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Light Tackle Blackfish

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Blackfish FishingFor light tackle blackfish (tautog) we recommend a spinning rod and reel combo suitable for 20lb fused line.  The optimal rod is 6’6″ to 7′ feet long with a fast to extra-fast action and capable of handling lure weights up to 1 ounce.  Some anglers prefer to use 20lb fused line as opposed to 30lb fused line because the slightly decreased line diameter can provide additional casting distance when flipping small jigs away from the boat in search if the best structure.  Other anglers use 30lb fused line to ensure they can pull even the biggest fish hooked fish off the bottom before they find safety in the structure.

Recommended Line, Leader, and Terminal Tackle

We recommend loading the reel with 20-30lb fused line as opposed to braided line or mono.  Fused and braided lines allow for much greater casting distance than mono.  This is because is the much smaller line diameter of fused and braided lines.  In addition, the fused and braided lines have virtually no stretch which allows the angler to carefully work even the most difficult lures, feel the softest hits, and easily set the hook.  Fused line is preferred to braided line because it has better abrasion resistance.

The line should be attached to a 3ft length of 30lb fluorocarbon leader use a 50lb barrel swivel.  The small profile of the swivel virtually eliminates any chance of picking up debris and provides an easy connection point between the line and the leader.  The angler needs to be careful not to reel the swivel into the rod as it can damage the guides.  Some anglers use an albright or uni-knot instead of a swivel.  This knot can be tricky to tie properly with braided and fused lines.

Light Tackle Blackfish Jigs

We recommend using jigs that are just heavy enough to hold the bottom.  The greater the depth and current. the heavier the jig that is required.  Jig weights from 1/4oz all the way up to 4oz can be used.  If you purchase jigs with hair, simply remove the hair before using it.  The preferred colors are green, orange, green/orange, and yellow.

 

Light Tackle Blackfish (Tautog) Checklist

  • 6’6″ to 7′ conventional rod rated for 20lb braid and lure weights up to 1 ounce
  • Spinning reel rated for 20lb braid
  • 20-30lb fused line
  • 30lb fluorocarbon leader
  • 50lb barrel swivel
  • 1/4oz to 4oz jigs

Please contact us if you have questions about our recommendations!


Tackle Recommendations
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Rods
Penn Legion Spinning Penn Legion Spinning
Inshore spinning rod - 6'6" to 8' - multiple models suitable for 6-40lb mono and 6-65lb braid - fast to extra-fast actions
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Penn Legion Spinning Penn Legion Spinning
Shimano Teramar Northeast Inshore Spinning Shimano Teramar Northeast Inshore Spinning
Inshore spinning rod - 6'6" to 8' - multiple models suitable for 10-30lb mono and 8-30lb braid - medium fast to extra-fast actions
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Shimano Teramar Northeast Inshore Spinning Shimano Teramar Northeast Inshore Spinning
Reels
Penn Spinfisher V Penn Spinfisher V
Spinning reel - models rated for 4-50lb mono and 10-80lb braid - 4.2:1, 4.7:1, 5.6:1, and 6.2:1 gear ratios - 5 ball bearings
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Penn Spinfisher V Penn Spinfisher V
Penn Clash Penn Clash
Spinning reel - models rated for 4-30lb mono and 8-80lb braid - 4.7:1, 5.6:1, 6.2:1 gear ratios - Full Metal Body, CNC Gear Technology, Leveline Oscillation System, HT-100™ carbon fiber drag washers, 8 Sealed stainless steel ball bearing, Instant Anti-Reverse bearing, Heavy-duty aluminum bail wire, Braid ready spool and line capacity rings
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Penn Clash Penn Clash
Shimano Spheros SW Shimano Spheros SW
Spinning reel - models rated for 6-30lb mono and 20-100lb braid - 4,4:1, 4.6:1, 4.8:1, or 4.9:1 gear ratios - 4 ball bearings, Hagane body, Hagane gear, X-shield, cross carbon drag, and CF aluminum cold forge spool.
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Shimano Spheros SW Shimano Spheros SW
Shimano Stradic FK Shimano Stradic FK
Spinning reel - models rated for 2-20lb mono and 10-65lb braid - 4.8:1 and 6.2:1 gear ratios - 6 ball bearings - Hagane gear provides power with cold forged drive gear, precision cut gears for power and smoothness, Hagane body, Dyna balance, Fluid Drive II gearing system, and cold forged aluminum spool
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Shimano Stradic FK Shimano Stradic FK
Line
Berkley Fireline Fused Berkley Fireline Fused
Fused line - more resistant to nicks and abuse than braided line - blaze orange, flame green, or smoke colors - available in 6 to 30lb test and 125, 300, 1500, and 3000yd spools
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Berkley Fireline Fused Berkley Fireline Fused
Lures
Hookup Inshore Bucktail Hookup Inshore Bucktail
Classic bucktail w/premium stainless hooks available in 1/4oz and 5/8oz in a wide variety of colors
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Hookup Inshore Bucktail
Tidal Tails Blackfish Jig Tidal Tails Blackfish Jig

Learn more and buy at TidalTails

Tidal Tails Blackfish Jig
HookUp SynTail Bucktail HookUp SynTail Bucktail
SynTail Series w/premium Mustad hooks and synthetic skirt for durability - available in 1/2oz to 6oz in a wide variety of colors
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HookUp SynTail Bucktail
Terminal Tackle
Mustad Rolling Swivel Mustad Rolling Swivel
77900 - Black Rolling Swivel w/round eye - available sizes/rating: 4/144lb, 6/118lb, 8/104lb, 9/77lb, 10/70lb, 12/49lb, and 14/42lb


Yo-Zuri Fluorocarbon Leader Yo-Zuri Fluorocarbon Leader
Fluorocarbon leader  - invisible, durable, max knot/crimp strength - clear  and disappearing pink colors - 4-200lb test and 30/100yd spools
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Yo-Zuri Fluorocarbon Leader Yo-Zuri Fluorocarbon Leader
Yo-Zuri TopKnot Fluorocarbon Leader Yo-Zuri TopKnot Fluorocarbon Leader
Fluorocarbon leader - additional abrassion resistance, lower diameter, invisible, durable, max knot/crimp strength - clear and disappearing pink colors - 8-200lb test and 30/100yd spools
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Yo-Zuri TopKnot Fluorocarbon Leader Yo-Zuri TopKnot Fluorocarbon Leader
Berkley Prospec Leader Berkley Prospec Leader
Fluorocarbon leader - invisible, durable, max knot/crimp strength - clear, blue, pink, brown colors - 20-200lb test and 25/33/75/100yd coils
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Berkley Prospec Leader Berkley Prospec Leader