There can be a problem that affects all rods with joints, sometimes they just stick and it is the Devil’s own job to separate them.
With the exception of strong surf rods, one of the worst ways to try and unstick the joints is to have a friend grab one side of the joint and you the other side, and pull. It is very hard to keep the rod dead straight and a broken rod at the joint is a common result. Even worse is for you and your friend to try and twist the rod in opposite directions as you pull. Result – same as above. This is especially true of light spinning and fly-fishing rods.
There are two methods that work for me – but I am totally at a loss to know why.
First, put the behind your back, clasp the rod with each hand on either side of the joint and pull apart. I have seen this work, and experienced it myself, on apparently immovable joints.
Second method, and again I do not know why it works, is to pack the joint with a bag of ice or frozen peas for about ten minutes, then pull apart.
Stuck rod joints can be avoided by a couple of quick tips:
Before joining the rod give the male joint a good rub down with a cloth to remove dust or fine sand.
After cleaning the male spigot rub it a few times up and down the side of your nose. The natural grease imparts a very fine lubricant.
When joining the rod pieces, just seat the two halves firmly together, never force down on the joint. Ramming the two pieces together is a definite ‘no-no’.
And finally, it is a good idea to test that the joint is firm regularly during a fishing session. A loose joint, can lead to a broken rod, because the overlap between the male and female parts becomes too short. This is especially important when fly fishing.
This Christmas holiday and right on over our Summer Holiday period the following sad story will be repeated ad nausea – and nausea is the right word – all around New Zealand’s coasts.
The crew sets out in the morning and over the next four or five hours catches a feed of fish. As they are caught, the fish are chucked into the fish bin where they flap and struggle as they slowly drown in the air. As more fish are caught they are thrown on top of the fish already dead and dying in the bin.
By the time this bin of fish, as exemplified in the photo, gets to shore it should not be eaten. The fish have ‘cooked’ in their own blood and slime. What a waste!
By the time our intrepid crew get back to the bach, crib, campsite or home, the fish is a smelly, slimy mess. Cleaning and preparing the fish to cook is a long, slow job – the soggy, flabby-fleshed bundles of slime are hard to handle. But eventually fish fillets make their way into the fry pan where foul cooking smells begin to fill every nook and cranny in the immediate vicinity. The whole performance, in a word, disgusting. What a waste.
It is a sad fact is that much of the fish served up by amateur fishermen is passed its used-by-date. By the time it reaches the table it is well on the way to being rotten.
Many fishermen would be better advised to go fishing on an exclusively catch-and-release basis, and buy some fish to eat on the way home at the fish shop. The fish in the shop would be in better condition – the shop would not be allowed to sell (apart from legal problems) the amateur’s catch because of it’s poor condition.
The kahawai is a truly wonderful sportfish found only in New Zealand and Australia (where it is often called ‘salmon’ for no obvious reason.)
I have over the last few weeks spent some time chasing kahawai on fly fishing and light spinning gear and re-igniting my respect for the fighting qualities of this fish. (Between dodging the almost never ending run of strong winds that have dogged our Spring and Summer.)
I have just updated the hook-removal article to include information on how to use both the ‘loop’ and ‘forceps’ method one-handed to remove hooks from yourself. This is usually required when the hook is buried in a hand or arm.
When using the loop method, make the loop long enough to go over some immovable object, such as a tree branch. Hold down the eye of the hook and pull your hand away in the direction shown in the diagrams in the article.
If using long-nose pliers or forceps, hold the hook eye down with the thumb of the hand holding down the forceps.
This article on the Midcurrent site is an excellent insight into the way fish see colours, and how this information can be used to refine flies and lures, and select lures and flies for varying fishing conditions.
While the article was primarily aimed at saltwater flies, it offers much to learn for all kinds of fishing.
There is one telling comment in the article – “Selecting a fly based on contrast, rather than on specific colors, is often the key to enticing a fish to strike.” (Someday they might learn how to spell colour 😉
It is amazing how some tackle myths persist way past their use-by date.
A case in point is contained in this article Sharpen Hooks
This advice is so out-of-date, by twenty or so years.
Books and articles sadly written just two or three years ago still contain encouragement to sharpen hooks before fishing with them. ‘No hook is sharp enough to fish straight out of the packet’ is the advice. If you use ‘laser’ or ‘chemically’ sharpened hooks which have been around for twenty something years now, this advice is bad. In most cases trying to sharpen chemically or laser sharpened hooks will actually blunt them.
Chemically sharpened and laser sharpened hooks are made in much the same way. Once the hook is formed, the points are treated with a chemical and then introduced to a laser beam, or other control source, which wears away the metal leaving a very sharp point. Mechanical methods cannot get the hook any sharper.
If you do sharpen non-laser or non-chemically treated hooks there are a number of factors to bear in mind.
All sharpening produces heat. Too much heat will reduce the temper of the hook and can soften the point. This can lead to points bending over, or breaking off. It is important when sharpening hooks to use a slow stroke with the file or stone.
Be careful not to remove too much metal from the point. There is a fine line, no pun intended, between a sharp point and a weak point. It is too easy to think of a hook point as always being pulled into a fish in a straight-line pull. However, this is not always true. Many times the pull is at an angle to the point. If there is not enough metal in the point it can break off or bend over.
One piece of advice about sharp hooks worth following is to check each hook before using it to ensure an un-sharpened hook has not sneaked through the manufacturer’s Quality Control systems.
Those little packets that seem to come in all pill bottles, and a myriad other products, contain a desiccant, moisture absorbing beads. Usually known by the name “Silica-Gel”, these little packets are ideal for drying used hooks and flies, and keeping them dry.
Placing one in your fly box will help stop fly-hooks rusting, and fur and feather detiorating. I have a small, lidded box with two or three packets of Silica-Gel inside, into which I drop wet flies. By the time I get home the flies are dry and ready to go back into their fly-box.
And once safe and secure, I add a couple of the gel packs to ensure the flies in my fly boxes do not rust.
I also have a small lidded box for my used salt-water hooks. A couple of Silica-Gel packets in the box stops salt-water doing any mischief.
Used Silica-Gel packets can be ‘refreshed and renewed’ by ‘cooking’ them in a microwave for ten or twenty seconds. If you need more Silica-Gel, good places to try are, camera stores, garden supplies, dried flower supplies, and local pharmacy.
This next tip has no scientific basis that I know of. But what I do know, and my view is shared by more than a few good and great fishermen, is that using pink balloons to hold up a live bait seems to attract more yellowtail kingfish to the bait.
When using a balloon as a live bait float remember to tie the balloon off to the rod end of the swivel. If you tie it off to the bait end you can almost guarantee leader line twist and tangles
Fishing around kelp and weed can be a truly frustrating fishing experience. Seems each fish hooked, bolts for the weed and rocks and soon there is a bust-off.
Apart from swearing loudly which in my experience has not changed the chosen course of any fish I have ever had on my line, or going up to stand-up big-game-fishing gear, what can we do?
Once hooked, fish feel the pressure from the tight line, and bolt in panic, away from the pressure. So, if you take away the tight line pressure, what will the fish do? Stop running?
This technique works often enough to be worth a try when fishing near foul ground. Especially if fish are continually running into the foul and breaking you off. But, and it is a big but, you need to be very aware of your drag settings, and the drag system must be good.
It is best to try backing off the drag when using a lever drag. Lever drags are much more precise, and you have the advantage of being able to return your fish-fighting drag very accurately. Star drags are by their nature very imprecise, and if you alter the drag during a fight it is damn near impossible to return to your fighting-drag setting.
Once the fish stops running it is time to gently, oh so gently, ease up on the drag and begin to lead, not pull, the fish up and away from the rough stuff.
If the fish bolts again, back off on the drag and start all over again. Once you feel you have the fish far enough away from the trouble spots and into mid-water it is time to get into full-on action, but in the early stages, be patient.