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.
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.
The Gomoku Slow Rocker is the latest slow-style jig from Storm. Designed specially for shallow-water situations and slower currents, this chubby-looking jig slowly flaps and rocks side to side with plenty of ‘air time’ on the fall – deadly for fishes that feed very close to the bottom.
TIP: To obtain the best action from this jig, lift the jig off the bottom with a slow and gentle sweep of the rod on the upstroke, rather than a swift and abrupt sweep. Then let the jig’s falling action attract the bite. Using a slow “yo-yo”-like approach is often more effective than a quick lift-and-fall method.
The Gomoku Slow Rocker is available in 6 colours in 40g, 70g, 90g and 120g weights. Check them out at your nearest Storm dealer!
WATCH VIDEO: CATCHING DIAMOND TREVALLY WITH STORM GOMOKU SLOW ROCKER
5th September 2016 – Rapala Southeast Asia announces the arrival of Rapala Flat Rap 8cm SLG or “Seluang” pattern. The “Seluang” is the Malay name for the Rasbora, a common baitfish found throughout Malaysia and other parts of Southeast Asia. Of all the classic, fish-catching balsa wood lures from Rapala, the Flat Rap fits the slender minnow profile of the Seluang perfectly. Beautifully illustrated by Nigel Hagley from Singapore, the Flat Rap Seluang is the result of listening to the voices of Southeast Asian anglers asking for a Rapala lure that resembles a local baitfish. The Flat Rap Seluang (SLG) weighs 7grams, has a body length of 8cm and a swimming depth of 0.6-1.2 metres. Check it out at your nearest Rapala dealer today!
The new Storm Arashi Rattling Deep – big crankbaits for big fish.
The Storm Arashi Rattling Deep gets two new size extensions for 2016. The 22g Arashi Rattling Deep 18 (ADP18) has a body length of 7cm and dives down to 5.5m while the larger Arashi Rattling Deep 25 (ADP25) is 9cm long, weighs 32g and dives to a whopping 7.6m! These are definitely big crankbaits built with big fish in mind.
Side view of the Storm Arashi Rattling Deep 25
Both the ADP18 and 25 have big profiles and offer plenty of presence in the water to draw big and aggressive predators in. Like the smaller ADP10, these two deep-diving crankbaits features a large single knocker rattle that delivers a low frequency pitch as well as the Arashi-series signature circuit-board lip.
Top view of the Storm Arashi Rattling Deep 25
Compared to a conventional moulded lip, a circuit board lip is thinner and will have lesser resistance when the lure wobbles from side to side, which translates into lesser effort needed by the angler to work the lure. This also means that Storm Arashi crankbaits are able to achieve its high-pitch action right away even at slow speeds.
Broad circuit board lip is reinforced underneath to prevent breakage
Given the larger circuit board lip on the ADP18 and 25, both models have moulded reinforcements below the lip to prevent breakage when hitting snags or being chomped down by monsters.
Notice the rotated hook hangers on the Arashi series of hard baits.
Most hard bait lures have hook hangers that are in line with the lure’s tow-point. While this configuration is fine for appropriately sized treble hooks, the chances of hook hang-ups are rather high when larger trebles are used. By rotating the hook hanger by 90 degrees, the treble’s angle of movement is limited, therefore preventing hang-ups when hooks up to a size larger are used. This position also ensures the hooks are nestled closer to the lure’s body, offering better action.
Rotated hook hangers on the lure’s tail
Since their arrival in Australia, the Storm Arashi Rattling Deep 18 & 25 have been catching big fish – from Yellowbelly to monster Murray Cod. As for us folks in South East Asia, do you think these two crankbaits will win over our local species like Toman, Grouper and Black Bass? There’s only one way to find out!
Lubin Pfeiffer with a monster Murray Cod on Storm Arashi Rattling Deep 25
Nigel Hagley, Toh Jun Xiong and friends recently explored Pulau Sembilan (Perak, Malaysia) to see if the Gomoku micro soft plastics worked outside of Singapore’s waters. The result of their exploratory trip was breathtaking! Both caught plenty of Cencaru (Hard-tailed Scad) that offered them plenty of light salt game fun! The Gomoku micro soft plastic fever was so contagious that Jun Xiong had since got more friends hooked onto this finesse game! Not only were the Cencaru obliging to the Gomoku Soft but even GTs and Queenfish too!
The Japanese Ajing fever has landed in Malaysia!
Cencaru (Hard-tailed Scad) are plentiful around Pulau Sembilan.
Gomoku Soft Straight (GSST) worked wonders for P9’s Cencaru.
Jun Xiong getting the hang of catching Cencaru one after another with the Gomoku Soft Bulky Ring.
With ultra-light, finesse tackle, Cencaru will give you a run for the money!
Sagai – no longer a surprise catch on Gomoku Soft micro soft plastics.
Fancy catching Mack Tuna on the Gomoku Soft Bulky Ring!
Even big fish love titbits! This Big Queenie slammed the tiny Gomoku Soft Bulky Ring with gusto!
Of course it’d be boring without dropping a jig or two in between.
Nigel with a Fusilier on Micro Jig (MCJ)
Juvenile GT joined in the fun too!
TIPS TO CATCH CENCARU WITH GOMOKU SOFT
When the current is slow, the fish are usually found hanging close to the rocks near the islands or rock formations. Rig the Gomoku Soft Straight or Bulky Ring with an appropriate sized jighead (1.8 to 3g depending on current speed) and freeline the soft plastic in the current towards the rocks or structure. You can close the bail arm once in a while and let the lure hold its position in the current a bit before freelining again. The bites can sometimes be very subtle so you have to be alert to the slightest taps on the lure.
When the current is fast, the fish will hold a little bit further out. The same technique mentioned above still applies but you may want to consider a heavier jighead to hold the lure at a certain depth in the current.
Use a very fine diameter line to get the jighead down in the current. Nigel uses the 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.
So if you’re ever out light jigging around Pulau Sembilan’s waters, do give the Gomoku Soft Straight or Bulky Ring a try. You might just get ‘addicted’ to the light salt game too!
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us!
HOW TO CATCH SAGAI WITH GOMOKU SOFT MICRO SOFT PLASTICS
The new Storm Arashi Top Walker strides true even when retrieved fast, having been purpose-built to eliminate the missed bites all too common with lesser topwater lures.
If you look at the profile of the Arashi Top Walker from the back, you can see how its sides are just a little bit flatter compared to most other topwater lures. This design element prevents the Top Walker from rolling as it changes direction on the retrieve and allows the lure to continually walk with its hooks underneath the body. This in turn increases the hook-up ratio of striking fish.
A long-glide walk-the-dog action, a powerful wake and a multi-ball cadence rattle sound signature combine to make the Top Walker a seductive topwater lure to call fish from afar. It features four bearings that broadcast a variable pitch frequency, mimicking the sound of schooling baitfish that predators can’t ignore.
Rotated hook hangers, a feature of all baits in the Arashi lineup, ensure the treble’s angle of movement is limited, therefore preventing hang-ups when hooks up to a size larger are used. This position also ensures the hooks are nestled closer to the lure’s body, offering better action.
The new 11cm Storm Arashi Top Walker weighs 22g and is available in 10 color patterns, most of them slightly translucent: Green Gold Shad, Hot Blue Shad, Pearl Ayu, Bluegill, Blue Back Herring, Wakasagi, Ghost Hitch, Pro Blue, Ghost Pearl Shad and Black Silver Shad.