The big fish, strong currents and razor sharp reefs here in Papua New Guinea will put you and your tackle to the ultimate test, so good quality equipment is essential.
A good quality popping rod is highly recommended if you are targeting large GTs, Doggies and Napoleons. A rating of PE 10 - 12 is recommended, with a length of 7'6" to 8'6'. Rods need to have good, powerful tips if you want to work large cup poppers. If you like to use stick baits a slightly softer and longer tip gives better action to work the lures. The longer rods will cast further but you will have less control over a monster near the boat. Good brands to look out for are Ripple Fisher, Yamaga Blacks, Fisherman, Smith and Carpenter.
Match these rods with a Shimano Stella 14000 - 18000hg or Daiwa Saltiga 14000 - 18000, loaded up with PE 10 line. Use a 200-240 lb leader connected with an FG or bobbin knot. A long leader of about 2 meters will give you added protection from the reef and the razor sharp scoots on the tails of GTs.
Bring a good selection of about 10 poppers and 10 stick baits, with a range between 120 and 200 grams. A couple of very good color combinations for poppers is pink/white and green/yellow. For stick baits natural and black/silver have shown to be very effective here. It's essential to rig these on ultra sharp hooks. The Gamakatsu GT Recorder and BBK GT REX are excellent treble hooks. If you prefer to rig singles then go for the Shout Kudako or BBK Diablo in-line hooks. All the barbs must be crimped. Make sure you rig them on the best quality terminal tackle. Owner 11H rings or equivalent are a good option.
A lighter PE 3 or PE 6 rod is great fun for casting at the local tuna and for light reef work. Just make sure you have plenty of line on the reels as big fish munch small lures too! Bring small metals and stick baits and/or poppers that you can cast far. Bright colors work very well.
There are some monster Doggies here so a heavy jigging set up is a must. Short rods, 5' to 6', rated PE 8 to PE 10 loaded with 500 meters of PE 8 line is essential when targeting them on the steep walls. Over head set ups have been very successful, as if you get slammed on the gunwale the line is less likely to touch the boat and snap your line. Some good brands to look out for are Jigging Master, Centaur, MC Works, Ripple Fisher, Jigstar and Temple Reef.
The Jigging Master Monster Game, Shimano Stella 14000 - 20000, Daiwa Saltiga 14000 - 18000 and Accurate Boss are good reels that will bully a big fish up from the deep. Choose a lower gear ratio for more power.
Short jigs weighing between 300 and 400 grams will get down fast. It's best to avoid fluttering jigs as these attract the unwanted attention of sharks. Great colors and combinations are gold, pink/white and silver/blue.
A 150 to 200 lb nylon leader is recommended over fluorocarbon as it is more flexible. BIG hooks are important, such as the Shout Kudako 9/0 rigged on Varivas SS 80 or multi strand steel.
For shallow jigging on reefs, a lighter slow jigging set up is a lot more productive. Rods ranging from PE 3 to PE 6 that can work 100 to 250 gram jigs is ideal. Here a 80 to 130 lb leader is sufficient. Good colors on these reefs have been bright, fluorescent combinations.
The smaller Shout Kudako 7/0 hooks are a better match with the lighter jigs, but should still be rigged the same as you would on the heavier jigging set up.
Terry from Jigabite has complied an extensive tackle list, which can be downloaded here, It contains useful links to view recommended rods and lures that have been tried and tested here in Papua New Guinea with Daucina Charters.
To access his well stocked online store follow the link below.