Fishing tackle is always a very personal thing. We choose carefully to suit the way we fish, the marks we fish and the species we want to catch. But for an item of tackle to become a “favourite” takes much more. It will be the capture of a big fish, or an item that seems to always produce a catch in difficult conditions that elevates that tackle to hero status.
Here is a list of the tackle items that I always feel totally confident with…not a list of all the tackle I use by any means, just my personal favourites that have been lucky for me. Expect this list to change over time.
ABU 6500i TSR
The reel I always use for ultra long range fishing over clean sand and light mixed rough ground. When tuned correctly its ultra fast, but the stainless steel gears make it super tough too.
A powerful reel, yet with exceptional long range casting performance. My favourite reel for mixed rough ground fishing and for heavy cod fishing off the beaches. I also use it for uptide fishing off the boat too.
This rod I choose for all my long range beach fishing, plus deep water fishing off rock ledges for conger, huss and big cod.
ABU ATLANTIC 464 BEACHCASTER
A powerful rod that accounted for a 17lb halibut for me off the shore in Norway. A great rough ground and long range beachcaster for general fishing.
MTI BASS ROD
Designed to cover both long range surf and rough ground fishing for bass with baits. It’s fast recovery to gain a tight line when striking fish at long range improves the hook up ratio and is something I try to build in to all the rods I design.
ABU 5500C CT MULTIPLIER REEL
A compact reel ideal for 12lb line and with good casting ability when using lighter 2 to 3oz lead weights. Its lighter weight goes well with bass rods that need to be held all day when feeling for bites.
ABU REVO 8’ BASS ROD
My favourite rod for plug fishing over rough, shallow ground from both shore and boat. Its ability to set hooks and the power in the lower mid-section and butt to give casting ability and strength to bully fish away from snags make for an unbeatable combination.
SHAKESPEARE AGILITY BASS PLUGGER 8’ ROD
A rod introduced in 2012/13. It’s a lightweight rod ideal for general plugging with lighter plugs for bass.
ABU SORON STX40 FIXED SPOOL REEL
A reel I use when working heavier plugs and lures for bass from both boat and shore. The smooth drag is essential when battling big fish that run fast in shallow water.
MTI 20/40 BOAT ROD
This makes the list due to its lightweight, power and sensitivity. It’s caught me halibut and cod to 40lbs in Norway, and big conger in the UK. It’s a rod I choose for all general braid 30lb class fishing.
ABU SUVERAN EVO 12LB CLASS BOAT ROD
I pick this one off the shelf when fishing clean sand and mixed rough ground on the drift. Its sensitive tip when fished with braid is perfect for all likely species. I also use it for working artificial lures for bass, pollack and cod over reefs and wrecks with 20lb braid.
ABU REVO TORO 60HS MULTIPLIER
What a reel this is! Tough, great drag and brilliant for all drift fishing with braided lines between 20 and 30lbs. Also a reel I use for lure work over wrecks.
PENN INTERNATIONAL 12VSX
Loaded with 20lb mono, this is the reel I prefer for all my 20lb class shark fishing offshore. The smooth drag and reliability give me maximum confidence against even the biggest fish.
PENN INTERNATIONAL 16S
A reel I like for big UK sharks, such as porbeagles, when loaded with 30lb mono. Some might think 30lb is light for big sharks, but this reel and quality 30lb line will stop a train if used correctly!
BERKLEY RIPPLE SHAD
What a lure this is! It’s caught big bags of bass, cod, pollack and even ling. The biggest sizes take the big cod and halibut in Norway too.
I can’t separate three plugs from the Sebile range. The Splasher is a surface popper that absolutely hammers bass over rough ground. The Ghost Walker is surface lure with a sideways “walk-the-dog” action that is an absolute must for me. I also rate the Slender Eel which is a suspending sandeel imitator and deadly in and around estuaries and over shallow reefs. Another plug I rate is the ABU Rocket Popper, an outstanding surface popping bass lure over clean and rough ground that casts well.
FAVOURITE ALL TIME REEL
I’m often asked what my favourite all time reel is? It has to be the ABU 9000C 2-Speed from the early 1990’s. I own two of these reels and still use them for all my heavy rough ground conger fishing with 30lb line. They cast incredibly well for a big reel, are reliable and ultra tough!