This article will cover the gear I use and recommend for fishing the seaway. You can use pretty much any gear you like but the better suited the outfit is to fishing the seaway the more fish you will catch. Multiple outfits are recommended to cover every angle.
I mainly use 7ft Graphite/Carbon Fibre Rods, the extra length gives you better casting distance, though you can go up to 8ft without too many problems. 6ft rods are just too short for good lurecasting but work fine for livebaiting. You can go as cheap as you like, obviously the better the rod, the better your casts and more fish you will catch. I find rods in the $130-$200 range are a great balance between cost and performance. One of my alltime favourites is the old Samaki Allure 701 which had a pricetag of only $130.00. One thing you should look for is the butt length, a longer butt enables you to cast two handed and put more punch into the casts, getting greater distance. All of my favourite rods have a butt length of 25-27cm. Butt length is measured from the bottom of the reel seat.
What I'm using right now in Rods:
The most important aspect for any reel you use in the seaway is a decent drag, it must be smooth. A jerky drag will cost you fish. Another thing to consider is reel line capacity. While most fish will never use anything below the top 80m of line, every now and again you'll hook something that will need 200m+ so keep that in mind. Plenty of big fish have been landed on small 2500 size reels but when you want to throw around big lures like 14cm poppers or 60gram Raiders, you'll need a 4000 size reel with a decent strength braid(20 -30lb) on it. Another thing you should look at is high speed retrieve reels. 6.0:1 should be considered a minimum for throwing poppers and slugs. You can work plastics on the slower 5.0:1 reels, but when you are chasing surface feeders, being able to wind in a cast quickly and punch it out again fast will put more fish in the boat. I don't use overhead or baitcasting reels for lure fishing in the seaway.
What I'm using right now in Reels:
Braided lines are the only way to go for serious lure fishing in the seaway, the sensitivity can tell you when a fish takes a halfhearted swipe at a lure or when your jighead is bouncing around in the rocks. The smaller diameter will also give you better casting distance. There are many brands available but they are all fairly expensive for what they are. I have used quite a few brands, from the cheap but good lines I sell here on SeawayFishing(Spider Braid, Daiwa Saltiga Grey) to brands like Sunline 4x4 Momentum which retail for around $60 for 125m. What brand you choose is up to you, it doesn't make alot of difference in the end. You might get an extra 5 metres in casting distance using a high end thin braid but the first wind knot you get will have you halfway through your brand new spool of expensive line. These days I prefer the cheap end of the spectrum due to how much line I go through.
Good brands I have used and recommend
Leader: 20lb minimum, I use 30lb almost exclusively. Now most people will balk at such a heavy leader but there is a good reason for it. I originally started off with 12lb leader, then went to 20lb, then went to 30lb. 30lb seems to be the sweet spot between usability and ability to take punishment. The seaway has lots of rocks and lots of toothy critters both of which will remove lures from your line. Tailor for example will cut through 20lb with just a swipe at a lure that connects with the trace. The only time I will go less than 20lb is very clear water in the middle of the day using ultra finesse plastics. 99% of seaway fish don't care what leader you are using, as long as you present the lure to them at the right time and place they will eat it.
All my oufits(rod,reel,line) are graded into small, medium or large sizes. Each size has multiple tasks for seaway work. Having multiple outfits ready to go is important, if you get busted off on one then another can be used quickly. Bite times in the seaway can be short so maximising your fish catching time is important.
Small outfit: 2500 or 3000 size reel filled with 300m 6-12lb braid , 7ft Light or Medium Light rated rod - Light plastic work, skitterbaits, light metals
Medium outfit: 3000 or 4000 size reel with 200-300m 20lb Braid, 7ft Medium rated rod - Trolling deep diving minnows, large plastics, jigging medium sized metals, minnows & poppers
Large outfit: 4000 size reel filled with 300m 30lb braid, 7ft 6" Medium Heavy rated rod - Big poppers & stickbaits, big metals, big minnows.
Livebait Fishing Outfits
4000 size reel, 30lb Braid, 50lb leader 6-7ft rod rated medium heavy
6000 size reel(or large overhead) , 50lb Braid 100lb leader 6-7ft rod rated heavy
If you have any questions let me know below.
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