TACKLE TUESDAY - TAKING CARE OF YOUR GEAR - MARCH 20, 2018
Do you know what the most important rule is of fishing? TAKE CARE OF YOUR GEAR SO YOU CAN FISH MORE! Nothing stinks worse than finally getting a chance to go fishing and then having a problem with your gear. Therefore, today we are going to talk about some common sense items when it comes to taking care of your gear.
- Be aware of your surroundings - I cannot tell you how often people come into the shop holding two rods which are broken in the exact same spot. They try to convince us that they both broke in the exact same spot which casting. Hmmm, are you sure you didn't shut them in a car door, hit a tree branch or try to drive under your cottage with the rods still in your rod rack? I know I am guilty of forgetting that the rod rack is on the truck, so I need to remember to be aware of my surroundings.
- Don't lay your reel in the sand - grab a sand spike and keep your gear out of the sand! Did you forget your good sand spike at home? Well grab an inexpensive PVC one as it is less expensive than replacing a reel.
- Rinse your gear - when you get done fishing, be sure to rinse your rod (guides and reel seat), reel and rigs with fresh water. You just need a light rinse, do not aim the hose nozzle directly at the reel as it can force salt and sand into the reel. It is also a good idea after rinsing and drying a reel to apply a light lubricant like Real Magic. Don’t spray the lubricant into the reel’s gear mechanisms as these areas require grease for lubrication.
- Replace your line - It is important to keep your line in good shape. It is a good rule of thumb to replace your line each year. However, if you were you lucky enough to catch a big drum that took you a while to fight, well then you may need to replace your line so you don't lose the next big one!
- Secure your lure - don't let your lure bang against your rod during travel. You can either remove your lure or use a lure wrap to keep your lure secure and protected.
- Break down your rod - if you have a two piece rod, be sure to break it down for travel. You can utilize Fishing Butler rod bungees to safely and securely transport your rods.
So get out there, have fun, catch the big one but be sure and TAKE CARE OF YOUR GEAR!
TACKLE TUESDAY - SELECTING A REEL - MARCH 13, 2018
Last week we talked about how to select the right rod so it only makes sense to tackle how to select the right reel this week. Like I mentioned last week, there is no right answer and a lot of times, gear selection is up to your personal preference. Spinning reels are typically the choice for many surf anglers. Conventional reels are also popular but are typically used by those with a good deal of experience as they are more difficult for those who are new to the surf fishing.
Reel bodies can be made of graphite or aluminum, or sometimes a combination of both. Aluminum housing is stronger than graphite however, graphite is lighter. Deciding whether strength or weight is more important is ultimately a personal choice but keep in mind that graphite is much more corrosion-resistant. Corrision-resistant does not mean you can dunk it in the salt water or lay it down in the sand, you still need to buy a sand spike and rinse the reel! Take care of your gear!
- Reel Size - 2000, 3000, 20, 25, 30 etc. - Many people are confused by this, but don't be. Each manufacturer rates their reels differently so there is no standard naming convention in the industry. The smaller the model number the smaller the reel. For example, if a manufacturer numbers their reels 2000, 3000, 4000 the 2000 is the smallest. If a manufacturer numbers their reels 20, 30, 40, the 20 is the smallest. You want to select a reel that is appropriate for your rod size, typical rule of thumb is that you should use a 30 or 3000 series on a 6-7' rod, 40 or 4000 series on a 8-9' rod, 50 or 5000 on a 10-11' rod and a 60 or 6000 on a 12' rod.
- Line Capacity - this is the amount of monofilament or braid the reel spool can hold. The size line you should use depends on the type of fish you are targeting and what your rod can handle. If you are targeting larger fish, you will want to use heavier line and need a reel with a larger capacity so that when the big one hits, he can take out plenty of line without spooling your reel!
- Gear Ratio - The gear ratio of a reel will determine how fast you will be able to retrieve line, and how much cranking power you have. The numbers are simple to understand. The first number indicates how many times the spool will turn for every crank of the reel's handle. Therefore, the spool of a reel with a 6.3:1 ratio will turn around 6.3 times for every turn of the reel's handle. Reels with a ratio of 5.5:1 to 6.3:1 are considered fast retrieve reels and work great for casting and retrieving metal lures such as stingsilvers when the spanish mackeral and blue fish are running. If you need more cranking power, to help you reel in a big drum, choose a reel with a lower ratio, like 4.1:1.
- Ball Bearings - Spinning reels feature ball bearings within the body for smoothness, support and stability. Generally speaking, the greater number of bearings a reel contains, the smoother the reel will perform.
At the end of the day, one of the biggest deciding factors is comfort, you want to select a reel that work best for your rod and the fish you are trying to target but comfort is very important. After all, you don't want a sore hand after a day of fishing because you will hopefully have some fish to clean when you get home!
We have a wide variety of reels to choose from, a couple of our favorites are the Penn Battle for drum fishing, Okuma Trio for spanish mackeral and if you are ready for a conventional reel, the Akios 656 or 666.
TACKLE TUESDAY - HOW TO SELECT THE RIGHT ROD - MARCH 6, 2018
Spring is in the air, or at least it was until the nor'easter named Winter Storm Riley came roaring through this past weekend. Hopefully, Highway 12 will re-open today and we can continue preparing the shop for the season. Prior to the nor'easter, the big drum were being caught at the Point. This time of year is exciting for us because the fish start returning which means all of you reading this will be ready to come back and visit. This year, we are going to try and provide some informational posts every Tuesday to help educate those just getting started in surf fishing. Keep in mind that there are a lot of different methods for surf fishing and as you expand your knowledge, you will develop your own personal preferences, this information is just to help you get started. We will provide information around the species of fish we catch here, the gear we use and even some recipes to use to cook up your fresh catch.
One question we often get is, what is the best rod? The answer is, well that depends. It depends on what species you want to target, how much weight you want to be able to throw, whether you want to use a spinning or bait caster reel. Surf rods vary in length from 7 - 14 feet but most anglers are good with a rod in the 10 - 12 foot length. Ideally, you want to choose the longest rod that you are comfortable with as the length of the rod will help you achieve more casting distance if necessary. There are times when distance is not important as the fish are very close to the beach but with a versatile rod, you will be prepared for when you need to cast out further. When targeting red drum, you will need to use 17lb. test monofilament line or heavier. Therefore, you will need a rod that is medium - heavy in power. You will also want to look at the amount of weight the rod is able to handle, which can typically be found on the shaft. The amount of weight you want to use depends on the condition as you want enough weight to hold bottom so that your bait is not drifting. Typically, we recommend a rod that can hold 2 - 8 oz. so that you can fish on calm days and not so calm days.
One of our most popular surf fishing rods is the Tica TC2 10'6" because it is a great all around rod to start with since it will handle 2 - 8oz. This rod is a graphite rod which means it is light but very durable. We have many other rods to choose from so stop in and let our team help set you up with the right rod for your needs.