fishing tackle


Here’s a guide to a simple set up to get you catching fish on lures. There’s no point overcomplicating your outfit. It’s much smarter to stick to simple spin gear that is easy to use, cost effective, durable and widely available.

Start lure fishing in relatively angler-friendly and accessible habitats such as sand flats or estuaries. For most Aussies, the easiest species to target on lures would be the humble and widely distributed Flathead. Flathead are common in estuaries and coastal areas and they are very cooperative on lures.

Direct your efforts at Flathead and there is a good chance you’ll stumble across other common estuary species such as Bream, Tailor and Trevally.


Purchase a 3-5kg spin rod for general estuary lure fishing and to target species such as Flathead, Bream and Whiting. Select a rod that is approximately 7” long (215cm) with a fast action graphite blank. The extra length and fast action will help to cast light lures longer distances. Choose the aesthetics (grips, reel seat and colour) to your personal preference. Keep in mind that very good lure spinning rods can be purchased for remarkably affordable prices.


Invest the majority of your budget on a decent reel. A good spin reel will last many years if it is treated well and maintained. The better quality reels will lay line evenly, have more reliable drag systems and will make your fishing experience more pleasant. Look for a lightweight (size 20) reel. Lighter reels are more comfortable for long days of constant lure casting.


A good mainline breaking strain for general estuary fishing is about 6lb (3kg). Choose a braid or gel spun mainline that delivers a responsive feel and casts well. The new WFT Gliss lines are also a great option that will have you casting further than ever before.

Use monofilament or fluorocarbon leaders between 6-20lb (3-10kg) for estuary fishing. Use the lighter leaders for Bream and Whiting but the heavier strengths for Toothy Flathead.


The best lures to start lure fishing are definitely soft plastics. Plastics are extremely effective and they are relatively cheap and replaceable. To target Bream, Whiting and Flathead, rig small grub or minnow plastics on 1/16 ounce jig heads and size 2 hooks. Twitch these plastics with erratic movements and plenty of pauses.

To exclusively target Flathead, use 10cm paddle tail plastics on 1/8 ounce jig heads and size 1/0 hooks. These are best worked with a steady retrieve and the odd hop along the sediment. Keep the tail kicking and hang on.

This generic lure fishing outfit is all that you require to successfully target common estuary fish on lures. The outfit will also be sufficient for a host of other species as you progress and develop your skills. Lure fishing is a challenge and an adventure to enjoy.


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Peter Hollingsworth

Peter has been fishing all around Australia since he was a boy. He loves camping, fishing and kayak fishing.