I’ve recently started doing a lot more shore fishing and I’ve been doing a lot of research to find the best rod, reel, and line combo. There’s really no right answer but this post will show you my favorite setup and what I use most of the time.
A lot of the choice is going to be based on your skill level and what type of fish you’re going for. Beginners will be way better off with a certain setup while more experience people will probably prefer something else. I do use both setups though because they each have their place.
The first thing we’ll talk about is what reel you should get. Obviously, you’ll want something that casts and then you’ll get the proper rod for it. Then I’ll tell you my go-to line setup because it’s pretty specific. Let’s jump into it.
Best Shore Fishing Rod And Reel: Beginner
This is going to be the best setup if you’re a complete beginner or are going to be using light tackle and line. This is the exact thing I use when I’m fishing with a line under 10 lbs or when it’s really windy out.
The best shore fishing rod and reel for beginners would be a spinning setup. I’m probably going to assume you don’t want to spend a fortune on a rod/reel combo so something like the Okuma Ceymar reel with an Ugly Stik Elite medium action rod (7 foot). I’m a big fan of how these reels perform and the Ugly Stik is one of the better rods that won’t break the bank. See the ones I use here.
The reason I like spinning reels is that they’re extremely easy to use and nothing generally goes wrong. They can cast the longest distance and can be used for trolling behind a boat as well. The reason I like the Ceymar/Ugly Stik is that they’re inexpensive and can be used for bass, trout, salmon, and other larger fish.
The downside to these rods is that they’re not the best if you’ll be fishing in tight areas or for bigger fish (above 10 lbs). They don’t have the toughest backbone (bend a lot) and a lot of pressure will be put on the guides (what your line goes through) so it’s not going to be as strong as what I’ll be talking about next.
If you can get both then that’s ideal because I like to use this setup when I’m fishing for smaller stuff because it does cast better with lighter tackle (the next option doesn’t). Stuff like flies and whatnot works well on the spinner.
Best Shore Fishing Rod And Reel: Advanced
This is going to be the best setup if you’re a bit more experienced with casting or you want the most versatility in a rod. This is what I use 80% of the time and find it’s a lot more fun to fish with.
My favorite shore fishing reel and rod would be a baitcaster. What I use is the Shimano SLX reel with an Ugly Stik Elite medium-heavy casting rod. They’re both great and are actually pretty affordable as well.
It’s not going to cast quite as far as the spinning reel and it’s definitely harder to use (it will birds nest) but it’s more fun to fish with and is more versatile. Here’s why I like a baitcasting rod:
- It’s more fun to fish with.
- You can catch bigger fish with it (stronger backbone).
- It’s more accurate to cast with.
- I can use it in tighter spaces.
Baitcasters can reel in faster as well which has its advantages for certain things. I also find they’re a bit more sensitive so you can feel the fish more (which is a lot more fun). Both are great options though so it’s more personal preference and what your current skill level is.
Best Line For Shore Fishing
The good thing about the fishing line is that there’s one standard setup I use for most of my rods. It’s only going to work if you’ll be fishing from the shore or in fairly shallow water and isn’t going to be ideal for trolling (unless you use weights).
The best fishing line for shore fishing would be a braided line with a fluorocarbon leader. I like using a braided line as my main and then I’ll attach a 6-7 ft leader on the end. I think most people fishing from the shore (and for bass) use this setup. Here’s how to connect the two lines:
I like using a braided line because it’s much stronger than normal fishing line and I think it casts better. If you’re going to be fishing from the shore then you’ll probably run into weeds and other things in the water so you’ll want to make sure your line isn’t going to break. It also lasts a lot longer which is a big plus.
I like using a fluorocarbon leader because it sinks (braided floats). You can go all braided and then attach a weight if you want but I prefer using the two. It’ll also help prevent snags on the bottom because most of your line will float and you’ll only have 6-7 feet of line sinking down. Here’s how I set things up:
Step 1: I’ll use the fluorocarbon/mono line as a backing and put a couple of wraps on the spool (before the braided). It grips the spool much better and will stop the line from slipping. Just cover the spool with a single layer. I normally use 12 lb Seaguar Red Label.
Step 2: I’ll attach the braided line to the backing and fill the spool up until there’s a 1/8 inch gap between the line and the top of the spool (you don’t want to fill it completely). I normally use 20 lb Suffix 832.
Step 3: I’ll attach the fluorocarbon leader to the braided line. I like to make sure my knot is between the reel and the lowest guide because I don’t want the knot in my reel. You can have it in there but it can sometimes snag and not cast very well.
That’s pretty much it. If you’re a beginner and want something simple then go for the spinning reel. If you want something a bit more versatile and fun then go with the baitcaster. You really can’t go wrong though.
Happy fishing. There are plenty of fish in the sea.
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