Line wrapped around large empty containers
As a fly angler there are few things more infuriating than pulling out my dormant sets of reels at the beginning of a new season only to find irreversible degrees of curl in the fly-lines. It’s like we pay top dollar for the best of the best and then downgrade it to less than entry level line just by letting it sit idle for a couple of months, coiled up on the reels.
Well, I’ve been testing a slightly awkward, yet seemingly worthwhile, and effective method of storing my lines, during times when I know that there will be big time periods between using certain rigs. For example my yellowfish gear, which I don’t touch during winter.
The method of line storage is simple, and entails using empty protein shake containers (or any other container with large round circumference). I simply cut a tiny hole in the containers, feed the leader end of the line through the hole and then on the inside of the container loop the leader end around a small long piece of wood (such as a piece of chopstick) to keep it secure. I then wrap the entire length of the line around the bottle very neatly, at a reasonable tension (but not too tight).
I must admit that it can become a slightly awkward exercise, and depending on how many reels you want to store in this way, storage space may be problematic. In saying this, however, the condition that the line comes off the container when needed is simply worth way more than the effort. Give it a try and decide for yourself.
We added yet another reel to our already sizeable arsenal of fishing tackle, the Banax Magma. I tested the reel out while on my V-boat a couple of weekends ago and I was impressed. Simply put this reel is enjoyable to fish. Banax is not a well-known brand by any means but I am starting to think that it is one of the most underrated ones.
The magma boasts a high speed 7:1 gear ration so is suited to jigging and worming in situations where you want to return a “dead cast” back to the rod tip as quickly as possible. I wouldn’t necessarily use it for cranking or spinner baits. There are those out there that will argue this point, but to me the ratio is too fast for these applications. The reel also comes with the now standard anti-reverse backlash systems and a twin breaking system.
The reel also has a nice solid build. No, it is not made of aluminium or any of the other strong metals used in your high end reels, these days, but it still feels strong and compact. It also shows off the odd metal trimming such as the gear lever and spool control mechanism.
Simply put, this reel casts like a dream and retrieves line at a phenomenal pace. We love it and at five hundred to seven hundred rand I’m going back for more!
I finally caught a carp using the traditional mielie bomb method of fishing. This is a method used commonly in South Africa when targeting carp, but not a method or species that we, ourselves fish very commonly at all.
The rig I used was a sliding baby shoes trace. For a feeder or “Bomb”, as it is often referred to, I used a Super Cast Original Super Cast Dry Feed Ground Bait mixed with Oorlog Quadro Ground Feed. I then used a variety of Floaties by Super Cast and Champion Dips for the actual hook bait along with Eco Catch carp dough and earthworms. Because the baby shoes trace consists of a feeder bomb with two small hooks attached, it allows you to use a variety of hook baits per rig. What worked for me was hooking a tutti-fruitti flavoured floatie on one hook and a small piece of Eco Dough on the other. I then hooked a small Kariba worm as an extra attractant on each hook as well. I also used a variety of dips on both the actual feeder ball and each baited hook for extra flavour. Carp seem to like sweet attractants so for the hooked baits I used a Super Cast banana concentrate dip and for the feeder ball I used bomb dips by Champion Dips in Honey Glo and Tutti-Fruitti. It is often clever to use different coloured dips for visual variety, and if you walk into any fishing store you will find these in a wide variety of flavours. In fact selecting flavours and colours for floaties, bomb dips, and bait dips can be an extremely intimidating exercise if one considers the hundreds of types that exist.
All dams fish differently so it is wise to find out what flavours are working at particular venues before making your selections. Because I had no knowledge of Bronkhorstspruit carp baits, I decided to rig three different rods each with its own bait flavour configurations. I simply mixed and matched floatie bomb dips and bait dips randomly for each rod. Floaties I took in Tutti-Fruitti; Caramel; and Pink Sweets flavours, bomb dips I took in Honey Glo; Bubblegum; Vanilla; and Tutti-Fruitti flavours, and bait dips I took only Caramel and Banana.
Because I never really fish for carp I also had to buy myself the appropriate hardware. As a beginner I did not want to spend a fortune on my first Rod and reel outfit and what I ended up buying could, in my opinion, be the greatest entry level rod and reel carp combination out there. The rod that I chose was the Sensation 10’ Carp hunter and I matched that up with a Shimano Alivio 4000RB Spinning Reel. I picked these up for Just under R600 for the set, and the combo casted, and fished BEAUTIFULLY. I would recommend spooling the reel with 10 Lb monofilament line. The lighter line makes a massive difference in casting distance, and when fishing for carp one often has to cast as far as possible. The line I chose, purely for its attractive price, was Rovex CARP monofilament, which turned out to be exceptional value for money. I then tied a thicker 15 lb leader about twice the length of the rod to the end of this. I used Jackel Adaptive Camouflage Fishing Line.
Again, I would seriously recommend the above setup for anyone thinking about giving carp fishing a go. And on a final note I would strongly suggest that all those exclusive trout and bass fanatics out there open their minds, broaden their horizons and give carp fishing a shot. You won’t be disappointed.