Tackle and Angling Equipment for Sea Trout Fishing
One of the most frequently asked questions on the Towy is ‘what tackle do I need to fish for sea trout?’ (Called sewin in welsh.) Available on the market is a huge range of tackle, flies, rods, reels etc. which can be bewildering to the novice sea trout (sewin) angler. For those who are more experienced, the choice can still be difficult as the range of items on offer for these enigmatic fish can be quite vast. Listed below is what we recommend for the novice and the more experienced sea trout (sewin) angler.
First a suitable rod; there are various different rods on the market.
A 10’ to 10’6 rod is recommended with preference being the 10′. The line rating for this would be between 6-8 AFTM.
The rod should ideally be strong and have plenty of backbone so that when you hook into a good sea trout (sewin), you can bring the fish under control quickly, as in the dark this becomes more difficult. You could also be casting flies up to 3 inches in the night time as well.
Next we look at a suitable reel. Again there is a lot of choice on the market and it is essential you have a reel that can take your fly line and at least 100 yds of backing; these fish can make very long and powerful runs. A large arbour reel is probably the most popular. A sufficient drag system this will allow you to slow down any long runs and put more pressure on the fish .
We would recommend 3-4 different types of fly line. We often have to change fly lines when fishing at night: a floating line, an intermediate (say 1.5-2.5 inch per second),and also a type 3 sink tip. There are also areas where a full sinking line can also be used. This advice is specific to fishing the Towy and the set up we use and may differ when fishing on other rivers.
As for leader material, with a lot of sea trout on the Towy at over 10lbs we recommend not dropping below 12lbs; this is also sufficient at night when turning over big tubes and surface lures.
Now for probably the most contentious subject within our fishing world; the choice of fly. Everybody has a favourite fly, a favourite colour pattern and so on. Most flies we use at night tend to be a variation of the black and silver images (see below) and are hand tied by local anglers with years of experience and are all proven patterns. These can be all be purchased at the river bank from your ghillie. If you are looking for a specific fly please let us know in advance so we can ensure that what you require is available.
An adequate net; one that can be carried comfortably and, when needed, brought into action quickly and conveniently. It can be a folding net or one fixed on a handle slung over one’s back, as long as it can be operated simply and reliably with one hand. You might be wading quite a lot at night so you might need this to hand very quickly. What are becoming more popular are the weigh nets, these are excellent with catch and release.
A good torch is a life saver; it will be used to tie your flies on and sort out those inevitable tangles. LED head torches are the most popular. Please note, it should be emphasised here that the use of a torch on the riverbank is generally frowned upon, particularly if shone directly upon a pool. The use of a torch should be kept to a minimum, used only for essential tasks like retrying a cast or changing a fly and we advise you to turn to the other bank whilst doing this.
Nobody wants to get wet and chest waders give you virtually unhindered access when fishing. They can be used to fish deeply but are also a good thing if the ground is wet and you are giving a pool a rest or changing flies. Neoprene waders provide good insulation but can get very warm on a summer’s night. Breathable waders are more comfortable as these allow your body to breath.
Temperatures may vary from night to night so warm clothes and possibly a flask of tea or coffee and some general snacks to keep you going are a necessity as you could be out until the early hours of the morning.
Tight lines and good luck.
Spinning is also permitted (but not worming or shrimping), but only at high or coloured water. The Ghillie will advise you if this is so.