Joe's Victoria Falls Fishing Safaris
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My favorite part of any fishing trip (other than being there) is seeking out and buying new fishing  gear!
In this section I am going to give some ideas as to what to buy/take on your trip. Most lodges will supply tackle, some charge,
some don’t but most of our clients take additional “weapons” to tackle the tiger and other species.

Please note some lodges include tackle in our packages, some don’t and hire gear to you at an extra cost. It is important to note that tackle choice for the Zambezi is massive and we cannot expect lodges/houseboats to have a full range of gear due to their proximity. Lodges will supply basic rods/reels and some lures.

We suggest that all clients take their own tackle so as not to be disappointed and to ensure they get a good crack at catching the most amount of fish. Tackle advice is available on our website and we will happily meet our Johannesburg clients at Mias Randburg.


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For fly fishing, a good nine weight fly rod is my personal choice, it can be any nine weight, but we prefer the SAGE SALT HD or SAGE X, these rods does the business. Always try and get a 4 piece fly rod, as today’s technology ensure that they are just as strong as a 2 piece rod, and it makes transporting your rods that much easier.

I recommend the following large arbor reels which should never let you down no matter the size fish: Abel, Ross, Galvin or Sage. Bullet proof fish stopping fly reels. It is relevant to know that any 9 weight reel you buy, should qualify for salt water fishing as well i.e. it must be treated against corrosion. If you are going to spend the money, rather get a reel that can be used for multiple conditions. You should take fast sinking, intermediate and floating line spare spools.


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Come April each year, I invade the numerous fly shops in and around Johannesburg as the Zambezi tigers-on-fly season is just about to begin! But there are so many choices to make - where to start?

Here my golden rule of thumb… Early morning fly fishing sessions; I prefer dark coloured flies: blacks, browns, dark reds etc. Then moving onto mid-day I bring out the exotic bright colours: greens, yellows, bright reds, red/white stripes, chartreuse pinks etc, you name it tigers should nail it.

The afternoon session we switch back to the dark colours again, the same rules apply as per the morning session. Any decent fishing shop will sell flies pre made up with piano wire leader. The leader is a critical part of the fly when targeting our Zambezi toothy critters, however some fishing mates are going naked and wireless…
All of the above flies seem to work quite well for predatory bream but casts must be made very close to the river bank and the fly must be allowed to sink before your retrieve. As a rule of thumb, the dirtier, less clear the water, the darker the fly pattern you use, and the faster and deeper the water the heavier the fly you use.

From a spinning and bait fishing point of view I recommend the OKUMA and
SENSATION PRO SERIESTM, simply brilliant!
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There is a HUGE selection of lures on the market. I am a great fan of the SENSATION PRO SERIESTM lures. Mix your collection to include shallow and deep runners with a variety of colours/shapes, you won’t go wrong.

Lures are also used for trolling and this method usually demands a shallow running lure to avoid hooking up on hidden underwater structures. Over the years I have added some lure variation to my tackle box: Copper Spoons, Rubbers (not the ones you are thinking about!), and jigs, are all proving to be irresistible for a hunting tiger.

On a recent fishing trip to Lake Kariba I picked up on a “new” Zimbabwean method. The Zimbo’s put some fresh fish fillet (sourced from local fishermen) on the back hook of a spoon.  I tried it ... devastating!

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There is only one "made up" spinning trace that I use and SENSATION PRO SERIESTM, the others are not just worth their salt. Talking of salt, the rule of thumb when using leaders is to use black or dark brown ONLY. Silver salt leaders just don't work on the Zambezi River, period! In terms of line go with either braid or conventional mono line - it’s your choice as either work well; 30lb breaking strain.


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1 x Okuma Cap Red
1x Rod/Reel/ Braid Combo Okuma Tiger Zambezi
1x Lure PST Tiger 1 SD6 Baby Tiger
1x Lure PST Tiger 1 SD6 Gold Fish
1x Lure PST Tiger 3 SD5 Gold Fish
1x Lure PST Tiger 3 SD5 Red Demon
1x Spoon Tiger Copper 24G
1x Wire Trace Tiger 30lb 30cm 3p/p
1x Reel Okuma B/Feed Ceymar CBXT-640
1x Rod SEN Tiger Tamer Travel 7’4’ Spin 3 Pc
1x Okuma Cap Red Fire
1x Braid Boss Slick 8x300m 30LB 0.19G
1x z1 SD6 Baby Tiger
1x Lure PST Tiger 1 SD6 Gold Fish
1x Lure PST Tiger 3 SD5 Gold Fish
1x Lure PST Tiger 3 SD5 Red Demon
1x Spoon Tiger PST 1 Copper 17G
1x Spoon Tiger PST 2 Copper 24G
1x Tools Braid Pro
1x Tools Longnose Pliers Offset X-Long
2x Wire Traces PST Tiger 30LB 30cm 3p/p
Most lodges will supply a good landing net, cooler box for beer and bait plus a guide that knows how to take that
“big knuckled” tiger pic that you have lusted after. I also take a finger shield for fly fishing and a beanie in winter!
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