Outfitting a boat...what would be your arsenal?

I was searching this site today for TOPWATER suggestions for trout. I printed off an article by one of the resident captains that said he liked to use a 6’6" light action rod…then I read an article in this months South Carolina Sportsman where a captain suggest throwing TOPWATER plugs with a MED-HEAVY rod.

I imagine the answer is to have a smattering of everything on board for ever situation, right? Well, if a guy is trying to outfit a boat for just such a thing, what would he have? Something feasible, say 6 rods/rigs for targeting your inshore slam.

The you have the qustion of how large is the plug?
If I could go back and do it all over again the first thing I would do is walk into my local fishing store. ( I use haddrell’s)
Introduce myself to one of the friendly staff members and start a conversation. Let them know what you are looking for and your price range. I purchased rods with a no break warranty I have used it twice so far (Not fish related breakage).
For red’s trout and flounder 4 reels 3 spinning (2) 3000 (1) 4000 shimano symetre and a baitcaster citica
the rods are 6’6 to 7’6 all diferent actions. carolina rig, popping cork, chatter bait and z-man shrimp are what I have tied on them now.
I have 2 shorter rods(cheap penns) 6 foot for sheephead fishing the docks and 2 tld 15 on ugly stick for fishing large reds and cobia.
In the end it’s what feel good in your hand and wallet. Go to the store and try them out, hell the guy selling you the rod might even tell you about a nice bank to go throw your new topwater plug at. TRY finding that at Walmart!

Key West Stealth
150 V-max

I use a 6’ 6” light (6-12lb) cabelas im6 graphite rod, that I got as a present, its on a a shimano sienna 2500. It feels a little light when throwing bigger plugs but I can deal with it. When I need a new rod ill get the lightest shimano sojourn rod on the sienna reel, feels like it would be a great combo that don’t break the bank, with braid its about 75… I also like the fierce 2000 combo just from handling it in the water, have yet to own one. But its next. I can throw pplugs on my current one and have no problems with poppin cork rigs. That’s my trout combo… For multi purpose reds\flounder\ I have a okuma avenger 3000on med ugly stik with 20lb braid. And a shimano sienna 4000 on med action ugly stik with 20lb mono I’m about to put it on a shimano sojourn rod. For sharks I have offshore angler 6000reel and penn mariner rod. All my stuff suits anything inshore fine. Good luck!

14’TARPON 100 paddlepower

It all depends on the rod itself, one company may rate a rod as medium that another company may rate as med-heavy.

Just like the same size jeans made by different companies fit different…

Like pitcher says, all rods are different - and so are the anglers.

But for a 6 rod setup -
(2) 3000 series medium spinning rods for light jigs, small plugs and even inshore bait fishing - I like the TFO rods now, but also like Pen Slammers or St’Croix. I also like the Penn Battle reels a bunch. 10-15# braid.
(2) 4000 series med/heavy spinning rods for tossing heavier jigs, working docks or jetties, and for bait. These are not my finesse setups so saltwater ugly sticks are fine. 20# braid.
(1) 4000 series bait caster for larger fish on plugs or on bottom, medium heavy rod. I like St Croix bait casting rods 30# line.
(1) Larger conventional reel on a heavy rod for jetties/shark. I like Shimano Charter Specials, same drag and internals as the TLD15, but they are smaller and have a level wind included. 30# braid is fine.

I will be adding a few 7000 series med/heavy spinning rods for tarpon/cobia.

What would you use for the “popping cork” set up? Would you use the same for reds and trout, or lighten it a bit for trout??

For topwaters, the power of the rod (e.g med-light, med, med-heavy, etc.) depends you what size of a plug you are going to use and line rating. As for the action, you want a fast or extra fast actions. With a slow rod you will have to work a lot harder to pop, chug, rip, or walk a bait. My personal top water rod is a 6’6" St Croix fast action with a line rating of 8-15 #. The shorter length reduces fatigue and also make the action faster. My typical topwaters for the setup is Spook Jr. and the smaller size of Badonkadonks. Another thing to consider with topwater is spinning or casting, especially if using braid. I will not use a spinning reel for topwater unless I have to. You are much more likely to get wind knots as the line does not wind onto the spool with even tension because of the action of the bait.

Iain Pelto
Sea Hunt Triton 160 w/ 90 ETEC “JB3”
Native Manta Ray 14