"Picking Out Pier Rods"
Many south Florida piers limit the number of rods an angler can take out fishing; with a three rod limit being a very common number. The following is a brief rundown on the three most common setups carried onto south Florida fishing piers; and some of the more common uses for them. Target species, weather, time of year, and many other factors may change these setups from time to time, but this general rundown will keep most of your pier fishing bases covered. (From left to right in the picture)
1. Heavy Bottom Rod w/ large capacity Conventional Reel. This setup is typically a beefy 8-9' fibergalss rod(for strength) and a reel capable of handling 30-60lb test monofilament line.
-Common pier uses include: snook fishing underneath the pier, casting out bottom baits(permit fishing is very popular), trolley rigging, or (on piers that allow it) shark fishing. This setup is typically going to be your "big fish" rod and reel.
-Crossover uses include: Livebait Rod for bridge snook fishing, beach shark rod, heavy boat bottom fishing rod(Very commonly referred to as a "Tortugas" style bottom rod"
2. Long Spinning Rod / "Big Spinner"- A fairly heavy spinning rod in the 8-9' range matched with a spinning reel capable of holding a large capacity of 30-65lb braided fishing line. This rod is usually graphite to keep the weight down and allow for better casting; but certain Calstar fiberglass blanks excel in this application and provide a little more durability than many graphite rods on the market today.
-Common Pier uses include: Throwing heavy cobia jigs, throwing heavy plugs(Like Rapala X-Raps) for bonita and kingfish, and flatlining for snook when they are feeding near the surface.
-Crossover Uses include: Flair hawk snook rod, beach plug rod, and very popular for cobia fishing in the boat when long casts are needed.
3. "Sabiki Rod" (although it is so much more...) is a 7-8' lighter action spinning rod matched with a 3000-4000 size spinning reel and either 8-10lb monofilament or 10-20lb braided line.
-Common Pier Uses include: "sabiki rod" for catching livebait, casting goofy jigs for pompano, throwing assorted small plugs and jigs for mackerel, and many other uses where a small rod or light line is needed.
-Crossover Uses include: too many to list, bass fishing, inshore fishing of all types (wading or boat fishing for snook, trout, redfish, etc), summertime beach snook fishing etc...
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