23 December 2011

My journey with Noodle Rod

Me with Silstar Teal 10ft
When I first start out with this form of fishing I uses an very old Silstar Teal 10ft, which is brought 2nd hand from an angler. He gave up using the rod because he have no idea how to use it. Then when Nimo found a huge stash of these rods at Siow Chiang, he organize a mass-order which clear out all their dead stock. Now there are at least a couple hundred of the Silstar Teal on our sunny island, but I seldom seen them in action when I goes fishing.

I still remember then first time I uses the Silstar Teal, it is on a kelong in Sibu Malaysia. The targeted species? Todak of course. With the lack of expert guidance, even with the correct rig, I have a high percentage of miss. Doubts start to creep into my mind, what an I doing wrong? When I get to know DesT, he gave me a lot of feedback and shared his own experience for catching todak, my rate for landing those todaks increase and give me more confidence to use this rod / form of fishing to target other species such as half beaks.

Wolf Herring On Silstar Teal
The next obvious target is the queenie, however queenie and my noodle rods doesn't seems to like one another, try as I might but that elusive queenie just wouldn't take my baits when I uses the Silstar Teal. However, I have much better luck with other species, it is during one of the nights at the kelong that I try to use the rod while hunting for ikan parang (wolf herring). It is not the most ideal rod for the job on actual fact, as when the fish is near, you have a hard time trying to steer it clear of those boats. However, it is damn bloody fun to catch them on these long soft rods. The rod did just what it's labels says 'Designed to put the fun into light line fishing'. It is quite possible that during these period that invoke my interest to pursue into light lines and tackles.

While I am very happy using this rod, I did notice that DesT is still having a higher landing rate then me. So what's the difference? Apparently it is the rod, while most of us would happily call the Silstar Teal as a noodle rod, it appears more like a float rod to me. Nothing wrong with using it with light lines, however I really wanted to feel the difference between the GLoomis and Silstar Teal. But by the time I intent to purchase the GLoomis factory noodle rod, then I learn that GLoomis no longer produces the factory noodle, but only the blanks. It is quite a heavy investment really when you are looking at around SGD400 to get one done. It took me a while to finally lay my hands on a custom built with GLoomis NR1382 blank. (How the rod finally landed on my hand is another interesting story by itself.)

The first time I fished with GLoomis
Once I have the GLoomis there is no turning back for me, I love the feel of the rod and fighting fishes on the other end of the line. It is more difficult to cast then the Silstar Teal for sure, but the feel and the way the rod feels is different. Hard to really put it in words, but heck there is a difference.

Again, todaks are my choice of target species and maybe because that's the de facto species whenever I uses the noodle rod. As times goes by, I wanted to try out how it will feel to have some other species on the other end of the line other then todaks. Luckily for me, the GLoomis and Queenie are not in conflict, i have hook up 2 or 3 queenies so far with the rod, but alas yet to land one yet. Twice the leader rub against some underwater structure and 8lb mono leader is no much for such obstacles.

DesT with his BarracudaI am drooling when DesT had this barracuda on his noodle rod at a kelong. I too wanted some other species, my guess is that I will need to work hard and go on trying out and experiment with different rig setup to target some other species.

My noodle rod journey have started for a few years already but by no means that it will end anything soon. It alreadys have been a trill whenever I have something on noodle rod, I don't think I will get tired of this form of fishing. While those species I mentioned can be landed with any regular fast action rod, it is simply more fun using a long soft flexible with that distinctive slow action with light lines.

Next on my wish list in a 15ft noodle with North Fork Composites blanks, no idea when they will be pushing out this product, will just keep my finger crossed.

A little private island in SG..... well almost

PS - This article is written specially for SureCatch (Siow Chiang) website on the 'Catch Experience', certain portions and pictures are a repetition of my earlier posts.
No payment or in kind are receive from SureCatch (Siow Chiang) or Sentosa Corporation for this article. All expenses and tackle equipment used are out of my own pocket.

Sister islands, a pair of small island on the southern part of our small country. Many will not find these pair of island a familiar place as there is no regular ferry trip to these island unlike St John and Kusu islands. So would one expect a run down, ill maintained island then? Far from it, both small it might be, but both are nicely maintained with proper restroom facilities, thanks to Sentosa Corporation. To get to these island, one would have to charter a ferry service at Marina South Ferry terminal which cost less then SGD200 for a two way trip with a 12 seater ferry.

Once at the island, most likely you will notice the lack of crowd, on most weekdays, almost a total lack of human presence, saved for a couple of workers which tidy up the entire island. Isn't this like having your own little private island in the concrete jungle you are in right now?

Sister Island tripWell manicured grass, resting huts,foot path, the smell of sea and a great view of the vast open sea. You can walk around the island in less then 10 minutes, so why not spend some time to explore the place while you are there.

Sister Island tripSister Island tripAnglers have longed been accused of ditching their other half while they pursuit the trill of having a fish at the end of their line. This is one place that anglers could bring their families along to have a picnic while they can wet their lines too.

On top of having proper restroom facilities, there are swimming lagoons on the islands.

Adults will appreciate the break from routine life while this is one good way to tear the kids away from their computers and LAN games.

Sister Island trip

This is obviously not a travelogue and let's turn our attention back to the angling, with nice pristine water all around you, an decent angler will be keen to wet their lines. So bring along your favorite rod and reels and cast away! While you are doing that, you might be keen to introduce your love ones to the joy of fishing, get them some light lines and small hooks, and have them wet their lines too. Small fishes are almost always in abundance at where you alight from the ferry, who knows they might be hooked onto the hobby as you are.

Lure Anglers will like the contrasting landscape available to them to try out different lures.
Fly fishing anglers will like the space available to them to cast their flies.
Bait anglers, well..... they can do whatever to target the species that catches their fancy.

When it's time to leave you little 'private' island, it is sure to leave an impression on you. With the ferry moving further and further away from the islands, with the sun setting in the horizon, when you cast your eyes back onto the ever diminishing island, all the earlier frustration you have trying to impart the artistry of fishing to your family, all the frustration your have from your work will simply melt away and replace with a smile on your face. Cause you know that the quality time you have just spend with your family would be priceless and bring the family closer and more tightly knitted.

If you are a first time visitors to the island, some info for you.
There is NO food or Drinks stall there, do bring your own.
There is a proper toilet facilities, showers included, BUT no power supply at all, so No lights at night should you plan to spend the night there.
Do contact Sentosa if you plan to stay overnight there, it is FOC but you will need to inform them though.
There are monkeys on the island, so take care of your belongings and especially your food. And do NOT feed them please.
Important - Current outside the swimming lagoon is Very Strong, do NOT venture beyond the swimming lagoon if you are having a dip in it.

Here some sneak preview of just some of the species that's available at the island, other species spotted are parrot fish, groupers, coral trouts, bait fishes like tamban, kunning, selar, etc. Hopefully, you will pick the correct tackles, baits, lures, flies, etc for a fruitful trip.

PhotobucketSister Island tripBig Rabbit at Sister Island, Big Rabbit fish caught at Sister Island on 22 Oct 11

10 December 2011

Sister Island once again

Sister Island - 03 Dec 2011I almost didn't make it for this trip, needed some last minute juggling with my schedule to make it happen. Boy am I glad I did the switch. Trips to this island have been a contrast of luck for me, due to the different species that is being targeted, it is usually been good for others while I will have a lower yield then others. On this trip, it is the opposite, the yellow tails and kunnings are just not around for the entire day, thus I am able to fish at the particular 'hot spot' to target for the silver moony.

Will the usual bait of gargo and prawns available, I decided to take just some bread as bait. With the tips from a regular angler there, breads must be fluffy when targeting silver moony, I decided to cut them into cubes instead of the usual practice of pinching the bread on to the hooks.  Also modify my rigging method so that I could drift the baits into the strike zone.

I am not keen to do the usually method of berley to entice to come out of the hiding, thus instead I let the water current to do the job of pushing my baits to them. Also upon the regular angler's advice, I need to pull the fish out fast else I could easily spooked the rest of the fishes.  With all these valuable advices, I manage to land 10 pieces of silver moony at around noon time, but not without landing my now customary remora twice. Almost all are on bread with just a piece of 2 on prawns or gargo.

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