Head guide Gareth Reid has years of experience on that toothy freshwater adversary affectionately known as the ‘striped water dog’ … Here are some of his tips on the tackle you need for Tigers.

9ft 8wt & 9wt fast action fly rods with matching large arbor fly reel
These rods assist with casting the appropriate size flies, handling windy conditions and of course, putting the brakes on the hard fighting Tigers. We recommend at least two setups with different lines and flies rigged. This allows you to change over quickly when drifting through different environments and depths.

Integrated shooting head fly lines with intermediate running line and fast sinking head 8-9IPS.
These lines cast exceptionally well with their aggressive weight forward design allowing anglers to punch out a long line with minimal effort. Considering the amount of casting you’ll be doing on a daily basis this makes a big difference. Additionally, the intermediate running line allows you to mend and set your line while drifting a boat. Another huge advantage of this multi-sink line is how the fly starts to sweep in an upward movement halfway through your retrieve which often induces the eat if a fish is following it and not committing.

Full sinking weight forward Di7 fly line 8-9 IPS
When fishing big holes, fast current or low-pressure frontal systems, these are the go-to lines. They get down and they stay down keeping you in the zone for the maximum amount of time.

Fast Intermediate weight forward fly line 1.5 – 2IPS
When the stars align, and the weather is good you can expect tigers to be high up in the water column at first and last light. When this happens, you’ll often see tigers head and tailing in certain areas. Strap up the intermediate, stop your knees from knocking and have fun!



*Click here for some more facts about the epic tigerfishing at Pongola


Leader material
Nothing fancy here! An abrasive resistant monofilament in 20lb and 25lb and you’re all set. We stick to the tried and tested Maxima Ultragreen. Leader length for sinking lines we keep to 7ft in total using a perfection loop in the butt section and either an Albright knot onto the wire in clear conditions, alternatively a braided rapala knot for everything else

Wire bite trace
There are a few options here including some new tech knottable wires, but we have tried them all and the good old faithful piano wire in #3 and #4 still gets our vote! Learn your haywire twists and ensure you pre-tie some rigs before you hit the water. Keep the total length of your wire after making the haywire twist to 15cm.