New South Wales has everything from surf fishing to small-stream fishing, and you won’t be able to do both with a single rod-reel combo.
A light spin outfit will work in most situations outside the surf zone.
A 3-6kg spin outfit is the ideal all-rounder for most NSW estuary and freshwater fishing. See some eBay listings here.
For wary fish in clear water, a 3kg spin outfit is ideal for estuary whiting and bream. It is also ideal for freshwater fish, including trout and bass. See eBay listings here.
For surf fishing the beaches, 6kg to 10kg rod-reel combo is ideal for most beach fishing, but for rock fishing and chasing surf mulloway heavier gear is needed, see eBay listings for heavy-duty surf and rock combos here.
For boat fishing, a shorter, stouter rod carrying a spinning or overhead reel loaded with 10kg line is ideal for general reef fishing in water to around 20m deep, and with a spinning reel can be used to cast lures to pelagic fish. See eBay listings here. Rods around 7′ long are ideal for boat fishing.
Metal slice lures are ideal for tailor, kingfish and salmon in the surf and off the rocks. See eBay listing here.
Soft plastic paddle tail lures are popular and effective all-round lures for NSW estuary and freshwater species, see eBay listings here.
Weighted jig heads are needed to rig most soft plastic paddle tail lures, although some have the jig head built in. See eBay listings here. It pays to use the lightest jig head possible, and light resin jig heads allow an angler to present a more realistic suspending lure action.
Sabiki bait jigs are great for catching yakkas, slimy mackerel and pike, buy them on eBay here. Remove droppers if required to stay legally compliant, cutting a complete rig in half will usually make two legal sets.
For squidding, standard unbaited squid jigs such as these are effective, see listings here.
Baited ‘spike jigs’ work well on large squid. These jigs are cast under a float and left out until a squid takes the bait. Bait the jig with a small fish such as tommy ruff or mullet. These large baited jigs look clumsy compared with the smaller jigs more commonly seen, but they are effective … see listings here. The barbed version is even better if you can find them for sale.
Smaller squid can be targeted with baited spike jigs such as these … see eBay listings here.
The secret for successful squid fishing is to fish dusk, darkness and dawn, when the water is clear. Summer is usually best.
Star sinkers or snapper leads are generally used on a paternoster rig for surf and boat fishing. For most other fishing, ball sinkers are used, as part of a running sinker rig where the sinker slides along the line, allowing a fish to easily run with a baited hook. See eBay listings for ball sinkers here, see listings for star sinkers here and for snapper leads here.
Hooks in mixed sizes (suggest 1# or #2 for whiting, 6# or #8 for garfish, 4/0 for tailor, salmon and flathead, 11/0 for large mulloway). Listings on eBay here.
Ganged hooks (joined chains of hooks) are used when fishing pilchard baits for tailor. Listings on eBay here.
Flounder spearing is popular in New Souh Wales. A submerged light is generally used to find the fish, see eBay listing here.
Shrimp and yabbies are great baits for freshwater fishing. Strict regulations apply to the type of gear used to catch them. Ebay sellers have a variety of yabby and shrimp traps, be sure to buy one that complies with local regulations.
Garden worms are also an excellent bait for fresh and saltwater fishing, see worm farm listings on eBay here.
Other items you may need are wire trace to stop fish such mackerel or sharks biting through your line, see eBay listings here, swivels to stop line twist when using spinning lures here, a filleting knife to clean your fish here, a burley bucket to attract fish to your area here, a waterproof torch here, a sharpening stone for knives and hooks here, bait jigs to catch baitfish such as slimy mackerel or yakkas for bait here, a sharpening stone for knives and hooks here, and of course a tackle box here.
Lastly, if don’t want to use traditional smelly baits, you can try a commercial bait product such as this.