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  1. #1
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    getting into salt?

    I think I'm ready to try a little salt action this year. For all you salt guys, let me know what I need to get started. Looking for a cheap setup for now just to see if I'll like it. I'm talking the whole shebang...rod, reel, line, leader, etc...

    Basically looking to fish the surf in the vicinity of Brick Twp and Mantaloking if possible. Also want to fish for snapper blues that dart past the docks near my in-laws house on Kettle Creek (which opens up into the northern end of Barnegat Bay). They're small but fun to catch and in time I'd like to teach my kids how to catch them.

    What are the popular jersey shore salt patterns? I'd like to tie my own of course.


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    believe it or not thost barnegat snapper blues are tough on a fly at least at the Lavalette dock where I crab every summer... I think because there is no current to speak of they get selective just picking off spearing and don't want to hit anything else. that said, I've had mucho success with snappers once they start hitting, and on almost anything flashy and small, but there seems to be an optimal retrieve speed that you'll get by trial and error... once found it will be a fish on every cast and a total blast. the other thing to get them going is perhaps to chum a bit... once the snappers start competing with each other (and a bunch of them around) they get frenzied enough to hit bare hooks.

    but my opnion on the way to get kids started on snappers is to pick up some small hooks, bobbers, light fw spinning gear and a pack of frozen spearing. the snappers will slam the bait and the kids will have a blast.

    then bring along some small kastmasters and/or phoebe's and try to get some hookups on the lures.

    then have the lightweight flyrods, if they are so adept and try the flies.

    as you are no doubt aware, with kids the name of the game is action action action...


    ok, now on to the salt. you'll hear all sorts of opinions, but guys around here have been recommending ( I believe) the teton reels, also the reddington CD series, and a few others... basically a reel in the $100 range (+$50 or so depending on model).

    rods? there are a bunch of good ones, by Temple Forks, St. Croix, and others out there
    all less than $150.00

    LLBean, Orvis and cabelas have good packages to get started. All the beginner rods are medium action rods that are fairly easy to cast.

    For me? I started out with a 9 wt.St. Croix pro graphite rod, Pflueger medalist reel,
    Sci Anglers striper WF9I (intermediate) line, bought some 15lb tapered leaders, all for about $200. I tied up some blue and white and chartruese and white decievers and went out and caught some blues in the summer, my first bass coming in the fall.

    I think you'll be happy with a 9ft rod, 9 wt. rod. You may find you want to go lighter for the surf, and maybe use a 10 wt for the surf, but for now, 9wt seems to be a good compromise.

    just my .02... enjoy!


  3. #3
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    Unless you're in excellent physical shape, DO NOT make the same mistake I made. My first saltwater rod was a heavy fiberglass 12 weight (Fenwick). I can cast a 9 wt all day long, but the 12 weight can get me tired after 30 minutes.

    Unless you're going monster fishing, a 9 weight should be sufficient.

    For the snappers, you can probably use the same tackle you use for trout. Make sure you rinse off the salt, and re-lube the reel daily.


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    I would absolutely recommend foregoing any fiberglass fly rod right now with all the inexpensive graphite rods available.


  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete
    Make sure you rinse off the salt, and re-lube the reel daily.
    That gets me to my next question. What separates saltwater rods and reels from freshwater? Almost every manufacturer markets them differently.

    And what routine maintenance involved after an outing? How bad is it if your reel takes a swim?


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    for reels, good sw reels use a metal alloy that doesn't corrode in salt; also virtually no sw reels use a click and pawl "drag" but really have some decent drag system; I believe high end reels have a sealed drag mechanism.

    for rods, there is no real difference except for the butt design from what I can tell... BUT each manufacturer has a high end series of rods with a different design that they claim (and likely with some merit) will allow you to cast the heavier flies and lines better than the freshwater equivalent. In every case for the high-end rods especially (since you are investing more $$) it behooves you to test the rod out before committing to a purchase. For low end rods, you should also try first, buy second, but since $100 usually won't break your budget and since the low end rods tend to be medium flex easier to cast rods in the first place, there is much less risk involved.

    as to maintenance, I'm VERY BAD with respect to this so don't ask me!

    I try to rinse after every trip and then relube once a month or so as needed, but ask one of the more detail-oriented types for their regimen to really know how to do keep your gear in shape

    But if you use fw reels, and especially hooks, on the snappers, it is imperative that you clean off the salt water after every trip. the gear will corrode in many cases, including the reel seat and sometimes the guides.

    a bigger problem I've found is forgetting to wash off gear bags, and in the latest instance a zipper on a front pocket of my waders, which causes the zipper to corode shut! very important to wash these off! For my waders, I rescued them by buying this stuff called Salt-X, letting it soak and then was able to free the zipper. Not sure if it's a snake oil product (maybe soaking in water would have worked ???) but at any rate, do rinse that salt water off everything!


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    Quote Originally Posted by flyin
    For my waders, I rescued them by buying this stuff called Salt-X, letting it soak and then was able to free the zipper. Not sure if it's a snake oil product (maybe soaking in water would have worked ???) but at any rate, do rinse that salt water off everything!
    Ah, yes. Almost forgot the waders. Separate pair for salt?


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    if you can afford it, even if you can't, you will be much happier with studded, boot foot waders, for 99.9% of your ventures in the salt. when and if you fish on jetties/groins/rocks you will likely not want to be wearing waders, but rather high rubber boots/wet gear with korkers or metal-studded wading boots, unless you are beach/jetty jumping like around monmouth county, when I still wear waders, but if I'm going to be jumping the rocks, have corkers for climbing them. rocks only leave the waders home.

    of course, get breathable waders, and use a layering system underneath for warmth.

    brand? that's up to you as it's almost a religious discussion


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    The only problem with breathables and saltwater is that salt gets "stuck" in the pores of the waders, rendering them as unbreathable as rubber waders. Rinsing doesn't really help. My last pair did that. I really don't care though, as they are still light and comfortable.

    Oh, and for rock hopping, like Rob said, leave the waders at home. You're better off getting a pair of waterproof bibs and a jacket than waders, if you want to get serious. Sometimes I just wear a rainsuit, if I don't feel like getting soaked. But most times I don't worry about it and walk home dripping wet!!


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