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How to Set Up a Fishing Line for Saltwater Fishing

How to Set Up a Fishing Line for Saltwater FishingThe sounds of waves crashing, the strong cool and constant breeze, and with the adrenaline filled thrill of catching a fish, saltwater fishing is truly extremely attractive for any would be angler.

But what would you need to get set up for a day on the beach or out on a boat? Here are a few essential tips on setting up a saltwater fishing line on your first trip.

Things to Remember Before you Cast Your Line

Sometimes in the excitement to get started you might forget to prepare some things before you start fishing. Here is a list of crucial items you shouldn’t ignore or leave behind

  • Fishing License – You need to get a proper fishing license in most jurisdictions before you start fishing. There is a specific type of license for fishing in saltwater areas, and if you are going to be fishing in areas like an estuary, where saltwater and freshwater species do mix, make sure that the fish you are intending to catch match the license you are holding.
  • Review of Allowed Species – In every jurisdiction there are lists of allowable species to catch. You will need to be aware of these to ensure that you are compliant and will not be fined. Luckily these lists and helpful visual guides are often available online on the agency’s website

Inshore or Offshore

Fisherman hold a big fish pike on a background of lake and natureNow that you are ready with the regulations, you will need to know the kind of spot you will be fishing in to prepare the right type of saltwater fishing line.

Offshore fishing will often require more heavy-duty equipment as well as larger bait, while inshore fishing can be done with lighter tackle as well as a variety of easy to use and acquire live and dead bait.

So you wont get confused, offshore fishing is defined as fishing at least 9 miles from the shore line. In such locations the ocean will be extremely deep so it is also sometimes called deep sea fishing.

What Makes a Saltwater Fishing Line Different?

A lot of new anglers think that fishing line is all the same, but that can’t be farther from the truth.

The difference between freshwater and saltwater fishing line will often affect how effective your lures are at attracting fish. Saltwater lines are made with a very stiff core.

Why? This is so that it can still function in the hot tropical conditions of the oceans. The diameters of saltwater lines are also smaller due to the fact that saltwater density allows for it, without affecting its floating capacity.

One additional benefit of this smaller diameter is that the line is easier to cast in windy conditions, that you will often encounter when saltwater fishing.

Gearing Up

Fishing rod and reel with lineIf you’re just starting to enjoy fishing, there is no reason to spend too much money on all of the top of the line gear. You can actually get by with high quality and low cost starter gear that will do the job without breaking the bank.

Reel – A good 4000 size reel would work well for those just starting out. There are a lot of brands to choose from but checking that it is rated for saltwater fishing is a good idea.

Line – A 20 Pound braid will be a good balance between ease of use and durability. You’ll be able to reel in most catches with this kind of line. Try to buy from reputable brands as there are a lot of generic fishing lines out there with questionable provenance and performance.

Rod – You can go with a medium to medium light power rod that will match your reel and line choice. No need to go for the top of the line setup, just check for good quality and you’ll do all right.

Lures and Baits for Saltwater

Colorful fishing lures on wooden desk There are a lot of options for the type and size of bait to use in saltwater fishing. Most of this is dependent on if you are fishing for a specific species of fish, but can also be affected by the anglers preferences.

Some great beginner lures are a top water lure that you twitch and goes back and forth on top of the water, a mid water lure that you can let sink for a bit that will dart to and for as you pull on it, a flexible jig head lure that you can simple reel back in that looks natural as you pull into it, and a shrimp lure that is classic.

For bait options, live shrimp is a classic that delivers good performance and can easily be found in most bait shops.

How to Set Up a Fishing Line for Saltwater Fishing

The simplest rig for your saltwater fishing line will require only a few things. First is a weight, how heavy it is will depend on the depth as well as the currents that you will be fishing in. Next is a swivel, which prevents your weight from sliding down the line.

Then the hook, the size of which will change according to the fish you want to catch and the bait or lure you intend to use.

And finally, a leader, preferably fluorocarbon, which is basically a line that would be difficult for the fish to see, and allows you to fool them into taking the bait.

First thing to do is to take your mainline and attach the weight to it by clamping or threading it through.

Then taking your swivel and attaching it to the main line by using a strong knot. What knot should you use? You can use the strongest knot you know, you can also check out how to tie a fisherman’s knot.

Next, trim out any extra line and check if your weight is not sliding down past the swivel. Now, you will attach your leader to your swivel, the length of the leader is up to your preference. Then finally tie in your hook or lure to that leader.


Saltwater fishing is fun and exciting. It is extremely easy to get into it and you only need the basic gear to get started. With practice, your skill will develop and you will be catching more and more fish in no time.

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