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Inshore Fishing Tackle

Inshore Fishing Tackle and Gear

If you are just starting out with inshore fishing then getting the right gear from the get go will make all the difference to your success and ultimately your enjoyment.

Inshore fishing tackle can vary greatly depending on how big a species you intend on targeting.

For most anglers new to fishing inshore I would suggest sticking to species such as speckled trout, redfish, pompano and kingfish.

Your best bet when selecting the best tackle for inshore fishing is to keep it simple and choose a combination that will work best as an all rounder rather that a specialist combo that excels at one technique but not another. 

  • Rod - 7'6" in length, medium/heavy power rating with a fast action
  • Reel - saltwater spinning reel size 3000
  • Line - 12 lbs monofilament or 20 lbs braid with a 12 lbs fluorocarbon leader

Inshore Fishing Tackle and Gear

1. Rod

For most anglers a spinning setup will be the preferred choice.

The best inshore spinning rods will be 7'6" in length, have a fast action and be rated for line in the 12 to 15 lbs range.

Fishing over flats or any kind of sight fishing with lures will require you to keep your distances somewhat from any fish as they can spook quite easily in shallower waters.

A longer length allows you to make longer casts and keep your distance. Longer casts also allow you to cover a lot more water from the same fishing spot before you decide to move on.

A 6'6" length pole just won't cut and although they might be easier to use than a 7 footer when skipping lures in and around docks you'll quickly find that a shorter one is limited.

Even upgrading from a 7' to a 7'6" will make that 7' feel limited and after a few weeks of use the difference between them will feel like night and day.

2. Reel

Investing in a good pole is a good idea, a high quality reel however is a must. Salt water spinning can wreck a cheap reel in no time even if you rinse it well after every outing.

The best inshore spinning reel will be a saltwater spinning reel in a size 3000 or maybe a 4000 if you are doing a lot of big lure work.  

You'll want to be able to spool on roughly 200 yards of 12 lbs monofilament or 20 lbs braided line.

All saltwater reels need a high quality drag system and they also need to be as well sealed as possible to keep out any salt.

Salt can destroy the internal gears and drag components if it gets a chance to enter inside the reel housing.

No matter how good a reel you buy always make sure to rinse it thoroughly in freshwater as soon as possible and get it service every one to two years.

3. Line

For most lighter techniques your inshore fishing setup should be fine on 12 lbs mono or 20 lbs braid.

You can also run 12 lbs fluorocarbon especially if you are jigging.

If you are using braid as your main line then it is always a good idea to use a 6 to 8 foot fluorocarbon leader.

Braid is extremely visible and fluoro is pretty invisible, both lines have little stretch in them and pair well together.

Sometimes you want a little stretch in your line, personally when using a large lure that has multiple big treble hooks I like to use monofilament as the stretch acts as a bit of a shock absorber.  

4. Lures

Paddle tail swimbaits, topwater plugs, bucktail jigs, jerkbaits and spoons are all solid producers in the right circumstances.

Local knowledge is usually what trumps all, ever angler has their favorite lures but they won't work everywhere and finding out what works locally is the best path to success.

5. Hooks

If you are using bait under a bobber or on the bottom with some sort of sinker rig then you need to buy the right hooks.

Circle hooks work really well when using bait. They also help in not gut hooking fish as more often than not a circle hook will hook a fish in the side of the mouth which is the best place to hook them.

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inshore fishing setup

Inshore Fishing Setup

Most saltwater fishing can be divided out into three distinct types of fishing offshore, surf and inshore within each of those there are a huge number of different species to target.

However, a heavy offshore rig would not make the best inshore fishing setup and getting your tackle correctly matched to the species you target and techniques you will be using is a crucial component to your success.

That, and a little luck!

When looking at choosing an inshore setup most anglers will opt to purchase an all rounder that can be used for various different locations and different types of lures.

Personally I think to get the very best from your inshore fishing two highly targeted setups are best, one light and one slightly heavier.

  • Light setup - 7 foot medium power rod with a fast action and 8 lbs line, suited to jigging, drop shotting and light close quarters casting for smaller sub 5 lbs specks or redfish.
  • Heavier setup - 7'6" medium/heavy power rod with a fast action and 10 to 12 lbs line for heavier lure work and longer casting when sight fishing on flats.

If I had to choose one it would be the heavier setup as I do little small jig work and the longer rod will always have the better casting performance.

Inshore Fishing Setup

1. Rod

A rod length of at least 7' is prefer ed if possible 7'6" when fishing inshore. 

As a general rule you when fishing grass flats for example the chances of you getting right up to school of redfish or speckled trout is quite rare and you will be casting from distance more often than not.

Longer rods cast longer distances and they will also allow you to pick up any slack line in your system when you go to set the hook.

If you go with a shorter rod of about 6'6" in length and then switch to a longer rod of 7'6" the difference in usability will feel like night and day.

Longer rods are just better.

The only real exception is if you are skipping smaller lures around tight docks. Then a shorter inshore spinning rod makes a little more sense as they are a bit more accurate when fishing close up.

Power wise a medium/heavy power rod is usually the best power rating to go for.

These rods will be rated for line in the 10 to 20 lbs range. Whereas a medium power rated rod is suitable for lines in the 8 to 17 lbs range.

In my experience 8 lbs line is a little bit too light.

A fast action is always the correct choice. Fast action rods have better sensitivity and will allow you to set the hook quicker.

2. Reel

Depending on whether you choose a spinning or casting setup your choice of reel should be suitable for the line that you will be using.

For monofilament line in the 10 to 12 pound range a size 3000 inshore spinning reel or size 30 baitcaster reel.

For heavier lines a size 4000 as it will have a larger spool and bigger line capacity.

Low profile baitcasters that are common in the freshwater bass fishing world are usually not suitable as they are not very well sealed.

Salt water can wreak havoc with a reel so it's need to have a very tightly sealed reel housing and drag system.

Suitable brands are Penn, Shimano and Abu Garcia, all of which make purpose built saltwater spinning reels.

3. Line

Braid, fluorocarbon or monofilament? Every angler has their favorite.

When selecting a line for your inshore setup understanding the attributes of each type of line is important.

Mono has some built in stretch to it whereas braid and fluorocarbon does not stretch that much.

Braid is not very good at standing up to sharp objects whereas mono is quite abrasion resistant.

The best line weights for an inshore fishing setup is 10 lbs mono or 20 lbs braid.

As a general rule most inshore fishing tackle can be used with the above line setup.

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best pier net

Best Pier Nets for Landing that Catch

​If you have fished on any kind of pier that is a decent height above the water your probably aware that once hooked actually landing your fish can be a bit of a pain, especially for big fish.

The most obvious solution to this problem is a pier net.

​With smaller fish you can either hand line them or dead stick them on your rod with the reel locked down, but once you are hooked into anything substantial then a pier net is the best choice.

Most pier nets will be what is commonly known as a drop net.

Drop nets for pier fishing look a lot like a crab net.

The only issue with using a crab net is that they usually not designed to take a lot of weight and the rim of the net can bend or buckle with too much weight in it.

Gaffs can be used on a pier but they will pretty much kill any fish once hooked on them, some piers have banned the use of gaffs on them for this very reason.

Pro Tip: put knots in your rope every two feet to make hauling easier!!!

All good drop nets will have a heavy steel frame(usually round) and strong well stitched mesh.

​50 to 100 feet of rope should be enough for most piers and anything more can make the net a little bit harder to transport and really long ropes can be much easier to get knotted up.

​Best Pier Net

​The Frabill drop net has a big 36 inch mouth and a solid steel hoop frame that can handle some fairly decent sized fish.

It comes prerigged with 50 feet of rope so it's ready to go out of the box.

​The 1/1/2" mesh is quite solid and is 36" deep giving you a deccent volume even for some thing like a ray or small shark.


​The Promar Deluxe double hoop net has a large 36 inch upper hoop and a smaller 14 inch hoop.

The lower hoop helps the net to maintain it's shape and also to keep the mesh down once it hits the water.

It comes with 100 feet of poly rope and also has two plastic floats included one over the tie point to the et and the other at the opposite end.


​Not all nets for pier fishing need to be drop nets and if you are fishing a fairly low pier a telescopic conventional net with a heavy duty handle is just as good.

​The Ego S2 Slider net extends from 29 tp 60 inches and has a 19 inch hope. They are rated up to 20 lbs extended and 30 lbs retracted.


​Pier Net

​Pier nets take all of the guess work our of landing fish from a pier.

Lower it down, allow the fish to move over the mouth of the net and then haul them straight up.

They are the best option of you are looking to release your fish after catching them.

​A good drop net for pier fishing will have a strong rope attached to it and a solid metal frame. This gives them the ability to pull up some fairly heavy fish.

A long handled regular landing net for pier fishing can work too providing that your pier is not to high up from the water line.

Once you get to 10 feet or more then a drop net is the best option.

​How Do You Pull Up Fish from a Pier ? 

There are a number of methods that can be used to pull up fish from a pier:

  1. By hand on the line
  2. Hauled up with the rod
  3. Use a Gaff
  4. Use a pier net

​Clearly the simplest way to land a fish on a pier is to just pull it up with your pier rod. With the drag on the reel set tight you should haul it up.

Although this might work with very small fish it is a really easy way to damage our rod tip and it is not uncommon to see lighter especially graphite rods snap when doing this.

You can also pull the line by hand. However this mono or braid can do a lot of damage to your hands especially if a fish is thrashing around on the end of your line.

A gaff can be used to hook the fish but it will most definitely kill them so if you are planning on releasing them a gaff not a real option.

The pier net is without doubt the best method to land a fish from a pier!

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best inshore spinning reel

Best Inshore Spinning Reel 2020/2021 – [Buyer’s Guide]

Inshore fishing gives you access to a large variety of fish species and fishing styles whether that's using bait or working lures in and around structures or other features where fish are likely to be found.

Pairing the best inshore spinning reel with a suitable rod with the correct power rating and action will allow you to make pin point casts especially on lighter setups.

Whilst a baitcaster may excel at casting larger lures long distances a spinning reel will normally perform better for closer range work or if using lighter lures or bait rigs.

The best inshore spinning reel will be a size 3000 to 5000 from a high quality brand that is designed for saltwater fishing

Inshore spinning reels need to be capable of standing up to the harsh environment that saltwater fishing imposes on your gear.

Salt is highly corrosive and can wreck the internal gears of a reel if it is allowed to penetrate the reel housing.

Although you could use a freshwater reel unfortunately they do not have the same level of protection from salt water that a saltwater spinning reel is designed for.

Best Inshore Spinning Reels

The Stradic Ci4+ is Shimano's premium spinning reel and it is not only one of the smoothest operating reels you will have use it is also one of the best sealed against the corrosive effects of salt water.

Shimano pulled out all the stops when designing the Ci4+ and have built one of the best spinning reels ever.

With the Stradic, Shimano boasts that the reel casing is twenty percent lighter than the traditional graphite that they use thanks to their carbon infused(Ci) technology.

That weight saving does not come at the expense of strength as you get a reel casing that is also one and a half times stronger and more rigid than traditional graphite.

Internally the gears and are made with Shimano's Hagene cold forged steel process for increased strength over traditionally cut or machined gears.

Both the reel housing and the internal gears rigidity reduce warp and make for one of the smoothest operating reels ever, even when put under a lot of pressure.

For saltwater spinning what really sets the Stradic apart from other reels is how well the drag housing has been sealed.

This is traditionally a weak point in spinning reels that would allow salt water to penetrate the reel and damage all of the internal gears and the drag system.

When Shimano originally released the Stradic they filmed working smoothly after being submerged in saltwater for over a minute caused a lot of talk in the fishing world at the time.

Just like any good reel always rinse it after use in fresh clean water, this plus regular servicing should see your Stradic last many, many seasons of hard use.

Not the cheapest reel around but a sound investment for any serious inshore angler. 

The best inshore spinning reel for the money hands down!


The Penn Clash is a smaller and more affordable version of the Spinfisher VI below even though it shares some of the technologies and build processes.

Yet it is definitely higher up the product line than the Penn Battle 2.

It's quite popular as an inshore fishing reel and runs particularly smooth in comparison to some of the other brands top offerings.

The Clash comes with no less than 8 sealed stainless steel bearings and one anti-reverse bearing.

Just like the Spinfisher it also benefits from the usage of Penn's HT-100 carbon fiber drag washers for a very strong drag system that remains constant through the full range of usage.  

It has a full metal body and all the internal gears are machined using a CNC which results in really tight tolerances and a very sturdy reel with little or no warp when under strain.

Reducing warp in a reel makes a massive difference to how it performs and allows for the maximum amount of power to be transferred from the handle through to the bail system.

The bail has a slow oscillating speed which means when it lays line(in particular braid) onto the spool the line will lie in a more uniform manner which should result in a reduction of wind knots.


The Revo Inshore is the saltwater version of the popular Revo series of spinning reels from Abu Garcia.

It is a beefed up version of the Revo that is built with to better handle the corrosive nature of salt water fishing.

Available in four sizes a 30, 35, 40 and a 60 with the smaller models up to the size 40 being suitable for inshore work and the 60 for more targeted work with larger species in mind.

The Revo range of spinning reels are know to be really good casting reels and the Inshore version is no different.

You get a machined aluminum braid ready spool which combined with the Rocket Line Management system lays your line down evenly on the previous layers of line allowing for a big reduction in backlashes and much better casting performance.

On the smaller 30 and 35 size models Abu have used their Insert molded C6(IM-C6) body design to help reduce weight for better all day use.

On the larger 40 and 60 size they have used an all-aluminum body for better strength and reduced body flexing which is often the cast with bigger reels.

A Carbon Matrix drag system ensures smooth operation even under very high loads when you are hooked into larger fish.

Machined aluminum internal gear and 6 corrosion resistant bearings make for a really smooth running reel even when under a lot of pressure from larger species.


The sixth model in the much loved Spinfisher series from Penn is easily the best inshore saltwater spinning reel that they have ever designed.

Penn are well known in the saltwater fishing world in particular their line of offshore reels like the stunning Penn International, they also have a big presence in the spinning reel market with the Spinfisher, Clash, Fierce and the massive Penn slammer which is used for really heavy spinning setups.

The Spinfisher is their high performance reel for smaller inshore spinning gear and it is one hell of a workhorse.

From beach casting to shorter pier or sight casting over flats the Spinfisher can handle just about anything you can throw at it.

Just like the Stradic above the main selling point of the Spinfisher is just how well it is sealed and the internals are protected from salt water.

The drag is also considerably beefy and Penn use a number of drag washers to almost double the maximum drag.

The line starts at a 2500 and tops out at a size 10500, for inshore work however a size 3500 is ideal or a 4500 if you are throwing heavier lures or beach casting long distances as the extra capacity on the spool will be necessary.


The Saltist line of spinning reels from Daiwa have gained massive popularity in the saltwater fishing world and now with the Back Bay LT they have adapted it for inshore use specifically.

The Lt stands for light and tough which is exactly what you need for all day casting when fishing inshore.

As of now there are only two models available a 3000 and a 4000

Both reels have a drag rating of 15 lbs and the 4000 model has a 30% or so larger line capacity than the smaller 3000, there is roughly about .7 of an ounce in weight difference between the two.

They have an all aluminum body, 6 + 1 bearings and a waterproof carbon fiber Magsealed drag system.

The Magseal does away with traditional washers or gaskets and instead uses a magnetized main shaft that is coated with MagOil Nanofluid which seals the reel extremely well but also makes it run really smooth.

Just like the Revo Inshore the Saltist LT has a machined aluminum spool that comes braid ready so no need for monofilament backing.

The 3000 will hold 170 yards of 20 lbs braid and the 4000 will hold 240 yards of 20 lbs braid.


Inshore Spinning Reels

Your safest bet when choosing an inshore spinning reel is to always stick to the top brands and their saltwater spinning reel offerings.

Although you can get away with a substandard rod a low quality spinning reel for inshore fishing is not going to cut it and you may well end up regretting such a choice.  

Penn, Shimano, Daiwa and Abu Garcia all produce spinning reels that are designed specifically with saltwater usage in mind.

All your reels should be thoroughly rinsed in clean fresh water so that any dried in salt on the exterior of your reel can be washed away.

Over time this salt can become very corrosive and will lead to the operational life of your reel becoming much shorter.

It will also allow for your line to be rinsed free of salt and if you are using a high end line it really is best to keep ot as clean as possible.

What Size Reel for Inshore Fishing ?

The best size reel for inshore fishing will be something in the range of a 3000 to a 4000.

If you are casting all day for speckled trout or redfish then chances are that a size 5000 spinning reel would be a little too heavy.

A heavy reel paired with a light weight rod setup would result in the rod becoming unbalanced and your casting performance would start to suffer.

The best inshore spinning rods will have a medium or medium/heavy power rating and pair well with a size 3000 or 4000 reel.

You will probably want to hold at least 200 yards of 10 or 15 lbs rated line.

3000 or 4000 Spinning Reel?

For most anglers the difference between a 3000 or 4000 saltwater spinning reel will barley be noticeable unless.

The wasiest way to decide is on what size reel matches you line. Always check the line capacities for the braking strain and type of line that you intend to use.

Braid is roughly half the diameter of the equivalent monofilament so make sure to double check.

How Much Drag do you Need for Inshore Fishing ?

As a general rule the drag should be set to roughly 20% to 30% of the line that you are using. So if you are using 10 lbs mono for light inshore spinning then a drag setting of roughly 3 lbs would apply.

If doing some heavier inshore spinning then you may go up as high as 20 lbs at a maximum and this would need roughly 6 lbs of drag.

Most angers are surprised by how little the drag setting should be. When using light line in the 10 to 15 lb range you don't need that much.

Can You buy a Good Saltwater Spinning Reel Under $100 or even $200?

You can buy some of the best saltwater spinning reels for under $200 at under $100 you might be stretching things and you'll have a very limited choice.

Spinning reels start to get expensive once you go above a size 4000 and with inshore fishing reels the highest quality reels starts at roughly this price point.

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best Inshore Spinning Rod

Best Inshore Spinning Rod 2020/2021 – [Buyer’s Guide]

An inshore spinning rod once sized correctly can handle a lot of different setups and techniques.

Although there is a difference in the type of rod that you might use when doing some lightweight jigging for smaller speckled trout with and a heavier setup for bigger lures.

However, you can get away with an all rounder that can cover a lot of different scenario's.

As an all rounder the best inshore spinning rods will be 7'6" with a medium/heavy power rating and a fast action.

This type of rod can perform well with line in the 10 to 20 lbs range if is mono and 15 to 30 lbs range if using braid.

If you are targeting specks, snook, and redfish then you really only need one rod as a general rod or if you are looking to really maximize your performance then a two rod setup as follows:

  • Jigging/lighter setup - 7 foot, medium power with a fast action
  • Longer distance lure work -  7'6", medium/heavy power rating with a fast action

Given the choice between the two setups above I'd opt for the medium/heavy rated slightly longer rod as it is more versatile.

A medium power rod should be rated for mono in the 8 to 15 lbs range and lures in the 3/8 to 3/4 ounce range.

A medium/heavy should be rated for mono in the 10 to 20 lbs range and lures in the 1/2 to 1-1/4 ounce range.

As a general rule if you are using braid you can double the numbers that are quoted for monofilament so a medium/heavy rod would equate to 20 to 40 pound braid.

Best Inshore Spinning Rods

The St Croix Mojo Inshore is the best inshore spinning rod for the money hands down. You get high end rod performance at a mid-range price.

St Croix are known for building some of the best rod blanks available and they have built an enter series of rods for various techniques on their SCII graphite blank.

The Mojo Inshore fishing rods are designed with saltwater fishing in mind and have the specific hardware to handle it.

They come with Baston Forecast aluminum oxide guides and 316 stainless-steel frames which are considerably more corrosion resistant than more common 306 stainless-steel frames.

A high quality Fuji DPS reel seat and a really nice split grip cork handle plus a hook keeper round off the hardware.

Every rod is give two coats of Flex Coat slow-cure finish which gives the blanks a really nice looking nice high quality finish.

All rods are also backed by St Croix's 5 year warranty.

Across the range there are 8 different models to choose from 2 length, 4 power and the same action on all.

There are only two lengths available in the range a 7' and a 7'6" which are two of the best rod lengths for inshore fishing.

All rods have a fast action for quicker hook sets and great feedback or tip sensitivity.

With four power ratings you can choose the exact weight rod for your target setup:

  • ML(medium/light): 6-14 lbs line and 1/8 - 1/2 ounces weights
  • M(medium): 8-17 lbs line and 3/8 - 3/4 ounces weights
  • MH(medium/heavy): 10-20 lbs line and 1/2 - 11/4 ounces weights
  • H(heavy): 15-30 lbs line and 3/4 - 2 ounces weights

The longer rod is better for casting larger weights or lures when sight fishing over longer distances whereas the 7' is great for close in work around piers or docks.


If you are looking for a rod that can double as a light surf casting rod and a medium to heavy inshore rod then the Coastal Salt Pro from Daiwa is the perfect middle ground rod for the two.

The range has much longer and heavier rods than what is available in the Mojo Inshore rods range so for inshore work the smallest of the Coastal rods is a great compromise.

These rods are perfect for throwing big lures either into the surf or over a long distance when out on salt water flats targeting larger species.

The blanks are made from high modulus IM-7 graphite with a woven carbon mixed in for strength and added durability especially when flexing under casting.

They are finished with Fuji Alconite Low Rider guides, a Fuji DPS reel seat and an X-Tube grip design.

At 7' in length and with a medium power rating this rod is great for throwing heavier lures when working inshore.

The line rating is 10 - 20 lbs and it is rated for lures in the 1 to 4 ounce range so definitely not a rod for jigging light lures with.


G Loomis are known for building some very high end rods particularly in the salmon and Steelhead world, one particular line of rods the E6X gives you access to their best technologies at a mid-range price point.

The E6X Inshore line as the name suggests is targeted at inshore saltwater fishing and the demands that it puts on both the rod and the hardware.

These rods are a definitely suited to more finesse inshore techniques like small jigs and plastics or throwing small bait rigs under bobbers.

Like all E6X's the inshore fishing rod series is built on G. Loomis's multi-taper technology giving a very light yet crisp rod blank that is super sensitive.

If you are looking for a rod that has a lot of feedback through the tip then the E6X is a serious contender.

A medium power rod is rated for line in the 8 to 14 lbs range and lures weights of 3/4 to 1-1/2 ounces which is perfect for lighter close quarters work.


The Avid Inshore line of rods from St Croix are a step up in terms of sensitivity when compared to the Mojo Inshore.

The Mojo is undoubtedly the best all round inshore spinning rod that comes at a great price point but if you are looking to really up your game then the Avid line is where it is at.

American made they have a much more sensitive rod blank and the tip section is super sensitive.

The taper on the blank is what really makes it stand out as you get a really sensitive tip but quite a bit of power lower down in the blank which is not that easy to achieve.

This is down to St Croix's Poly Curve technology that gives a much more even taper to the rod blank when compared to the Mojo inshore rod.

The hardware is also uprated from the Mojo and come with Kigan Master Zero Tangle guides that have aluminum oxide inserts with titanium frames with the guides having a more low profile than regular.

The rods are finished off with a Fuji DPS reel seat and full cork split drip handle.

The range runs from 6'6" to 8' in length and a range of rod powers and actions.


Hurricane aren't a brand of fishing rods that a lot of freshwater anglers would be familiar with but in the inshore saltwater world they have quite an underground following.

Built in the USA with inshore fishing in mind the Redbone is an excellent rod for the money.

They have two models for inshore fishing the 'Redbone' and the 'Calica Jack'. Both rods are built on an older style IM7 graphite rod blank.

They feel super light in the hand and have a really crisp tip action. They come with Fuji aluminum oxide guides, full cork handle and a Fuji reel seat.


Inshore Spinning Rods

Most inshore spinning rods should be running 10 lbs mono or 20 lbs braid and if using braid then a 10 to 15 lbs leader of fluorocarbon.

Pair this with the best inshore spinning reel that you can afford and you will have one heck of a setup that if properly looked after should last many years of great fishing.

Let's take a brief look at the specifications in more detail below.

What Size Rod for Inshore Fishing?

As an all rounder the best inshore fishing rod length would be between 7 and 8 feet depending on the setup.

When talking about what length the best rod for inshore fishing is you really need to ask what type of fishing are you doing.

Generally speaking if you are doing some light jigging work then a shorter inshore rod is best.

A shorter rod will allow you to jig your rod with shorter snappy wrist movements. If will also allow you to cast lighter lures or jigs with greater accuracy.

If you are looking to cast bigger lures a long distance when sight fishing over saltwater flats then an inshore rod of at least 7'6" would be more suitable.

Longer rods all things being equal are best at casting long distances.

Inshore Spinning Rod Power

Power is mostly influenced by the weight of your lures or bait rigs and how heavy a line you will be using.

As a guide for the majority of inshore fishing a 10 lbs mono or 20 lbs braid is the norm.

Rods are generally rated by what weight monofilament to pair them with.

For a spinning rod for inshore fishing 10 lbs mono should equate to a medium/heavy power rating.

For lighter jigging a medium power rating is a good option as the rod will have a bit more feel and sensitivity to it.

Action

You want a fast action for most styles of inshore fishing the only exception would be casting big crankbaits as a more moderate action will suit them.

Rod action means where on the rod blank that the natural bend will start to form.

A slow or moderate action rod will start to bend in the lower or middle section of the rod when pressure is applied to the tip.

A fast action rod will start to bend higher up in the top one third of the rod blank.

Fast action rods will have a quicker hook set and will have a lot more sensitivity transmitted down through the rod blank and into your hand.

When working lures or jigs a fast action will also allow you to make snappier short casts with better accuracy that is why the best action for an inshore spinning rod will be fast.

Can You Buy a Good Inshore Rod Under 100?

You can pick up some cheaper rods at about this price point but the best inshore fishing rods will start somewhere in between $100 and $200, with some coming in at double that price for the very high end brands.

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blacktip shark fishing

Blacktip Shark Fishing Tips and Tricks

For most anglers Blacktip shark fishing is their first introduction into the world of shark fishing as a whole. 

In fact a lot of the times it is by accident when they are surf fishing with some kind of bait rig intended for other species.

One thing is for certain fighting these smaller sharks can be a heck of a lot of fun on light tackle.

Most Blacktip sharks will grow to a maximum of just over six feet in length and roughly 40 lbs in weight. But for their size they can be offer a great fight with plenty of aerial displays once hooked.

On heavy tackle when targeting much larger species of shark however they can become a bit of a nuisance as they will happily make bits of a larger shark fishing bait,  sometimes attacking it in small groups.

Blacktip Shark Fishing

Blacktip shark fishing can be done with both bait and lures on light spinning or conventional tackle and even flyfishing for Blacktip is growing rapidly in popularity.

The majority are caught near the surface even when offshore. So sight fishing is normally the best way to go, a good pair of polarized fishing sunglasses will help reduce glare and allow you to see several feet down with more clarity.

Catching Blacktip shark on bait will always be the most productive especially when using a chum bag.

Spread four rods out around a natural structure like a small reef or grass flats where they are known to be found and you should at least see a few interested.

If they refuse your bait for whatever reason then switch to casting topwater plugs as sometimes it can take a little action to get them to bite down.

Blacktip Fishing Gear

Blacktip shark fishing gear is usually much lighter than say when you are Mako shark fishing.

There is no need for for super heavy offshore conventional gear unless that is where you are fishing and there is the possibility that larger sharks may also take your bait.

The best reel for shark fishing on lighter gear will be a size 8000 spinning reel. Not only can you fish with the normal shark bait rigs but you can also cast smaller lures like top water plugs with ease.

A good shark fishing pole when using a size 8000 spinning reel would be a 7 or 8 foot salt water spinning rod like an Ugly Stik Tiger Elite or a surf casting rod in the 9 feet range if you need to cast a larger setup out beyond the breaking surf.

When choosing the right line for smaller sharks such as Blacktip then 50 braid or even 30 to 40 pound monofilament is a good choice for mainline. 

If larger sharks are also in the same waters then I would run 65 lbs braid or 100 lb mono at a minimum. 

A shock leader can be used that is 150 lb monofilament, and even for small sharks I'll use a single strand wire leader of up to 150 lb attached to a size 7/0 or 9/0 circle hook.

Best Bait for Blacktip Shark

Blacktips tend to inhabit reefs and sandy bars in and around beaches so pretty much any bait that makes these areas their home is what will catch Blacktips the easiest.

When fishing for Blacktips like any other shark species chumming will generally give the best results.

Sharks have a much better sense of smell than they do eyesight so get that chum in the water early.

Use the smelliest and oiliest fish you can find. A great reliable chum is a mix of mackerel and barracuda if you can get your hands on them. The mackerel are nice and oily and the cuda smell pretty strong.

Even if you are casting lures still try to get a small bit of chum in the water.

Squid can be a real game changer if they are refusing either live or dead fish as bait. You can use squid on some very light rigs which makes for very interesting fishing once a blacktip is hooked.

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Mako Shark Fishing

Mako Shark Fishing Tips and Tricks

Mako sharks are known to be one of the most aggressive game fish that can be caught on a rod and reel.

Not only are they super aggressive predators but they are one of the fastest shark species and have a reputation for jumping wildly once hooked especially when in sight of the boat.

They also have a very impressive and highly visible set of teeth.

Catching these trophy pelagic's is no easy feat and many days can out on the water can result in no fish but, with the right approach and knowledge you can increase your chances significantly.

The short-fin Mako is considerably more widespread than the long-fin and the majority of short-fin Mako fishing will be done in the 500 feet of water or less.

Mako Shark Fishing

Mako shark fishing can be done by either traditional chumming and bait rigs or increasingly popular is high speed trolling for Mako.

Mako will happily feed on a wide variety of prey such as squid, tuna, bluefish and other sharks but it is the bluefish which is considered the best shark bait for Mako.

Although they can be caught inshore, it is offshore where you will find the best success usually with a lot of chum out.

Also Read: Surf Fishing for Sharks

Chumming for Mako shark is not much different from other species, a fairly standard chum would be a mix of mackerel and tuna ground down and tied off the stern in either a chum bag or a bucket.

I tend to favor bags over buckets as they can be easier to get a really long slick chum line out of.

Care and patience must be used when setting the hook.

A large Mako may take several bites of your bait before it gets the hook into it's mouth and striking to aggressively and too soon is responsible for more missed fish than just about anything else.

I'll run up to four rods in total with baits suspended at varying depths. Ultimately once a shark has the scent of your chum and has started to home in on it's source the chances of them not seeing your bait is quite slim.

Mako Shark Bait

The most successful bait for Mako shark is without doubt live bluefish especially when circling under a kite. Mackerel, squid and menhaden are also very successful.

A large chum bag is almost essential and you need to have enough on board for a full days fishing.

Chum will draw them in from miles around especially of you throw smaller bait fish into the slick of the chum.

The smaller bait fish will draw in small fish in the 3 to 5 pound range. This fish and the sound and vibrations that they give off will help to bring in larger sharks, so don't just throw in some chum and sit there waiting.

Fresh bait is almost always preferred over frozen or store bought so if you can either buy off the dock the day before and keep refrigerated or catch your own using lighter gear.

Mako Shark Tackle and Gear

Mako shark gear will need to be at least a 50 lb class rod and reel and of course heavy wire leaders and circle hooks.

Fish of this size require a shark fishing rod with a lot backbone, a strong butt and top class guides.

Top quality shark reels need to be able to hold a lot of very heavy main line and also have the very best drag systems and internal gears.

I'd run 500 yards of 80 lb main line, with a shock leader section of 300 lb mono which is then attached to a six foot length of #15 wire crimped and connected with a heavy duty barrel swivel.

Always use high quality single strand wire as multi-strand can be chewed up easily by large sharks

Hook wise use a size # 9/0 or 12/0 attached to the wire leader.

On some shark fishing charter boats you can see some monstrous shark setups running up to 8 lines but this is overkill and can become a tangled mess, 4 lines out in the chum around 20 feet down is more than enough for any boat.

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Surf Fishing for Sharks

Surf Fishing for Sharks

Surf anglers know that the single most exciting species of fish they can catch is almost always a shark. Many surf anglers set a series of rods up along the beach in hopes that they will hook a large shark.

Surf fishing for sharks kicks into high gear during the middle of the summer when most of the other game fish species have moved back out toward deeper water.

Anglers who have caught sharks in the surf will attest to the adrenaline-pumping action and intensity that comes when you’re fighting a full-grown shark in the surf.

There are some very important tips and techniques that you should know in order to maximize your chances of catching sharks while fishing along your favorite beach.

In this article, we will cover some of the most important points you’ll need to know when it comes to surf fishing for sharks.

The Best Time to Catch Sharks in the Surf

Sharks are more likely to come closer to the shoreline when the water temperature reaches a certain level. They will begin making their way towards the shore when the water reaches about 75 degrees Fahrenheit, which means the middle of summer is usually considered the best time to go shark fishing out of the entire year.

Most experienced shark anglers point to July 4 as the beginning of the peak of shark fishing season in the surf. This stretch of prime shark fishing will usually last until about Labor Day or a few weeks after.

Shark fishing in the surf is also best done in the late evening or at night since the dark waters make it much easier for them to hunt using their other senses to detect prey in the waters.

Sharks will also use the rising tide to ambush certain unsuspecting fish. Sharks will often prowl the beach in search of various species such as kingfish, croaker, and many others that they can often chase down.

If you know an area along the beach that is typically where other surf fishing anglers set up during the daytime hours, you can usually bet that this will also be a great shark fishing location as well.

Sharks will tend to gravitate toward areas that hold many other types of fish as they are not very picky when it comes to the specific type of fish they will eat at night, or in the daytime.

Most shark anglers who like to fish from the surf will fish throughout the nighttime hours and well into the early morning, while other anglers might arrive in these early morning hours and fish until an hour or so after daybreak.

Whether you’re fishing at dawn or dusk, it’s always good to keep in mind that sharks are much easier to catch and more prevalent along the beach when the sunlight is fading or during the night.

One of the main concerns anglers have when it comes to night fishing for sharks is the lack of visibility that you have which limits your ability to pay close attention to their fishing lines and rods.

It can also be very tough to play a shark along the shoreline after you’ve hooked one. In some cases, the fight with a large shark can last over an hour and the shark will zig-zag its way along the beach in the process.

Best Surf Fishing Locations for Shark

If there are areas of the beach you’re fishing at that have warmer waters in some sections than others, you can be sure that there will be more sharks where the water is warmer. You can still catch sharks in moderately cool or even cold water in some cases if you know where to fish and use the right rig and bait.

One of the biggest factors that determine whether or not sharks will be actively feeding in a particular area is if the tide is rising or falling. Sharks, like other predatory game fish, will use the rising and falling tides to their advantage and ambush their prey inside the rushing waters.

If there are certain areas of the beach that feature sandbars or holes in the bottom, sharks will often use these depth changes to corral their prey and run them up into a shallow area where they can easily devout them.

Unlike fishing for some saltwater species that thrive in rough water and high surf conditions, sharks tend to stick to water that is a bit more calm.

Also Read: Catching Flounder in the Surf

You’re going to be using larger bait and the more calm the water is, the better your bait will stay on the hook, plus the shifting tides and hard-pulling surf won’t move the position of your bait.

When you’re surf fishing for sharks, you don’t always have to cast your bait out to a very far distance in the same way you might do for mackerel and other species. Instead you might be better off casting your lure about midway into the surf.

Experienced anglers will attest to the fact that most sharks will come much closer to shore than you might expect. Cast your bait just beyond where the waves are cresting to have the best shot at hooking a shark.

Best Rigs to Catch Shark in the Surf

Most sharks that you’ll catch in the surf will weigh less than about 100 pounds in most cases. There are the occasional giants that are well over 6 feet in length, but these are truly rare and one the most dedicated, or lucky, surf fishing anglers have a chance to reel in one of these monsters.

You’ll want to use a surf fishing rod that’s at least 8 feet long. Most surf fishing anglers prefer a shark rod that’s up to 12 feet long, which gives them more leverage and helps lessen the amount of fatigue you might get from fighting a large shark for an hour or more.

One of the most important gear items you can have when it comes to surf fishing for sharks is a large reel that’s capable of holding a significant amount of fishing line. You’ll want a reel that can hold about 300 yards of line because sharks are known to tear off vast quantities of line when they are hooked.

Just when you think you have them close enough that you can make the final pull to get them onto the beach, they will make another hard run back out to the deeper water and the fight will lengthen.

You’ll also need to use a steel leader instead of monofilament for shark fishing. This is due to the obvious fact that you’re dealing with an apex predator that typically has extremely sharp, strong teeth that will easily cut through most fishing lines like butter.

Don’t use anything below 100 pound test mono line when it comes to shark fishing. You can use heavier line up to about 300 pound test, but you can also get away with packing more line onto the reel by using a smaller pound test that’s less in diameter.

Remember that your sinkers and hooks will also need to be larger and stronger as sharks are notorious for straightening out smaller, lesser quality hooks.

It’s best to use a hook that’s at least a 6/0 size, but you can probably get away with using one as large as 10/0 in most cases for a larger presentation that will appeal to sharks more quickly than smaller baits.

Best Bait for Sharks in the Surf

It’s no secret that you’ll need larger bait when it comes to shark fishing. You can go with any type of bait fish you want and some might work better in certain circumstances for different shark species.

It’s often recommended that you use a bait fish that’s at least 10 inches long as most large sharks will usually not bother with smaller size bait.

You can also opt for using large chunks of cut bait in an area. Having multiple lines set out with bloody cut bait will always help draw sharks in closer and entice them to bite.

It’s a good idea to do some research and find out what sharks in your area like to eat before choosing which type of shark bait you’ll use.

Conclusion

Shark fishing is considered to be the ultimate form of surf angling. By following the tips we’ve given you, you’ll be off to a great start and should eventually land your first shark, or step up your shark fishing game and improve your overall chances.

As always, check the laws and regulations pertaining to surf fishing for sharks in your area and practice all safety measures that are related to shark fishing in the surf.

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Shark Fishing Charters

Shark Fishing Charters – How to Choose the Right Boat

Without a doubt booking a charter can be one of the most expensive things you can do following your passion for fishing.

Having the guiding hand of an experienced captain and crew can make or break your experience out on the water.

Booking a shark fishing charter is normally one of the most expensive types of charters available especially if you are target Mako or other large species offshore.

Offshore rates per day are usually well over $1000 so a lot of caution and prior planning should be made on your part to ensure that you have the best time possible.

Shark Fishing Charters

1. Do Your Research

The internet has transformed almost every single business in the world and fishing charters are no exception. The majority of charters these days should have a website where you can learn all about the boat, captain and crew.

However, any negative reviews will ever be displayed if it is on the boats own website.

If you can try to look the boat up on one of the numerous online booking websites. Here you will find ALL of the reviews of the boat both good and bad.

If you can try to also look at some local fishing forums, a lot of these forums will have a charter section or thread and you should find some pretty honest reviews.

Facebook groups can also be a great place to find the best shark fishing charters as most people are quite vocal with their assessments and will happily share pictures of their day out and catch.

Be very careful when walking down a dock looking for a shark charter boat as it can be very easy for a captain to talk you into their boat pointing out all of the good things whilst hiding any of the negatives.

2. Choose the Right Captain

Any charter boat is only as good as the people that work on it and the captain is THE most important person on the boat.

The captain sets the tone for both how the crew behave and perform. Ultimately you are trusting this person with your safety.

This is where doing a lot of research up front will pay dividends. It's easy enough to judge the boat from a few pictures but you can tell very little from how competent the captain is.

3. Choose the Right Boat

Although a new expensive boat will not guarantee success it may tell you just how seriously the captain takes his fishing and it a new boat is dirty and not looking perfect then it is normally a pretty good reflection of badly the boat is run.

Conversely an old boat may look shabby and a little worn out but with the right captain and maintenance they can be superior.

Make sure the boat is of a suitable size and power for where you are planing on going fishing.

Any kind of offshore fishing needs a large boat with powerful engines(preferably two engines).

It should have all of the required safety equipment that is required by law and the equipment should be well maintained.

4. Offshore or Inshore

This is one of the biggest decisions you will likely make when booking a shark fishing boat as it will not only affect the price considerably but also how long you will be out fishing for.

A half day rate for inshore shark fishing can start for a little as $150 per person. This will of course depend on the kind of distance traveled and how long you are fishing for.

Offshore fishing however is normally a full day out and full day rates are well over $1000. Bigger boats have much bogger running expenses especially fuel bills and all of this will be factored into your bill.

5. Charter Rates

Shopping around is extremely important and you should never just book the very first boat you come across.

With lots of charters charging over $1000 for a full day it really pays to look up at least 5 to 10 different charters and see how their rates compare to each other.

Always make sure you can book with a credit card in case the charter is cancelled or any other issue arises. 

7. The Tackle Onboard

Tackle is a big issue on board and being stuck using badly maintained gear can be a nightmare.

Shark gear is heavy and heavy gear needs to be well maintained. Shark fishing reels take an absolute hammering on a charter boat as they get heavily used and abused in a year than the average weekend fisherman's. 

A good shark fishing rod needs to be an offshore boat rod that is rated at least 50 to 80 lbs.

Make sure that there are sufficient shark rods and reels onboard and that all of the equipment used when fighting a large shark is up to the job.

Fresh shark bait is also a must and the quality of the bait onboard will say a lot about the how good a charter boat it really is.

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Kayak Shark Fishing

Kayak Shark Fishing

Fishing for sharks from a kayak can be one of the most exciting forms of fishing that you will ever do.

Hooking into a shark from a small plastic kayak can be a massive adrenaline rush, but there are a few important safety concerns to be aware of if it is your first time out.

Sharks are large apex predators and the can put up one hell of a fight especially when you are not on a stable platform like the beach or a charter boat.

But, this can also pose a serious risk to your safety.

Maintaining your balance and remaining upright on the kayak is the most important thing when kayak shark fishing

That being said if you are careful it is just as safe as being in a boat.

Techniques, tactics and gear will be similar to inshore shark fishing from a boat. From a kayak however you do have access to a lot more of the coast line from rocky bays to shallow flats.

Kayak Shark Fishing

Shark fishing from a kayak will generally be done using a couple of rods all of which will be using some form of bait.

Although you can troll from your kayak the most successful method will to use a strong scented bait. The best shark baits will normally some form of freshly caught local fish. 

Local is best as it is what the sharks are already used to feeding on.

Personally I would not use a chum bag when sharking on a kayak as it poses a risk of capsizing.

If you have a cum bag attached to your kayak and a larger shark decides to bite it and try and run with it you may well end up be turn over and into the water.

By all means have a small bucket of chum and throw it in occasionally to help attract sharks in from a distance but do not tie off a chum bag to your kayak unless you have some form of reliable quick release system.

Tackle Considerations

When fishing from a kayak I would tend to use slightly lighter shark fishing tackle than normal.

The reason for this is that you want a really large shark to be able to break the line as a big shark can easily flip you over if they strike your bait hard.

You should also never use a heavy drag as a light drag will lessen the impact of them striking.

Keep your line tight so you can sense every little bump or bite. I would run 20 to 30 lbs main line and of course a wire leader is essential when fishing for sharks.

You won't really be casting any great distance so any shark fishing rod that is suitable for boat fishing should be good enough.

I would avoid roller line guides in favor of more traditional rind guides for your rod as roller guides can be trouble if the line is continually slipping the roller and getting caught on the assembly.

The best reel for shark fishing from a kayak will be either a large capacity spinning reel or a conventional reel. 

Conventional reels are simple and very reliable a Penn Senator for example can be picked up pretty cheaply these days and if properly maintained should last a lifetime.

If a spinning setup is your preference then a size 5000 and up should be good for lighter shark work.

Once Hooked

Once you have a shark on the line probably the most stressful time will be playing it out and then the final unhooking.

The majority of shark fishing is catch and release only so the quicker you play the shark the better the chances of it having enough energy to swim away safely afterwards.

Always keep the bow of the kayak pointed towards the shark as this will help keep you balanced.

You now need to decide will you land the shark on a beach which is safer or continue to play it out on the water.

Extreme care should be taken when unhooking and you should use a very long nose pliers. Never ever put your hand or fingers near the sharks mouth.

Kayak Safety

Firstly, you should receive proper training on how to safely use your kayak.

Secondly make sure you know and understand the currents in the area that you intend on fishing in.

Tides can be very powerful and paddling against a strong outgoing tide can be next to near impossible.

Paddling in the open water is a very dangerous activity and you really should spend some time with an experienced kayaker learning all of the necessary safety drills and understanding safety equipment.

A personal flotation device(PFD) is an essential item. In the event of a capsize it is your life line and will help keep you upright in the water.

A first aid kit and a helmet are also important. Safety flares and a two way radio are also a good option.

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