Inshore Saltwater Fishing Gear for Beginners

By Debbie Hanson

Jul 13, 2018

Sample list of saltwater fishing gear for beginners, fishing equipment for beginners to use when inshore fishing for seatrout, flounder, redfish, pompano

If you're new to inshore angling, be sure to get the right saltwater fishing gear for beginners. You don't need much fishing gear to start fishing successfully in the backcountry. Check out this simple list of basic inshore fishing equipment for beginners that you can use to target species like spotted seatrout, pompano, flounder, and redfish.

Inshore Saltwater Fishing Rod

For most situations, the best and most versatile inshore saltwater fishing rod will be a medium power rod that is between 6.5 and 7-feet long. This type of rod should have the right balance of strength and sensitivity. In other words, a rod that has enough backbone to quickly turn a redfish away from rocks or mangroves, but that still allows you to feel lighter bites on artificial lures.

Rod length is a key consideration when it comes to casting distance. This is particularly important when selecting saltwater gear for beginners because newcomers will still be improving upon casting techniques. A longer rod will allow you to get your lures and baits into the strike zone without spooking skittish shallow water fish.

Inshore Saltwater Fishing Reel

When selecting any piece of saltwater fishing gear, corrosion-resistance (sealed drag and gear systems) and durability should be considered, but this is particularly important when selecting a fishing reel. For most types of inshore saltwater fishing, a 2500 to 3500 series reel will be your best choice. Look for a reel that has sufficient line capacity (a good guideline is 150 to 200 yards when using 10 to 15-pound braided line). As you learn how to fight fish, having the additional line capacity can be helpful and will prevent you from "getting spooled.

Fishing Line & Leader Material

Most inshore saltwater fishing sets for beginners will include 10 to 15-pound braided fishing line and two feet of 20 to 25-pound fluorocarbon leader material. Opt toward the heavier end when fishing around rocks, oyster bars, or dock pilings. You may also need to use heavier line when targeting toothy species, such as Spanish mackerel or bluefish.

Circle Hooks & Popping Corks

What else will you need in terms of beginner fishing gear to start inshore saltwater fishing? Don't forget the 2/0 and 3/0 circle hooks! You may also want to rig live baits, such as shrimp, beneath a popping cork or float to boost your number of bites. One of the most common inshore beginner fishing tips is to rig a shrimp 18 to 36 inches beneath a popping cork -- it's an incredibly effective presentation for redfish in the backcountry.

Use this list of fishing equipment for beginners to get the gear you need. From there, all you have to do is check the fishing tide times and find a good saltwater fishing spot.

Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide living in Southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has appeared in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.