Tackle Choice


One of the questions asked most often is – What tackle do I need to fish for sea trout? Available on the market is a huge range of tackle that can be bewildering to the beginning sea trout fisher. For those who already fish the choice can still be difficult as the range of tackle for these enigmatic fish can be quite wide. Given below is what we recommend for the novice or more experienced sea trout fisher to use.

When choosing a rod it is best to try out various rods at a tackle dealers or game fair. A rod 10’ to 10’6” in length rated between 6 and 8 weight is a good place to start. The rod should ideally be strong and have plenty of ‘backbone’ to it with an action that suits your casting style. If not, when you hook into a good sea trout, bringing the fish under control quickly in the dark becomes more difficult. Many rods in this range are also suited to reservoir fishing so purchasing a rod of this description would probably give the angler a rod suited to different types and styles of fishing.

Next to consider is the reel to hold your line and backing. There are many reels to choose from but it is essential that you buy a reel that can hold a least 100 yards of backing. Sea Trout can make long and very powerful runs. Currently the most popular reel is the Large Arbor reel. These reels can pick up line fast and allow you to stay in better contact with the fish. Many reels now have a drag system of some description. A drag system will allow you to slow down any long runs and put more pressure on the fish. However, Sea trout often have soft mouths and the ability to allow the fish to run rather than pull the hook free is sometimes more important - the choice over drag or no drag is a purely individual one. They can cost from £45 up to several hundred pounds. The choice in cost is yours but look for a reel that is easy to operate (if it has a drag system), and can hold your line choice. Another point to make is check that the reel does not unbalance your rod. A too light a reel will make the rod feel tip heavy and cause you to get tired quicker. A heavy reel will put al the weight into the butt of the rod making for heavy casting. A rod and reel should balance just short of the top of the handle on the rod.


We often have to change line types when fishing at night so purchasing a range of fly lines to suit varying conditions throughout the night is a wise investment. Typically we start fishing with a floating line but then end the night possibly with an intermediate or a full sinking line. So, floating, sink-tip, intermediate and full sinking lines will give you the full range of lines for each situation. The fly line needs to be balanced with the rod that you are using so that the combination of rod and line work efficiently together. So a 6 weight rod needs a six weight line.

Once you are happy with your rod/reel/line combination you need to decide on what type of monofilament line to use. Nylon lines tend to have a little more stretch than the newer fluorocarbons and each has its advantages and disadvantages. Nylons tend to be softer and when fishing a dropper at night this is something that needs to be considered. Fluorocarbons however are a much stiffer line and (if you believe all the press) the fish cannot see them.

Now we enter into the mystical world of fly choice and is probably one of the most contended of areas within our fishing world. Everyone has a favourite fly which they use regardless of river conditions and seem to catch well on these flies. There are many books written about fishing flies and the only real solid advice we can give you is talk to the locals. Often they will give you some clues as to what flies work best and when. The flies listed in our online store are all proven patterns. We need also to think about a good fly box to store our myriad of flies. There are several sorts of fly box – those with clips, foam, and compartments. They range in price from a few pounds to tens of pounds. The choice of box is often very personal and we recommend two boxes. One with your nights supply of flies and another as a store for those flies not needed. Keep all your flies in one box and if you lose that then your whole collection is lost. Aluminium sinks quickly, plastic ones often float.


Fishing tackle suppliers provide us with a huge range of nets of all shapes and sizes. Round, oval, flat edged, folding, Gye sling or clipped to your back with a magnet! Each has its purpose. A folding net can be less cumbersome to use but can jam just at the wrong moment so always check it before fishing. The best advice is for you to try out the various nets on offer at a local tackle provider to see which suits you best.

This may appear a little bit odd to feature this here. But a good torch can be a life saver. Typically it’s wise to use two torches, not at the same time, but for different purposes. One to tie your flies on and sort tangles etc. out and the other to see where you are going. The smaller range of ‘Maglite’ torches are ideal for tying flies on etc. This can be hung around your neck so that it can be held in the mouth for easy two-handed tying on of flies. Another torch, used for getting around does not need to be a two million candle power affair but something with a reasonable beam when held at hip height. This tied to one of you wader braces will not get lost and if you should fall when let go will still provide you with some illumination to help you.

Nobody wants to get wet and chest waders give you virtually unhindered access when fishing. They can be used to wade deeply but also are a good thing if the ground is wet and you are giving a pool a rest or changing flies. Neoprene waders provide good insulation but can get very warm on a warm july night. Breathable waders are more expensive and tend to be not so resilient as neoprene waders but their benefit is that they allow your body to breath (hence breathables) and you will not get so sticky on a July night. Thigh waders are another option but limit the depth at which you can fish without getting wet! Waders vary in price greatly and it is worth spending a little money on a good pair of waders as treated sensibly, they will give you many years of service.