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Free Fishing Reports
Montauk Tackle
Montauk Tackle

Striped Bass on Bucktails

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Striped Bass FishingFor targeting striped bass on bucktails we recommend a spinning rod and reel combo suitable for 20-30lb fused line.  The optimal rod is 7′ feet long with a fast to extra-fast action and capable of handling lure weights up to 1 ounce (though you typically throw lures 50% heavier than the rating).  Most anglers prefer to use 30lb fused line (as opposed to 20lb fused line)  because the slightly increased line diameter does not noticeably affect casting distance.

Recommended Line, Leader, and Terminal Tackle

We recommend loading the reel with 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 and is less likely to form a wind knot.

The line should be attached to a 3ft length of 30-5olb fluorocarbon leader using 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.

Bucktails are universally effective for stripers especially when fished with a strip of pork rind or preferably soft bait-tails. These can be worked in any condition at a variety of speeds. Many serious plug fishermen claim if they could just have one lure, it would be a bucktail. The standard colors are white, yellow, and green (chartreuse), yet it is always a good idea to try to “match the hatch”.

Fish Flipping/Release Tool

We always use a fish flipper or release tool.  The 3ft leader is just long enough for the angler to get a couple of wraps on their arm to control the fish while it is still in the water.  The release tool is used to quickly remove the hooks without exposing the angler to them.  It also minimizes any harm or stress to the fish.

Striped Bass Plugging Checklist

  • 7′ conventional rod rated for 20-30lb braid and lure weights up to 1 ounce
  • Spinning reel rated for 20-30lb braid
  • 20-30lb fused line
  • 30-50lb fluorocarbon leader
  • 50lb barrel swivel
  • 1/2oz to 1 1/2oz bucktails
  • Fish flipping/release tool

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 Spinning Shimano Teramar Spinning
Inshore spinning rod - 6'6" to 8' - multiple models suitable for 6-40lb mono and 10-65lb braid - medium fast to extra-fast actions
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Shimano Teramar Spinning Shimano Teramar 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 Conquer Penn Conquer
Spinning reel - models rated for 4-25lb mono and 8-65lb braid - 4.2:1, 4.7:1, 4.8:1, 5.8:1, and 5.8:1 gear ratios - 10 ball bearings
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Penn Conquer Penn Conquer
Shimano Spheros Shimano Spheros
Spinning reel - models rated for 6-30lb mono and 10-80lb braid - 4.6:1, 4.7:1, or 5.1:1 gear ratios - 3 or 4 ball bearings - aluminum frame - graphite side plate
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Shimano Spheros Shimano Spheros
Shimano Stradic Shimano Stradic
Spinning reel - models rated for 2-20lb mono and 10-65lb braid - 4.8:1 and 6.2:1 gear ratios - 5 ball bearings
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Shimano Stradic Shimano Stradic
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 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
Hookup Big Bucktail Hookup Big Bucktail
Classic bucktail w/premium Mustad hooks available in 1oz and 1.5oz in a wide variety of colors
Buy these direct from Hookup Lures

Hookup Big Bucktail
Berkley Gulp Mullet Berkley Gulp Mullet
Gulp Alive! Soft bait - 3" - GSSM3 - available in 12 colors - natural, action, scent and taste - irresistible swimming tail action.
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Berkley Gulp Mullet Berkley Gulp Mullet
Berkley Gulp Alive Grub Berkley Gulp Alive Grub
Gulp Alive! Soft bait - 1.5" - GAJJG1- available in black, chartruese, pearl, and white - proven shape and action works well for all fish - use on jigs, dropshots, and dropper loops
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Berkley Gulp Alive Grub Berkley Gulp Alive Grub
Berkley Gulp Sandworm Berkley Gulp Sandworm
Gulp Alive! Soft bait - 6" - GAPSW6 - available on bloody, camo and natural - looks and feels like natural sandworms - rig and fish like live bait.
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Berkley Gulp Sandworm Berkley Gulp Sandworm
Berkley Gulp 6" Grub Berkley Gulp 6" Grub
Softbait - 6" - GSG6 - available in 6 different colors - tough and durable - fish at depths up to 300 feet - wide swimming tail for greater action and visibility
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Berkley Gulp 6" Grub Berkley Gulp 6" Grub
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
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
MontaukTackle
MontaukTackle