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Tackle advice


RODS: The correct choice of rod is crucial if you are going to make the most of your trip to the Ponoi. We recommend a medium action double-handed rod of 14 or 15 feet matched to a 9- or 10-weight line, or if you prefer a single-handed rod, a 9- or 10-foot rod for an 8- or 9-weight line would be best. Shorter double handers of 12 and 13 feet are great fun in the summer with lighter flies but will be weak in the wind so should not be the only choice of rod. If you have never used a double-handed rod before, casting lessons are highly recommended, although the guides are all experienced instructors.

REELS: It is important to have a large capacity reel capable of holding 30-40 yards (approx. 30-40 m) of fly line and at least 150 yards (140 m) of backing. A reliable drag system is essential. All joins (e.g. backing to fly line) should be checked before you leave home.

FLY LINES: For the first two or three weeks and the last two weeks of the season, fast sinking tips (such as Rio or Teeny lines) or full sinking lines are very useful, although often fish are still caught on the floating line. For the rest of the season, a floating line is most commonly used but please ensure you take a standard sink-tip in case of unusual weather which can occur during any week.

FLIES: Please remember that barbs must always be pinched down. A selection of the following hairwing flies tied on double hooks should be the foundation of your fly collection for the Ponoi. Sizes 2, 4 and 6 are the most useful with a few 8s and 10s in case you encounter a spell of hot weather.

There is a full range of flies available in camp at a reasonable price. We would recommend that rather than buying the wrong flies before you leave home you should wait until reaching camp and buy the right ones for the prevailing conditions. In our experience, guests are not necessarily sold the wrong flies by their fly shop, but conditions turn out to be inappropriate for the flies purchased.

Flies, which have had good results in the past include Ally's Shrimp, Thunder and Lightning, Mickey Finn, Yellow Ally, Willie Gunn, Green Highlander, Hairy Mary and Ponoi Reds or Greens. Bombers and Muddlers tied on single 4s and 2s are used with some success from mid-June to mid-September.

Early and late in the season tube flies are highly recommended. These should be between 1 and 2 inches (2.5-5 cm) on brass, copper or aluminium tubes. The most reliable patterns are Mickey Finns, Willie Gunns and Ally's Shrimps.


Wader repair kit
2 pairs of Polaroid glasses
Waterproof boat bag
Leader material (12 lb and 15 lb)
Hook hone
Small needlenose pliers
Dry fly flotant
Tape measure


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