Sunday, March 15, 2020

Almost interested - and rod ring news

Sometime back I leant a discontinued lure to someone for them to make a mould off it and knock up some copies. A few weeks back I was sent some, beautifully painted by Mark Houghton. They looked so good I got a couple of rods rigged up and went to try them out. The idea was to have one rod rigged with an original (the gold plate one in the pic below) and the other to test the copies.

First cast and the reel wouldn't go back in gear. The button was sticking. I put this down to the usual worn or broken spring. Good job I'd taken two rods!

The copy Magnum Hellcats seem to cast a little better than the original. As they are moulded from solid plastic rather than being hollow they are a little denser so also slightly less buoyant. The hooks I fitted didn't provide quite enough of a keel effect leading to a tendency to 'burst' when twitched hard. mark suggested a size larger belly hook which I'll fit in due course.

The afternoon was mild and pleasant. Unfortunately blue, weed inhibiting, dye had been put in the previous weekend and the water which I had expected to be clear enough to see the lures working deep (for a Hellcat) had very limited visibility. I still tried a number of likely swims but the colour didn't do anything for my enthusiasm.

After that brief session the weather reverted to type for the winter. Wet and windy. So I lost interest again.

 Even before teh Covid-19 pandemic began to impact on deliveries from overseas it had been a real struggle to get hold of Fuji rings in all teh sizes I use. Some having been on back order since the start of December.

This has meant I've been fitting Seymos to rods for people who are not prepared to wait for the missing size 25 Fuji BSVOGs to turn up. The other alternative has been to fit more expensive Fuji Alconite or SiC rings, or Kigans. None of those are without problems either as some Alconites have gone out of stock and Kigans are not available in size 6 (which I fit to Avon rods).

If all this wasn't hassle enough I got warned that BSVOG rings are being discontinued. I fit those to the majority of rods. ApparentlyFuji's  black reel seats are going too. It's something to do with an environmental issue related to the black finish.

As yet I'm not sure what is happening with regard to the reel seats, but I have had a sample of the new ring through. And rather tasty it is too! The overall frame shape and size matches that of the BSVOG, but the ceramic is held in a 'rolled' section of frame like the MNSG SiC and BMNAG Alconite centres have been for many years.

They are also have a 'black chrome' finish which is more akin to the Gunsmoke finish of SiC rings or maybe a slightly darker version of the Kigan frames.

When these will be on stream I don't yet know, but I'll be switching to them as soon as I can. I will have limited stocks of BSVOGs for a while to use on repairs and for matching existing rods. They might not last long though and the Seymo alternative (assuming they continue) will be held in their place.

I have also seen the Vortex rings which Harrison's stock. These are similar to the hard chrome lined Pac-Bay Minima rings which look good on light rods. When I first saw the Vortex rings they were only available in large sizes for carp rods. These should soon be available in sizes down to 8, making them usable on tench and barbel rods. More news on that when I know more.

In the meantime, here are some ropey photos comparing the BSVOG and new frames.