When I started out game fishing back in the 1970s we used pretty heavy gear.
Solid fibreglass Fenwick game rods with big Penn Senators, Everol reels and the like:
Through the years since I’ve watched both game and jig tackle become lighter, stronger, and less expensive. Jigging gear in particular is incredible now. My PE 3 outfit includes a rod of the weight and dimensions we used for trout, back then. The matching reel has ten ball bearings, carbontex drags and costs only $60. Compare that with the Seascapes we used, back in the day. On those reels you could strip the brass main gear of teeth on a single good fish.
The other fishing essential also reduced in size and increased in power is boats. The flybridge game cruisers which were the cornerstone of big fish hunting have disappeared at a great rate of knots (pardon the pun.) Too costly to buy, too costly to run, and too hard to find crew. They’ve been replaced with big trailer boats costing a fraction of previous expenditure as regards both fuel and maintenance.
Which brings me to tackle. Almost all my fishing now is done out of my 21 foot side console. I’ve had the Carolyn Jane for almost 30 years. In that time she’s had five outboards and three paint jobs, still going strong. In this relatively small boat we’ve ranged from Cairns north to Lookout Point (maybe 200 kilometres) and from Sydney east to Heatons Hill, 40 nautical miles out. But we don’t have the room and we don’t have the money for heavy expensive game fish gear. We don’t have a chair or anywhere to brace ourselves when hooked up – excepting the gunwales.
So we’re fishing a bent butt combo which is comfortable to use:
We’ve had many a battle with yellowfin and sharks using this setup off Sydney:
The reel has good line capacity (600 metres of 50) and a powerful drag when needed:
Check this out. A big thresher shark on our 24 kilo bent butt combo at Browns Mountain, last year.
And check this one out too. A mako shark hooked at Browns Mountain, tearing off line at a phenomenal rate because we didn’t notice the drag lever wasn’t pushed up to the stop button.
The point is, that if the reel is well set up, of proven quality and perfectly matched to the rod then the combo will deliver excellent performance with the benefit of also being light and manoeuvrable – without costing top dollar:
It all starts with the reel. Quality must not be compromised. It would be a gut wrenching experience to have a reel fail, on the fish of a lifetime. We’ve gone with a worldwide brand renowned for quality – TICA:
The TICA SB-30MG is a perfect match for our proven bent butt game rod.
Please call or email with any questions whatsoever and keep watching for customers’ reviews which will be posted on this page,