Preparing For A Saltwater Fishing Trip | Things To Remember

Written by: Marina Gibson

Preparing For A Saltwater Fishing Trip : S.A.L.T.

When you are planning a saltwater trip, there is a great deal of organisation that comes with it. It’s not as simple as rod, reel, line and flies. There are certain add-ons that you cannot bypass. Here is everything I packed while preparing for a saltwater fishing trip in Christmas Island.


Waterproof bag – No place for a handbag

Although you might have storage in your skiff, it’s always best to have a fully watertight bag. If and when you jump off the skiff and wade around the flats, you will need your backpack to carry spare rods in case you stumble across an array of species.

Suncream – Fools without
You can’t go wrong with 50+ waterproof suncream. Your skin will be exposed from dawn to dusk so lather up folks, you don’t want to be ruined on your first day. Lip protection and aloe vera is also advised.

Wading boots – What lies beneath
While the water is gin-clear and the sand silky, it is a saltwater fishing trip essential to bring some form of protection for your feet. The seabed can be sharp and tough is some places. If you are travelling to a destination with vast coral reefs, it is worth spending a few more pennies and buying ones with thick, strong soles.


Rod carrier – Travel tackle
1. If you’re ordering online, measure your rods so that you have the correct size.
2. Hard cases are preferable as they may have a bumpy ride.
3. Stick fragile stickers or tape on the outside so that in transit they are moved with caution.

Passport – A to B
This should be at the top of your checklist; it’s the one thing that gets you from A to B. Remember to check if it’s valid for the next 6 months. Store in a safe when you arrive at the hotel.

Visas & Currency – Saving time
You can normally buy your visas at the airport and sometimes online before you travel. Exchange your cash for currency before you arrive in another country to avoid any extra costs. Take care of these things in advance saves time when you’re preparing for a saltwater fishing trip.


Cap, Buff & Polaroid’s – Two pairs of eyes is better than one
Ever wonder why the guides wear all of the above? Wearing a cap, buff and polaroids protects you from the fly, sun, wind and increases your chances of seeing the fish (before your guide!).

Long Sleeve Tops – Less skin, more fin

If you are coming from a cooler country and can’t wait to strip off and catch some rays, it won’t hurt to take a spare long sleeve UV protective shirt in your bag. The sun will pierce through your suncream and t-shirt so when you are concentrating on fishing, it’s best to put your long sleeve top on and protect yourself from a painful night’s sleep.

Gloves or Finger Guards – Hard hands

Here’s something you might not think about when packing for your fishing trip. If you have a whole week ahead of you, using heavyweight rods and landing muscle strapped fish that you aren’t used to, take some gloves or finger tape. It’s better to not get a blister in the first place, than trying to layer up the plasters. You’ll be surprised at how cut up your hands and fingers get.This is another saltwater fishing essential no matter what the weather is. 


Species – Do your research

You might plan your saltwater fishing trip around bonefishing, but arrive at the lodge and discover other species, which need heavier setups. Make sure you ask your travel agent or lodge what to bring for everything. There’s nothing wrong with the saying, “all the gear and no idea” or “tackle tart”! Bring as much kit as you can possibly fit in your rod carrier and suitcase. Better to have more kit than clothes, rather than the other way round. This is definitely a good thing to keep in mind when packing and preparing for your saltwater fishing trip. 

Saltwater Pliers – Different kettle of fish

Saltwater species have boney mouths and sharp teeth. If you can’t take the fly out safely with your fingers then you will need some forceps/ pliers to ensure a safe catch and release. The pliers will also cut through your thick leader/ tippet when you are changing your fly throughout the day.

There are many things to consider when you venture around the globe on saltwater trips, the above guidance highlights some of the few essentials needed to ensure a safe and fun holiday. The most important advice is to find an extensive fishing trip checklist to go through whilst packing for a fishing trip. Remember: Google is your best friend – use it. These days there aren’t many places in the world people haven’t been, you may find helpful blogs or articles specifically linked to your destination that will help you as you are preparing for your saltwater fishing trip.

Lastly, do not rely on your lodge or hotel to have what you need – Be ready, be prepared.

About Marina:
Marina Gibson is a truly passionate angler who was lucky enough to spend much of her childhood chasing salmon, trout and sea trout in the Scottish Highlands. Marina is an ambassador for the prestigious Orvis fishing company, and is a qualified 1st4sport Level 2 fishing instructor. “Fishing takes you to some of the most beautiful and remote places on Earth, where all manner of flora and fauna flourish – there is so much more to fishing than just catching fish.”

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