How many rods?

kangadrewkangadrew Posts: 32 Greenhorn
I am building new rods for my saltwater fishing, and I'm wondering how many rods you'd suggest building to bring. I typically fish live baits - shrimp, mullet, and pinfish. The only time I fish artificial in saltwater is for Spanish, pretty much. 
My main targets are snook and tarpon of all sizes - but I also enjoy jacks, sharks, and barracudas - and fishing bridges for sheepshead and mangrove snapper. 

I was thinking something like three medium rods - two 7'6" for further casts, and one 7' for fishing mangroves, docks, and maybe for sheeps/mangos too. Then another 7'6" that can be rigged up for throwing bigger live mullet/pinfish. 

Would you add any more to that, take any away, or change that list at all? 
Thanks for the help


  • Saltwater JunkieSaltwater Junkie Posts: 1,043 Officer
    Build rods for line class. 
  • DropTheHammerDropTheHammer East CoastPosts: 556 Officer
    You're targeting inshore species. There's game fish and ground fish. They range from large, medium, small.

    Three is sufficient, five is better. I broke something. Hold on, wait. I got it like that. ;)
    We all new what we were doing until DropTheHammer showed up.
  • LostconchLostconch Posts: 169 Deckhand
    No matter how many for me it always 1 more
  • SaltygatorvetSaltygatorvet TallahasseePosts: 2,625 Captain
    You may want to bring a med heavy or heavy power if your going to fish docks for snook. 25-30 lb braid and at least 40lb fluorocarbon leader. That would be a light rod for a big tarpon you’d probably want to go with something that can hold a few hundred yards of 40-50 lb braid and has the backbone to quickly whip a 150 lb fish (so you don’t tire it out so you don’t kill it).  Good luck , post a report 
    You should have been here yesterday
  • kangadrewkangadrew Posts: 32 Greenhorn
    Considering a Saltiga 3500-4000 on a 7'6" 10-20 rod for my heavier setup. From reports I've seen of the Stella 5000 on a Gloomis 10-20, it can handle tarpon to 175 spooled with 40 lb braid. I don't like Shimano as much as Daiwa, so I may try the Saltiga. I use Ballistic LTs and they're phenomenal. 

    So the 3500-4000 for tarpon to the 100 range, dock/bridge snook, and it can be used for cudas, big jacks, or playing with sharks. 

    Then the medium setups, one shorter for digging up fish from pilings or mangroves and two longer for anything else. 

    I think that might do it, to be honest. Ive got an MXL Raptor and a pair of LX that can come out when I need them for offshore (raptor for grouper/snapper and the LX for trolling) and the MXL could double for a really heavy tarpon rig if it needed to.

  • SaltygatorvetSaltygatorvet TallahasseePosts: 2,625 Captain
    I think a 4000 series reel is too small for tarpon. They can pull off 100 yards before you can get off your anchor. You will want at least 250 yards of main line
    You should have been here yesterday
  • BryanCBryanC Posts: 621 Officer
    A 4000 series Daiwa holds about as much line as a 6000 series Shimano.  It might get the job done, but I would go up to a Daiwa 4500 / Shimano 8000 size reel for large tarpon.
  • SaltygatorvetSaltygatorvet TallahasseePosts: 2,625 Captain
    BryanC said:
    A 4000 series Daiwa holds about as much line as a 6000 series Shimano.  It might get the job done, but I would go up to a Daiwa 4500 / Shimano 8000 size reel for large tarpon.
    You should have been here yesterday
  • TarponatorTarponator Under a BridgePosts: 11,257 AG
    edited July 2 #10
    Drew,  There is no perfect answer to your question except for your own answer.   That said, I typically build setups for specific presentation types.  For instance, I cast swimbaits a great deal for tarpon.  I have several setups that are optimized for this lure.  In another case, I like to skip artificals and live baits under docks for snook and redfish.  I have a few setups to do that.  If you are a beginner and not really sure what setup is right for a particular species or technique, you're better off buying a range of tackle (i.e. light, medium, heavy) and figuring out what's best for you and the type of fishing you prefer to do, and to that end, your proposed setups seem just fine to me.  Hope this helps...Mike
  • kangadrewkangadrew Posts: 32 Greenhorn
    Okay, I will definitely have two 8-15 lb rods - one 7'6" for any kind of distance casting, and one 7' for fishing mangroves. Probably 15 lb braid and a high gear ratio on the 7'6" and 20 lb with a lower ratio on the 7' for winching fish out. 
    I will probably add another 7'6" as a "just in case" rod, or I could rig it for a different type of bait (mullet vs shrimp, or popping cork vs freeline/split shot rig, etc). 
    The 7' rod will double as my piling rod for sheeps and mangos. 

    However - would it be worth bumping the 7' rod up to a 10-17 or 10-20 lb rod? I worry this might overpower the mangroves - but be necessary for slot snook, reds, and sheepshead and such in structure. Line would stay the same, reel might bump to a 3000 instead, even though the 2500 would hold enough line. 

    For tarpon, jacks, overslot snook, cudas, sharks, etc - I'll be running a 7'6" 20-40 with the Saltiga 4000 and 40 lb JB braid. This reel holds 320 yards of braid and can comfortably fish 20 lbs of drag (that JB breaks at like 75 lbs). With a good rod, I see zero reason this setup couldn't handle large tarpon. In an absolute worst case scenario, we can chase the fish. 

    For offshore duty I'll have an Avet SX Raptor with 60 lb braid for bottom type stuff, and a pair of single speed LX with 30 lb mono for slow trolling live baits. These won't be out much though. 

    So I think my main question is - will a 10-17/10-20 lb rod overpower mangroves inshore? Or is it worth stepping up to handle snook, sheepshead, and reds near mangroves. 

    Tight lines
  • Kill_It_N_Grill_ItKill_It_N_Grill_It fort lauderdalePosts: 60 Greenhorn
    as for numbers I like to have one set up for each type of fishing I could example: one for twitch baits, one rigged for live bait, one for topwater, one for jigs or soft plastics. fished star rod 71/2 ft 8-17 for a couple years because it seemed like I couldn't get the feel or durability from the others out there.  just switched to the St. Croix mojo inshore 7 1/2 foot and am very happy so far.  I use 4000 size reels as my ambidexurous reels for tarpon, snook, dolphin, bottom fishing and even keep it in my truck and use it for freshwater for bass.  I have the st. Croix with the shimano stradic **** 4000 outfitted with 20lb power pro and typically 20 -25 lb leader.   I also have a Penn battle 4000 as my secondary on a star rod and that reel has outlasted 3 rods so far and caught many different species and sizes of fish.
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