Monday, September 14, 2015

Downsizing the bait

Recently, fishing time was limited to half a day at most. With that, the most logical fishing destinations are nearby spots that are easy to get to and are sure to deliver that scratch. Among the usual spots are ANP, Kap Larry's, and Horseshoe. But nothing beats SOF when it comes to the fishing 'ambience' and the fishes that you might catch if you can find that very specific lure that they want.

If you are pressed for time and the fishes are finicky, getting something to bite quickly with the least amount of effort is very important. During my visits to SOF, that's what I discovered. You have to really downsize the bait to get the fishes' attention.

Every time I arrive in the area, the fish were almost always not in the mood. Maybe because the water was muddy or maybe they are so familiar with our baits that they have learned to avoid them. I tried all the hard baits that I had but, except for an occasional dim-witted Janitor fish, no takers.

I also tried my tried and tested soft plastics in different shapes and sizes but still no takers. I even tried my brightly colored plastics with glow in the dark jig heads but I still wasn't able to get any attention.

That's when I discovered to try to and really downsize my baits.  I tied on a 2-inch Berkley Power Minnow and a 2-inch Java stick on an Owner 2x 4-gram jig head. As soon as I dropped these baits, they got hit by Pacus and Barras instantly. It felt that the water lit up with excitement every time I use these baits. When fishing for these fishes, I use a PE 1.5 main line and a 15lb flouro leader. With a slightly heavier line and leader, landing them was not a problem. Just make sure that you are using quality jigheads because cheap ones will only get mangled.

When Pacus take the bait, the plastic is almost always torn apart. I had to replace it after each and every fish. The barras were not that huge but they are acrobatic fighters and they can't seem to get enough of the bait. After a couple of hours or so, the action would stop and just like that, no more bites as if the fishes are telling me to go home because your visa had expired. Not a problem because 2 hours of non stop action was more than enough for me.

If you will try this method, make sure your main line is at least PE 1.5 and your leader is a fluoro carbon leader with a minimum breaking strength of 15lbs. This will allow you to land the fish quickly without tiring the fish. Always make sure you have a landing net, a long nosed plier or better yet a surgical forcep (you can get one really cheap from popular drug stores). This will allow you to remove the hooks without damaging the fish.
Irving did a great job in imposing Catch and Release for Barramundis and Pacus. Catching and releasing ensures that anglers will expect a fish and bigger fish when they come back. Barras and Pacus take years to grow to adult size. By releasing them rather than killing them will ensure their continued growth for years to come.

If you plan to go to SOF, check your gear and make sure that you have the correct baits and appropriate line, leader, jigheads. Making sure you are using the correct tackle will help Irving's very wothy cause.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Project Reel: 05 Daiwa Luvias 2004

More than a month ago, I got myself a new toy as a project reel. It was one of those rare occasions when I open eBay and on that lucky day, I chanced upon this nice reel that very few were bidding on. I had to stay really late to bid at the last second. It was pure luck, I won the auction and the price was an absolute steal. I got the reel this afternoon after a long agonizing wait.

The reel is an old 2005 model Daiwa Luvias 2004. Japan made.

Why an old 2005 Daiwa reel when there are plenty of new high tech reels out there?

I can't say that it's because it's cheap. As a matter of fact, these oldies remain pricey even after 10 years out in the market. I just got lucky at eBay. Some are costing more than their newer versions.
The truth is, this is one of my most admired spinning reels that Daiwa has released. You could say that this is collector's reel. It's well designed, well engineered, and sexy. The look is an absolute Daiwa classic. Megabass came out with their own version using the same platform/look. Goes to show that even the savvy Yuki Ito recognizes the nice design of this reel.

This reel is a pre-Real Four design and it has very few siblings that can be used to interchange parts with. Getting a 3rd-party custom part was also limited. The reel's magic is inside the schematic --  It's brilliantly designed. No skimping on engineering. One interesting feature is the double-bearing supported spool. One CRBB bearing under the drag washer and another on the shaft. Daiwa usually reserves this design for heavy duty spinners.

Another big-reel feature is the anti-reverse. If you look closely, the AR bearing contains two big bearings supporting the load bearing parts -- the AR stopper has a big flanged bearing while the pinion sits on a really big bearing. The flanged bearing, as far as I know can only be found inside a Saltiga or the Emeraldas Colossal. A Certate doesn't even feature this overbuilt anti-reverse assembly.

It also has a worm gear for that really nice line lay that ensures that the line won't dig in.

I meant 'Worm Gear'.

The only problem is that the handle needs an update. You cannot upgrade the handle knob as it's rivetted in place. The only option is to get a ZPI RCS handle adaptor and get a machined RCS handle and perhaps a really cool wood knob. Or perhaps, I might get a Livre hex handle which costs more than the reel itself. That's if my wife will not find out. Otherwise, I might need to look for a new place to crash for a few months.

Anyway, I love this reel. It's smooth, very light, and has a lot of possible customizations. All I need to do is look for them and find the funds to get them. Too bad they don't make this kind of reel any more. The newer Luvias reels and even Certates fail to impress me.