One is a nine foot graphite rod rated to cast lures weighing from 1 to 3 ounces or toss bottom rigs baited with up to 4 ounces of lead. I've caught everything from 20 pound bluefish to half pound sea mullet with it, and the rod is a pleasure to fish with.
The rod is mated with an older model Daiwa BG-30, and I have a couple spools loaded with different line weights. If summertime Spanish mackerel are on the beach, and a long cast with a 1 ounce Stingsilver lure is the only way to take them, I'll use 15 pound test braid, topped with a length of 20-pound test mono that serves a leader and shock line to save my fingers when casting the light braid. A few months later when the puppy drum are on the beach, eating fresh mullet on bottom rigs, a spool filled with 20-pound test braid and 25-pound test mono shock is on the rod.
My other favorite outfit is designed for light duty. Speckled trout anglers yearn for those early fall days when the ocean is clear and calm, with only a hint of a breeze. Seven foot light spinning rods are just the ticket for this kind of fishing. A light salt water or heavy fresh water spinning reel filled with 10 pound test monofilament or braid is ideal for throwing lures that top out at 5/8 of an ounce. A two foot length of 20-pound test fluorocarbon leader is tied to the business end of the line. A Double Uni-Knot completes the mono to braid connections.
Flounder fishermen who work the beach also use these light rods because of their sensitivity, and ability to detect even the subtle and tentative bites of a nibbling flatfish, yet the rods should be able to handle up to one ounce of weight. Rarely will you see a serious flounder fishermen use a rod longer than 7 feet in the surf.
I also like to use the little stick in the summer when it's rare to catch any fish from the surf that tops the one pound mark and most of the time I'm fishing close, only a few feet off the beach. A double header of small spot on this outfit may not break any records, but the light rod lets me appreciate these small fish to the fullest.
These two rods will allow me to fish in a variety of conditions. As a result, I can put more fish in the box, and also enjoy and appreciate the fight of any size fish I might be fortunate enough to catch.
Two Rods for the Beach
Over several decades of fishing the surf, I have collected quite an inventory of rods and reels, but two of the combos see more service than anything else in my arsenal. Between them, they cover 90% of the surf conditions and easily account for most of the fish I have caught from the beach.