No doubts about it !! This fish is bad-ass!  Ranking in the planets Top 10 most dangerous freshwater fish, when it comes to the mighty “fresh water T-Rex” the right gear is essential!

You have to bring your “A-Game” when it comes to these toothy tyrants – you can’t lose your cool, and you must be intense – if you manage to hook one then that is half the battle and a worthy pat on the back, if you land one – it’s well deserved! These fish do not come easy.

Gear Guide

Here is a break down of what we used on our expedition :

ROD: 9wt and 10 wt rods are perfect – You want them fast enough and stiff enough to handle heavier flies, and sinking line.

We used the ultimate rods in power and strength – the new Thomas and Thomas Exocett

REEL: You want a smooth drag and large arbour reel for these fish. Should have the capability to hold the line and 200 yards of + 30lb backing .

I used Abel 9/10 super series and Ross Reels in Evolution R .

LINE: We used 300 and 350 grain shooting head sink tip Cortland TROPICAL fly lines and full sink 300 grain Tropical lines.

LEADERS: 5 to 6 feet of 40lb ultragreen maxima with a Bimini or furled leader …Then straight to 8 inches (or more) of 45lb knotable multi strand wire (with an Albright or unit to uni knot)

FLIES: We used top water flies that where aptly named the “harley shake” (Tied by Tourette Guide Stuart Harley) and a variety of streamers including the Black brush fly – see video!

The guides at the Tourette camp tied up some epic flies that they have designed specifically for the Mnyera and Ruhudji waters.
Here is a great fly tying video that Mark Murray posted to YouTube. Mark guided me to some amazing fish on our Tanzanian trip, check out his tutorial on how to tie the “Black Death tiger fish fly” below.




Other tools :

Boga-grip :  Fish stays wet, while everyone sets up for a photo / in our case filming a scene. Boga grip keeps those T-Rex teeth away from human skin too 😉

Rubber coated landing net. 


Finger wraps (I used veterinary wrap (found at farm supply / vet clinic )  / SIMMS stripping gloves – prevent line burn!


Use of Mustad  “Boga – grip “ below :