Let’s Try Fishing – Rod & Reel

Today’s topic in the “Let’s Try Fishing” series is rod and reel setup. There are many places to purchase a rod and reel and associated gear on the Outer Banks, but only a local tackle shop can provide quality gear and how to use it. And as a new angler, purchasing quality gear and following their advice is invaluable.

One mistake many first-time anglers make is bringing their “favorite” freshwater gear when fishing in our harsh saltwater environment. That decision to use the wrong gear may work initially but inevitably it will fail and most likely at the most inopportune time.

Now let’s talk about what equipment and gear is needed. Remember, we want to keep this simple. So you want a good all-around rod and reel setup. The best starter rod will be a seven to eight foot with a medium flexibility. I like a one piece rod but a two piece allows for better storage. This size and style rod should give you the sensitivity to feel a bite and enough backbone to reel in most local species. The reel should be loaded with a 12-15lb test monofilament line. Braided line is also an option which I will discuss in a future article. So for now stick with monofilament lines.

Next part is tackle or rigging. The basic tackle setup will be a snap hook connected to the end of your main line with a standard two hook bottom rig and a sinker. You can either tie the bottom rig directly to the main line or use a snap swivel. A snap swivel allows for quick change for gear. But either method should work well. We will discuss knots in another article but for immediate access you can find basic knot tying methods in this section of my website: https://walkingangler.com/basic-knots/

Next you will need to decide on hooks and sinkers. Your tackle shop staff can help with the proper size and style of hook and sinker types. I suggest a simple Number 4 “J” hook and a #2 or #3 pyramid sinkers depending on the waves and tides. The key to weight size is to just hold the bottom and not allow the weight and bait to move.

So there you go. A complete and simple rod, reel and rigging set up. We could get more involved describing the various styles and types but let’s leave that up to the tackle shop staff.

Check back soon for the next phase of Let’s Try Fishing.

Until Next Time – Tightlines – Capt. Tony

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