This entry marks a bit of a departure from the normal. As we’re not fishing at the moment and the weather is a bit wet for walking I’ll be outlining some of the gear we use in our sea fishing.
This first installment is all about the rods we use, why we bought them and what we use them for.
Before buying a new rod or even going into a tackle shop ask yourself a few basic questions. What type of fish do you want to catch, where do you want to catch them from and how do you want to catch them.
Once you’ve answered these questions you’ll have a much better idea one what it is you’re looking for. Have a look in the sea angling magazines for reviews on the type of rod you’re after, go into your local tackle shop and speak to the staff – most will be only to happy to help but the best advice I can give is ‘try before you buy’. Most clubs or groups of anglers have regular get togethers or matches and will be happy to let you ‘have a go’.
Remember, money isn’t everything, just becasue a rod cost a lot does not mean it is suitable for you – if you can’t us the rod in the way you want too, your well earned cash has been wasted. Remember, a rod is just a method to get the baited trace into the sea and out to the feeding fish – no amount of money or fancy label / brand will change this.
To the left you can see the rods that we currently use (going from the left)
1. Century Tip Tornado Match – My main rod, used in just about any situation where distance is the issue and a weight of between 4 and 6oz is needed to tow the bait to the fish. Although this was expensive I’ve been very pleased with it – it’s light (for a beach caster) and suits my style of casting well. I also have a ‘Sport’ version (rated to cast 4-8oz) of this rod which has a bit more ‘poke’ but I only bring it out when the weather is horrific or I’m after very big fish such as conger eels from the rock.
2. Zziplex 3500 – Wendy’s main rod. Although the same length and diameter as the Tip Tornado (13 foot long) this rod is much lighter (rated to cast 3 – 5oz) to use and easier to compress (the bend in the rod generated from casting). This suits Wendy very well as being quite short and a woman (obviously) she doesn’t have as much upper body strength as me which you need to get the most out of modern hi-performance rods. It’s ‘rung’ for a fixed-spool reel but I’ll go into that in a later post.
3. Shakespeare Odessa Bass – This year we bought a couple of these and at appox. £50 they have been great value. At 11.5 feet long these are ideal light rods for estuary fishing, light beach fishing or heavy spinning of the rocks. They will cast 2 – 4oz a huge distance if needed with very little effort and we’ve used them almost constantly over the summer. We could have got something lighter (which would have been nice) but we didn’t want to spend to much until we were convinced of their usefulness and also as we take them on the rocks a lot £50 is a lot less than £100 upwards to scratch, bash or break.
4. Daiwa 10 foot Whisker Spin – We have one of these each for light float fishing and spinning / plugging. The rods are fantastic fun and during the summer we take them everywhere. They are very, very light but as they are designed for Salmon fishing are incredibly strong and we’ve both had some sizeable fish on them. Catching a single 1.5lb Mackerel on one of these will open your eyes to light tackle fishing – great fun and although expensive at the time (3 years ago) they’ve been great value.
Most of the rods have been purchased from Gerry’s of Morecambe where the service has been second to none and build quality where the rods were custom built (my two Tip Tornados and Wendy’s Zziplex 3500) has been superb – I recommend them to everyone if you want to see what you’re getting or talk to someone who know all about fishing.
So that’s it, we’ve also had or still have rods from Penn or Greys but the above are what we mainly use. Next up – reels…