Saturday, 24 March 2012

The Graphiteleader Experience double A-side : Electric Blennyland / Silver Haze.

After several days waiting, my new LRF rod finally arrived on Tuesday and I had to get out and give it a waggle.

Worth the wait!

I picked up Scott and we headed down to Dunbar. First stop was Bellhaven beach but there was a strong wind in our faces so we decided to seek somewhere more sheltered. We headed towards the harbour and down on to the rocks in a bay where the old outdoor swimming pool used to be. 

The view from the rocks towards the harbour mouth.
The cliffs to the west and the rocks we would visit later appearing as the tide ebbs.

I have paired the rod up with a Shimano Exage 2500FC reel and tackled up with my favourite 2.3g Shirasu Fine Jighead and Marukyu Power Isome combo. As I started to cast and work the rod I noticed not only that it compresses very nicely with the light jighead but it also seemed alot less effort! I guess this is my first real taste of a Japanese Aji rod and I like it! The other observation I made was that it was very easy to add action to the lure and gives great control of the lure. 

Casting and working the lure across this bay was an effortless pleasure!
After 20 mins of exploring the rocks and noting areas we though may look promising at low tide we decided to head over to the old harbour to see if there was any fish present. We arrived and Scott pointed out few small maddies (harbour ragworm), swimming about the harbour. Now I have seen ragworm swimming but I didn't realise they could swim so fast! The things were really motoring about changing direction randomly, this gave me a chance to see if I could recreate the look with a pink Power Isome. The outcome was very convincing, to me at least, and if the fish are feeding on harbour ragworm then pink Isome is the way forward! However the harbour was lacking in any fish and the ragworm and Power Isome remained uneaten.

We then headed to a shallow rock pool area outside the harbour which usually throws up some sea scorpions. Not really the test of the rod I had in mind but I did want to christen the rod with a fish! Scott rigged up with a small section of Isome on a 1.8g #10 Decoy Rocket jighead and was fairly quickly into a nice little Long Spined Sea Scorpion.

Hiding under a reasonably small rock in the bottom of a shallow rockpool!
It pays to explore every nook and cranny!
A nice close up of the handsome little fellow!

I rigged up a #10 jighead with a Gulp! 1" Fish Fry. I had to wait another 15 mins for mine to come along and while jigging around a boulder, out he popped and nailed the lure. He is probably my new PW (personal worst) Long Spined Sea Scorpion but quite special as he had christened the rod.

A face only a mentalist with a new Japanese rod can love!
Although Scott finds them absolutely adorable!

We were running out of time by this point so we spent the last 30min doing a spot of reconnaissance in area west of the harbour that we had spotted earlier. It looked great with lots of gullies, very deep rockpools, drop offs and kelp beds. We decided it would be best to try here when it warms up a bit as it looks like it could hold a few wrasse!

Wrasseville exposed.

On the way home we arranged to head down the coast to Torness Power Station outflow in search of bass the following day. We would be meeting up with two mates, Richie and Jase and I was looking forward to trying the rod with my favourite 5g Yo-Zori Pins Minnow. We arrived late Wednesday morning to find Richie recovering from losing a big fish, conditions looked perfect, a good swell running and the sun shining in the clear blue sky. Scott was using his LRF setup with a 8g sinking caro and Kiddy Sidewinder Brill Bait, I rigged up with the Yo-Zuri Pins Minnow. Again I was still getting a feel for the rod but casting was a dream! I know for sure it has added distance to my casts and has an excellent feel when working the plug. Retrieving slowly with lots of twitches you can really feel the plug "pulsing" as it darts and flashes. The rod was great at adding action to the plug with very little effort. I was very keen to see how it would perform in playing a decent fish. After a couple of hours of no fish I decided to grab Richie and go blenny hunting. This he took to like a duck to water. Scott also took no persuading to join in and Jase came over to join in shortly afterwards. We fished in and around the big boulders that form the sea defences. I rigged up with a  1.8g #10 Decoy Rocket jighead with a red Gulp! 1" Fish Fry. Richie and Jase had a go and caught their first blennies.

Richie catches a blenny and the LRF bug!
The first many for Richie as he will be treating himself to an LRF setup.
Jase gets in on the action too.

After a few more blennies each they went back to try for bass. Scott and I were happy to carry on blenny bashing. I was happy just playing with the new rod, getting used to the feel of it, especially when it came to feeling bites. It's weird but it feels softer somehow when the fish were biting but at no point did I lose feel. Hard to describe really. I had worried that it wasn't as sensitive as a solid tip rod but when Scott compared it to his solid tip Diaflash he said that it was still very sensitive and bite detection was almost on a par. Anyway we fished in a gap in the boulders and it must have been blennyopolis! We had 67 in total from an area of about 5 square feet! Here's a video we made, as you can see its swarming with the little blighters!

Richie and Jase decided to call it a day as they had been there 8 hours with only brief glimpses of silver . We said our goodbyes and Scott and I carried on tormenting the blennys.

Nom, Nom, Nom!

After a while I decided to break from fishing in the blenny hole and flicked the little jig head 20 yrds out. As the lure dropped through the water I felt a very positive take, struck and saw a flash of silver! Fish On! A bass had taken the lure on the drop and I felt everything! The fight was interesting as well as the rod has a much more progressive fighting curve than my other rods. This resulted in the rod cushioning the small basses runs to the extent that it didn't take much line even off a lightly set drag. Kind of like fighting a fish on pole elastic if that makes any sense. The rod quickly tired the small bass and it was duly landed, quickly photographed and released. It was a nice little test for the rod and I feel it will handle larger fish well for sure.

Not a big fish but fun on light gear.
A welcome "bycatch" bass!

We called it a day shortly afterwards. Next session we will be heading to Eyemouth to fish a mark known locally as "The Cannons" targeting pollock and coalfish so hopefully if I can catch a reasonably sized fish that will be the new rods final test. So far I am loving the rod , I'm Still getting used to the feel of it but I am starting to find out what its capable of! After a few more trips I should be able to give a more definitive take on how I find it!

Tight lines, Schogsky.

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