26
Apr

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A squid jig I may never use but a good idea to have anyway.

6 packets of split rings for big & silly big lures I want to make.

2 x unitika leader in 40 & 50lb medium soft for live baiting and big lure throwing. Will be interested to see how this leader goes. Normally I only buy hard leader but it’s such a pain tying knots in larger breaking strains and not as natural in the water when live baiting. Just hope it doesn’t snap easily around oyster encrusted pylons. For 3-30lb leader I love super hard leader that gives superior abrasion resistance.

Unitika Aorika Super PE II 210m spool in white colour. I have heard nothing but great reports about this braid and finally found some at the right price in Japan. The 150m spools retail for $70 here + postage and I paid no where near that for a 210m spool. Will report back how it goes.

24
Apr

Latest supply package has arrived. Some of my favourite freshwater ‘trout’ lures that I use for jungle perch, inc. a larger one for mangrove jacks. Some singles for small lures. My favourite fluorocarbon in the entire world, Evergreen Seil. Plus some micro jigs. Freshwater needs sorted!

supply

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10
Apr

Frog Co., Ltd. are a very interesting company and I’m lucky to own a 5th Anniversary set of topwater lures. AFAIK they opened in 1997 so I’m unsure when they were made but I assume 2002 and they might be rare. F R O G make all manner of topwater products for bass fishing and are an example of one of the many more boutique Japanese fishing manufacturers out there that make plain awesome products. Check out the Frog website to see more.

The packaging and lure finish is amazing, great presentation and the lures are pretty cool. Stars and Stripes US styles.

frog-cover
Frog 5th Anniversary – chrome box

inside
Inside…

gun
Gun-Deeni

gun-deeni

suu
Suu-Zoon II

suu-zoon

weedless
Weedless-Bait

weedless-bait

As you can see they are interesting lures, especially the weedless bait with the weedless rear hook! They will never see water. I’d love to know how rare they really are! Just another example of Japanese surface game perfection.

09
Feb

A package came this week with some new arrivals. A few replacement lures and some plastics I’ve been wanting to try. Also some jig heads and hooks I haven’t shown here.

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Gave these Jackall Lake Police Pine Shrimp 3.5″ a test the other night and I wasn’t that impressed. I will have to experiment with different jig heads & rigging to get the action right.

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These IMA Melty Nymph swim well. Nice action, will be buying more of these.

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Bought the Megabass Counter Grub 5″ for jacks and slow presentations for barra in the snags. Rigged weedless they should work well and with some heavier weight will make a good option for bouncing down a rock walls for jacks & fingermark. Will work cut down as well for a smaller profile.

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These Imakatsu Huddle Fry are for some light fishing when the water is clear and the fish are just eating tiny baits. No real plans as yet.

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Got these Megabass Zull Peta as an alternative to gulp shrimp for those days when a minnow just doesn’t cut the mustard. Rigged weedless and cast deep into snags for jacks.

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If these swim anything like the hardbody version of the Imakatsu Javallon, I’ll be impressed! Rigged weedless and fished slow for barra these should produce.

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Haven’t tried these Jackall Ammonite Shads yet but I’m very keen to rig them weedless and cast/skipped deep into the backs of mangrove snags and see what happens. Should be able to tempt the odd barra and maybe a big jack.

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These ZipBaits Khamsin 70SP are seriously one of my favourite lures (and I have a few), deep or shallow. There are so many things about these lures that are superior, they really stand out. When the fishing is tough, these get put on and they catch fish. A few points that stick;

  • Cast a mile, longer than all other lures this size, and accurately
  • Built strong, tough eyelets that can handle upgraded trebles well
  • Great action, slow roll, burn, twitched, they really have it all
  • Extremely realistic in the water

I could rave on about how good these are, but Darren from Tackle Source has put it into words far better than I can manage, check it out here (a great blog too)!

They need upgraded trebles for fish species such as jacks and barra as the hook up rate is low due to the tiny trebles. Decoy Y-S81 Heavy Duty Treble hooks in size 8 work well. But realistically any heavy treble in size 8 will work. With upgraded trebles they are strong and still almost suspend, a very slight sink gives them a unique action. They are strong enough to handle barra if the trebles hold up, the bib is reinforced with wire as well.

If they released a 90mm & 120mm lure, they would be simply unreal for Barra and big jacks. Also a super deep would be cool as well for trolling the depths. I honestly dream of being able to make a lure this good, but the fact is most of the internals on these bad boys is what makes them so good.

The smaller versions of this lure work magicly on Sooty Grunter and Jungle Perch as well, especially in natural colours. As does the 70mm size of course!

An expensive lure, but worth every cent.

15
Mar

So excited I could squeal like a girl and pee my pants at the same time – ok, not quite that excited – ALMOST THOUGH! I’ve been a bit bummed lately with the ongoing monsoonal rains. Part of the tropical experience I realise, but the latest batch of gear has really got me fired up and I’m so keen to get out there and nab myself a few good fish. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing, at least I have some lures to finish keeping me occupied!

I did finally got the St Croix Legend Xtreme XS66MHF rod I’ve been waiting on and another shipment of lures from Japan. Pretty stoked as a good mate of mine is coming up from Brisbane and we’re heading off on a road trip up to Cape Tribulation and plan to hit a heap of spots land based on the way!!!

The New St Croix Rod

St Croix Legend Xtreme Fishing Rod

Got a very quick chance to try the rod out with a few different lures land based in a mangrove lined creek down the road. There are so many fishermen out and about after the monsoonal rains, it’s borderline creepy. This particular spot I’ve only ever seen a handful of anglers in all my time going there and today there were 7 of them. Amazing. Last night, there was 15 anglers at a local beach and all that was caught was 2 shovel nose rays (me) a tiny little soapie jewfish and a tiny crab, in over 3 hours. Talk about hard fishing, and most guys had 2 or 3 lines in the water!!

Back to the rod. I’m impressed, actually I’m VERY impressed. It’s exactly what I wanted and exceeds my expectations. This damn thing casts a mile, very accurately to – you can fire a cast at the exact spot you want. Just load the blank right up and it slings it at a million miles an hours – predictably STRAIGHT at the point you wanted. It’s very similar to my 1-3kg rod in stiffness, but with the added bonus of not feeling all too stiff (it’s still stiff, just not silly stiff). Usually a really stiff rod you need to use a lot of wrist, load the blank and let it recoil for the best casts. This St Croix is somewhere in the middle – you can flick it and let it come back, but also give it the full arm cast and it performs both ways, although I prefer mostly wrist – slinging it straight to the point I want it. Seriously, love it.

I tried to put a few lures into likely spots, but mostly just found myself casting into open water testing out different actions and lures. It’s pretty sensitive, I could feel even a blade of grass on the treble of my lures. The taper is what I wanted and even though it might appear under-gunned, it’s sure got some balls.

The rod was manufactured in November 2011, so it’s pretty fresh and with the exception of an AGONISINGLY long painful wait (28 days or so), it was a still good buy. I paid $344.70 + $47 postage, so basically $390, which is the most I’ve spent on a rod, but you only live once (apparently), I’m very light on gear and look after all of it very well.

My concerns with buying this rod were many.
Damage during postage, the rod tube was near industrial strength.
Cost, it would have been near $700-800 here for the same rod (scary).
Warranty, still covered with a solid plan for International customers.
Build quality, it’s prefect.
Colour, now I see it in the flesh, it’s damn sexy.
Recoil guides, I’d heard they were noisy, they weren’t that bad at all – and casting is certainly improved.

Weight, taper and length
Weight – I thought the rod might be too heavy at 8 – 14 lb (4-7kg) but it’s not, it’s actually lighter, but stronger than expected for a rod weighing in at a tad over 100 grams.
Taper is fast, but not too silly so still just ok for luring – a bit of care might be needed when ripping into a fish not to pull the hooks but I’d prefer a faster taper. Great for plastics, popping and I reckon it will go ok light jigging on the reef for little stripeys, grassy emperor and even casting at smaller pelagic species.
Length is good, I’m only a short lad, so 6’6″ isn’t really that short and it makes for easier luring.

St Croix Legend Xtreme Fishing Rod
St Croix Legend Xtreme Fishing Rod
St Croix Legend Xtreme Fishing Rod
St Croix Legend Xtreme Fishing Rod

It’s going to be perfect for the mangrove work, going over snags for barra and mainly jacks 😀 Light enough you could even go JP fishing with it, yet enough in reserve to pull any jack or smaller barra out of cover. Got to be happy with that, I love my light gear!! This rod pairs perfectly to the c3000 twinpower MG on it and they both have the balance of finesse and power I’m trying to achieve. Will it stand up to bigger stuff? Who know’s – but time will tell and I have a feeling that even if the rod gets outgunned, the reel will handle most fish I’m targeting – just not large pelagic or anything that wants to go on 200 metre power runs (that set up is being planned at the moment) 😀

New Lures 😀

Now onto the latest batch of lures, this is one of three I have received lately, the other two are already in tackle boxes or have been placed into the collection!! Lots of guys hate Japanese lures, especially Australian lure makers but I reckon they are just jealous and feeling insecure. You can’t replace a timber lure in some instances, just as a plastic lure will have actions and applications that a timber one might not. I really don’t care I collect both. Latest shipment had a bit of variety, some for jacks, some for JP and Sooty Grunter and a few for barra to. I can’t even describe how much I love lures, especially swimming new ones and finding the right one for that spot!!

New Japanese Fishing Lures

Top Row:
Smith. CAMION DR Sunset Gold
Tiemco. Night Raid 67F, ginpaku chart
IMA Sasuke 75 Shad
MD Pop Gear
SMITH. Hutley’s Treppie
Evergreen Showerblows (what a name)
Maria. The First MF-140 F
Maria. Chico Boca CB140
Imakatsu. Devil Chopper Careca 110S High Speed Retrive

Middle Row:
Smith. Hutley’s Classic 1998 Titty Boo
Tiemco. NOTOS CHUG PEPPER Jr, Super Ayu
Lucky craft. STAYSEE 90SP Ver.2, Silver Minnow

Bottom Row:
Smith. Hutley’s KACOON Suspend Pencil Bait
Skagit designs. SL minnow 125S, Handmade

Now I’m REALLY Itchin for Fishin!!

28
Feb

Lately I’ve been updating all my fishing gear to something more suitable for the NQ tropics. Fish up here quickly expose weaknesses in any gear and you need to be prepared.

So on the way I have two rods, a reel, some good quality Japanese braid and fluorocarbon leader.

st croix rod
St Croix Legend Extreme XS66MHF, so 6′ 6″, 8 – 14 lb. 3/8 – 3/4 oz fast taper. Weighs about 100grams and should be perfect for jacks and smaller barra. Will be paired to a c3000 Twinpower MG

rod
e21 carrot stick CG-701MH-S, Line Weight: 6-18 lbs. 1/4-5/8oz, Fast Action.

reel
3000 Diawa Fuego

leader
Varivas Seabass Shock Leader 30lb
braid
Unitika Silver Thread Saltwater PE 30lb

The carrot stick will be paired to the Daiwa Fuego 3000 and spooled with the 30lb braid.

Both should be nice outfits to throw larger lures around the mangroves for jacks and barra 😀

I’ve also been adding more lures to the collection with all sorts of stuff on the way at the moment. And I’ve just carved my first 4 lures and finished off a few blanks I was given by Mark Dunham. Something to keep my busy on the rainy days!! Will post pics soon!