I am always keen to look at new tackle and I still enjoy riffling through tackle stores to see if there is something I’ve never seen before. Such was the case one day at Fish Head tackle at Victoria Point when we dropped past on the way to the ramp.
Proprietor Duncan O’Connell will be no stranger to QFM readers as he’s been penning our Southern Bay report for the last three years or so. He is right into the cutting edge of tackle and his store generally reflects that love. There is always something new and exciting at Duncan’s Fish Head shop.
While I was talking about soft plastics, smaller poppers and big fish, Duncan very gently placed a new range of rods in my hand – that’s right, not one rod, but an entire range. The range was the Japanese brand Zenaq. He gave me a brief history on the rods and asked what I thought. I gave all the rods in the range the standard wiggle test, which proves nothing but that I’ve worked in a tackle store, and pronounced that these rods felt sensational.
We talked some more and I remembered I had a Daiwa Branzino sitting around my office that was not attached to a rod and we started to refine the rod wiggle game. To make it even more realistic, Duncan got out a Branzino and we strapped it to a few rods.
After two rods, I was presented with a 7’, MYS Twitch. This rod had a nice wiggle to it (again the wiggle test) and when the Branzino landed in its reel seat, the two seemed made for one another. We then did the load and bend test and ooohed and ahhhed over the strength this little rod possessed. I finally said to Duncan that he had to stop because he had me the moment the reel went on the rod.
Without further ado I bought the rod and dropped it into the car with visions of metre-plus barra climbing all over it.
The first trip out was with Jason Wilhelm of Barra Madness. He’d rung and told about the hot frog bite at Awoonga and I organised two days with him. Along for the ride was the freshwater barra pariah Shayne McKee – a man who can stop the best guides from catching fish. Needless to say the south easterly sprung up that night and we could only manage a solitary 65cm barra on a surface frog on the rod. But boy did it cast well!
The next trip took a while coming and the rod and I headed off to Monduran. This was the trip where I really saw how good this rod was going to be. Loaded with 35lb PE braid, the MYS Twitch was used by Trent Butler and I to fish Slick Rig Pros and sub-surface frogs for big barra in Monduran. The end tally was half a dozen barra caught on the rod with three over a metre and the biggest being a lazy 1.16m.
I asked Trent how he thought the rod performed and he was all glowing praise for it – as you would be after catching your PB barra. But what we both liked about the stick was the parabolic action that allowed for a few angler mistakes to be made with the leaping and head rattling barra. Unlike a stiffer rod, the MYS Twitch absorbed a lot of the directness you get from braid and allowed our relatively slow human reflexes to catch up with the fish. It was a good example of what Rod Harrison had been saying for years about stiff, rod and braid with barra – point taken.
The big trip for this rod was a recent escape to Hinchinbrook. We fished the Port Hinchinbrook Classic and two days of near perfect weather saw us head offshore and out where the big boys play. We discovered the night before the competition started that the maximum line class was 24kg so the 35lb rigs we had for bottom plastic fishing were going to get some serious work.
Amongst a variety of bottom ooglies, the MYS Twitch really showed its class on a couple of longtail and mackerel tuna. Greg Livingstone was casting and retrieving a 30g slug with the outfit when a mac tuna of about 4kg slammed the lure and the fight was on. After the fish was landed and released, Greg was ecstatic about how well the rod performed. He particularly like how the pressure never really seemed to be on the angler, rather it was on the fish. I got a 9kg longtail on the same rod and it turned over this fish pretty quickly too.
But worse was to come as we hit the offshore waters properly and a mass of big GTs decided to play with us. To cut a long, painful and tackle destroying story short, I managed to land a 22kg GT on the MYS Twitch on a popper and actually felt like going for another one after the fight finished – that was until a 40kg model took lure, leader and a fair bit of line for a wander around the Coral Sea!
The MYS Twitch (Product Code MC70-2 Twitch) is rated for PE 2-3 braid. This roughly equates to about 10kg line. But like most braid anglers I overload a rod and then only use the rod’s strength, not the line’s strength to determine the pressure I put on a fish. It is fitted with Fuji Titanium framed SIC ring guides and the reel seat makes use of W-Nut Rings to look the reel tightly into the seat. It is designed for use with a threadline and it is designed very well in my opinion. And the handle separates form the blank for transport and storage.
I call this rod my frog rod because it fishes those plastic frogs and soft plastics so very well and comfortably – and when push comes to shove it really works hard to get you the fish. If you’re in the market for a heavier soft plastic stick that can be used for mid-sized popper fishing and mid-weight deepwater jigging, then this rod is well worth a look. The MYS Twitch ticks a lot of boxes.
Town Centre Victoria Point
Shop 4, Building 2
Cnr Redland Bay & Colburn Road
Victoria Point QLD 4165
07 3207 9965
The MC70-2 retails for around $600