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
For most anglers a spinning setup will be the preferred choice.
For most setups inshore 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.
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 most common types of inshore reels 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.
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.
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.
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.