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Saltwater Fishing Gear: 10 Inshore Essentials Every Anglers Needs

Saltwater Fishing Gear: 10 Inshore Essentials Every Anglers Needs

You really don’t need much to get started with inshore fishing. These simple items are available at most tackle shops and they will get you started without loading a truck full of gear. Build a gear system, experiment with different lures and baits, and get busy catching fish.

Quality Rod

The number of quality rods at affordable prices makes it easy to find a good stick. Inshore anglers benefit from a good all-around, medium power rod that can handle a variety of fishing styles and species. As you develop and focus on specific scenarios and techniques, adding a light or heavy specialty rod is common.

Saltwater Worthy Reel

The reel is arguably more important than the rod. A quality spinning reel made for saltwater-specific fishing conditions will last longer than a normal off-the-shelf freshwater reel. Regardless, washing the reel in freshwater and performing basic maintenance is critical. Look for a reel that offers an adjustable drag and a smooth casting platform for finesse casting in redfish flats while still having the ability to sink a heavy bait in the deeper water.


This can be any tool you prefer but the two primary functions are cutting line and pliers for crimping tackle and unhooking fish. A multitool is great for starting out but eventually, you may want dedicated line cutters and stainless pliers but utilizing a single tool is just fine for many anglers.

Fillet Knife

I always keep a fillet knife with a few plastic bags in my tackle kit. Whenever it’s convenient, I process my keep onsite and go home with clean filets ready to cook. Also, keep a small sharpener handy. When you finish processing the fish, clean the knife, sharpen and store it for the next time.

Tackle System

Inshore anglers fish from motorboats, kayaks, docks, jetty’s, shore, and more. Build a single system that will carry and protect your gear for any style of inshore fishing. A waterproof tackle bag is ideal and one with shoulder straps for those long beach walks will make a big difference. Within the waterproof bag, you will need a few hard cases for storing lures, hooks, and tackle.

Lures, Hooks, and Terminal Gear

You can’t catch fish without hooks and lures. Carry your favorite casting spoons, jigs, topwater baits, and soft baits. Add terminal tackle like swivels, weights, bare hooks for bait, and extra line for building leaders in the field. Keep your tackle simple when getting started and focus on perfecting presentations with simple casting and jigging techniques.

The Mystery Tackle Box Inshore subscription fives anglers all of the saltwater essential terminal, tools, and tackle at a discounted price. It's the easiest way to load up on all the gear you need to hit the water.

The Badfish Fishing Bundles come in two options, Redfish or Stripers, and each box comes loaded with the gear you need to catch either of your target species.

Emergency Kit

Every angler should carry a basic first aid kit with antiseptic, antibiotic ointment and bandages. You are working with sharp hooks and knives and the ability to treat cuts in the field is important. A headlamp is also perfect to keep in your kit. It comes in handy during those early morning walks to the pier and late evening trek back to the car.

Sunscreen and Bug Spray

Your days on the water tend to last longer when the sunburns are managed and the bugs aren’t biting. Wear sun-protective clothing, cover your exposed skin with sunscreen and use bug spray when they are biting. Having these items in your pack saves trips to the car while making it easier to fish a little longer in comfort.

Landing Net

Not every inshore fisherman needs a net but they are a lifesaver when fishing from an elevated platform. Boat anglers can land fish easily and nets make it possible to scoop fish while working docks and piers. Collapsible nets are great for traveling on foot while a good long handle net is better for boats.

Fishing License

No need to fret when the warden comes around if your license is always in the pack. Keep your license in a waterproof holder and clip it in a visible area or store it in a safe pocket. Make sure you are legal and keep a regulations booklet to reference limits and special regulations as needed.

The Badfish Saltwater bundles feature fish-catching plugs at angler-approved pricing.

Updated December 10th, 2021 at 3:39 AM CT