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Sea Trout Fishing Tackle

Essential equipment for sea trout night fishing

 

As we have seen in the earlier pages, a sea trout rod will, on occasion, be required to cast fairly large and/or heavy flies. Such flies cannot be cast easily on a light line. In addition, our sea trout rod may be called upon to cope with very strong fish, so it should be a fairly strong rod. For general sea trout fishing, I would recommend a rod of ten feet in length, rated for a number 7 or 8 line, and with a through action, as opposed to a tip action. Such a rod, which bends progressively throughout its length, will allow the weight of the line to be felt more easily when casting at night, when we must rely solely on feeling. For twenty years, I have used a rod built on a ten and a half foot Bruce and Walker Multitrout blank, (since shortened at the butt to ten feet) rated 6/7. I also use a 10 ft Orvis Western, rated #7. Both of these rods have a smooth, through action. On smaller rivers, or where deep wading is not required, a nine and a half foot rod might be considered.

Most keen sea trout fishers will be familiar with Hugh Falkus's recommendation of having a range of line densities for varying conditions and times, a floating line for early in the night, particularly in low water conditions, with the option of additional lines with different sinking rates for high water or when the sea trout have "gone down" late in the night. Indeed, he recommended setting up two rods for the night, one with a floating line and the other with a sinking line, so that he could switch between the two, fishing a variety of flies and lures - singles, sunk lures, surface lures - according to conditions as they changed throughout the night. This is a good option, particularly if you have a pool or two to yourself for the night and don't plan on moving about too much. Specific requirements will be determined by the characteristics of the river but, on the rivers I have fished, I would say that about eighty percent of my fishing is done with a floating line, a double tapered line in size seven or eight. An intermediate line or line with a sink tip is useful when the river is running slightly high or for later in the night when temperatures fall. I rarely now use a full sinker, although I acknowledge that this omission may, on occasion, cost me the chance of a fish. In general, I will feel fairly well equipped if I arrive on a sea trout river with a floating line and an intermediate line, plus a few sink tips in a variety of lengths and densities, cut from a few mill end lines. I like the simple practicality of the double taper. I find it pleasant to handle, less liable to tangle on bankside vegetation, and its use allows variable lengths of line to be lifted from the water and recast with no need for a false cast. I should say, however, that many experienced sea trout fishermen prefer weight forward lines, and the standard choice for many is an intermediate rather than a floating line.

Sea Trout Tackle

Sea Trout Fly Reels

Sea Trout Tackle

Hardy Reels

The main requirement of a sea trout reel, for me, is that it will hold a double tapered seven or eight floating line and a hundred yards of backing line. Such a reel is likely to have a diameter of about three and three quarter inches and a spool width of about one inch. Excellent examples of such a sea trout reel are to be found in the Hardy Marquis #10 and the Hardy St Aidan. To enable the faster retrieval of line, many experienced sea trout fishers prefer a geared "Multiplier" reel, such as the Hardy Marquis 8/9 multiplier or the Young's 1500 series multiplier or Shakespeare Speedex reel, all excellent sea trout reels with diameters of about three and a half inches and with enough capacity to hold a number eight line. Other reels worthy of consideration might include the more recent Sharpes Mentieth, which can be used in silent mode, always useful for those who prefer the quiet approach. Of course, there is a wide variety of rods and reels on the market today (* see T&S review of sea trout rods), many of which will do the job admirably, if no more efficiently than my ageing favourites.

In fishing for sea trout at night, we will often need to wade, sometimes quite deeply. At other times we will be fishing with steep or heavily wooded banks behind. In such circumstances, a net is essential, one that can be carried comfortably and, when needed, brought into action quickly and conveniently. It can be a folding net or one fixed on a handle slung over one's back, as long as it can be operated simply and reliably with one hand. For many years, I have used a Gye net, made by Sharpes of Aberdeen and have found it excellent.

Sea Trout Tube Flies

Sea Trout Torch

A Box of Sea Trout Tube Flies

 A Good Value Night Fishing Torch

One final essential item of equipment for the night fisherman is a good reliable, waterproof torch. It should be emphasised here that the use of a torch on the riverbank is generally frowned upon, particularly if shone directly upon a sea trout pool. The use of a torch should be kept to an absolute minimum, used only for essential tasks like retying a cast or changing a fly. Some night fishermen can manage even those operations by touch, without the need for a torch. When the use of a torch is necessary, it is best to come ashore and direct the torch beam well away from the pool being fished. There is a good range of torches available now which are suitable for night fishing. I have for many years used a small Infinity Ultra LED torch hung around my neck on a cord. Very recently, however, I spotted a headlight, an Energiser Headlight LED X 3, on sale in B&Q for just 7.99, which I just had to have. On getting it home, I installed the three AAA batteries supplied and tried it out. A simple switch gives two options ... a double white LED or a single red LED. The white light is easily bright enough to light an unfamiliar path to and from the river, while the single red light is sufficiently bright to change a fly, with minimal detriment to night vision. On trying it out, I found the light very effective, easy to operate and as comfortable as I imagine most headlights would be. However, feeling that the light might become uncomfortable after a few hours fixed on my head, especially if worn under a hat, I tried it around my neck ... a bit like an illuminated bow tie ... and found it very comfortable, providing a perfect light for changing a fly, with the option of slipping it up and around the head when walking. With a stated 50 hours of continuous light between battery changes, this seems like a very worthwhile purchase.

 

 

 

 

Sea Trout Fishing Rods

Sea Trout Rods

 

Sea Trout Fishing Tackle - Reels

Sea Trout Reels

 

Sea Trout Needle Tube Fly

Sea Trout Needle Tube Fly

 

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