Peacock Bass Gear
Fishing Rods and Reels - Acute Angling provides properly balanced spinning and baitcasting gear for its clients, at no charge, in each of its operations. It is not necessary to bring your own gear. All of operations have fishery specific, quality equipment on hand for your use. That being said, many anglers love their personal fishing toys and hate to leave them behind. We also realize that anglers are often more skillfull with gear that they are accustomed to. With that being said, anglers are perfectly welcome to bring their own rods and reels.
If you're bringing your own, a good rule of thumb is that if someone who’s never been to the Amazon recommends it for peacock bass, it’s probably too heavy. Tackle shops unfailing make this mistake. Because of this fish’s legitimately well-deserved reputation, the knee-jerk reaction is that it must be fought with extra heavy gear. Not a good idea! Anglers will quickly discover that peacock bass fishing means a long day of casting lures, making fast, aggressive retrieves and fighting numerous pugnacious fish. After cast number 200, or retrieve number 350, heavy gear will begin to take its toll on anyone.
Peacock bass gear should be tailored to the size of the lure thrown, not the reputation of the fish pursued. Ranging from ½ to over 2 ounces, the principle lure types demand a broad range of tackle capability. Anglers often ask, "Which is better for peacocks, spinners or baitcasters?" The answer is both. Each type can perform satisfactorily alone, but a mix is even better. Casting accuracy is important for successfully catching peacock bass in the structure they frequent. If you're comfortable and skillful with both types, you can truly tailor your tackle to your pattern and presentation. Our best recommendations are as follows;
If you’re bringing your own gear, we recommend quality 3 piece pack rods such as those available from G. Loomis or St. Croix. One piece rods are a nightmare to transport on international and charter flights. Two rods will serve the purpose. Three will fill just about all likely applications. With reels, quality is important. Bring something that will hold up under a week’s worth of abusive use. Stay as small and light as possible and select for fast retrieves.
Most necessary – Jig Rig - A Medium-Light, six to seven foot, fast action spinning rod with a line rating of 6-12 pound test and a lure capacity of 1/8-3/4 ounce. Pair it with a lightweight, fast retrieve (6.4:1 or better) spinning reel (Shimano 2500 size) loaded with 30 pound test braided line (mono just won't work well here). You can cast 1/2 oz. jigs a mile and reel them in all day long. Yes, we're exceeding the rod’s line rating, but hopefully, you're setting your drag carefully.
Most necessary – Chopper Rig – A Medium-Heavy 6 and 3/4 foot (or shorter), fast action baitcasting rod coupled with a quality casting reel (Shimano Curado 200 or 300 size) with the fastest possible retrieve (7.0:1 or better). This outfit is designed to sling big surface prop baits with ease and accuracy. Use a rod with a line rating of 10 to 30 pounds and a lure capacity of ½ to 2 ounce. Load this rig with 65 pound test braided line and you're ready to probe tight cover, brush and logs with big woodchoppers or riprollers.
Optional addition - A stiff, seven foot medium baitcasting rod with a supple, fast action tip, a line rating of 8-17 pounds and a lure capacity of ¼ to 1 ounce is fine. Mount a lightweight, fast retrieve (7.0:1 or better) casting reel with 50 pound test braided line. This gives you a light but tough rig, perfect for fishing smaller stick baits and swimming plugs.
Line - Peacock bass fishing in the Amazon requires braided line. Peacock's tough mouths call for a solid, stretch-free hookset. Great tensile strength is necessary to withstand their violent strikes. The need for casting accuracy demands a thin, light, flexible line. Monofilament's characteristics just do not serve this fishery. Even if you've never used braid before, don't worry, our guides know the knots and how to use the line. You'll quickly become comfortable.
Braid Options - For spinning tackle, we recommend a quality thin braid such as Power Pro. Use at least 30 lb. test for medium and light gear. Lines of at least 50 lb. test are appropriate for your heavier gear. For baitcasting gear, a heavier test thin braid (50 or 65 lb. test Power Pro) is recommended . These will prove to be more resistant to backlashes and "digging in". A hint for new braid users. When tying your line onto your reel's arbor, place a small piece of electrical tape over the first turn of line. Subsequent wraps will dig into the tape and help to anchor the braid firmly onto the arbor. This will prevent the line from spinning on the spool and will assure that your drag works properly. Don't overdo line strength. Thicker line makes casting more difficult and shortens casting distance.
A Warning - Despite their high tensile strength, even these powerful lines will not allow you to out-muscle a peacock. Their explosive initial bursts will break these strong braids like sewing thread if your drag is not properly set. Even if your line survives the initial onslaught, something else is bound to give. Hooks will straighten, rods may explode or reels may disintegrate. Peacock bass just cannot be "horsed". Use a properly set drag (you must be readily able to manually pull out line) and use your angling skills to lead or sweep fish away from structure and slowly and steadily tire them out.
Traveling Light - Be judicious with your tackle selections. All charter operators have a 44 lb. (20 Kilo) weight limit.Floatplanes are limited to 33 lbs.
Where to Buy - All of the individual items recommended here, as well as complete destination specific packages are available at www.Tackle-box.net or call 866 832-2987 or 866 431-1668 for assistance. Lower priced or higher value alternatives are also available.
ADDITIONAL EQUIPMENT RECOMMENDATIONS -- If you do elect to purchase and bring your own gear, be aware that fishing tackle prices can range from the sublime to the ridiculous. Although for the most part you tend to get what you pay for, it isn't always necessary to pay for the absolute best. Sometimes, 'pretty-good' will suffice. With that in mind, please consider our tackle recommendations and checklists with an eye toward your own budget. A Bogagrip costs about $150 dollars. You don't have to buy one if the device will adversely affect your budget. Your guide will have one and can handle your fish for you. Similarly, a decent rod and reel combo can be bought for $200, a good one for $400 and the latest and greatest high tech rig for $1000. They will all catch peacock bass. Your own skill and experience is the single biggest factor in the effectiveness of any one brand over another. In short, don't spend more on tackle than you are comfortable with. By the same token, many anglers love trips like this just because they provide a good excuse to buy fancy new toys!
Whatever you bring or buy for your trip, some components shouldn't be scrimped on. Good quality line is important. Get a good selection of the recommended lures and upgrade the hooks and split rings. Whatever reel(s) you bring, make sure that the drags are smooth and effective.
The tackle mentioned above is what we consider to be the optimum type for the conditions experienced. If you already have something similar, use it. Keep in mind that some tackle used on largemouth bass may be too light for most jungle angling conditions (this includes lines, plugs/flies and especially hooks). Our recommendations are a concise combination of opinions and experience from guides and professionals who have spent a great deal of time fishing throughout the Amazon. Special tackle suggestions should be taken into consideration to ensure a hassle-free trip (remember, the nearest tackle store is about 3,000 miles away from camp).
All of these products and many others are available directly AcuteAngling's Tackle-box.