Atlantic Cod Fishing
The rod and reel combo we recommend for cod should be capable of handling 50lb braid. The rod should be 6’6″-7’6″ with a fast to extra-fast action. We prefer a rod that has a little more beef to the rod to handle big diamond jigs and large sinkers up to 20oz. The reel should have at least a 5:1 ratio. Levelwind reels are certainly easier to use, but may present a handicap when dropping the bait down in fast currents (because the line goes out more slowly). Do not be confused by the suggested lure weights specified on the rod blanks. These weights pertain to the size of lures that can be cast effectively using that rod.
Braided Line for Cod
The reel should be loaded with 50lb braid. The heavier braid is preferred when fishing bouncing sinkers up to 16oz on the bottom. Since braided lines have a thinner diameter and less water resistance, they provide an added advantage and allow the angler to hold bottom with lighter sinkers. The lack of stretch transmits even the softest of hits back to the angler.
The basic cod bait rig consists of a 4ft length of 80lb fluorocarbon leader attached to the main line via a 100lb barrel swivel. The rig has one dropper loop 12 inches above the sinker and a second loop 24 inches above the first. Dropper loops stand out 3-4 inches. Each dropper loop is tipped with a 5/0 beak baitholder holder hook. The entire rig is attached to the main line with a 100lb barrel swivel and completed with a sinker ranging from 6-20oz depending on the speed of the drift.
On most party boats (head boats) there is a “two hook only rule” and anglers can use no more than two hooks at any time except for a diamond jig which can have a hook on both the top and bottom.
A cod diamond jig rig consists of a 4ft length of the 50-80lb fluorocarbon leader attached to a 4oz or larger hammered chrome diamond jig. The rig should be attached to the main line with a 100lb barrel swivel. The best jigs have the highest width to length ratios. These “flatter” jigs have a much better fluttering action. An artificial scented soft-bait teaser on a 7/0 baitholder hook can be added three feet above the jig. There are a variety of colors and shapes that can be used to match the bait in the area which includes mackerel, herring, sand eels, and squid.