A warm saltwater breeze, rocking waves and sunshine. All perks of embarking on a great saltwater fishing trip. The type of equipment you’ll need will depend on the type of fish you’re looking to catch.
Deep sea fishing for tuna or marlin requires a heavy rod and line. A lighter tackle can be used for catching smaller fish, like snapper and yellow tail. Regardless of the type of fish you’re hunting for, there are some essential saltwater fishing accessories all anglers need.
Here are the top 10 saltwater fishing accessories you should stock your boat with before heading out on your next adventure.
This saltwater fishing accessory has countless variations, styles, designs and purposes. Before you choose your fishing rod, you must decide what type of fish you want to catch. Once you’ve decided, then you can begin to research the best rod for the job.
Rods have multiple features to consider.
The length of the rod determines how far it will cast. Longer rods cast farther and shorter rods keep things “close to home”, providing more power. Rods are also classified as fast or slow. Fast rods are stiff and slow rods allow flexibility for the rod to bend.
You must also consider the potential weight of the fish.
This will dictate the power, or weight, that the rod can lift. The power can range from light to extra heavy. Rods can also be identified by the pound-test line or lure weight that they are designed to use. We will explore this more in the next two sections.
Several things will help you choose the correct saltwater reel. These include the rod, the bait, the line and the lure. Again, these are often determined by the type of fish you’re catching.
One way saltwater reels are classified is by speed – high or low. High-speed reels allow you to reel your bait in quickly. Low-speed reels provide more power. There are even some reels that do both!
The rod you choose will often direct you to a compatible reel. Rods are marked with a recommended line weight. The most popular types of reels for saltwater fishing include fixed spool and multiplier. Fixed spool reels allow you to cast different size bait and lures. Multiplier reels offer this same feature, but are most popular for deep sea fishing and trolling.
Line capacity will also help you choose the right reel and is usually marked on the reel. Let’s discuss line.
The most common saltwater line is braided. Braided line provides a high knot strength, lack of stretch and overall power. Line is classified by test pounds. Basically, the number of pounds the line can hold before breaking. Line can range from 8-pound test all the way up to 130-pound!
Another great feature of braided line is it’s accuracy when casting and hooking fish.
Other things to consider when choosing the right fishing line are durability and functionality. Durability determines how resistant your fishing line will be to environmental conditions and abrasion. Functionality involves a line’s buoyancy and flexibility.
4. Bait & Lures
The best saltwater fishing accessory is good bait! Preferably, live bait. The best types of bait fish for hooking large game fish include herring, ballyhoo, eels, mullet and sardines.
Lures are also very popular among saltwater anglers. There are countless types of lures in varying sizes, shapes and materials. Some of the best include Gulp Shrimp lures, which are appetizing to most any fish. We also love Bucktail Jigs, which can be made or purchased, and top water lures.
The best thing about saltwater lures, is that most can be used in fresh water too!
5. Must Have Saltwater Fishing Accessories and Tools
Without the proper tools, any good angler will be lost. You need a filet knife for cutting, a gaff to help bring up large catches and pliers for stubborn hooks.
Filet Knife and Sharpener
A quality filet knife will make quick work of fileting both bait and your catch! Some anglers choose to filet their fish on the spot. Filet knives dull quickly, so keeping a sharpener on board is a good idea. Invest in a good one that will last and get the job done right.
Any angler that has caught a large fish, only to lose it at the last second probably wished they had a quality gaff. Gaffs come in all sizes and lengths and are used to stab your catch and help lift it into the boat, or onto shore.
Nothing is worse than struggling to get your catch off the line. A sturdy pair of pliers will make this process much easier.
6. Proper Attire
Clothing is one of the saltwater fishing accessories that most people overlook.
But it is extremely important and one area where you don’t want to pinch pennies.
Investing in proper fishing attire will help you keep warm or cool, depending on the conditions. In the heat, a large brimmed hat or one that provides overall coverage is key. Sunblock, sunglasses and a light jacket are also smart choices. Pack a rain slicker and extra layers in case if inclement weather.
Electronics can not only help you navigate the waters and find where the fish are. Also, a ship-to-shore radio might just save your life! Investing in a radio to alert you of weather conditions or request assistance when in distress can be life-changing.
Sonar and chart plotters make navigation safe and easy. And any good angler knows that a fish finder is essential for a successful trip.
There are countless items that can fall under this category of saltwater fishing accessories. Think hooks to snag your catch, lures to attract the fish, and swivels to prevent your line from tangling.
Also look into wire leaders to make line less visible underwater and weights to aid in casting and anchoring ability. The options are endless.
9. Maintenance Materials
After investing money in quality saltwater fishing accessories, you want to help maintain them! One way is with rod and reel lubricant.
No one wants their reel jamming up in the middle of a good fight! Lubricating your equipment is an investment in it’s longevity and functionality. Just make sure the one you choose is resistant to saltwater.
Remove saltwater from your equipment by regularly rinsing materials with fresh water.
Perhaps one of the greatest saltwater fishing accessories out there is knowledge.
Doing your research before heading out on the “open seas” could mean the difference between an amazing trip and a disappointing one.
Be specific about the type of fish you’re looking for. This will determine your equipment and location. Prepare for the expected weather conditions. Choose your bait wisely and be sure to bring enough. Learning different fishing knots is another handy tool!
With the right saltwater fishing accessories and proper care, your next fishing adventure will be one to remember!