I am 29 years old and have been fishing since age four. My profession is as a pipefitter and work out of Local 137 in Springfield, Illinois. My great grandpa Dan was the one who got me into fishing. Even being the only one in my immediate family to fish I have remained serious about it all my life. My partner Willie and I started fishing local tournaments together four years ago. Since then we have branched out to some larger tournaments, some of which we still fish together. I hope to see you at some of I.C.A. events this spring and summer.
My normal equipment consists of medium heavy bait casting setups. I have a graphite flippin stick or a 6' 6" medium Ugly Stik for lighter, closer conditions. But I prefer longer rods like my 9 foot Packhawk Nitesticks for longer casts, but mostly for more positive hook sets. For reels I use Garcia 6500C3's, and Penn 320GT2's. All are newly spooled with 30# Cajun Lightning copolymer line.
Just this year I found at a sport show some 100% No Knot line connectors. They take the place of knots and are easy to tie. The main advantage is the strength gained by not having a knot. When used in a personal test putting 15# P-Line, using a palomar knot, against 12# P-Line, using a No Knot connector, the 15# line broke every time. That was enough for me. Using the connector is definitely stronger that any knot. This held true with all the other lines I had on hand and tested also.
Weights range from split shots, used to drift in lakes, to five ounce no-roll sinkers in heavy current. All weights are usually hung from a short drop line off of a quick change clevis for easy switching. I use straight hooks from 3/0 to 6/0 and circle hooks from 5/0 to 10/0.