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I set up my kids with matching Cabelas Fish Eagle II spinning rods (7', L) and matching low-end Shimano reels a couple of years ago and those outfits have worked really well. They can use them for bait dunking, throwing light and medium weight lures (I think the rods top out at 3/8 oz.), and have allowed them to catch bass, trout, carp, sunfish, etc. I bought the rods during a Cabela's sale so the price was right. It's definitely worth spending a bit of $$ to get them decent gear - just be sure to keep an eye on them so that they don't use the rod tips to excavate crawdad holes!
 

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Thanks fishdr!
Glad to help out. The other thing I did was spool the reels with PowerPro (I think it's either the 15 or 20# stuff, with the diameter of 4 or 6-lb mono). It lets me retrieve most of their snags (or bend out the hooks), and recently has allowed them to put the hurt on some carp approaching 15-lbs. I did take the time to teach them to never try to pull directly on the line with their bare hands if they were snagged and not to yank on snags with their rods.
 
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