Sunday, May 31, 2015

Varnish finished

I've just refinished another rod, Gart Bros brand casting rod made by Phillipson. This time, I fixed an end of ferrules using a genuine part, and exchanged all the guides and threads. I tried to reproduce the original finish, but used higher-quality vintage guides and adopted a double-thread pattern to attach them.

I believe this rod is good for Zara Spooks and other pencil baits. I now feel like going fishing with this rod and some of my favorite baits, hopefully enjoying casting from my Old Town canoe in a clear highland lake. 

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Devil's Horse

Last night, I thought about taking up using three-hooker prop baits, and put a Smithwick Devil's Horse together with other lures in my tackle box. I like to add an extra washer on the tail of this bait, by which I expect the tail prop can squeak more loudly.

I left my place at 03:40 and went fishing. On the way, I saw a pack of foxes. I guess it was a family, as 2-3 of them were very little young. They showed a great deal of curiosity to my car and won't move for a while. I slowed down and passed them. Anyway, I got to a pond.

As always, I started with a noisy bait (Jointed Jitterbug) before the sun rose, and then switched to Devil's Horse. While I fished, I saw something move between the trees just nearby the pond. I carefully looked at it and found it was a raccoon. I sometimes see Japanese raccoons, but it was the first time for me to see a raccoon (common raccoon, a non-native here). I was afraid bass would get scared by it, and I glided away from there.

Then I fished another area of the same pond. When I cast the Devil's Horse to a near-shore shallow spot and gave it a few small twitches, I got a big blow-up on it. It was the nicest and most admirable reaction from bass in this season. I enjoyed fighting with it, and felt happy to catch it.

Today's tackle: ABU Ambassadeur 5000CDL (High Speed), Phillipson Royal RC60, Stren 14lb (Clear/Blue Fluorescent), Jointed Jitterbug and Devil's Horse (I used only two lures today). 

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Magnum Tiger

Since I made a terrible mess just before catching a bass last time, I had been agonized myself over it. I went to the same pond on the next day to try to find the lure I lost, but I couldn't (and got skunked, either). I went again yesterday, and in vain (and got skunked).

Today, I went to a different pond for a switch. It is located near the top of a small mountain, and I had to walk for a while carrying my floating tube. I started before daylight, and kept casting a Heddon Magnum Tiger (GRA color) most of the time. Yes, the same as what I lost last time. I fished almost all the shore areas but got no responses at all. When the morning sun started to beam, I was at the last point but one. I despaired of ever catching a fish, but how lucky I was today, this nice bass (4lb) finally jumped at my lure. I carefully fought with it, not to make the same mistake, and managed to land it. I couldn't be happier about this fish. and I could take a load off my mind.

Today's tackle: ABU Ambassadeur 5000CDL (High Speed), Phillipson RL64LS, Stren 14lb (Clear/Blue Fluorescent), Heddon Magnum Tiger, Chugger Spook, Zara Spook, Wounded Spook, Pico Pop, etc.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Spinning tackle

Recently I'm getting more and more interested in spinning tackle to use for so-called "topwater minnowing". I've just finished restoring two spinning rods, one is 5'6" and the other is 6'4", both made by Phillipson.

As for reels, I'm wondering which one to go with. I like small ABU Cardinal reels very much and have some for fishing and collection. 

ABU Cardinal 52 or 152?

Or Japan made, 752 series?

The green 752 is my first ABU Cardinal reel. I picked it up when I traveled the US for the first time in the late 1980s. 

I have another reel in mind that I'm now more interested in. It is a brand-new reel from ABU,  506 MK II. These closed-face spinning (under spin) look fantastic, but they're a little heavy. I wish they can make a similar reel in much smaller size.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Oh, my Budda

I took compensatory leave today and of course went fishing. 

In the first farm pond, I spent about one hour but I got skunked. Then, I visited the second where I fished for the first time and I was not sure bass inhabit there. It is located in a mountain and has a nice atmosphere. Maybe due to the typhoon which passed this week, the water looked muddy, so I cast bright color lures. 

About 15 minutes after I started, I got a small bite with a Heddon Chugger Spook in XRY color, but could not tell what kind of fish it was. It may be a catfish, bluegill, or bass. I kept fishing and fished almost all the shores of the pond. As always, I fished topwater, but as I decided to go home and retrieved my lure (Heddon Magnum Tiger) fast.Then it dived underwater, and I got an unexpected big bite (I first thought it was snagged). It was a big bass, and I enjoyed the hard fight with it. I caught it once by hand just near my float tube, but it ran wild and I got my hand off of it. When I caught the line and was about to catch it with my fish grip again, it ran wilder again, broke my line, and went deeper with my lure.I should have been much more patient and careful. I got totally discouraged, and I hope the bass can unhook the lure and survive.

I'd like to prepare a landing net next time...

Today's tackle: ABU Ambassadeur 5000CDL (High Speed), Phillipson RL64LS, Stren 14lb (Clear/Blue Fluorescent), Jitterstick, Zara Spook, Pico Pop, Meadow Mouse, Chugger Spook, Magnum Tiger, etc. 

Sunday, May 10, 2015


I aligned my rod and reel setting last night, and decided to go fishing for a short time this morning. I fixed the ferrule of the rod grip, and changed reels from the thumb-bar type one (Royal Gold LE) to a regular pushing clutch one (4500AL). 

I got to the same pond as yesterday at 04:10 and started fishing. The rod and reel combination was fine, and I felt comfortable with them.

Yesterday's fishing suggested fish would still be very slow, so I selected a 3-hook lure that I can retrieve steadily, Gilmore Hoodler. When I quietly cast it to a small shallow area, I saw a small movement of water just behind it. I waited for several seconds, and gave the first subtle action. Then again, I saw water move. I paused for  several seconds again, and gave a trembling action to the bait. At last, the bait slowly passed from my view with no splash and sound, and I set a hook hard. It was a nice muscular bass, and I managed to catch it.

Today's tackle: ABU Ambassadeur 4500AL, Phillipson Royal RC60, Stren 12lb (Clear/Blue Fluorescent), Jitterstick, Gilmore Hoodler, Zara Spook, Pico Pop, Meadow Mouse, etc. 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Restoring rods

I've been working on restoration of some of my rods since last week. I spend a few hours almost every night before going to bed, and have just finished two rods.

This rod (Fenwick HMG Graphite) is finished. I replaced the threads using the same colored Gudebrod's ones without using color preservers. Gudebrod's transparent thread is really beautiful.

I also replaced threads and varnished the whole blank of this rod (Phillipson 64 RLS). I used NCP threads on this one as they look much better against metal tapes. 

I have six more rods to finish from now. When in the world can I get enough sleep???

Got skunked

I went fishing in a nearby pond but got skunked. It may be in the middle of the post-spawning season, and I'm afraid fish were extremely slow. Once a small splash occurred just behind my Nip-I-Diddee, and once I saw a fish chased my Chugger Spook (XRY), but none were hooked. Worse than that, my reel and rod were in bad condition, and I had a little difficulties to cast with them. The rod blank was loose in the grip and the clutch-bar of my reel was stiff enough to strain my thumb. I'd like to go with better ones next time.

Today's tackle: ABU Royal Gold LE, Phillipson Royal RC60, Stren 12lb (Clear/Blue Fluorescent), Jitterstick, Zara Spook, Lucky 13, Pico Slasher, Nip-I-Diddee, Chugger Spook, Gilmore Jumber No-Spinner, etc.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Repairing handles

I've just finished repairing two of my old Phillipson casting handles. One was replacing cork grips, and it was a very easy job (far side one). The other was a little complicated. It had a broken trigger whose tip had gone off. I decided to make a new trigger using regin.

At first, I drilled a small hole on the base of the trigger. The base was flatly cut off, and I could easily make a hole in it.

Then, I made a center core using a small screw and put some epoxy resin around it to roughly mold the original shape of the trigger. After the resin was hardened, I filed and sanded it, and at last I finished painting it in black this morning. 

The finish looks so so, and I expect it is firm enough. I'm looking forward to using it.

Friday, May 1, 2015

One-hour fishing

Before going to work, I enjoyed one-hour fishing in a pond near our place. 

Fortunately, I could catch a nice bass with a Heddon Wounded Spook. My camera shows I caught it around 04:45, I finished fishing at 05:30, got home just before 06:00, and took my dog for a walk. Nothing is different from my daily life after I'm back.

This time, I tried a longer rod (6'4"). I have used short rods these years, but I rediscovered I really like long rods.

Today's tackle: ABU 5000 DeLuxe, Phillipson Stream Knight SK64LS, Stren 14lb (Clear/Blue Fluorescent), Big Bud, Zara Spook, Wounded Spook, Pico Slasher, etc.