Choosing the best rod for speckled trout and redfish is easy when you know what to look for. This blog post will help you find the best fishing rod for your inshore needs.
This blog post is a little long because it dives into rod specifications, but it does so in a way that's easy to understand.
But, if you're short on time, you can click the button to scroll down to the cheat sheet for choosing the best rod for speckled trout and redfish.
Years ago I couldn’t tell you the difference between a medium or heavy power fishing rod.
I just had whatever it was I had and that worked well enough.
But as I gained experience it became evident that poor rod selection often led to poor rod performance:
I eventually learned the finer points of rod specifications and how they are relevant to my inshore fishing needs (and yours, too!)
After investing in the correct rod, things got better and I began catching more fish:
This blog post serves to cover the finer points of choosing the best rod for speckled trout and redfish without falling into the deep abyss of rod building.
In fact, taking a look at cars and trucks is a great way to begin understanding fishing rods!
Fishing rods and cars are a lot alike for two reasons:
Sedans, pickup trucks, minivans and sports cars all have wheels and take you places, but they all do so differently to match the various needs of different people.
For example, a smart car is great for saving money on a car note (and fuel).
But it would never do well for transporting a team of cheerleaders!
There's simply no room and the engine isn't big enough to handle the added weight.
Fishing rods are no different!
Look down the aisle of any tackle store and you'll see many rods of different thickness and length that make it tough to know which one is the best rod for speckled trout and redfish.
They all vary to serve one style of fishing or another, and knowing what those variations are is key to knowing which one is perfect for you.
So let's jump into those rod specs!
There are three you need to know by heart:
An easy way to remember these is to know that they are your pal, or PAL ;)
Let's go over each.
The power of the fishing rod is the rod’s ability to handle different sized fish.
Accurately put, power represents how much force is needed to flex the rod.
Here's a range of power ratings:
An ultra-light rod is built to handle small fish, like bluegill, because it is so light and sensitive it makes feeling the bite of a small fish easy and fighting it practical.
On the other hand, a heavy power rod would be used to fight a big redfish. You need the extra “oomph” in a heavy power rod to practically fight and land a fish that size.
An ultra-light rod would give you no power over the fish and chances are he would break it.
Flip it around, and you'll discover that using a heavy rod to catch bluegill is tough because you couldn't feel its tiny bite.
That and, assuming you are using a light line, a heavy power rod will break your line as it is not absorbing any impact from the fish.
Using a heavy power rod to catch a bluegill is like using an elephant gun to hunt a squirrel.
Action refers to the speed from which a rod returns to its neutral position from a flexed position.
It is a specification also used to describe how much the rod will bend.
A rod with an extra fast action will only bend towards the tip whereas a moderate action may bend along the entire rod length.
A moderate-fast action is great for "chunk and wind" baits in open water (like a gold spoon), or casting big baits over long distances.
An extra-fast action is better suited for deepwater jigging speckled trout, and feeling those soft trout bites during winter.
In a nutshell, a faster action is more sensitive and a slower action is more forgiving.
Rod length is even more diverse than rod power and action, being as short as a couple feet or as long as ten feet!
Shorter rods tend to be more accurate and weigh less, but don't cast as far or pick up as much slack as longer rods.
Longer rods are able to quickly pick up slack and sling baits farther, but tend to be less accurate and weigh more.
See how there is always a tradeoff when choosing the best rod for speckled trout and redfish?
Now that you understand the three most important fishing rod specs, let's put them together for different techniques we use to catch speckled trout and redfish.
Power: medium-light to medium
Action: fast to extra-fast
Length: 6'2" to 6'6"
Daiwa's Tatula 6'3" medium-fast casting rod is a great choice.
Daiwa Aird Coastal Inshore Fishing Rod
This is the model number you're looking for ACIN701MHFB
Power: medium to medium-heavy
Daiwa's Aird Coastal Inshore is a great pick, and one rod I fish with regularly.
The exact model number you are looking for is ACIN701MXS
Note: The "X" designation in the above model number stands for "extra fast", referring to the action. I fish with this rod and can tell you that it handles more like a fast action, than an extra fast.
Power: medium-light to medium
Action: extra fast
Length: ~ 7'
Daiwa Tatula TTU731MXS is a great drop shot rod.
Power, action and length is something you should know by heart, but that doesn't mean overlooking these specs to find the best rod for speckled trout and redfish:
It's important to pay attention to line rating so you don't overload your rod and break it.
Yes, most rod companies use line ratings that are way too light for the use of heavier braid most inshore anglers use, but you should know that Daiwa builds and rates certain rods for use with heavy braid.
A good example is their Saltist Inshore STIN70HFS, a 7' heavy power, fast action spinning rod rated for 30-55lb braided fishing line.
Intentionally fishing a rod outside of its line rating could void its warranty!
The easiest spec to understand when choosing the best rod for speckled trout and redfish, lure rating recommends the optimal lure weight for a particular fishing rod.
Lure ratings are expressed in weight like fractions of an ounce or ounces and, like most rod information, is easily found printed above the reel seat.
Throwing a lure too heavy or too light will result in reduced casting performance and possibly break the rod.
Spinning rods are built for spinning reels and casting rods are built for casting reels, or baitcasters.
Spinning rods have large line guides that hang down, whereas casting rods have smaller ones that face up.
Fiberglass rods have a niche within the world of bass fishing, so it's worth noting the difference here.
In short, you really only need to use graphite rods for inshore fishing, because graphite is lighter and more sensitive than fiberglass.
I do use fiberglass rods, but only for bass fishing techniques like deep cranking, techniques that aren't all that useful in inshore fishing.
How much a rod bends is really referred to as taper.
A moderate action rod can bend less than another moderate action rod, though their rod tips will return to the neutral position at the same speed.
Manufactures lump this spec into the action of the rod in order to make purchase decisions easier for consumers.
Now you know what to look for when choosing the best rod for speckled trout and redfish.
These things catch more fish and there's plenty of video to prove it.
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Devin is the founder of Louisiana Fishing Blog and enjoys exploring new fishing spots on Louisiana's coast. He prefers using artificial lures and casting tackle, but won't hesitate to break out a popping cork when the time is right.
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