Slide Bait Fishing Instructions


This section of our store is dedicated to providing useful and field tested information on the form of slide bait fishing.

Detailed Instructions from fishing tackle and gear to technique will be presented, at Slide Bait Fishing we test out gear and technique with successful results.

Although this technique did not originate from Australia, we believe the origination was from South Africa (land based shark anglers). None the less the technique itself have proven to be successful for land based anglers around the world, from New Zealand, Australia to the United States of America. It is only in the recent years this form of angling has taken off in Australia, we are dedicated in providing the necessary tackle to make this possible while anglers experience a different and fun technique in catching fish previously out of their reach from the shore.


Why slide bait style of fishing?

Often at times when shore fishing, the angler wishes that they can throw out baits much further than their current tackle can allow. Most often this is problematic due to a number of reasons such as:

  • Not having a big or heavy enough sinker
  • Fishing rods not able to cast large or heavy sinkers with the payload
  • Casting force is too great where the bait comes off on the swing
  • Losing the bait when the sinker and bait lands in the water from the force of impact
  • Unable to cast long distances without killing the live bait rigged onto the hook (squid or live fish)


Slide Bait Fishing allows an angler to send out baits much much further than traditional fishing methods. This is due to the following simple concept and list of steps:


1) Using a large surf rod, the angler first casts out an 6 or 8 oz grapnel sinker (sold on this website, 5 and 7.5oz sinkers are capable) without any bait. Advantages in doing so are listed below: 

  • Due to the aerodynamics of the sinker, the angler can cast anywhere from 60m to 150m depending on main line class
  • The whole setup does not have any bait, no fear of bait falling off
  • Sinker is able to find some ground and can anchor on sand, rocky bottom


2) Use a non-return slide clip and send the bait down the line to the stopping point near the anchored sinker

  • Non-return slider can only travel down the main line in one direction
  • Non-return slider will rotate around the main line, bait fish will not tangle back over main line
  • The angler is able to slide down any bait of their choosing dead or alive
  • The bait will reach its target destination in the planned strike zone


3) Wait for the fish to take the bait, once this happens the non-return slide will most likely lock up onto the stopper ring down the line, the angler can begin the fight with the fish as normal.

 Disclaimer (Safety is important):

- Please becareful when casting out heavy sinkers

- Watch your surroundings before casting, avoid injury to self or others

- Ensure that your fishing rod is capable of casting such a sinker to prevent breakage of rod or tip

- Ensure that leader line to sinker is heavy enough to take the force of the cast (Recommended at least 20lb monofiliment line)

Getting Started, Preparation

This section details the required equipment for this form of fishing. Most anglers will have the required basic equipment such as a rod, reel and fishing line, the rest can be purchased from this site and comes in economical starter packs with all the necessary bits and pieces to get you started.


I'll try and provide a more clearer illustration when I get around to redrawing it on the computer. Thank you for your patience (PS: I'm probably out fishing).

Grapnel Sinkers

The grapnel sinker is responsible for gripping the seafloor with its special legs. In addition with enough force on the line the grapnel sinker can release the legs and breakaway from the seafloor. The angler is able to retrieve all tackle from the line. The leader between the solid ring and the grapnel sinker should be considerably less than the mainline. If you have 30lb mainline, use 15-20lb leader for the grapnel sinker.

After casting and having the sinker anchor the seafloor, the grapnel sinkers works where the angler can whip the rod up and down after attaching the non-return slider, this acts to send the bait down the mainline slowly depending on current. The force from whipping the rod should not be enough to de-anchor the sinker, a solid pull back would be required to dislodge the sinker from the seafloor.

7.5oz Grapnel Sinker 5oz Grapnel Sinker


Non-Return Slider

The non-return slider is responsible for attaching the bait to your whole setup, it acts as a stage 2 clip after casting out the sinker the slider can be attached and bait slide down the main line. These clips are hand crafted from 2.0mm T304 Stainless steel, very strong yet very light attached with 133kg+ heavy duty stainless steel barrel swivels. Sharks, large kingfish, jewfish have all been caught on these sliders without any issues with the sliders.

Weighted sliders come in 1oz weights, these sliders are more suited for beach fishing or higher fishing areas.

Weighted Slider Unweighted Slider

Solid Ring Stopper

Solid Ring acting as a stopper for the slider. All force / pressure / stress will be placed on this ring when there is a hookup. These stainless steel solid rings are rated for over 200kg, there may be other methods such as using a couple of heavy duty swivels. However we believe using a solid ring as the stopper is the best method.

Solid Stopper Ring

Luminuous Thimble

The thimble is connected to your mainline, the compressed U shaped thimble is used to take the pressure off the mainline if it was connected directly to the solid ring. In all purposes, the slider will never come into contact with the mainline's knot on the thimble, thus shielding it from any potential stress / friction.

This thimble should be paired with the above solid ring acting as a complete stopper for the whole setup. This is shown in the image above with all the components.

Luminous Thimble


Other Fishing Equipment


It is suggested that anglers use a spinning reel for ease of casting, overhead reels that are capable of casting can also be used. Most likely anglers will be targetting bigger fish species, it will not hurt to use spinning reels size 8000 or above. I have witness the following reels use for this style of fishing.

Shimano Baitrunner 6500B

Shimano Baitrunner D's, 8000, 12000

Shimano Thunnus, 8000, 12000

Shimano Saragosa SW 8000, 10000, 20000, 25000

Shimano Big Baitrunner Long Cast X-TA 14000 (This is my favorite reel and the one I use)

Shimano Stella 8000, 10000, 20000 (SWA, SWB)

Daiwa Saltiga 4500 and up

Daiwa Seagate 4500

Daiwa Windcast Emblem 4500

Any large size reel will work for this method of fishing, the reels will most likely have been spooled with monofilament line. I will provide some extra information this later.

Personally Shimano baitrunners are also ideal for this method of fishing, once your bait is out the angler can flip on the baitrunner feature for free spool and allow the fish to take the bait. If you don't use a baitrunner set the drag to a light setting (1-2kg), then adjust the drag setting as you strike and fight the fish. If you use circle hooks, striking is not necessary. This will be explained further below.



Anglers need to becareful on rod selection, there are really 2 main requirements for the rod.

1) The rod needs to be able to cast out 6oz, 8oz or 10oz lead sinkers. If you use a rod that is not rated to cast these weights, you will risk injuring people around you or yourself. This may also lead to rod breaking.

2) Ideally you would want 10 foot or longer rods, given you want maximum casting distance. Personally I use a 12 foot rod, capable of casting 8-10oz.

If you want a lighter rod, have a look at some graphite rods, my 12 foot rod use's a form of graphite criss cross wrapping similar to shimano TC4 technology. These rods are strong yet light and practical. Other rods I have seen are the Shimano Tiralejo (discontinued, shimano TC4), custom made rods from South Africa (Excalibre blanks) etc.


Main Line

Personally I use high quality monofilament lines for this form of fishing. I use japanese mono lines that are thinner and stronger than other mono lines out there. This provides good casting distance and some abrasive resistence. There is one main reason why monofilament is preferred over braid:

1) The sliding clip is made from stainless steel wire, it is not desirable to have metal sliding down braid as any imperfection in the braid or clip may slice the braided line if it is under load due to friction. Efforts are taken to ensure that the sliding clips are smooth and polished on the rings, using monofilament gives it that extra protection.

Line class, I have seen some good anglers fish with 20lb monofilament as their main line (there are some cavaets which I will explain, they have some redundancy built in with their joins and leaders allowing them to fish lighter). Although this is on the light side, when fishing with care this line class will work on kingfish and sharks. I would not suggest going any lower than this line class, unless you feel like a real challenge and don't mind losing tackle.

I personally use 40lb mono 0.42mm diameter lines (Japanese mono) and 30lb 0.43mm diameter (abrasive resistent, Japanese mono) lines. These lines work well and give good casting distance. You can start out heavier and work your way down as you get more experienced.


Hook Types

Each angler has their own preference for hooks, standard J live bait hooks are fine or some anglers like myself prefer circle hooks.

I use live bait circle hooks, with special methods of rigging and setup. There are many reasons for this:

1) There is no need to strike, the sheer force of the fish taking the bait and running with it is enough for the fish to self hook themselves cleanly in the jaw

2) The hook up rate is greater than 95% if rigged properly. Circle hooks need to be offset, this gaurantees the hookup.

3) Combine circle hooks with a baitrunner, you have a perfect setup. Since most of the time you will be watching the rod or doing something else, when the drag starts screaming the fish is already self hooked. You can take your time to get to your rod, pick it up and fight the fish. I have casually strolled to my rod when there is a hookup while the other fishos madly scream at me, in all circumstances the fish is always still on my line when I get to my rod.

Be sure to use a thick gauge hook, since you will be targetting larger species of fish.

Leader between mainline and stopper ring

A leader should be used between the mainline and the stopper ring. Ideally this should be twice the breaking strain of the mainline.

If I was using 30lb or 40lb mono mainline, I use 80lb flurocarbon (Jenkai or other brands) leader. A length of 4 - 5 meters would be ideal. Note, its important that the knots are thin yet strong. These knots will be casting through the guides of your rod. If it is too thick, you will have problems.

I have been using a bimini twist (doubled up) connected to a simple albright join on the leader. Another reason you want thick leader is that there is friction generated by the slider when the fish strikes. Thick leader provides some abrasion resistence, hopefully the slider will already be at the stopper ring when the fish strikes so there is no friction. The other end of the leader is joined to the thimble. A 5 turn unit knot is sufficient and strong enough. Be sure to place the solid ring through the thimble prior to completing the knot.


Leader between stopper ring and grapnel sinker

The leader between the stopper ring and grapnel sinker is purely to raise the stopper from being too close to the grapnel sinker. This also allows you to keep your bait suspended off the bottom of the seafloor.

It is recommended that you use 15-20lb mono for this section and have it less then 1m. 70cm is ideal. The reason you have lighter leader here is that incase the sinker gets snagged. You can pull hard enough for the leader here to break off. In most circumstances the legs on the grapnel sinker will bend backwards and you will be able to retrieve the whole setup.

I use a 3 or 4 turn uni knot for this section (rather than 5 turn), this makes it not as strong (for bottom snags), however strong enough for you to cast and retrieve the sinker.


Leader for Slider to Hook

Typically this section would look similar to a section of leader comprising of a swivel, leader and hook. You can use lighter or heavier leaders (even wire traces) depending on what you are targetting. The swivel is already attached to the sliders which are rated for 133kg, if you require 200kg+ sasame swivels please contact us we can me some with those specs.

For kingfish I generally use 80lb flurocarbon similar to the long leader from the mainline. I generally tend to use 60-70cm of this leader connected to 2 circle hooks if I am fishing with large live squid. You may join it to a single hook if you are using yellowtail, slimy mackarel or any other bait (Frozen or live).


Technique when fishing

1) Cast out the grapnel sinker with stopper ring first. Ensure that the sinker drops to the seafloor, it will roll around until it finds it anchor point.

2) Point the rod tip low and wind in the slack, let the legs of the sinker dig into the seafloor

3) Point the rod tip high 45 degree, and wind slowly until the line is all tensed up. If you are able to tense up the line without the line being retrieved you have anchored the sinker proprely. You should be able to whip the rod, point it down whip it up back to the same point and the sinker should not dislodge. This is important because you will be doing this action after you clip on the sliding rig to slide the rig down to the stopper.

If you are unable anchor the sinker you may wish to recast and try again. Depending on the current you may need to go up in size on the sinker if the smaller ones are not anchoring.

Note: To retrieve the sinker after it has been anchored. Wind in the slack line with rod at 30 degrees to ground, continue to point the tip to 45degrees continue to slowly wind and proceed to move the rod tip to 60 degrees, it may take up to 90 degrees. However if done correctly the legs of the sinker will have been dislodged from the seafloor. If that does not work, restart at the 30degree mark and ensure at all times the line slack has been wound up.

4) Once your grapnel sinker is anchored you can prepare the slider rig. With a prerigged slider, you can attach the live bait on the hook and proceed to clip the slider onto the mainline. At all times the mainline should be tense. The slider should be facing forward, the swivel should be facing towards the stopper ring. Ensure its clipped on the correct way otherwise it will not travel downwards to the stopper.

To clip the slider onto the mainline the process is simple, place the whole mainline under the 4 loops of the slider. Proceed to take the middle section of the mainline and pull it out away from the back of the slider and proceed to loop it over the U section of the slider. The mainline will now be inside the tunnel of the slider.

To disconnect the reverse should be conducted, taking the middle section pulling it under the U and over the back of the slider.

You should understand this clip on / off process at home, it won't take too long to master.

5) Once the slider is clipped onto the mainline. Ensure that the mainline is tight, but not overly tight to the anchored sinker. Proceed pointing the rod down to and whip it up to 40 degrees. This takes practice, becareful not to whip the rod hard enough so that the sinker dislodges. If you start slowly, you should see the slider move sections at a time down the mainline. Continuing doing this for 1-2minutes depending on how far out the sinker is. I generally do around 60-120 whips most of the time I am sure the slider is on the main leader section of the line.

When whipping the drag should be tighten, so that there is no slack in the line.

You may place your whole rod down on a mount and wait for the run.

Tip: You may want to consider strapping down your rod, as I have witness overly done drags and rods getting pulled into the water.

6) Set your drag to a lighter setting (1-2kg) or baitrunner mode. In addition ensure there is no slack on the mainline. When there is a run, the drag should start screaming. You can take your rod and fight the fish as per normal. Depending on hook type, you may or may not need to strike. Be sure to tighten your drag back to desired levels when fishing the fish.

This technique works best when the water is deep at least over 5 meters.


Final words

If you have any further questions you can contact me on the contacts page. I will try to provide illustrations and videos at some point in the future to clarify any points.

Remember to fish safely, and enjoy the sport.


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