them to perform exceptionally. Things like the top runner coming loose or the reel seat flexing as well as line breakages would have to be the biggest problems we have encountered. To combat this, we have stuck new rod tips on and re-spooled the reels with new line and sometimes gone all out with braid if we are targeting bigger fish. When we have had terminal reel problems, we have substituted in a slightly better reel and the kids have fished on successfully.
One thing I can say is that the rods are awesome and my kids have exerted a fair bit of pressure on good fish as well as hitting objects like poles and jetties and they have never broken a minnow rod (although they have destroyed plenty of our good graphite rods). For a budget kids combo, they do the job and are a great entry point for the beginner and much safer than having 7’ rods being flailed uncontrollably through the air.