Our waters are home to a vast number of fish species, ranging from under a pound to hundreds of pounds. To cover all bases we have some recommendations on gear and tackle which should help you decide what to bring for your kayak fishing adventure to Panama.
Many anglers like to travel light and prefer not to bring their own gear. So we have done our best to provide them with top of the line equipment to give the best chance of landing each species. If you plan to bring your gear and are wondering if it is suitable, check out what we use to compare and decide.
Below is a breakdown of the gear we provide and how we use it. Our rental package includes 3 combos:
Daiwa BG 4000 spooled with 20lb Tasline, on a Daiwa Back Bay 7ft 6in 10-20lb rated rod. This is likely the most used combo. It can be used in a variety of ways for countless species. It is light and very versatile. You can tie an xps jig on and sling it to tunas, drop it to the bottom for snapper, jig mid water column for roosterfish and mackerel, cast Yo-Zuri lures at the rocks for trevallies, throw small poppers at roosterfish cruising the surface, and so much more! This combo generally comes with either an XPS jig or an 1/4oz MV3 Bucktail Jig (both known for enticing almost every fish in our waters) and about 4ft of 20lb fluorocarbon.
Daiwa BG 5000 spooled with 65lb Diamond braid on either a Star Aerial 6ft 6in XH Jigging Rod or a Daiwa Saltist XH 7ft Jigging Rod. This combo is our medium size range setup. We generally use this for trolling deep diving lures like the Nomad DTX minnow and slinging poppers like the 6in Nomad Chug Norris. We also use it for jigging and prefer jigs ranging from 60 grams to 150 grams. We use knife jigs, butterfly jigs, flat fall jigs, and everything in between. Jigging has produced a ton of different species and is a great way to land some big roosterfish, snapper, and broomtail grouper especially. This combo generally comes with a trace of 40-60lb fluorocarbon and a knife jig or DTX minnow.
Our third and final rental combo is for live baiting. It is an Accurate Boss Fury 600 spooled with 65lb Diamond Braid backing with a top-shot of 80lb Diamond Mono on a 6ft 6in Star XH Jigging Rod. We generally keep about 100-200ft of top-shot with the rest of the spool filled with braid for maximum line capacity in case of a marlin hookup. With this combo you can land just about anything. Most of big roosterfish and cubera snapper have been landed on this setup and we have landed big marlin with this as well. We generally rig this up with a 6-8ft 100lb Fluorocarbon leader with a single 13/0 Eagle Claw in-line circle hook. When specifically targeting cubera snappers sometimes we will add a second hook for a double circle stinger rig. We always use a large swivel rated for much heavier than the line we use, almost always 180lb rated or larger.
Using the right tackle in our fishery can mean the difference between a good day… and great day! There are many different types of lures, poppers and jigs you can use, but these are some of our favorites and have proven to work great for fishing on the Pacific side of Panama. We sell all of these (plus more!) in our on-site tackle store, all at US retail prices.
The XPS freestyle jig from Bass Pro Shops. 1oz in any color is an absolute killer for almost every species. We use a ton of these and go through them fast when the bite is on. We sell these on site.
Daiwa SP minnow. Our favorite size is the 6in in chrome. This can be casted or trolled and has landed countless fish in our waters.
Nomad Chug Norris 150 popper. One of the best poppers we have used. It makes a large pop and rarely bounces out of the water. Easy to use and the cuberas, tunas, sierra mackerel, roosters, and many other species love it!
Nomad DTX 140. This deep diver runs very well, even at high speeds. We troll reefs around 30ft with it to pick up grouper and snapper, or troll open water for wahoo, roosters, tuna, and countless other species.
MV3 Bucktail. We just can’t seem to keep enough of these in stock. They have been a relatively new addition and an instant favorite. These are custom made specifically to our guide’s request and killers on the blue runners, bonita, bonefish and even large cubera snapper have been landed on them! To ensure you get to use some, email and tell Mike you are headed to Los Buzos and he will set you up.
Jigs… we have had luck with almost every type of jig out there with our favorite brands being Nomad Tackle, Catch Fishing, and Williamson. Flat fall/ flutter jigs are best for snapper, roosters, African pompano, and grouper. We like sizes ranging from 60g to 150g. Smaller for shallower water and smaller species, larger for deeper water and larger species. Knife jigs seem to be best for tuna, wahoo, and mackerel but still work great for rooters, grouper, and snapper as well. Our guides will show you different techniques for all the species and get you up to speed quickly.
We generally have these products in stock in our on-site tackle shop but if you want to ensure you have a good variety and want to show up as prepared as possible be sure to get several of each. With a good variety of this gear you will be well prepared to catch a ton of fish at our lodge.
A few new additions we include on every kayak at no cost are Extra Strong pliers including several Danco Premio 7.5 inch Titanium Pliers. A Spyderco Waterway Knife, BerleyPro SideBro for extra storage, NRS Chinook OS PFD, Garmin Striker 4 Fishfinder/Chartplotter, Railblaza Camera Boom, 3 other Railblaza Starports for any accessory you want to bring/attach to them, milk crate with 3 extra rod holders, 5 Never Lost Gear leashes for rods, knife, paddle, and mirage drive. This setup seems to be perfect for almost everyone but if you want to bring any other accessories you are welcome to do so.