World Record Line-Class Confusion

by Tony Bishop on April 18, 2008

I just read a bleating blog comment from a Big Game boat skipper somewhere in the US beefing about the fact that he bought some 20lb rated line, but he said it over-tested by nearly 1lb, i.e. broke at 21lb and was therefore useless for chasing 20lb World Records.

The moan reveals some widespread confusion, and flat-out miss-information, about the breaking-strain line classes as used by the IGFA (International Game Fishing Assoc.) to determine World Record claims.

When the IGFA was set up  they decided that as the organisation was international they would use metric weights for setting line classes – that is the line classes would be set in kilogrammes.

But in the US line classes were described in pounds, and still are. But the nominal US pound rating (called US Customary) does not match the line-class in kilos. For instance the 10kg line-class, is 20lb line in US customary terms, but its IGFA rated class is 22.04lbs. So the line being moaned about above was within class.

So if you are chasing World Records it is usually best to buy ‘IGFA rated line class’ line – that is line that is manufactured to break under, but as close to the line-class as possible – but know that the line is rated to kilogrammes not the pounds often shown on the pack. It should also be remembered that line tested for claims must break under the line class.

Here are the line classes used by IGFA, showing the kg class, US customary, and the actual lb line-class the line will tested under by the IGFA.

Line Class (kg)US Custom (lb)Test (lb)

* Also Fly fishing record tippet classes

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Caught Any?

by Tony Bishop on April 16, 2008

John R from the UK sent me this little gem…

A small boy is fishing over a street grating in Belfast  when a well-dressed business man passes him and asks “what are you fishing for kid ?” 

“Dickheads” replied the boy.

“Have you caught any yet ?” the man says.

“You’re the third ” says the boy.

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Flyfishmagazine: Dont be that guy….

by Tony Bishop on April 9, 2008

A story for all fishermen, salt and fresh water……

Via MaineToday comes a story of fly fishing conversation etiquette. I think we all have met that guy…
“I caught a 22-inch rainbow yesterday,” he offered, with nothing else. I could see he was waiting for me to, pardon the pun, take the bait.
He waited a few seconds, maybe 10, and took a quick puff of his cigarette.
“Not here, you know.”
I just nodded, and he puffed again.

He then went into a long litany of where he’d been fishing, how many fish he’d caught and how long they all were. To hear him tell it, he’d filled an entire wall with trophy-sized mounts — all from the last six days!

He caught a brown out of China Lake. “You know that’s open, right?”
He caught splake by the bucketful near Bingham. “They’re all, like, 15-24 inches up there.”
And then there was the rainbow.

“Oh, they’re biting all right. You just got to know where to go.”

I guess the only fisherman I hate to be accosted by as much as the guy above is the old, “Ya should ‘av been  here yesterday” guy, who then proceeds to tell you in meticulous detail, why. Just what you need when the fishing today is hard.

Don’t Be That Guy

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Seek and You Will Find Fish

by Tony Bishop on March 26, 2008

In my book ‘Fishing Smarter for Trout’, (now on my site and free to read), I wrote under a chapter on finding trout…

Ask Questions on The River

A “I wonder if you could help, I am visiting the area and having trouble choosing the right fly,” question usually gains a positive and helpful response. I could not begin to count how many times that question has gained me a ‘guide’ for the day from locals only too willing to share the secrets of their river. Many times I have been able to return the favour when those fishermen visited my water. Some of these encounters have lead to long friendships.”

Well a couple of weeks ago I was fishing on the Tongariro and was experiencing a hard morning, I had caught nothing, hooked nothing. Then I started fishing below a lad of around 17 fishing the top end of a long pool. I watched as he hooked five fish and and landed three.

My feet were getting cold so I wandered up the bank, heading to the next pool, but as I passed the lad he also came out of the water to warm up.

We started chatting and he recognised me, and became keenly interested in the flies I was using. I quickly made it clear that I was much more interested in finding out what he was using, because whatever it was it was at least five times better than anything I had tied on.

Once I looked at his flies I quickly realised that it was not so much ‘what’ fly, as “what size’ fly. He was using size 14 and 16 nymphs, no gold bead, un-weighted, behind a thumping great heavily weighted ball of lead disguised as a nymph.

Now normally in a big river like the Tongariro I would not go below a size 12 nymph, usually weighted and always sporting a shining gold bead. They get to the bottom alright, but I guess they move pretty unnaturally once they get there. The little un-weighted nymphs, I surmise would really move about as the big currents moved them, much more naturally.

What ever the reason, they worked. So my new fishing companion and I moved on up the river catching a heap of fish, all on the little beasties. Fish I guess I would not have caught that day if I had not asked a question.

So, with a simple question I shattered my myth, ‘big water, big flies’, – a myth I had obviously been carrying around too long.

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Fishing the Way Real Blokes Do it!

by Tony Bishop on March 12, 2008

Fishing Jones put me onto to this video which makes us, who fish with rods and reels, look like pansies and sissies.

You just have to take a look at this madness. Link

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New Fishing Quotes and Sayings – Mar 5, 2008

by Tony Bishop on March 5, 2008

The number of quotes, with a bunch of new ones (8) just added, brings the total to 648.

My favourite of the new additions:

“Far away Tongariro! Green – white thundering Athabasca river of New Zealand! I vowed I would come again down across the Pacific to fish in the swift cold waters of this most beautiful and famous of trout streams. It is something to have striven. It is much to have kept your word.” – Zane Grey 1927

My choice has nothing to do with where I live of course!

Had three days on the very same beast of a river, the Tongariro, a week or two back. Got lots of fish, got tested and beaten time and again, got eaten by little black beasties, got fish by chucking and ducking tiny nymphs behind a kilo of split shot, got fish on tiny dry flies, got fish on heavy Prince Nymphs, got leg-sore, arm sore and exhausted, got to have a hell of a great time. It is a great river!

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Fishing in Baseball Caps – Words Of Warning

by Tony Bishop on March 3, 2008

Last week I had some pre-cancerous lumps removed from my ears, and back of my legs. These were ‘burnt’ out using liquid nitrogen. Another two on my neck had moved a bit too far past the ‘pre’ stage and had to be surgically removed.

Unfortunately this has become almost routine over the last 15 years. Every couple of years another lump or two pops up that has to be removed.

Part of this is down to the the unhappy fact that here in New Zealand we lead the world in the incidence of skin cancer per head of population. This is not just down to the fact that we have virtually no airborne pollution to filter out the bad rays, but also down to the fact that we spend a great deal of time out in the sun.

Unfortunately for old farts like me slipping past 60, we did not know about the dangers of long-term unprotected exposure to the sun back when we were young, but we are paying the price now.

While the doctor was treating my lumps we were chatting, he was a keen fisherman, so a subject wasn’t hard. So I asked him about skin protection  for fishermen – and he trotted out the usual; cover-up exposed bits, slap on heaps of a total sun-blocker on bits unable to be covered, and re-slap every 30 minutes.

But it was the last bit of advice that got my attention – throw away your baseball cap and buy a wide-brimmed hat. Most of the skin cancers he sees on out-door people are on the face, neck and ears.

To use his own words, “baseball caps do not cover neck, ears, cheeks or throat – they are about as much use as chocolate tea-pot. Any one who spends a lot of time in the sun, like  a fisherman, who wears a baseball cap is simply a bozo.”

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New Fishing Quotes and Sayings – Feb 14, 2008

by Tony Bishop on February 14, 2008

I recently added 10 new quotes and sayings to the quotes page, bringing the total to 640.

Of the new quotes, this one caught my eye, a rather good twist on and old quote:

“Give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day. Give a fish a man, and he’ll eat for weeks!”

– Takayuki Ikkaku, Arisa Hosaka and Toshihiro Kawabata, Animal Crossing: Wild World, 2005

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Picture of Fisherman with Seconds to Live

by Tony Bishop on January 24, 2008

boat name


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Prompt Release Critical to Fish Survival

by Tony Bishop on January 24, 2008

Catch and release is promoted as a way to enjoy angling for years to come. Catch one, take a picture and set it free. But two recent studies, including one by researchers at the University of Illinois, concluded the practice works only if fish are released promptly.

In the journal, “Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A,” researcher Cory Suski suggests that keeping a fish out of water for even 4 minutes might be too long to ensure its survival. Variables include the length of time it takes to land a fish, Suski said. The longer it takes, the harder it is for a fish to recover from even short periods out of water.

Water temperature also determines whether the fish lives or dies. The warmer the water, the longer the recovery, he said. Meanwhile, the fish is easier prey for predators looking for a meal.

I go along with the ‘hold your breath’ guide to how much time a fish should be out of the water – as you lift the fish out of the water hold your breath – when you need to take a breath put the fish back in the water.

For more on releasing fish see this.

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