If you are a keen fisherman it’s a good idea to bring some of your own gear with you and buy a few bits of tackle when you get to Thailand. Some rental tackle can be pretty ropey at best. Often the reels are cheap and poorly maintained. They have usually been dunked in the water a few times and may never have been cleaned or properly serviced. I remember a friend hired a rod from one of the smaller parks, the reel was made of plastic and the arm holding the reel to the rod was flexing badly with just a 5kg striped catfish on the line.
Bring a reel or two with you. For the ponds with smaller fish a reel holding 100-150m of 20lb line is fine. I use a Penn 4000 size reel and find it ideal. I wouldn’t recommend using line lighter than 20lb as all the parks have a few bigger fish in them.
For the larger catfish you will need a fairly robust reel. A strong carp reel or one of the big Shimano bait runners is ideal. I use a Penn 6000 size reel at Pattaya Fishing Park and find it has the required strength and stopping power. Spool the reel with minimum 40lb mono-filament.
If you don’t have any suitable travel rods, buy a cheap 7′ or 8′ Viva SpinMaster for just over ฿200. They are strong and incredible value for money. You can get them from T. K. Sports or the second Shop along soi Siam Country Club. If you only use it once or twice it will pay for itself.
You will also need feeders, floats, swivels, hooks and a few metres of 50-80lb braid. Thai size 10 and 12 hooks work well for smaller fish, size 15-18 for the larger fish. These can be brought with you or purchased at any tackle shop. See our terminal tackle and tackle shops pages for further details.
Fox make some excellent travel rods, they are not cheap but for the serious travelling fisherman they make some very nice kit. A friend was kind enough to let me use his Tarpon Trek Spin at Pattaya fishing park for the day. It’s a 7′ rod that breaks down into 21″ sections designed for 20-50lb line. It was the perfect rod for the job, playing several fish it had a lovely curve and just the right action for medium sized catfish. I would never have guessed it was a five piece travel rod.