Mission South America: The Gear

Mission South America: The Gear

In anticipation of the upcoming South American odyssey, I’ve spent a fair amount of time contemplating the choice of fishing gear that will taken on the road.

It has not been an easy task deciding and refining the choices. A few serious limitations made the the basics easier enough to decide; living out of a backpack for almost five months means that space is a rare and valuable commodity which makes taking my favourite two piece rods along on the trip simply out of the question.

So it was decided that two rods and two reels with spare spools would be the limit. Flies shall be carried in Ziplock bags and transferred to the single flybox as needed. A floater and a sinker for each rod and a maximum of five leader material spools. And the rods needed to be four or five piece – obviously!

That was relatively easy. The hard part was deciding on the right rods. Much umming and ahhing has been spend over this topic but I eventually decided that a #3 and #7 would be the best combination to cover the broad spectrum of fishing that is to done. I also have the option of tossing in my #5 too – just to fill the gap!

While the dream of a trophy tarpon is extremely unlikely to be realised on #7, the rod will cover the majority of the salt water situations I may encounter in Colombia (this, in my mind, includes Permit, Bonefish and smaller Tarpon although I may not get a shot at any – I’m not really sure what I’m going to find and information is a little like hen’s teeth!)  The #7 will be perfect to deal with almost all the Amazonian freshwater species I may do battle with over the four-and-a-bit months. And this promises to be a fair few which include Peacock Bass, Golden Dorado, Piranha, Payara, Pirarucu (smaller species), Tambaqui, Jacunda, Traira and the tarpon-like Sardinata – but more on these later.

The #3 and #5 will be used for the stream, river and lake fishing in Patagonia when chasing the Rainbows and Browns that have made that region so famous.

As for reels, my choice is pretty simple. The #3 gets an old Okuma Sierra that has survived the test of time in my fishing life – ten years of great service from the Cape Streams to mullet in Knysna and still going strong. The #5, should it go for a ride, will to be matched to my Predator #4/5 and the #7 to my Predator #7/8/9. I’ve been a firm believer in Anton Pentz’s Predator reels since my first Seychelles mission in 2001. They’re solid, salt water proof (well as salt water proof as any any reel can be) and sport a very smooth and reliable drag. The choice for me is a no-brainer! All the reels have spare spools and will be sporting floaters and sinkers.

The rods, after much hunting, comparing and budgeting have been chosen. The #3 will be a 9′ Sage VT2 and the #7 a 9′ Scott x2s. The #5 is a Jim Teeny TFO that has seen some serious action in its years!

Here’s to bending them all in the Latin Latitudes!

Three fish stoppers, clean, shiny and proven.
The VT2, ready for adventure…
The ever classy Miss Scott #7… she got tested on a pair of bonefish and handled it easily!
Tried and tested, ready for another round.

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