TACKLE

Sea Angler (UK) - - Boat Angler -

As is usu­ally the case, the op­ti­mum tackle to use for thorn­back rays will be dic­tated by the ground you are fish­ing.

Given that the species is espe­cially com­mon through­out the lower reaches of es­tu­ar­ies and sand, mud and shin­gle banks, ar­eas that in­vari­ably are sub­jected to a fast run of tide, up­tid­ing is a pop­u­lar tech­nique.

Gen­er­ally, up­tid­ing rods must be ca­pa­ble of casting 4-8oz sinkers and your bait away from the boat, with the power to han­dle big fish in fast tides too. Match your rod with a casting mul­ti­plier, such as the Shi­mano To­rium 14 or Abu 6500/7000, or strong fixed-spool reel loaded with 18lb mono line.

In deeper water, fish­ing down­tide is also very ef­fec­tive. You may be able to get away with a 12lb-class rod, but strong tides of­ten re­quire a 20lb or 30lb-class ver­sion. Use a lever-drag mul­ti­plier, such as the Shi­mano Char­ter Spe­cial TR1000LD, loaded with 20lb braid. In places with stronger tide, you may need 30lb braid.

For the more ad­ven­tur­ous fish­ing in places like the Thames Es­tu­ary, it’s pos­si­ble to fish light, such as a 10-40g spin­ning rod and fixed-spool reel loaded with 20b braid for both up­tid­ing or down­tid­ing.

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