By Luke Parsons
When it comes to limiting tackle selection for one of those last-minute trips that prioritises packing lite, the real conundrum is not always how many of your favourite lures you can cram into the smallest tackle box you own, it’s a case of which versatile outfit will I take that allows me to fish all the different technique and lures that I intend to use.
You ideally only want to take one outfit but you don’t want it to limit your options and capabilities.
This is generally the situation where you will reach for an ‘All Rounder’ outfit. A go-to combination of rod, reel and line that is a versatile as it is reliable and allows you to keep it as simple as possible to get the job done.
I have two outfits I reach for in this situation that are ideal for Murray Cod fishing, whether it be from the bank or from the boat.
Generally speaking the main attributes (alongside versatility) that needs to be prioritised in an all-round river combo will be manoeuvrability and efficiency. We need a rod that is long enough to allow the distance to hit the opposite bank but no so long that it can’t be weaved through a willow or an overhanging branch and allow us to deliver a tight back hand flick amongst that thick stuff that no one dares to touch. Accuracy is everything on the river! The high-speed reel is where the efficiency is maximised, the ability to whip the lure back to the rod tip and reposition or re-present it without wasting precious time or missing the opportunity will be key to creating more opportunities and converting them in to results. A high-speed reel also holds a huge advantage during the fight picking up line quickly in order to get the fish away from cover and out of trouble.
Rod- TD Commander 722XXHB GARGANAUT
The Garganaut is my perfect river rod. Featuring ‘X45’, the blank is versatile enough to let me make the most of a very broad spectrum of presentations, from finessing a frog across the top and slamming those hooks home to launching med/large swimbaits and ensuring the fish stay connected as they thrash around at the bank. This rod is light as a feather and is highly sensitive with the ‘X45’ technology really shinning through… literally and figuratively.
Reel- ZILLION TW HD 1520SHL 7.3:1
Castability and comfort with the high-speed advantage the Zillion stands out as a reel that eliminates hand fatigue while delivering a high level of performance in every aspect you could want in a river reel. A simple no brainer with this selection.
When it comes to the lake it’s real simple, I’m giant hunting! Swinging big and looking for an opportunity to tangle with trophy sized Murray cod means I need an outfit that can get the job done. Robust and reliable but more importantly a big emphasis on long distance castability and fighting power. Covering ground one cast at a time, maximising the drawing power of any presentation, while providing the muscle to put giants in the net.
Rod- TATULA 792XXH-SB
7’9” of swimbait launching power with the key feature being a long butt to directly convert leverage into distance. The Fuji PLS reel seat anchors the rod into your hand giving rock solid contact and grip leaving nothing to be desired when it comes to rod control and feedback. The Tatula’s ideal blank action coupled with a 15-24kg line rating means I’m not missing out when it comes to pulling power right when its needed.
Reel- TATULA 300HL 6.3:1
300 sized baitcast reels will probably always stand as the best size option for covering all impoundment basis. Not so big as to increase hand fatigue but big enough to house the larger spool diameter that will allow more line out at lower revolutions during the cast. High line capacity, smooth gearing and consistently reliable drag (13kg) rolled into a palmable slick shape and design is what we’ve grown to love about the Tatula range of reels.
Line/Leader- 50lb J-braid Grand/60lb J-Thread
This line leader combination is a consistent staple across all my set ups in all settings, with one simple variant being switching out the fluorocarbon leader for a monofilament option for any topwater presentations in order to utilise its floating properties as an advantage. Doubtless reliability and smooth performance, add in a rock-solid FG knot and we are golden.