Smith Bay Liner – A launcher for micro-minnows
  |  First Published: June 2007

The Japanese influence has really started to make its presence felt on the hard-body lure market in Australia. Many of the lures that we use to chase bream with were actually designed in Japan to catch trout using ultra-light tackle.

The finish and fish-catching abilities of these micro-lures is truly excellent, yet casting lures that weigh between 2g and 5g can be quite difficult unless you have the right rod for the job.

I have tried a few rods to fulfil this purpose and have always found them lacking in one aspect or another. They are either too heavy to cast the lures or light enough to cast , but way too soft to have any influence in turning a fish’s head.

It wasn’t until I picked up one of the new Bay Liner Metal AF rods made by Smith Ltd of Japan that I found exactly what I wanted. It is specifically designed for fishing with hardbodies and is called a plugging rod.

The rod incorporates a super-sensitive tip that makes casting the smaller lures a pleasure and getting the tiny stickbaits to dance from side to side is a simple matter of shaking the rod tip.

I have been using the Bay Liner for almost a year and it has accounted for many bream on hardbodies, with the odd mangrove jack and flathead for good measure. The beauty of this rod is that it has the sensitivity to work a 2.5g stickbait on 2lb mono, yet still has enough grunt in the butt section to muscle a good bream away from structure.

Making long casts is imperative when chasing bream in skinny or clear water and this is where this rod comes into its own. I have now resorted to doing all my ultra-light breaming on the Bay Liner. I have found that after hooking up, if I keep the rod tip up, putting a good bend in it, I can put a lot of pressure on a fish without worrying about breaking the light leaders.

The rod comes standard with titanium-framed silicon carbide guides. The butt section is made up of a non-slip IPS reel seat and EVA grips.

The Bay Liner is a two-piece design, which helps with travelling and is also a major plus if any accidents occur – as I found out recently when I had a run-in with a rod locker door. I dropped the lid onto three of my rods during a bream tournament, shortening them all by about 15cm.

Two of the rods were write-offs and I have placed them on my wall as a reminder to be more careful in the future.

To fix the Bay Liner, I simply ordered another tip section and was back to catching bream on micro-minnows as soon as the new tip was fitted.

The quality and consistency of finish on these rods is excellent. To illustrate this, I recently purchased another Bay Liner so I can have two different crankbaits rigged on similar outfits. I have had the second rod for about a month now and am unable to tell the difference in appearance between the old model and the new one.

To keep the rig ultra-light, I fish a 1000 size threadline reel on both Bay Liners and most of my fishing is done with 2lb braid with a 2lb leader or 2lb fluorocarbon run straight onto the reel.

It may sound really light but you would be surprised how hard you can pull on this tackle and with the fickle nature of bream some days, this light gear is sometimes the only way to get them to bite.

– Roderick Walmsley

Smith Bay Liner Metal RF BLM-P70UML/RF
Length: 2.13m (7ft)
Line class:3-5lb or 0.2-0.8 PE
Lure weight 0.5-5g
Guides: 8 plus tip
Recommended retail price: around $550. Visit www.australianangling.com.au/products/shop/index.html to find your nearest stockist.


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