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Rods - Reels and Lines - Rigs and Leads

Canadian Carp ClubREELS AND LINES

By Jeff Vaughan

If any tackle company wants to test a reel send it to us. We destroy them !!!

People bringing cheap reels to Long Sault rarely make it through the week, before the gears strip, or the bail arm busts. Colin must by now be one of the worlds leading repairers of bait runner type reels, but when the gears strip they are dead.

Of course part of the reason the reels break is that anglers put too much pressure on them. We use 50 to 80lb braid and the fish pull back HARD. I see 75% of fisherman out here trying to crank fish in rather than pumping them and this is what kills the reels. Having said this I blew up two Shimano Long Casts this year (admittedly after 8 years of hard use) and Colin got 4 seasons out of his two 10,000 XT whatever they were.

Before talking about reels we must first look at line as this determines what size reel you need. Personally I think nylon line out here is a complete waste of time. Yes it is better on fish, (less hook pulls) and kinder to the inexperienced angler, but it has three critical drawbacks. Firstly to cope with the rocks you would need fairly heavy line which makes casting difficult, of course you can get over this with shock leaders. Secondly is the line twist problem. The fish WILL strip off loads of line against the clutch which puts “twist” in the line. After 6 or 8 fish (which can be two hours fishing) the stuff is knackered. For those who think they can get around this by back winding ……good luck. The third critical problem is line stretch. Your good old super doper XYZ master mono is 15 lb b.s. when you put it on the reel. Catch 6 or 8 good fish on it and all the stretch has gone out of it and you are down to 8 lb or less. Each fish you hook weakens it more until it is knackered. I made a big mistake in my first year putting 18 lb nylon on the hire reels. I was forever changing it. I thought I could not afford to load the hire reels with expensive braid, now I know I cannot afford NOT to put braid on.

I have tried dozens of different braids, and until this year had settled on 50 Berkley Fire Line, and I must say it has never let me down. This year I went over to Power Pro, it is the best braid I have EVER used, Colin put me on to it and pretty much every serious specimen hunter (of any species) in the US uses it. I started off on the 65 lb, which is much thinner than even 30 lb Fire Line and then went onto 80lb as WHY NOT. The 80lb Power pro is thinner than most other 50 lb braids by a long way, it casts like a dream, is very good on abrasion, in fact it is brilliant in every way. Those who know me will agree I never push anything onto anyone, but in the case of Power Pro I will. We sell it at the shop in the motel, it is cheaper than most UK braids and if you are bringing your own stuff leave the reels empty and fill up over here. I guarantee you will be buying the 30 lb to take back for your UK fishing.

So you will be using heavy lines, and whilst we rarely fish at great distance you need at least 150 yds of line on the reel. So this precludes the smaller carp reels. Personally I would say you need some sort of free spool system, either the bait runner type or the quick drag type on the spools. You can fish “off the spool” on a regular reel, but personally I prefer my drag pre set so I know where I am. The 10,000 size reels are about right for most people. Personally I like the big pit type reels (when my Shimanos blew up I went on to a Daiwa Infinity which I have fallen in love with) I like the bigger spools simply because it tends to make for a smoother drag (notice I have now gone Canadian and no longer say clutch) There are only perhaps half a dozen swims on the whole system where I need distance, but it is nice to be able to hit it when you need to.

Unlike the rods I will name some names on the reel section. As above the Shimano Long Casts and the Infinity are perfect, as would be most of the better big reels but these are expensive. I am itching to get my hands on one of the new Fox Big Pits, I saw the samples last week, but they are £350 each (CAN $800) For my money the old 10,000 series (all of them) were crap, they are strong enough but the drags are very jerky on fast running fish. I think the Fox Stratos (which is also great) has given Shimano a much needed kick up the arse as the new 10,000 XTEA is FANTASTIC. Colin took one late in the season and the drag is a smooth as a babies bum.

The above are all at the top end, and most of the mid or lower price reels just break, Except for our own SAP Aggressors (which unfortunately are almost sold out) and the Okuma range. I do not think we have blown up a single mid price Okuma, which is real praise. The 60 and 65 size they do in many models selling for £50 ($110) and over are great work horses. The cheaper Okuma models are no good but £50.00 is not bad for a decent reel. They are a little heavy, bulky and ugly but they have good drags and last well.

There are a few other odds and ends that are good, but in the main where you can get by with a cheap rod out here, the bulk of the cheap reels will end up in Colin’s spares basket fairly quickly.
 

Rods - Reels and Lines - Rigs and Leads