This post was originally posted on 7 September 2010 and was updated on 7 June 2018.
Though saltwater fishing off Kuala Rompin normally means catching the speedy sailfish, there are many other fishes in the South China Sea (pun intended). This checklist below acts as a quick general guide on what to pack into your tackle box for a fishing trip at the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia.
Sailfish Spinning or Conventional Gear
- Fishing rod of 15kg – 23kg (30lb – 50lb)
- Reels with smooth drag (very important)
- Fluorocarbon or mono leader 50 to 80 pound (5 metres or 15 feet per terminal tackle)
- Recommended mainline 15kg (30lb) and above – 300 yards/meters on spool
- Circle hooks size 5/0 – 8/0
- Sabiki jigs for catching baitfish – size 6, 8, 10
- Hooks of various sizes for bottom fishing
- Weights/sinkers from sizes 4 to 7
- Poppers and stickbaits for casting
- Micro jig and butterfly jigs up to 20g – 60g if you fancy some jigging action
- Wire trace – 20 or 30 pound – for toothy fish such as spanish mackerel
- Squid jigs. Pink-Orange works most times (season is around July-Sept)
- 12 – 14 weight recommended
- Weight Forward floating or sink tip lines
- Plenty of backing
- Tandem hook flies
- Spare rod and lines
Related post: Fly fishing for sailfish in Fly Fishing Asia
Personal items, such as…
- Slippers/sandals/thongs for wearing on boat
- Comfortable quick-dry clothings
- Adapters for chargers (3-pin)
- Seasickness pills or other personal medication
- Face (sun) mask
- 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 hook or twin hook compared to trebles. Much safer, too.
Please avoid using fibers in place of hooks, it’s bad for the fish. Not to mention, very unsportsmanlike.
The coastal waters off Kuala Rompin is generally not deep. Mostly around 20 – 30 metres (60 – 100 feet).
Boats of Rompin
Most charter boats are half-cabin type custom fiber boats that average 30 – 40 foot length. They are comfortable and fast enough.
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. You are not a fish-monger, so take only what you personally can consume immediately. Good luck and happy fishing!
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Leave a comment below to let us know what you think or if you feel something is missing from the list above.