Tried and Trusted Terminal Tackle
Terminal tackle is the stuff at the pointy end of your fishing gear. Hooks, swivels, lines, leaders and clips. Over the years I've tried many different brands of all types and here is my selection of trusted terminal tackle. This is gear that I know won't let me down when the fish of a lifetime smashes the lure or grabs a bait.
I use swivels in my livebait rigs, its important to have a good quality swivel because the fish can be quite large and extended fights can put alot of stress on swivels. Shogun once again is the only brand I trust in particular the black crane or rolling swivels. They can be quite cheap if purchased in packs of 50. Available from the The Tackle Warehouse or BCF.
Brand to avoid: Surecatch, Seahorse, any elcheapo brand.
Good quality hooks are needed for livebaiting as they are at the pointy end of your rigs. Firstly they should be sharp and retain that sharpness over a number of fish and secondly they should be strong yet thin enough to have good penetration. Over the years I've tried a number of brands but now the only brand I'll use is Gamakatsu. In particular the Octopus Black in sizes 4/0 -8/0. I'll also use the Octopus Red but they do not hold the sharpness as well as the blacks, they also lose the red colouring after a few fish. Prices are $29.95 per box of 50. Available from most tackle stores.
I've tried a number of leader materials over the years and went through a period of heavy testing early in 2010. I tried flourocarbons and monofilaments and eventually settled on Famell Super Shock Leader and now its the only leader material I use in the 20 -50lb range. The only bad aspect about it is that I haven't been able to find any of it in the lighter or heavier sizes. So whats so good about it? Firstly and most importantly it ties a superb knot, and secondly its very hard wearing and abrasion resistant. I use it for both lure fishing and live baiting leaders. Available in 20, 30, 40 and 50lb sizes for around $29.95 per 100m spool. BCF is the only store that stocks it.
Brands to avoid: Berkley Vanish
Finding good quality trebles has always been difficult. A few years ago Owner launched a new range of trebles called the Cultiva Stinger. The silver ST-56 is my preferred strength as it is the perfect match between strength and penetration. Avoid the black stingers as they lack the strength needed for seaway fishing. The ST-66 is a heavier gauge but the retention rate is poor due to the thickness of the hooks. The ST-46 are okay for smaller and larger lures but avoid in the mid sizes. Australian shops stock a limited range so most of mine are sourced from online japanese websites, notably Samurai Tackle and Oriental Angler . Both now stock them in barbless variations as well. Special mention goes to Gamakatsu as well, although you need to pick the style carefully.
Brands to avoid: Just about any other brand on the market.
There are 3 brands of braid that I use, Firstly I use Stren Sonic Braid for casting work, its very limp though so should be avoided for plastic use as it has a tendency to tip wrap jigging plastics on the bottom. It casts like a dream though and is ideal for working the washes or casting slugs to working fish. Only available from 10lb to 50lb sizes. Unlike other braids it doesn't fray after extended use. Secondly I use Fins PRT for plastic or light work as its a bit stiffer, still a good quality braid I can trust and available in lighter breaking strains. Does fray after extended use though. Thirdly I use Bionic Braid for livebait work mainly because its one of the cheaper good quality braids. In the 20 -50lb sizes it works fine. I always use hi vis colours such as yellow because being able to see what your line is doing at all times is very important. PE Braids are all the rage at the moment but the cost is prohibitive so I haven't tried any as yet. Stren Sonic is only available through BCF, Fins PRT and Bionic Braid can be found in most tackle stores. Prices are around 30 dollars for 125m.
Brand to avoid: Stren Micro Fuse, Berkely Fireline Crystal.