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Everything posted by DerekD

  1. Short answer - yes, to get the most casting distance out of it. Modern spools (alloy versus the old plastic) are suited to braid as they won't crush. The issues is that depending on the reel size and the braid selected the braid won't fill up the spool completely. It might not seem like much but every time the line has to come off the spool and then work its way up and around the lip of the spool it costs energy. The longer that distance the more the energy is lost. Have I checked this empirically - no but it only costs me a little more effort to do it optimally the first time. When it comes time to change out the braid I strip the remaining braid off and then get the same brand and type as before. On a side note. Braid is slippery and if you tie it directly to the spool the line may not grip. At the very least on my reels that are spooled all the way with braid I use 1m of mono as it grabs the spool better. The people in the shop often use tape to lock it onto the spool. In the shop they will sort this out for you. Alternatively, you select a braid off one of the big bulk spools in the shop and then run braid all the way. You don't want to overfill either as that increases the risk of birds nests. Second question: My general go to are plastics as I can get several of these for one good hard body. Less painful to lose. If I do snag up then there is a method of bouncing the lure off the snag by playing the line like a guitar string. It tensions up the line and then releases the tension briefly. The shock load transfers down the line and the stored energy can bounce the lure off the snag. Spend some time getting to know the areas you fish. In Sydney many of the bays have a sandy bottom. I've also gone to some of the sandflats or mud flats on super low tides to see what snags are in the area. As you get more confident you can fish the hardbody lures more often. If you snag up on a crank bait you can pause and then sometimes it will back off the structure. One of the people @Mike Sydney I was mentoring last year and am still in contact with did an excellent report on his learnings. Alternatively, start with topwater as per @Niall
  2. We will cover this in more detail later but one of the biggest things to watch is to be in contact with the lure as much as possible and avoid slack as much as possible. Three reasons: If you have slack the lure has a tendency to drop straight down rather than swim down like on a pendulum You can see the hits and the fish almost hook themselves. If you don't wind on the spool with tension and you are unlucky then you will likely see some birds nests sooner or later. Number 3 is more likely the lighter you go in lures. For example ultralight such as 1/20 oz.
  3. From past experience I am really hesitant about using swivels and clip ons on anything but the terminal tackle for some of my outfits. Specifically when using fast retrieves with something like a Halco twisty. If I get distracted the hit of the swivel on the top guide sends shivers down my back. For that reason I prefer a leader knot as this has a good chance of passing through the guides without damaging them. I do have some exceptions but like most things in life there is a time and a place.
  4. Likely mullet. Not a big lure taker from past experience and if I had to I'd be using my fly rod with bread flies and burley up the water with bread. Fun if you hook one and they can get big but not something I chase.
  5. Hi M, Wouldn't stress it. Outfit is fine. The only thing I'd recommend down the track dropping down to a lighter braid as your confidence grows. I'll respond in more detail this evening or at lunch time. D.
  6. Hi again, In the end you will be making the final choices but I've helped several people on their way with this type of fishing and this is a summary of the gear we are using. Just a note on the rod. To get the weight down some manufacturers have extended the butt then put a small counterweight at the end. Personally I'm not a fan of these as I find with my rod tip down style of fishing means that the butt then hits on the meaty part of my forearm. The rods I am using these days are from the ArrowZ range. To give you a bit of versatility I highly recommend you look at the ArrowZ bream surface AAS-270BS 7 foot 3-8lb and 2 to 12gm lure weight and I have mine set up with a Shimano 1000 reel. If you want something just slightly beefier then look at the AAS-270UL 7 foot 3-10lb and 3 to 14gram lure weight and I have mine set up with a Shimano 2500 reel. Even if you don't buy them get an idea of the proportions (butt length) and then look at other rods. I also own the super-ultralight in this same range but funnily enough I'm more or less using the same 4lb braid on all three outfits. It really breaks about 9lbs and it casts well enough for my needs but is still strong enough to land pelagics like salmon and kingfish when they have hit my lures on the sandflats. The following is copied from an email to one of the people I was assisting. We fish sandflats as well as Sydney harbour so we have a good chance on the pelagics in summer and some of my lure selection is based on this. First rod: 2-4kg, 2 piece graphite, 7 to 7 foot 6 inches, 1 guide per foot of rod length plus 1. Short butt so it doesn’t bump up against your forearm when working plastics. If budget is a concern look for the Sienna Quickfire Combo 7 foot with 2500 reel for about $100. This is a little on the heavy side for my liking after using the Arrowz range. If you want to mix and match and the budget is a bit more then: The Arrowz’s are a good starting point. The Shimano Raider bream finesse (762 7 foot 6 inches 2-4kg and 3-12gram lure rating) is a third. Shop around as I have seen the Arrowz on special at about $100 but usually they are around $129. Reel 2500 is a nice all round size for what we do with light gear. Suggest Shimano Sedona ($90 - $100) as a baseline. I also have a couple of 1000 reels which is use purely for the sandflats. Line: Match it with some 4lb Power Pro or 4lb Berkley X5 or super thin 6lb Daiwa J braid or 6lb Shimano Kairiki. $26 to $32. I prefer white/crystal (easier to see when working a lure) so I use the X5 in 4lb and 150m. If you spool it yourself then backing and leader: I like Platypus Super 100 clear and in 8lb. You can use it to partially fill up the spool and then the remainder as leader. $14 to $18 depending on being on special. I've been using Nitlon Fluorocarbon as my leader material for years and don't see a need to change. As a general rule my leaders are 50% to 100% more than my main line. 4lb braid (which breaks at 9lb) gets used with 6lb leader or 8lb leader. I will go to 10lb leader if I know the kings around. RANT HERE: When I started out the general advice was use a rod length or more of leader. At the time (over 15 years ago) the recommended knot was the uni to uni. After a learning curve I came to the conclusion that this advice was stupid for several reasons. Firstly, I could feel the knot bumping through the guides and was pretty sure it was not good for the knot (BTW, even an FG knot can catch on the way back in on the V of the top guide). Secondly, we are fishing areas where there was structure so you could snag up. When loading up the line it would often break at the leader knot rather than the terminal tackle so you just lost several meters of relatively expensive fluoro. With maybe the exception of the people fishing competitions for bream, what is the advantage of using such a long leader (and these people have the option of fishing fluorocarbon straight through)? The braid is skinnier than the fluoro so is not that easy to see anyway. The chafe resistance of the leader is usually only needed at the working end. You don't need that much shock leader for casting as the rod tip flexes too. I'm of the opinion that most people repeat it as that is what they have heard from others and never questioned it. I discussed this topic with @wazatherfisherman several months ago as his fishing knowledge is encyclopedic and we came to the conclusion that it came across from the International Game Fishing Association where they allow wind on leaders. I use leader to the length that the knot does not enter the guides (say 80cm) and if I'm feeling really lazy have let this get down to 10cm and am still catching fish. If anyone can give me a genuine reason for using one to several rod lengths of leader with a well thought out reason then I would genuinely love to hear it as I couldn't work it out. One other hypothesis was that maybe the braid sounds different to mono underwater (think different guitar strings). Jig Heads TT Tournament Series jig heads with the bullet head (not the darter heads). As per attached photo TT Tournament (bullet head) ¼ oz with 1H hook for 3 inch plastics (yellow/orange packet) TT Tournament (bullet head) 1/6 oz with 1H hook for 3 inch plastics (yellow/orange packet) Can also get the same in a 1/8th oz with 1H hook – these are easier to find Please note that they do these in a fine wire but as there is a chance we hook into a king or salmon I get the heavier H wire for added confidence. If using 4” plastics I use the 1/4oz and 1/0 hook. Gamakatsu Round 211 in 1/8 oz and 1 or 2 hook is what I use for grubs. I have to order these in through my local tackle shop (not the chains). Next is Soft plastics: Over the years my go to are pearl/blue, pearl watermelon in 3 and 4” minnows (Berkley Power bait) and 2” grubs (Berkley Powergrub). Some plastic brands do not play well together so I keep them in their plastic bag till I need to pull one out. Z-mans with their tougher plastic are popular with some anglers but I have trouble keeping them on the jig head. Jig head container (Daiso or your local tackle store) – they used to sell small boxes filled with a variety of screws or nails. I bought one of each and gave the contents away. For $2.80 each I was ahead. Halco twistys in silver 10gm or other companies will do a similar type of slice. I take off the treble hook and put on a Gamakatsu large eye hook in size 1 or 2. Ecogear ZX40 (ZX30 is too light but ZX35 can be made to work) – I like one shiny and one dark for differing contrasts. They are now doing the Ecogear ZX43. Hardbodies - suggested starting point only) Lure Budget price MMD Splash prawn 70mm $21.95 Sugapen 70mm (HF-119 or C-394) $26.95 Sugapen 70mm (CT-287) $29.95 OSP bent minnow (G-28) $33.95 Crank bait shallow (Jackall Chubby 38 or Atomic Crank 38) $20.95 Crank bait deep (Jackall Chubby 38 or Atomic Crank 38) $20.95 Daiwa INFEET SLIPPERY DOG 80F TG Fishing Lure $24.99 Terminal tackle (discuss later): Sinkers, hooks, swivels, duolock snaps. The outfit you have will be very versatile and we use it for squidding and baitfishing too. Regards, Derek
  7. Hi Off the rocks. First thing is I wouldn't consider your rod a light rod. It sounds more like a lightish rod and I'm guessing 3 to 6kg. Second thing is the mono makes it a little more difficult as it is heavier and bulkier on strength versus strength basis than braid. Brand dependent but 8lb mono has a diameter of about 0.27mm and 8lb braid has a diameter 0.13mm. That is a substantial increase in mass that the 1/6oz jig head has to drag out. The mono often has memory so this creates even more resistance as it comes off the spool. I fish a 2-4kg (3 to 12 gram) outfit with a 2500 Shimano reel spooled up with 4lb braid which should actually break at around 9lb and I can get a 1/6th oz jig head and soft plastic about 30m. I've never actually measured this but that is my estimate. A few of the people I was mentoring were using 8lb braid versus the 4lb I like to use and I was getting a noticeable increased casting distance on like for like lures in the range you are discussing. Factor in the fact the mono you use is bulkier than the 8lb braid they were using and it has an impact. The third thing might be your casting technique and that I would have to see. You'd probably have to get a video up of that. That you are aware of how the rod is or isn't loading up suggests that casting is not your primary issue. If you have a mate with a reel with say 4lb braid try casting that on your rod and see if that has an impact on casting distance. Regards, Derek
  8. Hi @pscarey, Awesome write up and worth the wait. It has been a reel (pun intended) pleasure watching your development over the last few months and thanks for the company during the lockdown. Now that things are opening up we will have a lot more opportunities to try more things. Love the profile picture and @Wes will have a high bar to follow when he gets around to doing his report. Regards, Derek
  9. Hi Niall, thanks for posting mate. I always enjoy reading your reports. Hope to catch up with you soonish for a fish. Got something planned for Saturday the 23rd in the inner west if you are around and weather permits. Regards, Derek
  10. Hi Bear, Wonderful to hear from you. I've been luckier than most in that I work in an essential industry so that has been as stressful for me as other people. On the downside I've lost access to most of my favourite fishing locations so have spent time mentoring others instead. They have had some successes (including a rat king on bream gear which was landed). You are probably all over it (and it will be more satisfying if the two you achieve it yourselves) but if you need some help on the king front just reach out. Regards, Derek
  11. Hi Mate, Long time no chat. Usually the lowest and largest eye on the rod is a good indicator as to the function of the rod. On a spinning rod the bottom eye is larger than that of an equivalent overhead (game or baitcaster) as there is a whipping motion of the line as it comes off the reel and the larger eye does not constrain the movement. On the overhead we are talking a drum so it is guiding the line and needs less space for movement. Regards, Derek PS. Looking at the photo with the relatively small bottom eye and that the guides are top and bottom bound I'd be leaning towards it being an overhead rod.
  12. Hi BH, You've just hit on one of the two topics that really get under my skin (the other is barometric pressure). Many years of TV program hosts talking about within 1 hour either way of high or low tide is the best time to fish has resulted in many people blindly believing or repeating it. Here is my take on it. Firstly, the whole harbour or water system does not start firing up as soon as the tide falls within these magical windows. If it were that simple I'd check out the tide charts and then head down to the water, catch fish for 2 hours and then go on to my next activity. Doesn't work like that for me or anyone I fish with. Do I believe tides matter - on the whole, yes. It is not so much the tide but what is happening during the tide and at specific locations. Examples: Mangroves. On a rising tide fish can move into them to pick at insects or food dropping from the trees. On a falling tide food can get washed out. Back eddies around structures in the water depending on which way the tide is flowing. These might trap small baitfish. Sand flats when the fish can move in to feed on yabbies or crustaceans and the oysters on the rocks Long reef as the incoming tide hits the wall and pushes the smaller fish over the lip Spit bridge in Sydney. There is a lot of water coming through that narrow neck into and out of Middle Harbour meaning the tidal flow is pretty quick through there. Fish will generally not want to work hard for their food as it wastes energy (watch trout in a stream as they hide in the eddies created by structure and pop into the stream to grab an insect then pop back to their holding point). On the low and high tide as the water changes direction it is easier for them to sit in that area. They could also hide in the eddies in front of or behind the bridge pylons and waiting for food to come past. Oyster leases as the water moves over them exposing the other residents to the predatory fish. I do keep a tide chart in my car. On low tide there are areas I like to fish (e.g. walking on the rocks and oysters around the edges of bays). High tides make these impractical to fish so I head to other spots that give me good access on a high tide. Fish are also opportunistic feeders. Put the right thing in front of them at the right time and they'll probably take it regardless of what the tide is doing at that particular time. When my line is in the water I have a chance at catching a fish so my approach has been to get out there and fish whenever I can. Just some food for thought. Derek
  13. Hi again, Good question academically but I think impractical in the reel (pun intended) world. My thought process will hopefully clarify why. I own overhead game outfits on which I preset the drag and I think it makes sense. If I send the drag lever to sunset I know what it is without having to worry how close I am to breaking strain. With spinning outfits the situation is a lot more fluid. First point is I back my drag off at the end of each fishing session to make sure I don't compress the washers (especially felt ones) over time. This means each time I go fishing I'll have to reset the drag again which is a pain. Next thing is how tight the drag is can often be dependent on the fight. If I'm over reef and chasing kings I've had times where the drag is locked even before the fight. Similar situation would be for fish like mangrove jacks (not from personal experience) where they race out and then race back into structure. From all reports you need to stop them quickly. In Sydney harbour I might end up hooked on a salmon or king while chasing smaller fish such as flathead or snapper or similar. If I have room to let them run I'll let them but if they are heading to structure then I might have to tighten up on the drag pretty quickly to turn their head. On the light gear my approach has been to start relatively low with the drag and if I hear clicks from the drag when I'm flicking lures then I gradually tighten up the drag till the clicks stop. If a fish such as a king hits it then I let it run for a little bit and then gradually just tighten up a few clicks at a time till I stop the first run. If I can do that then I have a very good chance of landing the fish. At this point I will also drop the drag back a few clicks to give myself an extra margin of error. Also note as mentioned above, as line is peeling off the reel the diameter gets smaller and that same drag gradually increases in resistance. Regards, Derek
  14. Hi NutsAboutFishing, Any particular rod and reel setups you are talking about? Bream/Snapper/Megladon? Regards, Derek
  15. My condolences to Stewy and the rest of your family.
  16. I know them both very well. I spend a lot of time in that area. PM will be sent but give me about 20min to finish dinner. Have your computer handy.
  17. Hi FakeWindows? Where are you based (suburb)? Might need to have a chat to work out where you are at (fishing wise in this case - gear, experience, etc.) Regards, Derek
  18. I've heard of some stupidly amazing captures as a result such as a 200kg (not actual figures as this is from memory) on 8lb line. The fish took the bait and the boat backed up quick enough that they got to touch the leader before the fish realised it and I suspect gaffed it. This was second hand from someone else so don't take this as written in stone. Had a quick look and found this article. In particular look at catches number #53 (5 minutes) and #45 (two minutes) on 2lb tippet: https://www.sportfishingmag.com/top-100-world-record-fish/
  19. I have some friendly social fishing comps with mates and our call is the fish is counted when it is in genuine and easy netting distance. Ideally it is landed which takes it beyond all doubt but we came up with that guideline so we wouldn't get penalised by a bad job at netting the fish. If you'd had a net with you could you have genuinely netted the fish? It sounds like the only reason for losing the fish was to try and get the hooks out. In my eyes that counts as a catch. The problem will be you don't have a definitive length so it makes the actual PB size a little fuzzy.
  20. Queensland also had no release laws on carp. About a decade ago there was even a $220,000 fine if you were caught releasing carp into the wild. Not sure if it is still applicable. Found the original reference: https://www.fishingworld.com.au/news/noxious-fish-net-big-fines
  21. My collection from top to bottom: Cross fire lure 230 (bent minnow on steroids on steroids) Ocea Pencil 150S 150mm 60g Rapido F190 Chug Norris 150 and 180 River2Sea Dumbbell pop 200 Ebb tide Heru skipjack 90 (wood) Ebb tide Heru skipjack 120 (wood) Blue fish 100 (Handcrafted replicas) in white and what my friend caught the 1.20m king on. Blue fish 100
  22. Hi KingBonito, I've got some suggestions for lures to look at but I come a bit unstuck on the working part of your question. I'm in a position where I used to be able to fish off a rockshelf after work (pre-covid). One of my co-workers chases nothing but big fish most of the time and what most people would consider a good catch he would consider bait. He is the only person I know who has landed several marlin off the rocks live baiting so that is not really an understatement. One of his goals was to catch a metre plus king off the rocks and I was there when he did so. He was using a white wooden stickbait in the wash and I saw the kingfish come up take it and then turn back down. The fight was in one word - "brutal". Winner take all. The kingfish ended up being 1.20m long and 15.6kg. Since then I've picked up several stickbaits and poppers from the same source. These are beautifully made and around the $70 mark. The problem is that I haven't been able to use these very often. I think the stickbait he was using was the Heru Ulua and this was matched with size #8 heavy duty split rings and BKK hooks. Look for the Heru skipjack as a starting point. Cast well and behaves really nicely when punched back across the surface. I'll grab a photo of my collection and edit this post later. It includes the Chug Norris and the cheaper river2sea poppers as well as the more expensive ones I mentioned above. Another beautiful lure I've picked up which has a lot of potential is the Jackfin Stylo 210 - it is a really good garfish imitation. Skips over the surface when worked back. Regards, Derek
  23. Any budget restrictions?
  24. Hi Peter, I second that on the small leatherjackets. In the summer when I head out on the kayak, on the fishfinder, I often see a swarm of fish around the section of water adjacent to the lighthouse. They will destroy any squid baits I've got down without a bump on the rod. My theory is that people often burley up around there and you have a school of resident leather jackets. The good thing is that it usually only seems to be the water within say 10 to 15 meters from the lighthouse. If you can get your baits/ures into deeper water the problem should go away (mostly). Regards, Derek
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