GT Fishing Tackles 2015


Maldives GT Fishing Tackles & Lures Basics 101:


GT Lures used in Maldives vary by anglers.  However, for beginners we can set some contexts from our own experiences and customer practice observations.  I myself go to Maldives 3-4 times a year and each time spend 7-9 continuous days with over 10 hours of fishing daily.  It is extremely demanding physical activities – my chest size pumped up from 90cm to now 108cm since started GT fishing even though I had had over a decade of weight training at gym (machine training – not free weight).  With this in mind, let me explain changes over time of our fishing methodologies.




    1. Basic Tackles for Offshore Casting for GT Fishing for Top Water Games

I have put some ideas in our Homepage with rental tackle information here but let me explain the fundamentals to set the context (


ROD: Usually around 8 feet long of Medium Heavy to Extra Heavy actions.  Several brands make GT Rods but Ripple Fishers and Carpenters are probably the most popular and competent in the particular fishing niche.  My all time favorite is Ripple Fisher F-Stick 82 Long Cast.  “82” represents 8 feet and 2 inches long.  I like 8’2” for casting long.



Some video clips for Rod Test with Ripple Fishers F-Stick GT79 Reversal in Japan:  This shows how physically demanding the fight is in additions to keep-casting all day long!


REEL: It is Shimano’s monopoly with Stella and Twin Power for superior Drag Performance.  Daiwa comes next though not-very-smooth line release with drag makes some risks of line slacks for unhooking.  New 2014 Stella SW 14000XG hold PE Line 6.0 for 300 yards that is probably most ideal while older 2008 Stella 10000XG is also good.  2014 Stella has Water Proof Sealing technologies applied for “maintenance free” whereas 2008 Stella needs to take it to Shimano for Over-Whole Maintenance once a while; in my case, after every expedition for making sure of optimum performance.  It is however very costly as cost 100-150 usd per reel.  I use 4 reels so you do the mass!  2014 Stella with water proof seal makes less – we are testing now how long we can go without maintenance with daily uses by Captain (we are on fishing over 200-250 days a year now though it is not always the case Captain uses his tackles but customers only).






LINE: PE Braided line is the choice for GT.  There are only two companies in Japan making PE lines.  More companies/brands sell but OEM supplied from those two.  YGK (Yoz-ami) is one of the two companies that I use; newest one is YGK Galis Ultra Castman WX8 FULL DRAG.  Newer product is about to come out.  Many uses Morris Varivas but OEM supplied by YGK.  Some US manufacturers also make but it is my personal belief after some comparisons that YGK and Sunline in Japan are superior performance products.  I use only 6.0.  Thicker the line, less distance you can cast.  6.0 is strong enough if not damaged.  If damaged even 10.0 can get cut so easy.  So I rather focus on making sure that there is no damage on PE line.  If doubts with some line troubles, then just cut those suspicious parts and re-do the knot to shock leaders.  Also always renew or reverse the line on reel before the expeditions.






SHOCK-LEADER: There are greater numbers of brands available for shock leaders.  My choice is Prosele Nanodax Casting Shock Leader.  Usually use 170lbs and sometime with 1 meter of 210/230lbs just before the lure.  This is relatively new company and products just came out a couple of years ago and not much distributed globally but many Japanese GT anglers believe this is the strongest in the market.





KNOT: Once you figured out the shock leader and PE line, then you have to think about.  GT Fishers Maldives – Capt. Mohamed is the best person on the area and evolving all the time with his own trial and errors.  We were using customized FT Knot for a while.  Now we are the Internet age so you can find the bunch of YouTube video clips to learn how to do these.  So you go to and do the search with “FT Knot Fishing” then you find the a lot of outcomes and you compare which ones are easy for you to follow. For example with embedded link to youbube and many query outcomes.
We will try to upload the most recent Capt. Mohamed Knot method with video clips that you just keep subscribing to our GT Fishers Channel and I will soon upload:


Additionally, between Lures to Solid Rinks/Swivel is Clinch Knot, and Leader to Leader is double Clinch Knot that we use.  You can also seek those helps in google search and youtube search.  Video is the best way to learn this as 2 dimensional illustrations are very hard to “GET IT”!!



Some beginner tools are available for easier FG Knot making.  Several models are available in markets.





HOOKS: It is usually a couple of Tremble Hooks attached to the GT lures (Please use Barbless Only!).  Increasing popularity for Single Hooks but lessor chances to hook on to the fishes at strike as we tested in the last expeditions though once and if hooked, risks of unhooking is much lower.  Single Hooks are bigger and stronger – if you are aiming for over 50kg at all time, this may be a choice to make.  Then within the choices of Barbless Tremble Hooks are Gamakatsu GT Recorders 5/0 & 6/0 (up to 8/0) and recently introduced Intense Hooks.  Hooks are very expensive as single GT Recorder 5/0 costs approximately 5 usd.  Intense is about the same while they have size from 4/0.  Intense Hooks we used 4/0 and landed over 50kg GT last week and no damage whatsoever.  Our GT Fishers are also working on introducing stronger Tremble Hooks in near future at lower prices than those two.  Many use Owner Caltiva that are about half the price compared to Gamakatsu and Intense but they are very very weak.  We have lost so many monster GTs due to this Hook!  We spend a lot of money for tackles and expeditions.  Let us not be cheap for a few dollars and lose monsters!!





    2. GT Lures Approaches and Techniques

Excitements of GT Fishing is not only sheer size of fishes we catch but those monster GTs breaking the water to attack huge artificial lures on top of water swimming like wounded bait fishes…  There are some Sinking Stickbaits used for GT Fishing especially in harder areas of fishing such as Tokara, Okinawa, and Oman but they are losing a half the fun – why don’t we just do a jigging or even live bait fishing?!  Topwater Lure Fishing is the GT FISHING in our ideas in principle. 


First when I learned GT Fishing, it was always Poppers.  It is fun making huge “popping” noise on the water and fishes attack to bite!  It is really fun.  Later I learned how to use Stickbaits when fishes are not as active or/and water is super calm.  Then I realized that several differences as follow:



  • Stickbaits casting is easier and reach farther away from boat due to less air resistance and always rear weight.
  • Stickbaits are less tiring while poppers require energy consuming popping all the time.
  • Stickbaits are faster cycle for casting and retrieving so that more castings.
  • Fish bites are more; simply poppers are too noisy to some fishes I believe.  This leads to further speculations that older/bigger/wiser/tougher GTs react better with more realistic Stickbaits.



As I said first, GT fishing is physically very demanding.  On my first expedition, I got exhausted in less than 2 hours of casting in super-hot tropical weather on boat with no shadow.  Now I built the stamina to keep casting with minimum rest and no lunch for 10 plus hours from morning to sunset.  Cast-Retrieve cycle is about 1 minute so that we are casting probably casting around 400 casts.  Fighting with 20-50kg GTs are quite power consuming challenges; Red Snappers are undesired targets that are freakishly strong and go under corals so fast and strong to cause loss of super expensive lures over 100 usd or more – this Red Snapper fights are very exhausting!!  American Major League Baseball Pitchers pitch usually 100 balls plus practice in 1 game and take 3 days rest before pitch again (Now they are considering for increasing the rest days to 4 or even 5 days as too many pitchers get elbow problems to go thru surgery).  If we are “continuously” casting 4-500 times daily and continue 7-9 days, it is quite damaging I assume.  I am 46 years old now and should be retired if I were professional athletes.  What happens now for me is that I have stamina to continue casting and fighting but body parts such as right arm starts screaming with pains.


So now, I primarily use Stickbaits and make only occasional uses of Poppers when I want to make some different conditions.  Also I use only medium size Stickbaits around 120g.  150g plus are too heavy.  90g is too light to cast far.  100-120g seem good balance for persistent casting for all days.  The following is my current principle of GT fishing strategy and approach:




  • More casting – better chance to catch more.  More catches lead to higher chance of bigger monsters.  So Stickbaits serve better for the approach.
  • Bigger GTs have survived years from being caught so that they are smarter.  Smarter and wiser fishes do not respond to not-so-natural artificial sounds of poppers though conditionally there are other factors in effects to activate those large monsters to attack unusual things.
  • Fish activeness may start anytime irrespective of tides and other factors we understand.  Only way to catch the “right time” is keep casting.  It is definitely higher likeliness that new/fullmoon with wider tidal gaps causes more “currents” in seas that increases the activeness of fish.  Up-tide with “In-currents” into Atolls are the best time; however, there are so many times and occasions that we caught many and big fishes in the time at non-ideal tidal conditions.  So keep casting is only way as we do not fully understand the nature and fishes.  I can hardly understand what women are thinking at times including my wife while they are the same human being with common language.  With GTs, we have less in common to fully understand and anticipate their activities.
  • Bigger lures do not mean bigger fishes attack.  The size difference of 200g Stickbaits (e.g. Carpenter Gamma) v. 120g are not that huge from the eyes of 20-60kg GTs.  The same principle goes for small lures.  Last over 50kg Captain Mohamed landed was our prototype lure Hitter Lure IBO that is short and light.  IBO was made with the inspirations of another successful lure – GT Harrier.
  • Colors are not much issues.  Some argue fishes are color blinds.  I do not know the truth either way but it is fact that GTs attack very unnatural color lures such as pastel Pink or Orange, etc…  So I personally like the lures with those vivid, visible colors so that it is easier to see the lures on water in distance.  If you see the lures, you see the fish attacks – that is more fun and exciting.  However, light reflection is something fishes react.  Many believe Abalone is the best attraction.  Abalone stickers are very expensive to increase the price of lures; if 80 usd regular gamma, then abalone versions are 150 usd!  When you lose 150 usd lures to sharks or red snappers, it is very sad!!  Before I was using more Abalone lures but hardly do now.  If you believe the power of Abalone, please spend double on lures!  (BTW, GT Fishers Maldives are now starting to produce cost friendly Stickbaits and Poppers around 30-40 usd – some abalones we have developed add only 5 usd or so compared to regular paints).
  • More distance you can cast, higher the chance of catching fishes with less boat pressures.  Too heavy lures or air resistant poppers cannot gain distance.  It is fun to get fish on at 70-80 meter away from the boat and big ones start swimming away for 100 meter or more with screaming drag on reel.  This is ultimate fun and excitements!



Let me start with Poppers as I started with initial phase of GT Fishing.




Craft Bait GT-2 Abalone.  Initially It was my most favorite.  Internationally GT-3 seems higher popularity as I learned in Facebook communities. Hammer Head is in the middle pic that will be covered below.




7Seas Raptor-Nemo Popper 120g – This 7Seas is from Thailand, not the same as Japan’s Sevenseas (  7Seas GT100g is also a good and cheap lure especially for rental lures for beginners.  For a while, this was the best lure in our initial phase of GT Fishers Maldives when we started our operations.  This lure stands on water tilted about 45 degree instead of 90 degree vertical that is for most lures.  Actions were pretty easy even in rough water.  For prices, it is very well made lure.




Hammer Head D-Cup – Big mouth popper, a bit more air/wind resistant for casting.  Abalone version is extremely beautiful while extremely expensive.  Hammer Head is losing its brand values in the past few years but still an established GT Fishing brand.




Shell Shaping LuresManatee and Glan.  Old school GT lures in Japan with persistent fans.




Japan’s Sevenseas Valkyrja II.  Very basic but reliable Stickbaits. However, there seems no more productions of GT size.  Sevenseas are more trolling focused brand than GT Casting.




Again Craft Bait – Real Bait.  This Stickbait has very unique winding swim actions.  I had caught 48kg GT in Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll.  Dart Bait is also a good standard Stickbait.




Carpenter Gamma – The most famous and popular Stickbaits in the whole world.  Carpenter with its found Mr. Konishi has become the global legend in GT Fishing.  You do not find any distribution stocks available but only in online auctions for premium prices…




Native Works Napalm and Rattler.  Craftsmanship of the lures are amazing as everything is handmade with layers of coating to make the lures more durable than any others.  Napalm is becoming quickly known popular products in the past 1.5-2 years with words of mouth.




Yambal GT Harrier – Our recent favorite.  This is NOT wood made lure but plastic so that it is very durable.  This is so-called “diving pencil Stickbaits” so that it swim a bit like lipless minnow and dive more into the water in some conditions.  During inactive time, it is fast action/retrieve with just right weight for “keep casting” and diving makes easier for fishes to attack – Breaking top water is courageous thing for fishes to act on.  However, if hit while diving, it is not as exciting as visible huge water breaking attack by monster GTs.




Melon-Ya TW210/190 – This lure is also plastic and very durable.  Self actions make very easy for beginner to use.  Quickly becoming a favorite weapon for me.  Square flat surfaces makes splashing effects on topwater to attract fishes while make it very visible from anglers in distance.




GT FISHERS Collaboration and Original Lures
Hitter Lures from Thailand collaborate with GT Fishers from very beginning of our history.  Also GT Fishers Maldives Team produces original lures for both economical budget lures and premium.  Starting to produce tremble hooks soon as well.




Hitter Lures produced by Foolish Boot in Chiangmai, Thailand. Lhavy and IBO are most recent additions to the collections.  Lhavy comes from Lhaviyani Atoll in Maldives in naming – initial field testing in Lhaviyani Atoll expeditions in early 2014 went very well.  IBO is just tested last week in Haa Alifu Atoll and successfully landed over 50kg GT.  Aurora and modified Aurora Star are Hitter’s first Stickbaits.  All are using much harder wood than Japanese GT lures so that it is stronger against multiple catches of GTs while casting longer distance for slimmer body to the respective weight is definite advantages.  Magic Pop – this is budget popper for 35 usd produced for GT Fishers Maldives rental purpose first then become widely popular now.  Magic Pop naming comes from GT Fishers Maldives boat name – Magic Life.




GT Fishers Stickbait KABUKI & MAIKO.  Both are manufactured in very rural side of Indonesia to drive the cost low.  Pricing is set for 40 usd each for direct retail sales to customers globally.  KABUKI (left) is fast action basic stick bait and landed many GTs last week.  We spent last 1 year for evolution of the model by educating and training Indonesian factories and staffs.  MAIKO is slow motion with massive built-in actions that attracted so many GTs last week.  These lures can be ordered on board or by emailing at 



There are many many lures from Japan as well as from around the world available.  Some like to try them all.  In my case, I stick to a few of my favorite ones for most part and venture out for new 1 or 2 in every expedition.  Also we are adding some lures as the categories are not available – budget versions of poppers and Stickbaits as most of those lures are 50-80 usd in Japan and possibly much higher at overseas distributions.  In our own productions and other Japan based brand new products and new technologies, we will try to make them available for international shipping at minimum costs that GT Fishers are now opening the webshop soon to handle those international orders; meanwhile, email can you can give all inquiries and orders.  If you are coming to Maldives, you can order and have them ready in Maldives.  We keep some basic models in Maldives as local stock for lures. or email at