Spinning gear is great for redfish, and as long as you set your drag properly and aren’t tossing baits deep under docks, you don’t need to use very heavy-duty rods, reels or fishing line.
Most of the fish you’ll catch this month are reds schooling on shallow flats. Spinning reels in the 2000 to 3000 range are fine, spooled with 15- to 20-pound braid, and medium- to medium-heavy rods are good. A fluorocarbon leader is necessary, and your drag doesn’t have to be screwed down too tight.
“You will hook into some bull reds this month, and you need to be able to let them run, pulling line off the reel to help tire them out,” said guide Garrett Lacy. “Fluorocarbon leader is important this time of year. It is the closest thing to invisible of any line, the water is gin clear, and the redfish are a little suspicious of everything they see.”
On rare occasions, redfish will be hunkered down well back under docks and won’t respond to any bait or lures unless that are deep under the docks too. When that happens, guide Addison Rupert said it’s time to really beef up.
“When you are fishing under the docks instead of on the edges of them, you want overkill: 50- to 60-pound braided line, so you can pull those bulls out from under the dock before they wrap you around the pilings. If they do wrap you around, you’re going to need that tough line to keep from getting broken off,” said Rupert, whose bait of choice when fishing under docks is quartered blue crab.
Rupert suggests using a surgeon’s knot to connect the leader to the main line instead of using a swivel. This knot is simple to tie, maintains almost 100 percent of line strength, is small enough to reel through rod guides and doesn’t add unnecessary weight to your line.