Getting started in the world of salt water fishing can be intimidating. Even if you’ve been at it for a while, the rows upon rows of shiny new lures, rods, reels and other fishing equipment at the local bait shop offer a lot of temptations. Some are worth being tempted by, others not so much.
10 Tips to Buying the Right Salt Water Fishing Equipment-Check out our Fishing Equipment!
This guide to selecting (as well as using and maintaining) the right salt water fishing equipment will get you started on the right track. Just remember that there isn’t always one perfect piece of fishing equipment for every situation.
- Buy only the lures you need. You have to be prepared, but there’s no need to be loaded down with dozens of lures you’ll never use. Choose a few that suit the conditions and type of fish you’re after, and add to your collection over time.
- Keep lures looking like new. Fish are more likely to strike bright, shiny lures than old, tarnished ones. Wash your lures with fresh water and dry them after each saltwater excursion to prevent corrosion. It’s also wise to replace the treble hooks on lures occasionally as they become dull and rusty.
- Invest in some marine charts. Charts and maps are easily overlooked additions to your arsenal of fishing equipment, but they’re invaluable tools to help you find fish, understand the underwater habitat and navigate safely.
- Get the right rod. Your fishing rod is one of your best friends. Whether it’s the long 15-foot rod used for surf fishing, the heavy-duty rods used for deep-sea trolling or a standard spinning rod used for casting on shallow flats, the rod needs to be matched to the situation.
- Get the right reel. Your fishing reel is your other best friend. Be sure to choose one that you’re comfortable with and matches your rod. If you’re having trouble choosing rods and reels, ask some local anglers what they prefer. Local experts are almost always a helpful and reliable source of fishing information.
- Use quality line. When it comes to fishing line, avoid the temptation to buy cheap, off-brand line. Stick with quality line that you have confidence in. Even if it costs a few dollars more, you’ll get smoother casting, better knots and fewer fish lost due to broken lines.
- Lubricate your reel. Keep some reel lubricant handy so you can maintain and extend the lifespan of your reel. Check it over once when it’s brand-new to make sure they didn’t miss anything at the factory, and then lubricate it again every six months or at the end of each fishing season.
- Make some noise. Noisy topwater lures are excellent for situations when you’re fishing in turbid water and fish need a little extra help to find your lure. Always keep at least one or two lures that rattle or pop when you fish them slowly.
- Avoid wire leaders. Some experts advocate using wire leaders in certain situations, but you’re better off using strong monofilament line if you can get away with it. Monofilament is less visible to fish and is less likely to weaken due to kinks. Learn to tie the Bimini Twist knot to create a double-line leader using monofilament.
- Get some circle hooks. If you’re fishing with live bait of soft plastic lures, circle hooks are a great choice. They rarely hook fish in the throat, which means fewer fatalities among released fish. They also are easy to use. You don’t even have to set the hook with a hard jerk – just apply steady pressure and the hook will lodge naturally in the corner of the fish’s jaw.
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