As he talked about his punching endeavors with the Goo Bug at Okeechobee, he also mentioned that he has successfully punched some thick submergent vegetation at Oneida Lake, New York, Lake St. Clair, Michigan, and Lake Champlain on the New York-Vermont border, and at these three natural lakes, he has occasionally tangled with some lunker-sized smallmouth bass. He noted that the water that he punches in those three northern lakes is deeper and clearer than the water at Okeechobee. At Okeechobee, the depth of the water he punches can be as shallow as two feet and no deeper than six feet, and at those clear-water lakes in the north, the depth ranges from eight to 12 feet. What’s more, the vegetation is not as dense and matted in those three northern lakes as it is in Okeechobee. He said that when he pitches and punches in those northern lakes, he works with a 7 ½-foot heavy-powered rod. His Shimano Core MG reel is spooled with 20-pound-test Sufix Castable Invisiline 100% Fluorocarbon Fishing Line. To the line, slips on a Jethro Baits’ Stop-Itz Sinker Stop and a 3/4-ounce VMC TF Tungsten Flip’n Weight. He uses a Palomar knot to affix the 4/0 VMC Flippin’ Hook to the line, and the Goo Bug is Texas-rigged onto the hook.
Wheeler said that he wielded it on an eight-foot, heavy-power, fast-taper Dobyns Champion Flipping Rod and a Shimano Core MG reel that was spooled with 65-pound Sufix 832 Advanced Superline. His reel has a 7.0:1 gear ratio. To the braided line, Wheeler slipped on a 1 ½-ouce VMC TF Tungsten Flip’n Weight that was pegged with a Jethro Baits’ Stop-Itz Sinker Stop, and then he uses a snell knot to attach a 4/0 VMC Flippin’ Hook. To the hook, he Texas-rigged the Goo Bug.
The new Shimano CORE reels are designed to be the ultimate, lightweight baitcasting reels. Made with magnesium frames and sideplates, and featuring Magnumlite spool construction, the standard version for all around fishing, weighs in at 6.1 ounces with a 6.2:1 gear ratio. The FV flipping version, equipped with Instagage II, comes with oversized PV paddles and a 7.0:1 gear ratio to move fish out of cover fast. These reels both come with HEG, feature Shielded A-RB bearings and are designed to be as compact as possible for a comfortable, lightweight and maneuverable fishing experience. Features include: Ultra-Lightweight Magnesium Frame and Sideplate, Ultra-Lightweight A7075, Aluminum Spool Construction, Magnumlite Spool Design, S A-RB Ball Bearings, A-RB Roller Bearing, High Efficiency Gearing (HEG), Super Stopper, Super Free (SF), Variable Brake System (VBS), Reduced Mass VBS Hub, Escape Hatch, Dartainium Drag, Cold Forged Aluminum Drag Star, Clicking Drag Adjustment, Aluminum Cast Control Knob, Rubber Shielded Cast Control Knob, Tapered Ti Levelwind Insert, Cold Forged Aluminum Handle Shank, Drilled Handle Shank, Septon Handle Grips, Recessed Reel Foot, High Speed 6.2:1 Gear Ratio (CORE100MG Only), Lightweight Aluminum Drive Gear (CORE100MG Only), Paddle Grips (CORE100MG Only), Super High Speed 7.0:1, Gear Ratio (CORE100MGFV Only), Heavy Duty Brass Drive Gear (CORE100MGFV Only), Instagage II (CORE100MGFV Only), PV Power Grips (CORE100MGFV Only), 1/8 Turn Easy Access Attached Sideplate (CORE50/51MG Only), Approved for use in Saltwater, Rated for use with Mono, Fluorocarbon and PowerPro lines.