salt water fishing

World Record Line-Class Confusion

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)
1* 2 2.2
2* 4 4.4
3* 6 6.61
4* 8 8.81
6* 12 13.22
8* 16 17.63
10* 20 22.04
15 30 33.06
24 50 52.91
37 80 81.57
60 130 132.27

* Also Fly fishing record tippet classes

Posted by Tony Bishop in Articles and stories on fishing in general, big game fishing

Kahawai Tactics

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.)

For the full story on this fish head to the link

Posted by Tony Bishop in salt water fly fishing, salt water how-to and tips

Hook Removal From Humans – Update

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.

Full details here.

Posted by Tony Bishop in Articles and stories on fishing in general, fly fishing how-to, salt water how-to and tips

Does Fly or Lure Colour Matter

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 😉

Posted by Tony Bishop in fly fishing tips, fly tying, salt water how-to and tips

Sharpen Your Hooks Myth

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.

For more information on hooks in general see this:The Sharp End

Posted by Tony Bishop in Articles and stories on fishing in general, fly fishing how-to, salt water how-to and tips

Easy Way to Dry Fishing Hooks and Flies

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.

Posted by Tony Bishop in fly fishing tips, salt water how-to and tips

Yellowtail Kingfish attracted by pink balloons

yellowtail kingfishThis 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

Posted by Tony Bishop in salt water how-to and tips

Why Do Fish Run When Hooked?

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.

Posted by Tony Bishop in salt water how-to and tips

New Method to Remove Line Twist On Land

Line-twist is a real pain, but it is easy to get rid of if you are on a boat or have a river nearby. But if you are on land it can be really difficult to get rid of. But I have just stumbled across a method that works well on land – go here.

Posted by Tony Bishop in Articles and stories on fishing in general, fly fishing how-to, salt water how-to and tips