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Volitan last won the day on June 2

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  1. Thanks Jon, I'll test them and post the results later today - or maybe tomorrow. cheers
  2. Jon what are the ‘special fluoro knots’ you are talking about. Can you suggest a couple and I’ll test them before I move on to something else. i note that salt Strong (authors of the video you posted) found in their testing that the Palomar was the best for fluoro to tackle. id be curious.
  3. What can be learnt from this. 1. Both the Penn and BlackMagic are underrated. Manufacturers do this deliberately to give the impression their lines are remarkably strong. The Sunline is overrated. I suspect this is because it’s a Japanese product and the Japanese buy line by diameter, not by breaking strain. Really, the Penn and Black Magic are 35lb lines sold as 30lb, and the Sunline is 25lb line sold as 30lb. Looking down to the table of measured line diameters you can see the real breaking strains are entirely in line with line diameter not with claimed breaking strain, so no surprises there. 2. The snelled hooks were disappointingly weak. I’ve always preferred to snell hooks in the belief it’s stronger, but clearly it isn’t so. 3. When knotted (regardless of snell, double-loop uni or palomar) fluorocarbon loses a great deal of its strength compared to mono. The Black Magic was by far the worst, losing 23%. The FC rock is a bit more forgiving so I wasn’t surprised to see it only lose 13%. The Penn lost only 4%. 4. I got a real surprise when I decided to look at the consequence of tying to different hardwares to examine some puzzling breakoffs. Look at the results and you will see that halving the diameter of the hardware tie-on point reduced the knots by about 18% for the nylon, but hardly at all for the fluorocarbon. A 1.5mm wire is about the diameter of a typical 6/0 hook, while a 0.8mm diameter wire is about normal for a size 1 swivel. For a swivel with 1.5mm diameter wire you need to choose a 3/0 swivel which is the biggest stocked in most tackle shops. Use any less on 30lb mono and you are compromising the strength of your rig by about 30%. I have always chosen swivels by breaking strain and consequently usually chosen a size 1 swivel - but never again. 5. Finally, abrasion. Again the Penn mono performed better then the Black Magic Flouro, with the Sunline FC rock being consistent with its diameter. No product was a star. Consequently I’ve given up on flouro. I hope people find this useful. Next up I’m going to look at some Jinkai Plus leader.
  4. Earlier in the year I made a device for objectively testing breaking strain of fishing lines and rigs. This I followed up with one for testing abrasion resistance. I did this because line durability vs visibility is very important to me as I fish landbased, and unfortunately I’m pretty much limited to well fished (perhaps overfished) localities. If I had a boat, I probably wouldn’t care, but I need to use the lightest line possible to fool leader-shy fish, and I need to stop them immediately or they will be lost around pylons, oyster beds, moored boats etc. Not an easy task with a decent size kingfish and in truth most of them fairly quickly find the weaknesses in my tackle. This happened again recently when I purchased some fluorocarbon (Sunline FC Rock 30lb) and stupidly went out after kingfish without testing it first. I noticed when I snagged up a couple of times that it was breaking at a low kg, but it was almost time to go home so I persisted with it. Inevitably a good size kingfish grabbed hold and broke me off almost immediately. Heartbreaking - I spend far too long trying to get a fish like that on to let the chance go by. Anyway, I decided to test the Sunline FC Rock flouro against my go-to mono nylon, plus purchased another flouro for good measure. So the test subjects were Penn Super X in 30 lb Black Magic Flouro leader in 30lb Sunline FC Rock in 30lb One middle-market nylon against 2 flouros, all purchased within the last couple of weeks. The results are in the attached spreadsheet. I think it makes good reading and there are a lot of lessons there for people who regularly go out undergunned. Methodology. I do the straight-line tests in the industry standard way by wrapping the line several times (without crossover) around low-friction bollards and clipping off. Knots direct to tackle are tested by fixing the hardware to a peg and wrapping the loose end around a bollard. A steady pressure is applied to the line till it snaps, and a scale preserves the breaking point so it can be read off later. The abrasion tests are done with the line fixed at one end, laid over a poly pipe wrapped with 120 grit sandpaper, and weighted at the other end with a 2kg weight. As the pipe is rotated (simulating the line being drawn across exposed rock) it winds on a tape, so that when the line breaks the tape can be read giving the number of millimetres of passage across the rough medium that the line can tolerate. I also do durability tests by drawing the line to 60% of its breaking strain 50 times, then measuring the breaking point. This simulates a big fish giving your line hell. Although I present only the 5 final results for each test case, my method is to do multiple tests until I’m confident I am tying good representations of the knot (or whatever), then do the 5 tests. I start each session by calibrating the test rig, and knots are drawn up with olive oil and examined briefly under a handlens before testing. Maybe some people think this is being a bit fussy, but I feel that if your going to spend this much time doing something you might as well do it properly. Results as Excel file attached. Conclusions in next post. linetest result 1.xlsx
  5. I’m interested in taking a local Central Coast charter - mainly as a learning experience. This has come about because yesterday I went fishing in a boat (a rare thing for me) in Brisbane Water. While sitting on the water feeling very pleased with myself for catching two good flathead, a fishing charter pulled up and over the next hour pulled out 5 kingfish (2 x 900, 3 over 1 meter I heard them say). I was getting nothing, and only one other boat got a fish. The spot we were fishing is well know and the method he was using is well known to everyone - I guess it’s just that through his years of experience he’s raised it to a new level. There are probably tiny, subtle differences in what he does that makes him more successful then everyone else. It occurred to me that I could spend the rest of summer trying to perfect this type of fishing and still end up mediocre - or I could hire his boat and learn what he does direct from the master. So is anyone else interested in splitting a charter - chasing mainly kingfish in Brisbane Water. I reiterate that this is not primarily about catching fish - it’s about learning and refining techniques. I make no promises that you will catch fish - maybe his excellent catch is something even he rarely repeats - but he was doing something right compared to the rest of us and I’d like to know what it is. Im interested in splitting the charter mainly to reduce cost, but also because you always learn more fishing with other people. Always. PM me if interested. Obviously I’m holding back information on location and technique but I’ll discuss it in full in a pm. cheers
  6. Thanks for the replies guys. i should have pointed out that the hire boats don’t have rod holders (strange but true). Otherwise it would be easy. what about those plastic paravanes. Does anyone use them or are they ancient technology?
  7. I’m wanting to slow troll for kingfish using squid (dead, probably). ill be in a hire boat so no setup possible for a downrigger. the depths range from 7 to perhaps 9 meters. Any ideas anyone. Would one of those plastic paravanes get down to that depth? Is there anything else I’m missing? cheers v.
  8. Yep, the question is a bit vague so I’ll tell you what I use and maybe it will apply. i do a lot of fishing from land for kingfish. the reels I use are Penn spinfisher 750 Okuma Hardstone (about the same size) shimano TLD 20 overhead. the rods are a 12 ft ugly stick at 8-12kg line class and a 9 ft 5-10 kg line class (name forgotten) all fairly cheap gear. i use 50lb braid mainline or 40lb mono around rocks. i use 30lb mono trace, going down to 20 when necessary. It would be great to use a stronger trace, but where I fish they are too leader-shy - even the 30lb is marginal. For kingfish you need a strong drag, not big capacity. They usually don’t go far but just start hunting for something to bust you off on immediately. with rats (just-legal size kingfish) I try to stop them immediately - tight drag and zero run, keep them thrashing in open water for a while, and bring them in once they are a bit tired - otherwise they are very likely to bust off on the rocks at your feet. bigger fish are much harder. I get the odd one in but usually it’s a short-lived affair. if you can find fish somewhere where there is no structure then you could go lighter. When I had a boat, I used to fish around the channel markers using a 9 weight fly rod and 10lb trace, which was quite adequate, but it’s different land-based because there is usually structure around. the most important thing to know if fishing for kings from land is that if you don’t pull them they won’t pull you - which applies to most fish but with kingfish is a very strong trait. So you can just drop the pressure off and lead them gently away from structure - if you are sufficiently calm and in control (I’m usually not).
  9. Volitan

    Fresh Squid?

    Confirming: D and L Witchards Seafoods, Ocean Beach Road. standard disclaimer - I have no connection with them, just an occasional customer.
  10. Volitan

    Fresh Squid?

    If you want real fresh squid for kingfish or Jews then you need ones which have never been frozen or kept on ice for a significant period. Fish market and shop squid wont do because it’s begun to degrade and has that peculiar ageing smell that squid gets which puts these fish off. It might work for bream etc, but not predators oriented towards whole living squid. the only option I think is that shop near the roundabout on Ocean Beach and Woy Woy Road. It’s called Witchards. The brother of the owner is one of the commercial squid and prawn fishermen based in Patonga. He brings his catch into the shop fresh about three times a week. The days are regular but I forget which ones they are. If you time your arrival with his then you will get squid caught just a few hours before and kept in an ice slurry. If you explain what you want and why to the shop staff they will understand and give you guidance on how to get what you want. The only catch is the beds are decimated and catches are not regular like they used to be. Some days there is none. i Guess another option is to deal direct with the commercial squid fishermen. There is one in Patonga who will sell small quantities direct to anglers but I hesitate to put his details here in case it’s the wrong thing to do. Again, you need to fit in with his schedule because you don’t represent much income to him so can’t expect him to go out of his way. I usually just intercept his boat at the wharf and see what he has. a third option is to use Lunds squid. This is the packeted Californian squid sold at many tackle shops. It’s hi-tech snap frozen at sea so although it’s frozen it’s in a different league to the local product. It’s almost as good as fresh dead squid. Again, a catch, the season is late this year so any in the shops is last season’s, and there will be a hiatus of a couple of months before the new stock arrives. You may struggle to buy any for a few weeks so if you see any then stock up.
  11. My home made jig works very well and its accuracy is adequate but there are a couple of thoughts I’d like to pass on. 1. if you make a measuring system the most important thing is it has to be quick to do each test. While it’s common to see a tester state things like ‘this knot retains 90% of strength’ that is only an average. In reality the plot of knot strength will be a normal curve (actually a skewed normal curve) - so you need to do a lot of tests before you can be confident your average is valid. It gets old very quickly doing that with buckets of sand or water and a spring scale, especially when testing 20kg line and you have to lift 20+ kg of water, clean up and refill after every test. 2. the static line strength tests usually presented are not that useful. More important is to test: - shock load (ever lost a fish trying to net it) - durability (I stretch to 60% of break point 50 times, then test. This simulates a big fish giving your line hell) - abrasion resistance (Salt strong shows a simple but brilliant jig for this) 3. And finally, line, knots and terminal tackle are a system. They all work together. Different knots work better with different lines. Some lines respond poorly to being tied to thinner metal fittings, others don’t care. and yep, there were some unhelpful comments. If you do a search on my name you will see photos of a 27kg tuna I caught landbased in June. It was shortly after a period of intensive testing of knots and lines on my homemade test rig, which enabled me to greatly increase the reliability of my gear under stress. There is nothing like the feeling of hooking into a big fish and being entirely confident of your line and knots. I felt vindicated.
  12. Thanks Andrew. its interesting you should post this because I’ve just come inside from another session testing knots and leaders on my homemade testing rig. I should publish today’s results. cheers V.
  13. Great fish and a great day. How many kilos would that big one be?? i fished the Nelson Bay breakwall this morning. Quietest I’ve ever seen it. One guy managed a bream and I think that was all. I chucked 2 loaves of bread and 5 cans of cat food berley in over 2 hours and only had one little picker come out and investigate it. Even the little baitstealers were absent. Interesting how it couldn’t be more different.
  14. I was walking around a headland in Hawaii and found a humuhumunukunukuapua’a stranded in a tiny Little Rock pool and scooped it up to carry it back to the sea. It took a chunk out of my finger - it never occured to me they bite but they have a beak like a parrotfish. And that really is their name too - I expect there is a shortened version but I don’t know it.
  15. Sight-hunter becomes scavenger when the water is too murky to see and run down its prey, I guess.