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Rods and Reels for Mangrove Snapper

They aren’t called “snapper” for no reason – these fish are possibly the most notorious bait-stealers on the pier, yet often go completely unnoticed by the distracted angler. Here’s a list of the most effective rod-and-reel combinations for Mangrove snapper.

Tackle for Mangrove Snapper

A mangrove snapper is not a twenty pound fish; a fish of a few pounds is a good sized fish and make for outstanding table faire. But that said, they are strong, powerful, and fun to catch if you do not oversize your tackle. Better to fish for them and other smaller snapper like Lanes and yellowtails with lighter equipment. You can drop a 1 oz sinker fairly deep, so if the tackle can be used for flounder and smaller inshore fish can be used to catch these tasty nuggets.

Mangrove snapper.

A Spinning Rod and Reel for Mangrove Snapper Fishing

A spinning rod-and-reel combination is the most common and easy to use method of catching Mangrove snapper. Since Mangrove snapper rarely exceed three pounds inshore, a spinning reel of the appropriate size has more than enough power to reel in the fish. For fishing “near structures” such as pilings, mangrove roots and artificial reefs, use a medium reel with up to 20-pound test line with the drag set tight to avoid getting pulled into structures. Using lighter gear and using a lot of drag is not recommended in this situation.

Spinning reel terms.
Spinning reels come in all sizes – from Ultralight to heavy. A light or medium spinning reel is appropriate for inshore Mangrove snapper, while a heavy reel will be required for the offshore adults.

The “Perfect” Spinning Rod and Reel for Mangrove Snapper:

  • A 7-foot spinning rod with fast action. Using a fast-action rod will allow you to sense the bites easier than a slow-action rod, because of its sensitivity. It will also allow for a faster hook-set, an important aspect to not miss a bite.
  • A Spinning reel with a low-gear ratio. Once the fish is hooked, they’re going to make a dive for that structure. Using a low-gear ratio will give you the power to reel the fish home before it does.
  • A medium-spinning reel capable of 8-to-20 lb. line. The size of the line is very important when it comes to snapper, and in general, the thinner the better. Not only is thinner line less visible, but it also allows for greater sensitivity.

Using Baitcasting Rods and Reels for Mangrove Snapper Fishing

When fishing from a pier, bridge, shallow reef, or anywhere else that you are fishing straight down, a bait-casting setup is an excellent way to go. These reels have the line running parallel with the rod, giving you more leverage to pull the fish out of the structure to avoid a hang-up on the pilings or rocks. Many excellent compact bait-casters are available, and can hold the appropriate-sized line for snapper fishing – anywhere between 6-and-14 pound test line.

Baitcasting reel for catching mangrove snapper.
       Compact bait-casting reels like the one shown give you more leverage for pulling those fish out the structures.

The Perfect Bait-casting Rod for Mangrove Snapper would be:

  • A 7-foot fast action rod. A fast-action rod will have greater sensitivity (needed for detecting those bites), and faster hook-setting abilities than slower action rods.
  • A bait-casting reel with a low-gear ratio. A reel with a low-gear ratio will give you more power for reeling the fish out from structures.
  • A medium bait-casting reel capable of 8-to-20 lb. Using as light a line as possible will get more snapper bites, so use a medium reel over a heavy reel unless fishing in very deep water offshore.

A General Comment about Mangrove Snapper Tackle

Whether using spinning or bait-casting gear, several things remain the same. Using a fast-action rod, coupled with a low-gear ratio reel will allow you to feel the bite, set the hook, and get the fish in before wrapping your line around the structure. These guidelines are essentially set out for inshore snapper, and thus your tackle will have to be simply increased for offshore Mangrove snapper, but all technical details remain the same.

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