Being mobile, able to cast long distances and for a long period of time are all important factors for fishing, especially on the rocky, windy coast such as ours. In such cases going for light tackle is the better option. With a light set up you can change up your style of fishing to suit the current condition that you are present in. Anything from shore jigging to shore casting as well as light popping can be done. Going light doesn’t mean you can’t catch or land a big fish. Light tackle can get you a wide variety of catch ranging in different weights and sizes, all depends on the anglers technique and skill in order to land the fish.
In India, light tackle is important for targeting species such as tarpon, bream, fingermark snapper, blubberlip snapper, reef species, thread fin salmon, etc., in the salt, and species such as snakehead, mahseer, barbs, etc. In the fresh. Some of these species are very spooky and using heavy line and leader can often lead to low success rate in fishing. Bream and tarpon are some of the species that are more prone to getting spooked if the tackle is too heavy for them.
Many anglers around the world prefer only light tackle and land some prized fish. In the UAE, anglers often don’t go over 3000-4000 size reels, yet they land giant queenfish, kingfish, cobia and other reef and pelagic species with ease. In Australia, light tackle is used for a wide variety, from bream to even amberjacks. Landing 15kg+ GTs on 3000-4000 size reels is a very common report from the AU coast. So don’t be disheartened by the size of your gear. Smaller reels and thinner rods these days are very strong and light thanks to new technology.
So what do you need to get into light tackle fishing ?
To begin with, the reel. For light tackle, spinning reels between the size 2000-4000 size is the main range depending on what you target. For fishing the coast, 3000-4000 size reals are ideal. They have great spool capacity for casting out far and fighting the fish with good drag power. When fishing in back waters, or in
freshwater rivers, 3000-4000 size reels are more than enough. You can also change to finesse style fishing, do sight casting for certain species and even do jigging, both shore and vertical. Investing in a good reel is key as the reel does most of the important work in fighting a fish.
Some light reels available in our market: Abu Garcia black Max 3000-4000, Daiwa BG 3000, Daiwa Revros 2000-4000, Shimano FX 2500, PENN conflict 3000, Daiwa sweepfire 2000, Shimano Nexave 3000, Shimano Sienna 2500-3000, etc. Recommended reels would be Daiwa BG 3000 And Shimano Sienna 2500. Both tested and proved for big fish too and are strong and durable.
For the rod, there are a wide range of rods for light fishing that suits a wide variety of fishing styles. When selecting a rod, key aspects to look for are casting weight, rod length, action and line strength. Rods often have most of the specifications marked down on them (eg: 702ML). When looking for light tackle rods, look for either ML=medium light or UL=Ultra light power rods depending where you fish and what you are targeting. After power comes casing weight to chose from. Light tackle rods often have ranges such as 1-5g, 7-14g, 10-21g. For light shore jigging, they can also range up to 40g max or 50g max, enough to cast out metal jigs 50-70m out, cutting through the wind with ease.
Some light rods available in our market: Daiwa crossfire MFS, Daiwa Revros 6.6ft, Daiwa Laguna 6.6ft, Littma blue sniper 6-7ft, Crazee bass game rod, Majorcraft First cast ML series rods, Abu Garcia rods (wide range of light rods to chose from), etc.
Braided and leader line are the next important component to add to the setup. Braid for light tackle ranges from PE0.8- PE 2 or 5lb to 20lb strength. Leader should be between 20-40lb strength. Going too heavy can affect casting lures in accuracy and distance. Sufix, Daiwa, Shimano all have good and strong light braid.
For lures, firstly soft plastics, a wide variety of plastics can be used, and depending on the action of the rod, plastics can be worked in an immense number of ways to trigger strikes. Examples of soft plastics that can be used on this setup are Zman slim swimz, grubz, minnowz, shrimpz, etc. Next, hard body lures. Minnows, poppers, and other plugs in the range of 5-20g are best suited for light tackle. Same applies for jigs and jig heads when pairing with soft plastics.
That’s it! The basic gist of getting into light tackle fishing. My personal light gear consists of Daiwa crossfire rod (7-21g), searock 7ft Medium light rod, and a UL 5ft rod, reels; Daiwa Revros 4000, Shimano Sienna 2500, Shimano FX 2500 and they are mostly spooled with braids between 0.8-1.5PE. With the right setup, you can be in the game, casting for many hours with no problem, and can catch and land some great fish. Skill and determination play a good role here and with the right technique you can catch and target some rare fish too that’ll surprise you. It’s very easy to assemble a light setup now as all the tackle is made easily available on today’s market. On that final note, I end here. Tight lines!
Some catches on my light tackle in Goa