Rompin Fishing – What to Bring?

Though saltwater fishing in Kuala Rompin normally means catching the speedy sailfish, there are many other fishes in the South China Sea (pun intended).

The checklist below act as a quick general guide on what to pack for a fishing trip to Kuala Rompin Malaysia.

Related post: Other target species in Rompin

Sailfish Gear

  • Fishing rods 15kg – 23kg (30lb – 50lb) for live baiting
  • Popping rods PE3-6 for poppers and stickbaits
  • Reels to match above rods (smooth drag very important)
  • Braid mainline 30 – 50lb (250m – 300m capacity)
  • Fluorocarbon or mono leader 50 to 80 pound
  • Circle hooks size 5/0 – 7/0

Other Tackle

  • Sabiki jigs for catching baitfish – size 6 to 8
  • Hooks of various sizes if bottom fishing
  • Weights/sinkers from sizes 3 to 8
  • PE1-2 jigging rods with micro jig and butterfly jigs up to 20g – 60g if jigging
  • Wire trace – 20 or 30 pound – if targeting toothy fish such as spanish mackerel
  • Squid jigs. Pink-Orange works most times (season is around July-Sept)

Fly Fishing in Rompin

  • 12 – 14 weight recommended for sailfish
  • Weight Forward floating or sink tip lines
  • Plenty of backing
  • Tandem hook / tube flies
  • Spare rod and lines

Related post: Fly fishing for sailfish in Fly Fishing Asia

Personal Belongings

  • Slippers/sandals/thongs for wearing on boat
  • Sunscreen 
  • Comfortable quick-dry clothings (it’s hot and humid)
  • Cap/hat
  • Cameras
  • Adapters for chargers (3-pin)
  • Sunglasses 


  • Seasickness pills or other personal medication
  • Face mask / headwear such as Buffs, bandana or fishing neck gaiters
  • Sun gloves

Casting lures and popping for sailfish

When the sailfish bite is hot, it could be your opportunity for some top-water action. Bring poppers and pencil/hard-bodied stickbait. Hook-up rates are better with single hooks or twin hook compared to trebles. Much safer, too.

Our guests have also caught sailfish using swimbait soft plastics.

Please avoid using fibers in place of hooks, it’s bad for the fish. Not to mention, very unsportsmanlike.

Water depth

The coastal waters off Kuala Rompin is generally not deep. Mostly around 20 – 30 metres (60 – 100 feet).

Rompin Boats

Most charter boats are half-cabin type custom fiber boats in the 30 – 40 foot length range. They are comfortable and most are pretty fast with twin 150hp to 350hp outboards motors.

The boats are primarily half-cabin type like what we have (please confirm with your charter booking if booking other than us) and they offer plenty of shade from the hot sun.

Still, we strongly recommend generous use of sunscreen for protection.

How many rods to bring?

If there will be many anglers on board, cooperation will be essential so as to fish comfortably. 2 rods setup per angler will normally suffice.

One medium-heavy tackle and one light-medium setup. Or even only one medium setup will do if you’re fishing with a group of friends as I’ve observed there are always plenty of rods & reels lying idle around the boat ready for action.


The list above is not conclusive and acts only as a general guide for the uninitiated. Tackle (usually only rod and reel) may also be included into your fishing package, so do check.

It is good practise to always check with your fishing guide or captain as they will have up-to-date current news on what is biting!

Finally, always practise catch and release. Billfish are catch and release only.

We strongly encourage leaving billfish in the water for photography. Bringing these magnificent fish out of the water and into the boat for photography increases their mortality rate.

Good luck and happy fishing!

Leave a comment below to let us know what you think or if you feel something is missing from the list above.

16 thoughts on “Rompin Fishing – What to Bring?”

  1. Hear Ye! Hear Ye! Non coorperative angler/s will be thrown overboard. I hope the team and I repeat TEAM as we need to work as ONE understands the meaning of 2 rods/setup per person. I don’t want to get my eye almost poked again by someone’s unnecessary, unused and idling rod this trip! Like diving or any other adventure sports, the aim to go, do the sport and return home safely. No Bill Dances on the boat please. If you hook your ****, I am afraid you are on your own. Sorry, I don’t do weeny and I am sure the others don’t either.

  2. Glad to have you on board.
    Having a safety first attitude and being a considerate fisher will make many more fun trips possible.

  3. Alamak! I was hoping for an Alien Invasion but I kena Asian Invasion of the In-law kind. The wave of attack will reach my home tomorrow. I am already nauseous thinking about it. I have to sit down and take a Novamin now. Gulp! Can someone suggest a budget hotel at Rompin? Looks like I have to check in before our schedule fishing trip to get sufficient shut eyes. Real bummer, toadfish was a better suprise.

    1. sportfishin' asia

      There are many reels that you can use as long as they have a smooth drag and can spool at least 300 yards of line. 30 to 40 pound test lines are most suitable for Sailfish although you can go lighter. Too light a setup may extend the fight unnecessarily and stress the fish too much which is bad for catch and release. Match your rod to the line used and reel.

      Tight lines and happy fishing!

  4. I am an Expat living in KL. I have had some great trips to Rompin on the Sail Fish. Now I wish to invest in my own gear.

    Please can someone recomend a 20kg rod e.g. Daiwa Saltiga or Shimano? I have a Xtoga 25kg. any thoughts on this brand as I have not heard of it.

    Any advice on the colour and brand of POPPERS OR Jiggs favoured at Rompin would also be a help.

    Advice appreciated!

    1. Congratulations on investing in your own gear.

      I find rod makes a very personal choice as many rods will work for Rompin. You did not mention the reel you are using. You’ll need to match the rod to that, too.

      Xzoga is the product of a Malaysian company, The Season Tackle, that also produces fishing rods and other products under the Lemax and recently launched Gawas brands.

      I have not noticed any brand of poppers or jigs that consistently out-catches another (it’s tough hooking a sail with popper! Hope you have better success).

      I usually carry jigs within the colour range of silver/chrome, chartreuse, pink.

      Happy fishing and thanks for reading the blog.

      1. Thank you. for Reel I am using a SHIMANO THUNNUS C14 12000 Baitrunner loaded with 40lb braid (400 yards). it is the rod where I am struggling. I am looking for a 6-88feet fast taper rod in 30-40lb glass. I have a Ztoga TAKA PI-7710 P10G with a max Drag of 25kg. I worry the rod maybe too heavy?? aby advice on type of rod would be appreciated!

        1. You’re welcome. We have a Shimano Baitrunner 8000D nicely mated to a 5′ 8″ PE 3 to PE6 Daiwa Monster Mesh M582MHS-SIC.

          Check out the video below of the setup in Rompin and recently it took on some Giant Mekong Catfish without any issue (will be uploading that video soon).

          You may want to consider something similar. Hope that helps.

          1. Thank you. Very helpful. Can you recomend any guides who can arrange day GT fishing to Pulau Jarak and also Sandykan?

          2. For Jarak you can try GT Chaser but it is not a day charter and the boat’s pretty big.

            There is a speedboat day charter to Pulau Jarak available but I have not personally tried them.

            Do you mean Sandakan? We’re planning something in that area or Tawau, again will not recommend until we’ve tried them.

  5. Pingback: Hotspot hotshot: Kuala Rompin, the Sailfish Capital

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