Your gear for catching redfish and snook are an important piece of the equation when it comes to fishing, is it true that you need “top of the line” gear? No, you don’t, especially if you are an occasional recreational angler. Now I LOVE fishing and I don’t hesitate to drop absurd amounts of money on some of the best gear, but I also spend hundreds of hours on the water each year. I won’t hold it against you, if you still like top-notch equipment, regardless if you fish often or not, let’s just hope your significant other doesn’t see the bill. A nice light outfit that will do the job just fine typically consists of: A 7- 8-foot light to medium action rod, a 2500 – 4000 series spinning reel spooled with 10 - 15lb test Power Pro or your line of choice. My main setup is a 2500 – 3000 series Shimano Sustain or Stradic, equipped with a 7’6” St. Croix medium action rod and 10lb Power Pro.
I won’t emphasize on the brand too much because everyone has their preference. I can say that I have tried just about all of them and I tend to gravitate toward Shimano, Diawa, and Penn. I don’t want to sound bias, but I must give the trophy hands down to Shimano. I have Shimano reels that have endured the test of time and still reel as smooth as the day that they came out of the box. I have caught thousands of fish using the Shimano brand and they have never failed me. The few times that I have had issues, their customer service quickly remedied the problem, usually at their expense. I like the medium action rod with a sensitive but fast tip because I throw a lot of artificial baits. I like the action that allows for long cast to redfish but has a stout arc of the rod for a strong hook set. When using live and cut bait, it’s nice to feel what is happening on the other end. Being able to feel the pinfish nibble at the bait and then suddenly it stops, shortly after I hook up with a hefty red. It’s is the small details that help me to be a better angler.
The drag on your reel is super important. If you hook up with a large fish and your drag is sticking, you greatly increase the odds of the hook pulling or the line breaking. That is why I opt for carbon fiber drag washers. If they don’t come from the factory with them, I swap them out myself with aftermarket carbon washers. There is no better tune than the harmonious sound of your drag peeling from the spool. Having a larger roller bearing helps prevent line twist, we have all dealt with line twist at one point or another. Think about more time fishing and less time trying to unravel knots. Sealed bearings help prevent saltwater from destroying the inner components of your reel. These are all things you acquire when you purchase higher-end reels. Your line weight is important because of castability, the higher the poundage the less distance you will have with your cast. Unless you are fishing were behemoth size fish lurk, it is not necessary to spool up with more than 15lb test. Ironically every time I take my reels in to have them spooled, they usually don’t have the pound test line that I want; they say it’s because everyone uses 20 to 30lb test. The super braids have really decreased line diameter, which allows us to spool up with hundreds of yards of line. Hopefully, this article will help you with your next purchase decision. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. Thanks, and tight lines everyone!
Here is a video that will also help you with choosing the best rod and reel for inshore fishing: