Whether you are chasing holdover stripers (see pics of recent catches) or looking for the new arrivals, light tackle should rule your fishing in the next month. Spring striper fishing is dominated by schoolies from tiny, perfect specimens of about a foot long up to bigger fish of about 24 inches. Migrating keepers are rare in April. That will all change, though, about the first week of May.
I am still fishing the Upper Bay and taking holdovers. My light tackle outfit consists of a Bass Pro Shop Pro Qualifier reel (PQ4000) matched with a Berkeley 7 foot graphite rod and 10 lb. test Big Game mono. The reel is an interesting design in that it has a very wide, but narrow spool. It was quite inexpensive but works like a charm. It has a great drag and casts real well. I would highly recommend it. While it is a freshwater reel, it gets no contact with saltwater since I am generally fishing high platforms in the Upper Bay. On the line end, I always attach a shock leader of about 7 feet (length of rod). This 20 lb. test section of line is knotted onto my main line by a double surgeon's knot. The shock leader give you a lot of extra beef at the end of your line where that extra strength is often needed when fighting and landing a fish.
Things should get real hot in the not to distant future. Break out that light tackle for spring schoolie action.