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Gear for Catching Redfish & Snook

Posted on 03 August 2012

[caption id="attachment_155" align="alignleft" width="300"]St. Croix Rod St. Croix Rod[/caption] Your gear and tackle 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 large 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 find this post. A nice light outfit that will do the job just fine typically consist 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, equipped with a 7’6” St. Croix medium action rod and 10lb Power Pro. I won’t emphasize on 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 have to 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 resolved the issue, usually at their expense. I like the medium action rod with a sensitive tip because I throw a lot of artificial baits. I like the action that allows for long cast to redfish but yet 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 all of a sudden 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. 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!

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11 comments

  • Joshua: September 20, 2014

    Thanks Steph!

    @ Vince: For the heavier gear, I typically have the rods custom made by my buddy Ken; they usually consist of a Calstar or Batson blank. If you’re trolling, then a shorter rod is recommended. If you want an all-around rod then a stout 7 ft. rod will work. I spool up with 60-80lb Power pro and for the leader I use 80lb mono. The Cabo will work great for snapper.

  • vince: September 20, 2014

    Good information on the mangroves and flats on what to use. Ill have to check out the St. Croix Rod sounds like good product.What would your recommend for the grouper by the reefs rod, line, and reel wise. Also for the snapper around the reefs and structures. I like my cabo for the snapper even if its little on the heavy side.

  • Steph: September 20, 2014

    Excellent advice for anyone that loves or likes to fish!

  • Joshua: September 20, 2014

    There is nothing to be sorry about, I enjoy helping fellow anglers. Ask all you want. I use 10-15lbs Power Pro on my light tackle rigs. Also, be sure to subscribe to my YouTube page, I will be adding gear related videos very soon: http://www.youtube.com/user/fishing19

  • Ryan: September 20, 2014

    One more question, is that 25-30 lb leader used with the 10-15 lb power pro? Sorry, kinda new to this, I’m from the Mid-West, I only used to bass fishing, and I might be going down to the Indian River in Port of Saint Lucie this summer, I just want to be prepared.

  • Joshua: September 20, 2014

    I do use leader, typically if I’m fishing the mangroves or beach, I use 25lbs to 30lbs. If I am fishing near heavy structure, I could increase it up to 50lbs.

  • Ryan: September 20, 2014

    Do you use a leader for your red fish and snook setups, and if you do how many pounds is it?

  • John: September 20, 2014

    What’s the best bait for redfish in tampa bay

  • Joshua: September 20, 2014

    You’re welcome, keep us posted with a fishing report. ;)

  • Ryan: September 20, 2014

    Thanks a lot, I appreciate the guidance and look forward to going down there this summer!

  • Joshua: September 20, 2014

    Hello John,

    You can’t go wrong with a live or freshly cut sardine/threadfin. Shrimp will do the job well but you may catch smaller fish the majority of the time.

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