Think outside the “baitcaster”
Texas anglers are encouraged to “think outside the baitcaster.” “Howdy Tex” was a common greeting from other anglers as Bink Grimes and I strode down the sidewalk towards our waiting boat.
“I wonder how they know we’re from Texas,” I thought to myself, then I looked down at my rods and it hit me as I gazed at the fist full of baitcasters. We were in Florida and baitcasters are a dead giveaway that you are from the Lone Star State, down in the Sunshine State spinning tackle rules the angling world.
Now before you go get in a fired up huff and quit reading this article because you think it’s another one of those “Florida is superior to Texas” propaganda speeches take a minute to realize what the real story is about.
For whatever reason most die-hard Texas trout fanatics refuse to throw a spinning rod for any one of a myriad of reasons. Most testosterone junkies discount the gear as being for novices or beginners; nothing could be farther from the truth. Now I am not saying that the spinning rod is better than a baitcaster, let’s get that straight. I am saying however that the spinning rod is an overlooked and under utilized weapon in Texas saltwater. By adding a spinning rod to your arsenal of baitcasters you can cover just about any type of fishing situation that comes up along the gulf coast.
When I first started guiding one of the most valuable pieces of information I got came from my good friend and mentor Capt. Dickie Colburn, he said “son, a man can make a good living with a quality spinning rod.” Dickie should know because he has been doing just that for many years on both freshwater lakes and coastal bays. By using a light line presentation on a 6 foot spinning rod Dickie has caught more flounder than you can ever imagine. “The spinning rod is perfectly suited to throw the tiny road runner jigs and gitzits that flounder just absolutely love,” said Colburn, “You just can’t fish those little baits on a regular baitcaster.”
Another area where the spinning rod shines is when the situation calls for delicate or subtle presentations, throwing weightless soft plastics over grass or when you are sight fishing. The ease at which an angler can cast these offerings with pinpoint accuracy and minimal splash results in more fish caught and less fish spooked. I cannot tell you how many times this summer I switched from a baitcaster to a spinning rod just for the ability to throw a subtle bait at a finicky redfish, it worked like a charm.
Wade fishermen can also benefit from using a spinning rod, I know several anglers who carry both a baitcaster and a spinning rod while wading. The baitcaster is used for casting down wind and for throwing big topwaters while the spinning rod is used for throwing into the wind and casting more subtle offerings. The spinning reels are excellent choices for throwing corkies also, the low gear ratio helps you slow down your retrieve and that generally translates into more fish.
I hope that after reading this article you might look at fishing with a spinning rod a little differently, it is a great tool that can really help you catch more fish if you just give it a chance.