Sunday, 28 December 2014

Rod Testing

Got out today to try out the rod Ive been modifying and mentioned previously. The rod is a savagear butch light 50-80g 8'6" and i wanted a longer handle as i have long arms and wanted the butt to rest along side my ribs and not the butt end digging into them.

So I extended the handle by about 3-4" and also added about 35g right in the butt to balance it better. I gave it a test last week with some duplon grips just pushed on but on Christmas eve i had time to fully build the handle. First off all i tried to match the gold of the blank above the fore grip but it didn't look right so i went to wipe it off while still wet and it left me with a really nice effect. I liked the custom look of of it so decided to leave it. I went for duplon behind the reel seat for comfort and added a trim ring of dark cork. The butt was turned in cork, i went for cork because the butt would be sat under my arm allot and cork would be much more durable than duplon that is prone to ripping and marking easily. I made the butt quite slim to also make it more comfortable when tucked under arm, and finished it off with a couple of rings of composite cork to cap it off to protect the end. Finished with a black thread and silver trim.

Onto the fishing.. well i was up early looking to make the most of it and out in the sub zero conditions. It was the first time id felt id needed gloves and even with those on my finger tips where painful. I always wear surgical gloves under other gloves to protect from getting wet when using baitcasters as they can spray water all over your hands. I'm not one for wearing gloves and never wear them unless i know I'll be in pain as its just not worth being uncomfortable when fishing. 
The fishing was quite tough to be honest and i didn't expect any less given the temperatures but i was always hoping for something big to show up but sadly it didn't. I managed 3 pike which keeps me in the fish and away from any blanks but it felt like i put allot more effort in than i got out in reward.

Chuffed to bits with the rod though it does and is exactly what i wanted for throwing my shads on, which i fished with today and caught on. Only trouble is now I've developed a problem, and that's the feeling of needing to use my shads because Ive made them. It will be difficult to fish with other lures at the minute, not so much a bad thing if there catching for you but if i had varied things up a bit i might have caught more, finding a lure that they wanted. 

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

All work and no play..

Ive been pretty busy recently and just not been able to get out fishing for many reasons. Its not often i go a week without fishing but this month i think Ive only fished twice. So I was pretty keen to get out this week for a few hours before Christmas came.
I've been pouring more shads and wanted to try some out along with another rod project i wanted to test. I've been wanting a longer rod (ooer) for awhile now for chucking my 7" shads amongst other things, i wanted a longer rod to help reach over the margins on the bigger rivers, sometimes, due to the quite dangerous banks you can be perched on a mound further up the bank unable to get low enough to the water but still within netting distance. A long rod help with this amongst other things like control and casting distance, i think it also feels better with a fish hooked on a longer rod. Another requirement i had was for a longer handle from the reel seat to the butt, i have quite long arms and find the butt can by right in my ribs at times which is not comfortable. I was looking about for the ideal rod/blank when a mate offered me a savagear Butch light xlnt 30-80g and at 8'6" it certainly fitted the bill. I thought I'd take a punt on it and had plans to re-build the handle anyway. As it turned out the handle did need to be longer so i extended it by 3-4" which sat right under my arm and left comfortable.
I got to try the rod out the other day along with some new poured shads, if the rod suited what i wanted it for my plan was to order the parts to complete the handle. I was a bit dubious whether or not I'd catch and having gone so long without fishing its surprising how the confidence wains not to mention your updated knowledge of venue conditions. I find when your fishing regularly you build up a kind of mental note of conditions on different venues and you can near enough guess what they will be like after differing weather, but i had no clue what was going on out there as id not been out enough.
The river were still going to be a bit of a chance but what the hell i was just glad to get out. I was chuffed to bits when i got a fish on and was already enjoying the rod alone which did everything i wanted it to do for the job in hand. I ended up with 3 pike to scraper double size which was enough to keep me happy until next time.

Some more natural patterns experimenting with subtle multiple pours.

I've also been trying some foil inserts as shown below which should give off lots of flash and at the bottom some of my 4" shad with Mylar tubing inserts. Still enjoying it and finding it addictive, the trouble now is using other lures as you always tend to favour your own when you make them and catch on them, but i don't suppose theres anything wrong in that.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

No Fishing

Well my fishing has really ground to a halt, i was quite hungry to get out this week but my Mrs car broke down so until we get that sorted we are down to one car which she needs for work. I'm hoping i get it back in the next day or so as I'm desperate to get out before Christmas.
In the meantime I've been doing a few more shads and have done some really nice colours, the pearl effects don't show on the photos but they look really nice.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Product testing

For the first time in probably years i have gone a full week without fishing, and this has been down to getting obsessed with making soft plastic lures. I'm really enjoying it at the minute and today i finally got out to give my fruits of labour a wetting. To say it went well was an understatement, i started off by loosing a decent fish i didn't see that took on the drop while i had slack line due to the wind, even with the bow in the line i felt the pluck but i struck into slack and just felt contact at the end of the strike, not enough to set the hooks and it was off after a short while. Casting back out in the same swim saw me snag up, i pulled for all my might hoping not to loose my shad despite having a box full, the facilities at home to make endless copies and a dealer half an hour down the road to supply me with the stuff to make them. It gave way and i felt i still had my shad on, but then half way back i got another take and i struck and it was off straight away. When i lifted my shad out i realised my stinger had gone, so basically when the fish took i had no hook on!

Off to the next swim with a bit of confidence that my shad was doing the business and i was in first cast after starting the retrieve, a fish that wouldn't have made double but it was seriously fat pushing it into doubles. I was fishing with Paul who was also trying out a shad and he was in on his first cast in the same swim while i was putting mine back. Another double and another obese fish, they had really been feeding hard.

Paul had a jack and we missed a couple of takes before it was nearly time to call it a day with the light fading so it was time to go over a couple of swims again where we had missed takes. I was soon into a fish and thought it was a reasonable jack because it was whizzing all over with allot of energy, not your usual slow plodding of a big fish, i nearly got it in sight and it tore off which made me think, hang on a minute. With the slight coloured water when it came closer you could make out the shape but not enough to see it but it was a big shape!
Finally in the net and weighed on some reputable scales of Paul's (hes learnt his lesson with scales now) it came in at 21lb 8oz. I'm absolutely chuffed to bits, i could have had any lure on and probably caught it but the fact id not been out for a while and then gone out to test my lures and caught such a nice fish made it extra special.

If you really are thinking of giving soft lure making a bash get in touch with Mark at, its easier than you think! You can buy moulds already made so you can pour your own or go the full hog and design your own. The best thing is when you get that lure that catches and gives you confidence in it you can make hundreds cheap! so no worries about shops not selling them.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

More softbaits

I'm hardly doing any fishing at the minute as I'm totally engrossed in making soft lures, i don't think Ive been missing much though as the fishing hasn't been great.

I've been pouring more of my 7" shad trying to improve the way i pour and get the best quality end product i can and its starting to come together now, my favourite so far are the two below, which are followed by a few random coloured ones trying things out


I'm looking forward to getting out and actually catching on these as so far Ive only tested them and not fished to catch with them. I'm as pleased with the action as the look though and I'm sure its only a matter of time before i catch on them once i start throwing them at fish.

I then moved onto my next soft bait which is something i will use allot in my fishing, a 4" shad. I use this size allot as its a good size to throw at pike but still stand a good chance of a decent perch or chub too. While pouring my other lures i i had an idea i wanted to use on a smaller sized shad, that being to try and emulate the really pearly belly shape of a fish, Ive noticed this before on minnows and took this as my inspiration. Although slightly bigger than a realistic minnow i went for a minnow shape with the 4" shad, and then tried to replicate the belly with my pouring. Below shows the concept, hard master and the first poured bait after making the mold.

I'm really pleased with how these turned out and although the pearl effect does not show in photos i pretty much got the look i wanted. I have ideas to improve this particular pattern as i want to include so black along the flank and also use some better eyes. 

I can't stop pouring lures at the minute its very addictive, i actually had to go to the pound shop to get some Tupperware cos I'm running out of storage for them.