May 2022

Rod, Reel, and Line Setup for Topwater Walking Baits

Andy Montgomery shows off his rod, reel and line selections for walking bait/topwater fishing featuring the Team Lew's Signature Series and Strike King Sexy Dawg.



For Andy Montgomery, choosing the correct rod, reel, and line setup for topwater walking baits can make all the difference. His rod choice is a Team Lew’s Signature Series KVD Topwater Rod. The 7’ rod is the perfect length for walking baits and the tip is designed for topwater baits. He can use all sizes of the Strike King KVD Sexy Dog with this rod.

Andy likes to use Strike King Contra 30# Braided Line for walking baits. “I make super long casts with a walking bait most of the time. You need zero stretch to get the hook into the fish at the end of those long casts. Once I started using braid for my topwater baits, my hook up ratio improved instantly. I was able to catch more fish” explains Andy. If the water is very clear, he will use a 15# monofilament leader but prefers to tie braid straight to the lure if the water clarity allows it. Andy points out that using a leader is not an exact science. “If the water is clear and I feel like I need to use a leader then I will. Whatever works for you is what you should do” explains Andy. The key is to use braided line due to the zero stretch and better hook up ratios.

Andy puts his braid on a Lew’s Custom Lite Baitcast Reel. “This reel is extremely light which minimizes fatigue. It comes in a 7.5:1 gear ratio which is perfect topwater fishing because it’s not too fast or too slow” explains Andy. The reel weighs just 4.9 ounces making it one of the lightest casting reels on the market.

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