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E BISU , MYTHICAL LRF GOD. I NTRODUCTION OTD B OOTCAMP OTD O VERVIEW THE 'WAY O F THE ROD' MC ZALTZ REVIEW THE REEL DEAL G ET RESULTS S TRUCTURE B ASICS TAKE COVER M ASTERS TO THE MOULD S OMETHING FOR NOTHING N OT QUITE H EAVY M ETAL P IGLETS ? M ASTERS TO THE MOULD II N IGHT G AME UK LIGHT GAMING S UTTON H ARBOUR, P LYMOUTH E XPOSE S CORPION & 1 41 A.YOUNGER LRF P ORTFOLIO TAKESHI ' S CASTLE
93 N IGHT G AME ROUND U P 96 LRF ROD B UILD (P ART1 ) 1 06 M OON P HASES 1 08 M ORE ON COLOUR 11 2 U NDULATED S WIMMING 11 3 TOKYO LIGHT G AME 1 23 D AY G AME 1 27 A D EAD CERT 1 32 RIGGING 1 35 S IMPLIFY 1 40 RESIN M OULD M AKING 1 44 N ORIES ROCKFISH B OTTOM 1 52 ROCK AND P OOL 1 54 F LYING S TINGERS 1 55 THE MEOW CLUB 1 56 WEIGHT FOR IT 1 60 J IGHEAD S TUFF 1 64 B ARBLESS 1 66 B OAT (N IGHT G AME ) 1 69 S USPENDERS 1 72 P OLE TO HAND 1 76 M ASTERS TO THE M OULD III 3
1 84 H ARBOUR COMBAT TACTICS 1 88 I T MAKES NO SCENTS 1 90 TEN TIPS 1 96 F URTHER E DUCATION 1 98 I NTERVIEW WITH O RIMOTO 209 THE I TALIAN J OB 21 8 YOUR MISSION , SHOULD YOU CHOOSE ... 232 CONTRIBUTION 234 CREDITS 236 P ARTING THOUGHTS
Rockfish rod. Rokkufisshuroddo
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Super lightweight, sensitive, responsive, strong (for a rod of this type) and fast taper, fast action. Will cast from 0.25g through 6g (all up) with proper application. Not a rod to be forced in the cast, just let the rod do the casting. Now available in the UK through importers www.proluresdirect.com for under ÂŁ200 these rods will bring a smile to the face of any serious LRF exponent. It would cost you close to to import from Japan in the UK.
Get it in there! Ground like this demands skills, patience, the right tackle and lots of jigheads and lures. But it's worth it.
You 'must' set your drag. You cannot lay into these fish but, initially, you need to apply 'some' pressure. But, why? Fish will pull against the resistance and you can encourage a wrasse to run rather than hole up by leaning in straight away. Leaning in being relative to the available power you have which, isn't alot remember. You may have to get mobile over the rocks too and run the gauntlet. If in doubt, don't make the cast. Tricks to use are to throw your rod 'in front' of a side running wrasse. You can, like in carp fishing, confuse the wrasse and get him to stop, change direction and run the opposite way. This is no good in open water where you might have a ton of reef extending for miles away in front of your position. Be realistic. However: It is more than doable and I think British anglers without a game or coarse fishing background forget that rods are designed to bend. This 'modern action' that is being pushed as the way forward is nothing more than sales hype. Most 99% of those rods are too stiff to deal with what I'm suggesting. The true 'zoned' action or mid actioned but fast taper rod is what is required. Fast action does 'not' mean fast taper. Please research your requirements when even contemplating big wrasse on super light game gear. Fast action means the rod will progressively and quickly lay the law down to unruly fish but, still protect the line rating it was designed for. Be careful here, because, like with reels being marketed in the UK, the line ratings are for monofilament. Mono has inherent stretch and helps protect itself. Braid has none. Braid has no shock resistance but, the bite detection is so good it cannot be ignored. Or can it? The newer mainline formula's of fluorocarbon mean you could, technically, spool with a 5 or 6lb flourocarbon and use a leader 1 lb 'less' in breaking strain. I would suggest using bimini / bimini or other strong test knots but, fluorocarbon is much the best when it comes to abrasion resistance. If dealing with bolting fish or, the possibilty of a big bolting pig whilst out fishing for bream, gobies etc then maybe, fluorocarbon could be a very wise investment. To end this, if in doubt, DON'T do it. However, we are currently fishing Kieryu 'super-game' style for both wrasse and bass and that entails using 5 - 7 meters of high quality carbon pole, to hand, fixed line, no mercy. More on this in the next issue. 50
ight Games and Revelations
An article by Matt Newcombe.
Although I'm relatively new to light game fishing, let me tell you - I'm hooked. Not only am I completely addicted, it's changed the way I think about Lure fishing forever! I always knew this stuff was going to be fun, as a child I'd reguarly fish for various mini species in my local harbour. The tackle may have been different - 1 0lb gut and a size 6 fresh water hook were the tools I had available to me. The bait? Nothing more than a slither of bacon fat. Funny to think really, that as an adult, I'm now spending hours and hours in the very same harbour. I really have come full circle. The tackle has changed, drastically 0.6-8g rod, #0.04PE superline and an array of miniature lures and jig heads. This time though, I'm catching more and better fish. Why? Because I can feel everything that is going on down there. No longer am I stood waiting for a fish to pick up the aroma of a bait sat on the deck. I'm moving constantly, searching out the fish - noting any patterns that emerge, and it doesn't take long for them to start forming. Water levels, structure, drainage run off's and people feeding swans - plenty of falling food for Harbour scavengers.
employing the more modern lure methods. But something I've neglected is to really study the patterns. I know that cover and structure always hold fish - be that weed, boulders, ledges or pinacles etc. But I never really stopped to question why I had caught that particular fish, at that particular time, in that particular place. Now however, I do. With LRF and Light Game, there are better opportunities to see the fish that you are targetting. You can't help but learn and remember how to catch a Pouting, if they consistantly take a bait in front of your eyes, in a very specific manor. For instance, I've nearly always caught Pouting using a straight tail bait and a swung drop, along side Harbour walls. The takes have increased when there is a shadow cast on the water from above the wall and I can get the bait to fall along the edge of the shadow. True ambush stuff. I'm learning every time I get out, I just can't help it. I love it and it's here to stay with me. Bring on the summer 'Light Game'. I defy any serious Lure angler to try this and not get addicted!
As a lure fisherman, I've done ok on bass and had a few wrasse, 70
Sutton Harbour is locked at high tide and therefore maintains a high water level at all states of tide. This is perhaps one of the biggest factors that makes it such a great venue. It may not hold the biggest fish, but what fish are there can be fished 24 hours a day. The water also remains almost permanently ‘slack’ which I think is preferred by the multiple Scorpion, Goby, Blenny and Wrasse species that are present and catchable. These are best targeted from within the gates and the best techniques for all seem to involve gently working tiny lures as close to ‘structure’ (a wall or pontoon) and as close to the bottom as possible. Only time will tell us what else is possible here, but I wouldn’t rule anything out. The harbour is not all fishable, but if you can reach a piece of water, it’ll be worth casting at! Outside of the main harbour gate, the water is fully tidal. Floating weed can occasionally be a problem in the stretch by the water taxi, but most often this area is fishable. It’s actually been one of our most consistent stretches to date. Around 1 00m long, it is well lit, extremely comfortable and easily holds 1 2 or more anglers. Many species have been caught here, including lure-caught firsts for a lot of us. Smelt have appeared present since day one (just sub-surface. Lures under 1 .5”). More recently flounder have been putting in an appearance and I think we’ll continue to see these caught in increasing numbers. Just keep any bait close to the bottom to be in with a shot. Pouting, Whiting, Scorpion Fish and more recently, Bass have also showed. I like to fish close to the bridge supports of the water taxi. Pinpoint casts will put you in the shadow of the bridge, but fish do show all along this stretch – on both sides of the bridge. Carrying on towards Elphinstone (mentioned earlier) the street lights deplete and the target fish start to grow. The mini-species are less common here but Pollack in particular seem to like the area. There are numerous dark inlets in which to drop a lure. Carolina rigs seem best along the start of this stretch as the walls are high and you often find yourself well above the water. The further you go towards the far point of Elphinstone however, the more I believe it suits OTD techniques with rigs up to around perhaps 5g if conditions require it. Fish as light as possible though. Just remember the dropnet! Plymouth has so much scope for continued exploration that the area I have covered here is small in comparison to what else is still out there. Matt Newcombe recently achieved six different species in one evening, and I’m sure this is just a sign of things to come. We often fish in large groups and if you wish to join us on one of our regular sessions then feel free to contact me on email@example.com for upcoming dates and times - it’s the best way to get a quick glimpse of UK ‘light game’!
An article by Matt Newcombe.
Sea Scorpion (Taurulus Found in numbers around important if specifically bubalis) Bull head, Father man made structure and targeting Scorpion's, they in rockpools. Lasher, Scorpion Fish. can easily take a 3/0! Quite possibly my favourite target of all the Light Rock Fish. Easily recognisable from it's huge head and mouth. When removed from the water, it displays it's spines in an agressive manor. Don't panic though, despite their vicious appearance, they aren't venemous. Regional colour variations occur.
Small 2-4'' lifts of the rod tip, keeping it smooth, but allowing to bump the bottom. Tend to take as the lure hits the bottom. Not renowned for it's fighting ability, but will certainly try and jam itself in any cracks or crevice in the structure.
For me locally, I have found 'vertical Jigging' the side of Harbour walls and associated structure the effective approach to these critters. Have not so far found a particular lure pattern that stands out as a favourite. Taken on both straight and paddletail baits ranging Remember, always defrom 1 1 /8'' to 2''. barb your hooks for easy Hook size isn't so release of your capture.
http://www.youngerphotography.com/ LRF Portfolio
RF DIY – Part 1 - Concept An article by Nick Kingston
For many the best solution for acquiring a new rod is to buy it. A number of weeks spent reading catalogues, poring over web forums and inspecting the photos of other people’s rods and asking lots of questions all gives you good idea of what you want. But what if what you want isn’t available? Or if you’re not satisfied with what’s out there? Custom building your own rod is the answer. I grew up in Australia fishing light and ultra-light spinning and fly tackle for fast running, hard fighting fish that required a far off, delicate, finesse presentation. The demands and characteristics for a rod in these situations was not typically met by an off the rack rod at that time. My friends and I were left with only 2 options – have a rod custom built or do it ourselves. Having a rod built for us wasn’t an option when you’re in University and your spare cash is spent on lures and fuel to go fishing. So we began building our own. Over the last 21 years I’ve built a number of light and ultra-light rods (both spinning and baitcasters) as well a number of fly rods in both graphite and split cane. The one common denominator in all of these rods is the finesse applications they are used for – much as for LRF. Having trawled the various LRF sites and looked at as many rods as I could online, the internal rod builder in me piped up again – “you can make one as good as that”. And when I considered that I wanted certain performance enhancing build protocols put in place I knew that the search would end up being for a blank rather than a finished rod. The Blank The most important criteria in any rod selection. A blank for an LRF rod is very specialised. Based on the rods being used in Japan and locally I decided that I needed a 2 piece, fast or extra fast actioned blank between 7’4” and 7’6” to provide the best combination of length, action and portability. I weighed up between tubular and solid tip and having read JBGs thoughts elected for a solid tip model. I hadn’t fished a solid tip rod since I was 1 8 and took an old cheap Shakespeare model and stuck it in the drill to use as a lathe to make my own version of a nibble tip. However blanks of this type aren’t freely available. Japanese fishermen tend not to be as DIY based as American and Australian fishermen, and with the language barrier, finding a suitable candidate involved a careful search. I was able to source a blank in Japan through a specialist company. The blank is 7’4” in length, casting weight is listed at 0.4g to 5g and the blank is rated extra-fast and weighs just 32g. The blank is a 2 piece blank. Continued...
Performance A massive draw card of custom building a rod is the ability to maximise the possible performance by way of material, technique and systems. One thing I’ve learnt during my years building and fishing light rods is that you want to minimise the amount of additions on the rod – especially as you approach the tip and there are a number of custom options I will be availing of on this rod. - Concept Guide System. The Fuji Concept Guide System is characterised by using more and smaller light guides at the tip and less guides at the butt to “choke the line” quicker to create several benefits – particularly for light line anglers. Some of the LRF rods seem to use the concept guide system based on an eye ball look but none of them are advertising as using it that I can see, suggesting they either aren’t or are using their own variation on it. Fuji claim the following benefits: - Greater Sensitivity - A lighter rod tip and guides increases the vibration wave dramatically over standard guides and tops. The system can help an angler more accurately detect and interpret the most subtle contact with a fish or underwater structure. - Greater Castability - Trying to reach choice secluded water or in clear water situations, where long casts are necessary to avoid spooking the fish, requires casting finesse to improve an anglers chances of a great catch. The system can significantly improve casting distance. - Increased accuracy - By using smaller rings and a lower profile, the system helps reduce twist or torque, and wind resistance; keeping the line aligned with the blank. The action increases casting accuracy and efficiency.
- Improved Weight Balance â€“ the guides and tip-tops are up to 60% lighter than standard rod components. Using this systemâ€™s guides provides the angler with a remarkably well balanced rod that is easier on the wrist and less fatiguing during a full day of fishing. - Greater Hooking Power - Hooking power is affected by the number of guides on the rod. More guides aid in an increase of hooking power by keeping the line close to the rod. There is less power loss with this system so your chances of setting the hook and landing that fish are greatly improved. - Reduced Line Twist - Line twist is reduced in spinning tackle when using this system. A fisherman can easily cast 1 000 times in a day of fishing and this kind of casting can create havoc with line twist. With a spinning rod built using this system, more guides lessen the angle as line passed through the guide, reducing pressure the guide, and in turn reducing the volume of line twist when casting and retrieving repeatedly. - Maximises Rod Power - A rod equipped with this system is claimed to shorten the landing time of a fish by almost 35%. As a rod is powered back when fighting a fish, drag resistance from the reel and guides are at maximum. More guides will maximize the total drag resistance as well as improve the rod's action. - Weight. Balancing weight is a major factor is how this rod will perform. As well as the Concept guide system which naturally minimises weight, because the butt has to be balanced, some bling which adds weight is essential. Overall weight will be reduced by the use of lighter guides and bindings.
In order to save weight and preserve the blanks crispness, minimal wraps will be extended beyond the foot of the guide and there will be no fancy wraps added. For finishing a low build epoxy will be applied in only a single coat so as not to sandbag the action. - Balance – my preference for rods that fish SPs and smaller lures is to have a shorter butt length than that normally seen on factory rods. The butt will be very short with the rear grip being customised to only 40mm in length, the split being only 50mm, and the grip that surrounds the lightweight Fuji VSS comfort seat being only 70mm in length. Light single handed rods barely require a butt as you tend to fight fish by holding the rod in one hand, and winding with the other, unlike heavier outfits where the butt is levered against the body. This style of arrangement is more often seen on Japanese aji rods. Mebaru specific rods tend to be single piece butts and longer due to the difference in fishing styles, though this is not a hard and fast rule, and variations are seen on both sides. For casting, I like the balance point to be immediately in front of the foregrip, this is also the perfect balance spot for providing action to a lure when required or pivoting the rod to follow OTD tactics. Finally, by making a custom rod, I can ensure the rod balances precisely with my reel when loaded up with line. - Eccentric stripping guide - Megabass pioneered this on their Ya-manba Stick rod series and later their Aaron Marten signature series. They initially claimed that it added casting distance but due to the language barrier (and possibly the air of mystique that MB likes to maintain) no further evidence was forth coming. Builders of light spinning rods back in the 1 970s in the US had already experimented with a reversed guide. At that time this had been done as way of counteracting the less advanced design of guides in those days. When MB first released rods with the eccentric guide a number of forums had derided the system as “marketing” and of no real value. When considering the rod in a passive state this is correct – the ring itself still stays in the same position – only the leg is in a different place. However recent analysis of the eccentric system shows that during an active forward cast, as the blank flexes, the standard leg placement flexes in such a way that line is directed out and away from the blank. Continued...
Megabass were sufficiently happy with the performance of the eccentric stripping guide system on light rods that they continue to use it on their own Shoreluck series of LRF rods. - Drop shot hook keeper. This was chosen as the best way to secure a number of different rig setups, from trebles on metal blades and micro jigs, to weighted jig head, to drop shot and split shot rigs. This will be secured far enough up the blank that you canâ€™t touch it when retrieving normally. - Grips were altered to suit my own hand size both in length, circumference and shape. No foregrip will be added as on light singlehanded rods the rod is gripped around the reel when retrieving or fighting a fish. A foregrip is not only not required, but also adds unnecessary weight and also interferes with the ability to feel the blank with the forefinger when retrieving. This has also recently caught favour in the US bass circuit where well known angler Gary Dobyns insisted on it for his new line of finesse spinning rods. - The reel seat chosen was a genuine Fuji VSS. Fuji claim this is the most comfortable of their light reel seat options and by setting it as a downlocking option, the blank is able to be accessed during retrieve as noted above. The reel seat screw will be trimmed to length to ensure to no extra material will be left on that isnâ€™t required. The black hood option was chosen in line with the overall aesthetic. Graphite arbours will be used under the reel seat. Graphite arbours to my mind provide a more crisp, cleaner transmission of feel than a polyurethane arbour and are also lighter. The days of masking tape arbours are thankfully gone. Use of a graphite arbour will also mean that the glue bond between the arbour, the blank and the reel seat is permanent.
- Visual Bite detection – most LRF rods are equipped with a white tip and some are entirely coloured. The blank manufacturer does offer the option of having the tip painted at extra cost. However, I decided that I would colour the tip myself. Colouring a tip or any part of a blank is generally quite easy. You need to scuff the section to be painted quite thoroughly – but carefully. Ideally you are aiming to remove the entire clear overcoat that is present without damaging the scrim of the graphite underneath. I will coat this scuffed section in one coat of white Pactra brand paint, then a coat of fluorescent Pactra paint, then a coat of clear fuel sealer Pactra paint. The white tip will now “pop” out superbly visibility-wise in all weather conditions and you should not be able to tell where I did the painting and where the factory clear coat starts. The reason I chose Pactra is that it was designed for radio controlled cars originally and is specifically designed not only to flex with movement of the substrata but also contains UV inhibitors so that it will not lose the colour in the years to come.
Price Even using the best blank I could find and the best quality components and including postage costs from Australia, the US and Japan the rod ended up costing me just over €280 (approx. £235). This is right in the bracket of an “average” mid-range Japanese rod – under the retail price of Varivas Violente. But what I have instead is a one off, extraordinary, top of the range rod which will (in theory), wipe the floor with the factory rods. Blank Guides Tip Reel Seat Grips
T-Russell Super Mebaru-M 0.4g-5g 2 x Fuji TATSG (20, 1 0), 6 x Fuji TLSG 4.5 Fuji TFST Fuji VSS Frogley Camo EVA
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implify-..and then add lightness An article by Neil Macfarlane.
Colin Chapman was talking about his design ethic for Lotus racing cars, but it got me thinking about the key things I’ve learned over recent months about lrf methods. Although I’d still consider myself a novice, I hope that a semi confessional article will shorten the learning curve for anyone contemplating lrf. This article also lays down a personal marker for me, in that a public admission of my development areas should make me get out there and do something about it. Adding lightness part 1 P Well, as a very limited fisherman targeting mackerel and snipe I thought it was very fair to go out with 30 g + lures and a rod of at least that casting weightP.if I landed the occasional wrasse, pollack or bass I used to feel very virtuous about being so sporting. I’d contrast that with a bleak February night session recently, when I felt a tiny bite in about 1 5 feet of water, with a 1 g weight on a borrowed rod. “Still outrageously heavy!” boomed Keith- and he was only partially joking! I’ve spent a few hours now alongside guys fishing with 0.5 – 5 g casting weight rods and all this has made me reconsider what “light” actually means. Admittedly, winter fishing in the harbours does promote ever smaller lures, lighter weights, braids and rods but all of this just reinforces that lrf is a fantastic approach to fishing throughout every season. For now, learning the basics in mid winter is a continuing challenge but I have come back with solid learning from every session. I have only blanked a couple of times and I know that hours spent now will stand me in good stead when the fish get bigger and the bait cycle begins again. Adding lightness part 2P. As a newbie, my natural inclination is still to carry around my personal stock of lures and jig headsPprobably not great in money terms but heavy enough to matter. Carrying a backpack around slippery rocks isn’t great from a balance perspective, and makes me feel very clumsy and awkward. My learning here is to travel light, which will then increase balance and safety. Continued... 135
I’m still embarrassed that one night on a set of boulders I opened my tackle box, cursing that I could not find a level surface. Out popped my fishing knife, which clattered, agonisingly, down between the rocks. Some presents are more precious than others. Damn. I haven’t actually lost my entire set of jig heads yet but this is down to luck, not judgement. I can also see now why those “in pocket” sets are such a great idea and a great example of what lrf is all about. Allied to this is a growing sense of organisation, or more likely a lack of it. How is it that I still routinely forget my head torch, braid scissors, or something really simple? This drives me nuts and should be easy to prevent. Travelling light would make it a lot easier for me to go through that “must not forget” list before leaving the house. Must try harder! Sensory perceptionP The best learning I have had so far took only a few minutes and I’d recommend it to anyone. This was a 45 minute guiding session where I practised lowering jig heads on to a dry slip wallPup and down, slowlyPwith my eyes shut. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this in broad daylight unless you are very resilient and have a very good sense of humour! Getting in tune with how the senses learn to translate that “bump” is, for me, central to everything that follows. That session then concentrated on using progressively lighter and lighter jig heads until I was no longer able to “feel” the jig head in a fall through the water, all with a “count down” to measure depth and rate of fall. I didn’t use a lure at this point as it was all about getting my senses in tune. I’ve found that once you abandon sight (and it can become marginalised at night, anyway), the lrf experience becomes a lot more intuitive. As a result, I am now a lot more relaxed in darkness and I now know that this does come with practice and exposure to unlit marks. Tackle tarteryP I read once that tackle catches more anglers than fish! As a newbie, I was completely overwhelmed with the range of rods, reels, lines, jig heads, lures and so on. If you are lucky enough to join bumbles, just using what works is a good way to get started. Continued...
lrf is practiced in so many different styles of retrieves, falls and rigs etc that it is tempting to buy an awful lot of “starter gear” on impulse, without actually knowing that it will suit the season, your location, or whatever is swimming around in front of you. I now know that perfectly good quality lrf rods and reels can be bought for a modest outlay, and that, with a bit of care and advice, expensive impulse buys can be avoided. The rod I had bought to start with has proved to be too heavy for the current winter fishing but will be ok in the springPso I will end up with two or three rods and reels plus spare spools. This will cover most situations at my level of experience and skill, which is of course the one thing you just can’t buy in a shop. Simply buying better kit doesn’t buy better results, although better gear backed by the investment of hard hours on the water will obviously make a difference. As for lures, a basic collection of 2 and 3 inch soft plastics with a mix of straight and paddle tails has been ok. Even so, I’ve bought far more than I’ve actually used, so buying “little and often” might be a good adage to adopt here. I’ve come to the same conclusion on light metals although that was because I once spent the thick end of £1 00 in about as many secondsPouch. Abandon what you think you knowP. I’d say that coming to lrf in a “know nothing” state might actually be an advantage. Catching pouting on a summers evening persuaded me that I’d absorbed a lot of conventional wisdom that wasn’t actually true! Similarly, I now realise that a lot of things that I had thought were “true” are just the way that non lrf’ers do itP.so here in Jersey I only ever fished a particular mark on the flood, and then went home. I now know to fish it on the ebb! I am beginning to understand that a lot of the real skill in lrf is knowing how to find the pattern, and then replicate it until it stops working, then re-calibrate, and then do it again, and again. Sticking with a favourite lure, mark and state of tide just limits your own potential and enjoyment. Alternatively, revisiting marks at new states of tide is very satisfying and widens potential for what you can catch, where, when and how. Continued... 137
This for me is where bumbles are an essential part of the lrf approach because they’ve helped me to practice safely in groups, with a lot of banter and with accelerated learning. I also think that bumbles are a really defining feature of this style of fishing in that they are very inclusive and all knowledge is freely shared and developed. I am very excited about seeing 2011 unfolding in bumbles, blogs and future lrf/ hrf rockfish files. This seems like a good point to say thanks to everyone I’ve met at these sessions for their humour, encouragement and adviceit is making a difference and I hope to be able to pass this on to people in turn. And finally back to where we started. As a “modular man”, one of my next guided sessions will be with a 1 0 foot garden cane, with fixed line and leader. So the options will be limited and if I have not cracked “on the drop” methods, I will not succeed. Simplicity and lightness will be captured perfectly in that exercise and I’ll gauge how much I have learnedP.or not. More on this and updated learnings next timeP.
As it turned out, it wasn't broken, they ALL run in an angular direction. It looks strange but the angle closely matches the spool 'spinde' angle on your fixed spool reel. This means the coils of your braid are hitting the guides, square on. In a quick summary, this rod is fantastic, well made, superb balance, novel and has the heritage of Norio Tanabe written all over it. He founded the sport so can you really go wrong? These rods aren't cheap I'll warn you now but, if you are discerning, check it out.
Ratings Build 1 0/1 0 Performance 1 0/1 0 Cost 8/1 0 Relevance 9/1 0 Overall 9.5 / 1 0
Like an F1 car, fantastic performance, but, not cheap to run or buy. I guess it's down to where you want to be on the starting grid?
With a multitude of mini species living in rockpools they are a great place to see what happens in the macrocosm world. If you don't know what that means, lets have a concise lesson into that word 'macrocosm'.
We are often seen poking the tips of our LRF rods under little ledges, working the upper tier rockpools, or just below the low tide threshold looking for blennies, gobies, scorpion fish and basically, anything that swims.
A rockpool has it's own ecosystem, it's own world in a pool. What is learned by observation there might be taken to the greater outside world beyond. Like, the moon revolves around the earth and we revolve around the sun and the sun revolves...
Why? To learn!
All fish have mannerisms. All fish will teach you something. All things living have a purpose and are here through millions of years of evolution. They know a trick or two. These are the ratios of life, in a So learn. Believe me, if you have pool, sitting right there in front of the resolve to find and hunt gobies you. and blennies, that very same method of deduction used to locate "Gobies are small, not worth and catch them can be applied to bothering with." Really? so called more worthy species such as bass. Watch how these small I find the chase better than the fish react to lures. Match the lure catch. I always have. I don't actually size relative in size to the quarry. fish for the fish or the glory of Most don't and it is like someone holding up a fish for all to see. trying to feed you a 6ft round Coming from a guy who promotes cheeseburger in one bite. It isn't fish, fishing and all things really an option right? No matter controversial, that might seem like how tasty or great it might look. It is a totally wrong statement to be unrealistic. making but, it's true alright. I fish for the 'bite'. This has been the case all So, with all the mini species around my sea angling career. I will admit and the fact that rock pools will that in my match angling days, fish often provide a clear water numbers, accumulated weight etc environment in even the roughest were the major, no, the only goal. weather, go and give it a try. You No longer though. might be an adult but release your inner child and go enjoy yourself. 152
eight for it
Before we touch on this topic I would really suggest you have a firm understanding of the concepts surrounding both 'freefall' and 'curvefall'. These concepts are explained in this issue and you should have them 'first'.
rod and drop the lure right at your feet but, in the water. Watch it fall. What happens in both cases? You will notice that the curve fall is straight arc'd and, the freefall is a nose heavy dive. This may be good, it may not be. Bite off 1 " of lure and repeat. Still straight? Probably.
Surely though, a free falling jig is exactly that, freefalling? Well, yes, and no. Things get in the way either Bite off another 1 " and things might get interesting in the freefall. The by design, or by accident. Both lure might start a spiralling path. scenarios can mean more fish. Note the title, 'Weight for it'. Now, However, the weight will be the this is a play on words and don't major force involved here. Repeat confuse it with our other much the test with 5g, 3.5g and 2g or loved saying, 'wait for it'. less. Do it and watch. You'll learn Lets have a look at what I'm getting alot. at. Take 1 X 7g round ball jighead with a standard length shanked hook and mount a 5" stick bait like a senko on it. Make sure you mount the lure perfectly and symmetrically. This, at this stage is 'vital'. Do not ignore the importance of a straight mounted lure. Either go out in daylight or even better, in gin clear water, by night, under a strong light source. Cast the lure in but, no futher than 1 .5 rod lengths away and hold the rod top still. This becomes a fulcrum around which the lure will swing. Note the speed at which it curvefalls. Then, take a little more than 1 .5 rod lengths of line, lift the
Basically, the more distributed the hook and a 3" narrow bodied weight is, the more it will spiral. paddle, the lure might not 'kick' at all. Hook length itself will help the distribution. So, we might have a Change the weight but 'not' the small lrf style jighead rig with a 2" hook size to a point where the lure straight lure that, with a short is falling fast enough and, the tail shanked hook will dive, yet, with a might kick but, perhaps not straight long shanked hook, will spiral. down. Add enough weight and the lure will rocket or nose dive but, Change that lure to a paddle type perhaps too fast for winter fish to and the hydrodynamic resistance intercept. could 'tip' the lure and it will 'parachute' down, slowly rocking You might consider completely from side to side. Rubbish I hear ignoring all of this but, it is the 'root' you say. of jig fishing. Presentation starts here. The fall rate is paramount. Well, actually, a paddle-tailed lure Play with it, understand it. will only activate if the weight and it's distribution allows it to do so. So, 0.5g on PE 0.6 with a size 1
Barb or no barb? This is a topic that will fire up all sorts of animosity on forums, led by people who should actually know better. The simple facts behind LRF and sister system HRF mean that if you follow the basics and grasp the fundamentals, you'll soon be catching loads of fish. Yes, I've said this over and over in this issue but I'm really trying to bang it home. Blanks will become the oddity. So, this said, the fact is, that a majority of anglers initial efforts could be concentrated around harbours, it makes sense to look after the fish we are seeking.
It matters not whether or not it's a plug, a flutter lure or a soft plastic on a jig. De-barb it. You'll read all the null arguments from those who say they bump fish etc. They are using rods that are too stiff. The rod should protect the line and cushion lunges from fish or pick up from wave activity. Sure, you 'might' lose a few if you were extremely unluckly but, with practice and a little aforethought, you will soon get the hang of it.
You might experience sessions where 50 fish are more than possible. What is the point of preaching catch and release if we Many of these fish might be locally are going to slowly commit these resident or, like wrasse, extremely fish to a slow death? In my view and the view of people i fish with, slow growing. there is no point. Well, there is a point, just no barb. Of course, some will choose to perhaps eat some catch like pollack but, I'd still totally advocate barbless because you can easily return unwanted or undersized fish with far less damage. I have fished 6 and 9 points on hard lures for decades. The number of fish we must have damaged leaves me with a bitter taste in my mouth. However, we all learn, or should, and as a matter of evolution, we now almost always, fish barbless. Take a few seconds to de-barb. You know it makes sense.
How hard is it to de-barb, really?
This one effort, made before fishing 'will' make a real difference.
RF Boat (Night Game) An article by Alan Aubert.
I am slowly being converted into the principals of LRF fishing being more accustomed to Bass fishing. Do not be put off by spending vast amounts on tackle, start on good reasonably priced tackle as I have. I digress and must get back to my first boat LRF trip which took place on a lovely flat calm evening a few nights ago. Joined by two LRF fans we arrived at the boat, and after a safety check of fuel, life jackets, radio etc, we slipped off the moorings heading into the darkness. Operating the boat in darkness is extremely different to day time fishing, being heavily reliant on a chart plotter, depth sounder. Some local knowledge of tides, currents etc is essential and always remember safety first. The tide was dropping away quickly and was not ideal but the calm conditions made up for that. We initially tried around the harbour area, which has recently resulted in fish. Nothing doing and we decided that we would be better off in deeper water near to a long breakwater that juts out from a nearby castle. I was at this stage not convinced about fishing a lure in total darkness with very little movement, but encouraged by Callum and Carl we made our way into the inky darkness. I decided that we would
drift over a reef that lay just off the eastern side of the breakwater with a depth of water of about 35 ft. Two of us were using mini xlayers on 3g jig heads whilst Carl was using a metal Jig. As we drifted slowly it was not long before fish came to the boat. Pollack with an average size of 1 .5lbs were abundant. All of us hooked fish including all three of us hooking up at the same time. We continued different drifts taking fish on most drifts, before long it was time to return back to the harbour. I am no expert at LRF, but things slowly began to fall into place, and everything that Kevin and Keith had talked about made sense. I am a great believer in adapting methods to suit your style of fishing, this will be the case when it comes to my greatest love bass fishing. I intend to adapt what I am learning from LRF and the website to my style of bass fishing. Light jig heads and lures that can be drifted down over reefs etc. Boat LRF must be different from shore LRF as you have to contend with wind and currents at the same time, throw in the darkness and it is a totally new experience which I intend to continue during the winter months before the onset of summer. 166
he suspense is killing me Suspended LRF lures (float and no float).
This will be something for you to 'grow into'. I cannot stress enough the importance of trying this method How do you do this with a soft lure? as described because, it will bestow much confidence upon you when Dropshot would seem the obvious you suceed. And, you will, suceed. answer but, drop shotting doesn't allow for fish to suck a lure very far We have over the last few years due to it's close proximity to the suffered attempted ridicule by line. It is also a fixed position people 'not in the know' about presentation.(Meaning you have to fishing hard suspending lures in physically move the drop shot saltwater for bass. They keep weight mostly yourself) laughing, we keep catching fish. It's a fair trade off isn't it. You see, We have used LRF rods from without going into it, most 99% of harbour walls and pontoons and the worlds hard lures are designed lowered lures into position slowly for freshwater. Freshwater is less and waited. This works. It takes 'dense' than saltwater and so you resolve to see it work but trust me, need to displace less sea water to it works. We use the long Japanese float the same object. Temperature style poles to accompany this too. has a big effect on the way things float or sink too. The colder it is, the The best method we have found for slower an object will sink and the mobility and sensitivity, with the more dense the saltwater becomes. option to fish at all depths is the float jig system. Honestly, having So, a lure that suspends in faith in hanging a small soft lure freshwater at 1 6 degree's C will under a float, in the dark, in the float like a cork in saltwater. Make depths of winter takes real that temperature 1 9 degrees and hardcore resolve. You may have to the suspending lure will slowly sink find the suspension depth of the in freshwater and slow the rise target fish. Maybe pollack are 1 6ft down in salt. As you can guess, this down, in which case you'd fish 1 5ft is a nightmare. deep. Fish are looking up for food in general or horizonatally whilst in We tune lures on the water, on the a suspended state themselves. day if need be to suspend for upto 5 minutes at any given depth. Lures Lets take a quick look at the float jig have bibs, you can wind down and system in a harbour scenario a bit get the lure there in the first place. more in depth. Continued... 169
Let us assume those fish are indeed 1 6ft down. They initially showed an interest in following a few lures up and maybe one or two have been caught. Now, they aren't showing. Moved on maybe? I'll hazzard a guess at not.
stop could mean you missing many, many takes during the fall phase.
This is why we use 5, 6 meter and longer poles or ISO/Bolognese type rods so we get the depth 'without' the need to fish a slider. I digress. The point is, eventually, your lure will be sitting under the float and Chances are, they have just got over their initial curiosity. So, you you'll be wondering what the hell now have to go to them and offer you are doing fishing a bit of plastic them something new. Drop shotting under a float that is just sitting is fine if the tide height is stable but, there. fish suspending at a given depth will, in my experience, stay relative Have no fear. If you play with the presenatation depth, the lure colour to that depth until forced to do and size, sooner or later that float is otherwise where they normally going to do something wonderful. It move. I recommend a long slim could sink away out of sight, it float that bites the water but sits down in it. A long float with a direct might rock, or tilt over, it might just route to a jig and soft lure that will rise quickly out of the water. It set the float. There are other ways might start travelling where there is with cane and wire stems and no no current. Either way, that is a fish on your jig. Strike. Quickly, short stem designs but, for now, stay and sweet but strike, don't just sit simple and make sure your float there watching the show. cocks on the jig and plastic (combined weight) alone. For this experiment, lets talk about floats I've only briskly brushed over the whole world that is float fishing. The carrying less than 7g. Japanese fish in the sea with floats On a rod of 7ft, you'll need a sliding just as British anglers have in float attached bottom end only. Tie freshwater for centuries. Our usual a stop knot of whipping thread on sea float fishing is crude beyond belief by comparison. Love it or the line and use a tubular tipped rod. Solid tipped rods will snag any loathe it, consider it pure form transition of the stop knot and it will fishing or not, it is a very exiting be a nightmare. Of course, you may method that can present lures in a way other systems cannot. One only be fishing 3ft deep and this wouldn't be needed. In fact, though worth considering and we'll cover it can be done, the action of the lure specific types in future issues. sinking and float setting as it hits 170
A pole can allow you to present floats, lures, small baits and jigs in such delicate and precise ways that it becomes hard to beat at times. Even the 'spookiest' fish can be fooled. Just a very simple, very effective way of fishing and one that shouldn't be confined to freshwater in Britain. 173
Historically, the Japanese have had access to a great material in bamboo. Many high end, hand made poles in the country are still bamboo and I must admit, wood has an action unmatched in any modern material. I remember my early days and totally miss the many wood rods I used to own. I still do own a few very old Hardy Palakona cane fly rods and these rarely see daylight now I live on a riverless island.
presentations. Hera is the use of pole to hand with very delicate floats for Japanese crucian carp. We are fishing the jig, the fly and the float with a combination of all of those in saltwater.
In future issues we will be discussing our exploits on wrasse, bass, pollack and all manner of fish using these methods but for now, be aware that in the harbours, if you can get close to the water, it is absolutely a killer method for So, pole types I looked at were... presenting tiny lures OTD or under the float suspended. OTD is likely Keiryu, Ayu, Hera, Dobu, Tenkara, the area where the long pole Super Game and more. All have comes into it's own. You can their own needs and I soon found physically lower the lure to the fish out that the Japanese were fishing with an accuracy unsurpassed by for mebaru (small rockfish) with any other method I am aware of. poles. Keiryu and Ayu are stream based with bait and lures and You could say, we've been caning Tenkara and Dobu are based upon em. two completely different fly
An article by Nick Kingston.
It has been shown in tests conducted in the US that scented/flavoured lures are more likely to be held on to by fish (testing was carried out on largemouth bass with aniseed scented vs unscented lures). Most soft plastic lures these days are scented. There are some that are not however, and hard bodies and metals/vibes are not scented. There are a number of commercial scents available, ranging from the pheromone based Squidgy S-Factor that is sold with the Australian Squidgy Pro Series, to various largemouth bass centric “sauces” and through to Berkley Gulp Spray. Spike-it also offer dips and pens that not only scent the lure but colour it as well – perfect for hotspotting. For those who don’t want to chase these items around the world, for minimal cost a decent home-made version can brewed up at home, quickly and cheaply. Ingredients: Small jar Vaseline Scent (I like aniseed and crab, but you can get just about any scent you want now - Clam, Herring, Coffee, Earthworm, Tournament, Shrimp, Shad, Grape, Garlic, Crawfish, Cricket) - try and use decent quality pure scents as sold for making SPs if possible (try www.bricoluerre.com or www.lurecraft.com) - they smell better, are more potent and don't go "off". Instructions 1 ) Remove the lid from the jar of Vaseline 2) Microwave slowly - I start at 50% power for 3 mins in a 1 000W oven, then bursts of 30 secs at a time, stirring constantly until soft and gloopy Vaseline will NOT go completely liquid - it just loosens 3) Stir in scent - use about twice as much for this as you would for an SP (about 1 teaspoon for 200ml Vaseline) - stir thoroughly 4) Microwave for a further 2 bursts of 30 secs each 5) Stir again 6) Leave overnight to reset 7) use sparingly, liberally or however you want You can also get yourself in your significant others good books by making a pure vanilla version with the expensive real vanilla essence or a chocolate version with 1 00% cocoa powder – pour or scrape into a fancy tin and give it to her as lip balm (or use it yourself for those cold winter night fishing trips) Continued...
It really is that easy. Aniseed gives best results as it’s a very strong and stable smell. A few drops will work, as will a lot of drops. It’s also one of the less invasive smells if you’re making this at home, and it has a proven track record on bass (think Megabass X-Layer). I like to add a bit of something fishy (crab is good or shrimp) to give it a nice usable outdoors smell. When you’re using it remember this is to cause the fish to “hold on” for a fraction longer than the unscented lure. It won’t create a trail the way Gulp juice does and it won’t actively trigger a fish strike the way SFactor does. You're only rubbing in a smear and remember this stuff sticks to the lure. A touch of this and you’re able to customise any of your lures to increase your catches. 189
You'll notice, or can't miss the Japanese accents made throughout this e-magazine. Why? Well, like with anything you've learned, you should remember and honour it's roots. As mentioned in the introduction, I have had my head buried in Japanese websites, flash cards, dvd, cd, audio, tv, catalogues, books and more. I will tell you now, that without the research, we wouldn't be here now. Of course, we don't blindly follow and neither should you but the fact remains that the Japanese have been rockfishing far longer than anyone in Britain. Their fishing history is fascinating, colourful and the language in which it is written, beautiful. The calligraphy is something to behold. If you search google, yahoo, bing or many of the western search engines with 'rock fishing', 'LRF', 'Light Game', etc you'll likely be directed to all the stuff we've written on the jerseybassguides blog. This is much of the stuff written about Japanese rock fish, aji, mebaru, kisu, chinu, ISO etc is all in Japanese, written by Japanese and why shouldn't it be? We all write our websites in English don't we. I would suggest you get some Japanese fishing catalogues, magazines and some childrens books. Experts often tell you to learn hiragana first and they are likely correct but, the magazines have a real tendency to hightlight/accent the headlines with katakana. Kanji can appear mid sentence and of course, there is no obvious punctuation or ruleset. A nightmare? Pretty much, yes. You'll need to install a Japanese language pack on your system. windows 7 is a pain in that you need the higher end versions to be able to do this. Then, find a virtual Japanese kana keyboard, a romanji kana converter, a kanji dictonary and a bunch of learning guides. We all pronounce common Japanese words wrong because they have different vowel sounds but you'll soon grasp the basics. Try 'ka ra te' or 'ko i', they are romanised Japanese. From here you can build hiragana and katakana words. Type these words into a search engine and you'll be faced with hundreds and possibly thousands of useful sites that would never appear under the english search. Give it a try, you'll be surprised at how much info is really out there. 196
I read about LRF for the first time on the web about two years ago, in some Japanese site; I saw Japanese anglers with those thin and ultralight rod fishing “mebaru style”. I saw them catching the same little fish I caught when I was a child with a pole rod without reel searching them between the rocks. Came back in my mind a period of great great fishing fun. An enjoying fishing philosophyP..a way of life I thought lost forever........ Here come the second word: challenge. It’s about 5 years I totally left the natural baits for lure fishing: the challenge was just to catch the fish of my childhoodPP.but with lures. This aim remained in stand-by for a while, than I decided to try an initial approach. But I didn’t want to try with “adapted” tackle, so I bought an Ultralight spinning rod with solid carbon upper part of the tip, a Shimano Diaflash ULS 237 0,8-8 gr.; than a Shimano Twin Power 2500 FC, a Sunline PE 6 lb spoolP.. I had everything I needPor not? What lures could I try? I find in the Maria range the Beak Heads, small jigheads from 1 to 3 gr. with a n.4 hook. Then some soft plastic lure: Maria Sea Monkey Maria Dart Squid Maria Shirasu Some very small metal jig River2Sea Searock 7gr. Maria littlebit 5 gr. And some strange Japanese jig: Osamu’s factory Corn. My first time in LRF was quite comic; I feel strangeP.as I was making something with no senseP.the first 2-3 casts, thenPPSTRIKEP.well it’s quite comic to tell STRIKE for something like this: 211
Some gobius and some viper fish, very aggressive with lure and very dangerous with their poisonous spikes. My experience is made of nearground retrieve( bouncing and jerking for rockfish but also very slow retrieve dragging the soft ground for breams), and fast jerking from the bottom to the surface with little metallic jig for little pelagic (something as Japanese aji). But you can feel that improvement are quite endlessP..now I’m conscious that LRF is not only little fish targeted, but can sure point any fish in your fishing range. With the same tackle I tried also to use some little eging lure (Yamashita Naory) and find also a great fun also in daylight, when usually eging has not too much results. My personal thought: LRF is not a technique replacing the “traditional” lure fishing, but it isn’t a way to fish when you can’t use traditional way. It’s a own way of fishing, with its difficulties, with it’s rules and a great great space for invention and creativity. And, for me, first of all, a way to experience catching species everyone didn’t even think on a lure.
ission LRF (Our man In South Africa) An article by Stephen Olsen
Well when I left the U.K I never had I game plan and to be honest never actually knew what to expect. I had about 8 days fishing available so I decided to target the species I knew best and then take it from there. I grew up in the Eastern Cape of South Africa so I had a massive advantage, local knowledge. First task was to scout the fishing shops to see what LRF tackle was available and to introduce my Dad to LRF equipment. Now his a competent angler in most types fishing and as I anticipated he quickly realised this type fishing could be really effective. Back to the fishing shops and the first stumbling block. Reels, jig heads and braid werenâ€™t a problem but finding a suitable rod and soft plastics were. Small soft plastics are virtually non existent and rods seem to be about 1 0 inches to short. We eventually settled for a 3-1 2 gram Blue Marlin rod which was good value for money and a few packets of Berkley Camo Worm. With 1 0 rand to the pound I couldnâ€™t resist a bargain and got stuck in with some extra jig heads etc.
Editor: Keith White. Article Contributors: Keith White, Kevin White, Carl Booth, Andy
Marquis, Stephen Olsen, Matt Newcombe, Alan Aubert, Nick Kingston,Yaminomusuko Dakara, Neil Macfarlane, Pierluigi Marzo, Ben Field, Takayoshi Orimoto (Ecogear.jp), Andy Kendrick, Mike Sullivan
Graphics: SVG clip-art (courtesy of www.openclipart.org), custom SVG by Keith White (Inkscape). All Japanese Kanji, Katakana and Hiragana calligraphy by Keith White (Inkscape and Wacom Bamboo). Photo edits in Gimp.
Photography: Keith White, Kevin White, Carl Booth, Stephen Olsen, Andy Marquis, Matt Newcombe, Dave Fitzpatrick, Yaminomusuko Dakara, Paul Gunning, Ben Field, Nick Kingston, Andrew Younger, Pierluigi Marzo, Andrew Otten (micro work), Takayoshi Orimoto and Norio Tanabe (Courtesy of Ecogear and Nories JP)
Proof readers: Tom Laws, Mike Sullivan, Nick Kingston, Graham
Blackmore, Dave Fitzpatrick, Neil (The Machine) Macfarlane, Tony Marshall (previewer and feedback)
Japanese language (nihongo) assistance and critique: Yaminomusuko Dakara (Tokyo JP)
Format Inspiration: Zeno Hromin's (Surfcasters Journal) and many Japanese magazines.
Software: OpenOffice, Scribus, Gimp, Inkscape.
ndex OfAdvertisers 1 2 AGM D ISCOUNT F ISHING (UK) 26 M ONSTER TACKLE 34 I TALIA F ISHING UK 40 VEALS M AIL O RDER 46 P ROLURES. CO. UK 52 M EGABASS LURES LTD (UK) 59 B RICOLEURRE . COM 73 THE ART O F F ISHING (ECOGEAR) 94 LURE H EAVEN UK 1 22 THE S URFCASTERS J OURNAL 1 31 J ERSEYBASSGUIDES 1 33 KINGPIN (REELS) UK 1 34 B ASS LURES UK 1 41 ROSDEN G LASSFIBRE (J ERSEY) 1 47 N ORIES 1 49 ART O F F ISHING (N ORIES) 1 63 TOPWATER LURES UK 1 83 S UNLINE (UK) 1 94 M ONSTER TACKLE 202 E COGEAR 232 S UNLINE 233 UKBASSFISHING . COM 235
Published on Mar 3, 2011
Light rock fishing magazine. The sister to HRF seen partially showcased in issue #1. This is way different. Originated in Japan but using US...