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Opinions: Bass Pro Shops fishing gear/tackle vs. name brand?

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by Dennis in MA, Feb 28, 2010.

  1. Dennis in MA

    Dennis in MA Get off my lawn

    Aug 16, 2001
    Taunton, MA
    I'm a BPS buyer from way back - 1980's. Heck, I remember when you could buy the stuff to make your own plastic worms. That's HARD CORE makin yer own wermz.

    I'm curious what gear, tackle and lures you go BPS and what you stick with name brand. I don't fish nearly enough to tell the difference between a mid-grade BPS rod'n'reel and a $500 whateveritis high-end setup. I'm just not that good of a fisherman.

    So much of their lures and tackle (hooks, weights, jigs, etc.,) are obvious copies of the name brands. What of these do you stick with name brands b/c BPS isn't up to snuff? Or do you find it all the same?

    I'm just curious and tapping the vast GT knowledgebase. There are probably guys here that have 60-90 fishing days a year here. I'll be happy with 30 this year. :)
  2. paynter2

    paynter2 It ain't over Millennium Member

    Apr 25, 1999
    upper mid-west
    I fish quite a bit considering I'm in a 'cold' climate. Probably 50-60 days each year. I'm pretty one dimentional - I sometimes pitch jigs. But, usully (90%) I drag (back troll) a jig or spinner or Lindy rig. I love to feel the fish pick-up the bait.

    I use BPS Bionic Blades. I've used them for a long time - they now sell for about $80 - my brother and I used to buy 3/$100. So, I've used them a long time - probably ~12 years.

    I consistently out fish friends in my boat. I'm convinced it's the rod quality. One friend and I were in Canada and I was out fishing him about 6 to 1. This guy and I used to do a lot of trout fishing so I know he can detect the 'bite'. It had to be the rod. I sometimes think I can feel the fish breath on the bait.

    I don't know how the BB would stack up against a Fenwick or St. Croix or G-Loomis or some other expensive rod. But, there comes a point of diminishing returns.

    I'm only talking about spinning rods. I don't have any bait casters.

    I did buy a BPS spinning reel once. It functioned very well. But, it was larger and heavier than a comparable Shimano or Daiwa.

  3. Big Bird

    Big Bird NRA Life Member

    Aug 7, 2003
    Louisville KY
    In terms of rods and reels their stuff is OK. Not great but not bargain basement either. I fish with a guy is sponsored by Bass Pro on tour and he uses their stuff exclusively and catches way more fish than I do with my Shimano Baitcasters on Kisler rods! He also fishes Yum plastics and does better than I do with Berkley Power Bait even though he admits its a better plastic bait...

    I've not been happy with the Bass Pro hard baits. I find the paint comes off on everything I've bought from them after only a little use and I simply don't get that with any other major brand hard bait I throw.

    I like the good (expensive) stuff... My partner does too. He just doesn't get paid to use it! At the end of the day though technique and experience trumps equipment. Like I always tell people who buy the most expensive ammo for their hunting can't buy marksmanship!

    I like Gander Mountain's in house line of fishing tackle better than Bass Pro!
  4. For lures, if it ain't rapala, I'm not interested. I think the BPS series of hardbait is not as realistic as Rapala lineup, and the cost difference is minimal for me.

    Pretty much any of the BPS rod/reels I hardly even look at and definetely don't buy.

    Look at the corner of living room, I have 5 rod/reels combos and none are outfitted with BPS label gear.
  5. Dennis in MA

    Dennis in MA Get off my lawn

    Aug 16, 2001
    Taunton, MA
    I've got a Bionic spinning rod. Used it last year and I like it. I think I got it on sale.

    I might look for a baitcaster model this year. I picked up a decent baitcaster reel last year and this 20 yr old Daiwa is probably not the best rod for it. LOL
  6. paynter2

    paynter2 It ain't over Millennium Member

    Apr 25, 1999
    upper mid-west
    I don't fish for bass - or use baitcasters. My impression is that bass fishing is not a 'finess' sport. I caught a lot of LM bass when I was a kid - they were much easier to catch than walleye. IIRC, they would hit the lure and mostly hook themselves. The rod was principally for presenting the bait - casting or flipping.

    I use my Bionic Blades for walleye fishing exclusively. Sometimes the bite is very soft - the fish will flare it's gills and inhale the bait (crawler or minnow). There isn't much to feel - so you'd better have a sensitive rod. I can't use my rods for casting - I can't even throw a Rapala with them (well, maybe one of them). I usually pitch a jig or just backtroll and 'feel' the bite.

    I'm not sure what Noway is fishing for - probably bass??? (Florida). Anytime you're casting - from Rapalas to Musky sticks, the cast - presentation - is the thing. Feel is secondary. I think you need to decide what kind of fishing you are going to do with this new reel - it's very possible the old rod will suffice. I'd at least give it a try before buying a new rod.

    Good luck!
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2010
  7. Dennis in MA

    Dennis in MA Get off my lawn

    Aug 16, 2001
    Taunton, MA
    Good points. The 20 yr old rod is similar to my other 20-yr old rods - I can't feel the difference between lure action, a light strike or a log on the bottom of the lake. We're talking a $50 rod 20 years ago. I would think $20 rods today have better technology in them. LOL
  8. BlackBelt


    Aug 23, 2000
    I'm a hardcore bass fisherman, and also do some catfishing and crappie.
    I was very unhappy with the quality of the reels that are made these days. After buying more reels than I will ever admit too, I finally asked the guys behind the counter of BPS what THEY used.
    The answer was unanimous. They ALL, every one, used Shimano reels and rods. I bought what they told me too, and I've been happy as a pig in slop for a couple of years now.
    As far as their baits...I've used their crankbaits. The problem that I've had is that the quality of the BPS baits isn't quite up to what Strike King or Bandit or Manns makes. For example, I've had the plastic lips on BPS crankbaits break off when I've cast them onto logs and concrete rip-rap. I can do the same with a Strike King crankbait and it will be fine. Just a difference in quality.
    However, to be fair, the BPS baits are less expensive than the name brands. I've just learned to 'buy once, cry once' when it comes to bait, and just pony up the cash for the good baits.
  9. Rutha73


    Sep 8, 2008
    Mesa, AZ
    The guys at my BPS (Mesa, AZ) told me the same thing, I hve been very happy with thier reccomendation!