Planning Your Fishing Trips: How Many Rods To Bring (And What To Rig)


Here’s are some question we’ve been getting recently:

How should I prepare my fishing rods for an inshore trip?

How many rods should I bring?

What should I rig on them?

These are all great questions since how you prepare your rods for a trip can either save or cost you a lot of time.

Plus, if you don’t bring enough rods, your trip could easily be cut short by bad luck.

In this video, I’m going to share how many rods I bring and how I rig them up to save time and catch a lot of fish.

Check it out below.

How To Prepare Your Rods For An Inshore Trip [VIDEO]

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You always want to bring at least two rod and reel setups when you go fishing.

If you have just one, something could happen to your rod or reel, your line could get tangled, or you could get spooled by a big fish.

If any of those things happen (and they’re not uncommon!), that’s probably the end of your trip.

So always bring at least two rods.

For me, the maximum I’ll bring is three rods.

Any more than that and it’s easy to get indecisive about what setup or lure to use, and you may find yourself focusing on that, instead of what matters: finding feeding fish.

If I bring two rods out with me, here’s what I have rigged on them:

  1. A weedless wide gap hook
  2. A jig head

This lets me cover shallow and deeper water and I can switch up soft plastics on these two hooks.

Usually, I’m using either a paddletail, jerk bait, or shrimp lure.

As far as what size equipment I use, I usually have a 3000 series reel with 10 lb. braid and 10-40 lb. leader, depending on what species I’m targeting.

For trout, flounder and redfish, I usually use 15-20 lb. leader, and for snook and tarpon I go with 25-40 lb. leader.

If I’m bringing three rods, I bring the same two setups as above, plus my “utility” combo.

Usually I’ll start with a topwater lure here, but I may put something else on depending on the conditions and where I’m fishing.

If I’m fishing open water, it’s usually a 7′ or 7′ 6″ medium or medium heavy rod and a 3000 size reel with 10 lb. braid.

But if I’m fishing structure like docks or bridges, I’ll bring a 4000 size reel with 20 lb. braid and heavier leader.


best summer fishing lures

By bringing two or three rods rigged for different areas of the water column, you can save a lot of time from having to tie on new rigs, and cover a variety of areas to catch a lot of fish.

I always have a jig head and a weedless wide gap hook rigged up, and I’ll occasionally bring a rod for topwater lures or fishing heavier structure.

Have any questions about these setups?

What do you bring on your inshore trips?

Let me know down in the comments!

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

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Francisco Medina
1 year ago

Hey Tony,
got a question for you, one thing I don’t see you guys talk about hardly at all is swivels.
Barrel swivels and/or Snap-on swivels.
Are you all pro using them or against them and why?
I used to use a small but tough (50 Lb tested) snap-on swivel at the end of the leader for convenience to change out lures fast and easy but does this affect the effectiveness of the lure?

1 year ago

Great confirmation, thanks Tony

1 year ago


1 year ago

What about the rods? What power and rating do you bring?

Jay Ehret
1 year ago

Tony, what set up would you recommend for live bait? I usually bring two rods, but mostly identical set ups so I have backup if one fails (like you say in the video).

Troy Hill
1 year ago

Hey Tony, great video as always. Is there a difference as to when to use a Texas eye jig head to a twistlock hook if weights are the same? Seems I have had more success with jig head around oyster beds for flounder and has seemed to have helped that they can be weed less than just using trout eye jigs.

1 year ago

Hey Tony, great video as always. Knowing that the trout eye jig head can be weed less, and has helped me near oyster beds for flounder, would there be a difference between twistlock or trout eye if weight is the same?

Daniel Poston
1 year ago

What weight jig head do you go with 3/16 or 1/4. I like the 3/16 but do I need to go heavier

Josh Olmos
1 year ago

You hit the nail on the head as usual Tony ..great tips !!
I bring all those set ups however I also bring 1 additional rod with a knocker rig ready just in case I hook a ladyfish and feel like using sum cut bait !! I made me a 4 rod holder that sits kinda high out of the way and behind to clear up sum room …works really well !!


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