Wednesday, February 24, 2010

One visitor, Gizzard Shad Precursor to Striped Bass - Philadelphia Tidal Waters

So some mongo walleye are supposed to be around but with the poor water conditions I was only able to find one particular visitor.

Confirmed that this is a Gizzard Shad.  It is most likely my PB (personal best size) Gizzard.  I believe I've caught 3 of these in my entire life and usually I throw them back with the "quickness" because I don't like to touch their stinkyness.  However since this was the biggest so far...  I decided to give it a photo op.  Playing around with lighting.

Rod: St. Croix Avid - Medium 7' Ex-Fast Action
Reel: Shimano Sustain 5000
Line: Momoi Blue Diamond Braid #20
Lure: Cabelas 3/8oz Salt Striker Jighead & Zoom Pink Shad
Tide: Top of outgoing - 11pm

This is a throwback to my first gizzard I landed on my new vanstaal 150G back about a 2 years ago or so.  This slimy and smelly guys just can't leave me alone!

First fish on Vanstaal:

This guy has followed me around for a few years now.  I still have no love for him.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Trip to Kilsong's Jigging World 2010 -THE IMPORTANCE OF BENDING A ROD BEFORE BUYING:

>>UPDATED (May 23, 2010)

I went to Kilsong's Jigging World to pull on all the GT/tuna popping rods.  (I don' think Kil saw me pulling on all of them, he was doing business with another guy) I think I pulled on about 15 different ones. Over the last few trips I pulled on many more...

JM 8'6 Tuna - most favored as the long popping species, however too long for personal comfort
JM 7'8GT - over lifting is stronger than BD200.  Shorter series brings this to top ranking but weight is 14oz.
Atlas 76/8 -  lifting is same as BD200 but not as forgiving.  Strong for weight of 12oz
Blue Sniper 80/5 - not favored as it is lengthy and too light for tuna
Atlas 76/6 - much like the 76/8 but without the backbone
Smith 80P - original popping rod with added bulk, weight.  Has endurance, used as a benchmark
BlackHole 7'6(?) - stiff feeling, over eparabolic rod with more lifting power than BD200
BlackHole (longer one) - longer than needed, enough back bone, feels invincible.
Tuna Sniper 40/60 - painfull at max bend, longer then comfortable.
Tuna Sniper60/80 - faster action and favored less then the forgiving BD200. More lifting power then BD200
Black Devil 200 - benchmark for ultimate parabolic and forgiving tuna popping rod.  Almost too long.
Ripple Fisher GT79R - perfect stickbait rod at the cusp of perfect forgivness
Ripple Fisher GT78 - power rod with tight action
Gipang 79XH - perfect action for semi-parabolic feel
Gipang 75XXH - favourite in bend and weight.  Sophisticated bend and typical hots feel. Top comfort rod.
Gipang GT77XXXH (whoa) - mighty version of XXH with perfect length and more backbone. Popper rod.

updated May 23, 2010:
I got to bend a few more rods in the meantime since my last mod.
Smith Komodo Dragon bends like a dream.  If you dont like pain and can't stand it you will choose the GTK over this one.  However it screams power.  More power then the BD200.  Not sure if you will do better on stickbait or popper with this one.  
Blackhole Cape Cod Special 8' Nano-carbon - this is the prototype that I bent last time however didn't much of a description above.  This rod flexes comfortably with a "soft bend".  Still more backbone then the BD200.  You can work a stick bait comfortably.
Blackhole Cape Cod Special 7'6" Nano-carbon - coming soon... (this is my future 2010 bft rod).  I like the spacer in the handle and although the handle is thinner, I do enjoy it.
Blackhole Cape Cod Special 7'6"- Graphite -  Competes with feel alongside the Ripple Fisher GT78 PF.  Dare to say it is par.  If you like the RF GT78 PF and want a softer feel with slightly more backbone (yes possible!) then you and I have the same agreements for the perfect blank.  Handle is super light and will probably win you over.  IF you are a fan of long handle blanks, this is the one.  I have so much to say about this rod.  (I heard projected retail is around $450USD)
Ripple Fisher GT78 PF - true PE10 rod.  Lives up to the name and price tag.  I like the length over an 8' rod at same rating.  Bends like a Smith Komodo Dragon.

(Sidenote) An additional jigging blank I pulled on was the blackhole 250gram which is a beauty I would love to own.  The 450g is suitible for giants 73" and over.  There is so much beautiful flex in the 250 that I think that will be my amberjack rod.  I'd like to get it in 5'2" or 5'5" 2 piece.  Just waiting for that blank to appear in Kil's office.  Let me tell you about the strengths of these blackhole blanks, it just cant be compared right now.  My next jigging rod will be of these blanks.  I wish I bought the 250gram blank that day but my goal of a 2-piece stopped me from doing so.  I have a custom wrap style for this blank.

I cant substitute pulling on them for the actual fish but I cannot afford to go on trip to test-pull then.  I feel like certain rods can displace pressure better then others.  Of course this is for my own experience and certain rod is better for me then others.  I can understand how some guys we see on  youtube can do it with the great rods they have.  The high drag for them is just a tool and as long as they learn technique, it's quite manageable.

I really feel JM GT 7'8" has significant design.  The winding check before blank butt entry is sophisticated idea.  The color design on it is not.  Significant plus is the MNSG guides used.  They are consistently larger ring versions and I believe that is a plus when it comes to casting.  The reason for the split butt aluminum insert is beyond my liking. However perhaps it is there to "balance" the rod when casting.  There is significant weight for the handle portion as noticeable.  If there was no aluminum gimbel and insert mid-butt I would rank this rod higher.  It would also weigh in 2 ounces lighter being matched with the Yamaga Atlas 76/8 as the lightest production rod on the list.
I would say the winner is the Hots Gipang XXH, Second is the JM GT, and distant third at Yamaga Atlas 76/8.  I'm still concerned about the actions of Carpenter UHL and Smith Tokara. 

International street cred goes to: Gipang, older school gangstaness goes to Tokara, In-crowd Asian popper selective goes to: Carpenter, and finally Under-world respect choice goes to: Yamaga Atlas / Ripple Fisher.

If I had to choose now, without bending the Tokara, the GT rod goes to Gipang, the Cape Cod tuna rod is open to Tokara, Yamaga, Carpenter, in that order.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Smith Tokara 60 - Big Game GT Popping Rod



TOKARA 60 - Originally designed to tackle the BIG XXL GIANT TREVALLY found in the fast flowing currents of TOKARA in JAPANS SOUTH SEAS.

Heavy weight. P.E 8- 12 ( 80 - 120lb ). Max Casting Weight 250 grams. 7 Feet 6 Inches. Medium length for stability under heavy pressure. 2 PIECE BUTT JOINT. This is a BIG FISH rod, very powerful, yet controllable by the average angler. This rod has a tremendous reputation for landing enormous GTs.

SMITH GT Popping Rods have been exhaustively tested at the worlds most unforgiving and punishing locations throughout the world. They have stood the test of time and up till today, they stand out in a class of their own.

 7'6"    420g    12PE    250g   780mm   162cm   11kg(60°),7kg(90°)  

Pictures by Anuvat @ 360tuna, many thanks

7'8" GT Monster Popping Rod - Jigging Master Taiwan

Designed for choppy reef area popping, using highest quality patterned loop graphite fabric for enhancing horizontal strength, resulting to a 16Kg raising power while stick high as 90 degree angle, 22Kg while stick high as 50 degree angle, makes this rod the most durable GT rod for fighting under-boat fish.

Slim body of this rod results light weight of 390g( aluminum rings excluded), tender elasticity of using new material simply makes this JM Monster GT 78 as a new milestone of GT rods.

I feel these well balanced rods will become very popular for big bluefin in Cape Cod or for any tuna in 100 - 200 lbs range.
It has strong enough backbone to handle big tuna or GT, but tip is flexible enough to cast small lures. Another masterpiece from JM.
The weight of the rod is just under 15 oz.

  • Color: Black/GOLD
  • Length: 7'8"
  • 2 pieces rod
  • Model: Spinning
  • Popper Weight: 100G~180G
  • PE 6~10 
  • 50 degrees: 22KG 

  • Guide: 7 Fuji SIC Guide 
  • Stylish Aluminum Gimbel
  • Stylish Rod Sock

    Thursday, February 11, 2010

    St. Croix Ben Doerr Surf System SS70L - Classic light backbay rod

    Found my perfect backbay shore rod for species such as weakfish.  
    The discontinued this rod a few years back and I decided to pay homage to is.  Definitely my favorite choice because it has a soft tip and will keep from tearing the hook out of the soft lips of the weakfish. 

    Ben Doerr Surf System 7 foot Light Action
    up to 5/8oz.

    Project P - Update 3, Fully Sanded

    Sanding underway and almost finished.   
    I decided to go with the original rotor and not the bailless one or the "Z" one.  Keeping it in the truest regard.

    Tuesday, February 9, 2010

    NO LIMITS Solider - Studio Ocean Mark SW16000 Spool

    Introducing the No Limits SW16000 Spool from Studio Ocean Mark

    This is the outcome of  215fishspot & Tekito-Maru ( )

    Reel Capacity
    PE4-450 (2.8) MAX500
    PE5-380(2.4) MAX410 PE5-380 (2.4) MAX410
    PE6-300(2.5) MAX320 PE6-300 (2.5) MAX320
    PE8-250(2.0) MAX260 PE8-250 (2.0) MAX260


    Drag Max

    Shout outs to Captian Aki of Tekito-maru - Tokyo Bay!

    Just wanted to give a shout out to my buddy over in Tokyo ravaging the bays and inshore structure for some great seabass (suzuki) action.

    てきと丸 (Tekito-maru) is currently is the only English speaking Tokyo bay charter and charter the most popular gamefish inshore, the Suzuki (basically USA's Striped bass), kurodai (black sea bream), Madai (sea bream or red snapper), yellowtail (inada, warasa), rockfish (mebaru, kasago, soi), beltfish (tachiuo).

    By any world standard  these are some great sized game fish!  Thanks for the update!

    Captian Yumma and his 29 inch

    Captian Aki with his 33 inch

    Finally, a proud customer with his 37 inch

    All of these fish were caught within the last month (jan/feb 2010)

    Saturday, February 6, 2010

    Project P - Update 2, Body, Spool, Plate Started

    Got the Penn project going and wanted to give an update on it. 

    Project P is bringing back to life my 704 reel.  Upgrading to bail less and then swapping out the teflon drags for ht-100.  I have three out of four pieces sanded off.  The rotor is the last piece and shouldn't be much longer.

    Friday, February 5, 2010

    Stella 8000SW-PG

    Penn 706z - Classic "bailless" Montauk Special

    Wanted to pay some homage to the king of surf reels. Overall, this reel has proven to surf rats on beaches from Maine, to Montauk, to Hatteras, to be without a doubt the go-to-guy. Designed in the 1960's.

    Brand: Penn, Manufactured in Philadelphia, PA
    Model: 706z Bail less
    Spec: 3.8:1 ratio, bronze/steel gears
    Drag: 30lb's with upgraded ht-100
    Capacity: 15lb:375 yards / 20lb:300 yards / 25lb:250 yards