Saltwater Fishing Tackle
Saltwater Fishing Tackle connects you to the fish, literally between your rod and reel and whatever is flopping around (or tearing line from your reel!) at the end of your line.
There are some important decisions to be made here about fishing line, leaders, swivels, jig heads, hooks, and popping corks. Popping corks, you say, I thought this site only spoke about fishing with lures? Well, I’m glad you asked. I had similar questions and reservations, that is until I learned how well they work in certain situations.
Saltwater fishing tackle should make your life easier, help you catch more fish, and make you more efficient on the water. So let’s talk about these choices, the different options you have for keeping that fish at the end of your line, and then to your hand.
We’ll start with the fishing line because it’s the first thing coming off your reel. The choices here are Monofilament, Fluorocarbon, and Braid.
Monofilament was the standard for a long time and continues to work well. It’s also the least expensive and easiest to untangle when you get a backlash. It’s fairly abrasion resistant, will stretch, and pretty well camouflaged in the water.
Fluorocarbon resembles mono, but it’s stronger, tougher, and harder to see in the water. It’s an easy choice as a leader material. But as I know you’re already thinking, it is more expensive. In a quick bit of research for this article, fluorocarbon was 4-5 times more expensive than mono.
Then you have a Braided line, also called Superline. This doesn’t look like mono or fluoro and gives you a different feel when fishing it as well. It looks like what it is, materials braided together. What you get is increased sensitivity, little to no stretch, and the strongest of the three when comparing similar diameters. It’s also the most expensive.
Head to the Fishing Line page for more information.
Swivels and Lure Clips
Lots of tangles and frustration can occur when your line twists. On a spinning reel, a line twist can be like a bad backlash on a bait cast reel. You might be reaching for your knife or clippers and cutting it out.
Swivels are little metal attachments that come in handy here, eliminating line twists. They can also provide a connection point between your mainline and leader material. This simplifies the connection because the knots between different fishing lines can be complicated.
Lure Clips come in handy when you are changing lures. This means no cutting line and no new knots. There are some good ones on the market that I’ve used with no problems. This does go against some traditional thinking that a knot should be the only thing between your line and the lure, but I’ve used them and they work well. They also work as a loop knot and give your lure some better action.
The term “Leader” means that you have a different line attached to your lure than the fishing line coming from your reel. There are lots of reasons for this, the main one having to do with abrasion resistance. Most of the fish you’ll catch along the Texas coast have sharp teeth, rough mouths, gill plates, or all three. They also live in a tough environment that includes rocks and shells.
The most popular material is a fluorocarbon, because it is almost invisible in the water, has little stretch, and is stronger and tougher than monofilament. The rub with using leaders is that you have more connections, either with a swivel or attaching the leader to your mainline.
I have almost always considered popping corks in the realm of bait fishermen, and since I rarely if ever use bait, I never learned about them. That is until recently when I visited with Lane and Glynn of Midcoast Products, one of our Texas manufacturers.
What I learned is that popping corks can greatly increase casting distance, and can provide sound attraction through pops and clicks. This is one aspect of my game that I’m looking forward to developing.
Head to the Popping Corks page for more information.
Jig Heads and Hooks
When you fish soft plastics, and I think they are essential to catching fish in most situations, you’ll be using soft plastics. They come in lots of sizes and have lots of looks. They have to get your lure into the area where the fish are and have to help you hook the fish. Using a jig head with a sharp, black nickel hook is a must.
This is a good example of saltwater fishing tackle making your life easier and more efficient, or saving you some big-time frustration! Having a sharp hook helps you take advantage of that magic moment when you get a hit. You've put in a lot of time and effort, and should be rewarded by bringing in your fish.
The same thing goes for those times when you use hooks by themselves. Black nickel is the way to go, because they are sharper and because they are more durable in the saltwater environment. There are a lot of options when you fish in saltwater, but for me, there are no options in hooks. They have to be sharp, strong, and durable!
Head to the Jig Heads and Hooks page for more information.
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