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Florida Saltwater and Freshwater Fishing Guides, Salty101

Snapper Fishing Gear and Rigs

Snapper Fishing Gear—The Basics

Best Rod

Anything. Use a light rod if you have it, but you don’t need much to catch what are usually 1 lb. fish from the shore. From a pier you can get into bigger fish, and a medium-light rod is fine.

A medium-heavy rod is for those trips out to deep water where you’re after something big and it might not be a huge Red Snapper that grabs your baitfish, it might be a tuna or god knows what else. You’ll need to be ready for anything the deeper you fish.

Click One to See Our Rod Recommendation for Different Snapper Fishing Spots:

As I said, I think just about any rod can catch small fish, you could put a line on a piece of bamboo and dangle it over a dock and catch one of these fish. They bite often – always hungry – and they are not difficult to catch, especially with a clear mono or fluorocarbon line that they cannot see well.

I almost always use the same rod for all my inshore fishing. It’s in my truck and ready to go.

UGLY STIK at Amazon


Best Reel for Snapper Fishing?

Baitcasting or Spinning Rod – Either is Fine

The reel doesn’t matter when catching small fish. Go with what you know and love. I love baitcasting reels, so I’ll give you two of my favorites here for fish under 20 lbs.

My Favorite Reel (at Amazon) for Inshore Fishing (Snook, Redfish, Cobia) Made in America (Philadelphia, PA.)

Here’s a less-expensive alternative (at Amazon) that is also great for catching inshore fish, but more of a beginner’s baitcasting reel.

Best Spinning Reel?

Here’s a basic Sedona Spinning Reel (at Amazon) that is great for Snapper and other smaller fish you will find inshore and from piers and docks. This is a beginner’s reel that can handle a lot, and it’s a great starter reel.

This is one of my favorite Shimano Spinning Reels (at Amazon). If you’re really into fishing, you should have a reel that will last for many years and put a smile on your face constantly.


Best Line?

I like this 30-40 lb. braided line for fishing inshore and offshore as long as not going for huge fish. If going for big fish, I’ll use 80-100 lb. braided.

Don’t Forget the Leader

20 lb. test clear leader is ideal for Snapper because the less the fish can see the line, the more hookups you’ll get. These fish are quite aware of the line and sometimes it spooks them.

Get this Fluorocarbon leader for inshore.


Best Hooks?

The best hooks (at Amazon) don’t matter all that much when inshore fishing. You can use a 1/0 circle hook that is not made of stainless steel and not offset to stay within the law.


Best Snapper Fishing Rigs?

The Old Egg Sinker Rig. This works when you have current, but I’d prefer a 3-way swivel with a 1-2 oz. sinker off one side and a 6 foot 20 lb. leader with a 1/0 circle hook (non-offset) instead. With egg sinkers, be sure you beef up the 2-way swivel to handle the pounding of the sinker with each cast.

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