Fishing Tips

Spin Fishing

Spin fishing is an ideal way to begin trout fishing as the skills involved are easily mastered. A basic rod, reel and line, plus a few lures are all that is necessary to give the novice a good chance of catching trout. Watercraft and knowledge of trout habits learned while spin fishing is the perfect grounding for anglers wanting to move on to methods like fly-fishing, or jigging from a boat.

Spin fishing, or to use its common name, ‘spinning,’ is fishing for trout with lures which imitate small fish. Popular lures include a black and gold ‘toby’ or Rapala and soft baits are cast with an outfit consisting of a fixed spool reel loaded with suitable monofilament line, and a single-handed spinning rod, ideally between 1.80m and 2.40m long.

However, remember that scented softbaits are banned in freshwater.


The reel is the most important part of a spinning outfit and, like most things in life, you get what you pay for. Buy the best you can afford. Reels are available in right or left-hand wind or ambidextrous models. Buy a right or left hand wind model as suits you. There is no point in paying for an ambidextrous model if you are going to use the handle on the same side all the time. The essentials for a good reel are trouble-free operation, lightness and size. Apply the Goldilocks principle by choosing one that is just right – a reel large enough to carry sufficient line, but not so big as to be cumbersome.

The rod should be around two metres long and as light at possible but with enough power to cast a lure weighing 7-10gms. The handle should be comfortable to hold and the reel fitting secure. Guides lined with a tough ceramic material are preferable to chromed wire ones as they won’t wear out or develop sharp edges to chafe the line. The price of a rod varies considerably according to the material it is made from. The quality of reel fitting and guides adds to the price, too. Again buy the best you can afford.

Use a line with 3-4kg breaking strain. Such a line should be capable of landing most fish in all but the toughest conditions.

A small spool of nylon of slightly lower breaking strain than the main line is advisable. A short piece of this thinner line is connected to the main line by a swivel, which also prevents spinning lures from kinking the main line. The other end of the trace is tied directly to the lure. This prevents the loss of the main line when a lure becomes irretrievably snagged, as this weak link will break first.

For more information on spin fishing, download our Spin Fishing How-to Guide brochure here.

Code of Conduct

Please consider the rights of others and observe the anglers’ code of conduct. Some of the key messages are:

• If no Fish & Game access sign is present, always ask permission from the land occupier before crossing private property.

• Do not park vehicles so that they obstruct gateways or cause a hazard on the road or access way.

• Do not interfere with livestock, crops, machinery or other property.

• Always use gates, stiles or other recognised access points and avoid damage to fences.

• Always fish in a sporting manner.

To read the whole Code click here.

Like other countries, New Zealand is trying hard to prevent the spread of aquatic pests, both plants and animals...

The only way we can protect our rivers in the long term is if we all CHECK, CLEAN and DRY all our gear before we move from one river or lake to another anywhere in the country. Visit the link here for more details and what you can do to help keep our waters pest-free.