no wire trace needed mate but strong braided hooklink of about 40 to 50 pound is what i use in the uk. you need a good two feet of it too.i'd use 15 pound mainline and at least a three pound test rod.
baitwise beef heart has caught me some good fish,worms fished poped up are exellent but the bait ive had most of my cats on is livebaits. i would check if the rules permit you to use them though. large 28mm pellets are a good bet too