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 Rapala Urban Classic Sling Bag has arrived! A revolutionary bag for the mobile angler, the Rapala Urban Classic Sling Bag is comfortable to carry out of the way on the back and allows freedom of movement, yet easy enough to swing to the front when needed. Both main compartments hold 3600-sized tackle boxes and open to form a work tray when changing lures. Sporting Rapala’s iconic digital fish camo pattern found on the Rapala Urban series of bags and packs, the new Urban Classic Sling Bag also has some minor improvements to the previous generation sling bag such as an improved easy access pocket on the chest.
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!
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
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.
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.