October 31, 2011

Lure Photo 3: Alle's Lures "Bichito"

Pencil handmade by Alle's Lures. One of my favorites.

October 30, 2011

Fishing Report vol.1: Night Fishing for Seabass

A good fishing blog should definitely include some nice fishing reports with cool fish pictures.
So, as a start, I am posting the report of this nice catch made by my friend Savaş back in 2009.

Savaş is a very skilled angler with a special interest in catching enormous European seabass. I can honestly say that he is very good at it :)
Savaş with the 3.3 Kg seabass.

3.8 Kg!

Below is the short report written directly by Savaş:

"It was a very exciting night of fishing back in September 2009. Actually I wasn't planning to go after seabass that night as I was just fishing for mullets. After witnessing an attack of a good sized seabass on a mullet I had hooked, I decided to switch to my spinning setup and put on a lure resembling a juvenile mullet. While I was retrieving the lure for the thirtieth time, I got a huge hit and after an hard fight I landed my first 3.8 kg bass. After the catch I kept fishing and had to wait for almost two hours before a second bass hit my lure again. The second one weighted 3.3 kg. That was an unforgettable night of fishing and made me a good seabass fisherman..."

Snaps, snaps, snaps

When it comes to snaps I'am kind of picky and this has led me to try several models and types.

Silent Snap, Egg Snap and Round Snap.

A good snap has to be, naturally, strong but also easy to handle and designed good enough to allow a good movement to the lure attached.

I first started lure fishing with the BreakAway Spin Link. This snap is solid and the "paper clip" like design allows a quick change of the lure. It is one of my favorite snaps and I use it only when fishing with big lures since it is not very small and it does interfere a little with the action of medium sized lures (7-10 cm). Unfortunately it does come only (as I am aware of) in two sizes and the one I use is already the smallest one.
I wish they made a smaller sized one.

The Decoy Egg Snap is my second favorite but it looks like it will become my preferred snap in the near future. It is solid, hard to open (hence fail),well made and the "egg" shape does allow good movement to the lure. The advantage is that it comes in several size so it offers flexibility. The one below in the picture is a No:3. The strength is high in this snap (70lb). Try it.

The NT swivel Snap is an original design. I tried only once and didn't have problems. It is one of the easiest snaps when it comes to lure changing but it is exactly the fact that it opens easily that bothers me a little. A little pressure and is open. Maybe the fact that opens only when you apply pressure on the inside, means that under traction is bulletproof. The model in the picture below is rated at 27kg and is a size 0!.

The Evergreen Wide Snap is one of my favorite in light saltwater and freshwater applications. The snap feels solid and the wide eye design gives freedom to the lure. It is similar to the Egg Snap but it opens a little easier. Solid enough and with a nice titanium finish.

The last one is the Decoy Round Snap. Similar to the Evergreen snap but with a thinner back. Like it for trout fishing and ultralight application. Decoy is a reliable brand, so is this snap.

These models are all valid and they cost pretty much the same. I don't being cheap on the snaps. It is an important link to an often 20 dollars lure. Not worth losing a big fish and a lure for a little snap.
Tight lines!

Lure Photo 2 : River2Sea Target Minnow 90

River2Sea Target Minnow 90SU

October 29, 2011

Lure Photo 1 : Halco Roosta Popper

From time to time I will add some cool pictures of my favorite lures. The first lure to have the honor to get photographed is the Halco Roosta Popper. 
Please enjoy. 

Owner Trebles

When it comes to hooks and treble I can think of only one brand: Owner.
I have been using these trebles for years with no problems at all. I don't think is a coincidence the fact that most of the lure manufacturers use the owners on their lures. Especially the owner treble ST-46 series is widely used on most of the famous lures out there. One example are the Daiwa Saltiga lures.
These trebles are expensive but well worth the money. 

How to read the codes:
Owner uses two numbers to identify their trebles:
ST stands for Stinger Treble. The barbless models have BL after the ST (STBL)
The first digit after the ST designates the strength and power of the treble. It starts from 1 and goes up to 7
The second digit can be a 1 or 6 depending on the curve point. The 1 has a more evident curve bend.
After the digits you will see two letters like BC (Black Chrome), TN (Tin) or RD (Red) that tells you about the color of the treble.

ST-56TN Trebles. These are good for medium-heavy salt lures.
The one below is a medium strength model: The ST-36BC (Black Chrome). I prefer to use the 36 series up to sizes 10 and 8. I pass to the stronger ST-46s for lures that mount size 6-4 hooks. For anything above that I rely on the 56's.

C'ultiva Owner Stinger Treble ST-36BC size 10
Red Colored Trebles. Coded RD.

 More info can be found here: Owner Official Homepage (Japanese)

New Daiwa Caldia

Daiwa is one of my favorite manufacturers when if comes to reels. I have been using only Daiwa or Shimano reel as they are the best brands out there.
The latest models introduced by the Japanese maker are all good looking reels with new innovative systems.
One of these reels is the new Caldia. A mid-upper level reel that has been always on my wish list.

he new one replaces the nice looking white model. The reel packs many new features but the most breakthrough are the new "Zaion body", the "Mag-Shield" and the "Air Rotor" . 

It comes in 8 different size-models. From mebaru/trout light fishing all the way up to medium salt water applications.
The price is between 23000 and 29000 Yen.


Air Rotor:  The new design gives a 15% lighter rotor and better balance. It
also looks very nice.

Zaion body and rotor: This new material is light and stiff as magnesium. Based on a proprietary
carbon based resin material, the Zion increases resistance, strength still decreasing the weight.

Mag Shield" is a new technology that allows the reel to remain waterproof.
The magnetic fluid creates a "wall" between the rotor and body
that keeps any kind of water from entering inside.

Detail of the micro adjustable drag knob.

The new spool features the ABS2. It allows an easy release of the line from
the spool. It has a reverse tapered surface that dramatically reduces line backlash.

The new Caldia. You can see the Mag sealed and Air Rotor features.

The Caldia is a Real Four compatible reel. You can add many custom parts.

You can see a nice video here : Bream fishing with the new Caldia

October 28, 2011

Lure of the Day: IMA Hound 125F Glide

IMA is the producer of one of the coolest looking lures out there. They all have amazing colors and details, but the most important thing is that they really catch fish.
The Japan based company has just introduced this new lure: Hound 125F Glide.

According to the site, the Hound 125F is an ideal lure for those days when we need more distance to reach some fish from the surf. It says you can reach 78 meters with a regular cast!

As with all the IMA lures, this one is another expensive piece of jewel. Street price is 2300 Yen.

Candy like colors. As usual with IMA quality.
[Length] 125mm
[Weight] 20 g
[Hook] Owner ST-46 # 4
[Price] 2,310 yen (2,200 yen tax)

More details here : IMA Hound 125F Glide

October 27, 2011

I Got Mail!!

This morning I got a nice surprise in the mail. My favourite snaps (Decoy Egg Snap) and a famous lure (Tackle House K-Ten Blue Ocean HG). 
Details coming soon...

Major Craft Solpara Seabass Rod

They are many rodmakers in Japan known for their amazing high quality products. 
One of those companies is certainly Major Craft. This company, in my opinion, makes one of the best rods in terms of cost/performance. They have rods that start from about 80USD up to 400USD.  
Their catalog range from ultralight trout rods to Tuna  boat casting rods. They offer lots of models to choose from and basically you can find a rod for every kind of lure fishing. And the best part is that they keep adding new rods almost on a monthly basis.

At the bottom of their line we find the Solpara range. These rods, introduced in 2010, are cheap but yet very pleasing. To keep the costs down the production was shifted to China but the guys at Major Craft were able to ensure that the quality remained high as for the other MC rods. 
Solpara: Performance > Cost . It summarizes exactly the rod quality price ratio.

The Solpara rod  family is pretty vast. They have seabass, ajingu, rockfishing, eging, shore jigging models and so on. The trademark of the Solpara is the very nice electron blue blank that really adds a perceived quality feel to the whole rod and look insanely cool!. Guides are Fuji  Aluminum Oxide and the workmanship is overall really impressive for such a cheap and made in China rod. As told before, quality control is definitely there. 
The Details on the rod like cork accents, quality EVA and metal rings add a nice touch and give that famous JDM signature to the rod.
It comes in different length and power : 

  • SPS-862L         8'6 " 7-23
  • SPS-902L         9'0 " 7-23         
  • SPS-862ML 8'6 " 10-30
  • SPS-902ML 9'0 " 10-30
  • SPS-962ML 96 " 10-30
  • SPS-962M 96 " 15-42
  • SPS-1002M 100 "15-42

Ok, so, you would say, the rod is nice looking but how does it behave in action? How is the blank? Sensibility?
Well, I use the 9ft 7-23gr. medium-light Seabass rod (SPS-902L) and I have been very pleased with it.
I own many rods made by different  and famous brands and I can safely say that this rod is a keeper. For the price you pay you get a very decent rod, light, sensible and very enjoyable. It has a moderate-fast action and is pretty flexible. It casts lures very effectively and safely casts  up to 18 gr. with no problems. 
I admit that I didn't fight any respectable fish but the rod has enough backbone to handle good size seabass or  even bluefish. The 9ft matches very good with a size 3000 Daiwa or 4000 Shimano reel.

I have been so impressed that I am thinking about getting the shore jigging rod too. My friend got the eging rod and it says that is incredible for the price he paid.
Fuji DPS reel seat plus a nice composite cork and EVA
combination for the foregrip. Very nice looking detail.

The grip is made with good quality EVA. The metal ring
and the cork add a nice touch to the rod.

The rod comes with silver Fuji Aluminum Oxide Guides.
Cheapest Fuji guides available but they do their job with braid

Spigot Ferrule Joint

 Link to  Major Craft Solpara 

Bottom line is, the rod is definitely a very decent rod, not a high end top quality rod, but at this price point I doubt you can find anything better. Being made in China might sound like a big turn off, but trust me, you wouldn't tell the difference with a made in Japan one.  I heard also great things about the upper level series such as the Saltz and Huntaway. I am sure you will get even a better rod once the price starts to reach the 150-250 USD (12.000 - 20.000 YEN) range. I am following closely this amazing rodmaker. They just keep producing new and exciting products at a fast rate. The latest range they introduced is the Trapara (trout rods).

I am planning to write more in the near future. I'll post some pictures of the rod in action. 
In the meantime have a look at their website : Major Craft 

October 24, 2011

Maria Lures: The Making

And here I think is the most important section of the webpage: How the lures are made. It is worth the read.

Maria Lures

In my second post in this blog I have talked about my first lure being a Maria Blues Code.
The Maria company is a great lure maker. They are reasonable priced (to JDM standards) and they catch fish. I have tried at least 6-7 models in the lineup and they never let me down.

I have to admit that Maria puts interesting and original names to their lures. They sound almost exotic and sometimes cool. :)  Angel Kiss, Pop Queen, Mucho Lucir, Mar Amigo, Wise Dog. Sure they don't lack of creativity.

One of my favorite poppers. Pop Queen.
It casts a mile and has the "perfect" popping retrieve. I have used both the 80 and 130mm sizes.
Available Size and weight:

Here is the website where you can find more details about the lures. They even have an English section now!

Check it out : Maria Official Webpage

October 23, 2011

Tackle House

When it come to lures, Japan has a lot to offer. There are many companies that produce very nice lures.
One of those is without a doubt Tackle House. The Tokyo based company is famous for is K-Ten lure.
This is what their website says about the K-Ten : "A lure that can reach further and has a wider range of use than any other...the K-TEN Blue Ocean was developed to satisfy these dreams. The magnet-loaded fully automatic gravity moving system allows it to reach an astonishing casting distance and perform outstanding luring actions. With its simplified design, increased versatility and unlimited potential, the K-TEN Blue Ocean is still regarded by many as the finest plug produced by Tackle House."

I just ordered both the K-Ten Blue Ocean and the Contact Feed Shallow, with the latter being regarded as a real seabass killer in shallow waters. I will write more about these lures and the company itself once I get my order in the mail. For now just take a look at their english website.

Tackle House Website in English

K-Ten Blue Ocean

Contact Feed Popper (120mm - 30gr.)

Contact Feed Shallow (128mm - 18.5 gr)

Amazing Fly Fishing Video

OK, I admit, it is not related to lure fishing but still a wonderful video that needs to be shared. Enjoy!

Riding High: A Season on the Fly from Waterline Media on Vimeo.

The best boxes in the business: Meiho Chemical

I have to admit that I am fond of tackle boxes. I use them a lot and I like keeping all my lures and accessories in order. I have tried many brand out there but, without any doubt, the best tackle boxes are the ones made by the Japanese company Meiho Chemical.
This year I had the chance to buy a couple of them over the net. What can I say? They are awesome, well made and durable. What impresses me is the quality of the molding. The tolerances are perfect, no gaps whatsoever between the hinges or latches. When you close the lid you can feel the quality the same way you feel when you shut the door of a luxury car. You get the idea.
If you check the catalog you will see that Meiho produces hundreds of different models. They have the right box for every situation and need.
Meiho SFC S and M Lure Boxes

Right now I am using some Meiho SFC boxes. SFC stands for System Fishing Compo.They are polypropylene boxes that come in 9 different sizes and 5 different setups. You have the fly,worm,lure, plain and spinner versions. I like the SS,S,M and L sizes. The small one is perfect for ultralight tackle, while the S and M can be good for 5-6cm minnow lures or small soft baits. I also have the spinnerbait version that I use for my long jerk minnows. The center divider helps keeping everything organized.
I love them ! A+!

For more info you can check this link:
Meiho Chemical Industry

Detail of the Latch. The material and the molding is superb!
Made in Japan

Special Seabass webpage from Shimano Japan

Shimano Japan has a special page dedicated to seabass fishing. It is in japanese but you can still enjoy cool photos, products and videos. As a marketer  I consider this kind of websites a great work. Every page, every picture and every product is well explained into the smallest detail (don't know Japanese but the amount of written info is outstanding). It is incredible the dedication and the time they spend on these kind of technical details. I really enjoy the way Japanese brands market their products. Still haven't seen anything like this from any European or US fishing company. This site gets a nice A+!

Click the link below:
Screenshot of the website

Fishing GT's by SMITH LTD.

Nice video by SMITH LTD.
I consider Smith Ltd. as one of the best lure fishing companies in Japan. I will definitely write about them in the near future. For now, let's enjoy some GT fishing :)

October 22, 2011

Bass Pro Shops or Cabelas? I would say Atelier!

The first time I visited a Bass Pro Shops in the US I thought that nothing else would come close to the definition of "the perfect fishing enthusiast store" as BPS. I was amazed by the massive amount of rods, lures, clothes and all the stuff related to fishing. The items were there, so was the beautiful decoration with fish tanks, real size boats and mounted sailfishes.
Later I paid a visit to Cabelas and I was equally impressed.
Now I see this incredible Japanese shop named "Atelier". I admit that I am a little "biased" towards the JDM fishing style but seeing this great amount of JDM fishing items displayed in a ultra modern minimalist Japanese hi-tech style is just ultra cool. Maybe we cal call it a mix between an Apple store and BPS. Now, If I could only paid a visit to this store with a limitless credit card :)

Check yourself, and please, just don't drool over the keyboard :) Enjoy!

Seabass Fishing on the Rocks!

Some Shore Jigging with Major Craft

Major Craft is one of those Japanese rod companies that I admire the most. I will write more about them in the future. For now enjoy this short video :)

Those Little Jigs

In the past I used to think about jigs as big pieces of metal weighting between 50 and 300 grams used mostly for vertical jigging. Later I have found out about shore jigging with smaller jigs in the 15-40 grams and ultimately I discovered the ultra light jigs and start buying a bunch of them.
These small ones are mainly used for tiny marine predators such as horse mackarel, rockfish, small jacks, garfishes and even small seabass.
My first jig ever. The Little Bit.

I first discovered these jigs in a couple of online videos made by Shimano and Daiwa. I saw the fisherman using ultralight gear to cast this 3 to 5gr. jigs and catch rockfish, aji (horse mackarel in Japanese) and some type of small jacks. It looked like fun and I started doing some researches. I realized that the small ones get respect as much as the big ones and that the almost all jig manufacturers produce small jigs for the ultra light fishing.
The 7 gr. Mucho Lucir. A nice jig, a little fragile on the paint.

My first jig has been the Maria "little bit". A very cute small jig that with the right setup (we are talking about 7ft rods with 0-7gr. casting rates and 6-8lb PE lines) you can cast almost 40 meters.
These things I so cute that sometimes I buy them just for the looks. (who doesn't!).
I have a small collection that I am willing to try soon especially for garfishes. Last month I got an attack on a small mucho lucir (again, Maria) but it didn't hook up.
Here are a bunch of links:

Maria Little Bit
Maria Mucho Lucir
Smith Sirasu Jig II

My tiny arsenal! (from bottom: Smith, Owner, Jazz, Maria)