Pier fishing can be one of the best ways to start out fishing in saltwater. There is a huge variety of fish that live in and around the submerged structures of the pier.
Cobia, Spanish Mackerel, Pompano, Flounder, Tarpon, Redfish even Sailfish and sharks are all available to you throughout the year from a pier.
Give that there is so many different species that range from smaller baitfish all that way up to sharks then it’s pretty clear that the really is no one rod that can handle all of these species.
The best pier fishing rod is one that matches what kind and size of fish that you are targeting.
If I had to be pushed and could only choose one rod for per fishing then I probably go with some along the lines of the following:
- Type – spinning
- Length – 7 to 8 feet long
- Power – medium or medium/heavy
Although not ideal when using a jig rig for smaller mackerel you can still get by with a rod like this and also be able to handle larger species and cast fairly heavy sinkers for bait fishing at the same time.
You have a choice of either 12 to 15 lbs monofilament or 20 lb braid as your main line.
What type of Fishing Rod is Best for Pier Fishing ?
Ideally you would run up to three different types of rods for pier fishing a light and a medium/heavy spinning rods for jigging and bait fishing close in to the pier and a casting rod for throwing larger lures or bait at a distance.
- Jigging/baitfish - spinning rod, 7 feet, medium/light power rating
- Medium Bait/Lure – spinning rod 8 feet, medium/heavy power rating
- Larger species – spinning rod or conventional, 9 feet, heavy power rating
Materials wise your choice is between a fiberglass or a graphite rod blank.
Fiberglass is much tougher and pier fishing is particularly hard on rods. However, they are also slightly heavier and if you are doing a lot of casting or jigging then a lighter graphite rod is the way to go.
It you are just dropping bait down from the pier then fiberglass is the better choice. Graphite is pretty brittle/fragile and if you are leaning it against the hand rail of the pier it is much more prone to getting damaged.
What is the Best Length/Size Rod for Pier Fishing ?
A good length/size rod for an all round pier fishing is roughly seven to eight feet in length.
Longer rods are better casting but not that great up close, shorter rods will be better for jigging and dropping bait down vertically but make it harder to turn a fish if they decide to run under the legs of the pier.
The sweet spot in length allows you to turn a fish away from the pier pylons with out it being so long like a surf rod that it will become awkward and cumbersome to use on a busy pier.
The first three rods below are better suited for lighter work especially if you are a beginner.
Best Pier Fishing Rod
Our first pick is actually a pier fishing rod and reel combo, the Penn Battle II spinning combo is an excellent choice if you are just looking to try your hand at fishing from a pier for the first time.
For a beginner a combo is a a real no brainer and it takes out any of the guess work when it comes to making that all important choice.
Penn are one of the most respected names in saltwater tackle and this pier combo is no exception when it comes to their legendary quality and reliability.
A combo like this gives you a perfectly matched rod and reel for pier fishing and also when bought as the one deal you’ll also get a decent saving over buying a separate rod/reel.
The Battle II reel is the real star of the show and although you might out grow the rod, the reel if maintained correctly should still be working away in ten years time.
For light work the 2500 size is great for jigging and targeting smaller species. The rod is a medium/light power rating and the rel can hold 140 yards of 10 lb mono or 160 yards of 20 lb braid.
For larger species and bigger baits you can go up to a 4000, which would cover you for a lot of different species and different rig setups.
- Penn Battle II high quality reel
- Range of reel sizes, rod length and power/actions
- Aluminum oxide guides
Don’t let the name fool you although not strictly what some anglers would consider a pier rod the Mojo inshore series from St Croix are excellent rods for jigging and light lure work around structures.
If you are routinely throwing a lot of light lures and smaller jigs depending on your location. If that is the case then you will need a graphite rod that has a lot of sensitivity.
A more sensitive rod with a fast action and responsive rod blank is a must when targeting smaller species on light tackle.
Fiberglass rods will not give you the kind of feedback that you need. Clear and crisp tip sensitivity can make or break your jigging.
All of the rods have a fast action and are available in a ice pread of power ratings.
- Aluminum oxide guides
- SCII graphite
- Fuji reel seat
- Split grip cork handle
- 5 year warranty
The Shimano South East Teramar Spinning rods make great all rounders.
They come with very high spec hardware like Fuji reel seats, Hardloy guides and a premium cork handle.
The 7 foot medium action rod will cast 1 ad 2 ounce lures or weights a mile so if you are looking to get out from the pier this is a solid choice.
- TC4 rod blanks
- Fuji Hardloy guides
- Fuji reel seat
Pier Fishing Rods
If you are just starting out pier fishing then I would strongly suggest that you should target smaller fish that are under five pounds and that you buy a pier fishing rod that is suitable for this type of fishing.
Learning how to rig a bait and cast smaller lures is the single best way to improve your knowledge and experience.
Because you will probably catch more fish than if you are to target larger species. It’s all about practice and working your way up from the easier to catch smaller fish eventually to the large ones once you gain the skills and experience.
You can have a lot of fun catching strings of mackerel on a sabiki rig and with a light enough spinning rod you will not need anything like a dedicated sabiki rod that you will see on a lot of boats.
For this I would suggest a good inshore spinning rod as your first pier fishing pole. Spinning reels are more forgiving than a conventional or baitcaster.
Casting is much easier with a spinning setup. Casting should not be a bottle neck that stops you from catch especially when you are fishing right above the fish on a pier.
When you are using a bobber with bait or lure and jigs a good spinning rod can handle all with ease.
Ask around on the pier and look for guidance from the more experienced fishermen. They can point you in the right direction when it comes to what type of tackle and bait to use for that particular pier.
You can choose either a fiberglass or a graphite rod , but if it is your first time fishing then a fiberglass rod will be an excellent per rod for a beginner.
They are all lot tougher and can take a lot more abuse than a graphite rod blank.
When resting your rod up against a pier all day it can take a lot of abuse and a very light fragile graphite rod may not always be the best option, fiberglass however can take a lot of scrapes and knocks without losing any strength.