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Inshore Saltwater Fishing | A Starter Gear List

In this video, saltwater fishing expert Jose Chavez provides some valuable tips on the best tackle for inshore saltwater fishing in Florida and other coastal regions of the United States. Many people ask him what kind of tackle to bring from the freshwater areas of the Midwest or other parts of the country to succeed in saltwater fishing. As Chavez notes, you probably have nearly everything you need to catch inshore species, such as redfish, snook, sea trout, and more.

Regarding spinning rod setups for inshore saltwater fishing, Chavez recommends using medium to medium-light power rods that are 7- to 7 ½ feet long. The reason is that these types of setups allow for casting the lightest lures as far as possible, which is essential for success in the tidal flats and spots around Florida. The fish in these areas are sensitive to splashing sounds, and the lightest lure on a long cast is the best way to prevent spooking fish.

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Like spinning setups, Chavez recommends moderate power casting rod combos when fishing hard baits with treble hooks. Baitcasting gear affords greater casting accuracy around cover such as mangroves and docks when inshore saltwater fishing, and may handle certain baits better. He suggests using a 30-pound braid on casting reels and a 10-pound braid on spinning gear. Using a 10-pound braid on spinning gear may seem light, but it’s plenty strong and allows for casting small baits a long distance. A strong and abrasion-resistant fluorocarbon leader is a must. Chavez starts with 20-pound but goes up or down based on the target species and the fish’s mood.

He also provides some recommendations for inshore saltwater fishing lures. Everyday bass staples such as paddle tail swimbaits work excellently. Like freshwater fishing, he prefers natural colors in clear water and mixes in darker and more contrast-rich colors if there’s some stain to the water. Oh, and don’t forget your Ned rigs. Small Ned-style plastics excel for wary fish. Standard hard baits such as topwater lures, jerkbaits, and twitch baits round out his go-to list. He favors using topwater lures to call fish in and trigger strikes during low-light periods and uses jerkbaits and twitch baits to cover water and gauge the fish’s mood throughout the day.

Chavez’s tips are excellent for those seeking a successful inshore saltwater fishing experience in Florida and beyond. Using the right gear and tackle will increase your chances of catching fish and having an enjoyable time on the water.