07 August 2012

Shimano C3000 spool on 2500 Body

Similiar - Except the color
After a month's wait, my Alivio C3000 spool have arrived and collected. This spool is to be fitted on my recently acquired Aernos FA2500 body. Although the Aernos comes with a spare spool already, I prefer to use a C3000 spool for my noodle rod application giving me a tad more line capacity should I needed it.

As the Aernos FA does not comes in C3000 size, thus I need to order the C3000 spool from another reel model, I choose the Alivio as it is the cheapest available I think. So how does it fits? In terms of functionality it fits like a glove, of course the color does not match. As long as it serve it's function, look doesn't really bother me.

Fits Perfectly
So here it is, the reel I will be using for my noodle rod application.

25 July 2012

Rare Find at Tackle Shop

Rare sight at Local tackle shop
Reels like these are not going stir up much excitement for the younger anglers when they see it at tackle shops. However to some of us, seeing this reel displayed at a tackle shop bring back memories. To me these are the reels that I told myself that I wanted to buy when I grow when I am much younger, at a time where money is hard to come by. Of course by the time my economic situation improves, these reels are already out of production and out of stock at tackle shops.

Make in Japan no less
A couple of days ago, meet up with a fellow fishing friend to simply just visit some tackle shops and to catch up. At one of the tackle shop, notice that they do have some old Shimano Bantam reels on display. Of course I take a longer look at these reels as you seldom see them around anymore. Then he pull out this reel out of the display cabinet, and ask 'You interested?'. Of course I am, but I need a quick check on the schematic to confirm this is on the wormshaft system before confirming my order.

This purchase really make my day, make that a week or even months. It is like you fulfill one of your childhood dreams, making good that promised you made yourself many many years ago.

The reel itself have nothing much to shout about given the technology advances in the fishing reels over the years. But it still holds it charm to a certain group of anglers, maybe for whatever reasons, would love to get their hands on reels from a bygone period.

If you love reels like these, grab the last few pieces from Deep Sea Sport Fishing tackles, on top of the Symetre, there are also the Super Ship Navi and Bantam BC reels. They are available at a very reasonable prices, and for once, this is really 'While Stock Last'.

09 July 2012

DIY Spinners to suit your tackle setup

Abu Reflex on the Left, DIY on Right
In actual fact, I can't really call this a DIY project as there are just too many items that are purchased in this project. Spinners are not really expensive to purchase from tackle shops, maybe because they are such low-tech items. But we are very limited by the choices available here, it might be because it is already out of fashion. So tackle shop does not really stock them up in variety.

Most off the shelf spinners are usually heavier then what I would like them to be, so a few years ago, I made an on-line purchase of some common spinner blades and clevises. But with my usual stroke of bad luck, only the blades arrives and the clevises are somehow not in the package. So these blades are sitting at my box of lures as I could not find the clevises in our tackle shops. I have sort of given up any hope of using these blades as the clevises are proving to damn elusive to be found here.

02 July 2012

Virgin trip to Pandan Reservoir

It have been a long long time since I do freshwater luring, it not that I don't enjoy it, but some of the legal area is ridiculous to fish. When Pandan reservoir is first opened for fishing, I am so happy as I have long heard of rumors that there are huge peacock bass.

Many months ago, I make my way down to the Pandan reservoir with full intention to fish. But I just couldn't find the legal fishing spot, granted I didn't walk the entire compound, it is just to huge an area for me to walk around just to seek out where is the legal spot.

Luckily, a fellow fisho I knew in Facebook is making his way there today and invited me to join him for some freshwater fun, he gave me good instruction how to get there and viola, I managed to find the 'elusive' legal spot at Pandan reservoir, Hooray!!! It is a nice jetty with a pretty decently long platform to lure.

21 June 2012

AJN 5ft6 Solid Carbon - Improved version

All Japan Network (AJN) have just released a new batch of their extremely popular 5ft6 Stealth Solid carbon rod.

Just weeks after I have just lay my hand on their first batch of rods, they now released a new batch..... I think I am damn slow on the previous review.

I didn't have the physical rod with me, my observations are based on the information released by AJN and the pictures of the new batch of rods. 

The blanks used are the same design as the previous batch, but with some minor but important changes to the accessories used. Boy do they take the feedback receive seriously.

First up, my major complaint the top guide. Now it have been changed to a different style, not too sure if the ring diameter have been increased, I sure hope it has.

Next is the stripper guide, for layman like me, that's the guide closest to the butt. It is now have a bigger diameter. Personally I do not have any issue with the previous size, but maybe if matched with a bigger reel, the casting distance could be compromised if the stripper guide have a smaller diameter.

Last change is purely a cosmetic or if you like a vanity change, the butt cap have the company's name printed on it instead of being just a plain design.

Stock is already available and is selling at SGD65.

Disclaimer - No Payment is received for this write up.
Photos are property of All Japan Network

15 June 2012

New toy - Shimano Aernos 2500 FA

Fresh Out of Tackle Shop
Frankly I cannot remember when is the last time I walk into a tackle shop to buy a reel. Those budget Shimano reels have serve me very well indeed over the years, of course I do give them some care like giving them a shower after each trip and service them once in a while.

When the Shimano Aernos FA series is launched in our sunny island, I didn't pay too much attention to it as I thought this is the previous version of Aernos getting a color facelift. I do have an older generation AernosXT C3000 reel, and am not too impressed by it.

Comes with Reel Package
While doing some research and downloading schematic drawings for some reels, I chance upon this reel again and study it more in detail, oh boy the specs does look impressive. After getting some help from local anglers to check the pricing, I did ever declare that at this reel is one of the Best Value for Money reel at present.

So what prompt me to buy this reel? First off, as you can see from the picture, it comes with a spare spool with the reel, and the impressive bearing count. More importantly, this reel have Ball bearings where you wanted it most, namely two for the Drive gear, one for Pinion gear, one on the roller, and one on the Eva handle. It would prefect if they can just add one more for the oscillating gear. And of course to put my money where my mouth is, since it is such good value for money, I just have to buy it.

09 June 2012

AJN Stealth Carbon 5ft6

Rod Specs, this is a used rod thus all the marks and scuff marks
Finally lay my hand on this rod, but this is not my rod, it is a rod I borrowed on one fishing trip. This model sold out so fast that before I even have the chance to say 'I wanna buy', every single piece is sold already.

First off, the specs
Mfg - AJN
Model - SCS561UL
Length - 5ft6; Single piece
Guide - SIC, not Fuji though
Line rating - 8 to 16lbs

From what I have understand this rod uses a one-piece solid carbon blank, attached to a graphite butt which house the reel seat. This is constructed this way instead having the blank all the way down to the reel seat is to prevent flex at the reel seat.

So how does this rod perform? I can't really tell since I didn't have the chance to use this rod to catch anything else other then tamban. However when I did a rod loading test at home the rod perform very nicely, the rod flex nicely at the front and the rear section feel like it have a reasonable amount of backbone.

Personally I think this rod should should perform well in these application, pay pond fishing and off-shore micro jigging. A thin rod tip to impart lures / jigs action and a fair amount of backbone to fight a decent sized fish.

And for the price it is retailed, I would say that this is really good value for money. I do like the rod action and overall feel and it comes with SIC guides, a minor complaint I have is the top guide, I would prefer it to have bigger diameter ring. I would pair this with a Shimano 1000 or C2000 sized reel, think it would achieve a nice balance.

Bad news if that there is zero stock at the moment, no idea when the new stock would arrived. On the plus side, AJN will be launching their Jigging Jack and Jigging Jazel, it will be having 2 different handle for jigging and luring. If the blank is based on the similar blank design as this rod, it should do well for light jigging applications.

Disclaimer - No payment is received for this write up. Rod is not writer's rod, it is a borrowed rod

02 June 2012

Roller Bushing to Bearing - Version 2; Shimano Reel

Reference - Version 1

Parts of the roller bushing
For a long time I have been using the first version for my Shimano Alivio reel, really dun feel the need to do anything to it as it works well and basically there is only reel that needed for the modification then. Then disaster struck and the bearing got busted and I need to change it, moreover after gotten 2 more budget reels at a Shimano event, I need to find a new way as one of the part in version one is hard to find.

The problem with version one are
1. Ball Bearing needed work, the outer race have to be grind to a smaller diameter to fit into the roller.
2. That means that for every bearing that got busted, I need to work on the replacement bearing.
3. One part is close to impossible to find, I need something that is easily available since I have 2 more reels to receive the roller bearing upgrade.

22 May 2012

St John Island - 20 May 2012

Todak posing with the tackle that kills it
Made this trip basically to seek revenge from the last trip, tide is similar so too is the weather. Hoping to see some queen fish again, no time is wasted to jig for bait fish from elsewhere, instead once we touchdown, straight away we headed to the linkway and hope to get some live bait fishes there.

Similar to the last trip, bait fishes are hard to come by, finally get one from an old uncle and quickly hook with on my noodle rod. And the wait begins for the arrival of the queen.

Saw a splash earlier so hopefully it is a sign, but alas a todak took my live bait and then spat it out, killing it. No choice but to start bottom fishing again for bait fish while leaving the freshly killed bait fish in the water.

Then the todak strikes again, DesT notice some action on my side and walks over.
DesT - Look like it is a big one I saw earlier.
Me - Big mah? I dun think so, although it didn't jump much.
DesT - Let's see when it closer.

a while later.....
DesT - Yeah, it looks like the big one I saw on the other side.
Me - Doesn't look big to me, maybe 80cm plus
DesT - Hmm... doesn't look that small to me
Me - I dun really care, I wanted the queenie, this is a by-catch

So up it comes, once it is on the grass patch then did I notice the length of it, it is indeed not that small. DesT took out the measuring tape and measure it. It comes just short of One meter, considered large in our local water.

Well, that's the only decent catch we had the entire day, and this is going to be donated to Raffles Museum to be preserved as part of their studies.

Tackle used
Rod - GLoomis GL2 NR1382
Reel - Shimano Alivio 2500 body (Modified) with AernosXT C3000 spool
Line - Spiderwire EZ Braid 10lbs, with 12lbs Surecatch leader
Rig - Float with 15lbs line and Aji 12 and Aji 14 double hook

20 May 2012

Spool Line Holder - DIY Style

Finished Product on Reel
I have always wanted to do this when I started freshwater luring. As usually the fishing starts at day break, thus the night before I will tied all the necessary terminal tackles and will be almost ready to go when I reached the fishing ground.

However, I didn't get to start doing it until recently where the past couple of trips, for various reason, I needed to setup fast and time is wasted for me to tied the terminal tackles.

Initially wanted to buy off the shelf, but when I see the stuff available and the price, I rather put my money to better use. Taking those commercially available as a reference, thought of a few design and finally decided to get it done once and for all.
Made to Measure, this one fits a 1000 sized reel

There is a couple of design swimming in my head when I am shopping for the stuff required, but decided on this for a few reason.
1. It is cheap
2. I have no idea how long can the elastic band last, so doesn't want to waste money on velco strips to make it adjustable.
3. As mentioned, as it is cheap, I can basically make one for every single reel that I have, so no need for it to be adjustable.
4. Purely for vanity reason, I can customized it with my nickname, instead of doing free advertisement for others.

The design and production is so simple that I am kind of embarrassed to put it up, had I managed to get the elastic bands in black or red, I believe it would look better. Anyway, the concept of this design is from the fingers guards that I used when I played basketball donkeys years ago.

Item Required
Elastic Band (I am using one with 15mm width for this, use one that fits your spool)
Flat Pliers
Cig Ligther
Even the Super Glue I use is a cheap one.

Work out the circumference of your spool (if you have forgotten it is 2πr)
Cut elastic band to this length.
Use the lighter to burn off those frayed ends.
Apply Super Glue to one end of the elastic band at about 1cm width.
Put the 2 ends together, with the Super Glued side in contact with the other end. Overlap at appox 1cm.
Use a flat plier and apply pressure to the overlapped portion, avoid using fingers as the glue might get onto your fingers.
Viola, it is done and ready to use when it dries.

Now, based on how what it described above, and using a very complicated mathematics calculations, you will find that the finished elastic band about 1 cm smaller then the spool circumference. The smaller diameter of the elastic band is to keep the line in place and is not too difficult to put it on as well.

Of course if you are doing for a much bigger reel, you might want to get a thicker elastic band. But for Shimano 1000 to 2500 sized reels, I find that 1.5cm is just about right.

18 May 2012

Shimano Slade 1000FB - Upgrading the reels

When I first gotten this reel at a Shimano event, I decided not to modify it, use it out of the box for as long as I can and see how long can it last. Mixed bags of respond from me, the good part is that the reel lasted with zero maintenance, bad news is that the bushing holding the Drive gear starts to create more friction that the inertia force required when you start to crank the handle increase quite a fair bit.

Thus make my way down to the ball bearing shop to get the necessary bearings, and do the change of the bushing to bearings. Of course, since I am dismantling the reel, might as well clean up everything and give it a full service.

And this reel also get my upgraded version of roller bushing upgrade to ball bearing. The previous version is hard to replicate as it is tough to find the necessary parts, and the need to trim down the bearing outer race to a smaller diameter. More on this on my further posting.

01 May 2012

Three old man and a Queen

22nd May 2012, a planned trip to St John island to do some fishing, the tide is right to do some todak hunting and I have some other stuff to do, namely to take some pics for an article for a fellow fisho, and test out the new lines that I have spooled in.

Upon reaching, I immediately start to jig for tamban, on previous trips, they are pretty easy to get, however on this trip it is tough, before long we know what happen, there is a queenie whacking baits fishes just around the area. DesT hooked up a live tamban and managed to get a hit, but failed to set the hook. He is so hyped up that he refuse to move his butt until much later. With a predator in the area, tambans are hard to come by, finally we have no choice but to get some glass fish on top of the few precious tamban we get.

26 April 2012

Upgrade your Shimano Reel

Drive gear bushing (round blue object)
This is a common sight for budget Shimano reels when you open the reel, the sickening sight of bushing for the drive gear.

Nothing wrong with them actually, but after using my Shimano AX 1000 FB for a period of time without any modifications, it start to act up a little. The inertia force required to start cracking increases, however once it gets going everything is back to normal.

It can be a simple fix, just one drop of oil on the two bushing will solve the issue. But since I intend to keep this reel for a while, and use it for small game, I might just as well do the upgrade as well.

The upgrade is as simple as it gets, use this as a reference to how to dismantle your reel.

Reel -  Shimano AX 1000 FB
Item required
  • 2 x Ball Bearing 7x13x4mm
  • Oil for bearing
  • Necessary tools
Look how much grease is in it
Once you open up the internal of the reel, it will look like the picture on the Top and Right. The bushing are the blue circular object, they are the one that supports the Drive Gear. The Drive Gear would turns whenever you turn the handle, thus by changing to ball bearing would enhance the fishing experience.

The next step is to remove bushing and pop in the next bearings. Oil the bearing before assemble the reel.

It could be fast and easy, but if there is a lot of loose play on the handle or hard to crack after you assemble, then you might need to adjust the number shims used.

I have to do the adjustment a few time to get it right, now the pinion gear and drive gear are tightly mashed, and very little loose play in the handle. Feel very good!

23 April 2012

Shimano C3000 Spool Capacity for Braided Line

This is something that I wanted to document for a long time. But never ever get to start doing it use to the lack of standardization of measurement between fishing tackle manufacturers, gathering information could be a pain in the arse.

Since I have recently spool in new line into Hybrid Shimano reel, so start to record for future reference.
Would appreciate if anglers would contribute as well.

Spool - C3000
Manufacturer Specs
No.2.5 / 180m

Line - Spiderwire EZ Braid
Manufacturer Specs
Strength - 10lbs (4.5kg; 3lbs Test Diameter)
Diameter - 0.18mm
Length - 300 yds (273m)
This is close to PE1.2 (Reference)

Result - I manage to spool the entire 300yds spool of the 10lbs braided line into the spool with minimum mono backing (Just to prevent line slip only).

PE Rating

PE Line rating is the Japanese way for standardized the fishing line, it is in actual fact for line diameter. No idea when and what happen, it seems now it is being used for rating rods as well. No matter as for now, I intended to use it as a reference for the diameter.

Since I am going to document various Spool Capacity, this could be helpful in future and perhaps the only standardized measurement for the fishing industry. 

Here is the list for reference.
                                         PE #                                      Diameter
                                       PE 0.6 ………………………….. 0.128mm
                                       PE 0.8 ………………………….. 0.148mm
                                       PE 1 …………………………….. 0.165mm
                                       PE 1.2 ………………………….. 0.185mm
                                       PE 1.5 ………………………….. 0.205mm
                                       PE 1.7 ………………………….. 0.218mm
                                       PE 2 …………………………….. 0.235mm
                                       PE 2.5 ………………………….. 0.260mm
                                       PE 3 …………………………….. 0.285mm
                                       PE 3.5 ………………………….. 0.310mm
                                       PE 4 …………………………….. 0.330mm
                                       PE 5 …………………………….. 0.370mm
                                       PE 6 …………………………….. 0.405mm
                                       PE 7 …………………………….. 0.435mm
                                       PE 8 …………………………….. 0.470mm
                                       PE 10 …………………………… 0.520mm
                                       PE 12 …………………………… 0.570mm
                                       PE 14 …………………………… 0.620mm
                                       PE 16 …………………………… 0.660mm
                                       PE 18 …………………………… 0.700mm
                                       PE 20 …………………………… 0.740mm
                                       PE 22 …………………………… 0.780mm
                                       PE 24 …………………………… 0.810mm
                                       PE 28 …………………………… 0.870mm

21 April 2012

Hybrid Shimano?

Left - Aernos Body with Alivio spool; Right - Alivio body with Aernos spool
This trick have been done by a lot of anglers, buy a Shimano 2500 sized reel and buy a spare spool of C3000. Easily convert their reel to a C3000 for the extra line capacity with a 2500 spare spool.

For me, the Aernos XT C3000 have seen very little action as my initial intention is to pair it with my noodle rod, however due to it's heavier body, I have stuck with the Alivio 2500 for a long long time. But recently, after I top up  the spool with some freshly bought Fireline Fused 4lb burst whenever I try to set hook. Losing the fish is bad enough but the time spend to tie the leader and all is killing me. Later found out that I am not the only one, there seems to be one faulty batch for the 4lbs Fireline only, other poundage is okay.

So got my hand on a 300yds of Spiderwire EZ Braid 10lbs, the attraction is that the line feel so thin (like fireline 6lbs maybe) but is at 10lbs rating. Thus decided to spool the entire length of the line into the reel, no joining knots and all. However, I have been adviced that my Alivio 2500 might not be able to take the entire length of the braided line, C3000 might be just nice or have a little excess. Hmm...... give it a quick thought, and decided to swap spool of these 2 reels I have.

Now it is an Alivio body (Modified with extra bearings and ball bearing roller) with an Aernos C3000 spool.  And the Aernos body is now kitted with Alivio 2500 spool. Glad that I am hit with this brainwave, todaks and queenies, here I come........ and there's no escape this time round!

Words of Caution (A few in fact)
Do try out on the same generation of reels, I have just got a cheapo newer generation Shimano reel, yet to try out, but the overall length of the spool is shorter on the new spool
If one spool have bearing support and another dun have, of course it will not be plug and play that easy.
There is a difference in the spool for cheapo and more expensive reels, Die Cast vs Cold Forged.
Finally, you might need to play around with the washers on the shaft if the newly fitted spool does not lay the line evenly at top and bottom.

09 March 2012

Tackle Shopping @ Beach Road, my intro to light jigging?

It have been a long long time since I do shopping for fishing stuff at Beach Road, when a non-fisho friend called to meet me there for lunch, well I agreed mainly because I can do some shopping.

Basically I have an idea what I needed, so shopping is pretty fast and easy for me. First stop is Lure Haven to pick up some Sasame swivel, as I have no idea which other tackle shop stocks them. I couldn't resist to pick up an Ima GUN 7g jig as well, heard so much good review about it but I dun really do jigging. My guess it is more of a case of just buy and keep the Ima GUN till someday to try it out.

While waiting for my friend, pop by one of the tackle shop and spoke to Alan Chan. I am looking for gold colored prawn hooks, as the thin wire gauge would be great to hook gargo bait, alas the shop have only black colored ones. Since have time, spend some time to find out more about light / micro jigging from Alan, as I don't do boat fishing, I am keen to try shoreline jigging only. Found out that is possible, but need concentration and risk losing jigs, well at least it is possible. It invoke interest in me to try out some day soon, since more or less I think I have the tackles needed, just need to buy some jigs to try out on one of those southern islands trips.

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