Well, let me introduce myself. I'm Heather and I live in Clinton, IL ( central IL ). My fiance and I have just gotten more serious about fishing ( dad has been taking me fishing since I can remember, but fiance went only rarely and only caught small fish in colorado ). I have always been a big fan of fishing, especially for cats! We go fishing mostly at Clinton lake, but will widen our selection later. We mostly bankfish, and most of the areas we can access are heavily fished and usually occupied. Been lookin for a boat to get to some nicer and less frequented areas. Would a jon boat do well at clinton lake? With that flat bottom, wouldn't it be a little rough out on the open water? Do any of you fish cats by wading or are they easily spooked/ or settle quickly? Not afraid to get in there and wade/swim to a good area-that snapper in my avatar I caught by hand when we were swimming in a cove, haha. Wasn't the first one either. Nothing like seeing the look on someone's face when you pull one of those cuties out of the water! Anyway, we have swam around some areas in that lake that have steep drop-offs right off the bank with tons of logs and debris we ended up tripping over and I want to fish these but we'd have to get in the water to get to these places. Sorry for probably asking such a dumb question, first of all...But we found what seemed like a good deal and bought new setups. Bought two Okuma Stratus XTS spinning reels and two medium-heavy ugly stik rods ( never used spinning reels before ). We had been using dads old spincaster 808's, and despite him loving them to death-he's an antique nut-they just weren't cutting it for me anymore like when I was a kid, too old, and not reliable, nothing like hooking something big and having the thing lock up. One Okuma reel is 40 and the other is a 55, 12lb and 15lb respectively. I read somewhere that you can put fireline on a spinning reel and exceed the lb test. Is that true? I wanted something that could handle a decent sized flattie if we were to hook one, but I don't want to tear up our reels. Thanks in advance and expect more questions from me! I'm so glad I found this place, I've been immersed in all the information here and have barely scratched the surface.