Wednesday, 28 March 2012

24th March - Dorset blank

Just a quick update on progress, I've finished the rebuild of my Tenryu so I took for a test drive down to Dorset on Saturday afternoon. It was an absolutely beautiful day, more June like than mid March but no bass wanted to play ball.

Still it was nice to give the rod a workout, or more truthfully the rod gave me a workout, its an absolute beast! It shows hows lure tackle has progressed over the last few years, when this rod came became available in the UK it was being touted as the best lure rod around, but now after a couple of years of using 8ft fairy wands, this felt really long and heavy. Still it will chuck a lure a long way so useful for those days when conditions are really bad (or good, if you're a bass!).

I'm pretty happy with the build though, it was interesting to do and although far from perfect I learnt a lot and reckon I could do a really top job next time so I think I'll buy myself another "project" at some point. There's a few pics of the finished job below.

No fishing for a couple of weeks due to kids birthdays etc, so by the time I get our again water temp should be back up to 10 degrees and the bass should back properly so hopefully no more blanks to report!

Sunday, 11 March 2012

10th March - The season starts here!

Well with a lovely spring day forecast, I decided to forego the plaice fishing and as normal, went for the lures instead, so a trip down to Dorset was in order. It really was a gorgeous day, I love the first trip of spring and feeling the suns warmth again after winter. Summers on its way and its all good from here on in! Anyway I went for my usual spot to start the season as timing of the big spring tide was perfect for here. I arrived about three hours before low, just as the flow was picking up.

Three hours later I got my first of the season, not a monster but that's me off and running. Last year I really struggled early season so it was nice to get the first one under my belt. Taken on one of last years favorites...the komomo II in Joker FP.

The rod build is coming on, I've nearly finished varnishing the blank now. This has been a bit of a faff as I've tried a couple of techniques. I think a rod turner would really help but without one of these its been tricky to get a decent finish, but after a couple of experiments I think I've got there. A few evenings on the rings this week and it should be finished for next weekend...hopefully I'll get out to give it a bash.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

W'gwan....rod building!

Well it’s been a while…but my two month winter break is coming towards its end and I think the first lure trip of the “season” is just around the corner. Water temps are on the way up and I’ve seen reports of bass being caught pretty much all the way through the winter so it definitely worth a try now.
 Not many new additions have been added to the lure box over the winter as I’m sticking with my principles of keeping the numbers of lures I own to manageable levels (a deliberately vague description to still allow for those impulse buys though!).
One nice new one however, which I’m looking forward to using is this Feed Shallow 128 in a white/pearl colour. I love pearl lures and don’t own many so this was a welcome addition to the armoury.

There has been 1 major addition as well, a Tenryu Red Dragon Express, I swapped this for my old 8ft Rod Bar which had been usurped by an 8ft Branzino and so was unlikely to get much use.
I was after a longer rod for those days when casting distance is a bit more important and I think the RDE (which was one of the first Tenryu’s available over here and helped spark the “red rod” boom), will be just the ticket. The rod was pretty well used when I got, with the blank being touched up here and there with red paint. My original plan was to have the rod professionally rebuilt, however with my preferred builder being a bit snowed under it was going to be a three month wait. That’s just too long for a man of my impatience so I have decided to embark upon a bit of project and rebuilt it myself. I’ve replaced a couple of rings in the past but rebuilding a complete rod is a first for me so it could be a bit of challenge.
I’ve made a start, the first job is to remove the rings and strip away the red paint and give the rod a new identity! It’s slow going but coming away fairly easily and so far I have not trashed the blank! I did think about using a paint stripper to do this but was unsure if this would damage the blank so I decided to err on the side of caution and am using a sharp modelling knife.
At this stage I am not going to replace the reel fitting or foam grips. I really like the look of the Matagi range of fittings and would love to kit it out with those but mainly because I can’t quite figure out their website and am again because I am too impatient to wait for delivery from Japan I’m leaving this for now…I can always go back to it later.
I’ve ordered rings, whippings and varnishes though. Varnishing the blank neatly could be tricky but I’ve read a few tips on line and have a plan. I’ll take some photos of the build process as I go through it but for now, this is progress to date.

Hopefully the blog will see some more frequent action again now, I never did make it out for those winter cod and the fishing in the Bristol Channel has died right off so that’s that until next autumn. There’s always talk of a spring run but unless you can be bothered to get hold of peelers (which I can’t!) it never amounts to much. There are reports of plenty of plaice from Chesil though so I might just sneak one of those out before getting the lures wet again…we’ll see.