The 7-foot, medium-action spinning rod is a really inexpensive and versatile outfit. A spinning reel that will hold about 200 yards of 8 to 12 pound line, either braid or monofilament, will match up perfectly with this size rod. You can use this rod on the end of the pier fishing jerk jiggers for bluefish and Spanish mackerel. It is also perfectly suited for throwing plastic grubs for trout and puppy drum back in the sounds or along the beaches. Additionally, you can put on a two-hook bottom rig and a light weight and fish for spots or sea mullet.
There are as many lures and bait rigs for anglers to choose from as there are fish in the ocean. Soft plastic lures are great for starters. Then, as you get your feet wet, you can add other lures and bait rigs.
Soft plastic lures, generally called grubs, are the most popular among Outer Banks inshore/surf anglers. In order to use most plastic jigs you need to a lead head jig and attach the plastic bait to the jig. The medium-action rod will handle jig weights form 1/8 ounce to 1/2 ounce. A heavier jig than 1/2 ounce will over load the rod and hurt the performance. The standard jig weight for the sound is 1/4 ounce and for the surf it’s 3/8 ounce.
Common colors for jig heads are red, white, orange, chartreuse and unpainted, and every angler has his or her favorite color. There is wide range of plastic baits. The most popular are the Berkley “Gulp,” which comes in several shapes and sizes. Berkley impregnates the baits with flavor, and this flavor helps promote strikes. Jerk Shad and Shrimp are two of the most popular shapes. Popular colors are all white, chartreuse, grey and white, and a copper-colored bait called New Penny. They usually come in packs of 8 to 10. Be sure to take an extra pack or two as small pinfish and croakers love to chew on them when you are fishing in the sound.