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.


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.


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


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 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

Reel Maintenance Video 2

Here is another nice video on spinning reel maintenance.

October 11, 2013

Shimano Soare: Where to buy the reels

After my previous post about the Shimano Soare series' catalog I got a question from a friend about how to get access to those JDM reels of the Soare series.
I decided to share the answer on my blog, also in order to guide everybody to the right place to buy them online.

You can find the Soare reels in two Japanese shops:  Cloud Nine Tackle and Plat.
Just check the links here and here.

 In case you need something different you can always send an email to C9 Tackle. They will probably help you find the items you are looking for.

October 10, 2013

2013 Shimano Catalog: Soare

If you like LRF and ultralight fishing in general you should definitely check the online 2013 catalog of the Soare line.
Soare is the special brand of Shimano dedicated to aji and mebaru fishing.
It is a short catalog but worth a check.

Click here

Source: Shimano Japan

Are you into rod building?

I love fishing at a 360 degrees. I like to catch fish with lures but also I enjoy modifying lures, tie flies and build rods from time to time. I did build 6 rods in total and even though they are not the state of the art rods I am still very proud of them and I fish with them all the time.
My first rod was a 3 piece custom travel rod. I used a baston blank, fuji alconite guides, seat and eva grips. I did some messy job with the wrapping and epoxy but in the end I ended up with a very functional rod that I still use from time to time. There is nothing more rewarding that catching a fish with a lure you made and a rod you built at home.

If you are interested in rod building or you want to learn more about it you can check the very good videos made by the guys at Mudhole. Mudhole is a US based company that sells rod building equipment and I can say that they are one of the best available online.

You can find more videos here : MUDHOLE YOUTUBE

Another video here:

A Japanese one here about wrap coating: