Quiz: How old is that fish?

Sea creatures are some of the longest living organisms on earth.

Some of them rack up more years of life than the maximum meterage of fishing line you can squeeze onto your sea reel.

But who lives longest: koi carp or bow head whale? Lobster or orange roughy? Take our quiz to see if you know how long until each critter croaks.

Make a note of your answers and scroll down to the bottom for the answers.

1. Orange Roughy

Orange Roughy

Image source: CSIRO
Stocks are diminishing

You’ll find orange roughy served up in restaurants and fish and chip shops the world over, but should you eat it?

A very slow growing deep sea fish, its flesh is tasty enough but contains high levels of mercury.

And when you consider it doesn’t even reach sexual maturity until it hits its mid twenties, it’s not surprising populations are vulnerable to overfishing.

Stocks in the oceans off Australia and New Zealand have already crashed and other stocks are fast dwindling.

What’s the lifespan of an Orange Roughy?

A) 72 years
B) 150 years
C) 205 years

2. Koi Carp

Koi Carp

Image source: 3268zauber
The $1,000,000 fish!

The rarest, biggest and most beautiful (if you like that kind of thing) Koi carp change hands for big bucks.

And some of the most expensive are displayed in the atria of swanky head offices of some of Japan’s most successful corporations. At the peak of the Koi boom in the 1980, it’s thought fish changed hands for upwards of $1 million – or $2.2 million in today’s money.

UK carp have been known to live for upwards of 60 years – plenty of time to learn how to evade all but the most skilled wielder of a carp fishing rod, but how about the longest lived of the ornamental variety?

What’s the longest a Koi Carp has ever lived?

A) 36 years
B) 174 years
C) 225 years

3. Bowhead Whale

Bowhead whale

Image source: Olga Shpak
How long do these giants live for?

Scientists keen to discover what makes us kick the bucket recently mapped the genome of this long lived whale.

In 2007, a 49ft bowhead whale caught off the coast of Alaska was found to have lodged in its flesh the remains of an exploding harpoon.

The artefact dated from 1890 meaning the whale survived an attempt on its life in the same year the Forth Bridge opened, Authur Conan Doyle published his second novel, ‘The Sign of the Four’, and the US 7th cavalry massacred at least 200 Lakota men, women and children at Wounded Knee.

Clearly an old whale – but how old?

How old did the oldest Bowhead Whale live for?

A) 89 years
B) 211 years
C) 345

4. Lobster


Image source: Cefaclor
Shell shedders.

They keep growing until they die, but we’ll let you have this clue: contrary to plentiful claims that lobsters are immortal, they’re not.

To grow, a lobster has to shed its shell, something it does many times throughout its life. In fact in the first year of life, a baby lobster can shed over 40 times. But as it grows older, the process slows so that by the age of about seven, it moults just once a year, and thereafter only every three or four years.

Casting off an old shell and growing a new one takes energy and it seems that by the time a lobster reaches its maximum life span, it no longer has the energy to cast off its shell. Though a lobster doesn’t age in the way that other creatures do, its final shell gets bashed and battered until bacteria seep into the cracks and eventually kill it off.

But how old is a lobster before it goes belly up?

A) 140 years
B) 204 years
C) 456 years

5. Sturgeon


Image source: Aarchiba
Unchanged in 135 million years.

A living fossil, North American lake sturgeon belong to a family of fish that have remained largely unchanged for 135 million years.

Their bony side plates, greenish grey colouring and pointed snouts, certainly look like they hail from the time when dinosaurs roamed the planet, but how long does a single specimen live?

To make it easier, we’ll give you a clue – males can live for around 55 years.

But up to how long can the female of the species live?

A) 70 years
B) 80 years
C) 150 years

6. Molluscs


Image source: Hans Hillewaert
Remember Ming the mollusc?

Ming the mollusc was a clam trawled from the seabed off the coast of Iceland in 2006.

When examined by scientists, it caused great excitement because it was clearly so old. The fact that the creature turned out to be even older than originally thought lent a certain poignancy to the story because in the attempt to count its growth rings, scientists accidentally killed it.

No one will ever know how old Ming might have become if left alone in the watery deep.

How old was Ming when its life was cut tragically short?

A) 234 years
B) 398 years
C) 507 years

7. Red Sea Urchin

Red Sea Urchin

Image source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Incredible creatures.

The Japanese consider their sex organs to be a delicacy, the Maori have consumed ‘kina’ since pre-European times, but tasty though they may be, the sea urchin is also an astonishing creature.

Hundreds of hydraulically operated tube legs enable it to move in any direction while its spines can be coordinated to point in the direction of a threat.

Sensitive to touch, light and chemicals, the sea urchin’s entire body acts like a kind of compound eye. Oh, and it can live for a very long time.

Typically, how long can a Red Sea Urchin live for?

A) 50 years
B) 200 years
C) 1000 years


1. Orange roughy: B) 150 years
2. Koi carp: C) 225 years
3. Bowhead whale: B) 211 years
4. Lobster: A) 140 years
5. Sturgeon: C) 150 years
6. Mollusc: C) 507 years
7. Red sea Urchin: B) 200 years

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Fishtec/Celtic League Match 2014 Results


Nymphomaniacs – League winners 2014

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.


1st – Nymphomanicas
2nd – Team Cwmbran
3rd – Harvey Angling Margam


1st – Mark Thomas, Harvey Angling Margam

Full results aren’t available as yet, but will be uploaded when posted.


Low Water and Light Fishing Tackle


Like the weather, a river is changed by the seasons. In October the Henry’s Fork flows are at about 25% of peak summer levels and the resulting changes in the fishery are multiple. This essentially applies to the slow water sections beginning at Last Chance Run and extending through Harriman to the water below Pine Haven.

This is mostly wadeable water even when downstream agricultural demands push release of water from Island Park Reservoir to 1,000 cfs and above. Storing water for the coming year begins in early Fall when flows are reduced to around 300 cfs and often lower. Responding to a rather radical and abrupt change in their environment, trout begin to concentrate in winter habitat that features greater security in terms of water depth and structure. What this means is that even though big trout may be found feeding in surprisingly thin flows of a foot or even less, they are seldom far from the sanctuary of deeper water. Awareness of this behavior will assist a visiting angler who might deal with finding fish when previously occupied water becomes seasonably devoid of opportunity.

While low water provides advantages in access and wading comfort fall fishing produces complications that are not nearly as pronounced at other times of the year.

Aquatic vegetation, a necessity in the welfare of trout and insects, grows densely in the higher flows of summer. Losing a good fish in the weed becomes an increasingly familiar disappointment as the season progresses.


In the fall, vast expanses of exposed vegetation reduce the amount of open water in some sections and the tendrils are always close enough to the surface to disrupt the current and complicate fly presentation.

With only minor exception, fall hatches are small in physical size but their numbers can be astounding. Mahogany Duns in size 16 or 18 are a bonus through mid-October; otherwise you will be dealing with Baetis and midges if dry fly fishing is your objective. A size 18 is at the large end of the scale, and they range much smaller.

A high quality tippet of 6X or 7X is needed to accommodate imitations that probably average size 22. And while futility with regard to landing a big fish may instantly come to mind, bringing a 20 inch trout to net is not impossible even with such a delicate connection.


As a matter of practicality, tackle adjustments based on seasonal requirements will determine a particular rod, fishing reels, and fly line to accommodate the extensive variety of opportunity available during a year of fishing in Henry’s Fork country.

Fishing streamers and other large subsurface flies on still and moving water will call for a 7 weight to handle a long cast and truly big trout. I like a 6 weight for float fishing or wading during Salmon Fly time and the Golden Stone hatch. Both insects require patterns as large as size 4, and most are quite air resistant. The size 10 and 12 Green, Brown, and Gray Drakes are best handled by a 5 weight, especially when making a long cast to cruising trout on the flats of the Ranch. A 9 foot 4 weight is the rod I carry on most days when a fly larger than size 14 is not likely to be necessary and a cast beyond 50 feet is a rarity. Fishing the small dries and nymphs that typify fishing the shallow flows of October is, for me, best accomplished with a 3 weight rod.

Low, clear water, tiny flies, and easily alarmed trout combine for some of the most challenging fishing of the year, especially when weed altered currents enter the picture. In a game of enhanced precision and delicacy, the light weight and small diameter of a 3 weight line permit a more subtle and controlled presentation that will put the fly where it needs to be and with a reduced tendency to alert a wary trout.

Relying upon stealth to minimize casting distance, I rely primarily on a crisp action, 8 foot 3 weight rod for fishing the small hatches of fall. A lighter line and shorter rod can be efficiently coupled with a 12 foot leader, which is considerably shorter than what I would typically use with a heavier line and longer rod.

Keeping the distance to a target fish at 30 feet or less plays strongly into the accuracy of the cast and management of the drift. And of course, seeing a small fly is entirely dependent upon fishing at relatively close range.

An upstream cast from behind the fish is the most efficient method of approaching shy trout in thin water. Quite often, however, surface feeding trout are found tucked tightly against the bank, edge of an exposed weed bed or other locations where a different presentation angle is called for. A reach or curve cast from the side in these situations is less likely to disturb the fish than approaching from upstream where you will be far more likely to come into a trout’s window of vision before ever getting within reasonable casting range.

Controlling a big rampaging rainbow is never an easy proposition, regardless of the tackle being employed. However, lighter action fishing rods will do a better job of cushioning a fine tippet and precarious connection to a miniature hook. A smooth functioning fly reel with a reliable, adjustable drag system is also an asset when playing large trout on very light tackle. Firm, relentless pressure can quickly tire a trout but you must concentrate on its every move and be prepared to release line the instant forceful movement away from you is indicated. And while luck is likely to ultimately determine the outcome, elevated skill in the techniques of playing and landing big trout can result in a very satisfying accomplishment.

Fishing small flies on light tackle is a fitting end to the dry fly season where thin, gentle currents and big, wary trout combine to demand our best. We are carried into the long winter by those fresh memories of crisp, fall days and rising trout. And as fly fishers, we survive until spring largely on the strength of those memories.


Prehistoric Shark Captured – Reel or Fake?

Prehistoric Shark

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!

Create your own Fishing Reel!

Daiwa Custom Revolution - Fishtec 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 amazing 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.

Here’s one we’ve quickly put together…

DCR Reels

Fishing the Towy for Sea Trout

Rene Alleyne River Towy Sewin

The first of my season – 12lb Sewin

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.

Rene Alleyne River Towy Sewin

10.5lb Sewin

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.

Rene Alleyne River Towy Sewin
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.

Rene Alleyne River Towy Sewin

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.

Tightlines all

Airflo Xceed Fly Reel Review

Airflo Xceed Fly Reel

Trout and Salmon magazine have reviewed the Airflo Xceed fly reel, voting it as one of their recommended reels for 2014!

Most fishing reels that cost less than £100 are die-cast (weaker) and then machines for a better finish. The Xceed is fully machined (stronger) from bar-stock aluminium and has a price tag of only £59.99-£79.99 – Including a range of sizes from 4/5, 5/6, 7/9, 9/11, 11/12 – So you’re sure to find a fly reel to suite your needs. It certainly looks and feels like a reel worth twice the price.

The build quality of this fly reel is hard to fault. It has a rigid and very strong full-cage design. The large and wide arbor provides ample capacity. It’s sealed disc-drag ranges from stream-light to a lorry-stopping break.

It has a no-nonsense looks with plenty of porting (holes) and an attractive gloss-black and silver finish.

Not only is the Airflo Xceed Fly Reel light, it features a satin black and silver anodised coating that provides a finish that is not only aesthetically pleasing but protects the reel from corrosion to provide you with many years of smooth performance.

Airflo Switch Pro Fly Reel Review


We’re proud to announce that the Airflo Switch Pro fly reel has gained ‘Tackle Testers Choice’ by Trout Fisherman magazine! This is where the latest fishing gear is put through it’s paces by T&S’s independent tester Robbie Winram who has been fortunate enough to have tested 1000’s of items of tackle over his 30 year fly-fishing career.

This amazing new fishing reel from Airflo is the complete redesign of the ever popular Airflo Switch Superlite reel. Launched as the Switch Pro, it’s machined from barstock allow and comes in two different sizes. A 7/9 version will easily take 7wt or 8wt fly lines with over 120 yards of 20lb backing, and the 4/6 that will take a 5wt or 6 wt line with the same amount of backing.

Style  and Substance

The Switch Pro fly reel is an incredibly stylish reel. It has a ‘spoked wheel’ design reel cage featuring a black anodised finish with anodised silver alloy highlights that sets the reel off really well. The face plate has been given the same finish and has been heavily ventilated with a series of drilled holes.

There’s a good sized handle with a matching counterbalance weight on the opposite side for a lovely smooth wind. On the rear of the reel is a large scalloped drag knob that is very easy to turn in precise increments and this brings into play a very smooth disc drag.

Each reel comes with four extra spools plus one on the reel and these are made from clear impact-plastic and are a simple push-fit onto the face plate over the rubber 0-ring. There’s only one way to push them on, matching two raised lugs on the spool with the holes on the face plate. When the spool is removed the sealed drag unit is revealed.

Technical Spec

Airflo Switch Pro 7/9

Prices £129.99 | Weight 7.2oz | Spare Spool £7.99 | Width 31mm | Dia 96mm

Airflo Switch Pro 4/6

Prices £119.99 | Weight  6.6oz | Spare Spool £7.99 | Width 27mm | Dia 84mm

Airflo Swith Pro Fly Reel

Pike attack on Fishing lures!

We’ve been trawling the web looking for some exciting fishing footage for your viewing pleasure and have put together a selection of our three favourite pike attack clips!

Lure fishing can be very exciting at the best of times, but using a braided mainline whilst fishing lures can be absolutely phenomenal, but have you ever thought about what’s happening beneath the water? Make sure you have your drag knobs tightened hard on your fishing reels when one of these fearsome looking fish hits your lure!

Fishing Reels with Added Bling

Airflo V-Lite reels from £99.99

NEW for 2012 Airflo’s top of the range V-lite reels that have just landed in the TF Office. There are four models, 3-4, 5-7, 7-9 and 10-12 and i decided to concentrate on the two most popular sizes with stillwater anglers, the 5-7 and 7-9.

These fishing reels are tooled from quality aerospace alloy and have been given a black anodised finish. The back of the reel cage has added silver highlights which creates quite an individual look. Both the reel cage and spool have been heavily ventilated to make them as light as possible (the spool on the 7-9weights just 52gr) while at the same time keeping their strength and integrity intact. This ventilation, especially on the spool, allows the line and backing to dry out quickly and with V-shape in the spool the line drops neatly to the centre of the reelm so you dont have to use your fingers to level wind it on.

The reels have been machined to very high tolerance and there is no movement between spool and reel cage. Spool release is by way of captive nut although if you pull hard enough it will come off, something to be aware of. Once the spool is off it reveals a totally sealed drag unit making the reel ideal for saltwater use as well, especially in the larger sizes. The drag itself is smooth and very effective and can be set in small increments via the drag knob on the back of the reel cage. If you are looking for a reel with the power to stop hard-running fish then this drag wont let you down. It can also be loosened off completely and will not overrun due to a click mechanism on the ‘line-out’ and ‘line-in’.

The 5/7 model will match up perfectly to a small stillwater outfit or for top of the water tactics on a reservoir, while the 7/9 would be ideal for reservoirs and larger, harder-fighting fish.

The reels do represent very good value for money, and are light and powerful with good line capacity. A bit of bling is your tackle bag without being too over the top!

The 3-4 model weights 159gr and costs £99.99, while the 10-12 reel weights 240gr and retails at £139.99.

Printed in the July 25 – August 21 issue 434 of Trout Fisherman Magazine.

Click here Airflo V-lite Fly Reel to view