Gear up to fish big baits

Fishing big baits means you have to have the right equipment.

The average bass or inshore-type fishing rod is designed to handle lures that weigh up to 1 ounce, but the smallest swim-baits usually weigh double that —and the larger ones weigh anywhere from 5 to 7 ounces. Some are even heavier.

That kind of weight will load up the tip of your rod and cause it to fail you when you hook up with a big fish, so heavier tackle is in order.

Mike Herrmann bought a salmon rod off of ebay that was rated for up to 6 ounce lures, and that worked fine until he started building 11 inch baits that weighed 14 ounces.

So he had a tuna rod custom made, spiral wrapped and rated for 40- to 60-pound line. Since then, Daiwa started producing a big swim-bait rod in their Zillion line that handles 6- to 7-ounce baits without a problem.

But you’ll also need a reel with a lower gear ratio to go with that rod. Herrmann likes the Daiwa Luna and Lexa 200 reels, which are big-bait reelz with a high capacity spool similar to the Shimano Calcutta 200 series.

The lower 5:1 gear ratio provides plenty of torque, and the slower speed is precisely what you want when slow-working the swim baits.

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About Rusty Tardo 362 Articles
Rusty Tardo grew up in St. Bernard fishing the waters of Delacroix, Hopedale and Shell Beach. He and his wife, Diane, have been married over 40 years and live in Kenner.

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