well for the pier, i would start off with something med/heavy,, a 30 sized spinning reel, and 12 pound test line for bottom fishing and lure fishing. The rod you pick should be 6 to 7-feet in length(note that a longer rod will carry your bait/lure farther out) and be able to easily handle 3 ounces of weight. my personal selection is a quantum cabo 30 sized spinning reel matched to a 7 foot diawa sweep-fire med/heavy. you can upgrade as you get more experienced. if you mostly bottom fish off piers then you should buy shrimp for bait. shrimp is the most popular bait because a bunch of crap bites it. now for lure selection, i use a gotcha plug, sting-silver, clark spoons, and bomber badonk-a-donk. for the surf i would get probably a 9 foot surf rod matched to a diawa eliminator 3500, and spool with 15 pound test. now you could get another rod in the likes of the one you use on the pier, for wading into the surf to cast sting-silvers. i mostly pier fish so i dont know if this is really acurate. the regulars sometimes get an over kill.
smacks fanatic has it generally right
...although I would go with 17# test main line, and leader material according to the species wanted (ie.: 20-25# fluro for smaller species , #30 -35 wire for most 'toothy critters', and go even larger for shark, etc...).
FOR SURF : I prefer a 10 -12 foot surf rod ; something with a supple/ flexable tip for bite detection. Something rated 3-5 ounce .
ADVANCE WORK : scout out where you are going electronicly ( online reports, forum boards, current water conditions, pay special attention to 'hot-spots' from them that's doing, etc.,..) Information about where the fish aren't(so don't go there) can be just as helpful as knowing where the fish are !!
ON ARRIVAL : use your powers of observation . If you scout out a location without a rod in your hand, people will be more willing to share information. Observe which people are catching, what they are catching , and HOW (lures, bait, weight,color, etc.) and ask questions ! .
FISHING : set-up according to the information you have observed , and the information from the people who have been catching !
Then go have fun . A day at the beach , or on the pier, certainly beats a day at the office. :beer:
I hope that you don't mind going to another site for research. While the information is somewhat dated , and geared to another geographic location (other than Gulf Coast) it is relevent to all saltwater locations . They are :
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