Most fishing reels are there to hold your line, but what happens when you need a reel to stop the hardest fighting game fish, the most powerful carp or a monster salmon? Fishtec have the expertise to help you choose the best fishing reel to your budget.
Defying stereotypes, these women gladly spend their annual leave on a fishing trip. They relish a heated debate about fishing policy reforms, and definitely have a shiny new fly reel at the top of their Christmas list!
They are: women that love to fish…
Image source: kris krüg A very impressive salmon catch just off of Galiano Island.
They coat your hands, rod and fishing reel, but ever wondered what makes fish scales from species like sardines, mackerel and herring shimmer and flash?
And come to think of it, what gives beetle shells, butterfly wings and peacock feathers their iridescent glimmer?
It’s an effect that dazzles the eye and for many years, the explanation has eluded baffled scientists. But now they’ve found an answer, and the good news is that their discovery could revolutionise lighting technology.
Image source: Rich Carey Ever wondered why fish scales shimmer?
It’s all to do with what happens when light hits a “dirty crystal”. Way back in 1958, a scientist called Philip Anderson noticed that when he shone a bright light through a crystal containing multiple flaws, instead of passing right through the object, it bounced around inside. The many different layers of the crystal mean that rather than traveling in a straight line, the electrons are diffused through the medium.
Beyond a certain point, if the crystal is too “dirty”, and the movement of the light waves too disordered, the light cannot pass at all. But in less flawed crystals, the light eventually escapes from the object giving it a metallic glow – so called “Anderson localisation”.
Image source: darrenmbaker Scientists are Bristol have been on the case.
Now scientists at Bristol University have discovered that the iridescence in the natural world is the result of light passing through multiple layers nano-crystals – minute structures that produce the same effect that Henderson discovered decades ago.
The different effects we see in nature are courtesy of variation in the layering and arrangement of millions of tiny crystals. So although the multicoloured shine of a beetle shell is different from the silver flash of a sardine scale and the metallic blue glimmer of a butterfly wing, in fact the effect is the result of the same basic principle: that light cannot pass directly through a “disordered” medium.
Image source: theseamuss Confused? Think about crystals…
For fish like sardines, super reflective scales are perfect for helping to reflect the ambient light of the waters through which they swim. It’s a natural technology that makes them harder for predators to locate. And it all comes down to those crystals, to be specific, birefringent guanine crystals.
Baffling? Definitely, but here’s a simple explanation: Fire a light beam at a birefringent crystal and the light is refracted (bent) differently depending on whether the light source is directed horizontally or vertically (and everywhere inbetween). And the prospect of the development of a light that beams in multiple directions simultaneously is getting scientists and technologists seriously excited.
And as is so often the case, nature provides the answers to very human problems. As we hunt for ever more efficient ways to heat and light our homes, it appears that nano-crystal technology may hold the key to helping scientists to develop better lighting systems. In an era when global warming threatens and at a time when peak oil makes energy saving a top priority, the discovery of what makes fish scales shine is surely a case of the right discovery at the right time.
For the past 8 years, many Welsh anglers have been competing in what’s called the Celtic League match, a competition devised by competition anglers to get us out on the water more often, different times of the year, and fishing with anglers of all abilities. One of the best ways of anglers learning to ropes of competitive angling.
The competition is based on a catch and release basis, with your fourth fish being timed and your total catch verified by your boat partner. In previous years some competitions were being won with over 30 fish a day!
Chew Valley has been a great venue for the past two years with many quality trout being taken all throughout the year on a range of methods, fly lines and flies – A great top of the water venue if you’re looking for some nymph or dry fly fishing.
The last comp of the year was held last Sunday with favorable conditions for most of the day. A misty start saw many anglers head to Villace Bay and Woodford bank, a popular area for both boat and bank anglers and some five boats headed north towards the Dam. By 11am the mist had lifted and a slightly chilly northerly breeze had arrived, the fishing was good for the first two hours until the chill put a dampener on fly hatches, towards the end of the day there was a slight rise in temperature and the fish switched on somewhat, giving anglers a chance to get a last fish or two!
The results were as tight as always and many were keen to know the outcome. In such a competition where your final scores are dependent on each angler of the teams performance, positions can change drastically. A blank will give an angler maximum points, a disaster if the team is just a few points ahead or behind another.
As main sponsors, Airflo, gave an impressive goody bag to each angler who fished the league throughout the year, fishing reels as prizes for the first three teams, a fly rod for individual and a free fly line for each heat winner and runner up.
It’s often said that the oldest and biggest fish in the lake make the greatest adversaries.
That’s because they’re shrewd, wiley and having found themselves on the wrong end of rods and fishing reels many times before, know how to avoid capture. But now there’s concrete evidence that fish are far more intelligent the ‘goldfish’ brains we’re led to believe they are.
In fact, it turns out fish are equally as clever as many mammals and in some cases outdo their land dwelling cousins. Just because fish are the oldest of the planet’s vertebrates, doesn’t mean they stopped evolving, just that they’ve been evolving for longer.
Intelligent as chimps
Chimps and trouts both utilise teamwork. Source: patries71
Some fish are so brainy, they compare favourably to chimps, and among the cleverest of the lot are coral trout, and their close relative, the roving coral grouper. Just like chimps, both fish use teamwork to hunt for prey. But while chimps hunt in troups for meat to supplement their diets, trout and grouper team up with moray eels in the hunt for food, each benefitting from the particular abilities of the other.
Using head shakes and handstands, the fish signal to eels the location of prey. The fish the moray eel fails to catch are sitting ducks for attack by the fast swimming trout, the fish the trout miss flee for crevices in the coral and rocks, that the moray eel can wriggle into. Both gain, but the fish are the brains of the operation, repeatedly choosing to do business with only the most successful hunters among the eels.
Far from possessing the feeble three second memory attributed to the humble goldfish, new research shows that fish are perfectly capable of retaining information, not just for seconds, but for up to five months.
When scientists trained fish to associate certain sounds played through an underwater loudspeaker, with a particular action, like feeding, they were encouraged to discover that the fish would gather expecting food whenever they heard the noise. But they were amazed to observe that even months later, the fish remembered the sound, so that when it was played again, they gathered expecting fee grub.
Think fish are stupid? Think again, because it’s not just their intelligence and memory that make them cleverer than previously thought. Now, scientists from Plymouth University have proved your goldfish is so bright, it can even tell the time!
Fish were placed in a special bowl into which food was released only when the goldfish pressed a lever. The fish soon got used to food on request, but when the rules were changed so that food was only released once a day at a particular time, the fish quickly adapted. At dinner time, they clustered around the feeding point, ready to press the lever.
If that isn’t amazing enough, if the researchers chose not to release the food at the appointed time, after an hour, the fish gave up pressing the lever, proving they’re capable of understanding that time was up.
What sort of sound does a fish make? For a long time, scientists thought fish were dumb creatures who couldn’t communicate with each other. But now, research shows that fish live in complex societies, enjoy the company of other fish and use pops, clicks, grunts, and displays to communicate a wide range of thoughts and emotions.
Researchers in New Zealand used microphones and motion detectors to listen in on tanks of fish. They were stunned to discover that some fish kept up a continual chatter. It’s thought the sounds fish make by twanging their swim bladders are used to alert other fish to danger, point to food sources, attract a mate, and are even a way of orientating themselves around reefs. Of the fish studied, gurnard were the most chatty with cod being the strong silent types, only getting vocal around breeding time!
Walk the walk
A mudskipper is a type of walking fish. Source: Adam
Fish can do more than “talk the talk”, it appears they can “walk the walk” too! It’s called “developmental plasticity” and fish have it. Researchers know that 400 million years ago, in the Devonian period, fish adapted to survive on land, eventually becoming land dwelling creatures; our earliest ancestors. But scientists wanted to see what would happen if they took a modern polypterus, an African fish that has lungs, and forced it to remain largely on terra firma. The results were stunning.
In under a year, the fish learned to use its fins to ‘walk’ effectively, bringing its fins closer to the midline of its body, raising its head higher and even learning not to slip and slide in the mud. And crucially for scientists studying evolutionary biology, their shoulder joints and spine adapted to the task of carrying the fish’s body on land, demonstrating the likely process through which the switch from sea to land was made.
Previously thought to be extinct for over 20 million years, the giant creature weighing over 15 Ton has been captured by local fisherman off the coast of Pakistan, reports the Islamabad Herald this morning.
At first the creature was thought to be a great white shark but quickly declared by experts to be an unknown species of shark. Nothing of its sheer size and weight has ever been recorded. To date, great white sharks reach an impressive 7 tons at full growth a size that is no match for this giant prehistoric shark which can reach an imposing length of 20 meters long and possibly over 30 tons in weight, you’d need a serious fishing reel to drag one of these ashore!
This specimen shark was revealed to be just 2-3 years old and already twice the size of a fully grown great white shark, which takes 5 years to reach it’s full growth. What makes the discovery even more incredible to experts is that the creature lives at great depths feeding on giant squid ad other fish not commonly found near the surface, giving the experts a better insight into other fishes behavior.
“Are rising sea temperatures forcing these beasts to come up closer to the shores or was this animal simply hurt and suffering from a disorienting handicap, these questions are left unanswered” claims local marine biologist Rajar Muhammar.
This amazing find shows that the prehistoric shark had a total of 276 teeth, spanning 5 rods with it’s biggest measuring 15cm in length.
The question is though – ‘Is this real or fake?’ – Visit our Facebook page to air your thoughts!
The noticeable quiet of a late summer morning on still water is unlikely to become a routine experience for many who devote the majority of their fishing time to the rivers of Henry’s Fork country. However, most will submit to a welcome change of pace as the season begins its transition into autumn.
While certainly soothing in its own way, the murmur of moving water denotes a quicker pace in the rhythm of water influenced by gravity when applied to the behavior of trout and what is required in their capture on a fly rod. With constant motion attached to all that lives in this environment we can find ourselves motivated by a sense of urgency to make things happen rather quickly in the false sense that what is moving is actually leaving. On still water, it seems different.
Reflected on a liquid mirror, the dual image of land and sky and all else that lies on or close to an undisturbed surface brings a visual calm to the perception of water that seems only able to be moved by the wind. And it is in this morning calm that I begin to understand how those like my friend, Gareth Jones can become as strongly connected to the still water experience as I am to moving water.
From Gareth, I have learned that a lake possesses unseen currents beneath the surface and that underwater organisms such as insects and fish are by necessity, always moving. I know now that finding the correct zone with respect to the depth I am fishing subsurface patterns will improve my success rate. Also explained is that fishing 3 or 4 different flies on a long leader can make more sense than applying a single pattern when probing the depths of lake or pond. Also to be considered is a trout’s reluctance to pursue prey in the direction of a low angled sun. Not learned from Gareth, however, is the ability to repeatedly cast 90 feet of fly line while seated in an anchored boat – the guy is that strong – But his ability is only half of it. Using and casting with the correct fly fishing tackle is the other half, you try punching a 4wt out over 90feet in consecutive casts throughout the day and you’ll know about it!
While I do not necessarily find dry fly fishing on still water to be more satisfying than the sudden weight of an unseen, subsurface take, I do confess to appreciating the visual excitement of fishing to an ever moving surface feeder.
Late summer is prime time for hatches of Callibaetis and Trico mayflies on many of our local lakes and reservoirs. Damsel flies and meaty terrestrials like hoppers, beetles, and winged ants also become active and available in this time frame, and this combined menu can bring the eyes of hungry and opportunistic trout toward the surface.
In calm conditions, the location of a rising trout in still water is often determined by sound as much as sight. The audible gulp as an insect is taken from the surface is a still water feature that relates to quiet, although calm is not always part of the package.
Perhaps due to a sensitivity to overhead danger from predators, still water trout usually display a reluctance to linger near the surface following a rise to a floating food source. And because they quickly disappear from sight and normally obey no defined feeding path, much guesswork is involved with regard to where the next rise will appear. In this situation, relaxed, efficient casting can give way to frantic flailing as a target fish takes a natural only a foot from your offering or turns to feed in a direction different from your hopeful guess. The real chaos occurs when you become surrounded by un-patterned feeding and try to change the direction of the cast in mid-stroke. Maintaining discipline and composure may be the most difficult aspect of this type of lake fishing, and a take is nearly always hard earned.
Like river fish, still water trout will often cruise the shoreline in search of what is often a random assortment of aquatic and terrestrial food items. Because water is typically more shallow along the edges a longer cast is often needed to avoid spooking trout that are more comfortable in greater depth. A more linear feeding path helps to simplify the task of getting the fly in front of the always moving target but careful calculation must be applied to placing it at a point that matches the feeding pace. Efficiency is paramount when fishing to a traveling fish that may allow only one or two casts before moving out of range.
In the right light conditions, subsurface feeders can also be spotted as they prowl the edges for nymphs and other underwater life forms. Sight fishing on still water with weighted fly patterns is especially exciting when the size of the objective is known and the reward of a perfect cast is as visual as the rise to a dry fly.
As one whose experience and expertise lies mainly in the details of fishing moving water, I have only respect and gratitude for those still water specialists like Gareth Jones who has taught me so much. This particularly applies to those times when their lessons result in a special catch that would not happen otherwise. Some of my most memorable trout in recent years have come while applying those shared techniques on local lakes like Henry’s and Sheridan. Hebgen Lake and Island Park Reservoir are also productive and enjoyable still waters as are numerous smaller lakes in the higher elevations of this region west of Yellowstone.
While the Henry’s Fork and, to a lesser extent, other rivers continue to own the majority of my heart, there will always be room for those quiet mornings on still water which, ultimately, are not so different after all.
Don’t seem to be able to find the time to go fishing? When family, work or other commitments make an escape to the riverbank, lake or shore impossible, why not cast from your couch instead?
We’re talking computer games.
Fishing games have been around since the 1980s, and today they’re more popular than ever. Here are six of our favourite fishing video games…
1. Gone Fishing: Trophy Catch (2012)
Image source: Tech Tabloids Over 14 million downloads in a few years!
The figure of 14 million downloads speaks for itself. As a fishing game app,Gone Fishing might lack the excitement and drama of other fishing games but it’s obviously a hit with casual ‘screen-prodders’.
Purists who enjoy the slower pace of real-life fishing might baulk at the speed with which fish bite onto the virtual lures here. But if a fraction of the gamers who’ve downloaded Gone Fishing are inspired to pick upreal fly fishing reels and rods, then what an advert for the sport we love.
Available for Android or iOS – why not give it a try?
2. Ninja Fishing (2011)
Image source: Viva Silly, fun and utterly addictive.
Imagine catching 30 fish on one line, flinging them into the air and then slicing them into sushi before they hit the floor. That’s Ninja Fishing; the smash hit, genre-bending fishing game of 2011.
Ninja Fishing is available as an app for either iOS or Android. If you’re an angler who loves nothing more than quiet hours on the riverbank with a box of hand-tied flies and a thermos of coffee, then this is NOT the game for you.
It is, however, extremely addictive. Be warned.
3. Go Fishing (2011)
Image source: Go Fishing Features real life fishing locations.
Racking up over a million Facebook ‘Likes’ since its release in 2011, Go Fishing is a Facebook integrated fishing game app available for PC and iPad.
Gamers compete in challenges and tournaments against their Facebook friends. Complete a challenge to win ‘coins’ and ‘pearls’ which can be traded for better fishing tackle and bait. All the fishing spots in the game are modelled on real life locations, like Lake Michigan, Florida, or Loch Ness.
4. Bass Pro Shops: The Strike (2009)
Image source: XXL Gaming Fish in 10 real North American lakes.
Bass Pro Shops: The Strike promises to ‘bring the lake to your living room’. Gamers have 10 North American lakes to choose from, each containing the same fish species found there in real life.
The aim of the game is to catch big fish. But to land real whoppers, you’ll need the best equipment. Gamers earn money to ‘buy’ tackle and bait by competing in tournaments and challenges.
On its release for Xbox 360 in 2009, The Strike was heralded as the best fishing game for many a year.
Arguably the best fishing video game of all time, and based on a real arcade game launched in 1997, Sega Bass Fishing was released for Dreamcast in 1999 to massive critical acclaim.
Its unique ‘rod and reel’ controller, meant gamers could battle big bass from their bedrooms, with an all new degree of reality. Anglers and non-anglers alike were hooked on this classic, now adapted for Wii, XBox 360, PS3 and PC.
Step back in time to an age before 3D graphics and sophisticated storylines in computer games and you’ll find The Black Bass from 1989. The 8-bit mono internal speaker sound and 64-colour display are prehistoric by today’s standards, but the game is the foundation of modern fishing video games.
You’re a hat wearing character with a fishing rod, and your task is to catch big fish – the eponymous black bass. Land lots of these fish, and virtual anglers can climb from 200th place to 1st in the ‘Wranglers Tournament’.
Fans of retro video games will have to scour ebay or vintage game stores to find this one – but what a classic.
Ever wanted to create your own fishing reel? Well here’s your chance with the DCR from Daiwa!
Daiwa have taken the plunge and offered it’s customers the opportunity to take control and create their own, personalised fishing reel!
The concept is simple. Take the body of the classic Daiwa Basia reel (RRP £599) and choose your preferred components, colour or style along the way. Daiwa have set up a user friendly 12 step configuration process, allowing you to choose from a selection of genuine, Japanese made parts to customise your version of this classic carp fishing reel.
How do I get one?
Simply head over to the Daiwa Website, and select whether you want to build your own fishing reel, or carp rod! Once you’ve completed the 12 steps, you can choose your favourite Daiwa Stockist who are appointed DCR dealers, and place your order through them. No fuss, no hassle.
It’s not the biggest or the fastest fish you can catch, but the unique combination of technical skill and watermanship, as well as cunning and guile required to bring to bank a specimen salmon makes this our favourite game fish, and definitely one for any angling must catch list.
And fly fishing for Atlantic salmon is about a lot more than just catching a fish – superb though that may be. Fishing the waters of one of the great salmon fishing estates of Scotland or Ireland is a true adventure of the old school. The majestic highland scenery is the backdrop for the practice of an art steeped in tradition. To take part is a joy and a privilege – and afterwards, it’s back to the bothie for a wee dram!
For fly fishermen, or anyone who loves the thrill of a hard fighting fish on light tackle, few pleasures surpass the experience of fishing for bonefish in the shallow coastal flats of the Caribbean. Think stunning blue waters, tropical sunshine and one of the best sport fish on the planet. Florida, Cuba, the Bahamas – all are top holiday destinations with bonefishing to die for. But why all the fuss about a little silver fish?
Bonefishing is all about the hunt – finesse, stealth and a good guide are the prerequisites. Bonefish are tricksters – hunted by barracuda, they’re adapted to be super fast and easily spooked. Unlike big game fishing, there’s no gin palace under you, no thick spool of line, no cooler full of tinnies by your feet. It’s just you, your fly, or lure and the great outdoors. Bonefishing is wild game angling at its very best.
If you like them big, they don’t come much bigger than this! Giant Trevally can grow up to 80 kg and 170 cm in length – but though it’s pretty rare to catch a specimen in this size range, any fish over 15 kgs will give you a fight to remember. Trevally occupy a range of habitats, from tropical flats to coral reefs throughout the Pacific. An apex predator, they’re very fast, extremely strong and super aggressive.
The most fun you can have fishing for giant trevally is probably with a topwater lure. Make sure all your gear is in perfect nick though, because any weakness and you might as well not bother trying. Trevally will bend a hook, snap a line and if the fish gets into the reef, you’re done.
The tranquil waters of Egypt’s Aswan dam offer treasures for the bucket list angler – tiger fish, Vundu and Bagras catfish to name but three of its inhabitants. But the Nile Perch is the real prize and what could be the biggest freshwater catch you’ll ever make.
Nile Perch can weigh in at over 400 lbs and grow to be a whopping 6ft in length. Silver flanked and with a bluish tinge, the fish is a beauty that’s renowned for hard fighting. To catch one, you’ll need a rod of at least a 4.5lb test curve and a reel capable of holding 250 metres of braid. You can hook a Nile Perch on live bait, but lures are favorite – try a depth raider or shad. Oh how nice it is to dream!
Think of the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico, or in the Pacific – Tahiti maybe? The shining shimmer of silver scales and a battle you’ll never forget. We’re talking tarpon, that prized saltwater game fish. A big one could come in at over 200 lbs – it’s not a catch you’re likely to forget in a hurry.
In July last year, dreams did come true for one lucky group of anglers. At the end of a successful day’s Fishing off the Florida coast, the captain gave the order to reel in. But one of the party didn’t hear and a few minutes later, when he finally began to wind in, he got the surprise of his life – he’d hooked a monster. An hour and a half later, fisherman, Jan Toubl brought his quarry alongside to be unhooked and released. The gargantuan tarpon measured in excess of 3m in length – which would put its weight easily in the 300 lb plus league!
My season started off on the Tywi in April and I have been a regular rod at Golden Grove up until now. The first week or so of April started off with fairly low water. There were a few kelts caught and the odd few small sewin. There was a good rise in water in the second week and things started to look up with some awesome sewin up to 15lb being landed with the odd salmon falling to spinners in the high water. Shortly after this the water dropped and cleared just enough to start fishing at night and by the third week of April I was well into them.
I have been fishing at night with a two rod setup, a 10ft 7/8 Airlite fly rod and a 9ft 6 7/8 Airlite. A couple of Airflo V-lite 7/9 fishing reels both loaded with forty plus fly lines – with my favourite two being the fast intermediate and di 3. It’s not often that I use a floater for any of my sewin fishing, but when I do, I use a set of Airflo polyleaders to help turn over.
During the first couple of months there has been some surprisingly big sewin around and my first fish at night of the season was a 12lb bar of silver, followed by another double figure fish of 10.5lb. During the last two week’s of April, there were some fantastic sewin caught by some of the rods fishing there at night, up to 14.5lb, caught by Berwyn Morris. Also a few nice salmon being caught during the day.
May was great. It started off very well just as April – I was out one night with a couple of other rods and it was a very quiet night. Conditions weren’t great with heavy mist on the water and not much in the way of action. It had just gone 1:30am and I was around halfway through the pool when I had an arm wrenching take – but no hook up – It really woke me up from staring into the darkness. Next run through, another ferocious take but this time the fish stuck.
This fish was very strong, and was giving massive head shakes as it tore around the pool, but my Airflo rod and reel combo held up well and I managed to safely land the fish. A belter at 16lb. It had snapped the tube in half where it had been giving massive head shakes. A few photos which didn’t come out great because of the mist and the fish was returned. The other guys fishing all had a couple of hits with no lock ups, but as I just step back into the water I hooked into another good fish which was on briefly, but managed to throw the hook. After that it all went quiet again.
At times throughout May the fishing has been difficult as the water conditions were bad. There has been a lot of small rises in water levels so it has sort of been between day and night fishing a lot of the time, with a murky colour in the deeper areas. There was a week where the day fishing could have been really good, but the sun, which was very high in the sky, killed it and fishing was tough. Night fishing wasn’t too bad and some nice fish were being caught. With there being some colour in the water I have been using mostly tubes around the 2″/2.5″ with the Fast Intermediate fly line. The weight of the tube and density of the fly line lets me fish the tube very slow through the pools which has brought the most success for me, with some beauty’s between 3.5lb and 12lb up to the end of May.
Now into June I managed to grab a few days fishing with a friend – Again the conditions haven’t been great with really thick mist on the water for the majority of the night. It got to 1:00am and I was making my way through the pool when my friend had just walked back and was saying to me how quiet it was, when bang, a good solid take. This fish did not show at all during the time between hooking and landing. It just buckled the fly rod and was determined to stay on the other side of the pool. I wasn’t quite sure how big this fish was but we did know it was a good strong fish. Eventually I managed to bring it to the shallow water in font of us and then it turned on it’s side and we got the first good look at it. A belter of a fish weighing in at 16.5lb. It was a cracking fish, in excellent condition.
We took a few misty photos and the fish was released, which went back very strong. That was the only take of the night but was well worth sticking it out.
We are well in to June now, and hopefully thing’s will settle down a bit with the weather. The river’s coming good for night fishing now, and the fish should start to build up in the pool’s now.