I have been fishing light tackle boat since the tender age of 8 years old, whether it be on the rivers, the dams or on the sea. Over the years I have come to a conclusion that the sea side of light tackle boat tends to be the most challenging and landing an 80kg diamond ray or 70kg ragged tooth on 4kg line is no easy task. Over the last two years I have embarked on a journey in order to find the best reel and line combination in order to gain an edge on my competitors at local, national and international levels by finding the reel with the smoothest drag and the 4kg line with the strongest pooling capacity with the least abrasion in order to pull the fish that little bit harder and a little faster to maximise my fishing time on the water.
It was in April this year at the annual South African Light Tackle Boat National championships that I found that sweet point between a smooth drag, the strongest spooling capacity and lowest abrasion of the line, and it is by far a combination that is unbeatable. I have owned a pair of Torium 14’s for two years and there drags are smooth as silk, but the issue was finding the correct line to pair with them. SALTBAA (the South African Light Tackle Boat Angling Association) provides line to all the competitors before the championships commence and to my pleasure they supplied all the anglers with Double X 4kg IGFA rated tournament line.
The Double X 4kg line has super high abrasion allowing you to land many fish before having to pull a couple meters of line off your reel and when tested after landing multiple fish on this line, it was still breaking at the same weight as when it was tested before we fished with it, and as a matter of fact it was breaking a little over 4kgs, it was breaking at 4.1kgs allowing the angler to still pull the fish that little bit harder. This is a massive advantage, especially when considering that previous brands of line supplied in the past were breaking at a weight of as low as 2.8kgs! From my personal experience, the Double X 4kg line is by far the best LTB line on the market and definitely takes pole position on the podium.
This line performs even better still if you pair it with the best LTB reels on the market, Torium 14’s. The Drags on these reels is incredibly smooth, so much so that when I was fighting the Diamond rays on the boat I didn’t even realise that the fish was taking line until I looked down at my reels and saw the line peeling off at a rate of knots. If your reels have a rough drag and jerk as the line is coming off the reel, it adds more pressure to the line, and when fighting a large fish with a tight drag, this little bit of extra pressure is enough to cause your line to snap.
The area where these reels and the line impressed me the most is the finals stage of the fight in LTB, a stage that I like to call “the danger zone”. This occurs when you bring a large fish along side the boat in order to bring it on board. This is the point in the fight when you have the least amount of line off your reel and in turn have the least amount of stretch in your line. In this stage of the fight, when the fish sees the boat it will almost definitely make a run and try get away from the boat, but this is where a smooth drag is essential. When the fish turns to run, it adds extra pressure on the line, which at this time has very little stretch and is guaranteed to snap if you are using reels with a poor drag system. During the four day tournament, I landed a total of around 600kgs of fish, 90% of this weight being diamond rays with the rest being made up by raggies and I never lost a single fish in “the danger zone”. My reels by far gave me an edge with their top notch drag system, allowing the fish to make their run and run as hard as they can without a single bit of added pressure on the line.
I can happily say that Double X line and my Shimano Torium reels played a big part in me being 2017 South African U/21 LTB champion. My team (Border U/21A) was placed first and I won the individual section, being named the top angler across the age categories for 2017 and a big shout out has to go to the Rapala VMC team, as without their top notch tackle, I wouldn’t have been able to do it.
Written by Kyle Schmidt