How to Choose Inshore Saltwater Fishing Equipment

Saltwater Fishing Equipment
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It’s not difficult to choose the right inshore saltwater gear. It’s easier than you think to choose a starter kit for saltwater fishing. Before you make a purchase, you need to consider a few factors.

Inshore fishing is a term used to describe saltwater fishing that takes place in shallow water. This usually means fishing within nine miles from the shoreline, including bays, estuaries and channels. Use these guidelines to narrow your options for inshore saltwater gear and make purchasing easier.

Inshore Rod Length

Consider the length, power, and action of your new inshore saltwater fishing pole when purchasing it. You can cast further with longer rods, while shorter rods give you more power to fight fish. A longer rod (6.5- 7 feet) is recommended for most inshore and backcountry fishing. This extra length will allow you to get closer to oyster bars or mangroves without scaring fish that are in shallow waters.

Rod Power & Action

If this is your first time buying a fishing pole, don’t be confused by terms such as power and action. The rod power (heavy medium heavy or medium) is the lifting power, also known as the “backbone”, of the fishing rod. A medium power rod is usually the best option for saltwater inshore fishing. Heavier rods can handle heavier line weights, while lighter rods are best suited to lighter lines.

The rod action (fast/medium/slow) indicates how much the rod bends if you apply pressure to the tip. Fast-action rods bend in the upper third of the rod blank. Medium-action rods bend in the top half. Slow-action rods bend the entire blank. Fast action rods are a great choice for those who like to use artificial baits and need more sensitivity so they can feel the lightest bites. However, you also want to have less flex to steer fish away quickly from docks or other mangroves.

Line & Leader Material

You will need to consider the type of fish you’re targeting and the fishing area. If you are targeting inshore saltwater fish such as redfish or snook, then a fluorocarbon leader of 20-30 pounds paired with braided lines between 10 and 15 pounds will suffice. Use the 30-pound leader if you’re fishing near dock pilings or oyster bars. This will prevent fish from being lost.

Inshore Rod Length Inshore Fishing Reels

A spinning reel with an open face (2000-3000 series) and corrosion-resistant parts is the best choice for saltwater inshore fisheries. When using a braid of 10 to 15 pounds, choose a spinning reel with a capacity of 150-200 yards. Although it’s unlikely that you will get “spooled”, it can happen occasionally with species such as jack crevalle, redfish, or tarpon.

Reels with higher ratios work better when you want to quickly retrieve lures back to the boat, or gain line as a fish approaches the boat. Reels with lower gear ratios provide more cranking power, which is useful for bottom fishing or trolling. The mid-range ratios are between 4:1 and 6 to 1 and offer enough versatility for inshore saltwater fishing.

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