Pushing the Fishing Boundaries

By Luke Galea

As many people would know, I am a massive advocate for “going light to get the bite”. There is nothing better to test an angler’s skill, patience and finesse like catching a large fish on line likened to silly string. I believe it pushes the boundaries and challenges an angler to be the best they can be. They have to I guess, otherwise they will lose the fish and revert back to conventionally heavier gear. You truly do get more bites by going light, this is a well know fact, and I know personally I would rather go light and lose the occasional fish rather than go heavier and risk not getting the bite in the first place.

I have found that there are 2 massive essentials which assist me in my desire and success of going light. These things are just as important as the light line itself! They must co-exist in mutualism (I think I remember that from biology at university) and complement each other. See, when you are using crazy light gear for fish that like to play dirty such as barra, jacks, salmon, sootys etc you need to have everything run in your favour, and the 2 critical items I am referring to which assists an angler with the opportunity to engage in these epic battles are:

1) The use of “worm” hooks when rigging you plastic and

2) the smooth drag of a quality reel

First and foremost, take a look at the accompanying images where the plastic slides down into the gape of the uniquely shaped hook and the hook itself pins the fish in the jaw hinge. I have gone through my archived photos and have noticed that in at least 90% of occasions where I am using worm hooks, this is the case. Clearly this is beneficial in a tropical estuary or barramundi impoundment where the fish is less likely to inhale an anglers plastic down its gullet and therefore avoiding getting rasped off on the sandpapery jaw plate or the canine teeth of a feisty mangrove jack. This fact in itself is a great justification to go light in the first place as there is less risk of busting the line. This is clear and evident in the mangrove jack and small estuarine barra attached. The large 94cm impoundment barra attached was also caught on a weedless hook and light 10lb braid whilst chasing sooty grunter in Teemburra Dam, Mackay.

As mentioned earlier, the second essential is for a good quality reel with a very smooth drag. Lesser quality reels have a “clunky” drag system and this jolting will impart pressures on the light line. It needs to be seamless. I have always had the pleasure of using beautiful Shimano reels, namely Stradic CI4’s, Rarenium CI4’s and Sustains. The drag in these reels has always been exceptionally smooth. However, I have just acquired a Stella 3000FE and a brand new Stella 2500FI and the drag in these reels are out of this world. The 2500FI is so damn smooth that whilst kayak fishing and casting to the bank from midstream, I actually landed my first 6 or so casts in the trees because I was not prepared for the ease at which line floated off the spool and the ease at which light lures were able to be cast. Offcourse not everyone is fortunate to use a Stella but my advice would definitely be to purchase the best Shimano reel you can afford.

Live It....Breathe It......