It casts further. Sinks quicker. Built Tougher. Made of super tough Abachi wood that is stronger and more dense than Balsa wood, the all-new Rapala CountDown Abachi offers the similar life-like, natural swimming action of the original CountDown in a stronger and faster-sinking body.
Originally made for the Japan market, it has its applications for South East Asian species too, particularly fish that inhabit fast flowing rivers. Usually these fish lurk in deep pools and having a lure that sinks quickly and tracks true in fast currents has its advantages. Not to mention too, that South East Asian species are rather notorious for ripping apart lures.
Abachi wood is the perfect choice for Rapala when a tougher wooden lure is required. Abachi is used in the manufacture of the CountDown Magnum – lures that are designed to target big fish. The major difference between Abachi and Balsa wood is the strength and buoyancy. Balsa has a higher buoyancy and will rise faster in the water than Abachi. Therefore it was only natural that Abachi wood was selected when a small, compact lure that’s tough, long-casting and sinks very quickly was needed.
The Rapala CountDown Abachi comes in holographic finish and is armed with VMC 7554 inline treble hooks. It will make its debut in South East Asia in May 2016.
Fuji further extends the adoption of TORZITE-F rings to Arowana Top T-KG, T-KW and T-RV guides for 2016 in its quest for the ultimate lightweight, tangle-free guide.
Arowana Top T-KG Extension
Last year we saw the introduction of Fuji’s ‘Arowana Top’ T-KG guides, which Fuji touts as its lightest guide ever built thanks to a newly designed compact frame, short pipe and the use of TORZITE ring. Designed without any uneven ridges or frame joints, the Arowana Top’s high-profile, yet compact frame structure allows line to slide through smoothly and prevents line tangles around the tip.
Line funneling through the choke guide or exiting the top guide can occasionally come into contact with the guide frame at certain angles. Fuji subsequently introduced the TORZITE-F ring in 2015, which overcomes this issue by having a flanged rim covering the area where the line is most likely to come into contact with the guide frame. Despite the TORZITE-F’s relatively larger surface contact area, it is still lighter than a SiC ring of the same size and possesses the same inner diameter and properties of a regular TORZITE ring. At the time of introduction, only sizes 6, 7 and 8 of the T-KG top featured the new TORZITE-F flanged-rim ring. This year, Fuji further expands the TORZITE-F range of T-KG tip tops, making its flagship top guide now available in sizes from 4 up to 12.
T-KW Guides Get Flanged
There’s good reason to cheer for offshore, big-game casting/popping and tournament casting enthusiasts. TORZITE-F ring options are now available for Fuji KW guides from sizes 8 to 25. By featuring the flanged-rim TORZITE-F rings, the friction from thick leader knots is reduced, allowing for smoother line passage through the guides.
T-RV Reverse Guide Size Extension
Fuji’s TORZITE-F Reverse Guides also get a size extension with the introduction of sizes 30F and 40F, which will be ideal for heavy-duty spinning rods. The RV’s unique “3D Structure” frame design features a narrow slope gradually widening around the ring which prevents line from getting caught between the guide foot and blank while the tilted TORZITE-F ring position effectively unravels spiraling line from the spool and funnels it through the other guides smoothly when casting. According to Fuji, the RV frame design is stronger in tensile strength and stiffness compared to MNSG guides of the same size.
It all started on one of my regular micro-jigging trips off Singapore’s Southern Islands late 2015. The current was still fairly slow but a quick sweep of the grounds showed plenty of fish on the fish finder. Aha! 12 gram micro jigs were quickly dropped into the water and whipped up the column. No takers. 15 minutes of hard jigging labour later, there were still no hits despite the fish still showing on the screen. One of the guys on board decided to put out a Sabiki rig and very soon was pulling in Sagai (Longfin Trevally) after Sagai! I downsized my jig to 8 grams and worked it in all the ways I could think of – fast retrieve, slow jerk, machine-gun style jerk, whip, high-pitch. You name it, I did it. But the jigs simply didn’t produce. The Sabiki continued to pull them in, one-by-one. I persisted with micro-jigging, and by the end of the trip, I had caught zero, while the rest had landed easily 80 fish on Sabiki.
Breaking the code to catch finicky fish – PRICELESS!
Why did the fish choose the Sabiki over a similar-sized metal jig? That question kept bugging me for several days. I shared the experience with my buddies Fred Goh and Nigel Hagley. Coincidentally, Nigel had just caught the Ajing fever and almost everything in his mind then was about super light tackle, micro jigheads and micro soft plastics! He was very certain that in such challenging situations and conditions, the Sagai will take micro soft plastics. His theory is that the Sagai are likely zoomed in on a certain small bait profile and therefore anything else will be ignored. Micro jigs, though having the same size and profile, moved about and sank too quickly and therefore appeared unnatural to the finicky fish. To test out his theory, Nigel used his Ajing tackle on his subsequent trip. Using the new Storm Gomoku Soft Bulky Ring and Gomoku Soft Straight micro soft plastics rigged on super light jigheads, Nigel was able to produce the Sagai when the jigs were not working, thus confirming his theory. That was a start of a new craze to come for our Sagai fishing…
A new and deadly way of catching Sagai – with micro soft plastics
We left our jigging tackle at home in our subsequent trips out to the Southern Islands. Armed with only 2-6lb rods such as the Rapala RFS Finesse Series, 1000 & 2000-sized Daiwa Luvias spinning reels with Rapala Rapinova PE#0.4 and 8lb Sufix Invisiline fluorocarbon leaders and a range of 1.8g, 2.5g and 3.5g jigheads to suit different currents and drifts, we tried to figure out if this ‘modified’ method of Ajing will work consistently in our local waters. After a string of extremely successful outings, we are very certain this method of fishing is extremely deadly for a wide-range of local species, particularly the Sagai!
The Rapala Rapinova-X ultra light PE#0.4 braid we used for this kind of fishing.
Having a box for all the soft plastics is a great idea for easy storage
From our Sagai’ing trips around the Southern Islands, we’ve since discovered some interesting ways of getting the Sagai to bite and here we’d like to share some of these tips with you:
When there is little or no current, a light jighead of about 1.8g is just nice to get the Gomoku Soft Bulky Ring or Soft Straight right down to the bottom. Once the jighead has reached the bottom, lift the jig up just off the bottom gently and hold it there. Drop it back down again and repeat. You may wish to add your own variation to the technique by gently shaking the rod to give some very minute movements to the lure. It’s also worth trying out different depths. The key thing is to ensure you’re presenting the soft plastic right in front of the fish so a fish finder will be a very useful tool to have.
When the current is fast, it’s best to fish from an anchored boat that’s positioned upcurrent of a structure where fish are likely to congregate. A heavier jighead of around 2.5g or 3.5g (or heavier, depending on current speed) will be a good choice to drift the micro soft plastic out to the ‘strike zone’. Once the lure enters the strike zone, close the bail arm or engage the reel and hang on. You can choose to just hold on to the rod and do nothing (yes, absolutely nothing!) or if you’re the type that needs to be constantly working the lure, you can gently shake the rod to give the lure some very subtle movements. What this does is to present the lure as a small baitfish holding its position upcurrent of the structure and only moving very slightly every now and then from its position. A very tempting morsel for a nearby predator! Resist the urge to make big movements, as that will make the presentation unnatural. In fact, the best thing to do is to let the lure just ‘drift’ in current. There have been many occasions when the fish have taken off with the rod stationary in the rod holder!
Bites often come as little nibbles so you’ve got to be very attentive. This is when a very sensitive, ultra light rod will have an advantage to detect the slightest bites.
Use a very fine diameter line to get the jighead down in the current. We personally use Rapala Rapinova PE#0.4 (8.8lb), which is a good balance between strength and diameter. Additionally, 150m of line is plenty, should a speedster come along.
As you’d be fishing with such light line, a reel with a very smooth start up drag is important. Don’t set the drag too tight as the sudden burst of speed can easily break fine diameter lines.
If you’ve never tried Sagai’ing with ultra-light tackle, do give it a try. It’s another technique that’s proven to be extremely effective to complement micro-jigging for Sagai, especially when they are off the bite or hunting down very specific little baitfish. Happy Sagai’ing!
And there she goes…. the sizzling initial run!
The smile says it all…
UV Pink works really well in the Southern Islands
Small profile of the Gomoku Soft Bulky Ring matches the baitfish
Double take on the Storm Gomoku Bulky Ring!
Translucent colours like the UV Chartreuse work well in clear water
While the solid colours like the Orange Glow were very effective when water visibility was lower
Storm Gomoku Soft Straight works very well in slow current
We caught them in all currents – slow, moderate and fast
Of course, faster currents meant more aggressive fish and feeding frenzies!
Sometimes they were so enthusiastic that they swallowed the Gomoku Soft whole!
But most of the time they were nicely hooked on the lip
Versatile rods like the new Storm Teenie are a good compromise if you’re doing micro jigging and then want to switch to some casting or drifting
Though high-tonnage rods like the Rapala RFS Elegance have better sensitivity for micro soft plastics fishing
Those that come up to bust on the surface are often good-sized fish!
Super fun ultralight tackle fishing!
Gabriel’s first hand experience of the Sagai’ing game
Sit back, relax and enjoy the runs!
Tada!!! Another Longfin Trevally!
Siang also getting the hang of ‘drifting’
Solid white (Glow) worked great with the setting sun
CY thoroughly enjoying himself
And for good reason too!
The last two for the day before the sun set!
HOW TO CATCH SAGAI WITH GOMOKU SOFT MICRO SOFT PLASTICS
Rapala Japan recently introduced a range of new micro soft plastics called the Storm Gomoku Soft series for their light salt game market. Designed to target species such as Chinu (Black Bream), Aji (Japanese Horse Mackerel) and Mebaru (Japanese Rock Fish), the Gomoku Soft Series come in two models, namely the 2-inch Gomoku Soft Straight (GSST20) and the 1.5-inch Gomoku Bulky Ring (GSBR15).
These micro soft plastics have since found their way to our local tackle shops here in South East Asia and their introduction to our local fishing scene has since opened up tremendous opportunities with exciting new methods and techniques to catch fish. From freshwater to saltwater, the Storm Gomoku Soft series have been catching plenty of fish for folks who have taken the step of faith to down-size their tackle to as light as 4lb! That figure may sound ‘normal’ for finesse applications on small fish, but when you’re talking about tackling big, bad Peacock Bass of 10lbs or more, 4lb tackle can be rather hairy!
Big Peacock Bass caught on the 1.5-inch Storm Gomoku Soft Bulky Ring micro soft plastic.
THE MICRO SOFT PLASTIC ADVANTAGE
Have you ever popped a small, bite-sized snack into your mouth just to know how it tastes even though you’re not hungry? It probably looked delicious. Maybe even smelt really good. But chances are, you’ll never know whether its really tasty until you taste it for yourself. On the other hand, you’d probably be less likely to ‘try out’ something that’s of substantial portion. Theoretically, fishes behave the same way especially when they’re not in a feeding mood. Wary fish are likely to check out a small foreign object or food with their mouths rather than something larger. This is more so in places with high fishing pressure, where fish are often caught and released.
Wary fish like this Red-tailed catfish from a catch and release pond can be coaxed into taking a small offering like the Gomoku Soft Bulky Ring.
There are also times when fish are zeroed in on a specific baitfish profile and size and simply won’t take anything else. When they’re hunting really small stuff, that’s when the micro soft plastics really shine. The vibrations given off from these small soft plastics are more minute and subtle than their hardbait counterparts, therefore appearing more ‘natural’. That said, these micro soft plastics need to be used with appropriately weighted jigheads. A jighead that’s too heavy will sink abruptly, making the presentation unnatural. That’s why most of these micro soft plastics are matched to jigheads around 1 to 5grams. How heavy a jighead to use depends on the technique you’ll be using. Do you intend to hop the soft plastic off the bottom? Then a relatively heavier jighead will be ideal. Or will you be leaving the soft plastic to drift with the current? Depending on the current speed, you’d then select a jighead accordingly to position your soft plastic in the water column.
Drifting Gomoku Soft micro plastics in fast currents is a deadly technique for Trevally.
ULTRA LIGHT SETUP
To fish the Gomoku Soft micro soft plastics effectively, ultra light or finesse tackle is highly recommended. Unlike larger hardbaits or soft plastics, you’ll hardly feel any resistance or vibrations from these micro soft plastics on the retrieve. It’s almost as if you’re retrieving a bare hook on the other end of the line! Be assured though, that predators can hone in on them, whether by sight or from the very minute vibrations created as the lure travels in the water. 1-4lb or 2-6lb rated rods are fine for most situations. A good quality graphite rod with a sensitive tip is advantageous as it can easily pick up the slightest taps or bites. I personally enjoy using the Rapala RFS Finesse Series Elegance 2-6lb spinning rod. It’s extremely sensitive and does the job well of handling medium-sized Peacock Bass or big Sagai (Longfin Trevally). Paired with a Daiwa Luvias 1003 loaded with 150m of Rapala Rapinova PE#0.4 braid and a short length of Rapinova 8lb FC leader, this setup covers most of my outings with the Gomoku Soft micro soft plastics. As for jigheads, a good range that will cover most freshwater and saltwater applications would be 1.8g, 2.5g and 3.5g weights.
Even aggresive predators like this Chao Phraya Catfish occasionally take small stuff, in this case, the Gomoku Soft Straight.
Here’s a closer look at the bite-sized snack
HOW TO WORK THE GOMOKU SOFT SERIES
Catching different species in saltwater and freshwater requires different techniques, rigging methods and strategies. Below are just some suggestions you may wish to try with the Gomoku Soft Bulky Ring and Gomoku Soft Straight. Do bear in mind though that these are not the ONLY ways to work these soft plastics. You may want to experiment a bit to see what works for your local species and fishing conditions. For the suggestions below, we rig them with a standard jighead between 1.8 to 3.5 grams.
The Gomoku Bulky Ring rigged on a 3.5g jighead with a straight retrieve just off the bottom has been fooling plenty of Barra from D’Best Fishing Pond at Pasir Ris.
1. STRAIGHT RETRIEVE
This method works great for the Bulky Ring. Cast it out, let it sink a bit and retrieve slowly and steadily whether mid-water of just off the bottom. You can add a bit of variation to the retrieve too, for example, pausing every once in a while before resuming your retrieve. The pause actually causes the lure to suddenly stop swimming and sink. This sudden abrupt action often triggers reaction bites. Don’t worry if you don’t feel any pulsating vibration when you’re retrieving the lure. The Bulky Ring’s little ‘heart-shaped’ tail lets off very subtle vibrations that might not be felt at all by the angler but can be picked up by the fish in the water.
The little ‘heart-shaped’ tail of the Bulk Ring gives off very minute vibrations in the water.
Lift and drop works well for deeper waters.
2. LIFT AND DROP
This method works for both the Bulky Ring and Soft Straight. Let the rig sink all the way to the bottom. Then lift the rod tip to about 10 o’clock position and quickly let it down again. Pick up any slack line and then repeat the lift-and-drop action. This causes the lure to hop off the bottom, which can be very deadly for bottom-feeding fish. Again, you can experiment with your retrieval, whether to hop the bottom in short, sharp movements or with high and easy sweeps of the rod tip. You don’t want to use a jighead that’s too heavy for this method. Otherwise the drop may be too abrupt and frighten off cautious fish, rather than draw them in.
It’s amazing how Longfin Trevally can zoom in on such a micro-sized soft plastic!
3. DRIFTING IN THE CURRENT
This technique has been proven extremely effective on Trevally species off Singapore’s southern islands for anglers fishing from an anchored boat. For this technique to work well, the current needs to be moving fairly quickly and the boat positioned up-current from some fish-congregating structure. The rigged Bulky Ring or Soft Straight is allowed to drift on free-spool with the current to where the fish are likely to be hunting down their prey. Once the lure has entered the ‘strike zone’, engage the reel and hang on. You can twitch the lure a little with the rod tip. Don’t retrieve any line though. This subtle movement of the rod tip makes the lure move only very slightly, resembling a tiny baitfish holding its position against the current. If there are no bites after a while, you may wish to allow the lure to drift further or deeper to search for the fish. Pay attention to tiny nibbles, which Longfin Trevally (Sagai) love to do on the Gomoku Soft lures. They nibble ever so delicately but do be prepared for a streaking run when you set the hook! This method not only works for Sagai but also other species such as Yellow-tail Scads, Hard-tail Scads and Fusiliers, just to name a few.
“And there she goes!!”
Drifting is an exciting way to catch Sagai!
The Gomoku Soft Bulky Ring and Gomoku Soft Straight micro soft plastics are now available at Riverland Tackle (Changi Village), Sincere Fishing Tackles (Yishun), Joe Fishing Tackle (Beach Road), Big Fish @ The Helping Hand (Serangoon) and E-Waves Fishbyte (Clementi).
Have an interesting way of catching fish with the Storm Gomoku Soft series? We’d love to hear from you! Drop us a line at email@example.com and tell us!
HOW TO CATCH SAGAI WITH GOMOKU SOFT MICRO SOFT PLASTICS
Malaysia’s Air Ganda is often synonymous with Giant Snakehead (Toman). Sight-casting crankbaits such as the Rapala Risto Rap at surfacing Toman can be challenging but also extremely effective. Watch the video.
Terbitan Majalah Sirip bulan Ogos 2015. Penterjemahan oleh En. Halimi Hanip.
STORM ARASHI – Berkemungkinan gewang luar biasa yang paling mudah digunakan. Prakata di atas adalah satu kenyataan yang berani. Tetapi itulah yang Hiroshi Takahashi (pereka gewang Storm) maksudkan apabila beliau mereka-bentuk gewang Storm Arashi. Menurut Hiroshi, platform Storm Arashi diilhamkan daripada keperluan untuk gewang jenis crankbait yang mudah digunakan.
Crankbait yang ideal perlulah boleh dilontar jauh, mudah dikarau, berenang cantik sebaik keluar dari kotak dan yang paling penting, mempunyai aksi menggoda ikan yang sangat menarik. Storm Arashi memenuhi semua keperluan di atas. Jadi kenapa ia begitu istimewa?
Lidah Papan Litar
Penggunaan material papan litar yang nipis, namun kuat dan tahan lasak pada lidahnya telah menghidupkan aksi luar biasa gewang ini. Berbanding lidah acuan konvensional, papan litar nipis mempunyai daya rintangan lebih rendah apabila gewang dikarau. Ini juga bermakna Storm Arashi dapat mencapai aksi maksimumnya walaupun pada kelajuan perlahan.
Satu lagi kelebihannya ialah keupayaan untuk kekal stabil pada kelajuan sangat tinggi. Ini penting terutama apabila mencari ikan di kawasan yang luas atau apabila terdapat keperluan mengilat laju bagi mencetuskan sambaran ikan yang agresif.
Penyangkut Mata Kail Berputar
Gewang konvensional mempunyai penyangkut mata kail yang sejajar dengan muncung gewang. Walaupun konfigurasi ini baik untuk mata tiga yang sesuai, namun peluang untuk mata tiga tersekat agak tinggi apabila mata tiga lebih besar digunakan.
Dengan memutar penyangkut ini sebanyak 90 darjah, sudut pergerakan mata tiga adalah terhad, justeru mencegah sekatan apabila mata tiga lebih besar digunakan. Kedudukan ini juga memastikan mata tiga terletak lebih rapat dengan badan gewang untuk aksi yang lebih cantik.
Titik Ikatan Talaan Sendiri
Di tengah-tengah titik ikatan talaan sendiri pada gewang ini adalah satu rekaan pergerakan bebas berpaten yang memastikan renangan gewang melurus sebaik keluar dari kotak. Memang sukar bagi crankbait jenis terapung untuk mencapai kestabilan pada kelajuan tinggi. Walau bagaimanapun, titik ikatan pergerakan bebas ini mempermudahkannya.
BARISAN STORM ARASHI
Arashi Silent Square
Model ini berenang secara goyangan dan gelekan yang bernyawa. Keapungan membantu ia melepasi halangan dan reka bentuk lidah bersegi meningkatkan pemesongan yang sempurna apabila berlanggar struktur. Seperti namanya, ia tidak bergemerincing untuk pendekatan senyap kepada ikan yang berwaspada di air cetek.
Silent Square dilengkapi mata tiga VMC nikel hitam premium. Terdapat dalam dua model iaitu ASQS03 dengan panjang badan 2-1 / 8” selaman 3 kaki, dan ASQS05 dengan panjang badan 2-3 / 8” selaman 5 kaki.
Arashi Rattling Flat
Ia adalah gewang pemburu yang sempurna dalam perairan terbuka. Bahagian sisi ratanya membalikkan kekilatan yang tinggi, menarik perhatian visual manakala aksi gemerincingan merenjiskan getaran tinggi untuk menarik sang ikan. Model terapung yang berukuran 2-1 / 8” ini dilengkapi mata kail VMC nikel hitam premium dan mampu menyelam sehingga 7 kaki.
Arashi Rattling Deep
Rattling Deep berenang dengan gelekan sederhana, tetapi tendangan ekor sangat kencang. Model selaman dalam berukuran 2-3 / 8” ini mempunyai bebola tunggal besar untuk menjana frekuensi yang rendah dan reka bentuknya berdaya lontaran jauh dengan tepat. Ia dilengkapi mata tiga VMC nikel hitam premium dan mampu menyelam sedalam 10 kaki.
Storm Southeast Asia announces the arrival of the Storm Adventure, a new lure-casting rod priced aggressively to bring the joy of lure fishing to more anglers. Equipped with genuine Fuji reel seat and complete Fuji guide set, the Storm Adventure is absolutely value for money with a price tag that’s way less than you’d imagine! The Storm Adventure comes in a range of different tapers, from regular fast to extra fast and in both spinning and casting models.
The long-awaited slow-jigging rod from Storm has finally arrived. The new Gomoku Adajo is designed to work slow-style jigs easily with each pitch or crank. The Gomoku Adajo is built on a 30 & 40 ton blend graphite blank with a slow taper for optimal recoil when working slow jigs up to 300 grams (PE3 model). Jigging upstrokes are less taxing on the angler and the optimal recoil allows for a greater tension ‘free-fall’ on the drop to bring out the slow jig’s optimal fluttering action.
The Adajo features 30 & 40 ton blend graphite blank
Probably one of the most anticipated jigging reels from Daiwa this year has to be the 2015 Daiwa Saltiga overhead. Launched at this year’s Japan Fishing Show in Yokohama, the Daiwa Saltiga comes in two sizes: 10 and 15 in 5.1 and 6.4 retrieve ratios.
DAIWA SALTIGA 10/15
The new Saltiga overhead is a very compact reel with an oversized gearbox. For greater longevity on the water, Daiwa placed its proprietary MAGSEAL ball bearing on its pinion, similar to the 2014 magsealed Ryoga Bay Jigging reels. It is also features ATD (Automatic Tournament Drag), Daiwa’s latest implementation of a new proprietary grease on their drag washers to enable a very smooth and consistent start up drag pressure right from the start.
The new 2015 Saltiga is available in 2 sizes – 10 and 15, in 2 retrieve ratios: 5.1 (retrieves 80cm per turn) and 6.4 (retrieves 100cm per turn). The size 10 takes in 300m of PE #2 line or 200m of PE #3 while the size 15 takes 500m of PE #2 line and 300m of PE #3. The reel also comes with a nifty neoprene reel pouch for protection against nicks during travel. Nice!