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Event Article

Tackling The Amazon - JIP's Tackle Report

Date: 3/2/11
Location: Barcelos, Brazil
Tackle Type: Rods, Reels, Apparel
Manufacturer: Various
Reviewer: JIP

By now youíve read all about our recent trip to the Amazon, fishing for Peacock bass and whatever other crazy toothy critters will bite in the Brazilian water. Now itís time for me to report back on the rods and reels that I personally used on this trip and how they fared against those highly aggressive peacock bass of the Amazon.


Fishing in Brazil for Amazona's Peacock Bass


The Tackle: Before you embark on a trip to the Amazon, you will receive many recommendations from friends, fellow anglers, online advice, and tackle shops on whatís the best tackle to bring with you. We of course brought a load of tackle down to the Amazon but have rooted through the ones that work and ones that do not. So before you spend thousands of dollars on the trip and travel thousands of miles into the Amazon, here is what I personally recommend in terms of rods and reels.


Proper tackle can make or break a trip in the Amazon


The Rod: Obviously this was my first trip to the Amazon and my first time catching Peacock bass. Recommendations that I received were to bring bass rods but only bring ones that are heavy powered with a fast action and rods that are medium-heavy and fast. And what I found was the original recommendation was right on but for me. I had one big bait class rod with me but didnít use it much because after half a day, it wore me down incredibly fast and I couldnít see ripping topwater wood choppers for over 10 hours each day for six days straight with that rod.


Peacock Bass are extremely aggressive from the time you set the hook to landing


My recommendations are to bring only medium-heavy rods with a fast action. I caught a few double digit Peacocks on these rods with no issues, and the lighter rod will help with less fatigue to your entire body while working lures and battling hard hitting and fighting peacocks of the Amazon river.


The fish hit hard and immediately dart away


The Reel: Your reel is perhaps, the most important part of the combination though each and every part is important when fishing for these tropical beasts; hooks, line, lure, etc. Your reel does not have to hold much line. I used only Sufix Performance Braid 65 lb in yellow, but other braided line with the same spec would be sufficient. My reels held approximately 100 yards of this line, but having more is better than less because sometimes you have to make that long cast, you need to have enough line to reach those spots or boils.


It's survival of the fittest in the Amazon, and you are in the same game when fishing these aggressive waters that hold multiple species of toothy fish. So make sure you have the right tackle


The drag, thatís very important when fishing down in the Amazon. You need an outstanding drag system thatís not only smooth but powerful. Some bass reels, even when you turned the drag to maximum pressure, will not stop a five pound Peacock. So I recommend having a drag reaching well into the upper teens at maximum pressure.


Ergonomics is another thing. After the first two days you will hear all anglers speak of the sore hands and having blisters from grasping the reel and handle knobs while working topwater lures all day long. Handle knobs that are large and smooth is important.


Even a Caiman will chomp down on your topwater lures


The last aspect to consider is speed versus power. Having a powerful reel to battle against these peacocks makes sense, but in practical applications, you cannot horse these fish like you can a largemouth bass, so power is sacrificed for speed, and when I say speed, Iím talking 7:1 or higher.


The reason why I recommend a high speed reel is that the Peacocks love to chase bait to the surface, and if you pay attention to those fleeing baitfish, they are darting away at an incredible speed covering a lot of distance. You need to match the catch and work your baits fast! This is especially true for topwater baits. You can get by with a slower reel for jigs and sub-surface lures, but even here, faster is better.


Weak tackle will fall victim to Peacock Bass


The Apparel: As much as the tackle is important on a trip like this, keeping yourself in tip-top shape and providing yourself protection is just as critical. From the other articles youíve seen each of us wearing protective gear to keep the sun exposure to a bare minimum, which is important if youíre fishing 6 days straight for 10+ hours per day. Below I will provide test results of the UPF rated shirts and hat I wore on this trip.

Next Section: Let's See the Tackle









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