Rod and Reel Combinations 

Have you ever been on a Traverse City Fishing Charter with Mega Bite and wondered why there are so many rod and reel combinations onboard when only 10-13 get used regularly? Well, these setups all have a specific purpose and each one does actually get used, depending on the time of year and the specific fishing approach that day. Some of the rods get used on a daily basis but others may only get used in the spring vs. later in the summer. We will admit, we do think the boats look better with a plethora of rods sticking out of the extra rod holders though it’s not only for looks!

Water Temperature Decides Everything


Traverse City charter fishing is entirely driven by water temperature and because the water temp changes on a daily basis, it is extremely important for us to have rod and reel combos that target different depths. With that being said, we do have 7 rods that go in the water every single trip. These include our 3 downrigger rods, and two dipsey diver rods on each side of the boat. The rods that change daily are the ones with lead core and copper line on them. This line is weighted so the more you let out, the deeper it will take the bait down in the water column.

In the spring, it is common to let out between 1 and 5 colors of lead core line. Each color let out sinks about five feet deep. Often times we will have three lead core lines out on each side of the boat. We are able to do this through the use of Church Tackle planar boards. To learn more about this type of fishing, check out our Spring Lake Trout Blog!


As the summer goes on, the water temp we like to fish starts to push down deeper. In order keep our customers catching fish, our approach has to change a little bit. While we still use planar boards, we start to run 8 to 10 colors of lead core line out. On top of this, we transition to using copper line. Copper line is heavier than lead core so it goes even deeper. Depending on how deep we are fishing, we will use 200, 250, and 300 feet of copper line regularly. Somedays we even breakout the 400’ copper. If you want to talk about an awesome fight, just wait until you hear the drag of our Shimano Tekota 300’ copper reel start screaming and watch the planar board disappear as a King Salmon pulls it underwater!!!

Using lines that sink different depths is a very effective way to target a large portion of the water column. While we like to fish around a certain water temperature, it is important to have lines that go deeper into colder water and shallower into warmer water. Sometimes fish don’t like to play by the rules so we have to find different ways to outsmart them.

We are anxiously waiting to get the boats in the water and have started passing time by putting our rod and reel combos together for the season. This requires new line on all of our reels so it is quite the process but we will surely be ready come spring. If you were ever wondering about the extra rods, or see a reel with fishing line that is colorful and does not look like typical line, now you know it’s not just for looks! While we do pride ourselves in being the most stylish Travers City charter fishing business, there is actually a reason for those extra rods. This can be a tough type of fishing to understand. When you are out on your next trip with Mega Bite, don’t hesitate to ask for clarification!

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