On many occasions anglers are overly worried about the tackle they will need for a session in France. However in the vast majority of cases your regular UK tackle will be just fine for fishing in France. I would however up rate a few items to help deal with the larger specimens you are likely to encounter.
So here is a list of the tackle I would use:
- Rods: 12 or 13ft with a 2.75 to 3.5 test curve.
- Reel: While the smaller bait runner types are adequate, I prefer a larger big pit style reel. My current preference is for the Shimano’s, but Daiwa has an excellent range too. Okuma is probably the biggest selling manufacturer in Europe and again their more budget priced reels are fine. Basically you shouldn’t have a problem finding a reel for your budget.
- Line: I use 12lb or 15lb nylon, I don’t like braid, either Berkeley Big Game, Nash Bullet or Daiwa Sensor are my choices.
- Hooks: I see many anglers using small hooks, I prefer a size 4, but on waters like the Seine and the Orient I don’t hesitate to step up to a size 2 or a size 1. On Croix Blanche a 6 or 4 would be my choice.
- Although I am not a fan a bait boat has proved a distinct advantage on these waters, helping anglers bait with more accuracy and therefore get more takes. If you have one then I do allow them on the venue. PLEASE USE SENSIBLY!
A Word on the Catfish
On a still water the cats haven’t got far to go, but they have immense power and basically go where they want, the biggest worry is that they will bite you off.
If you want to target the catfish I recommend a soft Dyneema type braid in the 50lb plus bracket and a good size 2 heavy wire hook.
Your rods equipped with 15lb nylon should be ok, as we have had anglers bank 100lb cats on this type of gear, you just need to be patient and use a boat in necessary.
The Best tactics for getting these large predators to feed is the use of Halibut pellets.
For more information of fishing in France, tackle and tactics you might want to check out my blog.