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Anglers, meet Arashi… fully equipped with features that until now, were only available in over-priced custom lures. Rotated hook hangers, a circuit board lip and the patent pending, self-tuning line tie make these lures stand out among other crankbaits. Watch as B.A.S.S Elite Series and Storm Pro Angler, Brandon Palaniuk, shows you why he thinks the Storm Arashi is the best all around crankbait there is on the market. They’re “super crankin’ awesome!”

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Violent headshakes, flaring gills, tail-walking action! O.S.P’s Toshinari Namiki gets caught up in some Barramundi action in Bangkok, Thailand. Check out the video where Namiki-san also explains some tips and techniques with O.S.P. lures such as the Bent Minnow, Yamato, Dai Buzzn and the Daiwa TD Vibe Type R.

 

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Hironori Kitade KD of NorthcraftThere’s been a surge in interest for JDM lures of late in South East Asia as more anglers become increasingly exposed to the latest tackle information corresponding to various fishing styles that’s easily available these days over the web and social media.

One such brand to recently reach our shores is NORTH CRAFT lures – a once “garage-made” lure name that’s now joined the league of the big boys in the tackle business producing top-notch, premium quality lures with unique, fish-catching actions. In an exclusive interview, fishonmag.com speaks with Mr Hironori Kitade, founder and lure designer of NORTH CRAFT to learn more about the NORTH CRAFT brand and what makes their lures so special. 

Northcraft

1. Can you give us a little background information about NORTH CRAFT lures?
I established a lure factory producing hard baits named “RIDE ON” in 1998. I’ve never worked for any other factory or fishing tackle company prior. Our factory solely produced lures for JACKALL Lures then and gradually progressed further till 2004 when I started Northcraft as my own company. 

2. What motivated you to start NORTH CRAFT lures?
I always have many ideas, thanks to my many years of experience in fishing. I have a deep passion to produce new lures that have yet to exist in the market or that can be worked with the latest fishing method.

3. What makes NORTH CRAFT lures so special? How is it different from other fishing lures from other brands?
We always need to think about the employing the latest fishing techniques if we want to continuously achieve good results. My fishing friends, numbering about 100 all over the world (some that fish every single day!) and I constantly accumulate a wealth of information about fish species; their habits, feeding patterns, best time and seasons, location as well as methods to catch them. Based on inputs from people who know how to catch these fish, I then aggregate and derive what information is necessary to develop a lure that will interest the fish. However, a good lure is of no value unless it looks attractive to anglers. As such, I ensure the lures I design look beautiful yet possess effective factors that can catch fish. This is very difficult in lure-making.  

4. Are some NORTH CRAFT lures still GARAGE MADE (hand made)?
NORTH CRAFT GARAGE MADE production only ran from 2007 to 2011. These were produced specially for the high-end market. The price range for GARAGE MADE lures was between 2,400YEN to 3,500YEN each. The most expensive GARAGE MADE lure ever produced was the GUNDUCE 180 with a price tag of 6,500YEN. We had one of the typical NORTH CRAFT paint work called “生塗り” KINURI (lively painting) incorporated into the GARAGE MADE. Unfortunately we had to halt production for a couple of years due to the intensive work and detailing required to make KINURI before eventually resuming the production thereafter.

5. What is the meaning of VINAL ACTION in NORTH CRAFT’s lures?
Vinal Action is an inherent characteristic of a NORTH CRAFT lure. Basically you can have two or more functions within a single lure. It all depends on the the speed of the lure’s movement. It’s an immediate change of action from the lure when the speed of movement changes from slow to fast or vice versa. Whether it’s a change in retrieval speed, the flow of the current or any change to the water resistance, the lure’s action will change. Most NORTH CRAFT lures are designed to have this Vinal Action. 

Barramundi North Craft Air Ogre

6. How is this VINAL ACTION able to make difficult-to-catch fish more likely to bite?
Very often, fish respond to sudden changes in the motion of the lure. It’s a reaction bite.  

7. Tell us about the “drifting method” (allowing the lure to move/drift with the current). How is this able to increase chances of strikes?
You can easily understand this method if you understand dry-fly fishing. Fish living in streams or flowing rivers always position themselves to wait for food to drift downstream. A lure that floats downstream in a natural fashion will not alarm wary fish. As such, the idea is not to retrieve the lure in a ‘lively’ or aggressive manner but rather, to maintain some form of line control and allow the lure to drift with the current in a natural fashion. The NORTH CRAFT BMC is designed to be fished in such a manner.

8. There are 3 models of the AIR OGRE available. Can you tell us what is the difference between the three lures? When would be the best situations to use the lures?
The floating Air Ogre (AOG58F / AOG70F / AOG85F) has a wobble and rolling action. It’s designed to work the top-water and sub-surface. Perfect for shallow water when used with a slow retrieve. It’s is also very effective when fished with continuous jerks.

The sinking Air Ogre (AOG58S / AOG70S / AOG85S) maintains that wobble and rolling action and is weighted to sink to the depths. It’s good for use in places with currents such as in streams, rivers or spots with some tidal stream influence. On its own, the sinking Ogre has a very attractive action on a steady retrieve.

The most typical method to fish the Air Ogre SLM (Sinking Slalom AOG58SLM / AOG70SLM / AOG85SLM) is the lift and fall method off the bottom. Though sinking, it differs from the Sinking Air Ogre by the way it swims in a side-to-side, slalom fashion on a steady retrieve.     

9. Why did you choose to have a a Slalom action for the Air Ogre SLM ?
I’ve known for a long time that the unique, side-by-side slalom action is very effective particularly for big fish. Many species of fish like this kind of evasive action, from Seabass, Barramundi, Snapper and even Squid. Furthermore, not many companies were keen to take the risk to try and develop lures with this kind of action.

Barramundi North Craft Air Ogre

To see what’s been biting North Craft lures, check out the North Craft Facebook page.  

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The Thailand International Fishing Tackle Show is probably one of the best organized and most anticipated fishing tackle show in South East Asia. This year’s Thailand International Fishing Tackle Show, organized by Thailand Fishing Tackle Manufacturers’ Association (TFTMA), was held at the Central Plaza in Bangkok, Thailand from 2-4 May. Check out some of the highlights from the show!

Thailand International Fishing Tackle Show 2014 1

The bridge linking the Central Plaza shopping mall to the exhibition halls.

Thailand International Fishing Tackle Show 2014 2

Let the show begin!

Thailand International Fishing Tackle Show 2014 4

Rapala Thailand’s booth showcasing the latest lures and the new Rapala Rage reel.

Thailand International Fishing Tackle Show 2014 5

 Northcraft lures makes its official debut in Thailand this year.

Thailand International Fishing Tackle Show 2014

Daiwa’s minimalist yet classy-looking booth.

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Pretty models distributing Daiwa 2014 catalogs.

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Line up of the brand new Daiwa Morethan spinning reels.

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Daiwa’s flagship Saltiga Expedition equipped with Mag-Sealed Ball Bearings.

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Daiwa Saltiga Dorado Slider

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“Good vibrations”!

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Mr Hironori Kitade, founder and lure designer of Northcraft lures explaining the features of the Northcraft Air Ogre.

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The talk shows attracted a good crowd.

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Capturing the moment.

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Mr Toshinari Namiki returns to the Thailand International Fishing Tackle Show this year.

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And as expected, his phenomenal casting demonstrations attracted large crowds!

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Spectators having a go at a guessing game.

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Mr Toshinari Namiki’s autograph session.

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Namiki-san signing off with his trademark, “Bass or Die”

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Siam Zoo’s booth featuring Sunline and Banax.

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Pure Fishing Thailand’s bevy of beauties.

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Lucky Frog.

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Custom made buzz baits.

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Up and coming GEECRACK featuring the GILLING swimbaits.

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Check out the awesome finishes!

Thailand International Fishing Tackle Show 2014 26

Tenryu rods on display.

Thailand International Fishing Tackle Show 2014 27

No shortage of jigs here…

Thailand International Fishing Tackle Show 2014 28

J&P Fishing Tackles.

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Slow pitch jigs becoming more popular.

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Thai Jump Frogs on display at the Lure Factory booth.

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One of the many realistic creations from Lure Factory.

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Super realistic!

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Shimano booth displaying the latest rods & reels.

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It’s wonderful fishing.

Thailand International Fishing Tackle Show 2014 35

Megabass lures by AKAN Tackle.

Thailand International Fishing Tackle Show 2014 36

T-Surf Marine Boats & Accessories.

Thailand International Fishing Tackle Show 2014 37

World Tackle booth.

Thailand International Fishing Tackle Show 2014 38

Eupro & VFOX rods & accessories.

Thailand International Fishing Tackle Show 2014 39

Frillneck outdoor headgear.

Thailand International Fishing Tackle Show 2014 40

Humminbird Thailand showcasing fishfinders and Fusion Marine Speakers.

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Hobie Kayaks.

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Hot models from Samyung Marine Electronics.

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Feel Free Kayaks.

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Guess who was also at the Show? It’s Mr Kozo Okubo!

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Lure Lover Magazine.

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You’ve got the latest and greatest light jigging rod in the market and a spanking new, tough as nails reel loaded with double-digit bearings. You’ve even loaded up your jig bag with proven branded jigs endorsed by the jigging pros but you’re still not getting those biggies from jigging. The pros make it seem so easy by getting heaps of nice fish on jig on every outing. What’s up with that?

Here are some general yet practical tips that may help you improve your light jigging results:

TIP #1: LEAVE THE BAIT AT HOME
If you’ve brought some bait along “just in case the fish aren’t hitting jigs”, chances are you’ll use it. Intentionally embark on your fishing trip with only jigs. You’ll have no choice but to jig throughout the trip and statistically, the longer your jig stays in the water, the higher your chances of getting hits.

Tenggiri JiggingRule #1: Leave the bait at home!

TIP #2: KEEP AN EYE ON THE FISH FINDER
The fishfinder is a very useful piece of equipment that can reveal plenty of information such as depth, bottom structure and the presence of fish. You can quickly deploy your jig to the appropriate depth column should a school of big fish appear at a specific depth. This can maximise your chances of  the fish spotting your jig.

TIP #3: USE THE THINNEST DIAMETER LINE YOU CAN GET AWAY WITH
A thinner diameter line has less resistance in water compared to a line with thicker diameter, giving you more control over the jig on the drop in fast current. Sure, you may get the occasional bust-off from a monster fish from time to time, but a thinner line will get your jig down to the group of fish appearing on the fishfinder faster without being dragged off target by the current compared to a line with a thicker diameter. On days when the fishing is tough, it pays to consider downsizing the line and leader too.

Light Jigging

TIP #4: USE FLUOROCARBON LEADER
Fish can be leader shy! Fluorocarbon leaders have a lower refractive index than ordinary monofilament leaders and therefore, less visible underwater. Good quality fluorocarbon leaders have good abrasion resistance and strength yet are soft. What poundage to use really depends on the targeted species and the terrain. If the targeted fish do not have rough, abrasive lips such as Longfin Trevally, you may use fluorocarbon leaders as light as 10-15lb. These fish don’t always hug the bottom and therefore getting your leader roughed out or even cut off at the reef is highly unlikely. On the other hand, if you’re targeting species such as Snappers and reef fish, it makes sense to use fluorocarbon leaders of 20-25lb (or more depending on how rough the terrain is).

TIP #5: MATCH THE HATCH
It’s an advantage to know what the targeted fish are feeding on for a particular location and to match your jig profile to the primary food source. For example, if you’re targeting pelagic predators that are hunting fast-moving bait such as kembung, selar or tamban, it makes sense to choose a jig of a similar shape and size. Likewise, if most fishermen have been catching Ebek (Diamond Trevally) with squid, then a suitable jig would be one that has a broader profile.

Koika

TIP #6: UNDERSTAND WHAT ACTION YOUR JIG IS CAPABLE OF
Matching your jig to the size and profile of the bait is only part of the equation. Understanding what action your jig is capable of is another crucial key to success. Each jig is designed with specific movements in mind, whether retrieved, jerked or falling. Therefore it’s important to know what kind of action you can get out of these jigs and to be able to work them to the movement of the bait. Speed jigs tend to arouse the hunting instinct of predators that love chasing down frightened or stressed prey (Queenfish and Tenggiri come to mind!) whereas jigs that flutter on the fall often trigger the opportunistic behaviour of predators. It is always easier to chow down a crippled prey than to expand their energy chasing down a lively one. Whatever your jig selection may be, always match the size, profile and action of the jig (and jigging speed/stroke) accordingly to the movement of the prey of your targeted species.   

TIP #7: DIFFERENT STROKES FOR DIFFERENT FOLKS
There’s no single jigging stroke that can catch all fish. Some fish respond to very fast jigging strokes. At times, they may prefer short, sharp flicks of the rod tip with very subtle retrieve and sometimes they can prefer slow jigging strokes. These require experimenting to see which stroke (corresponding to jig type, of course!) works for you for your targeted species.

TIP #8: THE BOW AND STERN ARE GOOD POSITIONS ON THE DRIFT
If you’ve been fishing often enough with most experienced charter captains who are as equally enthusiastic as you are to fish, you’ll notice they always love jigging from the bow or the stern of the boat. These are great positions to be at especially in fast drifts as you can cast the jig up current and begin working the jig by the time it reaches the sea floor before the boat drifts over. This is a distinct advantage as your jig stays in the water longer compared to the folks positioned at the middle of the boat. Additionally, the jigs up current will cover new water first compared to those jigs dropped from the middle of the boat. 

drift jigging tips
Anglers positioned at the bow and stern of the boat (blue) can cast their jigs up current while the anglers located at the middle of the boat (red) can drop their jigs vertically. Casting toward the bow or stern is still possible but space and distance is limited.

drift jigging tips
By the time the jigs touch the sea floor, the jigs dropped vertically (Y) will be positioned further down current compared to those cast up current earlier (X). 

drift jigging tips
By the time the boat has drifted further down current, the jigs dropped vertically (Y) will now be too far away at an angle, making jigging difficult. The angler will have to retrieve the jig and reset. However, the jigs cast up current earlier will still be at a reasonable distance and angle, allowing the angler to still keep the jig in the water without reseting. 

TIP #9: PICK THE APPROPRIATE TIDES
Certain tides are more favourable than others and these can differ from location to location. It’s always best to check with the fishing charter skipper on which are the best tides for targeting certain species. If you’re fishing a new spot without much information on hand, it’s a good idea to keep a journal or log book to record which moon phase, time and tide that produces the best results. Over time, you’ll be able to make out a consistent pattern to determine which dates are better. It’s also handy to know that pelagic fish tend to be more active on new and full moons so it’s ideal if you time your jigging trip around these tides if you’re after pelagics. There are fishing calendar apps available these days on IOS or Android that can recommend some ideal dates and times for fishing based on the Solunar Theory.

TIP #10: NEVER GIVE UP!
It’s often tempting to throw in the towel when the fish aren’t hitting the jigs. In such situations, don’t give up. Keep on jigging! Sometimes the jigging can be totally off for the entire day only to fire up all of a sudden at the change of tide. Perseverance can pay off.

Tight lines and happy jigging!

 

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Fuji Torzite - Osaka Show Booth

Made of high-strength, low-density material. Rigorously polished to minimise friction. Slim and lightweight. This is TORZITE, Fuji’s next generation ceramic ring.

Fuji Torzite vs SiC weight

According to Fuji, the name “TORZITE” is derived from the geometric term “torus”, describing the unique shape of the toric ring. With this new material and shape, the TORZITE ring is much thinner and lighter than a SiC ring of the same size, effectively reducing the overall weight of a guide by about 10%.

Fuji Torzite Cross Section

Fuji Torzite demo 2

A cross-sectional view of the TORZITE ring shows a greater surface area that allows for a greater dispersion of force under line load as compared to conventional ring designs.

This test shows how a monofilament line that’s run through a TORZITE ring under the same load results in lesser line curl than an equivalent line running through a SiC ring.

TORZITE, Ring Size

Thanks to its slimmer shape, the TORZITE ring’s inner diameter is approximately 15% larger than a SiC ring of the same size.

TORZITE guide downsize

Fuji Torzite vs SiC b

What this means is that we can downsize guides by one size, translating to significant weight savings of about 20-30% in total guide weight. Downsizing to lighter guides also makes the tip lighter, reducing bouncing and improving rod blank sensitivity.

External impact is one of the biggest problems for ceramic rings. Fuji TORZITE has a special characteristic that bounces off the impact like a spring.

TORZITE’s high-strength ceramic material has the same level of abrasion resistance and impact strength as SiC. This is despite the fact that a TORZITE ring is much thinner than an equivalently sized SiC ring. Therefore the chances of rings fracturing upon inadvertent impact are lower compared to other lower grade ring materials.

SiC vs TORZITE smoothness

Illustration shows the difference in micro pits on SiC and TORZITE ring surface.


TORZITE rings are highly polished to a very smooth finish to maximize fishing line performance and prolong line life. In conjunction with the toric ring design, line flow is smoother and heat build up is dramatically reduced while fighting fish. A smoother ring surface reduces contact pressure and friction, allowing for smoother casts and retrieves. Fuji’s lab tests have also found that monofilament lines have 4 times longer line life or endurance when used on TORZITE rings compared to SiC rings.

Fuji Backlock reel seat

Besides guides, Fuji also introduces several other new rod components for 2014. The newly-developed LO/AN lock-nut is designed to firmly secure the Fuji DPS-SD/ASH nut from loosening. The business end of the lock-nut is a threadless collar with a stopper to prevent loosening of the nut during fishing. Fuji calls this the BACK STOP mechanism.

Fuji Backstop Lock Nut
Fuji’s new LO/AN lock nut

Fuji 2014 New Reel Seats

For 2014, Fuji also introduces an array of new reel seats, namely the PLS, PTS and TVS, each with specific purposes.

Fuji TVS Reel Seat

 

The TVS reel seat is Fuji’s first blank-touch reel seat for spinning rods, designed specifically for sensitivity and accurate casting. Ergonomically designed, the TVS reel seat fits naturally between the thumb and fore finger, forming a “V” shape when viewed from above. The thumb positioned on the blank at the side of the reel seat gives more stability hence optimizing casting accuracy.

Fuji PTS Reel Seat

Fuji’s PTS (Palm Trigger Seat) is designed to be wider and flatter to improve palming and grip hold. The trigger shape is also refined to reduce finger stress.

Fuji PLS Reel Seat

The Fuji PLS (Palming Support Light Weight Seat) is designed based on ergonomics to keep the angler’s wrist at a natural angle, offering comfortable palming with minimal stress on the wrist. Sensitivity is also improved with blank exposure. The PLS reel seat is recommended for jigging rods and corresponds to reels size 100-500 (Daiwa) and 1000-3000 (Shimano).