Muskie fishing tackle has come a long ways in the past twenty years. Whether you have been fishing this great sport fish for decades or are new to the sport you should take advantage of the what the new gear has to offer.
Rods: different lures work better on different rods and most serious anglers carry at least a couple. Your main rod should be something in a H or XH fast action in the 8 1/2 or better yet 9 foot plus range. Longer rods offer a number of advantages but the most significant benefit is the ability to execute a top notch figure 8 boatside manuever. muskies tend to follow a lot of retrieves to the boat and doing a quality figure 8 can easily double your catch rate. Most anglers also carry a shorter 7-8' model for working walk the dog style baits, jerkbaits and jigs etc. My boat is stocked with the custom 'Predator" models from Thorne Bros tackle and some new models from Muskie Inovations to cover all my presentation needs.
Reels: with the increased availability of high quality light saltwater reels anglers now have many more options to choose from. One of the things that can really trigger strikes when using inline spinners like the popular Double Cow Girl is a high speed retrieve. In the past it was difficult to really generate speed with the reels of the day but models like the Schimano Trinidad series and Diawa Saltist with powerful high speed gearing really get the job done. Add a Schimano TE, Currado or one of the new Revo series from Abu for everything else and you have it covered.
Line: simple... any one of the new superbraids in about 100lb test gets the job done, some work better with different reels and applications but in general it is hard to make a really bad choice here.
Leaders: I use flourocarbon for most of my applications....low visibility, good durability and no kinking like steel are what make it my top choice. Make sure you are using something in the 130lb test range to prevent bite offs. The exception is on walk the dog style baits where single strand steel still gives your bait the best action. You can tie /twist your own or simply purchase them pre-made just make sure you have a good snap like the Stringease model...a cheap snap will cost you a fish...no doubt.
Nets; safer for you and the fish than hand landing, a quality net protects the fish's fins and allows you to keep the fish in the water while you unhook it making a successful release easier. Muskie Inovations, Beckman and Frabil all make a quality product that gets the job done.
Misc; release tools.. a long nose pliers or hookout tool at a minimum along with a small bolt cutter like the industry standard Knipex models....the bolt cutter lets you cut the tips off hooks making it easier to unhook badly hooked fish...and if the fish hooks you while you are unhooking it you will be REALLY glad you have them.
Lures: a book could be written here but I would not leave the dock without some modern day standards... Double Cow Girls, Super Models, Bulldawgs in a couple sizes and colors, Phantom Gliders and a few topwaters.
Questions, contact me or my friends at the twin cities muskie tackle headquarters...Thorne Bros tackle 763-572-3782