Top 10 Saltwater Fishing Tools

In the world of fishing, you can purchase as much gear as your heart desires.  Sadly, no amount of fancy gadgets will guarantee you’ll catch fish. Even the most experienced freshwater anglers will admit that the saltwater is a different beast.  To get you on the water catching quickly, we’re providing the top 10 saltwater fishing tools you’ll want to have available.  

Rod & Reel

Rod and reel choices can vary from cheap and worthless to a serious investment.  Although quality rods can provide greater endurance and sensitivity to fight big fish, the worst rod you can have is one that’s not in the water. 

If you don’t have a saltwater rod and reel, we recommend finding one in a price range that’s comfortable. We find the Penn Spinnfisher series to be worthy of their cost. 

We will warn against using freshwater reels in the saltwater due to extensive corrosion that saltwater creates. Watch this video to learn how to clean your rod and reels for long-lasting use.  


Most anglers line their saltwater reels with monofilament or braid. Monofilament will hold knots a bit better and costs a tad less.  Braid is smaller in diameter and tends to stretch less.  Depending on your preferences, rod recommendations, and the type of fish you desire to catch, you’ll want to pick a pound test that can handle the weight of the fish.

Most inshore saltwater anglers are using between ten to twenty-pound test.  If you have a boat and plan on traveling offshore, you may want to increase to thirty plus.  Either way, you can save the brunt of the fight for your leader.  


The leader line is attached to your fishing line’s business end and is used to attach rigs and lures to your setup. You’ll have a choice of monofilament or fluorocarbon and a pound test range in both.  Monofilament is cheaper but more visible. Fluorocarbon is more expensive but also allows the natural light to pass through it, making it less visible to fish.


The tides’ ebb and flow will create current in most areas. To keep your bait in place during the current, you’ll want to have a small variety of lead weight available.

A fish finder rig is an excellent setup to explore new areas. Anglers are most often using between 1/4 and 3/4 ounce egg sinkers.  You can also purchase split shots to attache weight without re-rigging. The deeper the water and the greater the flow, the more weight you’ll need. 


Similarly to line and weight, you’ll want to gauge the size of the your hook on the fish you’re after. Small fish won’t bite a big hook and big fish are going to need bigger bait to take interest in your set-up. 

On average, inshore anglers are using between a #1 and 2/O hook.  Those after larger predators range up to 9/0 depending on the season. 

Bait bucket

If you’re going to use live bait, you’re going to need a bait bucket. If you plan on kayaking, wade fishing, or fishing from a dock like ours, you’ll want a trolling bucket. Whatever bucket you choose, make sure to buy oxygen tabs or an aerator for transport.


Saltwater fish have teeth. And because we value our fingers for the continuation of our fishing experience, we recommend finding yourself some aluminum pliers you can use to retrieve your hook. 


Scissors will do, but clippers are better.  They are about the same cost, and having them attached to your person for quick re-rigging is a bonus.

Filet Knife

If you plan on keeping your fish, we suggest you buy a good fillet knife. You’ll get more meat and a cleaner cut with a little investment. Plus a sharp knife will guarantee those fingers we mentioned earlier.


FWC requires you to hold a saltwater license to catch and keep fish in Florida. Residents of the state receive an annual permit for free but will still need to register.

Visitors can purchase a three-day license for $17, a weekly permit for $30, and an annual permit for $47.  Registration details can be found and applied for here. *Note: Specific saltwater species such as snook require additional tags during the licensure process. 

Once you have your license, and the top 10 saltwater fishing tools listed above, you’ll be ready to fish most locations in our area!  Visit our local bait shop for live bait and questions about species-specific targeting.

Here at Fisherman’s Cove Resort, we have a private fishing dock where you can fish to your heart’s desire alongside travelers and locals who are excited to share what they experience and know. 

We look forward to fishing with you soon! 

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