Many anglers, especially online through fishing forums and blogs seem too often ask what fishing reels, fishing rods and tackle to use when shark fishing. It’s important that you choose the appropriate fishing reels and fishing rods, especially when shark fishing due to the size and power of the fish.
Generally, a good fishing rod for shark fishing needs to be at least 5 feet or around one and a half metres long. Some anglers can go overboard with the length of their rod though so you want to try and keep the rod length under 8 feet but over that 5 foot mark to maximise the rods leverage and usability. Having roller guides on the rod are your best option especially when fishing for sharks because they have the least amount of abrasion on the line when under tension. If your rod doesn’t have roller guides then hooded ones are satisfactory but you should think about upgrading your rod if you plan on shark fishing or fishing for larger fish on a regular basis.
The fishing rod butt is a very important feature of the rod to take into account when shark fishing. The line and rod will be under increased tension and pressures than your standard casting rod so preventing any damage to the rod and keeping the fish still on the other end of your line are crucial. On a shark fishing rod the butt should be firm and made out of foam, cork or another cushioning but durable material. Smooth and straight butts on the rod are preferred since they make pulling the fishing rod out of the rod holder while under tension. You also need to make sure that you have a firm grip made out of foam or cork that extends from the reel almost to the first roller or eye. When shark fishing you need to have a much longer grip than on a casting rod as this will give the angler better leverage and a more comfortable experience when reeling in a shark.
Choosing the right fishing reel when shark fishing is a must and there are many types of reels available. A good quality, heavy duty shark reel should be used and attached to your rod. Some anglers prefer to use trolling reels because most come with a built in two speed retrieve system. This can be especially useful when pulling in large sharks. You will use a lot of line when fighting a big shark and when fishing for sharks the water depth can be quite deep so you want to make sure the reel has good line capacity for the type of line you want to use.
Whether you choose a trolling reel or best casting reel is really up to you as the angler, but if you do use a trolling wheel you have to factor in drag. All trolling reels have drag which is the mechanical pressure applied to the main reel gear to resist line from being taken by the fish. You need to increase your drag when shark fishing to achieve a higher drag. When you have a higher drag the fish needs more power to pull line, so you only want to set a high drag when fishing for larger fish species and sharks.
Shark fishing can be a great experience, with large catches being brought in and potentially some excitement from the long battles reeling the fish to the boat. You need to make sure you have the appropriate gear when shark fishing though as the rod, fishing reel and drag settings play an important part in making a successful catch.
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