Over the past 8 years I have received many samples in the Rapala DT range. There is not another Rapala product that has received as much water testing time as these range of crankbaits for me. “Field testing” included some of my most testing tournament situations. Those who know me will tell you that it is no secret that the Rapala DT10 is my favourite hard bait for targeting bass. Over the years it has contributed to many of my tournament wins and it has also accounted for more fish over the 4kg range than any other crankbait I have ever thrown.
Other popular DT models for me is the DT6, DT14 and DT20. “DT” stands for “Dive To” while 6, 10, 14 etc. stand for the depth in foot it can reach. The reason for the DT range being my favourite crank is simple:
- It has better cast ability than any crank I have ever thrown and it does not spin or “helicopter” when you cast
- It has some fantastic colours in its range that is well suited for SA conditions and closely resembles our bass fodder fish
- On a long cast and with the right tackle it is the smallest profile crank to reach the deepest in my arsenal of crankbaits
- It catches lots of bass and big ones too
My favourite colours are Bluegill and the whole “Ike custom” series. Caribbean Shad, Old School and Smash have been particularly good. I am very excited to hear that there are a “natural” range of colours on the horison and cannot wait to take them for a test drive.
Written By Martin De Kock.
Plano has variety of useful products to select from catering for the wellbeing of our fishing tackle. Products range from storage boxes designed to accommodate various Rapala lures, Reel storage containers that will protect your reels in any conditions to multipurpose storage boxes.
Most of the Plano tackle boxes are both rugged and spacious with many been 100% water proof. From past and present experience I have been use the Plano 758 tackle box that has four drawers and a spacious upper compartment that can be used for a multitude of applications. In my case I have use the upper compartments to house over 200 readymade traces whilst participating in competitive angling. The four trays below house a selection of hooks, and spare tackle I might need for a good outing. The Plano 758 is spacious as mentioned already causing one to take a bit too much in the lines of spare tackle.
We have transported the Plano 758 tackle box to a number of international tournaments in harsh environments over many years and it’s only battle scars are scratches. The hinges are strong with stainless inserts that don’t rust. The clips that secure both the top cover and protect the draws from opening are of such a nature that they don’t open whilst carrying them like some of the cheaper oppositions option that are available.
Plano has proved its worth as it is rugged and designed with an angler in mind catering for an armature to the professional.
Here is tried and tested friend on the garage floor been checked before our next outing?
Written by Kyle Schmidt.
Sufix 832 Superline is the strongest, most durable small diameter braid on the market. It was rated as the “Winner of Best Fishing Line at the 2010 ICAST Show”. Those that know will tell you this is no easy feat at this prestigious annual event. What is just as remarkable is that this product has continuously grown in popularity for the past six years.
Constructed from 8 fibers (7 Dyneema plus 1 GORE Performance Fiber) at 32 weaves per inch, Suffix 832’s R8 Precision Braiding and advanced fiber technology deliver superior strength, roundness and line consistency. The Gore Performance Fibers (from the makers of GORE-TEX) improve abrasion resistance, increase casting distance and accuracy, and also reduces line vibration, while the Dyneema fibers provide increased strength and sensitivity, as well as, superior hydrophobic protection and a smaller diameter. It is also offered in Lo-Vis Green, which blends in nicely with bass habitat.
This product has seen some extensive field testing from me in the punching heavy Texas rigs and frogging front. The following features really stood out for me giving it the edge on other brands of braided superlines:
- It takes a knot very well and is not weakened by this
- Its lifespan is incredible and it retains its roundness and colour well
- No continuous retying is required, as the abrasion resistance is exceptional (For those who have tried, it is no fun trying to tie a snell knot on your punching outfit when the wind is blowing!)
My latest application for this product is to fish surface walking baits (like the Storm Arashi Top Walker) with it. I tie it directly onto the bait with a loop knot.
I will never go back to using monofilament for this application for the following reasons :
- Added casting distance with braid.
- Superior hooking capabilities at the end of a long cast due to virtually no stretch.
- Strength – I can now fish a line that has 6lb diameter, but 20lb strength.
Written By Martin De Kock
The Technium rod is one of my all time favourites, it is so versatile. The Technium medium can be used for scratching for fish such as cob and flat fish, then the Technium extra heavy which is used for our big toothy friends! I have had my Technium for about two years now and I’ll never look back! I have a Technium medium and it is the ultimate scratching rod, but it also has enough pulling power to land some decent sized fish. My personal best on my Technium was when I matched it up with my Shimano Trinidad 30A and I managed to land a ragged tooth of 112kg in a short time of 25 minutes that just proves that this rod has serious pulling power!
Another example of this rods power is my second biggest catch with the Technium medium. The story takes place at one of my favourite spots, Black Rock. This spot is near a popular holiday and fishing destination on the wild coast, Double Mouth. This rock sits high on top of a hill and it involves walking up to the edge of a 15 meter high vertical drop in order to cast your line in. When it’s time to land big edibles, you have to get dangerously close to the edge in order to lower a grapnel system down with a rope in order to retrieve your catch. When you hook into a large shark it becomes slightly more complicated, but nothing is too tough for me when I’m armed with my Shimano Technium and my Shimano Trinidad 30A! When you hook a large shark on black rock, you have to let the shark swim out to sea while you run to the top of the hill and hope that the shark swims to the left towards boulder bay, if it does well that’s where this magic rod comes in, it allowed me to pull that Raggie where I wanted it to go, I ran to the top of the hill and started walking to the left, pulling the Raggie with me (bear in mind that I have close to 450 meters of line of my reel at this time). To make things worse there is a massive rock to the left of black rock and it’s quite a tall and large rock and the only way to get your line over this rock is from the heist point on top the hill, after much tugging back and forth I had the Raggie where I wanted it, heading towards boulder bay. Once I had the shark in boulder bay I had to summon the speed of Usain Bolt and sprint down the hill so that I could keep the upper hand over this bad boy! Once in boulder bay the challenge is really on, you have to navigate the shark through hundreds of boulders where anyone of them could cut you off at any moment. After fighting a shark for an hour and you have it within touching distance, then to it gets cut off is honestly heart breaking. After having the line get caught around the same sharp ledge three times I managed to finally haul the shark out into the open and that’s when I had him! My dad got a grip on his tail and we were able to pull him onto a bed of flat rocks. In my honest opinion, if I wasn’t using my trusted all Shimano set up that day, I don’t believe that I would have landed that Raggie; it weighed roughly 100kg’s.
Written by Kyle Schmidt.
When looking back at some of the fishing tackle displayed in our entertainment area it make me relies how privileged to live in a modem world with the ability to walk into a tackle shops stocked with everything that you could wish for, the only restraint is the size of your wallet.
Whilst cleaning out and going through the remants of my late father’s garage we came across some of the tackle that both he and his father used in their days. As a boy I was told about their angling experiences of which they both enjoyed and were proud of. One that brings back a smile was the day some 65 years ago that my uncle (Clifford Kretzmann) and late father Eddie Schmidt decided that angling was not productive enough and they wanted to dynamite the deepest hole in the river. Both of these characters were well versed in the manufacturing of explosives as the used these skills on the farms whilst building roads and removing unwanted rocks. Once they had produced enough explosives Eddie decided to test a small quantity before loading a piece of steel pipe, this turned out to be disastrous as when igniting the sample it in tern ignited the entire load. They promptly started all over, this time no more testing was done. Now armed with a steel pipe loaded with explosives they headed down to the Buffalo River to a pool below the Ass Voel Kranse which presently forms part of the Bridal drift dam. It is unknown as to who lit the fuse but the explosion shook the kraanse and half the water disappeared. Both these explosive anglers did not wait to pick carp and eel off the thorn bushes but headed for the shelter of home rather than wait for local Fort Jackson police to respond.
Kyle Schmidt’s (VMC Kid as his know to many) late grandfather Eddie Schmidt lived on a farm named High Lands with one of its boundaries been on the Buffalo River. He was a keen angler and frequented the banks of the river with his cord, bob and bamboo pole. As the story goes Kyle’s grandfather must have been very frustrated by an elusive eel that he either missed or lost a couple of times that prompted him to improvise. This is the original specimen displayed below. Note the home -made “skelm hook” made out of fencing wire.
The normal hook was in this case baited with worms when a fish bit on the hook, the whole mechanism unfolded
From the picture above you can see a skelm hook working at its best. I can’t tell you whether he ever successfully caught his elusive specimen but his hook certainly brought a smile to many.
With many years under the belt and technology playing its part, VMC have perfected the art of manufacturing some of the greatest hooks to suite any angler and with the use of chemically sharpened hooks we don’t have to resort to drastic measures as our for father.
Fishing to the completive angler has become a science and with all the modem equipment available to an angler’s one can now specialise in catching a specific species with a range of VMC hooks that cater for all species and events.
Yours in angling
On behalf of Kyle Schmidt PRO Angling
Being a world-renowned brand of hooks and living up to a reputation of manufacturing some of the best hooks in the world. It’s no wonder why I choose to fish with the hooks on a regular basis. Being such a big name in the market I am always spoilt when it come to choice. They manufacture so many different shape hooks especially circles to suit many of the conditions and fishing structures worldwide.
I have a few favorites in the VMC range and each of them has a particular use in different aspects of fishing for me. For my bigger fish be it offshore and rock and surf I favor the 7385BN or otherwise know to many as the tournament circle. It is a very nice fine wire circle which is super sharp and has the perfect shape for live baiting and switching baits for sails or other game fish found offshore. From a rock and surf point of view I use is for brown skates and grey sharks and fishing small live baits for Kob and Garrick. The sizes I use are from 6/0 to a 9/0 depending on what my target species is for the day. The hook is made from the highest quality Hi-carbon steel and is not prone to rust.
Lovely 22kg Sharpnose Brown Skate caught on a 9/0 Tournament circle
When bottom fishing from the boat for smaller reef species such as your Emperors, Job fish or Slingers my go to hook is the 7381BN. This is better known as the Sure Set Circle. The heavy offset shape allows you to wind into your fish quite fast when on a drift and getting a perfect corner hook set 90% of the time. Allowing for a quick release for fish you do not want to keep. This hook I fish mostly in a 3/0 and 4/0.
When scratching from the surf my preferred hook is the 7384BN or Sports Circle. In my opinion fishing with circles maximize your fishing time and minimize your tackle loss when fishing in areas with lots of reef. They are made from the finest quality Vanadium steel that makes them unbelievably strong, this particular hook has a light offset which is perfect for the areas I fish. Some of the species we target pull you down at speed and if your a bit slow winding into them the hook sets itself perfectly. What I like about these hooks is the shape, the way your dingle sits on the bend it’s perfect and the way the fish picks your bait up it seems like they don’t even know the hook is there.
All of the above VMC circles are made with a sharp and solid needle cone point, which is a great feature on these hooks allowing for optimal hook ups.
Written by Stef Germann.
I was fortunate enough to be given the Shimano Socorro 6000SW a few months back for a trip to Angola. This reel really appealed to me from a price point of view and with the slower gear ratio would work perfectly for drop shot fishing and lures that don’t require an extremely fast retrieve. I loaded the reel with 20lb Sufix 832 and required a bit of backing, so in hind sight I have about 400m of line on the reel.
I have used the reel almost exclusively since I received it and spent many hours spinning with a variety of lures, but favored mostly plugs and the new Storm range of soft plastics. When I first picked up the reel I was surprised that for its size it was a very light reel and the drag seemed rather impressive testing it by hand. I was very eager to get it to the water and see what it could handle.
The first session I had with the reel took some getting use to, as I don’t often spin with reels with a slow retrieve. After a good hour or so getting use to the feel of the reel I was extremely impressed at the amount of torque this reel had and the fact it has very little flex in the frame. I could find very little to complain about this reel even the line lay was near perfect and line peeled off very nicely on the throw.
Having spent the majority of the time fishing surface lures and soft plastics I thought a true test of the reels power would be fishing the Rapala XXX-Rap. It is a weighted casting Rapala with a short lip yet dives quite deep. This lure would have quite a bit of resistance on the retrieve and would put some pressure on the reels gearing system. Although I had no luck hooking any fish spinning this way the reel handled it very well and I was extremely impressed.
Altough my Angola trip was rather disappointing fishing wise I certainly put the hours in with this reel to try get a few different target species on different types of lures. Saying this I found this reel perfectly suited for fishing with soft plastics, more notably the paddle tail. The slow retrieve allowed you to bounce the lure off the bottom nicely.
The Socorro 6000 comes with a hefty 11kg drag rating and this certainly came in handy when fishing the rocky ledges of Angola for the big shad where you had to hit and hold 3-5kg fish to prevent them from trying to cut you off. Not once did this drag ever seem like slipping and handled the pressure put on it very well. Even fishing locally for Garrick on the plug I was able to bully the fish in the shore break and pull it quickly.
All in all I would have to rate this one of the best value for money spinning reels on the market at the moment and it should definitely not be overlooked if you are on a strict budget.
Written by Stef Germann.