VMC Hook Choice

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With so many hook choices on the market, it is difficult to decide which hooks are best suited for which application.

I can personally recommended the VMC range of hooks as they are super sharp and their range covers everything that an angler would need. They have contributed to my success rate over the past couple of years and I have put the following together to assist you with the selection of the model required depending on the breaking strain and the application of the hook.

  • 7342WG : This hook is a favourite of mine due to the fact that it is not only a traditional wide gap hook that is extremely sharp, but it has an offset point. Mike Iaconelli designed the hook and the offset of the point contributes to a higher hook-up ratio. When every bite needs to be converted to a fish on your boat, this is the hook for you. They are great for Carolina, mojo and texas rigging on any line from 8lb through to 20lb breaking strain. These are available in 1/0 through 5/0.

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  • 7316BN : These are one of the most versatile, sharpest worm hooks on the market making them great to be used on 8lb through to 15lb lines for use on my weightless and mojo rigged baits. The extra wide gap truly assists in your hook up ratios and comes in sizes from 1/0 through 5/0.

   

  • 7317BN : This particular hook is STRONG and I would normally use it to force fish out of structure (lay-downs and thick vegetation) on lines traditionally from 15lb upwards, including my Power Pro braided lines which run up to 50lbs. It has an extremely sharp point that is resistant to dulling and is available in 1/0 through 5/0.

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  • 7346SB : This hook is my traditional Swimbait or Horny Toad hook. You can add or remove baits without damaging them due to the tapered locking spring design. The tapered spring design also allows me to cast as hard as I require without the bait moving out of position on the hook. They are made of heavy enough gauge that they are well suited for your braid applications. Available in sizes from 4/0 through 7/0

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Written by Craig Fraser.

Shimano Sustain FG Ci4

 

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As many of you are aware, the Cape holds some of the most pristine small mouth bass fishing in the world, well known for their fierce fighting and aerobatic abilities.

Light line and strong fish naturally require the correct setup to ensure success and I have found that the Shimano Sustain offers me a smooth, lightweight reel with a great drag system for those energetic bursts that require both the waterproof drag and the rod to ensure there is no line parting between the fish and myself.

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The reel construction as a whole is world class, consisting of an aluminium spool and side plates, rapid-fire waterproof drag system, Aero Wrap II Oscillation, well balanced and it great for fishing monofilament, fluorocarbon or Power Pro braided lines.

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I can’t wait for August this year when we will all be attending Clanwilliam National Championships to put these reels to the test once again!

Written by Craig Fraser

Shimano Tyrnos 30 Single speed

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The Tyrnos 30 comes with a one piece cold forged frame which makes for a solid frame that will not distort when under pressure with a large fish. Oversized high efficiency gears and a ratio of 5:1 make this an ideal reel for 15Kg-24Kg Game Fishing. The reel is capable of drag setting up to 15Kg so when fishing with 15Kg-24Kg lines the reel won’t even break out a sweat. With these strong drags one could also spool the reel up with braid up to 45Kg (100lb)

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The drags are smooth and keep their settings even after fighting a large fish.

The reel is fitted with 4 bearings; an anti reverse bearing and so will easily cope under pressure.

My Tyrnos reels have been paired with the Shimano Tiagra 5’6” 20/30 Stand up rods and spooled with around 600m of Suffix Key Lime IGFA 15Kg line and set the strike on the drags at 5Kg so when pushed to full one gets 8Kg. An ideal set up for light Tuna fishing.

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Written by Mike Laubscher

Shimano Blue Romance Rod

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If you are looking for a outfit for Rock and Surf spinning with some serious back bone then look no further. The Shimano Blue Romance rods are built for bullying fish to the shore. They are currently available in 5 models, but the Powergame 9.10ft and a 10.10ft are the best suited for Shore Spinning. The blank has the most amazing ocean blue finish and is fitted with Fuji K-series guides giving an angler an added advantage for casting ability to gain that extra distance while spinning or bait fishing. Being a 2 piece outfit its easy to travel with and the blanks fit from the tip to bottom section holds extremely well when putting in hours of spinning. Customized high density foam around the real seat is comfortable and will hold well whilst fighting a fish.

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The Blue Romance with surely be one of the loves of youre life.

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Written by Chris Schoultz

Sufix Braid

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For the past few years i have been using the Sufix 832  braid and it really has been one of the best braids i have ever used.
Now its easy for some one to say a brand of braid is good and promote a product but when you have reels spooled with braid that are 4 to 5 years old then you start realising what a good quality braid is. Most of my older spools of braid i use for rock fishing  once the length of the braid gets reduced on the spool from retying leaders all the time.

I have always found the 832 in 20 lbs being perfect for spinning in the surf as the diameter suites the distance required off a 4000 to 6000 size spool. The 20 lbs is also perfect for fishing for the larger species in the estuaries like Dusky cob and Garrick when you want to use it for fishing larger lures like storm gliding sticks and max raps. Fishing big plastics on jigs its also handy as its so strong that most times you will be able get the lure back when getting hooked up rather than end up breaking it off but you often will loose some distance if you looking to cast lighter lures a long way but this is where the Sufix Pro 8 comes into play.

The new Pro 8 braid has all the features one would enjoy with 832 but the slightly thinner diameter in comparison the breaking strength makes it easier to get those smaller lures out further but you still have the strength and abrasion needed for those monster fish that enter our estuary systems.

The .15mm and .18mm will be perfect for the estuary fishing and i would recommend the .15mm diameter suited for the 2500 and 3000 sized Shimano reels with .18mm being ideal for the 4000 sized reels. I have also found the .18mm being great for spinning for cob and Garrick in the surf as the smoothness and thinner diameter make a huge difference when there is a strong wind blowing and it reduces the bow one gets in the line when the wind is side on. As any lure angler knows, distance can often make the difference between a bite or watching you’re mates catch fish and you don’t want to be that guy watching tv during youre fishing session.

I have now been testing the PRO 8 for over 4 months now and it has been amazing on the abrasion side where i have had a few cob take me around rocky outcrops and i could certainly feel the braid rubbing along the rocks whilst trying to land the fish and on inspection after landing it i could not find any fault in the line or any bad nicks. Im sure if i had rocks covered with black mussels it could of had a different outcome but when fighting 10 to 20lbs fish i was very happy with the end result.

Knot strength has also been great and have not had any failures what so ever. So if you are looking to get back into the swing of things for the summer season I would strongly recommend spooling up with PRO8 sufix braid this season.

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Written by Chris Schoultz

Costa Del Mar – Zane

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In bass angling, one of the most overlooked pieces of equipment are the quality of our sunglasses.

If I ask any angler, have they owned and replaced or upgraded their reels or rods over any period of time, the answer is yes. Well that is because we can replace these items, one thing that we cannot replace are our eyes.

Therefore, a good quality set of eyewear is imperative based on the quantity of time we all spend out on the water. We need to look after one of the most important components of our fishing arsenal, our eyes.

Prior to me buying a pair of Costa’s, I would go fishing and my partner would say, there is a fish and I honestly could not sight fish against him, this is all down to the quality of the sunglasses you choose. It literally opens up a new world of fishing when you put these to the test.

Costa’s offer a large range affording a comfortable fit, I personally use the Zane Frame. They offer me 100% UV light blockage, 100% polarization, killing the reflected glare and eyestrain. I simply don’t leave home without them !!!!

 

Written by Craig Fraser

Costa Tuna Alley

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With big game fishing what you see when on the water is of utmost importance and often it can be the difference between a great day and a bad day. I am now using a pair of Costa Sunglasses, they look great with the matt black frame, but the lens is what they are all about.  The Blue Mirror Lens is suited best for offshore fishing in harsh sun delivering superior contrast and colouring whilst eliminating glare which is exactly what is required when hunting big game offshore and with the 580G lightwave glass lens you get highest clarity along with great scratch resistance. On the water one can see water colour variations, current lines with a natural contrast. 100% UV blocked and backed for life. Since using them I have been very impressed especially with my eyes that are sensitive to light and there is no need to screw up my face any more when facing a strong glare.

Written by Mike Laubscher

Trans Natal Competition

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This weekend I participated in the annual Trans Natal competition. It’s an intense clash between Natal and Gauteng and each respected province get the chance to host this prestige event at their venue of choice.

This year Voortrekkers Jeug Kamp was the battleground.

I started the day as follow;

Short Rod:

  • 75 meters
  • Turbo Garlic
  • Caramel Plus
  • Mystic Spice
  • Single Hard Plain Yellow Float top Hook
  • Single Hard Plain White Float bottom Hook

Deeper Rod:

  • 115 meters
  • Tokkelossie
  • Lodewyk
  • Duiwelsdrek
  • Plain Sweet white dough top hook
  • Single Kariba worm with a dough backing bottom hook

Merely the deeper rod produced one large Grassie of around 8 kg and I felt that it was not viable for me to fish either one of those distances as it was an extremely shallow venue. I then made a decision to start fishing bottom rigs. Around about 10h00 I took both my Shimano Tribal Long Cast 3.5 12ft rods, rigged both with a bottom rig (Vaaldam Rig) with a p6 and on each hook anything  from 5 to 10 Kariba worms.

This would be the way I would end the day, for me, the key to fishing this style was hitting that 120+ line mark each-and-every cast positively and man-o-man was it difficult in strong windy conditions.

I finished the day victor ludorum which gave me a first overall.

My findings for the day were:

It is highly important to get the timing right when you need to change your rods to a certain distance. And when I observed that the bottom of the venue was muddy I made an informed decision to move over to the bottom rig and fish a little deeper.

Written By Anthony Blignault

 

The Storm Z-Stick

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Typical “walk the dog” hard plastic topwater crankbaits are popular for many freshwater, estuarine and marine predatory species. I have a range of these surface lipless lures in my tackle box and over the past year have been using the STORM Z-Stick with great success. This lure equipped with strong, corrosion resistant VMC Perma Steel treble hooks comes in two sizes (9.5 and 11.5 cm) and a range of colours. The Z-Stick can be worked in several different ways to achieve the desired result. When left floating on the surface, it lies horizontally, which I have found to be very important when targeting certain species. This orientation aided by its buoyancy keeps the hooks proud and pointing downwards at all times, which also improves the hook-up rate. On a slow retrieve the Z-Stick glides off in wide arcs from side to side covering more surface area, while with a fast action retrieve it produces the typical “walk the dog” quick turning surface commotion. Depending on the strength of surface currents (e.g. in estuaries) and wind speed a little experimenting is required to maximise a variety of actions with this lure. The Z-Stick is also equipped with internal rattles which produce a low resonating “cluck, cluck” noise that is different to most other topwater lures. The frequency of this noise is irresistible to certain species.

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I have used the Z-Stick in local estuaries and caught dusky kob, leervis and spotted grunter. I am also confident this lures will be outstanding for the tropical estuarine predators such as river bream, snapper and kingfish. On a recent trip to Seychelles the Z-Stick proved its versatility, durability and strength. I caught a host of species, including snappers, rock cods, kingfish and barracuda. The STORM Z-Stick now has a permanent place in my lure box, irrespective of my fishing destination!

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Written by Paul Cowley

 

Rapala X-Rap Magnum

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One of my long time favourites and responsible for many of my great Yellowfin Tuna catches, along with many other species on my list, Wahoo, Queen Mackerel (Natal Snoek), King Mackerel (Couta), Giant Trevally, Wahoo, Dorado, Queen Fish and Sailfish and I am sure other anglers could add many more species from their lists.

The Rapala X-Rap Magnum range is most definitely one of my go to lures and I carry a good stock on the boat.
The X-Rap Magnum comes with a wide depth range: 10ft, 15ft, 20ft and 30ft.
Magnums run true and straight from the box without any tuning required, and even after a big catch they are relatively simple to retune to get them making that magical movements that get the fish eating them time and time again.

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Fitted as standard, magnums come with VMC 4X Treble hooks, strong split rings for the hooks and a solid ring on the nose which I particularly like as they can never wiggle off.
X-Rap Magnums are strong and in most cases survive the pressures put on them by strong fish and even toothy fish.

I have tried imitations but they never run true and take forever to tune, although cheaper they come with weak hooks and split rings that rust after one use open up on a good fish and by the time you have upgraded these with strong hooks and split rings you have spent more than buying the real thing in the first place.

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Rigged correctly with 300mm of No. 7wire attached to 0.70mm leader with a strong swivel. I typically use 7m of Suffix Zippy and then onto 15kg/30lb main line for the 10ft and 15ft magnums and 24Kg/50lb main line for the 20ft and 30ft magnums

With an already extensive range of colours there has been some new UV Colours added and I have tested the Lime Light UV and Luminescent UV. Just watching them run next to the boat one can immediately see how these colours stand out in the water, the red line, the fish bone pattern and the sparkle on top will make these 2 colours definite winners.rapala-x-rap

Written By Mike Laubscher