Saturday, July 12, 2008

Is Bigger Always Better?

There seems to be a fad in fishing these days. Wait a minute, there is always some fad in fishing that’s how all those tackle stores make so much money. Come to think of it I read that Americans spend 45 billion dollars a year on fishing. Wow, like the fish care if you hook them with a $40.00 lure or a home made jobber that cost $2.00. However, I digress from my original fishing fad not FAD topic.
I have noticed that bigger is definitely the trend. Bigger fish and bigger gear. Bigger fish have always been on most anglers’ minds, but I am talking a lot bigger. I am talking about Sampson fish up to 50kg, Giant Trevally to 50kg, Wahoo, and Sail fish all caught on spinning reels using jigs and poppers. In order to catch these monster trucks of the deep you have to have big gear and the favorite seems to be spinning reels.
Catching these big brutes on spinning gear has only been possible recently due to technological advances by fishing gear manufacturers. The Shimano Stella 20000 and Daiwa Dog fight 6500 are just two of the big names that have built super tough spinning reels that can handle 60kg braid and 20kg’s of drag. That is what is needed if you are going to have a chance at stopping a big GT. This gear is really something else, including the price. At $700.00 plus for a reel, not including line or rod, not everyone can afford it. That is a lot of money for a working stiff to shell out for gear that may only get used once a year.
I have no less than four fishing magazines with cover shots and stories about fishing for really big fish with spinning gear. Usually the fishing takes place in far away places that are hard to get to. Some trips entail a float plane flight to get to the mother ship. The trips are always expensive and always involve huge high end spinning gear. I personally enjoy reading about the exotic locations and battles with massive fish but the truth be known, it is priced out of the ordinary persons budget.
I have been fishing here in Fiji for 9+ years and have caught a few big fish. Usually the fish are more like 1-2kg and the occasional 5kg fish. In my opinion a 5kg fish is a good size fish, especially with 7kg line and a 4000 size reel. A GT of that size can pull your socks off and if it decides to fight dirty you will lose. No if’s and’s or but’s about it, no matter the size and length of your leader when a GT decides to end the fight it will find a rock and bust you off. That is unless it decides to spool you, in that case you go home with an empty spool and tell some fish stories about the one that got away.
The idea of fishing for really big fish with really expensive gear is all well and good and a nice dream. Back to reality, right size your fishing gear for the fish you are catching and the fight can be everything you dreamed of without the sore back and empty wallet. The idea is to maximize the fight so you are not skull dragging the fish to your feet. You might want to consider downsizing your gear this will give the fish a better chance and give you a better fight. The learning curve is steep when you are a bit under gunned. You need to learn new fighting techniques and once you have figured it out you will have as good a fight as you will ever get.
The idea of huge fish being caught with top line gear in exotic locations is great to dream about. There is no real substitute for good quality fishing gear, but you do not have to spend a fortune or travel half way around the world to have a great fight and catch a nice fish. Your regular fishing haunts can provide you with all of the fish fighting excitement you need. Try sizing your gear for the fight. You may not always win but you can have a great time trying.
Tight lines and screaming drags

1 comment:

H said...

I can honestly tell you I can't remember how I found your blog but it was through one of the photo blogs. I am curious if you have heard of The Drake magazine?

I will be adding you to my list of blog reading!