Why I decided against buying a fishing rod and reel combo

 

 

I’d like to start with a disclaimer and say that I now have purchased a combo and have nothing to the point of getting a combo instead of buying a rod and reel separately. However, I feel compelled because of my experience with fishing to say that it’s better to start small and adjust your expectations in terms of gear and equipment depending on your level of expertise.

The neat thing about combos is that they are pretty much ready to use right out of the box, which means that all you must do is put the parts together and start fishing. I believe that rookies should build their own pole if they have little to no experience with handling a full-size rod. My best piece of advice would be to go out and sit next to a shore, stream, or river, and try catching something with just a pole. What I mean by this is that you can do a lot more with simple equipment if you learn how to use it properly.

In my opinion, if you buy a baitcasting combo right off the bat and without even taking the time to ask some of your angling buddies, you have a high chance of quitting fishing altogether. Baitcasters are extremely hard to handle, which is why they are recommended to experienced fishermen and women who have learned their way around the proper gear used for fishing and the techniques they have mastered over time.

Another question you have to ask yourself when trying to decide between a combo and buying the rod and reel separately is the type of fishing you’ll be doing. Some like trolling, others enjoy chumming, whereas some other people feel like they’re a better match for chumming. Some say that fly fishing and surf fishing are easier, but I couldn’t agree with this because the first requires a good deal of skills.

In fact, choosing the reel is a whole different business than selecting a rod. In my opinion, reels can be split up into two broad categories. Conventional reels are used for anything from bluewater angling to trolling, but spinning reels are made for entirely different styles and lures. Despite the fact that they are great to work with, they might pose some difficulties to complete beginners.

The whole point is that you should try to estimate your requirements better than anything else. Some fishing equipment can look a bit glamorous and let’s face it, it can even make you imagine the amazing adventures you’ll have with that gear. Before you set out for the first tackle shop and buy yourself a hardly usable combo, it might be a good idea to read some more info and find out more about the area you’ll be doing your fishing in and the techniques that you will be utilizing.

 

 

Fish you can catch in Tampa

 

 

First let me start by recommending this article. It’s simply great!

 

The waters off the large city of Tampa is home to a variety of inshore and offshore species. Tampa plays host to the best fishing in the world, in my opinion. That is why I love it here. You can go on productive fishing trips that’ll have you doing the dance of joy after every fishing outing.

 

Inshore Species

 

Considered the best in the world, Tarpon fishing in Tampa Bay can bag you the ultimate game fish in the world. Gifted with remarkable stamina and superbly strong, tarpon can go through acrobatic leaps into the air as high as 15 feet. Growing to more than 200 pounds, tarpon is a commonly sought after trophy.

You can also go snook fishing in Tampa Bay. For a greater part of the year, snook is found throughout the shallow flat in the bay. The fish seek warmer water when the season turns cooler, so they go for rivers, boat basins and deeper backwater springs. A 15 pound class spinning tackle and 9-weight fly rod should ensure good snook fishing.

 

Red rum or redfish is another favorite activity on the flat. Available almost the whole year round, redfish is targeted in extremely shallow water between 2 and 5 feet or even shallower. You can catch redfish while sight fishing large schools roaming the flat. With water temperature declines in winter, redfish can be caught in deeper water between 6 and 10 feet.

Speckled trout is popular among Tampa Bay locals and fishing tourists alike. Trout is abundant in the area, as it can be sighted along area beaches and throughout the entire bay. Trout grows large enough to feed four people.

Sheepshead fishing can be quite productive in Tampa Bay especially when the weather is cold. Expect productive sheepshead fishing during the winter season. Spawning time is from late January through February. Like Speckled trout, sheepshead is also good to eat.

Black drum fishing in Tampa Bay can be quite exciting. Black drum is available the entire year and can range between 3 and 90 pounds. Smaller black drum is good to consume and is actually what anglers are allowed to keep.
Gulf flounder fishing is not particularly a notable activity in Tampa Bay despite the fact that it can be caught in the bay the whole year round. It is considered just a bonus fish and will easily get caught even if one is after other fish types. In the winter, flounder can be caught near offshore wrecks.
Pompano fishing is hugely exciting and fun. The largest size will be 6 pounds, and you should be ready for a tremendous fight. Great to eat, pompano makes great sport fish. Flies and yellow jigs can be used on the fish, along with live shrimp.

 

Offshore species

 

Kingfish angling is great in the spring and fall, when the water temperature lies in the mid-70s. Those are also the times when kingfish passes the offshore area out of the bay region because the fish migrates from south to north and then comes again from there to the south during the fall.

Gag grouper fishing is popular in Tampa Bay. Inshore, near shore and far offshore anglers enjoy targeting gag grouper since they make for good eating and are quite numerous. Many of the bay area structures pay host to large numbers of gag grouper.

Red grouper are another favorite Tampa Bay fishing target. Easy to find, red grouper has a predilection for hanging around ledges, wrecks and hard bottom offshore. Most red grouper are caught in areas 6 miles and farther from shore, in depths of 40 feet or more.

 

 

Goliath grouper provides a strong challenge for any gamefisher. Battling a Goliath grouper is sure to be one for the books. Averaging between 100 and 400 pounds, the Goliath grouper can be very easy to sight and hook, with the real challenge coming from getting them out of the tangles they live in.

Mangrove snapper fishing is great in Tampa Bay as well as the surrounding offshore water. Plentiful and making fantastic dinner fare, mangrove snapper offers year round availability. Catching them will need a light leader small size 1 and 2 hook.

Permit is offshore fish caught by sight fishing in offshore reefs when the flat is peaceful and calm. They are found in artificial reefs or wrecks, with their long black fins visible out of the water. Permit can ride the water so high you can actually see an entire school comprising hundreds of them cruising by your boat.

Cobia can be caught in the shallow flats from way up in the bay, up the rivers and around structures, with some even caught as far offshore as 100 miles or farther. Offering year-round availability, cobia can average between 15 and 40 pounds each and can give a fierce fight.

Other types of offshore species in Tampa bay include: False Albacore, known for its strength and stamina; bull, hammerhead, blacktip, tiger and sand shark; Spanish mackerel and amberjack.

 

 

A few thoughts on saltwater fishing

 

 

 

My friend and I always go fishing in his boat ( as you already know I am looking to buy one myself). It’s our way of bonding since we both have our own families and are pretty busy with our respective careers. Those are the times we can swap stories and just have plenty of fun together. He’s got a really nice boat and we can pretty much spend the time drinking beers or laughing at each other’s efforts to make a bigger catch or to land more fish. Our outings may just be meant to strengthen our friendship, but we both make sure we have the right kind of gear every time.

 

 

Fishing rod

 

My buddy and I both have both collected a variety of rods through the years. He and I have our own spinning, casting, saltwater and specialty rods. My favorite is my premium quality spinning rod. Before I bought my spinning rod, I was torn between one that had a cork handle and one with an EVA foam handle. I decided on the EVA foam handle because I had read somewhere that the material resists stains better. Apparently, my friend agreed with me because his spinning rod also has an EVA foam handle. Yeah, we think alike, he and I.

What sold me on my spinning rod ( I bought it from here), which came in a combo package, was the action and power it offered. I went over multiple reviews because like most anglers, I prefer a moderate- or medium-action rod that bends through the midsection. So far, I have enjoyed maximum casting distance because of the moderate flex, which also ensures a greater amount of kinetic energy that you can use to reel the fish in. I use middleweight crankbaits. Because I have no bloated ambition to make trophy catches but only to capture medium size fish, the spinning rod I use has medium-heavy power rating.

However, my friend uses a fast action rod with heavy power rating, as he has a bigger build than me. Between the two of us, we’ve made some pretty fantastic catches that we mostly release back, save for a really big bass he landed last season, and that he has preserved and mounted to taunt me to go big with my gear. I have chosen not to though, since I have grown really attached to my spinning rod. My friend and I both bought spinning rod-and-reel combos from a top brand. We made sure the reel component could withstand exposure to both brackish and saltwater.

 

 

Fish finder

 

My friend bought a fish finder to give us underwater viewing advantage. It’s a standalone model from one of the most popular brands on the market. The 7-inch device makes it easy to mark fish clearly even when we gun the boat at faster speeds, and has made it easy for us to identify and distinguish between game fish targets and bait fish. So far, it has performed really nicely by giving us better target identification when we’re far out at greater depths in the water.

My friend and I plan to enjoy many fishing trips together for years to come. This makes our gear investments worth the money. It has also allowed us to indulge in an activity that we both have loved since we were young. If you’ve also got a friend with a boat, make sure to invest in top quality fishing gear so you can do more than just speed into the ocean.

 

 

My tips for buying a new boat

 

 

I decided to write a short post about how to purchase a new boat. This simple guide is mostly intended for first-time buyers. You’ve probably asked yourself multiple questions already and I’m going to try to answer them as best as possible.

The first detail to look at is the type of boat that you’ll be choosing. Not all are created equal, which is why you will have to give some thought to the type of fishing you perform regularly and the area where you normally do your angling in. Aluminum fishing boats are typically utilized in freshwater whereas stainless steel models are traditionally designed for saltwater. Nonetheless, these two ideas are not the only ones you should focus on as there are over thirty kinds of boats that are available in today’s market. If you have little to no idea when it comes to selecting the perfect boat, perhaps you might want to do a bit of research and use the one of the multiple boat selectors that can be found online. Once you have done this, it might pay off to do a visit and choose a dealer, although many of the models can also be purchased online. The fact of the matter is that many a time, a consultant can help you make a better decision than you would on your own, mainly if you don’t have the patience or time to get informed.

Regardless of the engine, hull, components, service, accessories, and many other decision-making factors, you’ll have to look at the warranty. This detail should be analyzed with care as the life of boats is somewhat limited because they can only serve you for as many as fifteen to twenty years, at most. If you’re looking to purchase a used boat, the right way to go about things is to get all of the information and find out whether or not the person you’re getting it from is the first buyer or not.

The size of the boat, while it might not be the most important consideration of all, should also be at the top of the list of things you consider. Why is this detail so crucial? With a larger boat, what you see is not what you get as you’ll also have to pay for moorage and also be the owner of a sizeable truck or car with the help of which you can pull it. Bigger might not be better under all circumstances, and this is not a golden rule to keep in mind at all times. The larger and stronger the boat, the higher the chances of you having to resort to the services of a professional to move your boat.

As for propellers, you’ll have to decide whether you prefer wind power, paddles, or opt for one of the many sterndrives, inboard, outboard, or jet boats out there. While this is a matter of personal preferences, some of these options might not be the highly recommended ones for fishing.

There are two main styles of boats you can choose from: open or closed. The first do not have cabins, and some of the typical ones you’ll stumble upon range from job boat, dinghies, bowriders, and deck boats to inflatable and rigid inflatable boats. Closed boats include cuddy cabins boats, pontoons, cabin cruisers, and yachts. All of the latter have cabins. So, which one will it be?

 

One useful resource: https://www.takemefishing.org/boating/choose-your-boat/

How to know the difference between a good surf fishing rod and a bad one

 

 

 

Typically used only when fishing from a rocky shoreline or the beach, a surf fishing rod provides dual functionalities. It is used to cast a baited hook to as long a distance as possible out into the sea. Secondly, it serves to pull the fish back towards you across the breaking waves to shore. These make it essential for a surf fishing rod to carry a perfect balance of power and distance casting.

 

A surf rod is most distinct from other rods because of its length. Longer than any other type of fishing rod, a surf fishing rod carries a great length to provide more power to cast the lure and present it in a most natural way to the fish. The extra length also enables you to hold the line out of the breaking water when you cast. The farther away the rod tip is from the casting action fulcrum, the greater the speed of movement and travel of the lure. I get greater speeds the longer the rod I use, ensuring more distant casts.

A long rod is also necessary for beach fishing because it keeps as much line out of the waves as possible. This is especially important to enable a more natural presentation of the bait. You want the bait to land as far away as possible beyond the furthest wave breaker, out where the sea is undisturbed and peaceful. Casting into white water gets the bait knocked out and moving continuously, which is a lot less productive compared to landing beyond.

 

The surf fishing rod should support your preference to use live or dead lures. Fishing with bait is different from spinning with lures. A casting rod is geared for use with traditional or casting reels, which have the spool perpendicular to the rod. It is designed for casting heavier baits. On the other hand, a spinning rod is engineered to cast lures using fixed spool or spinning reels. With more lateral movement, there is greater amount of drag as well as reduced casting distance, which is an element that makes fishermen stay away from this type of setup. The fixed spool reel is more forgiving. Go for either a middleweight or a heavyweight rod whether you’re bait fishing or spinning, as this type can overpower the fish.

 

A good surf fishing rod is at least ten feet long, and ideally from eleven to fourteen feet long. This prevents excessive line drag and is valuable for casting. Whenever possible, go for rods that support both casting and spinning. This means the rod can be used together with a bottom-mounted spinning reel or fixed spool, or a top-mounted casting reel. The reel seat doesn’t have to be adjustable regardless of the reel structure. Go for long casting rods with large rings, which make fantastic all-around rods as they are robust enough to cast heavy weights while still being pliable enough on the tip to allow good spinning. You can choose from heavy, medium-heavy, medium and light-medium models.