I have not been out fishing for a couple of days but I got to thinking maybe I should share with you the gear I use. Let's start from the early days of my saltwater fishing here in Fiji. My first set up was a Cabela's Salt Striker SS30. With 8lb braid and a 7ft grafite rod, it was an adequate set up that would be blown away by large GT's. Next I went to a Quantum Boca BSP30BTS spooled with 10lb braid. It was and is a good reel but just not up to the task. The big fish gave the little reel a work out and it just could not keep up. I also own a Quantum Cabo CSP60PTS spooled with 30lb P-Line Spectrex IV braid matched to a 7 1/2 ft graphite rod. I can not fault this reel as it has never let me down. It is just a bit big for everyday use, but it will knock over a nice size fish. Using braid it holds a lot of line and with plenty drag, I have taken out a wahoo and some big GT's.
I finally made a trip to Australia for a vacation and decided it was time to get a new reel. This time the choice would be a Shimano Symetre 4000FI spooled with 15lb P-Line Spectrex IV braid and matched to a 7 ft graphite medium action spinning rod. Now this set up has been a really good work horse for me. I catch a lot of big fish and have put as much as 5kg of drag on the reel and it has never failed. I have had it for over a 18 months and use it exclusively in the saltwater without a problem. The beauty is I can catch smaller fish and it is still a good fight. I normally use about 2.5-3kg of drag and with that setting even a small Mangrove Jack can put up a good fight.
If I am going outside the reef to fish for the big ones then I have a Shimano Tiagra 30 2speed spooled with 30lb mono and matched to a Shimano T-Curve rod. What can I say this is a great rod and reel combonation. It feels great in your hands and works flawlessly. It costs a bloody fortune but it is worth it.
There are a few other bits and pieces I have come to swear by. The Lindy fish handling glove is a must if you do not want to get poked by spiney fish. I usually use a left one as I hold my rod with my right hand. I am not going to debate the left or right handed fishing technique now. I will also carry a right hand glove in the boat incase someone else gets a really big fish and I need two hands. The other must have is a good pair of stainless steel needle nose pliers for taking hooks out.
Well there it is, the basics of my fishing gear. In a future post I will show step by step how to service a spinning reel. Any questions post them in the comments.
Tight lines and screaming drags