Australia’s surf beaches provide a great fishing experience, but you need the right gear to enjoy this style of fishing.
Large Alvey sidecast reels were traditionally used for surf fishing because sand didn’t hurt them. There isn’t much that can go wrong with these reels, but they somehow fell out of favour.
A secondhand Alvey can be a good buy if you can find one, but be sure the lip of the spool is not chipped or rough as this will damage the line.
See eBay Alvey listings here.
Note that sidecast reels work best with a rod that has the reel mount at the bottom (butt) of the rod. These rods are often a single piece and up to 4.6m or so long, making them somewhat of a specialist item.
Otherwise, 10kg surf combos are a good all-round outfit for most surf fishing. See listings here.
A heavier combo is better for surf mulloway, snapper and shark fishing, see listings here.
Metal slice lures are ideal for catching tailor and salmon in the surf, and will also take herring (tommy ruffs), trevally, bream, kingfish and flathead. There are many types but the simple chrome styles are as good as any. See eBay listing here.
Ganged hooks in 6/0 size are perfect for chucking pilchard or garfish baits. See eBay listing here.
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.