My recent trip to the Northern Territory with Steve Goodhew’s I’ll Take Ya Fishing Charter, was to target cruising Barramundi on the flats in Arnhem Land. As with any sight fishing, it was an adrenaline fuelled experience, spotting packs of fish on the flats and in the mangrove edges, and casting small jerk baits at them to entice a strike…
Although most of the fish were in the 60-70cm range, we caught our fair share of 80cm+ fish as well. If you’re a regular reader of our site, you’d know that the four of us enjoy our light tackle fishing. After talking to Steve, he suggested that I bring away my “heavy” bream gear for this trip. I’d feel more comfortable using this gear, and on the flats, I’d have a pretty good chance of landing the fish, even on this light gear.
The heaviest Bream rod I own is Daiwa’s medium light Black Label SSS 6101MLXS. The “Attack Game Model” is a 6’10”, extra fast rod, that I’ve mainly used as a “racks” rod. Rated at 5-12 lb, it’s super “tippy”, providing unbelievable sensitivity and casting ability, even with lures as light as 1/16oz and as heavy as 1/2 oz. Yet, the powerful mid and butt section are surprising for such a lightweight rod.
I encouraged several of the guys on the trip, to pick it up and use the rod. Whilst most of them were more accustomed to heavier bait cast gear – they were surprised at how light and powerful the rod is.
I matched the rod to a Certate 3000 spooled with 30lb TD Sensor Tournament PE, and used Toray leaders ranging from the 20lb-40lb. This combination was perfect for throwing a range of “smallish” jerkbaits like the Rapala 80mm Flat Rap & 110mm Clackin Minnow, Daiwa DB Minnow, OSP Bent Minnow 106F and Storm Thunderstick‘s.
Fishing so light, I was able to manage long, searching casts over the flats, yet maintain control when fishing tight and deep into the mangrove edges. One of the more memorable sessions of the trip, was late in the afternoon, skipping unweighted surface frogs deep into the mangroves, and teasing the Barra out. Although there were no monsters caught, fishing so deep in the structure used every ounce of pulling power in the rod.
I only felt under gunned once during the week, when a shark took a liking to a Barra I’d hooked on a submerged reef, and nearly spooled me in 10 seconds flat. Aside from this, the rod performed effortlessly, easily accounting for Barra up to 85cm.
For more from the “fishing rods are my weakness” series click here
For more on the Black Label Series click here