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Is it ok to make and use your own rigs and is there anything recommended to bring?

Question:

Hi Stuart,

It’s Bob here from sunny England. The lads and I are really excited about our upcoming trip, and we wanted to ask you if it is ok for us to make and use our own rigs, and is there anything you recommend we bring? Also can we use our own reels loaded with braid? Finally, bait – again can we bring our own and any pointers to give us the edge?

Regards,
Bob.

Stuart’s answer:

Hi Bob,

Glad to hear you and the boys are looking forward to the trip. We are all looking forward to meeting you and hopefully getting you amongst some monsters. Sure, we welcome you bringing your own bits and making your own rigs. Sometimes people like you show us some new and better kit, and also it saves our precious stocks.

Due to the extreme weather here at certain times our bite alarms are always playing up, we try our hardest to keep them working and replace around 60 every year. If you have your own alarms it is well worth bringing them with you.

We recommend 60lb minimum hooklinks for pellet, maize and boilies etc, and 100lb minimum for fish and squid baits. The hooklinks we use and recommend are Gold Label or Catmaster tackle flat braid for pellet, boilies and maize etc, Kryston Ton-Up for fish baits etc. By bringing your own you can play around with the lengths of your rigs, whereas using ours you get the length we use to minimize waste, as tackle is precious over here. Fox Large Bolt Bubbles will definitely give you an edge for arapaima.

If you have a favourite hook pattern that is strong and sharp by all means bring them in 1/0 and 4/0 we recommend Mustad hooks 10829NP-BN Big Gun Bait in size 1, 1/0 and 3/0, but you must crush the barbs. All rigs and materials must be approved by us prior to casting out. As for braid, by all means use it, but we don’t load our reels with it, as for inexperienced anglers it is not good, due to having no stretch should a mistake be made. We will not allow under 80lb bs. As with the line you MUST use a rubbing strip for protecting our fish – at least a minimum of 30ins of plastic tubing.

Line… there is only one worth using in our opinion, and that is Gold label Pro-Tuf in 36lb bs. Bait, to be honest you cant better our own pellets and boilies, we also sell pop ups. We do not allow any outside fish baits to be bought in – all these must be our own for the fishes’ welfare, if you bring boilies they must be from a known brand name supplier in the original sealed packaging.
We recommend for your own use to bring the following items: light rain jacket, head torch, sun hat and sun cream and don’t forget the camera!

You also need a groundbait catapult with spare elastics as the sun degenerates the elastic in a few days, a large spomb plus a bait drill and fine baiting needle. If you wish to method float fish for Mekong catfish and Siamese carp bring some 80 or 100lb braid, as we don’t supply reels loaded with braid but are happy to fill one of our reels for you. Also a large cigar shaped pike or sea float.

Tackle-wise you do not really need anything, but the following will also give you a slight edge and allow you to tie and experiment with your own rigs: I recommend Fosters of Birmingham for all your tackle bits, they know the latest bits that are working here see their link on our web site: PVA string, 2mm sinking tube, tail rubbers/rig sleeves, XL sliding stops, Fox XL bolt bubbles, Catmaster tackle soft flat braid in 60lb +. Mustad hooks 10829NP-BN Big Gun Bait in size 1, 1/0 and 3/0, size 8 swivels, back leads and also a few 4oz or 5oz inline leads.

Hope that answers your questions. Any more, feel free to ask.

Best regards,
Stuart and the team.