Purpose-built sticks

Capt. Marty LaCoste has fished in and around Dularge for nearly 30 years and has a game plan for every weather condition. He’s also got specific rods laid out for different baits to make his clients as effective as possible on the water.

“Depending on the time of year and what you’re after, you need to have different rods. In the wintertime, for example, the bites can be really subtle, so you need a really sensitive rod to be able to pick up on them,” he says. “Other times, like when we’re after bull reds, I want a heavier stick that has more power to it.”

LaCoste fishes exclusively with Duce rods, out of Lafayette. The folks at Duce are inshore freaks, and their rod line shows it. Some of the sticks themselves are labeled “Light Trout,” “Redfish” and more. This takes the guesswork out of selection at the tackle shop. The interesting thing about Duce rods is the way that the guides are spiraled around the length of the rod. This is reported to decrease friction, resulting in longer casts and increased sensitivity.

LaCoste’s go-to rods in the summer are a medium-action rod with a fast tip. This is what he uses for throwing double rigs and paddle tails because it’s soft enough to fling a single bait, but also has the backbone to flip a double into the boat. When specifically targeting reds, he’ll use the Duce Utility Stick, which is a little heavier and can put the screws to an ornery bull.

If he could only take one rod to do all of his inshore fishing, it’d be a medium-action rod with a moderate tip. That means it’s not too stiff, but not too whippy.

“That can throw a paddletail for trout but can also throw a spoon or spinner for reds, and it’s light enough that it won’t wear you out when you fish all day,” he said.

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