Saturday, April 28, 2012

Photos from the LAS Lurefair

It was a bit of a quiet day at the Lurefair, but good to catch up with old acquaintances. Old  being the relevant words as the hottest topic amongst a few of us was getting old, but not something mentioned by the oldest - still fishing at 86!

The Derby University venue had been used before, but using the lower floor space was much better than in previous years.

By all accounts the talks (which I never manage to get into listen to) were very good.

Not much to report from me, but I got a few snaps.

Before the doors opened
The upper level

During a talk

Chico's Lures


Dominic Garnett's cuddly fish

Alex Prouse has lunch

My 'couldn't be arsed' stand!

Martin 'Knees' Godliman

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Big rings

Click pic for closer view
Let's get this straight from the start. I can't stand 50mm butt rings on rods. As I mentioned in the previous post they are cumbersome. I also doubt they make a huge difference to distances cast. A 40mm butt ring placed correctly will be perfectly fine for most people using most reels.

However, some anglers simply must have 50mm butt rings. When asked to fit them I have always used Kigans  because I can get them quickly. Recently I built a set of 3.25lb Torrix carp rods for a regular customer (I've built a few sets of these rods over the last year or so, in fact) to my usual spec with 40mm butt rings and 12 mm tips. After a few weeks he decided he wanted 50-16 rings on them. As they had been built with FujiBSVOGs the cheapest option was to remove the rings and move them up a place, fitting matching 50mm butt rings and swapping out the tips. Now, I had never set eyes on a 50mm BSVOG before, and when I finally got hold of three (from Mudhole as H&H don't have any...) I was shocked to see how bulky they are. The frames are thick and there seems to be a double thickness around the liner. The fold-down rings from the previous post look a lot better, and are lighter too.

With this new-found knowledge I will in future always be fitting Kigans when a 50mm ring set is requested. They are not as nice a ring to work with compared to a Fuji, but they make for a more practical fishing rod.

No fishing in Lumbland at the moment as I can't get motivated. Too cold for me to go chasing nocturnal summer predators, and the tench bug still hasn't bitten. Every time there's a warm sunny day I get the itch to catch some tench, but those days are tending to be followed by cool, wet and windy ones like today, and the itch goes away.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Odd jobs and bodging jobs

Sometimes I get requests that I think are a bit off the wall. A pair of D-3s with folding 50mm butt rings was one such recent build. As the rods turned out they looked better than I anticipated, and the folding rings make a lot of sense at such a size. 50mm rings are prone to getting bashed, and they're horribly cumbersome. As the rings require a bit of pressure to fold I underwhipped them. Takes longer and is a fankle to do, but it should prevent any damage to the blanks from the ring feet flexing.

The bodging job was due to a confusion between the spec I thought I'd agreed with two Polish anglers and what they thought had been agreed. The result being two rods needing personalised inscriptions removing. As the blanks were painted this was never going to be straightforward as some of the finish was bound to be removed along with the top coat of varnish..

The long winded way would have been to strip the butts back to bare carbon, have then repainted, and redo the whippings. The bodge job was to remove the lettering and whip over the slightly flaked paint, varnish the thread, letter and top coat. I did this as an experiment to see if it would work. If it didn't then it would be the long way round. As it turned out they almost look as if that's the way they were intended to be finished.

The rods are both built on burgundy 10ft Harrison VHF spinning blanks with a casting weight of 15-45 grammes. One has a black reel seat and is whipped in burgundy with gold tipping throughout, the other is whipped in black with gold tipping. Both are rung with Fuji Alconite rings, 30mm to 8mm, and would have been £200 each. I'll have them on my Rods In Stock page soon at a knock-down price! If they don't sell before the LAS Lurefair, they'll be on display there. Had they been a matched pair I might have kept them myself as light carp/barbel rods. But I'm getting to be a bit of a tackle tart in my old age!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

EsoxWorld Issue 4

For those of you who haven't subscribed yet, EsoxWorld Issue 4 is now available to download or read on-line. I only mention this as I have come out of retirement to write a few angling photography tips for this issue!

There's more great content about pike and musky fishing from around the northern hemisphere, so you won't be wasting your time taking a trip over there if you are a pike angler.

You'll have to register to read, but it's free. The more who register the more advertising will be attracted to enable the magazine to remain free to read. Go on. You know it makes sense.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Hip to the latest jive

Ages ago I made the QR barcode on the right. I knew how they are used but couldn't think of an application for it (outside of sticking it in my adverts), and had even less idea if it worked as I don't have one of those 'clever phones', or whatever they're called, to scan it with. I'm not a Luddite, I just haven't had a need for a phone that takes pictures and contacts the interwebs. I can see the attraction of something like that, as a toy, but as I hardly ever use my mobile as it is one would be just that. A toy. An expensive toy.

Ah, but I could surf the web while I'm fishing. Er, no. That's one of the reasons I go fishing. To get away from the time sucking computer and waste my time trying to catch fish instead. Time wasted fishing doesn't make me feel guilty. Unlike typing this cobblers when I could be putting some orders together to take to the Post Office. OK. I'm having a brew right now. But often I sit here idly reading stuff that's not important when I could be either working or having real fun doing something real rather than virtual.

The barcode had been sat on my desktop for ages doing nothing. For some reason, yesterday, I thought I'd upload it as my avatar on The Pikers Pit forum. I wasn't sure why, or if anyone would notice, or if it would actually work. For all I knew the generator had made a link to a porn site!

It only took a short time before I had two private messages about my latest avatar!  One thanking me and nicking the idea, the other asking how I made it.

I hope I haven't started a trend. If I have then forums will be filled with avatars that all look pretty much the same to human eyes and we might as well not have them!

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Broadland fish deaths

I've never fished the Norfolk Broads, but it's place in the history and heritage of UK pike fishing is undeniable. One would imagine that the organisation tasked with looking after the area, the Broads Authority, would have the whole ecosystem's welfare at heart. Sadly it seems not.

Fish are dying, yet despite evidence pointing to  their current work as a potential cause they are carrying on regardless.

For those of you who don't follow Michael Hastings's blog I suggest you pop over there right now to get a feel for how angry the Broadland piking regulars are, and for how incompetent, blinkered and uncaring the Broads Authority appear to be. You could almost think they only give a stuff about boaters and revenue. Surely not...