Saturday, 12 July 2014
The reason I began making my own pike leaders or traces as we call them in the uk, was the poor quality of those I found for sale in tackle shops. After losing a couple of lures though thankfully not fish to the shop bought variety I decided I could probably do better myself.
I have been making my own leaders for a few years now and I have yet to have a one fail on me although I do still manage to lose some lures to snags but it is always a snapped piece of line that comes back to me not half a broken leader. This particular leader is my standard bit of kit for middle weight lures and although it is not exactly a delicate thing it takes the abuse I tend to subject my tackle to in its stride. If I am stepping up a lure size to a glide bait I normally go down the much heavier solid wire route. But if I am perch fishing in water where pike may be present I tend to go with a light uncoated wire of about 12lb with twisted ends rather than crimps.
Although I own about six different sets of crimping pliers or crimpers I tend to stick with the Savage Gear ones because of the multi pressure points, these same plier or very similar are available from other makers like Fox and Greys. I have over time tried a number of different methods of crimping with different pliers and at this gauge of wire I really haven’t come to any conclusion as to which is best as none have failed. After doing a bit of vice testing of different methods I found the simple method I used in the video to be as good the more complex.
Length wise I tend to stay up over fourteen inches with about twelve inches being the minimum for use with a very short five foot rod I use for perch fishing. Sadly I have found a number of six inches leaders and lures stuck around the jaws of pike I have landed, these have obviously been bitten off from peoples line as they were a on the dangerously short side, but still six inch leaders are for sale in tackle shops.
See video descriptions for tools and materials list
Thursday, 12 June 2014
The guy is wearing a large electronic tag on his wrist; it almost looks like it has been saved from the set of an old sci- fi movie, one of those ridiculous visions of the future that came true. This is the new postman; we have two now, one who works for the queen or the royal mail and this guy who works for some company that I imagine operates out of grey clad buildings on grey industrial estates run by grey managers, who drive grey cars.
I am waiting for someone to answer the door as my family feel that even though I am a little over forty. I am not yet responsible enough to be trusted with keys. I ask the new postman what crime he has committed to be wearing a tag and he tells me that it is to scan the letters before he posts them and also give his global position to the base. I hold out my hand to take the post but he tells me he must post it through the letterbox as it is company policy. Then I wonder if this guy travels globally like Santa delivering letters, but I think I already know the answer to that question.
As if to restore my faith in humanity me wife opens the door while complaining loudly that my incessant bell ringing will not reduce the amount of stairs she has to descend to open the door.
Monday, 2 June 2014
Silver Carbon fibre lure
The first fully formed carbon Kevlar object I remember coming in contact with was a kayak. It wasn’t any old kayak it was a specialised wild water racer; a boat designed to plough through raging torrents at speed. Even as a kid I knew this was something different, a seventeen foot piece of sculpture with a look of polished granite weighing little more than a small cloud. Carbon Kevlar is a composite (a combination of two or more materials); a resin which in the case of the kayak was epoxy combined with layers of carbon Kevlar reinforcement.
To cover my fishing lure I wasn’t really looking for strength although anything that can reduce bite rash has to be a bonus, what I wanted was the look, that kind holographic quality. When I discovered a product described as silver carbon fibre, let’s just say I got a little over excited. The fact is there is no proper silver carbon fibre but there is Alufibre which is glass and aluminium fibres woven together that produces a material that looks like carbon fibre with added bling.
Composites can be a bit of a pig to work with as I found out with early experiments trying to wrap it around lures and get some kind of decent finish. In a factory setting moulds and vacuum, bagging equipment are the norm but even for OCD lure maker that looked a little expensive and maybe overkill. Instead I opted for a simple flat sided lure and combined with homemade flat sheets of epoxy and fibre laid up on a piece of plastic box file. Despite the simplicity of this method really stunning sheets can be produced that once incorporated into a finished lure lend me that same feeling of being stood next to that kayak.
To glide or to jerk
Despite the internet making the world seem a little smaller we don’t all share the same views when it comes to naming lures. In America there is the glide bait but in Europe the same lure would be called a jerk bait, were as jerk bait in America would probably be called a wobbler in Europe, confused? Well get over it and let’s move on, I will stick glide bait but if I mention jerk baits I mean the same thing.
What do glide baits do?
Essentially a glide bait glides from side to side in a pattern often called walking the dog, although if I had a dog that walked like this I would be looking for a refund. I once asked someone with a science background if he could give me a quick explanation of how a glide bait does what it does and he said that any short answer would probably be just B.S. so here is some well-crafted B.S. For a glide bait to work in a walk the dog way it needs a bit of input from me the fisherman, a jerk of the rod tip with a fast crank of reel will pull the lure forward, once the rod tip reel are briefly still the moving lure wants to keep moving. The trouble is the lure has no real aim so wanders off to the side. On the next jerk of the rod the lure does the same thing but it first turns back towards the rod before wandering off to the other side. A steady pattern of jerks and pauses will create a steady walk the dog track for the lure. That is a simple explanation but there are obviously a lot more factors that go into determining how the lure and angler perform and as with all lure varying the retrieve will often bring a little more interest from the fish.
Why fish like glide baits?
I have no idea. What glide baits do have in their favour is weight and power, jerking a glide bait moves a lot of water and most fish are sensitive to sudden water movement, some fleeing from it other like predators attracted to it. Another advantage is not just moving forward it can move wildly from side to side and therefore covering more of the water but also all the while not racing out of range of potential predator strike.