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Two's company: don't crowd your kayak or canoe with rods.

With the sport of kayak fishing growing at a rapid pace, anglers are looking to out-do each other. Some will load up their kayaks with more rods than a pro bass angler at the Bassmaster Classic. In most cases one rod is used for most of the trip. So how many rods should you bring and what kinds?

Let's start with how many rods. Many times anglers will fish all day with one rod and find that's plenty. One keeps it simple and fun, with no other rods in the way. The downside is when something goes wrong with your setup--possibly a broken rod or some reel failure--you are done for the day. Having two rods will keep you fishing. Three or more rods will have you ready for about anything, but can get in the way of your fishing and the third may not even get used.

Try to fish with two rods on your next trip. If you have more rods than that at the house, pick only two. What two should you bring? Start off with a game plan for what kind of fishing you will be doing and match up the two best rods. Set up both rods with your two best go-to baits. If you are fishing for seatrout, for instance, you may set up a 2000 size spinner with a jig and a baitcaster with a topwater plug. Bring a few other lures with you so you could change baits if needed. In kayak fishing, you are better off retying a lure than having a rod set up for every lure you think you will need that day.

For inshore action, keep your outfits light. A good quality 2000 series spinner with 10-pound-test braid on a 7-foot rod will allow you to cast all day and not tire out like you would with a larger outfit. It will handle most fish that you would find on the Florida flats. The second outfit should be a bit heavier for times when you are working docks and or brushy shorelines. A 4000 spinner with 30-pound braid and 7-foot rod is a good choice. Alternately, you might choose a revolving-spool baitcast outfit with 30-pound braid; learn to fish the baitcaster in the traditional style, switching from your casting hand to the other while retrieving, and you'll give your spin casting arm a rest. These outfits will work on the flats also if your 2000 spinner fails. In most cases a 5000 size or larger spinner is overkill and will wear you down casting.

For offshore fishing, keep your outfits light. A good quality 7000 series spinner with 30-pound braid on a jigging rod will allow you to carry a lot of line that is needed on a long run from a large pelagic. This outfit is a good setup for jigging or trolling lures. A good choice for the second outfit would be a conventional reel like a Penn Fathom FTH 12 with a matching jigging rod. The reel is small but has the power to fight most fish kayak fisherman will find offshore. Fill it with 20-pound braid and you have a great livebait outfit that also works well when jigging for fish like blackfin tuna.

A 7-foot rod is a good choice for kayak fishing. The length is long enough to allow you to follow your fish all the way around the kayak if a fish makes a few trips around you. Have one rod in a forward holder for an easy reach. Put the other rod in a holder opposite the side you will be casting from. This will help keep the rod out of your way as you fish. For offshore, jigging style rods are a great choice. They are lightweight but have a lot of power and the backbone that is needed to bring the big ones to the kayak.

It is so easy to get caught up with fishing with a lot of rods. You find yourself going from rod to rod when the fishing is slow, most of the time never finding the one rod that will catch fish. Then you will have up to six rods to clean when you get back in. Do your homework before your trip, come up with a gameplan, grab your two rods and have a great day on the water. You may find that you will catch more fish and have more fun.
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Title Annotation:FS SEMINAR: PADDLE CRAFT
Author:Hinck, Peter
Publication:Florida Sportsman
Date:Oct 1, 2015
Words:740
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