I would say that pre-level 50 you wouldn't need to worry about not having a lu shangs because you could get by nicely with a halcyon fishing rod.
Halcyon rod targets pretty much everything that Lu shangs can but your Lu shangs will not break on anything except certain legendary fish. (Usually fish which are 100+)
Halcyon fishing rod can be a bit annoying when trying to target Nebs in SSG because Bastore Breaks will took at your line when you have a shrimp lure equipped.
It's easily avoided by tapping your Esc Key when you get a Bastore Bream biting because they would be pretty tough to reel in for someone of lvl 11 fishing.
Lu Shangs Fishing Rod obtained: Feb 2005
Maat's cap Obtained: Saturday 31st July 2010
Ebisu Fishing Rod Obtained: Sunday 8th August 2010