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:
- A weedless wide gap hook
- 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.
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!
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Tony, on your kayak, do you ever use these velcro wraps around your tied on lures to keep from hooking your clothing when rods are stowed vertically behind you?
I like to have one rod rigged with a poppin cork and a dark paddle tail for most Texas waters. It is either a forth rod or I switch my topwater lure out after early morning. I do like your advice on three rods, though. I can keep the two I’m not using in my Hobie Pro Angler horizontal storage so they’re not in the way of casting or fighting fish. One rodholder up front on the gunnel lets me easily stow my rod after landing a fish and it’s a good place to put a rod to tie FG knots with some tension on the line.
My biggest issue in kayak fishing is managing gear. Over the years I’ve changed to a less is more approach. I look at everything I take after each trip and try to find one or two things I’ve either doubled up on or not used at all.
Three rods on a yak is very manageable. Thanks for this thought provoking article.
I take 4 and use 2 90% of the time
Yep when its topwater time for me I use topwater first thing in the morning, then switch to a rod with a weedless hook and use that the rest of the day. That 3rd or 4th rod is usually a back up if I get broken off.
Question – Living in Rhode Island a topic came up about how many inshore saltwater fishing rods can one fish with? I’ve read some blogs it’s two?
Some states may have regulations on how many rods you can be using at one time (meaning how many baits you can have out at once). With artificials you’re only using one rod at a time.
A friend of mine trolls with two soft plastics and throws poppin corks while peddling very slowly along shorelines. I have trouble managing all that gear. He doesn’t. FYI, he’s in a Hobie Outback.
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?
We’re not a fan of swivels for a few reasons. Here is an article we put out recently on that very topic:
The only time I will use a swivel is for live bait or cut bait depending on the rig I am using.
Great confirmation, thanks Tony
No problem Eddie, thanks!
What about the rods? What power and rating do you bring?
All of my rods are 7’6 to 7’10 and are medium to medium heavy power and fast action. I like to keep them all the same because I want them all to “feel” the same. Many people prefer to use different rods based on the type of lure they are using, but if you get comfortable with one type you can adjust how to use it for many different types of lures.
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).
I use the same setups for live bait as far as rod and reel. If i’m going after snook I’ll use a minimum of 30lb leader. For the flats I am usually just free lining if using live bait so i’ll just tie a hook directly to my leader without any weight and let the bait swim naturally.
If you’re fishing around structure (docks, trees, pilings) you are going to want to go with heavier line (minimum 20lbs). For this I like to just have a spare spool for one of my reels filled up with a heavier braid and i’ll go heavier with the leader as well. This way all I have to do is change out the spool for the heavier line.
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.
Hey Troy! Check out this response I made just below this one (it was the same question so I’m assuming you may have posted it twice, or crazy coincidence haha)