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When it comes to selecting a rod, light tackle fishermen are rightfully very picky. Most of us get very specific about what we like. You’ll find several websites that have great information about choosing a multi-purpose fishing rod, but I don’t know of many that focus specifically on the best rods for casting lures on the Chesapeake Bay. There is always an element of personal choice when it comes to rod selection, and less experienced anglers should use basic and less-expensive equipment, but if you’re serious about the light tackle game, here are six things (and maybe a few more) you need to know:

1. Baitcasting Benefits  – Once you see a baitcaster used effectively for catching stripers, you’ll never go back to a spinning outfit. Baitcasters are appropriate for most jigging situations in the Chesapeake Bay. Wind and current can make a boat drift rapidly across a good jigging spot. As you drift across and away from the fish, your lure will be pulled up, over and above the strike zone. With a baitcaster, you simply press the thumb bar to let your lure fall back down to the proper depth. Unlike with a spinning reel, you don’t have to cast again. Keep in mind that, through most of the year, the bigger stripers are usually close to the bottom, so you increase your chances of catching them by keeping the lure where they are. Here’s a link to a  video I shot in July a few years ago at the Bay Bridge. It shows some useful baitcasting techniques and includes some shots of resetting a lure into the strike zone.

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