BEACH AND ROCK LURE FISHING: THE EQUIPMENT
When I started beach fishing, I used to use a 12ft rod with a big spinning reel. I would throw it out across feeding schools and retrieve it quickly back across it. I caught a fair amount of fish, but by the end of the day, I was exhausted. The constant cast and retrieve destroyed my arms with this heavy outfit.
INVESTING IN BETTER FISHING GEAR AS MY SKILLS IMPROVED
I made the decision to invest in a better outfit for beach lure fishing pretty quickly. I bought a more expensive reel which made retrieving at speed a much easier task. It is still a vital piece of kit in my tackle box and I often use it for chasing Tailor, Mackerel and Tuna, even now. It may be old, but it just goes to show, investing in a well-made brand is always worth it.
NEW TECH: LIGHTER FISHING REELS
As technology has advanced, there are some really good lightweight surf spin reels available now. Just be sure to look after your reel by rinsing it off with freshwater at the end of any session. Nothing sends reels to the grave like salt water or sand so make sure it is thoroughly rinsed regularly, I use some warm water on mine at the end of every day.
Once I had my reel sorted, I needed to do something about the heavy rod I was using. I needed to update my glass rod with a more modern carbon fibre model to make casting and retrieving easier on my arms.
SELECTING A BALANCED COMBO
I dropped to a 3.2m fishing rod and a combo reel built specifically for beach fishing. I found that despite the shorter model, I was actually able to cast further thanks to a more efficient load up and lighter weight. The 8-15kg class is perfect for throwing out 60-80gm lures and poppers.
BRAID OR MONO
When it comes to lines, I use braid fishing line because it gives less drag and I can cast much further on it. I load up with a 20-60lb fluorocarbon leader, depending on the area and target species. With beach fishing, there is less chance of your line being cut because there are less underwater structures and obstacles lurking to sever your braid. For that reason, you have the freedom to go light, I often use 20lb braid or, if I’m on my heavy setup, 40-50lb braid.
The only time I will use mono, is with poppers or sliders when I need the buoyancy of the mono to keep the surface lure on the surface.
I GO WITH AN ACTIVE CASTING STYLE
Because I’m impatient, I like to stay active, casting and retrieving with speed to draw out the most explosive attacks from powerful species lurking around. Metal slices are also a permanent fixture in my tackle box.
For some spectacular takes, throw on some 30-50gm poppers and stickbaits and watch the fish smash them in some awesome water breaching takes.
I usually replace my trebles with singles, just because they make less of a mess of undersized fish that need to be released. If you ever get a treble stuck in your hand, you will make the switch to singles too. They are a pain to get out of the skin and cause heaps more damage than a single. There are so many lures that are great for beach or rock fishing, I just can’t get enough of them.
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