[b]Fishing rods[/b] Moving on from tackle bag c


Fishing rods

Moving on from tackle bag contents many spots along the 2 coastlines long casts are not necessary and a rod in either 6’6 or 11ft should suffice with most makes on the market handling sinker weights in the 1 – 3oz size and here a trace can be made up to reduce tackle loss. Rod brand’s that come to mind in conventional style longer rods are the Shimano Exage 110h (170gr sinker rating) which has plenty backbone to put maximum pressure on a fish if needed as well as the lighter Loomis & Franklin in 10ft ( 85gr sinker rating).

In the 6’6 – 7’7 spinning rod configuration a medium heavy action rod with a ounce rating of 1 – 2oz should be what you looking at buying. Too soft a rod does not cast too well in a head on wind or have the necessary backbone to control a hard fighting fish.

Longer rods in 14ft not necessary as casting distance is short. Balancing on wet and very slippery reefs with a 14ft rod with waves crashing all around you only for the experienced or someone who really wants to gain that experience. What it does offer as a advantage is you can cast deeper if needed and hooking into a strong dirty fighting big fish like a musselcracker offers you the possibility of controlling the fight by putting more pressure on the fish in the early stages of the hookup which is when most big fish are lost as they instinctively head for the first and closest reef they can find when hooked. With the lighter rods sometimes the fish is lost long before the angler had any chance of landing it.

Making use of either a ball or barrel shaped sinker all that’s simply done is to first thread your sinker onto your mainline followed by a bead which is important to protect the knot tied to swivel and lastly your hook trace attached.

What I have found is by tying your trace like this you don’t have a extra trace in the form of the sinker hanging loose which can easily get stuck when into a fish. The sinker safely above the hook knot you have the entire length of the hook trace to keep the sinker from snagging helping you land a fish easier especially hard and dirty fighting fish like the white and black musselcracker.

Be sure to always have the bead between sinker and knot to protect the knot from damage and loss of tackle and fish.


Another advantage of this trace is that it does not easily tangle which does not help one bit in a good bait presentation.
Using conventional bottle sinkers the chances are higher of snagging something and loosing all your terminal tackle as well as a fish. To avoid earlier mentioned helicopter effect when casting make use of a three way swivel with a bait clip attached to sinker trace clipping hook trace to it ensuring streamline trace that casts better. One can be made at home using thick wire and bending to shape of bait clip as seen on grab sinker or purchased at tackle shops.

Another advantage the ball / barrel sinker trace has is that with a running trace the hook and sinker trace easily tangles that could mean your hook trace is not free to entice a fish instead its weighted down on the bottom by the sinker trace and a fish might not see or pick up the bait scent.

These traces to be made up before going on the reefs.

Example of 2 traces tangled up.


Either a multiplier or coffee grinder as its locally known or fixed spool reel. Some coffee grinders on the market does hold a large amount of either braid or mono and no need disregard it as a serious tool for fishing. Many a club and social angler has turned to coffee grinders for fishing with some outstanding results in the edible as well as non edible catch results.

Key for either is a silky smooth drag. Having a sticky drag on a hard fighting fish will make for nervous moments that could not end well.

Coffee grinders offers many a angler one important drawcard. That of not being able to throw a birds nest. With that in mind many a angler is using it and throwing large baits as hard they can safe in the knowledge that a overrun wont be the end result as opposed to having done that with a multiplier reel.

Mid range multipliers offering larger line capacity for the same price as a high end coffee grinder as well as things like double dog anti reverse ratchet to eliminate back play enabling one to almost crank a big fish to you. Depending on ones budget good coffee grinders are the Shimano Stradic and multipliers like the Daiwa sl30 or Shimano Torium 30 or speedmaster range of reels.

Braid vs Mono.

Both has its advantages as well as drawbacks.

Mono being thicker you have less line on your reel for when you need a few extra meters the most. Generally cheaper than most braided lines on the market it does allow you to play a fish a little more gently with the stretch it allows as well as being able to send a slide down the line. Playing a hard fighting fish on mono compared to braid is two almost different worlds with braid offering a more exhilarating experience.

Abrasion resistance should be high with brand bought when fishing these rocky areas.

Minimum breaking strain for mono should be 25 - 30lb or 12 kg+

Braid with its thinner diameter you afforded more line on your reel but more expensive to fill a reel with. Two types on the market one being braid meant as backing to boost amount of line on a reel the other is a casting braid that goes directly on your reel. The casting braid is the one to fish with and two brands come to mind most notably Kingfisher casting braid and HMP braid. HMP being a 8 strand braid its more rounded delivering smoother casts meaning less wind knots and better distance. With braid sliding a bait down wont be easy and some might find it near impossible.

Minimum breaking strain for braid should be 30lb.

Rod bucket.

A necessity for ease of fishing with bait box attached to belt.

In pursuit of success as many a bait type must if possible be available to you. As one day fish might be feeding only on mussel and the next only sand prawn and for this reason a spare smaller bait box can be attached to rod bucket to separate a bait that came out the freezer like mussel from live bait like sand prawn.

Sand spikes or rod stands or pension pipes though sometimes a help for this type of fishing not necessary especially when you moving around a lot looking for feeding fish. If fishing a area where the tide will push you towards dry land then having one will be beneficial between doing stuff like baiting up or waiting on a bite or having something to eat.

Clothing to wear on the reefs.

Waders being one three choices. If not with a hole or two should keep the angler dry but best to have it covered with something like a oil skin jacket so water wont get inside. Wearing a normal top or jacket if an angler were to slip or a wave were to break on top of him which so often happens on the reefs it can fill up with water and be dangerous.

Wet suits are a favourite not having the drawbacks a wader has. These can be custom made with 3mm being the thickness of choice for local anglers. The farmer John with its open arms for better arm movement when casting being the popular choice. Under the wet suit either a neoprene long top or a reef top is worn.

Rain pants or rain suit. A big variety available at a quarter the price of a wet suit.

The Western Cape being unpredictable at times one might find waking up to hot and clear skies with no wind only to find later in the day the wind picking up to gale force speed with the mercury dropping. A hooded jacket is worth wearing underneath or over your choice between wet suit or wader and something that dries quick and water resistant if possible.

Other makes are the Quiver neoprene tops.

Footwear will include shoes made for salt water use as well as boots available at tackle shops. Some makes include Snowbees boots with a hard sole as well as Shova. Fishing in slip slops or Crocs not recommended for rocky areas with sharp rocks.

Neoprene socks as used by divers recommended to protect your feet in the boots. Reef making an excellent product.


Most reef species are omnivorous. With that in mind baits will include worm / mussel / bait fish / chokka / crab / sand prawn / crayfish / octopus and red bait. Baits one cannot be in possession of include perlemoen (abalone) and siffie (venus ear). Crayfish if so needed can be store bought at some cost.

Worm and crayfish.

Two baits responsible for many a fish. Worm baits include wonderworm and bloodworm. Wonderworm normally dug between the rocks with a little bit of
sand and bloodworm pumped in rivers and along the surf. Bloodworm having the size advantage over wonderworm and quick to attract the attention of a passing fish by its sheer size alone if used whole.

In the Western Cape areas like Cape Point have areas where one can dig wonderworms. Entry is not cheap and you may be in possession of 10 worms. In the Southern Cape Agulhas does have a few areas where one can dig for the worms.

Bloodworm in the Western Cape is hard to come by with Muizenberg offering a few to those who brave these shark infested waters.

In the Southern Cape the Breede river has bloodworm as well as places closer like Uilkraalmond near Gansbaai from the surf.

Crayfish along the Atlantic sea board responsible for many a hottie catch. This bait is store bought and not always readily available.

What a typical wonderworm spot to dig looks like.

Bloodworm on its own showing bait’s size advantage you have when using this bait.


Excellent bait with the price of the bigger tubes now something to buy with certainty that it will deliver. Can be used on its own or with the belly of a pilchard hammered into the chokka for extra scent one very good bait for targeting fish like kob and geelbek.

Bought at most tackle shops.

Sand prawn.

Probably my favourite bait to target edibles with having caught almost every species found along the Western and Southern Cape coastline. A maximum of 50 per person per day that’s more than enough for a days fishing and I normally take about 20 sand prawn for a whole days fishing.

Can be fished on its own or combined with baits like worm and mussel. This bait unlike chokka / fish bait combo is a sight bait and fish can swim pass it oblivious to its existence simply as it does not have a big scent trail as a chokka with fish belly does. Still a must have and without it I have half my confidence in catching anything for the day.

Normally found in estuaries and some surf zones along the Western Cape they are also found in man made pools used by people and pumping for them here is not allowed.

Milnerton on the West Coast the one place most go to for this bait. That said its harder to come by as the resource is used extensively by fisherman.

Along the Southern Cape they found in places like Uilenskraalmond near Gansbaai as well as the Breede river in Witsand, the Goukou in Stilbaai and the Gouritsriver to name a few. Tackle shops in the vicinity you staying another option if you need to know where to pump them.


Easily obtained at any tackle shop a good bait on its own but better when combined with sand prawn or worm.

Pilchard and mackeral / mullet.

If fresh all three these fish baits will deliver the goods. Signs to look for when purchasing is fish must not have a yellow belly as well as the eyes must not be sunk in or very red as these are all signs that the bait is not as fresh as it should be for fishing. All these baits are available at tackle stores.


A tough pecker proof bait that has caught more than its fair share of kob over the years. Bait shops regularly have stock of octopus.


Targetting musselcracker the southern cape red crab a very good bait. Not easily obtainable in the Western Cape as it is further down the coast.

to be cont..