Sleek, lightweight, minimalist and strong. These words best describe the two new ultra-light rods from Rapala Southeast Asia. While designed for fishing with light lines and little reels, these rods are by no means pushovers and are capable of taming some decent fish.
The Rapala Vespida (VPS662) is a 2-piece, 6’6″ spinning rod rated at 2-4lb with a recommended lure weight range of 1-6 grams. Much effort and testing has been put into this rod’s development to create a strong, yet well-balanced UL rod. Finesse fishing often involves fishing with very light poundage line and many UL rods feature a parabolic action to reduce the chances of breaking the light line, straightening out the hooks or tearing the hooks off the fish’s lips.
However, having a rod that is too whippy also means sacrificing casting performance and sensitivity. The Vespida maintains a good balance, allowing superb castability and cushioning yet possessing sensitivity to detect the slightest bites and the grunt to stop streaking runs from the most stubborn Longfin Trevally (Sagai). Although the Vespida’s blank action design was developed around Sagai Aji’ing, it’s also well-suited for on-shore and freshwater finesse applications.
The 2-piece spinning Rapala Keranga (KRS662) also has a length of 6’6″ and rated at 1-3lb with a recommended lure weight range of 0.8-4.5 grams. The lighter of the two UL rods in the Super Light Dreamer series, the Keranga’s Japanese-style trout rod taper is well suited for working micro lures and Gomoku Soft micro soft plastics. The 1-3lb line rating may cause some to cringe at the thought of handling a rampaging Peacock Bass or hard-hitting Sagai but rest assured, this rod can take them on and offer plenty of fun!
Can’t get hold of the Rapala Vespida and Keranga at your local retailer? Get yours today from E-Waves Fishbyte and Eastackle.
For folks who have been waiting for a jighead that’s strong, extremely sharp and has a high corrosion resistance in saltwater, wait no more! VMC introduces 2 new jigheads specially developed for the South East Asia market to tackle our hard-fighting fish and to suit a wide variety of soft plastics.
VMC 7150XJ Barbarian® X Jighead
The 7150XJ Barbarian® X Jighead features VMC®’s Technical Locking Curve, a unique “V” like bend that allows for fast and effortless hook penetration while locking the fish securely upon hookup. The hook’s Technical Locking Curve also offers greater resistance to opening up. The 7150XJ comes in two hook sizes – Size 2 with jighead weights of 2.5 grams and 3.5 grams for finesse fishing and Size 3/0 with jighead weights of 7 grams and 10 grams. Size 2 jighead is an excellent choice for finesse Peacock Bass fishing or Sagai ‘Aji’ing with Storm Gomoku Soft micro soft plastics.
VMC 7312WJ Mystic Predator Weedless Jighead
The 7312WJ Mystic Predator weedless jighead is perfect for fishing soft plastics such as the 3.5″ and 4.5″ Trigger X Slop Hopper or Storm’s 4″ So-Run Hypno Grub and Makan Minnow over weedy areas or heavy cover. The worm hook features an extra wide gap for better hookups and slightly elongated point to prevent fish from throwing the hook. The hi-carbon steel wire is also forged for extra strength to handle big fish. The 7312WJ comes in hook size 3/0 and available in jighead weights of 7 grams, 10 grams and 15 grams.
Both jighead models feature VMC’s premium Needle Sharp point, a super sharp point that’s the result of a unique point-grinding process and then further chemically sharpened for superb needle-sharp penetration. They are also coated with Tin finishing for greater saltwater corrosion resistance.
For 2017 Rapala introduces a completely new range of tools for anglers. The Rapala Custom Design Series tools and accessories feature modern innovations and contemporary designs that lift angler’s tools to a totally new level. Features like the patent pending, Rapala Mag Spring have not been seen on any tool before. Clean looks and well thought-out functionality raise the bar on how angler’s tools are made.
The flagship of the new Rapala Custom Design Series is the RCD Mag Spring Pliers (RCDMP6).
The pliers are built with two internal opposing magnets to hold the pliers open, and there are no springs that could rust, break or lose their elasticity over time. The patent pending Mag Spring offers smooth, one hand operation and will not fail even in the harshest of conditions and extended use.
The durable steel jaws with gun metal finish have serrated tips for secure grip. The pliers have custom-designed, ergonomic, co-moulded Soft Grip handles for comfortable hold.
The RCD Mini Clipper (RCDMC) features sharp, ground jaws that cut monofilament and most braided lines with ease. Built from durable stainless steel, the RCD Mini Clipper features an ergonomic, curved design for easy use. Built-in bottle opener at the tail end of the tool adds a recreational function.
The RCD Magnetic Release (RDCDMR) is a powerful magnetic release tool with a carabiner clip. Ideal for hanging nets and other tools and accessories to fishing jackets, bags or vests. Break-away magnets allow easy one-hand operation, releasing the hung tool with one pull. The magnets also make the re-attaching quick and easy.
The Rapala Fisherman’s Ruler (RFR120) stretches 120cm long and is the perfect tool to measure your catch on the go. Folds neatly and weighted at both ends to keep the ruler straight. Easy to clean and store when not in use.
The whole Rapala Custom Design Series follows suit with comfortable, user-friendly yet edgy design and well thought-out functionality.
The Storm SX-Soft VIB is now available in a smaller 58mm (14g) size! It still retains all the great features of the 70mm and 90mm versions – long casting, low-memory internal wire and the unbelievable fish-catching action that fish just love. Storm Southeast Asia Pro Staff Nigel Hagley explains some tips on how to use the new 58mm SX-Soft VIB at D’Best Pasir Ris Pond.
In keeping with the evolution of slow-style jigging in South East Asia, Storm has launched the new Gomoku Slo4 Evolution slow jigging rods that are built especially for South East Asian slow jigging styles.
The new Storm Gomoku Slo4 Evolution slow jigging rods are made with Mitsubishi Rayon prepreg, the Slo4 Evolution’s graphite blank features a super responsive tip that is very sensitive yet providing optimal recoil when working slow-style jigs and yet offering a very strong butt section for serious fish lifting power when needed.
The Slo4 Evolution has a standard length of 6’3” and is available in 3 PE ratings for different purposes:
Slo4 Evolution PE 1 – Model SFV631-1
This rod is designed for light slow jigging game with jigs from 40 to 100 grams in depths of 20 to 60m. Ideal for Ebek, Jemuduk, Golden Trevally, Small Grouper and Snappers. Comes equipped with Fuji SiC K-guides and Fuji TCS reel seat that is suitable for smaller baitcast reels.
Slo4 Evolution PE 2 – Model SFV631-2
This rod is an all-round, slow jigging game spec rod that is ideal for working jigs from 80 to 200 grams in depths of up to approximately 80m of water. Ideal for Groupers, Snappers and other demersal and pelagic species. Comes equipped with Fuji SiC K-guides and Fuji T-DPS reel seat that is suitable for larger baitcast reels.
Slo4 Evolution PE 3 – Model SFV631-3
This rod is designed for working jigs up to 300 grams and yet has the ability to handle large fish from deep water. Ideal for big Groupers, Snappers, GT, Amberjack and other large demersal and pelagic species. Comes equipped with Fuji SiC K-guides and Fuji T-DPS reel seat that is suitable for larger baitcast reels.
STORM GOMOKU SLO4 EVOLUTION SPECIFICATIONS
Fred Goh putting the Slo4 Evolution PE3 to work.
10kg Grouper landed with ease on the Slo4 Evolution PE3
WATCH THE PREVIEW
Can’t get the Rapala Trail Blazer at your local retailer? Get yours today from Eastackle.
No compromises when you’re the angler on the go. Mobility is key, but so is casting and fish-fighting performance. The Trail Blazer 4-piece travel rod is built on a high-modulus, Japan-made prepreg graphite blank. Precision manufacturing with quality materials minimizes flat spots commonly found in multi-piece travel rod joints, resulting in a smooth rod curvature when loaded. The Trail Blazer features Fuji VSS / ECS reel seats and Fuji Alconite K-guides with a travel rod case as standard issue.
RAPALA TRAIL BLAZER SPECIFICATIONS
1/16 – 1/4oz
1/16 – 1/4oz
1/4 – 3/4oz
1/4 – 3/4oz
WATCH THE VIDEO:
Can’t get the Rapala Trail Blazer at your local retailer? Get yours today from Eastackle.
Fred Goh chases down some snag-dwelling Sebarau (Jungle Perch) with the new 6cm Storm Gomoku Popper and Rapala Skitter Pop 9cm. It’s a game of locked drags and fish-wrestling in snaggy terrain! Hold on tight!
There are times when fish are so fixed on a specific baitfish profile or shape that they simply won’t take anything else thrown at them. That’s why it’s important to have an assortment of lure types on any fishing trip in addition to traditionally ‘proven’ lures. On a recent trip to Cheow Lan Lake (Thailand), Daniel Wan and friends were fortunate enough to have brought some small, compact, sinking lures such as the 5cm Rapala CountDown Abachi as probably 70% of the fish on this trip were caught on this lure alone!
Photos by Fred Goh, KD and Daniel Wan.
It’s been 5 years since our last visit to Cheow Lan Lake. Back then in 2011, we experienced one of our best fishing trips for Jungle Perch (Sebarau / Hampala / also known to the Thai people as “Pla Krasoob”). Thinking that the fishing style would be more or less the same this time, we packed along our proven Sebarau lures of Rapala Risto Raps (RR08), Deep Tail Dancers (TDD07), Skitter Pops (SP09), Flat Raps (FLR08) and an assortment of other freshwater lures. We were to find out later during our trip that these ‘staples’ were not the top producers for the Krasoob as we expected. It turned out that the humble, little 5cm Rapala CountDown Abachi, the more dense and faster-sinking version of the traditional Rapala Countdown, was the top scorer!
Here’s a photo catch report of the trip…
The raggedy bunch from Rapala on this trip.
The view from Ratchaprapha Dam jetty
The beautiful views that met the eye en route to the upper reaches of Cheow Lan Lake.
KD’s super excited! Who wouldn’t be on their maiden trip to Cheow Lan?
Marco and Fred are all fired up too!
We had the opportunity to visit a small litle cove to admire ‘Little Guilin’
Magnificent limestone formations at Cheow Lan.
You don’t have to be in China to see the ‘Guilin’ limestone mountains.
We finally arrive after a wet and uneventful 2 hour boat journey!
A familiar sight on this return trip to Cheow Lan.
The comfortable dining area
We love Thailand!
There were hundreds of big, hungry Lampam milling around the dining area.
Breakfast before hitting the water.
Thai porridge: The best breakfast ever (for me)!
Here’s a happy snap before we dig in!
KD doing the honours of the first few casts. Check out the colour of the water after the rain!
KD lands his first Thai Mahseer, on a spinnerbait!
A closer look at the Thai Mahseer before release.
Not too long after, the lucky KD lands another rare species… an Emperor Snakehead! (Pla Chon Ka Luang)
A sinking Rapala X-Rap CountDown in ALB colour fooled another Thai Mahseer from a deep pool.
Later that morning KD and I checked out a tributary that held heaps of small Jungle Perch (Krasoob). KD got this one on a Storm Gomoku Bottom on a slow, straight retrieve.
The Rapala Flat Rap in the South East Asia special Seluang/Pla Sew pattern resembling the local baitfish was deadly!
The Krasoob loved the natural-looking pattern of this Flat Rap!
Another Krasoob on the Gomoku Bottom. Notice the translucent pattern?
KD and I went further upstream. Among some submerged weed, KD pulls up another surprise…
… a very nice sized Bujuk!
The Rapala Flat Rap 08 worked its charm in skinny water.
Check out the beautiful patterns on this Snakehead!
Over at the other boat, Fred was fishing the Rapala RFS Micrology, a 2-5lb ultralight baitcast rod with 6lb Sufix Super 21 FC castable fluorocarbon, which gave him plenty of fun.
Meanwhile, Huat was happily pulling in Krasoob after Krasoob on the CountDown Abachi.
After catching Krasoob became too easy with the CountDown Abachi, Huat swapped to the Storm Gomoku Dense and got rewarded with a Catfish.
Like the CDA05, the Storm Gomoku Dense 48mm could also sink very quickly to variable depths.
The Flat Rap showed its proficiency in searching out Krasoob hunting the edges of submerged weeds.
Huat adds a big one to the Krasoob count with the CountDown Abachi CDA05.
This one shot out from a piece of submerged timber in deep water.
Fred’s favourite colour for the CDA05 was the HWSRD (Hologram White Sardine).
The persistent rain clouds often cleared by dusk.
Marco didn’t put any fancy twitching to the Flat Rap. Just a straight retrieve was all that’s needed to fool the fish!
Marco also caught his first Toman on this trip.
Rain, rain go away!!
The rain’s finally stopped! It’s time to go fishing!
We were very fortunate to see wild buffalo (Seladang) on several occasions on this trip.
Shallow streams – time for a little wading!
When most bibbed lures struggled in running-water, the dense CountDown Abachi CDA05 did the job and more.
Some Thai Mahseer were landed in between the plentiful Krasoob from the streams.
The rain was relentless, but that didn’t stop us from having a good time casting for Krasoob!
It was challenging to find the Krasoob but once we found them, it was happy days!
The CountDown Abachi scores again!
Most of our catches on this trip we caught on the Rapala CountDown Abachi 5cm (CDA05). We believe the fish were feeding on very small baitfish in various depths, and the long-casting, fast sinking, little CDA05 could seek them out at those depths.
The rain washed out many insects into rivers, triggering a massive food chain where small fish gulped down the bugs, and in turn, got eaten by the Krasoob.
KD and Fred then found this little running stream which held many good sized Krasoob.
Most of them were good-sized too!
The Krasoob in the rivers were mostly spawning specimens.
Amidst the spawning frenzy, some took the opportunity to feed on the little fish which the CDA05 resembled.
Another good fish by KD on the CountDown Abachi.
The Krasoob were healthy and in tip top condition.
There’s no doubt Fred and KD were having a blast!
Easy does it!
Just when Fred was retrieving the X-Rap CountDown after letting it sink deep into some timber, this Krasoob came out of nowhere and slammed the lure!
Fred’s smile tells it all…
KD never stopped smiling throughout the trip. It wasn’t hard to see why!
Taking a break from catching all the fish with CDA05, KD pulled out an old North Craft Caddis lure to catch some Krasoob. Easy peasy!
Evenings were lovely when the rain stopped and clouds cleared.
Early to bed, early to rise! Because the early bird gets the worm, or so they say…
This kind of morning view revives the spirit. The body is immediately invigorated!
Bee managed to tempt a Toman up for some happy snaps.
We seeked out for bigger sized Thai Mahseer in the running rivers.
But we could only find the small ones.
X-Rap CountDown was the candidate for the job.
“Where’s your Daddy?”
Certain parts of the rivers were known to hold Catfish in the deep. Allowing the CDA05 to sink to the bottom before retrieving steadily produced some pleasant surprises.
This fellow came out of nowhere and ambushed the little pink-headed CountDown Abachi as it throbbed its way right up boatside.
Huat was extremely happy to catch this Emperor Snakehead (Toman Bunga) hiding in the shallows under a overhanging bamboo tree.
The 5cm Rapala CountDown Abachi did it again!
We encountered some wild deer while travelling between spots.
But they were shy and quickly moved away when we came close.
The CountDown Abachi comes standard fitted with VMC 7554 trebles. This Pinky one here survived some brutal fish with only some slight scratches. Others were not so lucky.
KD mighty pleased with another catch on spinnerbait.
If you love the ultra-light game and don’t mind getting bullied every now and then, it’s worth trying out fishing with straight fluorocarbon line. Fred probably had the most fish among all of us on this trip and he attributed it to the use of FC mainline which is less visible in water.
The 5cm Rapala CountDown Abachi caused the downfall of many Krasoob for Fred.
Bee says its because of his ‘lucky’ VMC jersey. We think its the CDA05 lure. ;)
She’s coming in…
A smaller specimen by Bee.
Check out the vibrant colour on the cheek and fins!
Plenty of fun especially on light 4-10lb tackle!
Black/gold was a deadly colour too…
Bee putting the new Rapala Vaaksy rod into action.
… and taming fish one after another in quick succession.
Fish of this size are super fun on 4lb tackle. I had a blast on this trip with the Rapala 80th Anniversary Vaaksy 4-10lb rod so much so it became my ‘primary’ outfit with the CDA05 towards the end of the trip.
I was hoping for a Mahseer to pounce on the Risto Rap, but I guess a Sebarau will have to make do.
Papparazzi shot from our boat.
KD was casting into a bunch of floatsam when this Toman whacked the topwater lure right before our eyes.
MYSTERY SOLVED: A feisty Krasoob regurgitated this little bait as it thrashed about in our boat. We figured the 5cm Rapala CountDown Abachi (bottom two) was so effective because it probably matched the size and profile of the baitfish the Krasoob were feeding on during the time of our trip.
Interested to catch some of the Krasoob action at Cheow Lan Lake? Contact guide Darren Shan via his Facebook page.
The new Sufix Super 21® FC castable fluorocarbon line is nearly invisible in the water, making it ideal for stealthy presentations. The fluorocarbon line is extremely abrasion resistant and durable for fishing rough structure and tough-mouthed fish and still supple enough for excellent casting performance. Fluorocarbon sinks four times faster than nylon monofilament line, allowing the presentation to sink quickly into the strike zone. This fluorocarbon handles exceptionally well for spinning and casting reels. Spooled with Sufix’s exclusive G2 Precision Winding, there’s virtually no line memory out from the spool. Available in 150m spools of 6lb, 8lb and 10lb.