Tackle up for the NT with Farlows
Heading to the Northern Territory is the angling adventure of a lifetime and although many guides and lodges will have tackle available, for peace of mind and consistency of approach, it does pay to have your own kit with you. This is particularly important in respect of fly fishing tackle where you will be accustomed to the balance of your own set up.
And, of course, if you are attached to a fish you will want to ensure you get it to the bank or boat safely. Tales of ‘the one that got away’ are plenty in angling but to lose a Million Dollar Fish would be painful, very painful! Get the right kit sorted before you go to ensure you are fully prepared for the trip – and potentially the fish – of a lifetime!
The team at Farlows has extensive experience of fishing right across the globe and have selected their key items to ensure you will enjoy the best possible experience ‘down under’.
A travel-friendly four-piece rod supplied with a triangular section Cordura hard case and sock this responsive, fast action hi-modulus carbon blank was developed for saltwater use but is equally home on estuaries and freshwater billabongs. Tough, good looking and it has proven itself time and again with the toughest and meanest game fish on the planet!
Another four-piece model that is perfect for travel and is supplied in an electric blue powder coated aluminum rod tube. The iconic Sage Salt utilises Konnetic Technology® to produce a fast-loading, high line speed salt-action rod that gives you the confidence to know that you’re ready for anything the NT can throw at you! A robust salt-action taper gives you the power to maximize today’s heavier fly lines to deliver flies of all sizes at all ranges with effortless precision.
Farlows’ top pick is the Savage Gear Roadrunner XLNT Travel Spinning Rod
Made from extra-sensitive high modulus carbon blanks with SiC braid-friendly guides, the Roadrunner rods pack down to suitcase size but retain a precise fast action. The 8ft 0in model with recommended casting weights from 20 to 80g is the one to choose for battling big, angry barras.
The Ultralight SDS (Sealed Drag System) reel is a lightweight, ultra large arbour design with an advanced woven carbon disk drag system that delivers smooth reliable performance under the harshest of conditions and with the hardest-fighting fish.
The ultimate in mega-fast retrieve large-arbor fly reels the Lamson Speedster features the tried and tested, silky smooth sealed conical drag system, it’s maintenance free and thrives on neglect so won’t let you down.
For reliability when the going gets tough the team could choose nothing but the Shimano Stradic 5000FJ Loaded with Shimano’s most advanced technologies including all-white styling, robust WP-Waterproof Drag and solid X-Ship construction it’s approved for light saltwater use and delivers incredible corrosion resistance and durability.
For your fly reel Farlows recommend RIO Permit that features an easy casting taper that loads at close range, and yet empowers the cast for quick distance and which offers a hard, tropical coating will not wilt in the heat. Combine it with Seaguar Ace Hard Fluorocarbon Tippet in 44lb that offers maximum abrasion resistance and makes impressively invisible leaders for big fish.
For lure fishing braided line is essential as the lack of stretch ensures you can feel the action of your lure and it gives instant connection with a take, allowing you to drive the hooks home positively. Power Pro in 33 to 66lb strains is the ideal choice and it has been proven time and time again against the biggest fish in the harshest environments.
A feeding Barra will hit most lures that are worked well, indeed even non-feeding fish can sometimes be provoked to attack by the right lure worked through its sightline.
To cope with varying water and light conditions it’s important to ensure you are stocked with surface poppers, slow sinkers and deep working patterns as well as patterns in both soft and hard bodies. You will also need a variety of colour variations for your chosen models too.
We suggest: Halco Rooster Poppers The versatile Halco Hammas that are supplied with changeable bibs, which allow quick changes of working depth are also must-haves; what’s more they were designed from the ground up to tackle species such as Barramundi! It’s also worth having a few Halco Sorcerers in your lure box too, the ultimate action and vibration for pulling big Barras.
There will, of course, be well-proven local variants to try so don’t neglect what your guide or local anglers might suggest. We’ve been told, for example, that one of the hottest patterns to try on billabongs is a soft plastic frog that mimics one of the Barra’s favourite food items!!
As with lures it is important to be guided by local information, and Farlows’ staff have also fished for Barras and will be pleased to help and advice based on their personal experience, but do make sure that your fly box contains: Poppers and Crease Flies, Mangrove Frogs, Toads and a selection of Baitfish Patterns.
For storage we recommend a C&F Grand Slam box
For boat storage The Simms Dry Creek Boat Bag is developed from a fully waterproof TPU-coated material and has interior dividers for reels, boxes, camera equipment, additional clothing layers, and more. For versatile use both on and off the boat look to the Simms Headwaters Guide Pack for all of your needs.
Be guided by season but ensure you have lightweight shirts and trousers for day-today fishing use. The Columbia PFG Backcast Fishing Trousers are comfortable, practical and manufactured from a quick-drying fabric with a UPF 50 sun protection. Pair them with a Columbia PFG Airgill Chill Zero Long Sleeved Fishing Shirt to keep you cool and comfortable in the heat.
A good pair of fishing sunglasses are worth their weight in gold on any fishing trip too and as well as fish spotting you also need protection for your eyes from the flies you are casting, and from UV light.
The colour of lens you choose is down to personal preference, but for the conditions you are likely to face in the NT we recommend green mirror lenses and we like the Costa Del Mar models with 580 glass lenses for brilliant visual clarity. Carry a lens cleaner too.
Farlows’ Top Travel Tips
- If you are travelling in a boat always keep your reel in a neoprene pouch to protect it from damage
- Be very careful with rods they are easily broken by everything from the ceiling fan in the hotel, people falling on them in the boat to belligerent crocs that don’t like being prodded with the rod top
- Wash everything that has been near to saltwater with freshwater, this includes tackle, accessories, flies and lures
- Rinse clothing out in freshwater too – if you leave saltwater on them they will stay damp. For a week’s trip take two sets you can wear on alternate days, leaving a set to dry fully on its day off.
- Take plenty of sun cream and insect repellent. We recommend the ‘once a day’ sun protection that is also highly water resistant such as Simms SPF 30. Lip balm is another essential.
- Take a basic first aid kit and include Paracetamol, anti-histamine tablets, antiseptic cream, plasters and sterile wound dressings.
- Photocopy all travel documents including your passport and keep them in your luggage.
- Make sure you drink lots of fluids throughout the day – if you feel thirsty you are already dehydrated so get in the habit of drinking small amounts continuously.
- Listen to the guide’s advice – as well as finding the fish they also know how to catch them.
- Take time to enjoy the beauty – it really is a privilege to visit the Northern Territory
And finally, if you do catch that million dollar Barra – make sure you call in to see us!