Re: Stocking a wiper/striper tackle box from scratch...
Bass Pro has the stump jumper. You got that right. Get some 4 inch tails to use in the spring and fall, and six inchers for the hot weather. They are great trolled long line, cast and bumping the bottom, and long cast and fast retrieves. There is something about that little spoon that drives them crazy.
The rods I love are also from Bass Pro. They're called IM7 Trouney Specials and right now they are on sale for $39-49, depending on features. You get a choice of handles and they hold up forever. I have about six or seven of them now, and whenever a new guy comes on the boat and starts using one of them, he always wants to know where I got them. The fish great! and they're comfortable to use all day. They also go on sale in the early fall and late spring each year.
This year is my first year for baitcasters, but I bought an Ambassador 5501 right hand retrieve. It felt backwards, so I sold it to a buddy and got a left hand retrieve. I love it! Talk about a reel that will cast a 1 ounce lure half a mile--that's the one. I doubt you could hurt the thing if you had to, and it holds nearly 300 yards of line. On that point, the Trions I use are spinning rigs. They are sturdy and hold up to years of abuse, but they only hold about 185 yards of line. To date, however, that's been plenty and I've had no trouble with it. I keep both kinds on the boat because I hate using a baitcaster after dark. And, there are just alot of situations where a spinning rig is the better choice because it is so much more precise to cast. I did not know the Catera came in a baitcaster. I have four or five of them and they are all off the shelf at Wal Mart and they're all spinning reels. I know they are good because I have used them for about four or five years and have not had one fail yet. You can't beat that for $39 bucks or so.
Keep Your Tip Top Up!