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If you are into your bass lure fishing and you enjoy fishing new waters in a stunning part of the world together with a bunch of like-minded junkies, then you need to put the 28th, 29th, and 30th of June 2019 in your diary and get up to Wales. I take my hat off to anglers who organise events like these, and it looks like there are going to be a heap of amazing prizes. I have copied and pasted the relevant details below from the “Pembrokeshire Bass Lure Tournament” page on Facebook - all you need to know about how to enter and so on are in there…………

The Pembrokeshire Bass Lure Tournament - 28/29/30 June 2019

“We are proud to announce the first ever Pembrokeshire Bass Lure Tournament, an event borne from our passion for what we do and desire to give something back to the bass lure community. Come and take part for the bass, the competition, the camaraderie, the enjoyment and the sheer love of doing what we do.

Sign in from 11 am - 2pm on the 28th @ The Rising Sun, Pelcomb Bridge, Haverfordwest SA62 6EA. There will also be an additional opportunity to sign in on 29th from 8am - 11am.

The cut off point for entry is Friday 31st of May 2019

At your signing in you will be provided with the rules and boundaries - including out of bounds areas.

Please NOTE: We ourselves practice ‘Catch and Release’ and therefore we would like everyone to abide by this in the spirit of the event.

Be back at 12pm on Sunday the 30th to submit your catch report. A hot meal and your free T-shirt will be available at approximately 2/3pm with the Prize Draw taking place immediately after this.

First Prizes will be awarded for the longest bass, three longest bass, the longest Visitors’ bass, a prize awarded to anyone not living in Pembrokeshire, and the junior longest bass Prize.

Depending on the number of entrants there may also be a 2nd longest bass prize.

The final prize list will be posted here for you to see once we have the full list.

Registration Fee is £20 for Adults and £12 for juniors

How to Register? Just follow these steps:

Please pay via PayPal to mcbousie@hotmail.co.uk

Don’t forget to put your T-shirt size in the reference/comments when you pay please.

Take a screenshot or print out confirmation for your own proof and keep this should any issues arise. There will be a £5 cash pool option on the day.

The Pembrokeshire Bass Lure Tournament 2019 is a strictly non-profit event with many enthusiasts freely giving of their time to make this event a memorable one for everyone. Its our passion. A passion we know that you share with us and hopefully we can work on making this an annual event.

In the event that after all costs have been covered there are any funds remaining, ALL proceeds will be donated to Save Our Seabass.

For any further information or if you have any questions at all, please contact:

Merv on 07771 748170

Rob 07464 262464

Or email Rob at rdhbpembs@googlemail.com

We look forward to your support and sharing in a fantastic event.

Many thanks

Mervyn Bousie & Rob Lawrie”

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It’s kind of crept up on me that these four weeks a year of co-guiding work I do with John Quinlan and their Thatch Cottage Fishing operation in their outrageously beautiful and quiet corner of south west Ireland are the four weeks of fishing related work that I look forward to the most each year. Whatever the fishing or the weather is like out there, we have a blast, and I hope I can speak for your clients in saying that we reckon they have a blast on these trips as well. We have a few spaces left so I am putting the details up on here and hoping that some of you nice people can come along………….

A trip out to Kerry with us is four days of guided lure fishing, together with five nights accommodation plus all food - the price for this is €1300 and has been since John and I started working together. There are various ways to get out to us in Kerry and we will help you with the details. I also tend to put the people on the trips in touch with each other to see if anybody can share travel and so on. Some people come with heaps of fishing gear and some don’t - we have plenty of rods and reels and lures and so on, but we do ask that our anglers come with a pair of chest waders in which they are comfortable moving around over all kinds of surfaces, plus a decent waterproof top. This is Kerry in south west Ireland we are talking about, and you can go from the heavens opening to getting royally sunburnt to almost anything in between - all in the same hour as well! Honestly, where we do our guided fishing is in the most magical part of the world you could ever hope to see.

Bass are obviously our target species, and whilst I am not about to pretend that a monster 10lb+ bass like the one Paul caught with us last year is an everyday thing, anything really is possible out there, and because of the lay of the land we always have viable fishing options almost whatever the weather. There is also some awesome pollack fishing on light tackle that we love to have a crack at, plus if the rivers are in the right condition then there’s a chance to have a go for a salmon if our people want to. We have some places on these trips below:

  • Arrive Tuesday 16th July

  • Fish 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th July

  • Depart Sunday 21st July

  • Arrive Sunday 13th October

  • Fish 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th October

  • Depart Friday 18th October

Please get in touch with me here if you can come along, and we hope to see some of you out there with us. Please, please do not worry for a single second if you are not the most experienced angler in the world, because it doesn’t matter a single bit - we are here to help you with your fishing, indeed from a guiding point of view I cannot tell you what a thrill it is to be able to help people catch fish in such a special part of the world. You all have a good weekend and may any travelling you need to do be less than mine! After work and school my wife and I are dropping our girls off with a relation on Dartmoor and we are then heading to just outside of Norwich where my god daughter is getting married tomorrow afternoon (so hoping that the M25 doesn’t screw us up later this evening). We will then head back to Cornwall early on Sunday morning, so it’s no fishing for me this weekend. Hoping you lot get out, and may a few fine fish find your lures………...

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Okay, so I can’t pretend I really like these east winds and very bright conditions, but if you don’t go you will never know, and with building tides we picked a spot this morning that would at least remain in shadow for as long as possible. To have so much coastline on our doorstep upon which we see so few anglers will never be anything less than a huge thrill for me having not grown up by the sea, and when you see a few nice bass before starting work it’s just about perfect in my opinion. It’s my 20th wedding anniversary today and I had one of my what are now six monthly skin cancer check ups yesterday which was all cool, so all in all it’s a mighty fine day!

Anyway, I didn’t actually get a sniff of a fish this morning, but Mark landed four nice bass up to 5lbs (weighed) - and as ever with this fishing thing, holy frigging cow is my brain churning away! We weren’t fishing that far apart and I moved towards him after his second bass, but I still didn’t even get a hit. I went through my repertoire of lures I had in my boxes for a typical session like this - surface, soft plastics, smaller, shallow diving hards lures - but all I really did this morning was watch my mate hitting into bass and then try to control my head which is about fit to burst with how many questions this brief session throws up.

If you looked in our lure boxes then I reckon Mark and I are carrying a number of the same lures, but for whatever reason he had a particular paddletail with him this morning - and he caught his four bass on this one lure. It’s called a Sunslicker Doodle Shad, and to me it looks very much like what I think were some Keitech paddletails I bought a few years ago and I know I have got squirrelled away here somewhere. Mark caught on the exact lure above which to me is a translucent kind of silver/white colour, and he had it rigged on one of those Gamakatsu EWG Weighted Spring Lock hooks which have a belly weight on them.

So Mark caught four bass and I didn’t get a touch, and whilst Mark might quite simply be a better angler than me, I find what happened absolutely fascinating for so many reasons - if I had been fishing on my own and blanked, I’d have been on the phone to Mark later on to say there were no bass around. But there were bass around, and Mark nailed four of them. The other morning I had three bass but Mark didn’t have one - why? I had a little Shimano hard lure with me that for whatever reason caught those three bass but Mark’s lures didn’t get a sniff. Did there happen to be some baitfish around this morning that Mark’s Sunslicker paddletail happened to be a decent imitation of? Was I quite simply using the wrong lures and/or the wrong techniques this morning?

And of course the only way that I know I was doing things wrong this morning is because the two of us were fishing together and Mark caught whilst I didn’t - so how many times are we doing things wrong but we are never going to know because we were fishing on our own? Or a bunch of us are fishing together but all fishing the same way with the same results? How many times do we go out fishing to a particular location where we have done well in the past on previous lures and/or techniques, but this time we blank? We reckon it’s the right place at the right time, but we don’t catch - were the fish really not there or were we doing it all wrong by not presenting the right lure in the right way on that particular day or night?

Which is why I will never subscribe to the word “expert” in fishing, because I don’t care how good or experienced you are - sometimes you’re going to get a humbling, and I would always argue that the truly good anglers are those that then take this humbling and use it to try and get that bit better again. Damn I love this fishing thing more than ever, and I’ve been doing it for thirty nine years now.

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On Wednesday I will have been married for twenty years, and we’ve been together since we were nineteen years old. My wife is beyond awesome and she has less than zero interest in material things and anybody trying to look cool because they drive a flash car and so on - which of course suits me down to the ground because I know squat about cars, I drove vans for many years, and for the last three years I have been driving the most epic fridge freezer on the road and obviously not worrying for a single second about trying to impress the fairer sex because I’ve got the best woman in the world right here already.…………

I just about know where to put oil and screenwash, I can change a tyre on the side of the road if needs be, but when it comes to engines and torque and aero-dynamics and what have you, I know very little about cars and to be honest I couldn’t care less. They are a tool to me. Please do not take this review remotely seriously, and it always amuses me how a number of people I know are actually embarrassed to get into my chest freezer on wheels in case anybody they know sees them in it. I love my Berlingo, but I would think it is pretty obvious that if you care about how you look then you ain’t going to be driving a car like this - but then you also wouldn’t wear compression tights under your waders and then put shorts on top of them to walk around town, plus Crocs and socks of course. Hell, life’s too short to be anything other than yourself.

Anyway, I have never tried to review a car or indeed a chest freezer for that matter, and first off I have to say a big thank you yet again to the people on here and Facebook who recommended I look at a Citroen Berlingo when I was due to get rid of my previous Ford Focus estate which had done me more than proud but I was trying to get back to a van type of car but I still need back seats for my two girls. We obviously see all manner of cars out on the roads, but because I am not very interested in them, I don’t really “see” different makes and models. If they were bass lures or lure rods out on the roads then make no mistake I’d be eyeing every single one of them up, and I can’t recall ever really noticing the Berlingo as a car.

But then a few people advised me to think about a Berlingo because of what it could give me as a car, so I had a look online, giggled, but went and test drove one because of all that room for the money. I liked it, and then as you do I started to notice a few more of them out and about - okay, so I have come to like the chest freezer on wheels look, but you ain’t going to buy a Berlingo for its sleek lines and high performance. Nope, you’re going to buy it because of what it offers on the practical side of things. I need that space for family life, for fishing, the dog, for filling it up with wood when I get a call saying there’s some available - it’s so bloody handy how you can take the three back seats right out of my Berlingo so it essentially becomes a van with back windows - for getting myself over to Kerry with all my guiding related kit, and for my Ireland trips when a mate or two plus all their gear jump in and try to hunker down in the seats and not be seen.

The way it’s done in Kerry…………..

When I drive over to Kerry it’s about ten hours of driving on my own, plus the 3.5 hour ferry journey. It is what it is and I just have to get on with it, but I have always liked a very upright driving position - and this Berlingo gives me that, plus there is plenty of glass to let as much light in as possible. As much as I love my extreme metal, podcasts have completely changed my driving especially, and because this Berlingo is almost beyond epic it has Apple Car Play which connects to my iPhone. I can then control my podcast app Overcast from the epic touch screen - the Apple podcast app is so bloody complicated and crap. Any joking about fridge freezers aside - and it does have air conditioning - I find my Berlingo an incredibly comfortable car to drive. I’ve put 40,000 miles on it in three years and damn right I will take comfort over looks and performance any day of the week…………...

Which is pretty lucky to be honest, because as much as I love my Berlingo, it’s not exactly the highest performance automobile you can find on the road. You can tell that I was never into fast cars and tearing around at high speed if you know my car history - my first car was a knackered old Golf into which I put a very loud stereo, then I had a couple of Ford Escort vans which used to see a hill a mile away and lose speed, followed by a brilliant turbo diesel Vauxhall Astra van which actually liked hills, and then my first girl turned up and I got that Ford Focus estate which did me proud for well over 100,000 miles. I have had various speeding tickets over the years, and as much as I want to beat the system and all that, a few years ago I just gave in and I don’t go breaking and speed limits these days because what’s the frigging point with so many bloody cameras about? Doing 0-60mph in a few seconds might mean the world to you, but quite frankly I’ve got better things to worry about than burning a bit of rubber and trying to beat one of those mobility scooters at the lights.

If a car can be perfect for the way you live and work and so on, then this Citroen Berlingo is that car or indeed chest freezer for me. I’d never have even looked at one if it hadn’t been for a few of you kind people and your input, and three years down the road with this one and I have just done the deal to trade it in and get a newer one which I should be picking up sometime this week if all goes to plan. I have tended to run cars into the ground in the past, but this Berlingo is so epic and so good that I decided to trade it in while it was still worth some decent money and get another one. Is the Citroen Berlingo the perfect fishing wagon when having a family means that a van and no backseats simply doesn’t work? I reckon so. Be proud to drive a car that looks more like a fridge freezer on wheels, because I am!

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Three rods in and in my humble opinion Tailwalk over in Japan have designed and made - or had made - a truly special range of lure fishing rods with this new EGinn range from their “Borderless” category - which I take to mean lure rods designed for whatever lure fishing you reckon works best with them. The brilliant HTO Shore Game rods have been top of my tree for a while now as regards a range of lure fishing rods that are available off the shelf here in the UK, but three rods into this Tailwalk EGinn range and I am wavering. For sure I love a nice set of Fuji Torzite guides like you find on the awesome HTO rods, but we’re talking about some special lure rods in both ranges……….

I can think of a few somewhat more expensive rods which share vaguely similar specs to this Tailwalk EGinn 88M 8'8'' Max 35g lure rod that I have fished with over the years which are made to feel like a bit like overpriced dinosaurs next to this wand of a lure rod, but I do actually think though that by putting a “Max 35g” label on this rod that Tailwalk have perhaps made a slight mistake. Not I might add because the rod can’t cope with 35g, rather that a 35g tag tends to imply a bit of a different rod than this Tailwalk EGinn 88M 8'8'' Max 35g actually is. It’s a wand, plain and simple (it weighs only 125g) and I absolutely love it because of this. For sure there’s plenty of power there if you need it, but I would advise against buying this rod if you are fishing gnarlier/heavier open coast conditions all the time and need to fish with something like the regular Xorus Patchinko or a 20g/120mm Fiiish Black Minnow and so on all the time - go for the 9’6’’ (review here) or even the incredible “finesse-style, more powerful” 10’6’’ Tailwalk EGinn rod for those conditions and lures (review here). The sublime 9’6’’ EGinn says Max 35g as well, but it’s a slightly different type of rod than the 8’8’’.

Of course you can whack these types of lures out on this 8’8’’ if needs be - and it’s been a lot of fun lure fishing again with a shorter rod - but because this stunning 8’8’’ is so incredible when you fish with something like a 6’’ OSP DoLive Stick, white senkos and various needlefish at night, or the killer Spittin’ Wire surface lure across the top, to me this is where this rod comes so alive in my hands. When I feel this “connected” to a soft plastic like the DoLive Stick is when I know a lure rod is working really well for me - the whole rod just works so well as a whole when I cast and then retrieve. Lovely and light, nice and fast and very, very crisp/steely with a proper tip that doesn’t collapse, this thing is an absolute gem. Try as I might I can’t think of a better word for the rod than wand. A friend of mine picked it up the other day, gave it one waggle, and bought one for himself - it’s that kind of “holy cow how good does this thing feel” type of lure rod.

It does have a short handle which works fine for me, but some anglers could be put off by this. As ever though I’d argue the case for fishing with something you might not be used to for a while because it’s always interesting how quickly we can get used to different rod lengths and grips and reels and so on. I have been using my beloved Shimano Twin Power XD C3000HG spinning reel on this rod, and as a combination it feels about as good as I can imagine a lighter type of lure rod and reel for bass fishing might get.

I am trying to find a niggle with this Tailwalk EGinn 88M 8'8'' Max 35g lure rod, but truthfully I just can’t. Five minutes after picking it up and I had accepted that it wasn’t a rod I would want for big conditions and big lures, and I would guess that any lure angler would feel the same way about it. Call me a fanboy of these EGinn rods as much as you like, but it honestly is as if the bods over at Tailwalk who I don’t know and they obviously don’t know me have got into my twisted lure addict brain and taken all that I want from lure rods and how they work for my bass fishing, and then poured those thoughts and ideas into their new EGinn range. I can’t get enough of these rods and this Tailwalk EGinn 88M 8'8'' Max 35g is just about perfect in my opinion - and if I don’t stop right now I will end up talking myself into not letting this one go……….

Disclosure - If you buy anything using links found around my website, I may make a commission. It doesn’t cost you anymore to buy via these affiliate links - and please feel entirely free not to do so of course - but it will help me to continue producing content. Thank you.

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I went out fishing the other morning and to be perfectly honest it was more a case of simply wanting to be out there on the coastline rather than feeling hugely confident of seeing a bunch of bass - flat calm, the tides weren’t particularly special, and of course it’s getting brighter much earlier. How good does it sometimes feel to simply be out there though, and if you’re out there fishing then at least there’s a chance…………..

Anyway, so I’m fishing as dawn breaks and it feels to me like a surface lure could be just the job. The lure I turned to doesn’t really matter because I am sure you all have your own go-to surface lures that you carry with you, but these days I find myself turning to what I think is the absolutely lethal Whiplash Factory Spittin’ Wire. Confidence of course is key to what you end up clipping or tying on and chucking out there, and for me this not easy to get hold of not exactly “budget” Spittin’ Wire gives me a huge amount of confidence.

So I’ve got a lot of confidence in my lure but not exactly a huge amount of confidence in the conditions. Still, I’m out fishing, there is nobody else around, and the world looks pretty damn stunning as first light creeps up from behind the cliffs. There is no getting away from how hypnotic it is to watch a surface lure working across the top, indeed I do wonder if this getting almost locked down into being able to see your lure working can sometimes cause us to persist with topwater fishing when perhaps another method might produce some fish.

Which is kind of what I am doing - enjoying fishing with a surface lure and being able to watch it weave and spit from side to side and obviously hoping that my Spittin’ Wire gets unceremoniously inhaled by a bass so big I’m going to struggle to fit it into my camera lens. I am fishing on my own and I have made the decision that this is my best shot at nailing a fish or two, but because I am on my own there can only be the one method and/or lure presented to any potential fish - and I don’t know the way you are wired, but when it’s just the one angler and therefore the one lure or method and things are quiet, I am always going to wonder if a different approach might well do the trick.

A while later and after sod all has even bumped into my surface lure by mistake, it’s time for a change. For sure I could dig into my lure box and change surface lures for a different one, but would it really make that much difference? I am on my own so I will never completely know, but it feels to me like it’s worth a change to something sub-surface, and with how clear the water is and how bright it’s starting to get, I’m going to turn to a 6’’ long OSP DoLive Stick. You might well have turned to something different, but again it’s a confidence thing - a number of times last year I clipped on a white DoLive Stick in bright conditions and caught bass. So I clip on a white DoLive Stick and whack it out over the shallowish rough ground. As with a good surface lure, I enjoy watching how when you catch a DoLive Stick just right it kind of arcs out perfectly without wobbling or deviating in its flight, and then when it splashes down I am now fishing again with confidence renewed.

And isn’t it bloody typical? A few twitch, twitch, pauses into my first retrieve with a different lure and indeed method, and bang, everything goes gloriously tight and I strike into a fish. Okay, so at 3lbs+ it wasn’t exactly going to break any records, but my morning was made and I could head for home later on a happy angler - who also can’t stop thinking about whether I persisted with a surface lure for too long to start with, because when a bass hits you first cast after a lure/technique change, my brain is full on bouncing with questions such as were there more fish around but they simply didn’t feel inclined to hit a surface lure that particular morning, and so on. If we had all the answers then of course we would not be out there in the first place, trying to find answers to these questions that fishing raises. I love it…………….

Disclosure - If you buy anything using links found around my website, I may make a commission. It doesn’t cost you anymore to buy via these affiliate links - and please feel entirely free not to do so of course - but it will help me to continue producing content. Thank you.

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I don’t find it particularly easy writing a review about a considerably more expensive mainline than at least three current and somewhat cheaper braids which I use, know and trust - the new and outstanding Sufix X8 (review here), the “tough as hell, would trust with my life” Sufix 832 (review here), and Spiderwire Smooth Stealth 8 (review here, and I got on really well with Daiwa J-Braid but I haven’t used it for a fair while now). But of course things move onwards and upwards, and we now have this distinctly non-budget, 13-strand Sufix 131 “G-Core” braid on the market and available to any anglers who are prepared to pay what it takes to spool up with a mainline like this. What I am going to do with this review is tell you what I think about it, and then at the end I am going to get some input from Mr.Sufix about what’s really going on with their new Sufix 131 13-strand braid - please note that this review was written before I asked for this technical information and I haven’t then gone back and changed anything about my review after the fact……………...

Okay, so the easy part of this review is that I have fished a fair bit with this Sufix 131 now in the 15lb, 20lb and 28lb breaking strains - and I seriously, seriously like this braid (I have been using it for a fair while before it went on sale in the UK). The problem is always going to be though that I seriously like its cheaper sibling as well, the new Sufix X8, and I also hugely liked its discontinued predecessor, Sufix Performance Pro 8. For sure this Sufix 131 is a different braid, but I can’t sit here and tell you that you should go out and spend at least double the money for a spool of the Sufix 131 and then expect double the performance when the Sufix X8 is so damn good anyway. But there are differences, and whilst some of these are obviously technical - the “12 HMPE fibers + 1 GORE® Performance Fiber in core” of the 131 G-Core against the “8 carriers construction of thin HMPE fibers” of the X8 - it’s interesting how different these two Sufix braids feel in the hand.

The Sufix X8 is, if you like, your “traditional” silky-smooth, very thin, modern 8-strand braid, whereas this more expensive Sufix 131 is a little less “floaty”/limp - the 20lb version in the surf for example seems to cut through wind and “float” less on the breeze, indeed it has fast become my surf fishing braid of choice. I can recall only three high-end braids I have fished with that have this different, ever so slightly “wiry/less limp” feel to them, and they are all noticeable for how easily the line seems to literally ease off the reel on a cast - the Daiwa Morethan 12 braid (review here), this Sufix 131 braid, and then the Varivas Avani Sea Bass Full Cast LS8 braid (review to come, another very special braid). Three braids that are not cheap at all, but they all feel more like a “fused together/single line” rather than a bunch of tightly wound strands if that makes any sense at all - which I guess comes from some uber-technical way in which these companies have managed to oh so tightly weave together their 12, 13 and 8 strands respectively.

Now I can’t get away from another factor here, and that’s me looking hard for something extra when I am fishing with a braid mainline that I know is considerably more expensive than the mainlines I would more usually fish with these days - and then because of that price difference I have to ask myself whether any differences I think I am finding are in fact a product of my imagination! I don’t remotely mean this as some kind of psycho babble, rather it’s me trying to get across to you that I am pretty damn sure I can feel or find some differences between this Sufix 131 and the cheaper Sufix X8, but in no way am I telling you that you need to go out and spend more money on this Sufix 131 when a mainline like their killer X8 will do you just fine. This new Sufix 131 exists though, I have fished with it, and I am telling you what I think of it.

Wow this Sufix 131 is seriously nice to fish with, and I have noticed what I think I have found on the 28lb/0.205mm/PE#1.5 version especially. I am not sure what to make of the quoted diameter for this breaking strain though, because 0.205mm implies a relatively thick braid to me, but this Sufix 131 feels and looks incredibly thin for its breaking strain (the PE#1.5 rating makes most sense to me here). By no means do our bass warrant a 28lb mainline for their size or scrapping prowess alone, rather it’s me upping my game over very rough and shallowish ground especially to try and get as much abrasion resistance as I can through an increase in diameter. I know that bass aren’t dirty fighters like wrasse, but if I can fish with a larger diameter mainline but not lose any performance at all then I’m sold. This braid is it for me.

I honestly can’t recall a similar strength braid ever casting quite as well as this Sufix 131 has been. All three breaking strains of Sufix 131 that I have fished with now feel like they are coming off my spinning reels about as efficiently as I have ever felt - with the heavier 28lb version perhaps the most noticeable because it so feels like fishing with a much lighter braid with how efficient it is. I said earlier that this Sufix 131 seems to be literally “easing” off my reels with how well my lures are going out there, and whilst I am not about to start measuring lure casting with the same lures but different braids, I am utterly convinced that this Sufix 131 is the best casting braid I have ever fished with. Sure I’d be a bit gutted if a lot more money wasn’t buying me something extra special, but price aside this is one seriously special mainline.

This Sufix 131 knots great and it’s as strong as I would expect it to be - I only ever use the FG knot for securing braid to leader so that it what I am basing this on. I don’t know what treble hook Savage Gear put on their 35g Psycho Sprat metal lures for example, but it seems pretty heavy duty to me - I snagged one up good and proper the other day and managed to straighten one hook on the treble enough to wrench it out. I was using the 28lb/PE#1.5 Sufix 131 on my incredible Penn Slammer III 3500 spinning reel (review here) which seems born to a mainline like this.

I was quite surprised to see Sufix launch a braid as expensive as this 131 G-Core, but considering they make and sell some serious monofilament mainlines then I guess a high end braid was the next step. I am liking this Sufix 131 so much that if price wasn’t an issue I’d most likely fish with nothing else, but of course price is an issue when buying a mainline - it’s an outstanding braid and as with many products there will always be consumers who want the best. Is this Sufix 131 the best braid out there though? Well I happen to think it’s easily as good a braid as I have ever fished with, but then the voice of reason has to say that something like Sufix X8, Sufix 832 or the Spiderwire Smooth Stealth 8 braids are amazing mainlines for a lot less money. Whatever mainline you end up fishing with, yet again I come back to how we as anglers have never had it so good on the braid front.

And here’s the technical bit about this Sufix 131 from Mr.Sufix - I have broken down and edited his words to make it easy to understand and digest: “We have arrived at this line via trying to solve the construction issues of braids with a number of carriers superior to 8. In fact from 10 and onwards the machines create a hole in the middle and the line becomes like a sock. And since the dyneema is super soft, the construction flattens which creates problems for casting and retrieving. Furthermore a lot of water is entering the line, making it heavier, and with saltwater fishing, once dried the salt crystal works internally like sandpaper. We have tried various ways with 12, 16, 18, 20 carrier constructions and we initially we could not solve this problem. Then we thought about adding a “spine” in between, something solid, because a central dyneema carrier won’t help, it won’t avoid the flattening. Finally we arrived at Gore: this textile material is like a mono but has the same elongation ratio of dyneema, and we have managed to avoid the internal fraying of the line. So 131 is a gore filament of different diameters depending on the strength of the braid, with dyneema wrapped around it. This is why 131 is round and all the other 12, 16 and even 20 carriers are flat, including the super expensive Japanese ones. I know other companies will introduce 13 carriers full dyneema, but as mentioned they won’t solve the flattening problem. So you could ask why make a braid with more carriers than 8 - well the line is smoother in the surface, with less weak points in case of damage (strength split on more carriers), the knots will be easier and stronger (same principle of wires: more carriers equals better knots). The line will fray less and last much longer. But the line cannot be magically stronger, because to obtain the right diameters you would need to use super thin UHMPE fibers. A practical example - to make a certain size I could use 4 carriers of UHMPE 100D (D=denier), then to obtain the same in 8 carrier I should use 8x50D, and with 12 plus a Gore core the size will be much smaller again. Since the quantity of dyneema to make a size is the same, the strength is the same. But since in UHMPE the thinner the fiber, the more expensive it is, this explains the price apart the low productivity of machines with son many carriers.”

So there you go, straight from the horse’s mouth. I knew none of the technical details above when I wrote the actual review so I find it interesting how this new Sufix 131 13-strand braid has made such an impression on me. I have talked before on this blog about how braid breaks down from the inside when used repeatedly in saltwater especially (via these insights that I am lucky enough to get from Mr.Sufix) - are you getting a well used braid suddenly snapping for no apparent reason for example? Did you realise that a braid abrades internally over time? So with what I have now learnt about how this new Sufix 131 is made, my next question is whether spending that fair bit more is really going to get me a high performance braid that performs consistently for a proper length of time. Time will tell, but it’s one hell of a mainline so far. It’s available here in the UK in dark green and neon chartreuse, but please Mr. Sufix can we also have a nice bright orange or yellow Sufix 131 as well………..

Disclosure - If you buy anything using links found around my website, I may make a commission. It doesn’t cost you anymore to buy via these affiliate links - and please feel entirely free not to do so of course - but it will help me to continue producing content. Thank you.

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They just make so much sense to me - a metal lure that casts great, and then due to some clever materials and designs, you can sink and draw them and cover a lot of water more methodically than simply whacking a metal out into the surf and cranking it back. Some of these slow jigs look so damn good and I am fascinated about how they might work for us from the shore in specific conditions or over certain terrains, but where I love the idea of them so much is in the surf - and I’m struggling…………...

Now this is not in any way a criticism of these slow jigs, rather I think it’s me having made a simple mistake about where I should be using them. Of course a decent jig or metal can cope with the rough and tumble of a crashing surf, but it’s when that wind is blowing, that’s when I am struggling to fish these things how they are meant to be fished - look around on YouTube at some of the instructional videos on these lures and there is something that I keep noticing………………....

Shore slow vol.4 (Basic Technique) - YouTube

The Japanese anglers don’t seem to be using these slow jigs designed for shore fishing in much wind. I bought a few of the stunning looking Zetz slow jigs last year and I got frightfully excited about hurling them out into some surf and being able to work the kill zone as such that bit more deliberately than simply winding a regular metal through it. The more I learn about my local surf fishing though, the more I am realising how it’s a certain shape and type of surf that seems to produce the better fishing. If straight out to sea is 12 o’clock then I am now looking for an onshore wind around the 10 to 12 o’clock direction. It’s more of a wind-driven, choppy surf with shorter swell periods, rather than what the surfers I believe tend to want - big swell, offshore winds, and longer swell periods.

And it’s that nearly side on around to an in your face wind which needs to be blowing say a force 4-5+ that then seems to kill me for the slow jigs. For sure I have a bunch of ideas about where they might work for me this year, but when it’s windy and that wind now creates a big belly in your braid, well to me all “feel” and “direct contact” has now as good as gone, and for a style of lure fishing that is all about maintaining that direct contact with your slow jig as you control its descent through the water column? Unless I am doing something very wrong then slow jigging from the shore is not the ideal method to adopt when you’ve got a decent bit of breeze putting a belly in your braid.

Which of course doesn’t really matter when you can simply whack a simple metal out and catch bass on it by doing nothing more than wind it back in, and so on and so forth with various lures and techniques. But I do like how these slow jigs are designed to work and I have various plans and ideas for where I might use them this year - deeper estuaries and rock marks for starters, and then it must go without saying that they’d be deadly for pollack and so on. I wonder how much we might have to learn about these lures and how we can use them for our shore fishing? It seems to me that it’s boat fishing where these slow jigs are frigging deadly and more established, but surely on the shore fishing front they could be lethal in the right conditions?

And wouldn’t it be handy if a bunch more Japanese lure companies put at least some basic English translations on their videos? I give a lot of credit to the Japanese company Palms for providing English translations on some of their YouTube videos, and the nice people at Lure Heaven do a heap of specialist jigging rods from Palms and slow jigs from the likes of Zetz and Duo here in the UK. Also keep an eye on the ever-growing range of Major Craft metals and jigs here in the UK, together with a bunch of rods designed to fish them.

Disclosure - If you buy anything using links found around my website, I may make a commission. It doesn’t cost you anymore to buy via these affiliate links - and please feel entirely free not to do so of course - but it will help me to continue producing content. Thank you.

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I am definitely the black sheep of the family! A few years ago my middle brother was BAFTA nominated for his directing work on the film “Rollin’ with the Nines”, and then recently my youngest brother was nominated for a BAFTA for his work as editor on the incredible Bros documentary film “After the Screaming Stops” - and no, Bros were never my thing at all, but it truly is the most amazing film that grabs you from the first frame to the last. I think I am allowed a bit of indulgence here, so yes, I think my youngest brother has done an amazing job on the editing front, indeed I think it’s the way the film is so well cut that pulls you in so effectively - is editing’s greatest complement that you don’t even notice the editing because a film flows so perfectly? If Spinal Tap is indisputably the greatest music “mockumentary of all time”, then I genuinely can’t remember seeing a better music documentary than After the Screaming Stops.

Will Gilbey Wins Editing: Factual for Bros: After the Screaming Stops | BAFTA TV Craft Awards 2019 - YouTube

And my brother only went and won a BAFTA for “Editing:Factual” at the BAFTA TV Craft Awards 2019 last night! Yep, damn right, this is a proud eldest brother moment. His speech is in the video above, and the trailer for the Bros documentary he edited is below. I have been keeping a close eye on the press and reviews surrounding this film, and it’s been something else. Who would have thought that the band Bros could have been involved in such an engaging documentary film? Shock horror I am not about to go out and buy their back catalogue of epic songs, but I have watched the film a fair few times now and it makes me laugh and wince and almost cry every single time. A huge congratulations to my youngest brother for winning a BAFTA, wow it makes me proud - I think I had better get on with upping my game and doing something with my life!

Bros: After The Screaming Stops - Official Trailer - YouTube
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In mid-May I will have been married to my wife for twenty years, and we have been together since we were both 19 years old. In a lot of respects we have grown up together, and therefore she has known about and lived with my fishing obsession from day one. It’s what I do, and the only times me going fishing ever becomes an issue is either when I am horribly overtired and grumpy because I have been fishing too many strange night hours especially, or I try getting out of some prior engagement because the conditions are suddenly looking really good - how many times has my wife been asked “where’s Henry?”. To be fair though, work has and does take me away a fair bit. I come across far too many blokes who talk about asking permission to go fishing, or building up brownie points and other such crap, and I don’t understand how a relationship can work like this. Surely we all need our own interests as well as all the stuff we do together? I love my wife and two girls more than life itself, and they know me as a husband, a father, but also as an utterly obsessed angler…………..

Now I love spending as much time as possible with my wife and girls. We do loads together as a family, and with two girls who are into things like sailing, running and surfing, we do what many parents do a lot of - running children around to various events and training sessions and what have you. Yesterday evening was a good example - one girl heads off for running training and the other girl has a sailing race. All this plus obviously having to annoyingly work like everybody else cuts into available time to go fishing, but one thing lure fishing for bass and living close to the sea does give me is the chance to do a lot of shorter sessions at what I think are prime times. Not having to even think about live or frozen bait supplies means I can literally grab my rucksack and lure bag, lift a rod out of my rod rack, strap it to my epic Berlingo, and be off. Very early mornings, evenings, hell I work for myself so I can often nip out locally when things look good - and of course there’s night lure fishing these days.

Which I reckon has probably changed a lot of people’s bass fishing for the better, and in a bunch of different ways as well - if that is you can handle either the lack of sleep, or the messed up sleeping times. All those night hours when regular people are asleep, but us nutters can be out fishing and not impact on work or family time. I am far more of an early morning person than a stay up late at night person, but when it comes to fishing I can generally be whatever person is required to take advantage of the tides and conditions. My wife might not agree with me, but I reckon I am pretty good at handling a lot of messed up sleep. One thing I can never manage to do though is catch up on any sleep during the day, but that’s the way I’m wired (oh how I wish I could catnap like my dad can), and whilst I am loathe to admit it, perhaps my wife does sometimes have a point when she “raises the issue” that I am “occasionally” being grumpy and overtired. Hell, I’m a bloke, and when do we ever get it wrong?!

But how many times do you need to go fishing? How many fish is enough? Note the word need here, because for a lot of you reading this I am guessing you are very much like me - you need to go fishing. Obviously we want to go, but for a lot of anglers there’s this physical need to be out on a coastline or a river or a lake, trying to catch a few fish and beat nature at her own game which of course we all fail at a fair amount of the time. I didn’t grow up near the sea and I will never, ever take it for granted that since the age of nineteen I have lived very near the sea here in the south west, but yes, in many respects this has been my life for more than half my life now - and going out fishing is generally a very easy thing to do. Sometimes I go fishing a lot, and sometimes I don’t. The reasons vary, and sometimes it comes down to not completely having that buzz about going out fishing again and again - it comes and goes, and if I think about it then seasons and weather conditions most likely have a lot to do with it, but when you’re in that zone of wanting to get out there fishing as much as possible then I would argue that how much you need to actually go is kind of irrelevant. You just need to, end of. For sure I do my best to catch some fish, but I am not a numbers or mine is bigger than yours kind of angler. Nope, I just need to go fishing because it’s who I am.

Take earlier this week for example - I went three nights on the trot, and the only reason I didn’t go the fourth night in a row is because the weather blew up onshore and messed things up a bit. They weren’t particularly late or long sessions, but it’s not getting dark now until at least 9.30pm and I managed to fit these sessions in and catch a bunch of bass into the bargain - which kinda does it for me. My old record if you like was fourteen night sessions on the trot, and that included having to also go drop-netting for prawns and doing my peeler crab traps to get the bait (all at night). My wife (then girlfriend) had just moved down to Plymouth to live with me, but she had chosen to move down at just the wrong time of year and the late autumn ray and cod fishing was just kicking into gear. I remember literally passing out due to sheer exhaustion after those fourteen nights, but I caught a heap of fish and my girlfriend became my wife and she is still my best friend on earth and I love her to bits. I am an angler though. I can’t help it, but if you are like me then you will accept that it’s something inside us which we are powerless to control - we have to go fishing like a junkie might need their fix. Fishing is my drug I suppose. You all have a good weekend, and may you be as sweet-tempered as I always am after not nearly enough sleep!

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