Recommended Belize Fishing Gear

Recommended Belize Fishing Gear and Tackle

Light Tackle Fly Fishing General  


Recommended Light Tackle

In General:    The primary baitfish for southern Belize are silversides (sprats and fries), crab and some shrimp. Greenish/bluish/blackish on top and silver on sides.

Also, in general, plastic baits should be 3" to 5". Both 1/4 to 1 oz. and 1/16th to 3/4" oz. jigs will work on various fish - bring an assortment of both. Jig colors should be chartreuses, whites, orange, pink/white. Lead weights should be in the 1-3 oz. range.

Krocodile spoons are good (#1-3), as are squid spoons (also #1-3). Bring wire leaders for barracuda and King Mackerel - black finish.

Specific Recommendations:  

We recommend the following as the best all around spinning tackle for species such as Crevalle Jacks, Mangrove Snappers, Mutton Snapper (off the beach and docks during mid-October to late December), Snook and Tarpon:

    Rod:    6-7 foot rod with a 10-20 pound line rating
    Reel:   5500SS Penn (or equivalent)
    Line:   12 - 15# test (for tarpon and snook, 15# and 25# test)

  • Heddon Excalibur Super Pop-R: 3 1/8" - 1 each bar fish, blue striper, redfish, red head, speckled trout
  • Glass Minnow Soft Bait Bodies
  • Big Game MirrOlure: 65M (3 1/4") and 85M (5"): 2 of each color: green back, white belly, silver scales; green back, yellow belly, gold scales; green back, white belly, gold scales; blue back, white belly, silver scales; black back, fluorescent orange belly, fluorescent flame, chartreuse sides; green back, white belly, pink scales.  (The 85M 5" lures can also be used for trolling for barracuda and King Mackerel.  Both the 65M and the 85M are excellent multi-purpose lures and are hard to find in Belize, so guides will appreciate them as tips, or you can sell them if you don't want to take them home with you.)

  • Live Bait:  Mangrove Snapper (please do not use live or cut bait for tarpon)
  • Cut Bait:  Mutton Snapper (please do not use live or cut bait for tarpon)


   Rod:    6-7 foot rod with a 6-15 pound line rating
    Reel:   4500SS Penn or equivalent (should hold at least 250 yards of line)
    Line:   6-10# test

  • Small jigs (1/16-1/8 ounce) - wiggle jigs work well
  • Small hooks (#1s and #2s) baited with plastic jig tails

For species such as King Mackerel, Wahoo, Barracuda, Cubera and Mutton Snapper, and Serra Spanish Mackerel, we recommend the following fishing gear for Belize:

    Rod:   6-7 foot medium/heavy rod with a butt long enough to fit into a fighting belt
    Reel:   6500SS - 9500SS Penn (or equivalent) (9500SS size for Mutton and Cubera Snapper) (reel should hold 300 yards of line)
    Line:   15-30# test

  • Rattlin' Rapalas (2 3/4" gold/black, back red, hot chartreuse/red, white/red head), pot bellied jigs (assorted colors, 1/2 - 1 1/2 oz)
  • Tarpon poppers
  • 3" MirrOlures
  • 4 1/4" Yo-Zuri Octopus Skirts (blue/pink, pink/blue/black/stripe, black/blue, yellow/black/silver, green/yellow and blue/green)
  • 5" Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnows (purple/green, red/white, blue mackerel, green mackerel/gold laser)

Note:  if you want to troll, we supply all trolling gear.   However, additional lures are always appreciated.  We recommend any large (9") deep-diving lures, and are particularly fond of Mann 30+ Stretch lures - redheads, and any other Manns you can find (if you can find any).

Recommended Fly Fishing


Rod:  8-weight
Line:   9-weight (color doesn't matter) on a reel that will hold at least 200 yards of backing
Leaders: knotless 9-foot leaders (knotted line will draw strikes from tiny barracuda
Tippet:   12-20 lb. tippet depending on size and weight of fly
Hook sizes:  #6-#2

Will Bauer Crab
Del's Merkin
Mantis Shrimp
Turneffe Crab
Mangrove Critter


Rod:  8-weight
Line: 11-weight
Leaders:   knotless bonefish leaders (10 ft 012 IGFA 10#; 12 ft 8 lb clear, 3.65 m, 6.6kg; 12 ft, 10# clear, 3.65 m - 4.5 kg)
Hooks:  #4-#6


Del's Merkin
Bonefish Clouser
Bonefish Slider
Turneffe Crab
Crazy Charlie


Rod:  10 weight
Line:  11-weight (floating, slime intermediate sinking), reel should hold at least 200 yards of backing; 80# shock leaders for large tarpon, 40-60# mono shock tippet for small tarpon (9' 12-15 lb leader for small tarpon)
Hooks:  #6-#2, 3/0

Black Death
Orange Butt Tarpon
Clousers (green/yellow)


Rod:  10 weight
Line: 10 weight, 9' 12-15 lb leader, IGFA 40-60 lb mono shock tippet
Hooks:  #6-#2

Flies:   same as for tarpon


Rod:  10-weight
Line:  11weight with 8 ft 20-40 lb leader and 15-18 lb wire tippet
Hooks:  1/0-3/0

Flies:  anything long and skinny that mimics a needlefish

General Stuff to Bring

  • Fly fishing and light tackle gear
  • "Broad spectrum" sunscreen containing zinc oxide, minimum SPF 15 rating (total sunblock isn't a bad idea for the first few days on the water)  see our Sun Protection Page
  • Hat with a minimum 3" brim
  • Camera, with extra batteries - waterproof cover is also a good idea
  • Special dietary needs (will be difficult to locate in Placencia)
  • Towel
  • Polarized sunglasses.  Sunglasses should fit tightly to block UVR from the sides and have lenses large enough to cover the entire eye area, including eye lids.  Copper or amber are the best color  if you're only bringing one pair - color is irrelevant in terms of UV ratings.)
  • Neoprene wading boots (for the flats)
  • Insect Repellent (Deep Woods Off)
  • Prescription and over-the-counter medication (Placencia now has a pharmacy, but still best to bring your own)
  • Lightweight long-sleeved shirt and pants (at least 1 pair each - quick-drying nylon is best)
  • Light-weight rain gear
  • Snorkeling gear (may be rented in Placencia, but we advise bringing your own for a good fit)
  • Alarm Clock (most rooms in Placencia don't have phones or clocks)
  • Optional change of dry clothing on day trips
  • Dark, light-weight t-shirts
  • Alcoholic beverages and sodas (if desired on fishing trips)