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January/February 2011 Fishing Gear Reviews

Ardent Reel Care Products

Unfortunately, fishing reel neglect is a verifiable fact, a lack of due diligence common amongst modern day anglers. As a result of this situation I’m always on the lookout for the kind of products that might make reel care a more likely endeavour. To my delight US based company Ardent has come to our rescue. Ardent has developed a line of lubricants and reel cleaning degreasers solely designed to improve fishing reel performance. Under the trademark name Reel Butter®, this innovative company markets grease, oil, and a bearing lube, each having specific lubricating characteristics. The grease limits main gear and pinion wear while the oil allows for friction-free shaft and worm gear movement. The Reel Butter® Bearing Lube is formulated to penetrate deep inside the workings of both roller and ball bearings. Ardent has incorporated a collection of its products and made them available in the form of Reel Cleaning Kits. With everything you require in a neat little package the concept of fishing reel maintenance is much more likely to become reality.

Worden’s UV Flash Glow® with Squids

The Flash Glo® spinner has been around for eons. Insert small chartreuse or pink squid over the hook and you create an entirely new beast. Generally, BC anglers resist change and most would regard the attaching of a small hoochie to a freshwater lure as nothing less than angling blasphemy. That said, Worden’s has done exactly that and it seems to be working and working well. I have it on good authority that samples fished last fall made their way into the mouths of several Coho, fish that had little interest in prior offerings. These new Flash Glo® UV Squid lures are available in seven colour combinations. The casting (weighted models) is sold in 3/8oz and 1/2oz sizes, while a non-weighted trolling version in each of the colours offered rounds off the line. Of the 17 colours offered in the regular Flash Glo® series all are coated in a UV Finish. If it works I’ll add a squid to anything.

Daiwa’s Samurai Accudepth® Braid

Fishermen who jig or troll will likely look upon Daiwa’s new Samurai Accudepth® braided line as an invaluable tool. This particular braid comes in seven tests, ranging from 15lb to 80lb, each on a 300-yard spool. Thought it’s nice to be offered a braided line in a reasonable quantity, the colour coding characteristics of this new braid is certainly the real attraction. Not only does Accudepth® change colour every 10-yards it also sports a yellow marker every yard. In short, line depth determination has never been made easier and its been done in a family of line tests that cover the needs of trout and halibut fishermen alike. It should also be noted that the ultra fine diameter of this eight-braid weave facilitates a quicker sink rate all the while dramatically reducing drag. With the introduction of Accudepth® Braid, Daiwa has simply provided the means.

SPINMADE Click2Knot

Every once in a while a product comes along that simply deserves attention. Such is the case with the Click2Knot. This little puppy ties a perfect five round Uni-knot (Duncan loop) in a matter of seconds. It works best with 12 to 20lb test monofilament, doesn’t require batteries and works on lures, swivels and hooks with a loop diameter greater than 2.1-millimetres. Though it’s not designed for use with smaller tackle the Click2Knot facilitates the completion of a function that most of us take for granted. While speaking with the manufactures, I was shown a video that portrayed a physically disabled gentleman competently attaching line to lure and doing so with a single hand, my attention was captured! The potential of this tool as it pertains to those who’ve endured a debilitating event must be acknowledged. The Click2knot web site is quite in-depth and does a spectacular job of showcasing this unique little product. If any thing it will satisfy your curiosity.

Berkley Gulp Mini Packages

Even though the Berkley Gulp!® Crickets, Fish fry, Minnows and Leeches are all listed as new products for 2011 the real story lies in their new packaging. Finally, these great little baits can be displayed in a fashion that allows you to see what you’re buying. I have little doubt that the jars holding larger quantities of bait are just fine for those who’ve already determined what works in their favourite waters. The new lesser expensive smaller packages should facilitate a broader scale of bait testing. The Leeches are available in the following colours: black, black olive, natural, chartreuse, pearl white, and pink. The Crickets come in shades identified as breen, cricket brown, chartreuse, and green pumpkin. Each flavour comes in a reclosable bag that can fit neatly into your pocket. These new offerings will surely be of interest to both fish and fishermen throughout the upcoming season.

Pflueger® Arbour Spinning Reels

Simply glance at these reels and it becomes abundantly clear that they’re not of standard issue design. The large arbour spool houses line in a fashion that decreases line memory coiling and permits smoother friction reduced casting. Pflueger® reel designers simple incorporated the obvious: line come off a larger spool easier. The added bonus of having a large arbour spool lies in the fact that it provides the housing for an oversized sealed carbon fibre drag system. The seven stainless ball bearings and double anodized spool supports the fact that these reels are classed for use in both fresh and saltwater. The Arbour family is four in number and by varying size covers a full range of angling possibilities. I’m particularly keen on the 7450 (the largest in the series) and it’s capability to hold 225-yards of 12lb test mono, or, 330-yards of 15lb braid. I’ve got great things planned for this reel and I’ll certainly put it to test in the months ahead. Oh, did I mention that each of the Arbours comes with a spare aluminium spool? You really have to hold one of these reels to appreciate their uniqueness. I believe Pflueger® has hit the nail on the bobble head with the Arbour Spinning Reel family.

The Pro Controll™ EZ Mount Adaptor

Focus on this product was initially fuelled by a personal need to resolve my very own motor mount challenges. For years I’ve fished the interior lakes from a 10-foot Don Hill Mini Drifter. The boat is wonderfully stable and makes for a great fly-fishing platform. The only drawback lies in the fact that the transom is acutely angled and anything but electric motor conducive. The Pro Controll™ EZ Mount can be angularly adjusted to compensate for most odd-ball transom designs, thereby making it much easier to affix an electric motor. Prior to coming across the EZ Mount I had pretty much abandon the idea of using an electric motor on my drifter. This little gadget can be used on the bow, side and transom of most small boats; it is well constructed and might very well represent the solution you’ve been looking for.

Blue Fox® Vibrax® Bullet

Given the popularity of the Blue Fox® family, I would think that most of us have at some point cast a lure branded with the Vibrax® name. I am particular to the Classic series, as the larger sizes have always been great coho attractors. Trout and char on the other hand are forever lured by the vibrating presence of the small to medium sizes in the same series. Though I’ve used the Classic for years, I’ve always wished these lures were slightly heavier. Apparently, there’s a designer at Blue Fox® who agrees: enter the Vibrax® Bullet. This new offering is 30 per cent heavier than its Classic counterpart and incorporates an in-line spinner blade to increase and pronounce vibration. The added weight should allow for longer casts and deeper running, an identifiable positive when casting from shore of fishing heavy current. The Bullet is available in seven sizes and seven classic colours. The pink-bodied silver bladed sample pictured will surely find a home with some one needing that few extra yards of distance off the beach.

Lazer Trokar

Wright & McGill Co. has entered the world of premium hooks with the introduction of their Lazer Trokar line. These fish grabbers are the product of a collaborative effort between professional anglers and those who make surgical instruments sharp. Creators of the Lazer TroKar family boast that their precision sharpened triple sided hook points allows for an ease of penetration uncommon to other leading brands. Manufacturers testing suggested that in many cases TroKar hooks required as little as half the piercing pressure required by a competitor’s sample of the same style. These hooks are an investment. I’ve concluded that with respect to Wright & McGill’s new fish stickers, you are paying for sharpness.

TUF-LINE TUF-Leader

Even when the need arises most of us avoid the use of steel leaders and the reason for doing so is usually related to issues of connection. The idea of crimps and crimping tools seems to stymie our interest redirecting our focus back to that with which we are familiar. TUF-LINE has developed an advanced stainless steel leader material that should effectively eliminate the aforementioned scenario. TUF-Leader is the first braided stainless leader on the market that can be tied using traditional knots. TUF-Leader is produced by wrapping 16 strands of extruded T-304 stainless around a Spectra fibre core, which produces a smooth exterior allowing for knots to cinch down snugly. This new product comes in five different tests ranging from 10 to 100lbs each loaded on spools containing five yards of leader. Whether it’s used for fly construction, the tying of halibut leaders or a safeguard against toothy critters I suspect TUF-leaders will be well received by BC anglers.

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