flyangler

Preferred rod length for snook in the trough? 7, 8, 9, 10 feet?

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Beach snook rods   18 members have voted

  1. 1. What is your preferred rod length for working beach snook in the trough?

    • 6-7 feet
      1
    • 7-8'
      8
    • 8-9'
      6
    • 10'
      3

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66 posts in this topic

When fishing for snook that are cruising in the trough, anywhere from at your feet to 10-20' out, that rod length do you prefer? 

 

I am on the SE coast and I fishing the beaches from just north of Jupiter Inlet down to Palm Beach Inlet most of the time. In the past few years I have typically used a 7-8 foot spinning rod with a 3000ish sized reel and that's worked for tossing plugs or paddle tails in the 1/2 to 1.5 ounce range. I particularly like rods of those lengths for topwaters like twitchers or dog walk style plugs (I like the Yozuri versions). Good twitch action with the rod moving straight up and down quartering "parallel" to the beach. 

 

The downside to that retrieve and those rod lengths are when the snook are cruising really tight to the beach when there is a very pronounced trough up against the shoreline. This can be with a strong onshore wind and waves or dead calm ocean and no swell. 

 

Over the last few weeks I have brought my 10' Blackhole Suzuki Special (rated for 0.5-2.0 ounce) and have found the extra 2 to 3 feet very effective. The snook have been running right in the trough, within 10' of the sand and the extra length of this rod allows me to keep the lure in that zone for far longer than a shorter rod could. That is, while I am standing on the sand, at the water or back a couple of feet, the extra length allows the rod tip to stay over the water so that sideways twitches with the rod perpendicular to the water keep the lure moving nearly parallel to the beach. I start with a quartering overhead cast and then move the rod perpendicular to the shore and twitch sidearm. 

With a shorter rod, the tip would be over the sand and the angle to the lure would be less perpendicular, reducing the time in the strike zone. 

 

Obviously, this works best when the surf/waves are relatively minor and not pushing the lure, particularly a top water, onto the sand. That said, i have several very aggressive snook smack the lure right at the suds, in less than 6 inches of water just before it washed up. 

 

That BH rod is quite light, has what BH calls a moderate fast action which gives it an excellent tip to impart action to both top water and subsurface. I find that in Florida, most of the 10' rods in shops are heavier in rating and faster in action. I think the Suzuki Special is used for light bucktails and SP minnows by the striper guys up north, that same action is what makes it work with this application. 

 

Of course, if fish are breaking "out there", the 10 foot rod and action can help get lures up to 2-2.5 ounces out there. I have thrown a 3 ounce GT Ice Cream on one occasion but that was more of a lob to jacks crushing bait than my intent that morning. 

 

So what rod length do you prefer? 

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7'6" has worked well year-round, even when the winds pick up, for throwing the usual suspects of xraps, spoons and soft plastics in the surf.  Can typically cover all of the first trough just fine.  If they're pushed up and I want to be more parallel I've waded out a bit, but am not sure if that really helps much.  Similarly, not sure 3' of extra length is going to help the angle that much either.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

A 7-8' rod will work fine but just be aware that if you're targeting snook in the trough, specifically SE FL, that there are also much larger fish swimming around that will eat the same thing (sharks, tarpon), for those larger fish you really need a 10-11 footer to be properly equipped, the longer rod will also help when you see schools of jacks, kingfish, albies, etc swimming behind the bar, I almost always grab my 10 footer

Edited by AJR

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2 mins ago, AJR said:

A 7-8' rod will work fine but just be aware that if you're targeting snook in the trough, specifically SE FL, that there are also much larger fish swimming around that will eat the same thing (sharks, tarpon), for those larger fish you really need a 10-11 footer to be properly equipped, the longer rod will also help when you see schools of jacks, kingfish, albies, etc swimming behind the bar, I almost always grab my 10 footer

that was part of my point, about the other species. 

 

but truth be told, a 1/2-2oz rod like the Suzuki keeps the typical snook sporting and fun. and, i don't think i would intentionally cast to a shark or large tarpon with that rod. other than for the few seconds of fun, it would be cut off or broken off rather quickly 

 

during the mullet run in the autumn, that rod would never find its way to the beach.

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9' musky rod does everything from bridges to beaches, good technique and 30lb braid gets you all the distance you need. If you can get good with conventionals you can send on 50lb braid just as far. 

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On 8/2/2021 at 11:27 AM, flyangler said:

When fishing for snook that are cruising in the trough, anywhere from at your feet to 10-20' out, that rod length do you prefer? 

 

I am on the SE coast and I fishing the beaches from just north of Jupiter Inlet down to Palm Beach Inlet most of the time. In the past few years I have typically used a 7-8 foot spinning rod with a 3000ish sized reel and that's worked for tossing plugs or paddle tails in the 1/2 to 1.5 ounce range. I particularly like rods of those lengths for topwaters like twitchers or dog walk style plugs (I like the Yozuri versions). Good twitch action with the rod moving straight up and down quartering "parallel" to the beach. 

 

The downside to that retrieve and those rod lengths are when the snook are cruising really tight to the beach when there is a very pronounced trough up against the shoreline. This can be with a strong onshore wind and waves or dead calm ocean and no swell. 

 

Over the last few weeks I have brought my 10' Blackhole Suzuki Special (rated for 0.5-2.0 ounce) and have found the extra 2 to 3 feet very effective. The snook have been running right in the trough, within 10' of the sand and the extra length of this rod allows me to keep the lure in that zone for far longer than a shorter rod could. That is, while I am standing on the sand, at the water or back a couple of feet, the extra length allows the rod tip to stay over the water so that sideways twitches with the rod perpendicular to the water keep the lure moving nearly parallel to the beach. I start with a quartering overhead cast and then move the rod perpendicular to the shore and twitch sidearm. 

With a shorter rod, the tip would be over the sand and the angle to the lure would be less perpendicular, reducing the time in the strike zone. 

 

Obviously, this works best when the surf/waves are relatively minor and not pushing the lure, particularly a top water, onto the sand. That said, i have several very aggressive snook smack the lure right at the suds, in less than 6 inches of water just before it washed up. 

 

That BH rod is quite light, has what BH calls a moderate fast action which gives it an excellent tip to impart action to both top water and subsurface. I find that in Florida, most of the 10' rods in shops are heavier in rating and faster in action. I think the Suzuki Special is used for light bucktails and SP minnows by the striper guys up north, that same action is what makes it work with this application. 

 

Of course, if fish are breaking "out there", the 10 foot rod and action can help get lures up to 2-2.5 ounces out there. I have thrown a 3 ounce GT Ice Cream on one occasion but that was more of a lob to jacks crushing bait than my intent that morning. 

 

So what rod length do you prefer? 

out of curiosity what reel and line are you using? 

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3 mins ago, bronson said:

out of curiosity what reel and line are you using? 

Both my Hanta Hybrid 7' and Suzuki Special 10' have Slammer III 4500s on them. Line is either 20# 832 (Hanta) or 15# 832 on the Suzuki. The Hanta is rated to 200gr for slow pitch jigs and I limit lures to 2.5oz when casting, though it could do more. 

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Most of my snook fishing is along mangrove beaches, side of a pier or on the Pier, All 7' rods. (on pier) I up the weight range

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I use a 7.5’ or 8’ medium, or a 7.5’ or 8’ medium heavy. Chances of you catching a 25 lb or more snook are pretty slim, most here in the surf are 5-20 lbs so medium is fine and what I prefer. Anything longer causes me to not use some of my favorite (and effective) lures which are awkward on a longer rod. SE Florida.

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5 hours ago, RAW said:

Most of my snook fishing is along mangrove beaches, side of a pier or on the Pier, All 7' rods. (on pier) I up the weight range

That makes perfect sense and I use a 7' when in the back, my question pertained strictly to open beach and the trough. 

 

RedGreen made the point about bridges and piers, you need heavier to bet the fish out of the structure before they can break you off. I learned that the hard way under a bridge during the mullet run last autumn. 

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8 mins ago, Iophon said:

I use a 7.5’ or 8’ medium, or a 7.5’ or 8’ medium heavy. Chances of you catching a 25 lb or more snook are pretty slim, most here in the surf are 5-20 lbs so medium is fine and what I prefer. Anything longer causes me to not use some of my favorite (and effective) lures which are awkward on a longer rod. SE Florida.

out of curiosity, what lures do you think suffer from a longer rod? 

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7 hours ago, flyangler said:

out of curiosity, what lures do you think suffer from a longer rod? 

Spooks, mirrorlure twitch baits, lighter bucktails… actually lighter anything. I use DOA shrimp on 1/2 oz jig head on calm days, can’t feel it properly on a 10’ medium rod. Mostly though the longer the rod butt the harder it is to work the first two listed.

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1 min ago, Iophon said:

Spooks, mirrorlure twitch baits, lighter bucktails… actually lighter anything. I use DOA shrimp on 1/2 oz jig head on calm days, can’t feel it properly on a 10’ medium rod. Mostly though the longer the rod butt the harder it is to work the first two listed.

I use that BH 10’ on Yozuri Inshore and TopKnock pencils both walked and twitched. I throw 4” Gamblers on 3/8oz jigs. The difference is the action on that BH rod vs my heavier 10’ rods which could never work those smaller plugs. 

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We’re only down here in SE FL 10 for months now after moving from Long Island, but I’ve got rods between 7-1/2’ to 12’. My favorites have been my 8’4”/Daiwa SS1600 Tsunami Airwave and a 9’ ODM/VS150 I bought while still in NY. They are comfortable and I don’t feel undergunned. My 7’/VS100 is nice but it seems like more of a back bay rod.

Of course once the mullet run starts I’ll probably break out the 10’ and 12’ long-cast rigs.

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