Saltwater Fishing Tackle Mistakes: A Guide For Newbies


As anglers, we’ve all purchased fishing tackle that doesn’t work (some of us more than others).

You know what I’m talking about…

Strolling down the aisle of your local bait and tackle shop, you spot the bright orange lure that you saw on last week’s episode of Fishing with (insert your favorite TV fishing personality) and you’ve just got to have it.

You are now suffering from S.O.S. or Shiny Object Syndrome.

But there is good news: we have the cure.

Listen in as we break down all of the major mistakes that we’ve made when it comes to buying fishing tackle and a few mantras that you should learn to be a more successful angler.

You can watch the video version of this podcast below (which I definitely recommend), 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!

Newbie Tackle Mistakes [VIDEO]

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Newbie Tackle Mistakes [PODCAST]

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Here’s a timestamped table of contents from our conversation about…

0:33 – Are you overspending, going way too big, and buying way more than you need?

1:56 – Buy a reel for the kind of fishing you plan to do

4:03 – Line mistakes that hurt your casting distance

4:52 – Are you hunting elephants?

6:04 – Line capacity vs. gear ratio

Here are some of the reels we recommend:

9:07 – Do you have fisherman’s eyes? Buy fewer lures.

12:34 – Focus on depth coverage and weight

14:21 – You must use live bait to catch fish

18:34 – Bare minimum fishing to be a better angler

Here is the tackle we don’t leave home without:

23:31 – The reason we do not have sponsors

29:14 – Fair and balanced business practices, always

31:48 – Use the right lure, at the right time, in the right spots

35:30 – Focus on the trends and finding the fish

37:11 – Flouro vs. mono

39:35 – Learn to tie your own rigs and know your knots

Check out our knot tests and learn how to tie the strongest knots here

45:36 – Use the K.I.S.S.S method: keep it simple Salt Strong

Pro tip: these Plano Boxes keep you organized and can be customized.

50:14 – Are you tired of the negativity on Facebook?

Come be part of something truly special and join the Insider Community where we:

  1. Unite all anglers
  2. Support each other like family
  3. Share information
  4. Don’t tolerate non-sense or negativity
  5. Consistently catch more fish!


simple lure catching trout

Being a newbie to fishing certainly has its challenges when it comes to tackle and honestly, we are all still learning.

The important thing to focus on is keeping it simple and mastering what you know works.

Repeat after me: simplicity & specialist.

What are some of the mistakes you made when you started fishing?

If you’re new to fishing, do you have questions about anything to get started?

Let me know down in the comments!

And if you know someone who’s just getting started fishing, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

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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Ira Newman
11 months ago


1 year ago

Lures are designed to catch fisherman and not fish. LOL

Thomas Smith
1 year ago

There was a song a few years ago called “Double S”. Unfortunately “simplicity-specialist” wasn’t in it, but I couldn’t help remember it while watching this video. 😊

Ryan Jacobs
1 year ago

With all you guys on this podcast, it reminded me of the Brady Bunch.

John Clapp
1 year ago

I was stationed at Sonar School in Key West, Fl from summer of 1971-summer of 1972. One weekend, I and several buddies were driving around the keys checking out various fishing spots. We were at a bridge on one of the waterways with all the latest and greatest (according to the local fishing stores) gear. we had fish following our lures but not even a nibble. Along came a wizened old lady with two plastic buckets. she set one bucket on the ground and sat on it. from the other bucket she retrieved a soda can wrapped with fishing line. She baited a hook, dropped it in the water, and within a few minutes pulled up a sizable whiting. She did this a couple more times while we watched her slack-jawed. She looked at us with a kindly smile and said. “The fish knows who needs them and who don’t. 

Luke Simonds
1 year ago
Reply to  John Clapp

That’s awesome!

1 year ago

Nice podcast!
on the subject of knots, one of my reels has braid that broke off two consecutive times at the spool. Using FG knot for braid to mono and loop knot at lure. Curious why the line would snap at the spool when I’m pulling the line tight to free from snag with intent of breaking the line at either my loop knot or FG knot?

Luke Simonds
1 year ago
Reply to  Rick

That shouldn’t happen… seems like you may have some sort of issue with your roller on the spool or with a knick you a rod tip guide because the only way for the line to break there is for it to be compromised.

Rick Daniel
1 year ago
Reply to  Luke Simonds

Agree, will take a closer look at the spool and all the guides. Appreciate the input.

John Rhoden
1 year ago

Fishing 41 years. Only time I caught on artificial was a jig tipped with a minnow trolling. Caught a slab Crappie (2.5 pounds). Caught that on a zebco 33 classic with 10 lbs monofilament.

Anyway, you guys are right. You can catch the same fish on a $50 rig as you can on a $1k rig. It’s about knowing where to find the fish, and using the right bait.

I have really only ever fished live or fresh dead, but it makes a difference. Sometimes the fish are nailing shrimp, and other times the mud minnows are killing them.

Just started trying my hand with artificial. Got me a pack of slam shady, and a darker and more natural bait. No success yet, despite being right on top the fish. But, what I wanted to say, is I have one rig that cost $200, the rest cost less than $100 and I have caught fish from 1 lbs to 32 lbs on those rigs.

Luke Simonds
1 year ago
Reply to  John Rhoden

Thanks for making time to leave the comment John! I hope you catch some great fish on those lures soon.

Kenn Tompos
1 year ago

The chorus or hook (pun intended) for your song is “Simplify! Specialize!”.

David Johnson
1 year ago

If you do not have the Savage Gear “Suicide Duck” your tackle box incomplete.

Luke Simonds
1 year ago
Reply to  David Johnson

Which species have you caught on that duck lure?

Joe Capelli
1 year ago

I have learned so much from watching your videos. I especially liked this video.
I’m all in on 10 lb. braid with 20 lb. mono/fluorocarbon leaders, weighted hooks & jigs of various weights.
FYI… I normally use 2500 Daiwa Fuego Reel on a 7 ½ ft. Medium Temple Fork rod with 10 lb. Power Pro.
My largest Bull Red was caught on a cold day in January, using that setup.
The fish was 48” long and weighed 38 lbs. on my BogaGrip.
I fought it for 55 minutes, being careful Not to break off.
I was worried that the 10 lb. braid was too light, but after landing that fish, I’m a true believer in light is better.
That fish ran out 200 yards of line 5 times. My buddy had to pole the boat to keep him from spooling me.
Wow! What a rush!
I did cheat a little… instead of using lures, I was using cut-mullet, as my buddy recommended.
I also caught reds of 38” 17 lb. and a 32” 10 lb. afterwards.
I felt a little bad for my friend, he only caught 1 sail catfish.
I also pre-tie various size hooks, weighted hooks, & jigs on 20 lb. mono/fluorocarbon leaders, that saves me time making changes while on the water.
Since I joined SaltSTRONG, I’m a much more successful fisherman.

Luke Simonds
1 year ago
Reply to  Joe Capelli

Nice work on those giant reds Joe!


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