Do I need a lot of expensive equipment to go Shark Fishing?

Do I need a lot of expensive equipment to go Shark Fishing?

Shark fishing certainly does require specialized equipment, and the only way to get around purchasing this equipment is to use a shark fishing charter where all the equipment you will need will be provided for your use during the fishing trip.  Should you wish to fish for shark on a regular basis, and feel you need equipment of your own, the following is a list of the basic equipment you will need:

  • Approximately five hundred yards of fifty to sixty pound test line, but something as small as thirty pound test line or as large as eighty pound test line may be used, and different rods would be required for each.
  • A six to seven foot fiberglass, NOT graphite, rod rated for thirty to fifty pound line is a good compromise if you can only afford one rod.
  • Long, strong leaders
  • For most shark fishing besides mako, 12/0 hooks should suffice, and a box of 100 should get you started.
  • Two pair of cable cutters.  It is important that you use cable cutters as opposed to every day wire cutters.  When you are near a shark’s teeth you want the first cut to count, and regular wire cutters could get caught or fail to cut on the first try.
  • Fighting (or gimbal belt) and harness.
  • Flying gaff
  • Straight handled gaff
  • Tail ropes; preferably a tailer (this has a handle which forms a flexible D shaped looping mechanism to slide over the shark’s tail and tighten) or flying tailer.
  • Harpoon dart setup

When fishing for shark from the shore, these needs will vary a little.  One variable would be that you need a reel with more than a 500 yard capacity and about 80 pound test line when fishing from the shore rather than fishing from a boat.


Daniel Eggertsen
Dan Eggertsen is a fellow saltwater fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on saltwater fishing since 2004.

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