Inshore Saltwater Tackle Evolution
Let me start off the conversation by saying that I am not sponsored by anybody, although many folks￼ in the industry have reached out to me with products and discounts.￼ In this particular article I hope to offer some information on rods, reels and line, based on what has benefited or helped me to catch more fish over the years.￼￼
I am a big Shimano fan, and for throwing jigs and light lures I have slimmed down to 1000 size reels and 10 lb. braid with 14 lb. fluorocarbon leader. My personal preference on each is Shimano Stradic 1000 reel, 10 pound Power Pro (moss green) or 10 pound Suffix Performance Braid in green. For leader material I use anybody’s fluorocarbon 14-20 lb. line. (LINE, not leader) Lighter line will also increase your casting distance and cover more water!
I am not as particular about rods, although I like to start at a 100 dollar minimum price range. This seems to be the price point where lighter and stronger become much better quality. At this price point, I think you’ll find that the components are much more durable as well.￼￼ Without getting too crazy on rod specs, I can tell you that medium power, fast action is a good starting point. The line class I like in general is 8 to 17 pound. The length of the stick or rod I throw, is 6’10” up to 7’6″. One thing that you will find is that many rods, while having similar descriptions can feel slightly different. The best thing you can do is actually put the rod in your hand and make sure it feels good to you.
I bounce around with different sticks but generally stay with GLoomis, St. Croix, Falcon, Shimano, and custom rods made by local rod builder, Jeff Eller of Sawltgear Custom Rods.
The endgame I am looking for is to be as light as I can possibly be, without losing strength. The number one factor, for me, with this type of set up is just to feel the bite. I firmly believe that by incorporating all these components I detect bites that I wouldn’t have otherwise￼￼￼￼ felt. Many of you know that the bite is often the slightest tick or change in your retrieve. ￼￼
I have also reduced my jig head weights too primarily 1/16 and 1/8. Many anglers I fish with often comment that they cannot feel their presentation hitting the bottom. But trust me, even at depths up to 20 feet, the baits will find the bottom. It’s a gravity thing.￼￼￼
Lastly, I know that everyone’s budget differs. The same results can be had for less money simply by going lighter. Light lines, rods, and reels will generally all accomplish the same thing.￼