Most beginning anglers ask themselves whether or not it’s a good idea to invest in a rod and reel combination or choose to purchase these two components of their equipment separately. From my experience, I can say that none of these two ways of going about things is better than the other.
If you’re lucky enough to have a friend that can give you several pieces of advice in this sense, don’t hesitate to ask your fellow angler. The first thing you need to look at is the technique that you employ commonly. For example, some people prefer fly fishing because it requires a rather basic tackle and won’t be forcing you to spend a lot of money on a bunch of gear.
Baitcasting outfits tend to cost a pretty penny, but since they are mostly intended for experienced anglers, I would suggest staying away from them if you’re only starting out. Trolling outfits are characterized by a reel that’s mounted above the rod while spincasting setups call for reels that are easy to use so that no backlashes or snarling occurs.
Recently, some manufacturing brands have started to market their fishing poles and reels depending on the species that you can catch with them. There are series destined for crappie, others intended for bass, and some seriously heavy ones designed especially for tuna or marlin, for instance.
An all-around setup is hard to find because you will have to take some time to go through as many consumer reports as you possibly can. Plus, you have to consider the size of the rod and the material that it has been made out of. The same rule applies in the case of reels, as nothing beats a dependable material. With certain units, you may have to look at the gear ratio and the number of ball bearings, whereas with fly reels, you might not have to bother with such details.
I would say that it often comes down to your personal preferences, the waters you intend to fish in, as well as your expertise and the species you are trying to catch. If you have the budget, be sure to invest in some good-quality fishing clothing, as well as a nice pair of polarized glasses as they can save you from a lot of trouble and will help you see the fish in the water instead of squinting because of the glare.
Another advice I can give you is to avoid getting super cheap combos. It’s often that pricier options are worth their weight in gold as you’ll be able to utilize them for many seasons to come.