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Red Drum Kayak Fishing Tips for Beginners




In this article, we’ll be giving you some of the best red drum kayak fishing tips. Kayaking has become very popular in recent years as it is environmentally friendly and cheap to acquire. There are other methods, but that is something to discuss in other articles.

Kayak fishing is a different ball game. It is nothing like catching reds on a fancy boat or fishing for them from the shore. This method of capturing reds requires optimum skill, how-to knowledge, and information about your prey.

The red drum fishing tips while kayaking we’ll be introducing are:

  • Tackles to use for kayak fishing
  • Where to fish
  • When to fish
  • Four ways to catch reds using kayaks

Kayak fishing is fun if you know what to do. As a beginner, you’ll have to learn, and we are here to guide you in the right path to becoming a pro angler while kayaking for reds. Keep the focus as we unveil some valuable tips to you.

Lear more about beginner tips while fishing for red drum.

Red Drum Kayak Fishing Tips for Beginners:

Redfish enjoy shallow water, kayaks as well. It is just like a competition created in salty, bent-rod heaven. And most times, what the guys on huge fancy boats can do is to curse you for catching their fish. The exciting thing about this method of fishing is that you can launch your little kayak anywhere you please. It’s quite portable, so it doesn’t require hauling of any sort.

Learn more about red drum night fishing tips and techniques.

Kayaks are light, versatile, tranquil, and cheap if you know the market well. This type of fishing vessel is effective for catching reds. You see, one amazing thing about reds is that you can catch them in several ways, and they are always available all year long. During winter, the water becomes cooler, terminating a few of the algae inhabiting the water to make it a little clearer. At this point, you can kayak quietly in the shallow water of the creeks where you’ll discover schools of reds swimming by the bottom. Summer is the best time to look out for tailing reds on little grass flats.


Kayak fishing is all about the knowledge and less about the boat. If you have the best kayak fishing vessel with little knowledge on how to use it to capture reds, you’ll be stranded on the water. In addition, the tackle you use matters. So ensure you get hold of one of the best red drum fishing rods (factors to look at when choosing one are provided in this article), baits, etc. for kayak fishing. As we move further, we’ll be delving some secrets to become successful.

Tackles to use for Reds while Kayak Fishing:


The tackle you use here will determine your catch rate. When targeting reds, most anglers often go for spinning equipment. A seven-foot medium rod combined with a 2500 size spinning reel is ideal for targeting reds.

Ensure that the reel is spooled with 10-20 pound braid and a five-foot section of fifteen-pound fluorocarbon should be affixed to the primary line with the aid of an Albright or FG knot.

When affixing a lure to the fluorocarbon, you can make use of a non-slip mono knot; the loop knot gives the lure optimum mobility.


Beginners are often confused when it comes to bait section. When fishing with this vessel, it is advised that you make use of either dead shrimp, cut mullets (reds favorite), or quartered blue crabs. In addition, live shrimps underneath a popping cork are effective for enticing reds. Fiddler crabs or hermit crabs extracted from their armor are effective as well. Reds are not fussy, simply present the bait and there is a huge chance that he’ll eat it.

Remember, when it comes to targeting reds with kayak, it is not all about using one of the best red drum reels (you can explore the best ones for reds here), but using the right reel for the occasion.


The area you choose to fish will determine the lure you use. However, begin with soft plastics, spoons, including top water baits. Bass lures are ok if it’s what you have.

Where to Fish for Reds?

So where do you catch reds when fishing with a kayak? We’ll there is no general answer for this. You simply have to figure out where to find this fish in your area. Anyone skilled at catching fish from a boat should know, without hesitation, where to find success in a kayak.


However, as a beginner, you need to start searching for that sweet spot before you hit the water. You can do this by doing extensive research. Contact biologists, the right state fish, and wildlife agency, pro anglers, including local bait shops for insight. In addition, you can also make use of Google satellite images to locate points, drop-offs, mangroves, channels, seagrass, oyster beds, potholes, including other lucrative areas. Merge them as a kayak route and link them up with potential access areas. Afterwards, take a look at tide charts, study the wind and weather.

Do all you can to get your facts right so when you eventually hit the water, you’ll find yourself in redfish zone. Always recall that redfish mobile. They go after baits. So, be prepared.

When to Fish for Reds?

To record success when fishing for reds in a kayak, you must ensure that you know when to go out there and fish. When is the best time to fish? It actually differs per location. The best way to find out is by getting out there. Or if you have a mentor, you can go ahead and ask. He or she would be happy to give you the assistance you need.

Slack tides are certainly not ideal for fishing. High tides, on the other hand, may scare reds into the grass where they target anything alive. Falling tides, however, might send red drums charging to escape a waning shallow, and consuming anything they come across. Low tides may push them into openings like potholes surrounded water too shallow to navigate. Anything could occur. So, the only way to discover the best time to fish for your specific area is to get out and fish. Don’t let the tides prevent you from fishing. However, keep an eye out for falling tides and ensure that you don’t get stranded.

Three Ways to Catch Reds Using Kayaks:

Soaking bait:

If you really want to catch reds, you have to consider this approach. You can fish using a chunk of dead mullet, a piece of crab, a live shrimp, including any of the bait mentioned above.

Sight Casting:

Shallow water redfish are cautious as a hook-spurred gobbler. Fishing for them in shallow water has a lot to do with your hunting, fishing and trick shooting skills. Stand in the kayak to get the best view. Be steady and quiet. Adopt a light line. If you have a brightly colored paddle blade, use a drab sock to conceal it. Locate the fish. Select one, possibly the biggest. The next step is easy. Be aware of the tide, wind, fish speed, boat speed, casting speed, lure weight, trajectory, the direction of the fish, your silhouette, rotation of the earth, sun position, then place the lure in its path.

It takes a keen survey to acquire the game eye for reds. As you do, keep an eye out for more than whole fish in singles and schools. Keep an out for pieces. Look out for the standard dots on the tail. Keep your eyes peeled for wakes, bait sprays, copper flashes, bait balls, mullet leaping—diving grass, etc. In addition, keep an eye out for reds trailing rays. With the aid of good sunglasses and a sky-coloured shirt, you can spot reds before they spot you. When you finally set eyes on a redfish, drop your lure a little distance away from the fish as quiet as possible. Afterwards, work it to its lips.

Pursuing beds:

This may sound funny, but you can catch reds with the aid of birds. You see, the game of fishing is a game of hide-and-seek. So, make use of all the cues you can find. If you sight birds working, there are chances that reds are around. Don’t hesitate, make use of this advantage.


As a beginner, things can be hard. However, with the right level of determination, you will experience a rapid turnaround. Fishing for reds in a kayak can be exciting; but, what is more exciting is recording a substantial catch.

Once you learn the nitty-gritty of how to catch redfish in a kayak, the next step is practice. Go out there and see things for yourself. Of course, because you are just starting, things wouldn’t be rosy at first. There will be days when you’ll catch nothing and days when you catch a few reds. However, don’t give up.

The tips mentioned above should help you overcome some hurdles you may face as you step into the world of catching reds in a kayak. However, don’t solely depend on this guide. Read further, and you’ll be surprised and how much you can learn. Cheers to your success in advance!

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How to Catch Red Drum With Live Bait? – Tips For Beginners




The red drum, which is also regarded as the redfish, is a fish you would want to catch. This popular game fish isn’t difficult to capture, provided you armed with the right knowledge and, most importantly, red drum bait and tackle. Speaking of tackles, when going for a redfish hunt, the live bait you use matters. However, even when armed with the right live bait, if you lack the tactics, you’ll be frustrated. That brings the question; how do you catch red drum with live bait?

Reds love live baits; this includes croakers, menhaden, spot, pinfish and mullets. Live bait is fished either free-lined, beneath popping cork, or on a slip-lead rig. For shallow waters, use a popping cork. For clearer shallow water, use a free-lined bait. For deeper water, use a slip lead.

Reds are aggressive eaters; this means they will go after anything that appears enticing. With a well selected live bait coupled with the appropriate red drum reels, you should enjoy your time out catching reds. We’ve highlighted some crucial information that could help increase your chances of capturing red drums using live baits. We have also put together some of the best fishing equipment for your red drum adventure.


How to Catch Red Drum With Live Bait? – For Beginners

You can catch reds via a variety of methods. You can either go with artificial baits or live baits. Artificial baits are baits designed to appear like live baits. Examples of artificial, red drum bait are bomber saltwater grade mullet, soft plastic jerk bait, rapala saltwater skitter walk etc. On the other hand, live baits are live animals; they include shrimps, crabs, mullet, etc.

Squid: Cut the squid or use a whole if they are not too big. If you are utilizing lengthy strips, ensure that you wind them around the hook a few times, so they stay firm.
Live Shrimp: Ensure the shrimp is in perfect shape. This way, they become easy to spot when moving in the water.
Live Crab: Ensure that you cut off its legs, and place the hooks via one of the leg holes. Ensure that the hook is firmly attached to the crab’s shell, so it doesn’t pull off while in the water.
Cut Mullet: A freshly cut mullet will do. In addition, frozen mullets are also effective, but it’s a 50 50 chance because the frozen flesh will turn sloppy in the water and might drop from the hook.

So, with that being said, how do you catch redfish with live bait? Beginners often struggle to get this right. Catching redfish with live bait is easy when you know what to do, the red drum fishing rods (best ones for reds can be found in my other article), the hook, lures, and reels to use.


First off, you would want to ensure that you are equipped with the right live bait. Reds are fans of crabs and shrimps. I’ll recommend you use shrimps because fixing them to your red drum hook is quite easy. Next, you may want to make use of a free-line, popping cork, or a slip lead rig depending on where you decide to fish.

Reds are usually around structures such as sandbars, dock pilings, grass beds, etc. However, for best results, search the lee sides of bars and pilings. After finding your location, Immerse your live bait attached to a circle hook. You can agitate the bait a bit, so it gets the attention of the redfish. As soon as you feel a bite, retract your hook.

What is the best bait for Red Drum?

Reds remain one of the best sport fish in the United States. They are delicious, they can grow very big, and they are also fun to catch. However, beginners may disagree. To catch reds, there are a host of things you need to know. One of those things is the best bait for red drum.

The bait you use has a significant role to play in your success. We’ve highlighted some of the best red drum bait:

  • Squid
  • Live Shrimp
  • Live Crab
  • Cut Mullet
  • Topwater Jigs
  • Rattling plugs


Squid is one of the best bait for several predatory fish, and redfish is not an exception. You can either cut the squid or use a whole if they are not too big. If you are utilizing lengthy strips, ensure that you wind them around the hook a few times, so they stay firm. The amazing thing about this bait is that it can be used as a supplement to lures. Using squid as a trailer on a jig or spoon can be very effective when aiming for reds.

Live Shrimp:

A live shrimp is identical to a squid. One of the reasons why you should consider this bait is that reds seldom ignore them. All you have to do is ensure the shrimp is in perfect shape. This way, they become easy to spot when moving in the water.

This bait is an awesome supplement, especially when there are no croakers or menhaden around. The only issue one may have with shrimps is that they are vulnerable to smaller annoying fishes.

Live Crab:

Crab is regarded as one of redfish favorite. Bigger reds often go for crabs because they have the proper mechanism for eating them. To rig your live crab, first ensure that you cut off its legs, and place the hooks via one of the leg holes. Ensure that the hook is firmly attached to the crab’s shell, so it doesn’t pull off while in the water. If you are after smaller reds, you can cut the crab in pieces and attached them to the hook.

Cut Mullet:

Cut mullet remains the best bait for reds, based on popular vote. This bait will successfully attract reds. A freshly cut mullet will do. In addition, frozen mullets are also effective, but it’s a 50 50 chance because the frozen flesh will turn sloppy in the water and might drop from the hook.

Mullets are handy in different types of waters. If you are trying to aim at bull reds, make use of mullet head. If you are after smaller reds, you can adopt 2-4 inches of mullet body to lure the fish. Don’t make use of the tail fin as it can complicate things with your line.

Topwater Jigs:

If you are fishing in shallow waters, especially around the Mosquito Lagoon or flats, you can use topwater jigs to attract redfish. If you are out on grassy water hunting for reds, you will need to retract the lures as fast as possible to prevent them from getting tangled in the grass.

Topwater jigs are also effective for clear waters because you can place them as you prefer, even underneath. Lures such as bait busters don’t sink rapidly, so you will have adequate time to display the bait properly.

Rattling plugs:

This bait can come in handy in muddy waters where it is hard to spot reds. Since reds stay close to the bottom when feeding, a rattling plug is the best bait to use in muddy waters. This bait is improved with a rattling chamber inside, which has metal components that shakes as the bait moves. This leads to vibrations underneath the water surface. It is these vibrations that attract the fish to the plugs. This bait is very effective, particularly when fishing for reds in potholes.


What is the best Red Drum tackle?

A tackle is simply a collection of fishing equipment. Your tackle plays a vital role in the success of your fishing trip or escapade. As a beginner embarking on a trip to catch reds, you will need to equip yourself with the best red drum tackle.

Below we’ve highlighted some of the best redfish tackles:


There exist two major types of rods for red drums: the long, heavy, or medium heavy surf rods, should you be surf fishing, or a light/ medium action rod if fishing from a vessel. The Okuma Longitude Surf Graphite Rod, Ugly Stik GX2 or Cadence Vigor Spinning Rod are your best pick. However, if you plan on fishing from a pier or the beach, an Okuma Tundra Surf Glass Spinning Rod would do well.


A Gamakatsu is a good hook for reds. Alternatively, you can also consider an Owner circle hook.


A monofilament line is ok


Go for a gliding sinker rather than a fixed one.


Consider: Penn Conflict or Penn Battle II & III (spinning reels), Abu Garcia Revo SX or SHIMANO Curado K (baitcasting reels), Daiwa Sealine-X SHA or Daiwa SL20SH Sealine (surf fishing reels).

When using rigs, ensure you check the regulation in your area. You are not allowed to use certain types of rig in some areas.

What is the best hook size for Red Drum?

When fishing for reds, you will need to ensure that your tackles are on point. Your line must be fit for catching reds; the same goes for your rigs and your hook. The hook size you use in capturing reds matters. If you use a smaller hook size, you may be left frustrated. If you use one that is too large, you may not catch anything. So, what is the best hook size for red drum?

The best red drum hook size for white baits is 1/0 to 3/0 size circle hooks. If you are using small whitebait (2-3′), use a hook size of 1/0. For medium size whitebait (3-4″), use a hook size of 2/0. Ultimately, for bigger whitebait (5″+), use a hook size 3/0.

With the right tackle, tactics, and patience, you should smile back home from your fishing trip. The condition of your fishing spot also plays a major role in your success. For this reason, ensure you select a spot that you are comfortable with.

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Red Drum Bait and Tackle – Proper Set Up




Catching reds is not easy like it is with other fishes. For this reason, you will need the best red drum bait and tackle when hunting for this fish. Reds are known to be aggressive and opportunistic feeders. This means that, if you are eager to capture them, you’ll need to equip yourself with a bait and tackle capable of executing the job flawlessly.

Talking of baits, you can either make use of the live bait, dead bait, or artificial bait. A good live bait is a shrimp or mullet. You can make use of jigs or a Shimano suspending waxwing as artificial bait. A good dead bait would be cut mullet or croaker.

Below is a breakdown of the tackle you should adopt:

Fishing for reds with the right tackle is like going to war with the best military equipment; your chances of winning will definitely be high. Why most anglers fail to capture redfish is because they are sometimes ignorant of the tackle to use. If you complement your knowledge of reds with the appropriate tackle, such as the best red drum fishing line, lures, etc., you will be overwhelmed by the result.

Red Drum Bait and Tackle – Proper Set Up

Red drum can be captured with an array of tackle. However, the tackle to be used will depend on your location and the size of red you intend to catch. If you are fishing in estuaries or river mouths and you have your sight set on puppy drum, you can go for an ultra-light gear. On the other hand, if your attention is set on the big bull drum, it is best you go for one of those large conventional red drum reels for trolling baits with a heavy downrigger.

Red drum caught inshore are smaller than those captured offshore, and most times are caught in shallow waters. Tackles can size down accordingly. For inshore reds, you will need to arm yourself with an ultra-light, light, or medium-light rod. However, when you arrive at the fall around passes, you would need to scale-up your tackle to handle the bull reds; and trolling calls for heavier gear unless done at slow speed. Furthermore, you will also need to adopt one of those red drum fishing reels, one with a good drag and quality line. For offshore reds, you will need to make use of heavier tackles. Medium-heavy or heavy rods are perfect, with a large reel spooled with a minimum of 250 yds of 30-lb line.


A good bait for red drum would be shrimp, mud minnows, finger mullet, and pogies (live bait). Sometimes, dead bait can be ideal. For dead bait, you can make use of any cut slab or a filet from mullet, croaker, pinfish, etc. Peeled shrimp is another good alternative.

What are the Best Lures for Red Drum?

To capture a redfish, you will need to lure it with something captivating, something it would find hard to resist. That is where a lure comes in. A fishing lure is simply an artificial bait created to draw the attention of a fish. Because reds are aggressive eaters, you will need to equip yourself with the best red drum lures if you wish to attract them. With that being said, what are the best lures for red drum?

The best red drum lures are Gold Johnson Silver Minnow, Bass Assassin Sea Shad, Rapala X-Rap, and a Redfish Magic Spinnerbait. These artificial lures are amazing because they can help you catch redfish in any fishing situation.

The majority of the redfish lures manufactured are designed to catch them in shallow water. They come with a lone hook that rides up, lessening snags. Other lures, such as jigs, will fool red drum in deeper waters. Ensure that you select a lure that suits the water you’ll be fishing in. Factors that can affect lure choice are depth, cover, structure, and current.

Catching reds for novice anglers can be difficult; however, with the right knowledge about red drums, novice anglers should have less problem catching this fish.

What is the Best Fishing Line for Red Drum?

The fishing line you use in hunting reds matters. A fishing line is simply a long thread of silk or nylon affixed to a baited hook, with sinkers or float, and used for catching fish. There are several types of fishing lines out there; however, you will need the best to be successful in your red fishing adventure. So, what is the best fishing line for red drum?

There are three major types of fishing line, the braided, monofilament, and the fluorocarbon. The best braided red drum fishing line is a 20-30Lb braid (when sight casting to redfish or fishing with lures). If you are fishing for big bull reds, go for a 40-50Lb braid. Moving to the monofilament fishing line, the best is a 12-15Lb for inshore reds and a 20-30Lb for bull reds. When fishing for reds with artificials, the best fluorocarbon fishing line to use is a 20-30Lb. If you are after bull reds, make use of a 40-50Lb fluorocarbon.

Sometimes, the line you use doesn’t really matter. As long as it boasts of a good cast and retrieves, you are good to go. The braided fishing lines are often more expensive, so carefully scrutinize your options before selecting a fishing line.

What are the Best Rods for Red Drum?

If you are eager to capture a red drum, you will need to equip yourself with the best rods. A fishing rod is simply a long and flexible rod used by anglers to capture fish. It is made of either bamboo, steel, or fiberglass. There are various types of fishing rods in the market, but you’ll need the best for an effective catch when fishing for reds. So, what are the best rods for red drum?

  • Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Rod
  • Cadence Spinning Rod

Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Rod:


The Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Rod boasts of a sturdy yet balanced graphite and fiberglass construction. This rod is quite powerful, which is why it is recommended for redfish and trout. It doesn’t cost much. You would also love the construction of this piece. The ugly stik gx2 spinning rod is easy to use. Beginners shouldn’t have a hard time trying to master this rod. Saltwater is a well-known enemy of tackles; however, when it comes to this rod, you have nothing to worry about as it can withstand most water conditions.

Cadence Vigor Spinning Rod:


The Cadence Vigor Spinning Rod is one of the best red drum fishing rods. If you are eager to capture lots of reds, you will definitely go after this piece. This rod is constructed with a 30-ton carbon graphite blank, making it strong, lightweight, and very durable. The cadence spinning rod is also constructed with premium materials for high strength and sensitivity. This rod is indeed an affordable option for beginners who are eager to go after the bull reds or other big species.

What are the Best Fishing Reels for Red Drum?

A reel is a very important component of an angler’s tackle. This fishing equipment is a cylindrical device affixed to a fishing rod used in winding and stowing lines. Because reds are aggressive in nature, you would want to utilize a fishing reel that can match their aggressiveness. There are lots of fishing reel options, but you must go for the best. Having said that, what are the best fishing reels for red drum?

There are majorly two types of reels; the baitcasting reel and the spinning reel. The best spinning reel for reds is the Penn Conflict, Penn Battle II & III. On the other hand, the best baitcasting reels for reds are the Abu Garcia Revo SX and the Shimano Curado K. The above-mentioned red drum fishing reels are for serious anglers. So consider them only if you are serious about your red drum quest.

You can’t use a baitcasting reel and a spinning reel together, so you will have to settle for one. In my opinion, a baitcasting reel is best for redfish. Why? Because it has a better casting accuracy, it has more reeling power, and it is more durable than a spinning reel. A spinning reel can develop several problems with its exposed interior. In addition, the wide line guide of a spinning reel can get caught on everything. It can also be fragile. With all that has been said, ensure that you make a wise decision when selecting between the two types of reels for your fishing adventure.

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Best Red Drum Reels – Important Factors to Look for When Choosing One




When choosing from the variety of the best drum reels for yourself, there are many factors you should consider and this article will surely help you with that. The tackle you use when fishing for reds will determine if you’ll be successful or not. A good tackle, that is one tailored for the type of fish you intend to catch will increase your chances of catching that prize fish you cherish for. A poorly selected tackle, however, can make you toil the sea for eternity.

A reel is one of the most important components of a tackle. When hunting for reds, you will need to equip yourself with the best fishing reel. This is because reds are aggressive eaters; they can grow to a length of 37 inches, and can weigh more than 60 pounds. Due to the amazing features they possess, it is safe to say that reds are one of the toughest game fish to catch. That being said, if you aren’t conversant with the tackle market and you need help regarding the selection of redfish reels, I’ve got you covered.

The Best Red Drum Reels – All Types:

In this section we will provide 5 of the best red drum reels for any type of fishing you might choose along with short description and stats.

Reels: Type: Material: Gear Ratio: Bearings: Weigth: Price: Our Verdict:
Penn Conflict Spinning Full Metal Body 6.2:1 7+1 7.8 oz 170$ 9.9/10
Penn Battle II & III Spinning Full Metal Body 6.2:1 5+1 12.8 oz 82+$ 9.6/10
Abu Garcia Revo SX Casting X2-Cräftic™ alloy frame 7.3:1 9+1 7.8 oz 140$ 9.8/10
SHIMANO Curado K Casting Power AL aluminum frame 8.5:1 6+1 7.8 oz 180$ 9.8/10
Daiwa Sealine-X SHA Surf Fishing Power AL aluminum frame 6.1:1 5+3 18.72 oz 200$ 9.9/10


PENN Conflict

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  • Used by professionals worldwide
  • Made using only the highest quality components
  • Tested for quality and durability
  • Features a full metal body with a braid ready superliner spool and line capacity rings
  • High strength graphite rotor (models 1000-4000)
  • Aluminum rotor (models 5000-8000)
  • All rotor designs are Techno-Balanced for smooth and balanced retrieve every time
  • 7+1 sealed stainless steel ball bearings and an Infinite Anti-Reverse bearing


Penn Battle II & III

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  • Durable, high range spinning reel ideal for conquering big saltwater game fish
  • Full metal body, sideplate, and rotor and heavy duty aluminum bail wire offer exceptional durability
  • HT 100 carbon fiber drag system provides powerful drag without sacrificing smoothness
  • Fluid cranking with 5 sealed stainless steel ball bearings and instant anti reverse bearing
  • Superline spool requires no backing, is braid ready, and has line capacity rings marked at 1/3, 2/3, and full capacity


Abu Garcia Revo SX

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  • 9 stainless steel ball bearings + 1 roller bearing provides smooth Operation
  • C6 carbon sideplates provide significant weight reduction without sacrificing strength and durability
  • Duragear brass gear for extended gear life



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  • Gear ratio: 6.2:1, Weight: 7.6 ounce
  • Mono Line Capacity (lbs/yd): 8/180, 10/155, 14/110
  • PowerPro Line Capacity (lbs/yd): 30/190, 50/120, 65/80
  • Line retrieve per crank: 26 inch
  • Max. dragforce: 11 lbs, Bearings: 6 S A RB and 1 Rollerbearing


Daiwa Sealine-X SHA

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  • Free-floating spool, separates the spool from the gear train on outcast for less friction, longer casts and faster Lure drop
  • Massive, six-element sealed drag, ultra-smooth and consistent
  • Tough marine bronze and stainless steel gears
  • High-tensile aluminum spool, super-strong yet Super light in weight
  • 5 bearing System (3CRBB)

Important Factors to Look for When Choosing Red Drum Reel:

All anglers want to be successful at what they do. They want to go out there, plunge their fishing rod (best red drum rods are provided in this article) in the river and reel in a big catch. No angler wants less than that. However, what most anglers don’t understand is that to be successful in this endeavour, one needs to pay attention to several details. It’s not just about your skills. You might be a good angler and are pretty good with a rod. Well, even with such exceptional skills, without the right tackle, you’ll end up being frustrated.

Important things to note when selecting one from the variety of red drum reels for yourself:

  • Line Capacity
  • Gear Ratio
  • Size and Weight
  • Drag Design
  • Corrosion Resistance
  • Ball Bearings
  • Action

Most anglers (novice in particular) don’t conduct in-depth research before visiting the tackle shop to buy tackle. They simply walk in a pick any red drum bait and tackle that look appealing. A professional angler wouldn’t do that.

You would agree that it would be unwise to fish for reds with a reel that is meant for catfishing. Thus, when selecting a reel, there are some crucial factors you have to consider. The line bearing capacity, the drag design, the ball bearings, etc. are some of those important factors. So ensure that the features of the red drum reel you intend to buy can help you not just capture reds, but match their aggressiveness as well.

Line Capacity:

Reds are known to be fast swimmers. They can be here one second and the next, they are nowhere to be found. So to capture this fish, you will require a lengthy fishing line. If peradventure, you decide to go after reds during the winter season, you will require a very long fishing line because at that period, they can be found at the base of bays including deep holes.

But, during summer, you can always find them 10 to 30 feet underneath the water. So at that period, a shorter line would execute the job. But, my general advice is to go for a deep spool with higher line capacity.

Gear Ratio:

In a reel, a gear ratio is an indication of the number of times the reel spool rotates each time you rotate the reel handle. The gear ratio of a reel is regarded as one of the most significant hardware that makes the reel efficient and enhances the functionality of the reel. It is recommended that every angler goes for a reel that boasts of a higher ratio because a reel with a lower ratio will end up being slow. This is certainly not what you would want when going after a fish as aggressive and fast as the redfish.

In addition, I’ll recommend that you go for a reel that comes with a gear ratio of 5:1 or more. This will improve your efficiency and allow you capture reds precisely.

P.S Novice anglers often find it hard to catch red drum with live bait. If you are among the fold, be rest assured that it is quite easy. All you need is composure and the right live bait.

Size and Weight:

To catch reds without much stress, you will need to equip yourself with a medium-sized or ultra-light reel. So, if you wish to select a medium-sized reel without compromising its effectiveness, then it is important you have an insight into the different materials manufacturers use to build reels. Graphite and aluminum are regarded as the two most popular materials utilized by manufacturers in making spinning reels.

Graphite and aluminum both have pros and cons. Let’s take aluminum, for instance. This metal is well known for its durability and high quality. Reels made of this material are durable; they can withstand the harshness of saltwater. However, aluminum is heavier than graphite, but graphite is not as durable as aluminum. Because of this, lots of anglers often find it hard to select the appropriate material for their redfish reel.

I’ll always recommend that novice and professional anglers go for aluminum made fishing reel because it is not as heavy as stainless steel, and you can capture reds with such reel, which is a little heavier than the mid-weight reel. However, if you are a novice, you might have to opt for mid-size, mid-weight reel because it will assist in your battle against aggressive reds. But here is something you should understand; graphite made reels are not as long-lasting as aluminum made reels. You cannot make use of them on the horizon of time; however, if you look after your graphite reel well enough, you should be able to use it for 3-5 years.

You can also consider reels made of composite materials. Most of the composite materials are lightweight and long-lasting as well.

Nowadays, lots of brands are making use of aluminum and graphite to manufacture a reel. This allows them to take advantage of the benefits of both materials, thus making the reel more long-lasting and lightweight. So, when purchasing a fishing reel, it is important that you scrutinize its built material meticulously because it will help you grasp the weight of the reel. In addition, you must also make sure that the size of your reel isn’t small; neither is it too big. A mid-size reel is best for capturing red bass.

Drag design:

Reds are bigger than lots of freshwater fish out there. Because of this, you will require a very potent reel that boasts of greater drag strength to capture this fish. The average size of a redfish sold in the market is 25 kg. So, while purchasing red drum fishing reel or rod, you have to make sure that it has the capacity to handle that much weight.

The drag strength of a reel is likewise accountable for its versatility. Here you must understand that most saltwater fishes are bigger and stronger than the freshwater counterpart. Because of this, you will need to arm yourself with a reel that boasts of versatility and strength. A reel that boasts of an enormous drag strength will allow you to capture bigger species of saltwater fish like yellowfin tuna, striped bass, great barracuda, and so on.

Corrosion Resistance:

Reds are inshore fishes, so when you attempt to capture them, your reel becomes vulnerable to the corrosiveness of inshore environments. At this point, it is very important that you understand that corrosion can wreak havoc on your reel. It can destroy the workability and durability of your equipment. Because of this, you must scrutinize the quality of the reel meticulously before purchasing it. In addition, it is also important you ensure that the reel is equipped with protective coatings. If you buy any reel after looking out for these two things, the corrosive nature of the bay won’t have much effect on it.

Ball Bearings:

Ball bearings remain a very significant factor to consider when purchasing a reel. Ball bearing ensures that your reel boast of a smooth retrieval and casting. Several anglers think that they should derive the most ball bearings. But this is unnecessary. When targeting reds, you should make use of a higher gear ratio. This is because reds are very strong. Thus, you will require a spool that can turn fast to obtain more power against the fish.


This is certainly not the type of action you witness in action movies; this type of action is quite different. If you are targeting a red drum, it is wise to consider a moderate or fast-action rod. This will allow you to make far cast a well. In addition, a fast-action rod boasts of sensitivity, compared to its counterpart.


When it comes to buying the best reel for reds, most anglers often complain that it is difficult to find the ideal type. Of course, getting the ideal reelcan be difficult, only if you lack the information I just shared. With the factors mentioned above, you should be able to confidently walk into a tackle shop and select the ideal fishing reel for your channel bass fishing trip.

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