How To Properly Pair Your Inshore Spinning Rod & Reel


One of the most common mistakes fishermen make is pairing up the wrong rod with the wrong reel.

Pairing the right equipment together can be tricky.

In fact, most anglers don’t do this correctly (which means they aren’t getting the most out of what they’ve purchased).

So in this podcast episode, we’ve got the Salt Strong fishing coaches breaking down exactly how to do this.

You’ll learn:

  • What questions to ask yourself before deciding on a rod and reel
  • What our favorite rods and reels are
  • Why “unbreakable” rods are bad for fishing
  • How to choose a rod for kayak fishing vs boat fishing
  • Why you should never buy a ready-made combo
  • Why Luke likes short butts
  • Plus a bonus snook tip

If you fish with spinning gear then this is a must-listen episode.

You can watch the video version of this podcast below (we recommend the video because we show several examples of rods and reels), listen to the audio version by clicking the play button underneath it, or listen to it on iTunes, Stitcher, or Spotify.

P.S. Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, or Spotify and leave us a review!

How To Properly Pair Your Spinning Rod & Reel [VIDEO]

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How To Properly Pair Your Spinning Rod & Reel [PODCAST]

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best size rod and reel for inshore saltwater fishing

If you fish with spinning tackle and artificial lures, pairing the right equipment together can be the difference between catching a ton of fish, or going home skunked.

The rod is the most important component, then the reel, and let the type of fishing you’ll be doing drive your decisions (not a brand name or how something looks).

Have any other questions about pairing spinning rods and reels?

Let us know in the comments below!

And if you have any other requests for Tackle Tuesday topics, please let us know down in the comments!

P.S. Want access to our best fishing spots and tips, plus discounts to our online tackle store? Click here to join us in the Insider Club!

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Xavier Muniz
17 days ago

I’m leaning towards a Daiwa reel for my new Bull Bay custom rod that I’m super excited you guys got to me so quickly! I’m fishing river/canal with current and structure/docks: I’m debating between Procyon/BGMQ vs the smaller/lighter Fuego/BG models due to the current/structure. I watched the unboxing/review videos, yet can’t seem to pull the trigger on one… do you have a recommendation of which might be the better choice between the Procyon and BG MQ?

17 days ago
Reply to  Xavier Muniz

For dock fishing, I prefer the BG/MQ because it’s the toughest of the ones you mentioned. But the Procyon is a close 2nd.

Justin Ritchey
17 days ago
Reply to  Luke Simonds

^Ditto to what Luke said!

Bob Hartwein
13 days ago
Reply to  Justin Ritchey

Justin, can the Procyon 2500D-XH handle 20 Lb Braid? Also I purchased your Bull Bay Rod as well, so do you think the Procyon is a good fit for that rod as well?

Ira Cohen
2 months ago

1 pc vs 2 pc 7.6 rods, pros & cons?

17 days ago
Reply to  Ira Cohen

1 piece rods are best due to being lighter/stronger since they are all 1 piece. But if storage/travel needs require 2/3 piece rods, they certainly can work great too.

Freddy Hale
3 months ago

I have to use 2 piece rods for traveling to fishing spots. Are any of the rods you all discuss 2 piece or all 1 piece solid rods. Can you recommend a good 2 piece rod?

Joe Kelly
5 months ago

Hey Reel wizards how do you know if you have Reely placed 3 #’s of drag on your Reel ?

Michael Ferry
4 months ago
Reply to  Joe Kelly


Last edited 4 months ago by Michae Ferry
Michael Ferry
4 months ago
Reply to  Joe Kelly
Duncan Smith
7 months ago

Why no talk about the Bulls Bay rods? you sell them in your shop. I’ve cast them on a guides boat and really liked them.

7 months ago
Reply to  Duncan Smith

We have several Bull Bay rods and we’ve been very happy with them. I did a review of their Assault line a while back (, and I more recently got a Stealth Sniper which I have been very happy with… review coming soon.

Landon Gordon
7 months ago

Hey guys. I would love to see you do some tests for the Diawa J Braid. I actually was a die-hard Power Pro guy until my friend that owns a tackle shop turned me on to the J Braid. I mainly use the 10 pound line. So far I know for a fact that I can cast further, no wind knots, and FG knot works best for your leader line. I am using a Fuego 3000 with a TFO 7’6″ Medium action.
Thanks guys, I hope to hear from yall soon!

7 months ago
Reply to  Landon Gordon

Thanks for making time to leave the suggestion! Daiwa J Braid is on our list of new products to test out.

Gary Rome
8 months ago

Why not have the rod and reel combos with type of fishing that you use them with in your store. Would like to know what you are fishing with in your videos to give us some idea of what equipment you prefer and we can evaluate for ourselves.

7 months ago
Reply to  Gary Rome

Our plan is to have more defined combos on our online store. The problem lately has been getting inventory in… production across the manufacturers has been way behind lately, so once we get some reels in stock, the rods are sold out… and vice versa.

I am very much looking forward to being able to keep the shelves full in our store…. hopefully very soon.

In the meantime, there are articles like this in which the pros/cons of the top rods and reels we’ve tested out so far can be found:

Larry Petrie
8 months ago

Very informative, learned a few things. Over the last few years rod & reel manufactures have designed rod and reels to be paired together, I’m not talking about combos at big box stores but higher end equipment. Case in point I recently got a Shimano Ultegra C14+ 5500 XTC to go onto my St. Croix Mojo 10’6″ 3/4-4 oz Surf rod. The main reason is for the long cast and line holding ability of the Ultegra 5500.
I believe Shimano pairs the 5500 with their Tiralejo Surf rod, have you seen major improvements with manufactures pairing their rod & reels?

I can attest to not going to straight up with the more sensitive rods, broke a St. Croix Avid in half on a Red while kayak fishing, bummer loved the rod! Wish I knew this back in January!

St. Croix was terrific to work with the replacement even during the Covid 19 problem!

Joseph Carney
9 months ago

i have a Daiwa BG4000 with 30# j-braid. what would be a good rod to pair it with?

9 months ago
Reply to  Joseph Carney

That depends on the type of fishing you’ll be doing with it most often along with the species that you’re targeting… the answer will be very different if you’re fishing from the beach for sharks compared to fishing for redfish from a boat/kayak in the bay with lures.

Robert Clutz
10 months ago

Great topic. The hardest thing I’ve found when matching a rod to a real is having the line circle within the first few eyes of the rod. Seems like the higher end rods are more set up for this and will cast easier and farther than a rod with eyes that choke the line coming from the reel when casting.


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