• Posted by Nick Honachefsky
  • On March 13, 2017
  • Comments
  •  4

Check out Nick Honachefsky’s tips on rod & reel combo and rigging for bringing home a cooler full of cod in this week’s TackleDirect blog post.

Springtime cod fishing usually revolves around a bait bite, as cod are coming out of the deep freeze and are more apt to suck down a fresh bait than chase a jig. Start off by setting up right. High speed 6:1 ratio reels like a Shimano Torium 20 or Avet MXL are key to muscle fish off the wreck, spooled with 50-pound Power Pro braid, and a 10 foot top shot of 50-pound Trik Fish leader. Rods should be any 7 to 7-1/2 foot medium to heavy rod with moderate to fast action, such as a Seeker Black Steel G 6470-7 or a Lamiglas 7040CT. A three-hook dropper rig works best. Start with a 150-pound barrel swivel, 48-inch piece of 40 to 50-pound Seaguar fluorocarbon leader, tying a dropper loop every 16 inches with an overhand loop knot on the tag end to loop on a bank sinker anywhere from 6 to 16 ounces to hold bottom. On the dropper loops, pop on size 6/0 Baitholder hooks or 8/0 Octopus Gamakatsu or Owner hooks as both manufacturers have sticky sharp barb points that can easily pierce a cod’s maw. Before you bait up, lance on some red or green beads above the hook shank, or thread on 3 to 5-inch Curly Grub tails in red, white, purple or green, or slip on some surgical tubing above the hook shank in the same colorings.

Freshly shucked clams are paramount to attracting hookups, but two schools of thought permeate the clam bait attack plan. When there is no current running, a gob of clam can work just fine, but if the current from a full or new moon is running hard, a well-manicured clam tongue, cut like a streamlined strip bait will not spin in the current and garner more strikes. Shucked clam shells can be dropped below for purposes of chumming cod to get a scent wafting below to incite their hunger strike. Other baits that can work well for cod include mackerel, herring or bergall strips. Work the wreck structure edges and bounce around on little sections of wreck and if you aren’t getting hits within 20 minutes, make a shift or move completely. Cod are curious creatures, if they spy commotion in the water column, they will come to inspect what’s happening. When bergalls are nipping at baits, control your instinct to swing and let it sit, as in a few seconds a cod will cruise by and push the little fish out to inhale the bait.

Gear Used


TFX7040CT Tri-Flex Graphite Inshore Rod

These Tri-Flex Graphite Inshore rods add power to move the most difficult Stripers, Blackfish, Amberjack and Grouper quickly away from line-parting wrecks. Tri-Flex stands for our proprietary blank designs in which three layers of material, each carefully chosen to provide specific characteristics, are integrated at specific intervals within each blank.



Torium Star Drag Reels

The Shimano Torium Star Drag Reels are new to Shimano’s Torium series reels. They are compact, rigid, and powerful saltwater conventional reels with excellent castability and durability expected by saltwater anglers.



Octopus Hooks

20,000 years ago, the invention of the fish hook marked the beginning of sport fishing. The first hooks were made of wood or bones. As technology improved, so did the hooks. Records show that copper hooks were made in Banchen 7,000 years ago and artificial flies were used in Egypt 4,000 years ago.



Fluorocarbon Leader Material

Incredible impact and abrasion resistance. Fast sinking. Superior tensile and knot strength. The original FC (Blue Lable) Seaguar 100% fluorocarbon leader material allows you to use a smaller test leader than comparable nylons or fluorocarbons for unmatched bait presentations. No wonder it’s preferred by anglers the world over.


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