Traveller Update 3 - Mako Gear and Spots

Story by Dominic Wiseman

In early 2016, Dave Shelton and his family left the big smoke to travel around Australia for six months. This is an update on their trip so far, what they're using and where they intent to go.

I few folks have asked about the gear and places we are going, for a travelling family on an extended trip, towing a bigger boat.

Our basic plan was 6 months on the road, with the bulk of the trip spend between Cairns and Perth. This required a tow rig capable of handling our 6m SeaJay Freedom plate boat, on a heavy duty Mackay Trailer. We also needed somewhere comfortable to live while on the road. To that end, we have a Travelander DC4 slide on camper mounted on the tray of 2016 79 Series Landcruiser dual cab. This works great for us, as it is quick and easy to set up for the short stops but can also be removed for a base camp, allowing the vehicle to be free for trips to the boat ramp.

The vehicle has had the usual selection of 4wd accessories added including bull bar, extra batteries, suspension upgrade and long range fuel tanks. So far it has all proven to be absolutely reliable.

As for the boat, it is a SeaJay 6m Freedom. So far it has seen some pretty rough weather already, and has proven itself time and again as being not only well built and tough, but also a real eye catcher on the water. It is pushed along by Yamaha’s new 175hp four stroke. This has proven to be a great combination with economical cruising for the long range trips we have been doing, but with a handy turn of speed when required.

Given the variety of water we have been targeting on this trip, I have tended to hit the water with 6 rods on board. Basically, this breaks down as 2 barra rods, 2 heavy popper rods, (which also double as bottom bashing rigs if the mood strikes), and two heavy duty trolling rods. The Barra rods are short Loomis GL2’s, matched to Shimano Chronarchs. This is a cost effective combination, and allows for very accurate casting, and power when required. The spinning rods are 30 and 50 pound Shimano rods (Revolution and Terez models), matched to Stradics in the 6000 to 8000 size. The heavy rods are a mix of Shimmano Terez OH’s, with Shimano Reels, and also a Wilson LiveFibre Matched to a Daiwa Reel. I have fouind these 6 give 2 anglers the ability to chase barra and blue water species conformably, all in the one day, which the north coast of Australia often allows you to do. Back home in NSW, I fish the competition scene a bit, and tend to use Millerods in these lighter applications.  

So far on this trip, we have travelled across Qld from Cairns to the Gulf, then out to Arnhem Land (East and West), around Darwin, then West NT – before tacking the Gibb River Road, and some long range Kimberly boating.

As always, if you see us out there – come and say g’day!!”

(Dave Shelton, the author has no associations with any tackle companies - Ed)