Malaysia 2009 – Tackle Update

Tackle Update – June.09

It’s now well into the 2009 Kuala Rompin Sailfish season. I’ve got two trips booked for the peak period:


(1) 19-20th September

(2) 7-8th  November


I’m particularly fired-up for the Nov. trip – this should be at the very peak of Sailfish numbers – I’m hoping to get 15+ fish per day on this trip. The risk for this trip is that it’s right before the winter monsoon. If it comes early, then the trip will be cancelled. But hey, no risk, no reward! The problem is, though, that I can’t wait until September. I’m going to make a scouting trip (hopefully) sometime during July, or possible August.


In preparation for this impending game fishing activity, I’ve made an upgrade to my armoury, driven by the desire to fish lighter. This has been inspired by a number of factors:


(1)   Personal experience to-date with sailfish at Rompin (this included taking sailfish to 40kg on 30lb class spinning & trolling tackle)

(2)   Lighter tackle (ie lighter rod-reel combos) required to help my children, particularly my youngest, to handle a sailfish.

(3)   An article in Sports Fishing magazine (March 2009)  describing catching sails at Rompin using 20lb line class and reels as small as Trinidad 14 reels!!


So ….. I’ve made the following additions & upgrades to my kit for the coming campaign:


Rod: Lemax Sea Game Jigging Rod 

Length: 6’3”

Line Class: 12-30lb

I picked this up at Fish Hunters tackle shop in KL. This is a nice, light, carbon fibre stick fitted with Fuji rings and trigger grip reel seat. I’m going to pair this with my antique Abu Ambassadeur 7000 spooled with 20lb braid, and alternate between fishing a deep live-bait and jigging metals for Tenggiri. I’m interested to see if the drag will hold-up (it’s a little snatchy), & if it will handle a sailfish if we get an incidental hook-up.


Rod: Shimano Tallus Blue Water West Coast Conventional Rod

Length: 6’6”

Line Class: 20-40lb

Lightweight carbon fiber blank. Given the line class rating, this was going to be my “heavy” sailfish rod. However, with it’s medium action & light fittings, I’m going to pair this with a Daiwa Saltist 40A reel spooled with 30lb line. I’m looking forward to testing this combo out – it’s light, but should be great on the sails.


Rod: Shimano Tallus Blue Water Conventional Rod

Length: 6’6”

Line Class: 15-30lb

This rod will be my “heavy” set-up: Slick butt & heavy Fuji Hardloy guides. I’ll pair this with a Shimano Tekota 700 spooled with 40lb braid (I may change this out to mono after field testing). This kit will come into it’s own later in the season when the sails will come in thick and fast, shorter fight times will increase the daily tally!


Shimano Tallus Rods


Reel: Daiwa Saltist 40A conventional level-wind reel

I’m just itching to try this reel out. It has all metal construction, with level-wind and star drag. I’ve spooled it with c.350m of 30lb braid with mono backing. This reel is light, but with a stated maximum drag of 22lbs! I’ve got the level-wind version to make it easier for my young sons to use. Once concern – the level-wind slot is only 3mm wide & I like to use a 65lb mono (Suffix, low diameter) wind-on leader and thought that my usual uni-uni knot connection might catch. It doesn’t seem to be a problem, but to be on the safe side I’ve tied an Albright Special connection – this is very slim & goes though the level-wind without any effort.

The sailfish armoury ….

I’ve also upgraded my old 20-40lb class Penn Senator rod. I got the excellent Mr.Chong at Sabre Tackle in Kulala Lumpur to replace the standard (crap quality) metal guides that came with this rod with Fuji Hardloy guides. Excellent value at c.£18.00 for the job! I’ll continue using this rod with my Penn 320LD reel spooled with 30lb braid. Finally, I’ve added a power handle to my Abu 7000; this should make it easier to use for game fishing.


Let the battle commence ……………..!!!

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