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Thursday, 27 April 2017

Best Travel Spinning Rods For Fishing

Travel Rods are the perfect solution when you fancy an impromptu visit to your local canal or river when you are on your way home from work. They are also fantastic for sticking in the back of your car so you have a rod handy whenever you get the opportunity to fish.  Alternatively, If you like to fish on holiday or when hiking, a travel rod will easily pack into your suitcase or rucksack.


Travel rods come in all shapes and sizes but fundamentally they solve a key problem: the ability to fish without having to lug a load of fishing gear about.  So owning a travel rod is a great investment because you might find yourself staring over at set of rocks near your holiday accommodation and think 'that would be an awesome spot to fish.'  Alternatively you might be on a family day out near a pier or a bit of water, giving you the perfect opportunity to give your kids their first try at casting or reeling in. Therefore owing a travel fishing rod gives you endless possibilities to fish new places and catch new species.

Advantages of Travel Rods


Travel rods come in all shapes and sizes.  For example telescopic travel rods are popular because they pack down to a small size and are not too bulky.  They are quick to assemble and will have you fishing in no time with minimal fuss.  However if you prefer a travel rod with a bit more sensitivity or a better action, a multi-piece travel rod is a great option. Take for example the Ron Thompson Tyran NX-Series Travel Rod. As a travel spinning rod, it comes in 10ft length, 4 piece and has a 2-12 gram casting weight so it's great for casting a variety of lures, shads and baits. But what's really special about the Tyran is the rod's composition.  It's built on a 30 ton Korean carbon material that was developed by the Japanese and American Governments to be used in strategic materials and shielding.  You can also expect other cracking features like heavy duty EVA handle with cork endings, soft palm easy grip, screw down rubber fishing reel seat and a quality, protective rod bag.  So it's a tough, powerful, slim and extremely lightweight rod, making it compact yet powerful enough to fish for species such as Pike, Trout, Perch and Salmon.  It's also a great rod for light, in-shore sea fishing both at home and abroad where all you need is a couple of lures, a half decent spinning reel, some line and you are good to go!  

Therefore whatever you needs are regarding a travel spinning rod, it's definitely a worthwhile investment.   Yes you may have your 'go-to' commercial fishery, favourite species or style of fishing - there is nothing wrong with that - however having a travel rod will give you the opportunity to roam, to explore and re-connect with that feeling of adventure that fishing gave us when we were kids.  It's time to re-connect with that again and experience what else is out there, and having a Ron Thompson Tryon NX-Series will give you plenty of opportunities for adventure because the best travel spinning rods are the ones that create great fishing memories.



Monday, 24 April 2017

Switching Fly Lines When Fly Fishing



Picture the scenario: you are standing on the bank of your favourite Trout stillwater, fishing with what you believe is the right fly line for the job - in this case a weight forward floating fly line - but there are a couple of guys fishing either side of you catching fish. You kindly ask what they are catching them on and they happily share this information. 'A Diawl Bach mate,' replies the gentleman to your right, 'about 4ft down.' Confused and frustrated, you realise that you actually have the same fly on your leader as the guys at either side of you, however, being the highly perceptive fly fisherman that you are, you further notice that your contemporaries don’t have a long, bright green or orange fly line in front of them. They are fishing a sinking line. In that moment you realise that you only have one fly line handy, the weight forward floater because you believed that was the only line you would ever need.

This is an all too common scenario, particularly with beginner fly fishermen. As you start out, you are told you only need a 9.6ft for a #7 fly rod, so you go out a buy a fly rod at this recommended length and a nice weight forward 7 fly line. This is perfectly suitable when you are learning to cast and fish for Trout but as you develop as a fly angler, you realise that having minimal kit is restricting. Conditions change, fish behaviour can be unpredictable, there may not be any visible fly activity or there may be conditions unique to the particular water you are fishing. In reality there are a multitude of variables you need to contend with but if you have a range of fly lines at your disposal, you can significantly increase your chances.

Advantages of Having Multiple Fly Lines


The solution is to have a selection of fly lines available so you can adapt to the conditions you are presented with when you arrive at your venue. Additionally, if you do your homework by researching the water you are fishing, find out what the top patterns are, how deep the water is, ask the fishery manager some questions prior to your visit and prepare accordingly, you can increase your chances. This approach alone can make the difference between a blank day and a successful one. Therefore in terms of fly lines, having a floating fly line, an intermediate fly line, a Di3 or 4 sinking fly line and a sink tip fly line will give you many options when you need to adapt your tactics to the conditions in hand.


When to Switch Fly Lines


Having a selection of fly lines is one thing however being able to 'assess' the water will determine which fly line you will ultimately choose. Typically when you arrive at your chosen venue, and you have done your homework, the first line you might pull out is an intermediate fly line because the fishery manager suggested that if the wind strength increases, the Trout like to cruise about a couple of feet below the surface scooping up black buzzers. So you follow this advice: you set up your fly rod, attach your fly reel and swap the floating line that was on the reel with your spare spool containing the intermediate. Lastly you attach your fly leader and fly - a black emerger as recommended by the fishery manager. You cast a nice long line, the leader turns over nicely and with it being an intermediate line, it slowly slips below the wave at around 1- 2 inches per second. You start your retrieve, a slow figure of eight with intermittent twitches to simulate the fly's natural behaviour and to stimulate a Trout to take. Suddenly after about 20 seconds of retrieving you feel a sudden pull in the line as it quickly straightens out and the lined shoots through your fingers – fish on!

 'The fishery manager was right,' you think to yourself and you are rewarded with a lovely 3lb Trout in great condition. As you safely return the fish to the water and continue to fish, suddenly the wind drops and fish start head and tailing on the surface of the water feeding on buzzers trapped in the surface film. Your knowledge and experience kicks in and you realise it's time to swap the intermediate fly line back to your floating fly line because it's turned into a classic CDC situation. So you make the necessary change and swap lines, change your fly fishing leader for a long knotless tapered job – which you de-grease - and attach a Fulling Mill Palomino Black CDC. Again, after one cast – BAM!  A Trout comes up and gently sips your black CDC off the surface and you quickly respond with a calm, controlled lift of your fly rod. Fish on, again! At the back of you mind you are thinking 'Im so glad I invested in a a few lines.'

Switching Fly Lines Infographic

Granted, these are just two typical scenarios: a bit of a wave and a flat calm but having the right lines gives you the ability to adapt and get your fly into the right position, either just under the surface or right on the surface. Ultimately though, not all Trout waters are the same. Sometimes you may find yourself trying loads of different flies and you may have swapped your fly line a few times and still no fish to show for it; sometimes fish are just out-with your casting range; you may be fishing from a boat into the margins with a Sink Tip Fly Line, or from a dam wall with a Di7 fly line; fish may be pre-occupied with a specific fly species and regardless of how many times you present your fly in the right position, you just can't entice them. It's your knowledge and experience, coupled with the right fly fishing equipment, which increases the probability of having what you define as a successful day.

It's not always about just the Fly Lines


The challenge is when you've followed all the advice, you're carrying all the essential fly lines, you've read the water and have the right flies at your disposal however this proves fruitless. This situation requires a little imagination with your fly fishing gear and a great question to ask yourself is 'what if.' 'What if I add a polyleader to my floating fly line,' or 'what if I put a suspender buzzer on the point and a very slim size 16 buzzer on a dropper 4 feet from the point fly?' It's thinking outside the box and stumbling upon a specific tactic or rig which may prove to be successful when ultimately you've matched the hatch or followed everything by the book. The Trout have probably seen it all before therefore presenting them with something completely novel and inventive can make the difference.

Therefore let's revisit our opening scenario, but this time you are prepared: you have a range of fly lines, load of flies, spools of fluorocarbon tippet of varying breaking strains and a little imagination. You switch from floating fly line to a sinker and fish the same fly, a Diawl Bach, and you catch a couple of fish. But after fifteen or so minutes the takes dry up and your fellow anglers are facing the same situation because you've not noticed any fly rods bending for a while. However this time you are more perceptive: 'is it possible the takes are drying up because the fish are sick of seeing Diawl Bachs,' you ask yourself?  Another possibility: 'could the fish be spooked by the constant fishing pressure?' Ultimately you decide to move to the opposite bank and fish a sink tip fly line with a single Pheasant Tail Fly. The result? You are looking across at the opposite bank where the anglers have chosen to stay and continue using the same tactics, but now they are looking across and seeing your fly rod bent over 4 or five times. Why? You are thinking outside the box!

It's so easy to be complacent and falsely believe in, too much, what others are using and not willing to break free from your comfort zone. Yes the tried and tested tactics work up to a point but what happens then? How are you going to adapt and start catching again? Don't be afraid to experiment because you may just stumble upon a technique that's unique but highly successful, and having the right fly lines at your disposal gives you that flexibility. Tight Lines.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Okuma Polaris PLR-55 Spinning Reel

If you are looking for the perfect spinning reel for Pike, Salmon or Inshore Sea Fishing, the Okuma Polaris PLR-55 Spinning Reel fits the bill nicely.


Cosmetically it's a stunning spinning reel with an attractive white finish and ergonomic design. In terms of functionality it will exceed your expectations with features such as Okuma's rigid, extremely tough and corrosion-proof graphite body and rotor which increases the reel's longevity.  This is especially useful if you use it extensively for inshore sea fishing.

Under the hood, the Polaris shines like it's namesake: there's an elliptical gearing system where two non-circular gears pivot around on focus to create a smoother turn of the spool. The benefit of this type of gearing in fishing reels is that it produces better speed and torque from a constant rotation - no matter what the pressure.  The Polaris PLR 55 also features an infinite anti-reverse bearing which eliminates slop from the drive train, an anodised braid ready spool and a multi-disc oiled felt drag system that pays out smoothly.  

Performance-wise, it's a very smooth reel, even under extreme pressure.  For example if you find yourself playing a rather large Salmon or Pike, the Polaris can and will win the fight with less fatigue.  So you really are getting a quality product in the PLR-55 reel from Okuma and it epitomises Okuma's philosophy of creating great products which are out of this world.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Tying the Goose CDC Iron Blue Dun with Davie McPhail

Davie ties his version of the Iron Blue Dun, but using Goose CDC instead of the usual Duck. A very effective dry fly pattern on rivers, these little flies hatch throughout the season and imitative patterns can be found in the fly boxes of most regular river anglers!



Materials Used;

Hook: Fulling Mill Ultimate Dry Fly size 18
Threads: Uni-Thread 8/0 Wine
Tag: Uni-Thread 8/0 Wine
Tails: Coq de Leon Fibres
Body: Uni-Mylar Clear
Thorax: Natural Rabbit Grey Underfur
Wing: Cul De L'Oie (Goose CDC)

Davies preferred type of whip finish tool can be found HERE!

All of the materials needed to tie this fly are available from Glasgow Angling Centre - if you need any help finding them or choosing substitutes we will be more than happy to help!

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Fishingmegastore Fish of the Month Entry April 2017 - New Haylie Trout!

Sam Hirschfield caught this Brownie while fishing at New Haylie Fishery near Largs!
You can vote for this picture to win on Facebook by selecting it in our April 2017 FOTM gallery HERE and hitting the 'Like' button! Don't forget to share all your favourite entries to help them win too!

If you would like to enter our Fishingmegastore Fish of the Month Competition and have the chance to win £100 to spend at GAC, simply send us a photograph of you and your catch, when and where you caught your fish, and what tackle and method you used. You can also enter instore - just ask any member of staff for assistance. The best entries will be featured on both our Blog and Facebook page! 

Fishingmegastore Fish of the Month Entry April 2017 - Aire Brownie!

Wesley Barnes caught this nice Brown Trout while fishing the River Aire!
You can vote for this picture to win on Facebook by selecting it in our April 2017 FOTM gallery HERE and hitting the 'Like' button! Don't forget to share all your favourite entries to help them win too!

If you would like to enter our Fishingmegastore Fish of the Month Competition and have the chance to win £100 to spend at GAC, simply send us a photograph of you and your catch, when and where you caught your fish, and what tackle and method you used. You can also enter instore - just ask any member of staff for assistance. The best entries will be featured on both our Blog and Facebook page! 

Fishingmegastore Fish of the Month Entry April 2017 - Canadian Pike!

Max Molinero caught this bumper Northern Pike while fly fishing in Canada!
You can vote for this picture to win on Facebook by selecting it in our April 2017 FOTM gallery HERE and hitting the 'Like' button! Don't forget to share all your favourite entries to help them win too!

If you would like to enter our Fishingmegastore Fish of the Month Competition and have the chance to win £100 to spend at GAC, simply send us a photograph of you and your catch, when and where you caught your fish, and what tackle and method you used. You can also enter instore - just ask any member of staff for assistance. The best entries will be featured on both our Blog and Facebook page!