Best Size Rod & Reel For Inshore Flats Fishing (For Small Trout To Big Redfish)

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What’s the best size rod and reel combo for inshore fishing?

That’s a question we get asked all the time and it’s a valid question!

You might think that if you go too small, you can’t handle big fish, but if you go too big, it’s going to be tough to cast all day, and smaller fish won’t really be fun to fight.

In this video, I’ll address all of these concerns and give you the exact setup I use for nearly all of my inshore fishing trips, including my favorite type of rod, favorite size reel, and the mainline and braid I normally use.

And since we don’t accept sponsorships from any equipment manufacturers, this is completely unbiased advice based on the equipment I actually fish with.

Enjoy!

Best Size Rod & Reel For Inshore Fishing [VIDEO]

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When I’m inshore fishing, I actually go pretty light.

Here are a few reasons why:

  1. I’m not fishing heavy structure, so I don’t worry about getting broken off
  2. I’m usually casting artificials all day, and heavier tackle makes that a lot harder to do
  3. The gear these days is very well-made, and you’d be surprised at how well light tackle handles big fish (I’ve caught redfish from 5 to 35 pounds with the setup below)

Here’s my typical setup:

  • Rod: 7′ 6″ medium to medium-heavy rod with a fast action tip
  • Spinning reel: 3000 size reel
  • Mainline: 10 lb braid
  • Leader: 20-30 lb monofilament or fluorocarbon

Conclusion

rod and reel

If you’re fishing for inshore fish on the flats, you don’t need to go super heavy (even if there are big snook or bull redfish around).

A 3000 series reel on a 7′ 6″ medium to medium-heavy rod with a fast action tip and 10 lb braid with a 20 lb leader can handle everything from a 15″ trout to a 45″ redfish.

I didn’t mention any brands in this video, but you can check out reviews of some of the rods, reels, and fishing line we’ve used below:

Have any questions about the best size rod and reel combo?

Let me know in the comments below!

And if you know someone who needs to see this video, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

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Scott Freeman
3 months ago

Hello, For inshore fishing and off the beach , would you go with a full cork handle or a shorter split handle. Looking at the fenwick hmg inshore with split handle A. Thanks Scott

Kenneth Johnston
1 year ago

I’m looking for a recommendation from you for a casting reel for flats fishing. I don’t like spinning outfits to fish crank baits, I.e. top water, shallow running baits, etc. You only have one in the tackle shop, should it be adequate? Thanks.

Charles
1 year ago

What fishing rod and reel would be a good all-around combination for docs and structure?

Steve S
1 year ago

I have a 7’6” Med hmg inshore that’s 8-20lb 1/8-1oz would you recommend going up a power to the Med-hvy 7ft 12-25lb line 1/2-1.5oz or is that generally to heavy for inshore work?

Steve S
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony Acevedo

Thanks Tony!

Reid Mills
1 year ago

So I’m a year late to this discussion, but thanks for the video and explanation. It really helps to get a good visual on best rod set up. I did have a quick question, how light of a braid can you put on a medium heavy rod? For my popping cork setup, I have a 7ft MH rod with a 2500 Battle II. Before, I had that 2500 reel on a Medium rod, but I wanted something a little stiffer. Will 10lb or 15b braid have any negative effect on a MH rod?

Reid Mills
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony Acevedo

Thanks Tony, I appreciate the quick feedback. Tight lines

Mike O'Boyle
1 year ago

My last comment was accidentally anonymous…

I’m currently using a G Loomis Greenwater 6’6 medium-heavy to fish soft plastics close to mangroves from my kayak. I’ve found myself standing up on the yak more recently however, particularly to get a better vantage point and extend my casting distance. I’m looking for a 7’6 med to med-heavy fast action setup that will allow me to fish greater distances on the flats and something that works well for topwater. I’ve been eyeing the G Loomis E6X inshore, the St. Croix Avid and some G-loomis progreens to name a few. Any suggestions for long casting/topwater options from a kayak? Short rod butt is a plus! Thanks.

Anonymous
1 year ago

I’m currently using a G Loomis Greenwater 6’6 medium-heavy to fish soft plastics close to mangroves from my kayak. I’ve found myself standing up on the yak more recently however, particularly to get a better vantage point and extend my casting distance. I’m looking for a 7’6 med to med-heavy fast action setup that will allow me to fish greater distances on the flats and something that works well for topwater. I’ve been eyeing the G Loomis E6X inshore, the St. Croix Avid and some G-loomis progreens to name a few. Any suggestions for long casting/topwater options from a kayak? Short rod butt is a plus! Thanks.

Won Lee
2 years ago

Im currently using a MH 6’6 ugly stick gx2 with a daiwa bg 3000. I’m currently learning so I’m out for whatever I can get inshore would it be beneficial for me to get a better 7’ …7’6 rod I guess I’m asking would the benefits be worth the extra money for me now .

Chris
2 years ago

Interesting, I read that when fishing for speckled trout and since their mouth is very delicate and tender you’d want a rod that is more on the lighter end with slower action. Then again I’ve consumed so much information during this pandemic I don’t know what to believe anymore.

Would a 7-footer with a medium power and moderate action be a good all around spinning rod(speckled trout, red, bass)? What would you recommend? I’m rocking a Osprey CE 3000 reel

Cheers,
Chris

Luke Simonds
2 years ago
Reply to  Chris

That technically is true for all fish, but I put more emphasis on the rod’s ability to let me deliver and present a lure to the fish while also feeling for strikes and getting good hooksets (all of which favor the fast action rods with medium to medium-heavy power rods). The added benefits of those factors far outweighs the potential for some hooked fish to potentially get off.

Anonymous
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony Acevedo

Luke and Tony, that is the only explanation I’ve seen of why so many people are recommending fast-action rods for trout fishing while others are focusing on the threat of trout spitting hooks and the desire for soft rod tips. As with most problems, the answer is a compromise, mitigated by proper use of the drag. Thank you!

Glenn Wiebe
2 years ago

I needed a new bait casting bass reel, so I bought the chronarch g for salt water hoping to use also for inshore. I’m set on spinning gear, but for inshore bay, wading fishing (Texas gulf) what length, action and power rod do you suggest to match this reel? Thank you in advance.

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