How To Fish 4lb Style! Miles Tam

Well that brings us to another 4lb challenge done and dusted! This has to be one of Australia’s, if not the world’s most ‘social’ fishing comps! Once again Cardwell in North Queensland remained our choice of location with Hinchinbrook being the only system big enough to be able to hide 40 boats and still feel isolated.

What makes this club unique is the elite group of anglers that have been there since the establishment of the club in 2008. These guys get more satisfaction out of socialising than actually catching anything! These guys are legends…no in fact they are immortals…

You may remember an article on this a year or two ago and with the comp all wrapped up, we have been hammered by anglers on how to tackle tropical predators on 4lb braid. Well in this issue, we will go through step by step on how to get started.


Yes we are using 4lb braid of any brand or manufacturer. We are not here start an argument on what’s IGFA rated or not, it’s purely not about that.

Put simply it’s light line, but there are some lines that are waaaay too thin for knot strength and abrasion. Collectively the guys prefer to use either Suffix 832 or Fins windtamer, both these lines cast really well and resist wind knots. They also tie a strong knot which we will get to later. Now believe it or not, 150m of line in most cases is more than enough, and I will explain why in a minute!


Now this has to be the most important part of the combination in my own opinion. Anywhere from 4-8lb up to 8-12lb rods can be used effectively, and it’s the length that will determine the size. Length is super important, the longer the rod the more give you have in the rod, therefore a little more leverage! Something around 7ft is ideal!

Most guys use spin but the trend of using baitcasters is becoming more apparent as the years get on. If you go too short, you tend to be dishing off the bottom end very quickly leaving you fighting the fish from the reel half the time! One of my favourites would have to be the range of rods by Dobyns, very powerful yet fast.


By far the most popular reel is the Shimano Stradic Ci4 – either 2500 or 3000 size. They are super light, smooth and powerful! You want a super smooth drag so there is no added pressure to the already light line! Matched up to a 7ft, it balances really well!


Now a good fluorocarbon leader is a MUST! Chasing ambush predators like mangrove jacks and barramundi means you will almost spend more time weaving lines through mangroves and branches than actually cleanly fighting a fish! My choice would be the Gallis FC leader but Sunline make a few options that are super popular!

Generally I run around 2m of 12-15lb leader and in most cases it will be enough. If you come across some bigger barramundi, a 40cm bite leader joined to the end of the existing leader via a Uni to Uni will give you added abrasion against them. Join your braid to leader using either an FG knot, Albright or Slim Beauty depending on what size guides you are running, these are all effective knots that cast well and join the small braid to bigger leader well!


Now fish this line class like any other, be confident in your knots and enjoy the fight! There’s no better feeling than pulling a 60cm barra out of the snags on light line, in fact there have been some monsters caught over the years using 4lb, that many using 30lb would struggle with.

The key is to go hard and fast upon hook-up and gain as much momentum as you can before they realise they need to head for cover. If you’re fishing open water for big fish, you need to learn to relax and keep telling yourself you have plenty of line. At the end of the day, you can always wind the line back on if you get frazzled, panic sets in and you try and rush the fight.

There are really only two things in this situation that will defeat you…You put too much pressure on the fish and the other is getting rubbed (bit) through by say a big barra. Everything else you can control to a certain degree!

Fish light and get the bite! Challenge yourself and most of all have a bloody good time!