No compromises if you’re chasing that fish of a lifetime. You’ll want a rod that’s strong enough to take on monsters yet light enough to cast all day without feeling your arms are going to drop off. It’s got to be built tough and durable so you’ll never have to worry when you’re heading for the most remote fishing locations.
The 2018 Rapalero rod is more than just a facelift from the classic Rapala rod that was introduced way back in 2009. The 2009 Rapalero came in a wide range of line ratings in spinning and casting models. It quickly became popular thanks to the iconic red-coloured blank, which was also built durable and strong. Rod building technology has advanced over the past decade and with the adoption of new materials and more efficient rod manufacturing processes, rod blanks that are lighter, stronger and more durable are now much more affordable than before.
The new Rapalero is built with VTX45 technology, a cross between the use of a new graphite material and blank construction process that offers a kind of durability never seen before in Rapala rods. The result: a super lightweight rod that not only strong, but also extremely tough and durable. In fact, the Rapalero only weighs 114grams – very light for a heavy line rated rod. The taper is also designed in such a way to exert much pressure on the fish but yet comfortable enough for the angler to handle under load.
Nigel Hagley landed this 80kg plus Queensland Grouper on the Rapalero 15-30lb rod.
The new Rapalero is available in baitcast models of 10-25lb in 7’0″ and 15-30lb in 6’6″ and in 1 and 2-pc models. Perfect if you are looking to land huge Giant or Queensland Groupers from commercial ponds or hard-fighting Papuan Black Bass in the wild. Each rod is equipped with Fuji ECS reel seats and Alconite K-Guides.
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.
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
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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
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Can’t get the Rapala Trail Blazer at your local retailer? Get yours today from Eastackle.
You only turn 80 once. And what better way to celebrate it with a big bang! In conjunction with the worldwide Rapala80 campaign, the Rapala South East Asia team developed a lure fishing rod specially to commemorate Rapala’s 80th Anniversary.
The Rapala Vääksy rod is dedicated to the birthplace of legendary Rapala lures. As we all know, the Rapala story began in 1936 in Vääksy, Finland, when Lauri Rapala carved his first lure that perfectly mimicked the movements of a wounded minnow. Lauri’s very first lure became the forefather to many other Rapala lures that have helped more anglers experience the thrill of catching big fish over the years. Today, Rapala continues to produce legendary lures that catch more IGFA world-record fish than any other lure brand in history.
Inspired by the Lauri Rapala story, the Rapala Vääksy rod was developed with passion and dedication to bring the joy of catching fish with lures to anglers all over the world. When the development team first brainstormed the idea of an 80th anniversary commemorative rod, several key requirements were drafted. The rod had to be made from quality materials, light and comfortable to fish all day with, look good and yet affordable. That’s why the Rapala Vääksy rod features a lightweight, hi-modulus graphite blank and comes equipped with Fuji® Aluminium Oxide guides and Fuji® ECS and VSS reel seats. Eye-catching red cosmetics are bound to turn heads on the water. An all-round performer that packs some decent fish-stopping power, the Rapala Vääksy is a truly remarkable lure-casting rod that’s worthy of a commemorative rod bearing its namesake.
The Rapala Vääksy is available in 1 and 2-piece spinning and casting models in line ratings of 4-10lb, 6-12lb, 8-17lb and 10-20lb.
The new Storm Teenie is designed as a versatile ultra light game rod that’s perfectly balanced to cast light lures and yet possess the shock-absorbing action to battle strong fish on light poundage lines. Right at home whether casting ultra light lures or even micro jigging for light inshore species with micro jigs up to 30g, the Storm Teenie brings the ultra light game fun to all.
• Super lightweight, high-quality graphite blank
• Strong butt section for fish-stopping power when needed
• Genuine Fuji guides and reel seat (VSS & ECS)
• Versatile for all-round, ultra light tackle game
• Recommended for fishing with Storm Gomoku Micro Series micro lures and jigs
While the current craze for slow jigging is focused on heavier jigs in the range of 200-300g in deep waters, the Storm South East Asia team has been exploring shallower waters with lighter slow-style jigs for shallow-water species. Daniel Wan reports.
Extreme thrills with light tackle!
There’s no doubt that slow jigging fever has hit Malaysia big time. Walk into any tackle shop and you’ll find that most of the jigs on display are likely to be slow-style jigs. While the current craze for slow jigging is focused more on heavier jigs in the range of 200-300g in relatively deeper waters such as the Straits of Malacca, there’s still much to be explored around the shallower waters off the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia.
Sometimes fish are focused on only a specific bait profile and thats when matching an appropriate sized slow jig will trigger the bite
The jig profiles, sizes and and weights often used in the east coast in locations such as Paka, Pekan, Rompin and Pulau Sibu/Tinggi areas are much smaller and lighter than those used off the West Coast such as waters off Pulau Jarak. A lot of it has to do with matching the local baitfish profiles. Additionally, the water movement in the East Coast is much slower as compared to the very fast currents in the Malacca Straits, hence the use of lighter jig weights. If similar techniques and principles for deep water slow jigging could be applied to shallow water, imagine the many more types of species that can be caught!
Ebek – Another superb candidate for 20-40g light-slow jigging
Actually, many anglers in the East Coast have been ‘slow-jigging’ long before the Japanese style of slow jigging hit our shores. More often than not, these are done with light spin tackle, targeting species from Ebek to Coral Trout. The introduction of Japanese-inspired slow jigging tackle in the market has since opened up many more options and opportunities for light tackle slow-style jigging in inshore or shallow waters.
This Golden Trevally struck just as the jig touched the bottom!
The key is to downsize the tackle – from jigs, assist hooks, leaders and mainline to even the rod and reel used. It is crucial for the jig presentation to be as unhindered as possible when fluttering down the water column in shallow water. That said, a well-designed light slow-style jig should fall with a very nice action – whether sliding or fluttering, rather than an abrupt plunge. It is for this reason that we enjoy using the Storm Gomoku Koika jig, which has a very attractive falling action that many fish seem to be attracted to.
On one trip the Fingermark kept hitting the smaller 60g Koika jigs while the 80g and 100g yielded zero hits when fished side by side
Though there’s no formal ‘rating’ for what is definited as light slow-style jigs, the 20g to 80g range can be a good reference. Assist hooks ideally should have a light wire gauge for easy penetration. Fluorocarbon leader of 15 – 25lb connected to PE0.8-1.5 braided mainline should suffice. Smaller diameter lines have less resistance in water and therefore enable the jig to fall with less resistance. In order to work these relatively light jigs, a PE1 or less slow jigging rod will bring much enjoyment, especially when you don’t have to lift heavy jigs all day.
Teasing shallow-water Grouper with light slow-jigging is fun and exciting
As with deep water slow-style jigging, light tackle slow-style jigging reels should ideally be baitcast or overhead reels. Personally I prefer a reel with a thumb bar for quick release of the clutch and re-engagement of the gears with a turn of the handle. There’s less fumbling for me (and it happens quite often!) should a fish take the jig mid-water or just when it touches the bottom. The best part about light-tackle slow-style jigging is that since everything is downsized, the tackle used is lighter and therefore makes it very easy and relaxing to jig all day.
Samuel jigged up this hefty Grouper with a 60g Storm Koika jig and a PE0.8-1.5 light-tackle rod from 28m of water
One may ask if its possible to handle big fish on light slow jigging tackle. The answer is, it depends. Structure and rough terrain are perhaps the biggest challenges an angler has to confront when a fish is hooked up. The reality is that if a big fish is hooked near structure, even heavier jigging tackle will be unable to stop it if it’s dashing head-on for cover. Unless of course if you manage to turn the fish’s head and winch it up some distance from the bottom within the first few seconds from strike. However, if the underwater terrain is rather void of obstacles, sharp rocks or structure, the chances of landing big fish will be higher.
A hefty cobia from 15m of water
Mid-water species from the trevally family to Cobia can be handled with light tackle, though for Cobia you’d probably need lots of patience (and very patient fishing kakis, who’d probably have to stop fishing and watch you fight the fish!). They do take small-sized jigs, by the way. That said, the drags on the reels used should be very smooth and in optimal condition. Any sudden inconsistencies in drag pressure can result in heartache, since we’re fishing with such thin diameter line.
Coral Trout are great candidates for light slow jigging as they are usually found in shallow waters
We have had good success with light slow-style jigging – from trevally species such Ebek, Sagai, Jemuduk to reef species such as Long-nosed Emperors, Snappers and Tuskfish in Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore waters around 12 – 30m depths. In fact, the very latest species to add to our list caught by light slow-style jigging is the mighty Four-finger Threadfin (Senangin).
Even inshore species like this Threadfin (Senangin) can be caught on 40g Storm Koika
Senangin is a species that is very dear to my heart. These fish fight really hard; with short, sudden bursts of speed when you least expect it. A perfect inshore gamefish on light tackle! In fact, it is this very species that got me first hooked onto light jigging in the first place close to 10 years ago. Back then, speed jigging was the way to go if we wanted to catch these strong speedsters dwelling in shallow water. We have since discovered that they are also very responsive to slow-style jigs too, when they aren’t actively chasing down the speed jigs.
My favourite fish – the mighty Senangin jigged up with Storm Koika 60g
So the next time you’re out fishing out in shallow waters or in areas where the current is relatively slow, do not dismiss the opportunity of slow jigging with light slow jigging tackle and light slow-style jigs. You’ll be surprised at what you might encounter!
Pre-tied VMC AH7117 slow jigging hooks now come in as light as 2/0 for smaller jigs
NEW PRODUCT INFO: STORM GOMOKU ADAJO PE1
Many Japanese-inspired, slow jigging rods that are currently in the market are mostly designed for deep water slow jigging around the range of PE2 to PE3 and rated for heavier slow jigs of about 100-300g. Storm South East Asia saw the need for similar-styled, slow jigging rods for lighter jigs around 20-80g and has since introduced the new Storm Adajo PE1. Rated to work up to 100g jigs, this downsized version of the Storm Adajo PE2 is extremely fun to use, especially for working Storm Koika jigs of 40-60g with a small baitcast reel.
PE Rating: PE1
Max Jig Weight: 100g
The Storm Gomoku Kaiten PE1-3 quickly became a big hit when it was first introduced back in 2014. It was slim, extremely light and had plenty of serious fish-stopping power. Pictures of happy anglers posing with their trophies landed with the distinctive white blank-blue EVA jigging rod soon circulated around social media circles. Quite naturally, there were folks who preferred something similar that’s a bit more conservative-looking.
“If only there was a black-coloured Kaiten!” was a feedback commonly heard.
Rapala Australia subsequently introduced the Storm Gomoku Nero series to meet this demand. The black-coloured Storm Gomoku jigging rods were largely distributed only within Australia.
Fast forward to 2016 and South East Asian jigging enthusiasts seeking a ‘black Gomoku’ now have good reason to cheer. The new Storm Gomoku Black Kaiten PE#2.5 has arrived. Apart from a black-themed facelift, the new Black Kaiten has its guide placement reconfigured to further maximize the blank’s potential. Like its funky predecessor, the Black Kaiten features Fuji Alconite guides and is available in spinning and baitcast models. The baitcast model now also features Fuji’s TCS reel seat for improved palming.
Some may ask what’s the difference between the Black Kaiten with the Storm Gomoku Adajo. While the Adajo is a dedicated slow-jigging rod with a specially designed taper to work slow-style jigs, the Black Kaiten is more of a versatile jigging workhorse with a taper that’s suited for a compromise between speed jigging and slow-style jigging applications.
If you are looking for a versatile light jigging rod that will be able to handle speed jigging, slow-style jigging and yet able to pump big fish out from the depths, the Storm Black Kaiten will be the rod of choice for you.
The Storm Gomoku Adajo slow jigging rod gets a range extension of PE1 and PE3 for 2016. The two new rods feature the same 30 & 40 ton blend graphite blank, Fuji T-DPS reel seats and genuine Fuji Alconite Guides. The PE1 Storm Adajo is rated to work up to 100g slow jigs while the PE3 model is rated to work up to 300g slow jigs.
The new 2016 Rapala Snow is more than a facelift from its predecessor. An all-new, lightweight 40-ton graphite blank with a regular-fast taper offers the angler absolute control, whether casting or fighting fish. Fuji KR Concept Alconite guides maximize the rod blank’s performance and reduce twisting torque. A truly elegant baitcasting rod for light tackle applications.