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Best Rods, Reels, Lures, and Tactics for Striper Trolling


Striped bass, or "striper," fishing is a pursuit that demands a blend of skill, patience, and understanding of the fish's behavior. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the art of striper trolling, exploring everything from equipment selection to tactics for maximizing your catch-ability.

Find specific advice in the following sections of the video:

  • Striper Behavior and Habitat - 0:00

  • Best Rods for Striper Trolling - 2:26

  • Best Reels for Striper Trolling - 9:22

  • Choosing the Best Fishing Line for Striper Trolling - 13:09

  • Best Lures for Striper Trolling - 18:30

  • Pro Tip - 10 fish day vs 0 fish day - 23:10

  • Best Striper Trolling Tactics - 27:10

Understanding Striped Bass

Striped bass, renowned for their aggressive nature, inhabit a variety of aquatic environments, from saltwater to freshwater. Their adaptability has led to their widespread distribution, making them a popular target for anglers across different regions. While some consider them invasive due to their impact on native species like salmon fingerlings, there's no denying their allure as a sportfish.


Best Rods and Reels for Striper Trolling

Central to successful striper trolling is selecting the appropriate equipment. Let's start with rods. A sturdy backbone coupled with a flexible tip is crucial for detecting subtle strikes and handling the fight of these formidable fish. Rods like the Phoenix XG4T strike a perfect balance, offering both strength and sensitivity. For those seeking more mid-grade options when it comes to price, the Okuma SST series and Daiwa Northcoast provide reliable alternatives without compromising performance. These rods range between $80-$100.

On the lower end of the spectrum, take a look at Okuma Celilo 862. It's a $64.99 rod that has the right features to become your trusted striper trolling companion.

When it comes to reels, factors like line counters, line capacity, and durability take precedence. Models like the Okuma Cold Water 354D ($184.99) and Abu Garcia Max DLC ($119.99) offer robust construction and smooth operation, essential for handling the powerful runs of striped bass.


Mastering Line and Lure Selection

Line choice plays a somewhat significant role in enticing strikes and landing fish effectively. While some anglers opt for braided lines for their superior strength and sensitivity, others prefer the stealth and flexibility of monofilament. If you choose braid, pairing it with a fluorocarbon leader can enhance the presentation and reduce the risk of spooking wary fish.

As for lures, versatility is key. Bill Lewis' Rat-L-Traps and Spro Aruku Shad series' excel in mimicking the erratic movements of injured baitfish with rattling sounds, enticing aggressive strikes from hungry stripers. Custom creations like the Sweeney Sports Wild Thing add a unique twist, combining enticing action and vibrant colors with deep diving capabilities to entice strikes.


Effective Trolling Techniques

Locating productive trolling grounds is the first step towards a successful outing. Striped bass often congregate in areas with ample forage and favorable currents, such as river channels, tidal inlets, and submerged structures. Utilizing sonar and radar technology can aid in identifying promising locations and structuring your trolling runs accordingly.

Once on the water, precision trolling is key. Setting lures at varying depths and distances behind the boat allows you to cover a broad swath of water effectively. Experimenting with trolling speeds and lure presentations can help dial in the optimal presentation for prevailing conditions, increasing your chances of enticing a strike. Please watch the video for detailed instructions on how to dial in your speed, backsets, lure presentation, and trolling locations.



In the realm of sportfishing, few pursuits offer the excitement and challenge of striper trolling. By mastering the nuances of equipment selection, lure presentation, and tactics, anglers can unlock the full potential of this exhilarating pursuit. Whether you're a seasoned veteran or a novice angler, the thrill of hooking into a hard-fighting striped bass awaits on the waters below. So grab your gear, hit the water, and let the adventure begin!

Book your own Guided Striper Trolling adventure here.

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