Thursday, 4 October 2012

Power Isome - increase your hook up rate?

Double hook rig (pennel rig), with knotless knot to use with Ecogear Power Isome or alike soft plastics.

Please excuse the diagrams!

I have been using this rig for a time now after missing quite a few hook ups on LRF kit. I found that with any of the longer SP’s like the Power Isome, if hooked near the top and you have a longer tail drifting/flapping to attract the fish that potentially the fish will hit the moving part and not connect with the hook, thus missing a bite.
I’m not saying this hasn’t been done before, just my version of what I have found has helped me.

Some great ideas come together when out fishing and chatting with friend and fishing companion Will at Next Generation, this one came after missed bites from smaller fish on my behalf and downsizing bait. This being the alternative to downsizing in allowing the same bait to be used for both small and big fish. 

This particular use came into its own when wanting to cast a bit further with this sp, when the standard hooking arrangement of just nipping through the head or 'whacky' meant that a good percentage of the time the hook tore through the sp.

The idea is to keep the same flowing presentation that you would have with a single hook rig, you can do this by using the lighter fluorocarbon lines that are available.
Take a length of fluorocarbon (hooklength), tie on the bottom hook, I use a grinner knot for most of my hook knots, as the upwards facing tag will aide in keeping the SP on the hook. This hook for me I have always made the smaller of the two simply due to the fact that on average 99% of the smaller fish caught have been on the bottom hook. Once this hook has been tied you can tie on the top hook at the desired length for the required sp lure. You can increase or decrease this if missing bites.
The knot used for the top hook is a knotless knot, used a lot in carp fishing rigs.

Hook variations and sizes that have worked:

Top hook size                  Bottom hook size
6                                                         10
8                                           12
10                                         14
12                                         16

Obviously this can be an endless combination and you can alter the sizes to suit your requirements. Go up or down sizes if you find you are missing fish.

The beauty of this type of rig to me is that it allows me to have pre-tied rigs stored in a hooklength box, pretty much as I would for my freshwater match fishing. Different sized hooks on varying fluro for different jobs.

Plastic hook tray with pre-tied rigs.

Home made rig board, made of foam with cut slots to hold the rigs.

Above the knotless knot I have been using a rubber bead, above this you can add a glass bead to give a slight bit of noise as it moves up and down. My take on this in using a rubber bead is to protect the knotless knot from any damage. Then above the beads you can add your weights, these being split shot, cone weights or olivettes (type used for pole fishing).

Simple diagram of layout.

Weights, beads & finished rig.

OK, so how does this allow the versatility to change rigs with minimal hassle?

Instead of a permanent knot attaching this to your mainline, you can use a micro swivel or one of the many variations used for freshwater feeder fishing for a quick change link. At the top of your hooklength tie a loop knot with a figure of eight knot, this will allow quick changes to another rig without continually cutting back your mainline on every rig variation.

Hooking up the SP.
The top hook is only hooked through the head end of the sp, then on the bottom hook you can hook it up a couple of ways.
1- thread the bottom hook through the sp to the length of the distance between the hooks. This set up means no line showing and the line is internally hidden, this is slightly more fiddly but you can do this at home and store the pre threaded sp’s back in a sealed bag to protect them. After a period of use I have found that this method allows the Power Isomes to stay on the hook longer without breaking down fish after fish, especially if you are catching lots of small fish.
2 -you can simply ‘stitch’ the bottom hook along the length of the sp, this is a lot easier to do, but I have noticed it doesn’t last as long with the sp breaking down and tearing.

1st stage to hook sp.

Top hook threaded.

Start to thread bottom hook.

Stitch the bottom hook in and out of the sp.

Finished sp threaded on rig.

If you allow the fish to sit on the sp, you stand a greater chance of deep hooking a fish. I am a catch & release angler and with this in mind the two hook rig can hopefully keep deep hooking to a minimum, add to this barbless hooks and most fish should be returned unharmed.

Don't forget the disgorger......Using a disgorger makes unhooking a fish a lot easier even with barbless hooks.

I hope you enjoyed the read, as said before this is what I have found has helped me to produce more fish from bites.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Mixing it up!

As the title suggests, last weekend was a mix of LRF (light rock fishing) / MRF (medium rock fishing) or M'uRFing as Will Harding and myself have been calling it!
Will has talked about MuRFing on his blog, click the link on his name to find out.

I have been using a 1-7g rod that has a higher line class rating, this has been allowing me to have the power to put down on some of the 4lb pollack that I have been connecting with. The rod has a solid carbon tip that can be from 7ft to just a little over 8ft. It is a fast action rod that gives that little bit more when required yet still allows me to fish for the smaller species if I'm changing venues, saves on carrying two rods!

Ecogear Power Isome / pink-large catching the pollack again.

This was the Saturday evening with pollack and wrasse being the main species taken between Will and I, only a short session but as always the short trip is worth more than not getting out at all. Travelling light and being able to move and adapt to venue and fish species in front of you being the key to catching.

Sunday morning gave me the chance to meet up with Andy (Hooks, Lines & Sinkers) and his mate Nobby, this trip has been long awaited for them to come down and fish this end of Dorset. The weather window was going to be short with the increasing wind, but we knew there was space to fit in a few hours before the change made conditions to difficult.
A 5am meet with myself being a couple minutes late! Then the choosing of weapons for the session (should of done this the night before, but due to being fishing didn't get time....), and off we went. The wind was noticeable as we walked to the start of the target area, catching up on the past few weeks since there return from Cornwall after there annual boys jolly fishing trip...
Nothing like the anticipation of what the day is going to bring, south westerly and first light fish always going to be a good chance, after a few casts first schoolie landed, game on!
The light increased and Andy had a couple on a Duo Tide Vib Slim, so after another 30 minutes time for the breakfast and chat.
Another chance to switch lures from a different box!

After breakfast, the first cast produced? What I hear you say, well it flew alright.........

Seagull landed!

No sooner had my lure hit the water and I looked down to flip the bail arm and this juvenile gull swooped on the lure, I'm sure he/she won't be doing this again in a hurry....No damage done, the bird was caught in the line and the hooks of the lure were over its beak, gull released safely.

Time to start the walk back. The wind was now gusting and the seas white water increasing, this was just looking so bassy. Nobby had the first on the return journey followed by myself, hard work walking and fishing into a 25mph+ headwind, but the effort paid off.

Only small, but perfectly formed.

Pictures of the above LRF rod to follow, but here are some images of a custom 6ft 9' / 1-4lb / 0.2-3.5g rod from last week.
The rod is finished in black & gold with a carbon tube screw up reel seat. EVA fore grip and a custom cork rear grip. Guides - Fuji alconites & Matagi rod components. 

Lots more rod pictures on the Dorset Fishing Rods Facebook page, so come and join us on FB if you want to take a look.

Thank you for reading.


Tuesday, 25 September 2012

A Manic Weekend!

After a very late night on Friday, fishing and rod building, I was due to meet friends at a mark on the Purbeck coastline for an early morning session. Due to the early hours start it was easier just not to go to bed on Friday into Saturday and load the system with caffeine to keep me going!

I was first to the car park and sat waiting for the others to arrive, for once I was early and was sat in the dark planning my attack in my head for the morning....what lures to use and where I'd like to get to before the sun starts to come up. The previous evening we agreed on the meeting time, they obviously forgot......I arrived at 04.45 and they rolled in at 05.20!

My fishing companions on this trip were fishing partners from many a trip and a new bass angling specialist Rob Wolfsbarsch ( Rob Staigis - ) from Holland who had come over to fish with Tom ( ), along with Mark & Joe ( ).

After the shaking of hands and introductions it was off to the area we had mapped out to target for bass. There is something very special about walking the coastline at this time in the morning, we are truly blessed here in Dorset to have the coastline open to us to fish at a very short drive.

After a good 40 minute walk in the dark we got to the target, water and conditions looking as good as they could be for the day. We all spread out as Joe & Rob disappeared around the corner to fish another area out of my sight. After a climb across the rocks I got to the one I had my eyes on........I could see a ledge under the water where the water dropped off, this was where I was going to start working the lures first, looking for fish working along the drop off. We were over low water but normally this can still produce and give the first light fish.

After only a couple of casts over the ledge, fish on!

Adjusting casts into a stiffening head wind, which gave that feeling of winter is on its way!
Up and down the ridge, trying at different depths and distance until I found the depth and area to target that gave fish on repeated casts. Next to be landed another pollack.

As the light increased the numbers of pollack dropped off only to give me a couple of wrasse.

I increased the distance of cast and got my first bass, only weighing about 3 1/2 to 4lb but target hit. I stayed on the same area of rocks as the others moved around, I knew I had fish out in front of me and they all came to the same lure, the IMA Hound ORCA in Bora Mullet.

This lure casts very well even into the increasing wind, I had no problems getting distance. The lure itself weighs 20gs and is 125mm in length, it is designed to work at a depth of between 80-130cm. This is the lure that was matching the bait I had in front of me.

So, light increasing, wind strengthening and that sudden hard shockwave hits down the rod, fish on! This fish was giving a good account of itself playing around at up and down the ledge it swam, finally allowing me to get it close in and get a look at my second bass hook up........bending down to lift it out and one big shake of its head as I am about to grab it, its off! Right at my feet, I'm claiming this one I had touched it......Feeling generous to myself!

Now the suns up and the fishing turned off, just like flipping a switch!

The others now return from around the corner and we have the who's caught what? It would be unfair of me to tell of there catches, that will be on there blogs very shortly. We carried on fishing for a few more hours, changing locations to no avail.

Now, what could be better than a bacon butty and a cup of tea to wake you back up? Sun shinning and the catch up time, I haven't spoken to these fishing friends for a while and the normal laughter soon flowed over what everyone has been up to.

This was the end of the morning fishing session for me, but after a short spell at home and a chance to get some rods wrapped, food inside me and more caffeine it was time for round two!

A quick phone call to Will Harding ( ) and the next plan is made......A quick change of gear, out with the bassing tackle and onto the LRF. I have been testing a new blank to DFR over the past couple of months and it is performing above my expectations.

Now for those with a belief that LRF isn't fun, think again! Below one of many pollack that gave me a genuine smile and enjoyment from my angling, after all isn't that what we all aim for?

If there was ever a time when I wished that it would stay light for longer this was it.......This was catching, not fishing! 

I met up with Will at the mark and Rob Mears a local photographer who enjoys his fishing to. After a quick chat I was into fish from the off, first cast in a small wrasse, then solid pollack after pollack up to 4lbs. These fish were giving the test I wanted on this rod, strong fights with line screaming from the reel as the clutch was let loose.

When fishing from rocks above the water a net was a must to make life easy for us and to safely handle the fish. On a mixture of soft plastics from Molix to Ecogear the fish kept coming to the net for all of us. Rob had this great wrasse, just look at the colours in the mouth, an artists pallet on one fish.

The Molix SP was the Sligozzo 4" / White Shad, I did cut the larger bulk part of the body off and hook up allowing the big paddle to the rear to work in the water.

My next choice of SP was the Ecogear Minnow.

Again instant results, this time a mackerel giving a great account on light tackle, the Dorset tuna ran and took line of the reel, how much fun can you have in one day?

All the SP's were rigged on jig heads, my first cast in saw me loose one on a fish, a bit to hard of a strike on my behalf. Lesson learnt and allow the fish to take the lure then lift into it, fish hooked.

The light was fading and the fish were still biting, the words of just one more cast! I did not want to leave, when fishing is this good it is hard to walk away from it.

The sun dropped beyond the horizon and we made our way back to the cars, this truly was a great days fishing, bass, pollack & wrasse all giving fights on light tackle.

It would be unfair to report what the others caught, I'm sure this will come in there blogs when written.

We tried again Sunday, but with conditions changed from the sun on the day before to howling wind and driving rain we had to admit defeat! I picked up Will and Lolly to hopefully get to where we were the day ruled here and we weren't going to put our life's at risk or anyone else's to save us just for some fishing ( even though I am obsessed ). We drove around, parking up and getting saturated looking for somewhere to fish, then having to settle on somewhere that could of given a surprise. This was not to be, three very wet anglers returned to the car to then go and get food! 
Sunday was a wash out.........  

Thank you for reading another days fishing from a Lure Addict!

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Take a look at the link above to see the Komomo II in action. I just love this lure and admit to being a lure addict! I own a few of them........ 

Just a quick trip to the shop today - Chesil Bait 'N' Tackle or you can find them on Facebook
I knew they had just got the Komomo II flashing plate in and after a phone call to say keep one back, I just couldn't help myself! Like sweets in the sweet shop, I have a sweet tooth; so as you can guess I walked away with more than one lure!

Plans are made for some bass fishing over the next week or so, so please let the weather be nice to us and give me that chance of some decent bass. 

Bora Mullet

Chameleon Flashing Plate

This will be the latest addition to my DUO collection, The extra weight and shape hold this lure stable in rougher turbulent water. 

DUO - Tide Minnow SURF (H-91)

Megabass XLAYER
One of my favourite soft plastics and easy to use/rig. This lure is great at catching bass and comes in a variety of colours to tempt more than just the fish! 

Megabass XLAYER 41/2' in AURORA SHAD

Megabass XLAYER 41/2' in GLOW BLUE

I'm sure I'll be back in the shop again before I get on the water and as always the lures will catch me first!

YES, I have a problem.....I am a lure addict....thanks for reading.

Monday, 10 September 2012

A few recent reviews.

After a busy summer of holidays, fishing and hectic children (now back to school) it's time for a few recent reviews to be put on the blog.

Many thanks to:

Tom at Toms Fishing Blog - Toms rod - this was on the 9ft, 8-28g St Croix Legend Elite blank. This isn't very often that this happens, I didn't take any pictures!!!! Tom has a few on the blog, the rod is finished in black/gold wraps with a decorative carbon black/gold tube between the split grip. Fuji VSS reel seat with Pacific Bay minima 4 guides in TiCH/TiCH.

Will at Next Generation Angling - Will's rod was a Tenryu Injection, it still is the same blank but with the DFR twist!
The changes - all the red paint was removed, then re-coated with a clear resin for a gloss finish. Decorative carbon tube in the split grip area to match the carbon check design on the original tip section. Colour and wraps in black/silver to match up with the Matagi rod components. Fuji VSS reel seat in the screw up position with slim Japanese high density EVA. Metal work is in gun metal colours to match the tip of the butt section metal cap. Pacific Bay minima 4 guides in TiCH/TiCH. The decals were added to match Will's blog. The tip wraps are in an off white colour to help aid Will seeing the tip when led down on the ground or for quick tip/bite detection. The butt cap on this rod was custom made with a hole for a lanyard ro be connected if required.

Danny at Lure Fishing, A Diary of Danny & Friends - Danny's rod was on a T-Russell blank, these are blanks that I have ranged for HRF (hard rock fishing). There are 4 in the range with plenty of power in the lightest 14lb class up to 30lb class with casting ranges from 8-25g to 10-40g, all at 7ft 6'.
The rod that Danny has is the 20lb class casting 8-30g, it is a butt jointed rod which allows for the power when required for the wrasse. Colour wraps and design in red, black & silver. Matagi rod components in red & silver with decorative carbon tube under the VSS Fuji reel seat. This rod has a Tiger wrap in the split grip, when layered out this gives real depth and a 3D lift on the look when moving the rod hense the name of a Tiger Wrap. Pacific Bay minima 4 guides in TiCH/TiCH.
Personalized decals with Danny's name and the included text of 'Evil Wrasse Cult'.

I must show the pictures of this 8lb 3oz bass caught in Ireland earlier this year from one of my customers, it was caught on the St Croix Avid series blank and made for a great fishing holiday for Frank in Ireland on the Copper Coast.

Thanks for reading.


About Me

My photo
My name is Richard and I have been fishing for over thiry years. Some might say I was born with a fishing rod in my hand. I have fished my way through chalk stream trout to beach fishing for cod, and of course living so close to Weymouth, one of the largest charter boat fleets in England I have to fish a few charter boat trips a year. I have had the pleasure of bass fishing in France to fishing the Atlantic surf of Co. Clare, Eire. My fascination continues with the sea and the casting of plastic trying to fool the fish to attack my plastic lures.