Abu Elite on Ebay ; )

26 08 2009

Couldn’t resist bidding on an Abu 6500 C3 CT Elite on Ebay on Sunday – the same vendor was selling two of the reels, with the auctions ending within minutes of each other. I was pipped to the post on the first, but determined to get the second, which ended up being £45 including postage – pretty good for a fully working Elite. I’ll stick some photos up once the reel arrives.

Received the Shakespeare Neptune the other day – this reel really is in almost immaculate condition, with just a few marks on one of the side plates. Already taken it apart to see how similar it is inside to Abu Garcia reels; it is another model in which the spindle is built in to the spool, like the 6500GR. I think the design where the spool is separate from the spindle is what Abu calls “UltraCast”, although I’m not entirely sure, as it’s hard to find any decent information on Abu reels.

Norfolk Groyne fishing session

24 08 2009

Went fishing from the Norfolk Groyne in Hove on Saturday night. High tide was at 2am, but I was very wary of getting to the groyne quite early in order to secure space for a few rods. As it was a 7m tide, I was particularly looking forward to float fishing down the side of the groyne – it was using this technique, albeit with Red Rag, which I didn’t have on this occasion, that I caught a 4lb 4oz Mullet from the groyne in August 1996.

However, somehow, I broke the drag mechanism on my Okuma fixed spool reel on my last fishing outing (luckily after catching my baby bass, which prevented blanking!), and needed a new one.

So I’d taken a trip to Lagoon Bait and Tackle in the morning, and purchased a new, cheap fixed spool reel, some 2/0 and 3/0 hooks, to give the flexibility to fish with large Mackerel baits if required, three packs of King Rag, two of Black Lug, and a pack of three small frozen Mackerel.

Sole, 22nd Aug 2009

Sole, 22nd Aug 2009

Duncs and I got to the venue at about 10:00, four hours before the tide, which allowed plenty of time to set up and achieved our goal of securing the venue. It didn’t take long to realise that I’d forgotten my coasters, having left them in the reel bag containing my Abu 6500 CS Rocket and 6500 GR. I’ve yet to cast these reels yet, so’d left them in a reel bag, and assuming they’d be taken on any fishing sessions to have a few practise casts, left the coasters in there too. I’d then left the reels at home, thinking that I wouldn’t have time to practise casting with the reels. Doh.

This stopped me from using my Daiwa Procaster rod, but I still had my faithful second rod with me, which uses a screw winch, so used that for the session instead.

I knew it was a big tide, but I was amazed at how fast it flooded – it must have come 20-25 metres up the beach within an hour of the session starting. It continued to flood at a similar pace until high.

Conditions started off relatively OK, with the sea running fast, but not too rough, and a slight breeze. No weed made an appearance for the first few 1.5 hours roughly, which was a bonus.

Pouting, 22nd August 2009

Pouting, 22nd August 2009

I caught the first fish, which was a small Sole – this was one of my predicted species for the night, and one of the species on my hitlist for the Summer. Not sure what bait it was caught on, as Duncs unhooked it before I got a chance to check. We were using Black Lug on one hook and King on the other. I’d guess it was the Black, as in my experience this is most likely to hook Sole. As it was so small, it may have taken the Rag though.

Next fish fell to Duncs, and was a small Thornback Ray, on King Rag worm. This is a great species to catch, and Duncs did well to make it only the 5th different species he’s caught.

About an hour before high tide, the weed started making an appearance, and it was a *big* appearance – huge clumps of it were floating all around the groyne, so even on casts where we hadn’t fallen prey to large amounts of it clogging round the line and creating false bites, we often caught some on the retrieve.

Although the weed situation was pretty bad, it was not the stubborn, spaghetti like weed we’ve suffered from on the last few sessions, and was much easier to clear from the line.

Along with the weed came deteriorating weather conditions – the wind really started howling, and caused rougher than ideal sea conditions. I’d set up my spinning rod, with new fixed spool, and a float rig, baited, rather bravely, with Mackerel head. I released the drag right off so that we had an audible indication of bites on the rod, for any times when we weren’t watching the float.

At one point, the drag started absolutely howling, the rod tip bucking up and down like it was possessed. I took up the rod and tightened the drag, and struck against the bite, but alas, I missed it. I think the relatively small, size 3/0 hook was slightly buried in the Mackerel head, masking the point. Next time it’ll be a size 6/0! I changed the float rod bait to Mackerel strip, again on the size 3/0 hook – I was after *big* fish here, but didn’t have any further bites. I varied tactics, even casting it about 20 yards in to the surf on the other side of the groyne to that we were fishing on, and also reverting to Mackerel head on a Pennel Rig using size 3/0 hooks, but didn’t have any joy.

Towards the later half of the session, I stuck on a size 3/0 hook on my main rod, alongside the smaller size 1 that I normally use, and baited it with some juicy mackerel strip. I ws concerned that the fast flow of the tide was washing the scents out of the baits quickly, destroying the chances of fish following the scent trail. This tactic also proved unsuccessful, but it something I’ll definitely be trying again.

The only other fish was a Pouting, caught by me, on King Rag. All fish went back.

All in all, a slightly disappointing session, but was glad to catch what we did.. plus I have another species I can check off my wishlist! I apologise for the rubbish quality of these pictures – from now on my digital camera will be accompanying me on fishing trips, rather than using the shoddy camera on my mobile!

Planned fishing session

21 08 2009


I’ve been waiting patiently for tomorrows planned fishing session – depending on which source you use, the tide is quoted as either a 6.8m or 7.0m – fantastic! Slightly concerned about the condition of the sea though. I’ve been keeping an eye on it, and it seemed OK at about 7:00 this morning, if a little surfy, but at lunch time today, although not too rough, there was an absolute *shiteload* of weed around. These pics were taken from the Groyne next to Oh So’s down on the beach – there was so much weed it was floating on top of the water.

I’m really hoping that it calms down before tomorrow night, and we get a decent session off of the ******* ****** (he he – venue still a secret), but regardless of venue this should be one to remember. CANNOT WAIT. Planning a bait digging session tomorrow to supplement our Red Rag supply, and will get the usual King, plus some Black Lug from the shop. Will supplement this with some Sandeel, and some Mackerel, some of which I’m planning to use as chum for the venue.

More weed..

More weed..

I’ll be buying some size 2/0 or 3/0 hooks for some *big* bait, hopefully to tempt a few nice Bass. Woohoo!

August is my favourite fishing month, so I’ll be expecting quite a few Bass, some nice Sole, Founder, Eels, Bream, Thornback Ray and my ultimate catch would be a Smoothhound – regardless of size these fish put up such a magnificent fight, I love ’em!

PS. happy one month anniversary, Blog!

Shakespeare Neptune Baitcaster reel

17 08 2009

Couldn’t resist bidding on a very low priced Shakespeare Neptune at the weekend. At the time of bidding, it was priced at £10, with less than an hour to go – so I stuck on a max bid of £16.02 (£0.01 bids are common, so thought the extra penny would help out bid anyone doing that). The final price was £16 and £3.99 p+p. The description says the reel is in good working order, and also comes with a box.

Shakespeare Neptune Baitcaster

Shakespeare Neptune Baitcaster

My reason for the interest in the Shakespeare, which is a departure from the usual Abu’s, is that I remember it being released, I’d say around 1998 (don’t quote me on that!), as a very low cost casting multiplier – I think they RRP’d at £39.99. Despite this, they very closely resembled Abu multipliers, and shared the 5.3:1 retrieve. The original box is always a welcome extra. So I thought I’d take a punt on it, and won! Borrowed the picture from Ebay again, will stick a new one up when I get the reel.

New Abu’s..

17 08 2009

Received the Abu 6500 GR on Saturday, so as is tradition, I decided to take it apart, have a little look inside, and give it a service.

The reel was a bit crusty with salt etc, but a good old clean up with a toothbrush etc and it actually polished up pretty well. It turns out that this model was built in 1985, and the first thing I noticed upon dismantling the reel, was that the spindle was built in to the spool (much like a Daiwa Millionnaire 7HT, or at least the Millionnaire 2, one of which Nigel used to have) and the bearings mounted in the side plates.

Having cleaned up, oiled and greased the right hand side plate, I set about taking the left one off. This turned out to be a bit of a mistake – I didn’t realise that the slider for the magnetic brake adjustment was attached to a component which sits next to the spool (the magnet holder?), by the fiddliest spring known to man! I put the reel back together after cleaning it up, and promptly realised that the spool wouldn’t turn!

Abu 6500GR and 6500 CS Rocket

Abu 6500GR and 6500 CS Rocket

This was due to the spring not having been positioned correctly – queue about 3/4 of a hour trying to get the thing to go back together, which I eventually managed, in the process gleaning an insight in to the workings of the reel. Once the old line had been replaced with new, clear 15lb line, it really looked the part! It also had a proper CT conversion, as per the Rocket.

I meant to have a few casts with it in my session on Sunday, but the fishing took precedence and I didn’t get a chance – hence it’s casting ability (and that of the CS Rocket) are as yet untested. Will get around to having a few casts with them, perhaps over grass rather than in salt water, just to get a feel for them, before considering them part of my “collection”.

I took a few pictures of the reels, but most of them turned out to be a bit rubbish, apart from this one.

Weekend fishing – blanked(ish..)

17 08 2009

Decided on a relatively last minute fishing session on Sunday. Tide was a 5m, at 20:00, which would involve around 3 hours of fishing in daylight before the sun went down. Wanted to fish on the open beach, as the sea had been really calm on Saturday. However, come 16:00 it was a complete maelstrom – unfishable. Kingston Beach it was then!

Headed down to Southwick, and saw that the beach was relatively busy with fishermen already there, but there was still quite a bit of room for one extra. As I made my way to a clear section of the beach, I thought, correctly it turns out, that I recognised one of the said fisherman as my uncle John, along with Malc – they’d not long arrived themselves, and had yet to cast. I started to set up next to them. Set up was standard – two hook sliding ledger rig, size 1 hooks. I’d bought 2 packs of King Rag – they were *monsters* – and some Sandeel.

I wouldn’t have bothered with these if I’d known the venue I’d end up using, but did give them a go. John and Malc also had Peeler Crab and Red Rag, which I was also able to make use of. So, a good selection of quality baits, proven tactics, and a proven venue – what more could you ask for?

Well, it seems that this was one of those occasions when everything can be almost spot on, but if the fish aren’t around, you won’t catch. Ended up being a 5 hour session, during which I varied baits (I found it hard to resist those juicy Peeler Crab myself, so not sure what the fish were thinking!) and casting distances, trying to eke out any fish that were around, but no joy. In fact, I was far from joyous when my tripod fell over, marking the side plates of my newer Elite – not a happy bunny! This was due to the incredible amount of weed that was around, which only eased once the tide went slack at high, making the fishing difficult.

Malcs daughter 11 year old daughter Vicki and some of his grandchildren came down for a few hours, and Malc had a few spare rods which he set up. Vicki then proceeded to catch the first fish of the session, a Bass of about three inches, from about 2-3 metres out, and next to an outfall pipe.

Much later on in the session, when the tide had started to recede, and through absolute desperation, I unleased the float gear and 8ft spinning rod, and cast the float about 4-5 metres out, within the vicinity of the same pipe.

After 10 minutes or so, it ducked under the water, so I gave it a little strike and started to reel in. I had also managed to hook a tiny Bass, and it *was* tiny, but as we often quote to each other when ribbed about catching a miniscule specimen, “a fish, is a fish, is a fish..” He he.

We continued to fish, not losing steam or enthusiasm, but our efforts proved fruitless. At least the weather was pretty good for most of the session though! Finally packed up about 21:30, the Bass being the only fish between the three of us.

The best thing to come out of the session was a reminder how much fun float fishing is! We’re planning a session on Saturday (a *very* big tide), venue shall remain undisclosed, which I have every confidence will redeem us, and will also give the opportunity to get the float gear out again. Sweet ; )

Oh, I almost forgot to mention – I sat on the seat I bought and wrote about here, and went straight through it. Quality. New seat has gone back on the wish list.. but not a £14.99 special from Argos ; (

Abu 6500GR

13 08 2009

Won my second reel on Ebay today – an Abu Garcia 6500GR. This is a magnetically braked reel, released in 1985 and on sale for only a short time, apparently. Like my Abu CS Rocket, this one has been CT converted. This was a penny more than the Rocket, at £31.02 including P+P.

Abu Garcia 6500GR

Abu Garcia 6500GR

I got my Rocket home last night (couldn’t resist taking it to work to have a look), and gave it a partial strip down, oil, greased the gears up and also fitted one of my spare centrifugal brake pads, because it didn’t have any.

Looking forward to taking it on a fishing trip to see how it casts. It polished up quite well, but I still had problems retrieving the bearings from the spool – any ideas on how to do this would be gratefully received. I’ve tried inserting pins at an angle, to try to get purchase on one side of the bearing, but this hasn’t worked. I think the pressure needs to be equally spread around the bearing. It has been oiled with 3-in-1, and then Abu Rocket oil last night; hopefully that, in conjunction with a few casts, will loosen them up a bit.

Will be interested to see what the GR looks like inside; the Abu’s I’ve dismantled in the past have all been of the same basic configuration, and none of them have been Mag braked.