December 24, 2013

New Shimano Stella coming next spring?

This is some hot news. According to this japanese website, Shimano will be introducing the new Stella in spring 2014. I think this is the new regular standard model.
No news on the specs. Just need to wait and see.

Source: Meba Aji Fool


December 21, 2013

DUO Aomasa 188: Getting Ready For Launch!

This year DUO has got some attention when introduced a special diving pencil named Aomasa 148. The pencil has been a great hit in the market. Many reports of huge fishes caught with the Aomoasa have flooded the social media and blogs.
I read many times on DUO's facebook page that the 148 was a great achievement but that a bigger size was in the works but got blocked on some developing issues. The guys at DUO are always looking for the perfect lure and they didn't want to introduce to the market a different size of lure only. The lure had to be successful as the 148 size.
After many heavy testing and R&D hours the new lure is ready for launch.

The 148 size has received very positive reviews from the anglers worldwide.


The tester Jerremy has tried many setups looking to achieve the perfect castability and action. At the end of the day those are the key elements that makes a lure successful in the market.
Now I am eager to see it in store and start reading for some awesomes fish reports.


testing with different hook setups

yellowtails love the Aomasa
Source: DUO

December 17, 2013

Tackle House "Shores Streamer"

When it comes to original lure designs I think Tackle House is the first name that comes to my mind. Those guys are really creative and always push it forward for new ideas and designs.
The "Shores" series was introduced as a "ultra light" lure range for those anglers who love to chase small fishes around the world.


The newest entry to the series is this Streamer. What can I say? It looks crazy, a mixture of metal body with plastic with the shape of a fly streamer. I think we have a winner here as I am pretty sure the small 32mm lure will drive fishes crazy and produce amazing catches.
I am looking forward to hear and read more about this lure. I always welcome new designs and this one is definitely an hot product.

Source: Tackle House



December 12, 2013

GT fishing with Ripple Fisher

So it is winter and is snowing. In times like this I go online and check for some crazy fishing videos. Nothing beats an hot coffee and a cool youtube video.
Here is a nice GT fishing video by Japanese rod maker Ripple Fisher
The real action starts at 5:15 with an amazing top water strike!


December 10, 2013

The Interview: Markos Vidalis


Thanks to my blog and facebook I had the chance to meet many great anglers around the world. 
The passion is the same but the stories, the seas and the fishes change from continent to continent, and it is very interesting to listen and learn about others experiences in the different parts of the globe.

I have decided to do some brief interviews and give space on my blog to some of those special friends. 
I think it is very exciting to read about what anglers do around the world. The passion is one but it is what is behind it that makes us curious.

Today I decided to start with a very skilled angler and great guy: Markos Vidalis, a real angler with a great passion and dedication for fishing. 

I thank him for this short interview and hope one day I will have the honor to go fishing with him somewhere in the Aegean Sea.




Hello Markos, Can you please briefly introduce yourself?
Hi there! My name is Markos Vidalis and my origin is from an Aegean island in 
Greece called Tinos. Now I live in Athens and I’m head editor in the two most 
reputed Greek fishing magazines, one involving fishing from shore, and one 
from boat! I’m also the main product fishing field tester of many brands. 

When did you start fishing?
Well my family’s history was always involved with the sea, and with one 
grandfather being a fisherman, and the other being an angler, I made my first 
fishing steps at the age of three years old. My father was also an angler and a 
seaman so I guess fishing is in my DNA!



What type of fishing do you prefer?
Hard to answer because I use many different techniques, depending the 
weather and of course the mood! Yes I use many fishing ways with natural 
and live baits, but I think I mostly love fishing with artificial ones! You see with 
this way of fishing you have to give life to a piece of plastic or metal, so when 
you get the strike, you know that YOU made the predator to attack! Of course 
is far more difficult than with a live bait, but the psychical reward is much 
higher! On the other hand when you practice fishing techniques like spinning 
or shore jigging, preparation is almost eliminated.

Favorite places to cast a lure?
This is a tricky question and depends on what is my target! If a want to get 
a big Dentex or AJ (Amberjack), then I will climb down the most hard to approach rocky 
deep spots. If there are bluefish or sea bass on the menu, I will wear my 
waders and go straight to river ending places, and fish right there where 
the freshwater meet the sea. For bonitos and tunnies, I choose deep waters 
usually on the outer side of big ports, or I also climb down to deep rocky
spots. You see I believe there is nowhere in the world a place that holds all 
the type of fish, and you have to decide what you want to catch, and then 
decide the place!

What is your favorite fish to catch with lures?
Every fish has its own beauty, either it is in the way it strikes or in the way it 
fights. I love many fish for different reasons! I love sea bass for the difficulty 
they show to attack! I love the bluefish for the great fight and the jumps on the 
water. Amberjacks are masters of fight and strength, and barracudas are real 
ghosts! But if there is one fish that every time I catch it is like my first time, 
then this is the snapper! (Dentex Dentex) Hard to find, royal appearance and 
clever mind, are characteristics hard to beat!



What is your best catch ever?
I have lots of catches that I’m very proud of, but only one made my heart beat 
so fast! Even if it is not my biggest fish, the size of it and the light gear I had 
while I encounter it, made it my top trophy! It is a snapper (dentex dentex
weighting 8.650kg that was caught with a light shore jigging rod (20-60gr 
lure weight) with braid 0.18mm and leader 0.43mm in a very hard and rocky 
bottom! Many people told me that there is nowhere else in the world report of 
such a big snapper with so light tackle. I don’t know but at least for my country 
for sure there isn't! 

What kind of tackle do you use during your fishing trips? Rod and reel 
preferences?
The type of rods and reels are once again chosen depending the type of 
fishing I want to practice. Generally if we talk about brands I love Zenaq for 
rods and Daiwa and Shimano for reels. For most spinning trips I use rods with 
height around 2.70 and with an average lure weight 10 – 35gr. A 2500 – 3000 
spinning reel fits well on it in most cases. For shore jigging, I prefer rods with 
jig weight 60 – 120gr, height 3.00m combined with a 5000 – 6000 reel.

If you had to choose only three lures to put in your lure box, which ones would 
you pick?
You kill me Rehacan! Only three?   %&*#@!!! That would be my worst 
nightmare but if so, then I would get DUO Tide minnow slim in 120, 140 & 175 
sizes!



I know you have a close cooperation with DUO Japan. How did it happen?
I use DUO lures far before they appear in the European market, thanks to 
the internet shops. Of course then I could acquire them only from Japan. 
The results where great so time passed until a very good friend of mine 
(Dinos Panayi) became the Greek and Cyprus Importer! When I learned it, I 
was so happy to open champagne! He introduced me to Martin, who is the 
“ambassador” of DUO and we started chatting every now and then. DUO was 
very new to Greek market and needed help to stand strong so I offer them my 
help without expecting anything back! Time passed and one day DUO made 
its move and told me that they were interested in me as a Pro Stuff! Of course 
I agreed and I’m very proud to be an official pro stuffer in one of the most 
important lure brands in the world! In the past before, and after this, I had 
rejected other offers mostly from Italian and Chinese brands.

Where do you see lure fishing in 10 years?
With the rapid evolution of fishing gear and the fishing population becoming 
less in number and more intelligent, I believe that in future will have to take 
too much effort to get a big fish! Fishing is becoming even more popular in all 
of its morphs, but especially with lures, gains day by day more and more fans. 
It’s not a secret that lures once where “killers” now are going unseen by fish! 
So I think we should get prepared!

What do you think of catch and release?
I support C&R as much as I can. Many videos of mine shows it very clear and 
I have my own rules in my head about size and number of fish I can keep or 
release. Sometimes I argue with foreign anglers because they demand from 
me to release all of my catch! I wish I could but as I mentioned before I come 
from a fisherman family. All my life I’m eating fish, more than meat or any 
other food. So I’m not intending to change this in my 34 years of life! When I 
get a big fish I can’t wait the time that I will call my best friends or my family 
and eat it together! In contrary to that, I have strong rules and I release no 
matter what, most fish less than 1kg.

Again, thank you very much for your time!!




December 9, 2013

Enjoy Light Game With Palms

Palms is a very respectable Japanese rod and lure maker. Unfortunately I didn't have the chance to cast one but only to play with it at the stores in Tokyo. I am keeping my eye on the ShoreGun series which has the widest range of rods that suits every kind of fishing. İt goes from UL to XH shore jigging with all the types and lengths in between.



Here is a nice video of light fishing with the newest arrival in the family: the TW "twitcher" series.

Enjoy the video and check how those two guys are having fun with small jacks in calm waters.


December 8, 2013

New lures join the DUO Tetra Works family

DUO's Tetra Works series has some serious lineup of models for all light fishing lovers around the world.
Yesterday I have found that the famous TOTO model has received two more variations that will satisfy certain situation we encounter during light fishing.



The TOTO is a little great minnow that was first introduced as a 42mm size and later joined by the 48mm version for bigger predators and longer casting.

Now we have two more models : the TOTO 48HS and the TOTO Shad 48S.






The 48HS has the name suggest is a TOTO with Heavy Sinking. The model receives a little bump in weight from 3.7g to 4.5g) and a new lip design. 

Since there is no English news yet here is what DUO JAPAN says (google translated)

Update model with improved water involved performance and cast performance micro minnow is a weak-based Toto 48S, Toto 48 heavy thinking. Rather than just adding weight, lip changed to square lip of the falling tendency with an emphasis on water bite. Fast retrieval of game day, of course, also in the center of the night game, slow retrieve will grasp the change of flow which is the byte chance...

The translation is a little funny but basically we have a heavier minnow with a lip suited for fast retrieve but also slow during night fishing. 




The Shad 48S  

The size and weight remains the same as the HS but the lip is definitely suited for deeper waters. The advantage of this model is the ability to scan a deeper water column. I cannot see the range in meters but I will wait and see if I can get more info about it.


These are just introduced in Japan. Hopefully we will see them for sale around the world soon!



Source: DUO Japan


December 7, 2013

DUO Catalog (PDF)

In case you have missed DUO's 2013 catalog, it is here in PDF



December 6, 2013

Winter Session by Urbancastman

Winter is here and so are the bonito photos from the Urbancastman.
I am starting to think that there is a love affair between the bonitos and the DUO Press Bait Saira.
I know that my friend is consistently using the DUO lure for the pelagic fishes  but the success rate is pretty high nevertheless.
Keep the good work my friend!






December 3, 2013

New Guides For Major Craft

I wanted to write about this before but never had the time. Major Craft has just introduced a new top and it is placed just at the top of the lineup. The Truzer is an expensive rod and looks quite cool. The real novelty is the new guide named Torzite.
Besides being a name reminiscent of intergalattic planets, we are dealing with an ultra light and low profile guide that makes look the SIC fat and old. I need to investigate and read more about it but this new guides looks promising. Questions like eat dissipation qualities and durability will be answered soon I guess.
Have a look here: (courtesy of PLAT)

December 2, 2013

Seabass Fishing Video!

This is nice, this is cool, this is a seabass video that goes very well if you are alone in a cold night dreaming about fishing. Courtesy of Longin


November 30, 2013

Happy 100.000 Rock Fishing Spain!

My friend Sam's blog has just reached the 100.000 visits milestone. I am very happy for him. If you like rock fishing and LRF in general you definitely have to visit his blog. It is in Spanish be the photos are gorgeous and the amount of info you can find is pretty good (google translate helps here).

Congratulations!




November 27, 2013

Kurodai Game with FCLLABO

This is a type of fishing that I wish I could do home. True, the seabream is similar to the Kurodai and it loves lures but the way they fish the Kurodai in Japan with light gear in calm inshore waters is the best.
Those fellas love top water lures and so do I.
Here is a video made by the legendary FCLLABO. It is a long one but very good indeed.



November 25, 2013

Light Game with Jackson Lures


There is something special with light lure fishing. Maybe it is the light rod, ultra thin lines and those small lures that look very cute almost like little toys. I enjoy all kind of fishing but once I get my hands on a light setup I enjoy hitting the water chasing garfish, horse mackerel and some rock fish.

Jackson has been under my radar after the introduction of the Pymgy Box series. The series is made of all the range of lures you need in a light approach: mini popper, mini minnow, pencil, vibration, shallow darter.

The prices are about right (800 YEN in Japan) and the quality is not bad. I have seen better made lures but for the price are above average.







The Shallow minnow and the Popper are the latest guys to join the family. I hope to get my hands on them soon. In the meantime check the videos below. The guy is having a blast with small barracudas and jacks. Light fishing is so fun!















November 23, 2013

Winter Sale at C9 Tackle

We are getting close to the end of the Year and online stores are starting to offer special discount for the Christmas period. My friend Jed's store Cloud Nine Tackle has just began a %15 sales on all lures and hooks in the store. If you love JDM lures you cannot miss this opportunity. Check now




November 21, 2013

Shimano Saltwater Page

More good news for saltwater anglers!
Yesterday I wrote about the new Light Game Page by Shimano. Today  I am sharing the SALWATER WORLD page.
It has basically the same layout as the light game page but here the videos and the article looks more interesting (seabass, egi, shore casting, offshore...). Have a look here

.

Also check the facebook page for Saltwater Anglers. It is in Japanese but the posts are mostly photos and videos. Who needs translation when you have cool videos and photos to watch?




November 20, 2013

New Shimano Soare Light Game Page

Shimano has recently update the light game fishing page and they come up with an excellent result.
The new page is really good as in typical Japanese fashion. The amount of info you can find is simply astonishing. There are several sections: reels, rods, lures, beginner corner, videos and techniques.
It is in Japanese but with Google translate you can ready some of it. They have basically take all the info and page related to light fishing and put them together.
Have a look here

.

Source: Shimano Japan

November 13, 2013

Shimano Saltwater 2013 Catalog

This is great news for all Shimano fans! The 2013 SW Catalog is online in digital format.
Enjoy it here


Some shore casting Shimano style

Nice video is up on Shimano TV. Check here




November 7, 2013

Shore Casting Daiko Style

Nice video from rod maker Daiko

Show me your catches!

My friends on facebook are asking me why I post many lures photos but almost nothing about what I catch.
I admit that I don't have much time for fishing and spend more on buying lures and taking photos. I love fishing and certainly I wish I had more time for fishing but with all the busy schedule and lack of good fishing spots near home I am forced to do short fishing trips on an irregular basis or do some catching in foreign countries.
Anyway, I am sharing some of my catches I made in Tokyo Bay last October. It was a great fishing experience that I will definitely write about in a near feature.








November 3, 2013

Angry Birds by Rapala

I don't know if this is new but I wanted to share it on my blog. Very creative idea and the result is a bunch of very funny looking lures.  I recall Rapala made something similar during the European Football Championship 2008  by putting the county flags on the lures.

See them here




November 2, 2013

October 26, 2013

Duo Rough Trail Blazin




The Rough Trail series by DUO is made of rough and tough lures. Right now there are three lures under this series and are dedicated to big fishes and rough condition. The first lure to be part of the series was the Rough Trail 130S a heavy and strong lure that loves strong seas and angry fishes. The second one to join the famıly was the Aomasa 148, the ultimate pencil for big pelegics.
The latest to join is the Blazin model. This is a strong yet small lure. It packs big weight (40g.) is a small (92mm) size. In my opinion is the perfect lure for those situation where you need to cast in strong winds and big swells in search for the pelagic of your life. The lure is still new and right now there is no much info around. DUO has a nice video (below) about its potential and a friend from Peru has made an exceptional catch with it.


Check it!  










Nice catch with the Blazin in Peru.


October 20, 2013

Fishing Knots: by Seaguar

This is really a gold mine. Japanese brand Seaguar has a very well made special page on fishing knots. You basically can see them all in a single page with drawings and videos. I think is the best page I have seen so far when it comes to fishing knots. Knots like Albright, FG, PR, clinch are all here. Just use google translate and you will be fine.

Link: SEAGUAR KNOT PAGE

This is the albright knot page.

The Lure: Maria Loaded


Maria Loaded.
More info here: Maria Japan



The WTD action:



October 19, 2013

Shimano Elf. Is a new model coming soon?

Shimano Japan usually does a model change on a 3-4 year cycle. The last Elf reel came into the market in 2011. It looked better than the predecessor which was a blue colored Elf and I think it had better features as well. If the timing is correct, the Elf might get a change in 2014.

I got my Elf in October 2011 and I am using it since then. If you ask me the Elf is a great reel for the prices. It is what I call the "real entry-level" reel in the Shimano family. It is smooth, looks good and has nice features for the money. (click here for more info).  If you are looking for a good reel the Elf is a nice choice.

My 2500 Elf spooled with 8lb Power Pro braid.


Anyway after seeing the new Nasci 13 (see here) I think that the Elf is the next one to get a model change. Actually the Nasci is just a one level up model compared to the Elf and I assume that the Elf will probably look similar to the Nasci in the specs department. The only thing missing might be the S-ARB bearings like in the current model.

What do I expect?

1. The color might not get black after all. The Elf has always stood up with a different color. I am risking it and saying that it might come in dark blue or black with a orange touch (Soare like)
2. Slim body. I have to admit I don't like the slim body idea but I am almost sure that the Elf will get the same treatment
3. X-Ship. This would be the biggest improvement. If the Nasci got it, there is an highly chance that the Elf will get it too.
4. Price: I think it will be in the 8000-9900 range. Just a little under the Nasci price range but higher than the actual Elf.


2013 Nasci

This is my forecast for the Elf. Let's wait and see what will happen.





New DUO Contest!


Here is another contest by DUO. If you want to participate, the rules are very simple.


What you have to do is to take a picture of the DUO lures in your city - the best would be if it could be while showcasing some local attraction.
Then you have to put the location where the photo was taken (example: Rome/Italy or Paris/France) and you will be entered into a draw for a prize pack.




The deadline of the contest 15th November 2013, so you have around one month to send your photos to duocontest@gmail.com

The five winners will get some nice stuff from DUO!! More info is here




October 15, 2013

Tackle Stores in Tokyo. Part 1: Shibuya

If you love tackle and especially Japanese tackle I think there isn't any better place than buying it if not Japan itself.
I have been lucky to visit Tokyo a couple of times and thanks to some internet research and friend's advice I visited many great shops and did some awesome shopping.

As a blogger I think have a great opportunity to share some information on the best store available in Tokyo. If you happen to visit it one day you might find the information below very useful.

I have been in many shops in different areas but I will first start with the area that offer more choices and that if you are on a tight schedule it will be enough to get most of the stuff you were dreaming of.

The first part of my guide will focus on Shibuya.


Shibuya

It is hard to go to Tokyo and don't visit Shibuya. It is by far the most crowded and interesting place in Tokyo. You have probably seen the famous intersection in movies, where hundreds if not thousands of people cross the street in a quick and frantic fashion.
It is the home of great stores, interesting building and encompasses everything modern Tokyo has to offer: neon lights, great food and crowded streets.

How to get to Shibuya

It depends on when you are staying but the best way to get to Shibuya is with the Yamanote Line. Just take the green train from one of the stations and get off directly at the Shibuya stop.
Once you are in Shibuya you just have to get out of the West Exit and from there all the fishing stores will be easy to reach on foot.


Johshuya JUMBO


JSY is the first stop that I recommend to everybody. It is located only 5 minutes walk distance from the station and with its 3 floor offers everything you need: lures, rods, gear, clothes, baits, hooks, whatever you are looking for.

How to get there?

Johshuya is located just south of the station. Follow the map below : Take the west exit, once you are out of the station go south, pass the pedestrian bridge and you will see the big JUMBO written on the building. Go off the bridge and take the elevator at the entrance of the building. The 2nd floor is all about lures, 3rd floor is bait fishing and 4th floor is gear/clothes/buckets/bags/rain gear etc.

The view of JUMBO store from the pedestrian walkway bridge. The entrance is
on the right (down-right in this photo)

Below is the access map made on Google Maps. Very easy to reach.




View Larger Map





TACKLE BERRY SHIBUYA


Looking for used lures and gear? The famous 2nd hand shop Tackle Berry is just 50 meters from Jumbo. Basically is on the same street. You just have to walk 50 mt. more and you will see the sign on the left. It is located on the 3rd floor (3F). It is a big one floor shop with some interesting second hand lures : salt/bass/trout selection is good.







View Larger Map



SANSUI SHIBUYA


Sansui is a smaller but very good shop that is worth the visit. It feel more upscale compared to Jumbo and Tackle Berry. The selection is smaller but you might find different products not available elsewhere. Also I felt like they have higher hand products that are difficult to find outside of Japan.









The store is close to the station. I made a map that shows the path from Jumbo to Sansui. It is a good reference.




View Larger Map

Sansui is on a main street and right side of the sidewalk.

Basically all the three shops are in within 8 minutes walking distance. In one stop you can almost find everything you are looking for.

In the second part I will explore two other shops that are very well equipped and worth checking out.

October 14, 2013

Tuna Fighting: A short video by Palms

Angler's Republic is a brand that I respect a lot. They make good rods as well as shoot nice videos.
This one is short but it is a good fight with a tuna.  The rod in the video is the Palms Sea Rapture 78MH

Major Craft Go Emotion

While visiting Tokyo I had the chance to handle the Major Craft Go Emotion rods at the Sansui shop in Shibuya.
I enjoy Major Craft rods a lot but to tell you the truth I never considered buying or even checking in detail this bass rod. As a salt lure angler I always check for rods made for salt water but this time I was somehow struck by this rod.



The two models I have handled were the 66ML and the 70ML. Both are rated at 3/8 ounces and 5-10lb line. I found the rods to be extremely light with a nice fast action. The first thing it came to my mind is that these rods looked very good for a light setup in salt water. By light I mean a combination of a 2500 reel , 0.6/0.8PE line and small lures targeting fishes like small seabass and pelagics.

This is definitely only my opinion but sometimes I really need some rod with a light rating but fast enough that would allow me to work with small minnows and especially top water lures with ease.
The action of the Go Emotion was indeed the type I was looking for but I never found in other LRF rods I have tried.

The rod comes with K guides, a nice Eva grip and a fast blank.

The Go Emotion comes in different models all suited for freshwater application (bass fishing). The prices are very good (11000 YEN /112 USD avg.) and the workmanship looks great as usual.





I also liked the short foregrip for more sensibility and weight cut. I enjoyed the blank responsiveness and the price tag.  Will I buy it?  I still have to decide but I am very welcome to get feedback from other anglers who have tried it.


Short video on the Go.Emotion by Major Craft




More detailed info can be found here: Major Craft Japan



October 12, 2013

PE line rating chart

When I first started braided lines I always paid attention to the lb strength as a reference point. After all lb or Kg is still a very important number when it comes to line in general. Today lb and kg are still used widely in the market. If you look especially to products sold in the US market you will see braided lines sold according to their lb rating and almost never on the diameter. The thing is that diameter may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and one brand's 10lb braid might end up being much thinner or thicker than another brand.

1.5 PE line by Varivas.

In the Japanese market they use the line diameter as a reference measure instead of the lb rating. Surely the lb rating is still used on packages and for marketing purposes but all the reels and rods are rated and measured according to the PE line rating.
Example: If you get a USDM reel you will see that the spool as a total yard for a certain lb (lb/yd) but if you get a JDM reel you will see a PE rating/mt information.
What is the PE rating? Below is a chart that I made by looking at a very well made chart by YGK which is one the world leading brands in braided lines. Basically a number corresponds to a certain diameter that is supposed to be standard (some fluctuations among brand will always occur). The good thing is that if you get ,say, a 0.8 you end up with a 0.148mm diameter line. How about strength? It depends on the brand but anything from 12 to 14lb on average.




I prefer the PE line rating because I can understand how much line my reel will really get (JDM) and reels are sold in a way that it allows you to fill the reel exactly "as planned". For instance a 4000 size Shimano Biomaster SW is supposed to get 200 meters of 2.0 PE which is a standard number for the purpose of the fishing you might doing with the reel. If you get, let say, a YGK x4 200 meter PE2 spool you will fill the spool all the way to the lip as designed. Simple and effective with no waste of line or guessing with nylon backings.

PE Line 2 by YGK. This line is a 0.235mm with 30lb strength


Source: YGK Line Technology

Other reads: PE Rating