Most of the questions we get asked tend to be about gear, so let’s focus on that.
5 or 6 weight are typically used, anywhere between 9 > 10 foot being ideal. You may wish to use a 7 weight on windy days or if you’re winter fishing for steelhead on the Tongariro.
Large Arbor reels are great as they provide both quick retrieve and minimize the memory in your fly line . The important thing about any reel you use in New Zealand is that it have a quality drag system. Invest in the best you can afford, as it may just be the difference that lands you that fish of a lifetime. Accordingly Reels need to be spooled with a minimum 50 meters of backing.
Due to the clarity of the waters we fish; long leaders are essential – 12 or 13 foot 8lb (3x) tapered leaders are ideal.
Most anglers use a weight forward, floating line. The importance of a Dull line colour cannot be overstated - dark Green/Olive and Grey being the choice of colours.
3X, 4X and 5X are the most versatile tippet strengths for most situations in New Zealand. Guides differ in their opinion on the merits of Monofilament versus Fluorocarbon so it really is a personal choice.
Some Kiwi favourites are:
The New Zealand government has banned the use of felt soled boots whilst fishing. We recommend you bring studded rubber soled boots with you. We have found the combination of carbine studs and rubber soles to offer the best available solution to grip on wet and slippery rocks.
Gore-Tex type is ideal for early/late season. In the warmer months most Kiwis wade wet. Quick dry polyester/nylon pants work extremly well, as does a pair of lightweight nylon shorts over polypropylene tights and your boots. An even better product than polypropylene is Kiwi Merino Wool thermal underwear leggings/bottoms. We never leave home without them!
Don’t forget to bring your polarised sun or prescription glasses, woollen socks, wide brimmed hat, windproof pullover/fleece and a dull coloured hooded rain jacket.