Nothing exhilarates anglers like toothy monsters smashing surface baits, but for tempting trout on top, fishermen need power and finesse. That’s why a pro like Capt. Erik Rue prefers a Quantum Specks and Reds model STRC701ML rod with an Energy Series E100HPTs reel.
“The Specks and Reds model STRC701ML rod is excellent for topwater fishing because it’s so lightweight, yet built with enough backbone to launch a heavy plug long distances with little effort,” said the guide for Calcasieu Charter Service in Lake Charles, La. “In addition, the length and taper provide super hook-setting capabilities. This combination is extremely important when targeting monster speckled trout since they are so wary that it usually takes a long cast to catch one.”
Extremely lightweight for all-day casting, but exceptionally strong, Rue’s 7-foot Specks and Reds model STRC701ML medium-light casting rod comes with a fast taper and can handle line in the 8- to 20-pound-test range. Designed to fling lures from 1/16- to 5/16-ounces, the tough rod easily subdues fish that could stretch into double digits. Like all Quantum Specks and Reds Performance Tuned inshore saltwater models, the ultra-sensitive, high-strain graphite rod features titanium frame guides with durable Nanolite inserts.
Two ounces lighter with a sleeker profile for 2009, the Energy PTs inshore model E100HPTs saltwater bait-casting reel can hold 150 yards of 12-pound-test line. The 7.7-ounce reel features a 7.0:1 gear ratio and can withstand up to 18 pounds of drag.
“The Energy Series E100HPTs reel makes a beautiful, lightweight match to a Specks and Reds model STRC701ML rod,” Rue explained. “The reel provides an ultra smooth drag, essential when fighting heavyweight trout with soft mouths. The fast retrieve helps in two ways when it comes to topwater fishing. First, I can gather line quickly after the strike to make a good hookset. Second, I can quickly wind in the last few yards of line to make another cast when a big fish surfaces within casting range. It’s a perfect combination.”
Anglers can fine-tune their reels with the external Micro ACS precision cast control system. All Energy PTs reels also feature MaxCast aluminum spools, machined aluminum frames, ceramic drag systems and the 6-layer Saltgard corrosion protection finish to keep it working despite the harshness of salty water.
“This combination works best when using walk-the-dog style topwater baits,” Rue said. “This lightweight Quantum setup is ideal for throwing these lures all day long, but it’s strong enough to handle big fish. I’ve caught trout in excess of 9 pounds and this combination performed flawlessly.”
For booking trips with Calcasieu Charter Service, call 337-598-4700. Online, visit www.calcasieucharters.com.