01 Jun 2022 | Fishing

What do I need to catch a Barra?

What do I need to catch a Barra? image

Firstly lets talk about your outfit, no I don’t mean your double pluggers and footy shorts you are probably sitting in, we are talking about your Rod & Reel combo. Or if you don’t have a Rod and Reel yet and are fresh to the game then pay attention!

There are 2 main types of Rod & Reel combo’s:

Firstly we have the Spinning Reel combo more commonly known as the Egg Beater. This Combo is something that most people find very easy to use, it rarely gets tangled and is something that you can pick and use without any trouble. It’s good for lure fishing and live baiting.

The Second one is known as the Bait caster or overhead. These can be a little bit tricky to master, they can easily end up in a mess (birds nest) if you are not using them correctly. Although they are harder to use, they are the preferred outfit used by most Territory fisho’s. They are lighter in your hand, and more accurate than a spinning combo. It’s primary use is for casting or Trolling lures. With the right information you can easily use of these reels without getting yourself into too much of a mess.

There are also 2 main types of Rods to go with your combo:

The first is a “Glass” rod. These are typically more durable, heavier, cheaper and are the preferred rod for someone who is just starting out.

The second is a “graphite” rod. These are more sensitive, you can cast further, more expensive, lighter and are all round a much better rod to use for fishing.

You might ask well why even bother with a “glass” rod. Well, the answer is durability and breakability! I always describe to customers that a glass rod can be dragged behind your Landcruiser then still used to land a 100cm barra! A “Graphite” rod on the other hand will break in the blink of an eye if not used correctly. A glass rod is something that can be transported with minimal protection so its ideal for people who are travelling.

Length and weight of the rod. We generally run anything from 5’6” to 7ft with a weight of about 8kg. It all depends on you and your preference, if you are new to fishing then we would discuss what would be the best option of you. You can also get the rods in sectional pieces (2 or 3 piece) to make it easier for travelling.

One thing we need to discuss is your budget and the costs of each style. The most expensive glass rod you can get is about $110, where as a graphite rod generally starts at $150. So, when you purchase a pre made combo in store anything under $200 will most likely be a glass rod or a composite (mix of glass and graphite). You must remember when buying fishing gear, it’s like anything – price determines longevity. The more you spend the longer it will last. So be sure to keep your expectations real, a $200 combo would last you maybe 2 years at most, maybe less if you used heavily in the salt, maybe longer if only used in fresh water. If you are travelling and want to spend as little as possible then you can easily pick up a combo for $100. Just remember you get what you pay for.

So lets sum all that up – these are the questions I would ask you if you entered our fishing store to determine what combo you would like:

Spinning or Bait cast? Glass or Graphite? Sectional rod? Budget?

After reading this hopefully you’ll be able to answer those and at least be a little bit informed about what you are purchasing and why.

Now that you have decided what rod and reel you are going to purchase, we need to discuss the line and tackle to go with it. For Barramundi we generally recommend a minimum of 20lb braid, ideally you would want 30lb braid with a 50 – 60lb monofilament leader.

This leads us into our next topic which is leader or wire trace? When you hook a Barramundi, the battle is generally that violent that they can get the line wrapped around their gills or a snag which would cut through braid very easily. So, to prevent this from happening we use a leader or wire trace between the braid and your lure. Wire traces come in a pack that are premade with a swivel on one end and a clip for your lure on the other. These are ideal for someone who doesn’t want to learn how to tie mono leader to braid. The other option is monofilament leader which is clear and needs to be tied to your braid with a special knot. We have a video here that will help you master that knot. We would recommend using the Mono leader as its clear and maybe the difference between a barra biting your lure or not. The wire trace is not ideal as it is obvious in front of the lure. When using a mono leader NO swivel is required. Its Braid to leader then leader direct to lure, you may want to use a clip so that when you want to change your lure quickly it can be done without having to cut the leader. If you change your lure often you will find that you will need to retie your leader a lot due to it getting shorter each time.

Pretty much that’s the basic of what you need before you tie your lure on.

The choices of lures are endless! We have a wall that’s 30 meters long with over 500 different lures on it! It can be overwhelming. But let me try and give you some direction on lures. In my opinion you can’t go wrong with a good old packet of 3inch or 4inch paddle tail soft plastics for $10. There’s usually about 6 in a pack so they are great value for money, and you aren’t heart broken when one of the kids throws it into a tree or you get snagged on the bottom and must break it off. Another essential to have with you is a gold bomber, if you said to me that I could only take 1 lure fishing with me wherever and whenever I went then I would choose the Gold Bomber. It’s one of the best Barra lures ever made, so be sure to have 1 in your kit. From there you can move into different length hard bodies and different depth hard bodies, but my advice would be to keep to the smaller hard bodies instead of going too big, a big barra will always eat a smaller lure but a little barra may shy away from a larger lure. So, keep it around the 10cm mark and you’ll open your bite size up to all fish in that river, unless you are Trolling one of the larger river systems from a boat then you can increase the size for sure.


Price buys longevity and quality. Buy cheap expect cheap results. Anything under $200 will be a throw away job after a couple of years (which is fine if you are travelling – I’m not telling you to spend a heap on a rod & reel I’m just giving you some expectations).

Decide between Bait Cast or Spin and Glass or Graphite.

The Essentials: Gold Bomber, Packet of soft plastics maybe a couple of extra hard bodies for different depths.

Hope this has helped you increase your knowledge of what to use to catch a Barramundi. If you are in the area, Drop in and see us!

We’ve detailed the best Katherine fishing spots to make your next trip out a successful one.

Happy fishing!

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