The New Year is well upon us, and I hope everyone enjoyed a well deserved break over the holiday period.
Kicking off another year of fishing and boating is always a delight, especially with the arrival of new ranges in rods and reels. Keeping within the spirit of New Year resolutions and the trying new things, it’s time to explore some new perspectives anglers may like to consider.
Given that a new year inevitably brings with it some changes, and a resolve to be more adventurous, I’ve made a few changes in my fishing approaches and tactics in the rod department. I’ve opted for some lighter outfits in my arsenal, particularly in the offshore gear.
Going lighter is a great way of challenging yourself. Swapping from fibreglass to graphite will ensure you get a good feel for both combinations. Many new anglers seem to shy away from graphite, mainly due to the price and they fact they are easier to break. However, often anglers will feel a lot more comfortable with a graphite set-up than a glass equivalent.
Equally important is deciding on an appropriate reel that suits all of your needs. Experimenting with new types of reels can provide a great learning curve for an angler, when fishing in different situations. Using soft plastics or casting lures into heavily timbered areas from a small boat using a baitcaster rather than a spinning set-up is a prime example.
I have found casting with baitcaster reels yields the most accurate results, provided they are spooled with a good quality braid. They’re a highly versatile reel that can handle the small stuff as well as some half decent fish.
I have noticed a common misconception amongst many anglers. Many people believe that plastics are just the new ‘in thing’ of the fishing world, and merely a trend that will fade as quickly as it arrived. The reality of the situation is that plastics will become as much of a household item in the tackle box as spoons or poppers.
Soft plastics constantly prove themselves, from the smallest fish to the biggest sportfish. Most anglers stick to a never fail formula which will always result in a good catch rate, but trying a new approach or tactic can never hurt, as you will never know until you try it.
One of the biggest changes you can make to your fishing approach is altering your line weight, colour and diameter. With so many options out there (braid, monofilament or fluorocarbon) making a decision can be quite difficult. Dropping to a lower breaking strain can prove to be quite challenging, as it forces the angler to alter their tactics during the fight and boating the fish. When choosing the braid option, remember that braid is extremely thin compared to monofilament, so the spool will take more braid than mono.
Fluorocarbon is a mystery to most people. What is it? How do I use it? When do I use it? I could devote an entire column to the pros and cons of using fluorocarbon, but as is the case with all new products, when in doubt ask the people who know. The next time you find yourself at your local tackle store, ask one of the trained staff who will be happy to advise you on the correct application of the product. The same applies with all aspects of your fishing forays – never be afraid to ask questions. Tackle stores are road testing new products all the time, and besides consulting your monthly edition of QFM, are the best places to seek up-to-date advice.
Let’s all try some new approaches and tactics in 2006. Whether it’s trying out a fly rig or tying on some fluorocarbon, it’s all about getting out there and giving it a go. The New Year has already spawned many changes in my fishing techniques and tactics, so why not try something new?Reads: 461