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Some people have asked me about the products I use and what I carry in my fishing tackle box. So here’s what you’ll find in one of my tackle boxes, depending on the season or where and what I’m fishing for.
I personally use each of these products and I am happy to endorse them. Naturally, I can’t make guarantees. Only that they have worked for me.
Some of these fishing products are in the “budget range.” Others are little dearer. Most often this is due to quality. Some products can be substituted reasonably well. Others cannot.
In my own experience, cheap copies nearly always let you down. This is particularly true with fishing rods and reels, fishing lines and soft plasticSoft Plastic Lure lures.
Finally, I tend to store a lot of extras in Plano trays. For example, if I’m not Murray cod fishing there’s not much point carrying Size One stump jumpers if I’m targetting small bream or flathead. So I switch what I carry in my tackle box changes to suit the kind of fishing.
Simply put, the effectiveness of berley and attractants cannot be underestimated. It's how experienced anglers often draw large numbers of fish closer to them. Boat, beach, pier or estuary.
Berley and attractants, for a modest investment, are more likely to have a bigger impact on your fishing trips than more expensive and often overpriced "accessories" will.
The use of attractants has now become common in fishing tournaments. For good reason. They work.
I don't leave home without either. Neither should you. There's always a tube or bottle of something in my tackle box.
Gulp Alive recharge fluid allows you to add the “juice” that keeps your Berkley Gulp soft plasticSoft Plastic Lure lures in the right condition to fish (pliable and flexible) while adding that famous Gulp fish attractant.
If you fish with Gulp you’ll find topping up useful. I usually add this to a waterproof container – one that doesn’t leak – then add my Gulp lures to the container. I find this keeps them better than the plastic packets the baits come in.
Fisho’s who use berleyBerley (“chum” in the USA) catch more fish. It’s that simple.
On a boat, the pier or on a beach berley cages are one method to entice fish into the area near you.
As the container you use has to be up for the rough and tumble of fishing a metal wire cage is durable and easy to use. With enough weight to get your berley down towards the bottom, maximising dispersion.
This is by far my favourite fish attractant. Simply because it works.
Smearing it on a lure – even pre-scented lures like gulp – or onto bait on a hook has proven to make a huge difference in my own fishing. I always have a couple of tubes available to take with me.
While there are other attractants on the market I’ve personally found Squidgy to get the results.
S Factor scent is made for Australian fishos and the product testing occurred on Australian fish species. Maybe that’s the secret? All I know is it works better than any other “smear it on” fish attractant I’ve used.
Fishing from a boat is a whole different experience compared to fishing from the shore.
While some of the gear and tackle can be used for either there's stuff boat and kayak fisho's need that's purpose-built.
From safety to making things easier to use this is some of the boating gear we use and recommend.
This is the rod holder I use on my DIY Fishing Trolley project.
It’s made for boats and comes with stainless steel screws. Holds three rods comfortably. Has notches to accommodate your reels when a rod is inserted. Is a solid but lightweight construction and comes with handy holders for knives and pliers.
It’s cheaper than going to a hardware store and making your own equivalent using PVC pipe, too. By the time you buy the pipe, screws and fashion the knife etc holders.
It just gets the job done. I love mine.
This is currently my preferred PFD on my tinny (aluminium boat for readers outside of Australia.)
It’s lightweight and doesn’t get in the way while I’m fishing. But when I need it (which I haven’t to date) a pull on the cord and it inflates to 150n – which keeps my head out of the water. Essential for me as an asthmatic.
Its passed all Australian PFD compliance standards. So it meets all aspects of the law.
In all Australian states, a PFD is required. The kind varies from state to state – but his one meets all states standards.
Aniseed Fisherman’s soap should become a core part of your kit. It is effective, inexpensive and has plenty of benefits when used prior to fishing and after a day on the water. Get your 3 pack now and freshen up. Aniseed fisherman’s soap for sale now.
If you’re not keeping your bait on the hook there’s not much point fishing!
This elastic thread simply wraps around your bait and the hook, easily breaking off once a good wrap is achieved. Keeping soft baits like pipis, pilchards, chicken liver and much more – right on the hook, where it needs to be.
I’ve found it even keeps some of the smaller “bait stealing” fish from picking at your bait till it falls off.
It’s cheap and easy insurance. Since I’ve started using thread soft baits have not been a problem.
Sure, you can tie your own rigs. But one thing experienced computer programmers have learned is that “re-inventing the wheel” is a waste of time and money.
I always carry some of these rigs with me. Choosing the rig to suit the fishing I’m going to be doing.
The great thing is they are much less likely to tangle than the rigs most of us tie – and they’re ready to attach to your line in seconds!
I'm a huge Shimano fan. If you've used a cheaper rod or reel in the past then you'll be amazed at just how different a Shimano feels. They are sensitive to fish tapping, without compromising on strength. You can actually feel the difference.
You're going to pay a little more than you'd pay at a discount chain store. But you're getting a more durable product. The guides are well made and less prone to loosening. Which cheaper rods often do after a few casts. Even the Shimano entry-level reels have braking technology found on their more expensive models.
This is a great entry-level priced rod and reel combo from Shimano.
One of the things I like about mine is the rod has the “aquatip” which makes seeing the rod tip easier in the dark. It’s a good, strong rod with enough sensitivity to know when you’re getting bites. Works well with braid or mono.
The reel has some of the features of more expensive Shimano reels. Including braking assistance when casting. This allows for smoother, more controlled casts.
I use mine on piers, estuaries, rivers, kayak and on my boat.
This is a reasonably priced lighter end surf rod from Shimano.
I’ve found these to be perfect for casting off larger piers, as well as of bayside beaches. I’ve also used them off surf beaches when the gutters are a little closer in to shore.
Berkley Gulp sandworms, for example, are one of my favourite baits. I’ve fished them with success in both salt and freshwater. Generally, I don’t “spin” or “retrieve” them, but let them soak with a couple on a paternoster rigPaternoster Rig .
I use the same technique on the shrimp (prawns.)
Most people will enjoy using the jerks, shads and more traditional “soft plasticsSoft Plastic Lure ” that are cast, jiggled, jerked and retrieved in a more “traditional” soft plasticSoft Plastic Lure method.
Chasebaits have become synonymous with creating amazingly lifelike soft plasticSoft Plastic Lure lures. They look -- and act -- alive in the water. Offering the fisho the chance to fish a truly “alive” looking presentation that works on most Australian species.
Their Flick Prawn lure is one of an excellent range that includes crabs, shrimps, frogs and even small bird and lizard imitations (the latter two for Murray Cod).
Anybody can drop a line in the water with a hook and some bait and hope to catch flathead. But consistent results come from understanding your target species -- and flathead are no different. Selecting the right tackle and then using them with the right techniques can take a long time to master on your own. Flathead Tactics offers insights experience fishos know produces results.
These products are designed to protect you, while fishing, from the elements. While we often think about the wind, wet and cold it's really easy to overlook the sun.
As somebody who is fair-skinned, this has been a major issue for me. As a younger person I was often sunburned and in later life, it has led to many procedures to remove different kinds of skin cancers. Burned off, cut out and a mild form of "chemo" skin cream. So far I've not had melanoma, but the minor ones are certainly concerning enough for me. I've had three types, BCC, SCC and Bowens. Not the worst, but many of them. See this link for how to check for yourself and here for the types to watch for.
So, hat's, sunglasses, face covering, sunscreen, sleeved shirts etc are all vital parts of your tackle kit and should not be overlooked.
Getting sunburned is not only painful – it’s dangerous. Take it from me. I’ve had so many minor skin cancers burned off and cut out it’s scary!
However, most sunscreens keep the suns rays away, but also the fish. So a product that protects you, but doesn’t affect your fishing has gotta be good news.
This is the product I carry with me. It works, too!
Keeping the sun off your neck and face is essential if you spend any time fishing in Australia.
I tend to use mine rolled around my neck for the most part. Mostly because of my own asthma issues. But most people will find it comfortable covering their nose, mouth and ears too!
Lightweight, washable material. Basic sunsmarts this one.
If you’ve ever gone fishing with polarized lenses then you’ll know the advantages. If you haven’t then be prepared to be amazed.
Polarized lenses not only protect your eyes from the harsh summer sun but allow you to look into the water too. This allows you to often see the bottom. See the fish. See the structure and see the baitfish.
These days I use prescription polarized sunglasses admittedly. But these were my go-to lenses in years gone by before I needed glasses.