If you talk to most rod builders you’ll find that while they build a good range of rods, they have their own little preferences for a particular style of rod. It might be baitcasters or game rods, but for me it’s light to medium bluewater and bay spin sticks. The types of rod that you’d fish lines from 4-10kg from.
It all stems from the style of fishing you enjoy. I have a passion for throwing slugs and poppers at pelagic species. Around SEQ it’s mackerel and tuna that fill this order and when I get the chance to travel north I love throwing poppers to anything from trevally and queenfish to coral trout and Spanish mackerel. You would be surprised at how many of latter two species can be caught by throwing poppers.
No matter how many times you do it there is something about this style of fishing. The water opens up behind your lure for the chase and kill, and a big GT will be desperate to nail the popper before his three mates right behind him do. Bring it on!
I probably have at least ten different spin sticks that do this job in varying line classes, including a couple of favourites that you use every time that have never let me down. These favourites may look a little worse for wear after years of work, they are the first you grab when you hit the water.
Unfortunately the inevitable happened to my favourite Albagraph 5. The old big cast, and smack, right into another rod up in the overhead rocket launcher. You know, the type of thing you are always telling your mates or kids to watch out for. Anyway the old favourite is now 15cm shorter so a new one was in order.
Steve Pratt from CTS (Composite Tube Systems) in New Zealand came up with my new toy. He had been working on a new range of spin sticks and after telling him what I wanted in a Moreton Bay spin stick, we created the Baymaster range of blanks.
The Baymaster blanks are built using a carbon helical core for improved rod response, strength and weight reduction. The outer wraps are finished with high modules carbon. No fibreglass scrim is used so you end with a true 100% carbon blank.
That was about 18 months ago and the two main ones that we now use in our standard range of production rods are the 4-8kg and the 10-15kg. Both are available in 7’ and 7’6” lengths and by Christmas you’ll be able to get both rods and blanks in two pieces to meet the increasing travel restrictions.
The 4-8kg, 7’ version is a beauty and I’ve given it many work outs, the best of which was a few hot sessions fishing the Wessell Islands with Ian Murphy of Top End Expeditions. The three of us honestly caught 100 queenfish one day, throwing poppers at the end of a tiny island. The fish were so aggressive we were having bets to see who could hook up on their popper without winding the reel – but that’s a whole other story. The rod performed beyond expectations on queenies to 6kg and a couple of trevally over 10kg and a host of trout and mackerel.
The rod is ideally suited to casting weights from 20-50g, which covers most of the slugs and mid-size poppers that you would use for this style of fishing. The tip is light enough that you can cast 10g slugs if you needed to but the distance isn’t all that great. You could fish up to 75g if you really needed to, at a pinch.
The general action of the rod does have a softish tip, but locks up reasonably quick to help punch those lures out and to turn stubborn fish. It’s lightweight and follows the typical style of the Moreton Bay rod with a thin overall diameter. This reduces the wind resistance when casting and the overall weight of the rod.
Our standard range of rods built on these blanks are called Magnum Bluewater Spins in the various line classes and lengths and you’ll find these in leading tackle shops. If you’re looking for a blank to build up yourself for the coming season you can look us up on www.australianrodmanufacturers.com.au and we can point you in the rod direction for a blank and all the fittings.
BLANK: CTS Baymaster 4-8kg 7’
BUTT: 12” x 0.5” eva
WINCH: Fuji DPSD 20 (fixed hood up)
FOREGRIP : 8” x 3/8” eva
CAP: RBC 19L
TIP: Fuji BMNAT 8/2.4mm
GUIDES: Fuji BMNAG 10 at 105mm; 10 at 115mm; 12 at 135mm; 16 at 170mm; 20 at 210mm; 30 at 310mm.