Fishing tactics for tiger fish, nembwe, bream, sharptooth, tilapia and vundu catfish and other species are many and varied and most lodges either supply or rent tackle. The guides are all top-notch and professional and will help you along the way to adopt the right methods.
If I was restricted to just three outfits, I would take the following:
7-9 Wt fly rod with interchangeable reels of intermediate and fast-sinking, 20-30lb straight mono leader, a thin 6” wire leader and a shiny streamer fly. Tigers are everywhere in the system but love fast water, cascades, ends of rapids etc. and the glides below. Cast to rocks and structure and fast strip your fly back to the boat. Tigers are angler-friendly in that they will not head straight for structure when hooked, but instead make blistering runs and jump all over the river in a real acrobatic show. Nembwe, tilapia, bream and sharptooth cats will attack smaller flies and lures also in many of the same situations you will find tigers in.
A medium-light strength spinning outfit loaded with 20lb braid, a thin 6-9” wire leader and snap with either a small-medium spinner, spoon, minnow bait or surface lure and expect to be hit on the run by these ferocious predators. Big tigers will strip off line in incredibly long runs, while the smaller ones are much easier to handle. Cast to structure, fast water and rips and also into the glides and sand bars. Nembwe, bream and sharptooth cats will also hit smaller lures and spinners.
A medium-heavy strength baitcasting outfit that I would use for big tigers (and for vundu cats in the lower Zambezi) involves 30-45lb braid with a 9” wire leader with a snap, larger lures like the deep diving Rapalas, larger spoons and spinners. A big tiger will still be able to strip off line but will be easier managed if the tackle is beefed up. Still be ready for the tussle of your life if a 15lb+ tiger snaffles your lure. Hang on tight! The bigger nembwe, tilapia, bream and sharptooth cats will handle a larger lure but in general, only the large tigers will attack the larger lures.
Vundu Catfish Gear
Vundu are normally nocturnal but can be caught during the day. Either with a lead weight on the bottom or simply drifting, anglers can use heavier outfits to cast cutbait out into likely looking haunts and deeper water while enjoying a cold one (beer!). Vundu in the Lower Zambezi have been recorded over 120lb.