Monday 12th September 2016

Tackle specials and angling politics

from Downrigger Shop

FINALLY. Temperatures starting to rise, clouds beginning to clear, and winds backing off. I don’t know where all that global warming the greenies promised went to? But by crikey it’s been a long, cold winter. The good news is, spring is upon us, and it’s working it’s magic on our readers. Let’s start with Dave in FNQ:



Got to say I'm pretty happy with the rod I got off you. Queenies like this one being held by my father are no match for it. Married it to a Penn Slammer reel full of 30 pound braid and do pretty much everything with it. Mostly jigging but it also doubles as a handy troll rod when needed so it's been amazing value for money. Love it. May need to get another one.


Well that is just fantastic and thanks so much for sending this great pic, Dave. Is that the old jointed Rapala? Haven’t seen one for years but I remember it as a deadly lure.  Kevin upbeat about is trip to the tropics, too:



Hi Andy, just got back from Cooktown, had a great trip. Shame about the sharks!



Do you have drag washers for Shimano Thunnus reels? We smoked a couple pretty good!

As usual, all the gear obtained from you worked well. Best regards, Kevin


Great! Have so many happy memories of the place, Kevin. The few unhappy memories mostly relate to the backdrop in your pics, being the relentless trade wind at this time of year.

Glad to hear the tackle delivered the goods for you too. I’ve been busier than the NFL Integrity Unit lately but with a break in the weather forecast last Tuesday rushed to get the gear prepped and the boat fuelled. Old mate Darryl was thankfully available so the two of us met up and launched from Roseville ramp at 7.00AM - just like we’ve done a hundred times before. Checked out this distraction floating just east of the ramp. I already have a full set for the trailer, so left it floating for someone more needy:



Spring time is peak time for salmon around Sydney Heads and there’s been plenty around lately:



Busting to fly fish for them, even though I’m a lousy caster. But even if that wasn’t the problem it would still be difficult because with me waving the long wand around, no-one else could get a cast in. So I rigged up an eight foot casting rod with this set up:



1.       6 kilo colour-change braid main line;

2.       Tiny swivel to 30cm 6-pound mono;

3.       Sliding plastic bead;

4.       Bubble float, which can be partially filled with water;

5.       Small sliding ball sinker;

6.       White fly with epoxy.


The idea of this arrangement is that you can cast the light fly long distances. In the rolling boil of a topwater feeding salmon school the float is unnoticed and the wave action makes the fly jiggle. You don’t retrieve, instead just wait for the hook up. This set up has been working great lately although yesterday the only pic I took was of a trevally who got mixed up in the salmon action:



Out to Browns and, just like the last three trips, the top of the Mountain was bare as a badgers’ backside:



All okay. We have learnt the hard way this season that you must fish the edges and pinnacles. Fish were forthcoming, but nothing big:



Small gemfish for Darryl. The big run never really happened this year, probably because of the higher than usual sea temperature through winter. Proof being the collapse in the number of mako sharks tagged during the Sydney GFC shark tournament, in August. As spawning gemfish release milt and eggs, Browns becomes the biggest burley trail ever. But if not a lot of gemfish, then not a lot of burley, and not a lot of sharks. Still plenty of gemmies there but you need to be fishing the edges and pinnacles, not the top of the Mountain:



The northerly started to pick up so back in we went on a 270 degree bearing, hoping to run across the swells if it worsened – like it did last week. That brought us to the Peak where we jigged for thirty minutes. No kingfish seen. So it was up to Old Man’s Hat, where the salmon were still around:



After thirty minutes or so we headed back to the ramp, so as to be gone by peak hour. Good day on the water. Thanks to Darryl and looking forward to the next run already.


To boats, and Dean has been hanging out for his new outboard for months. Now it’s installed he’s over the moon. Expecting big things from you this summer, ol’ buddy:



Made a goose of myself (which almost never happens!) by commenting out loud on this weird looking boat at The Spit last week. Then I noticed the two blokes (hand on hips in the background) giving me dirty looks. Zipped it, and bailed:



Spotted James Hunt off North Head last week too. His beautiful Hewes Bonefisher-style Haines is coming up for sale, if anyone’s interested:



News Of The Weird and we took a look at the North Head rock fall, same day. The mind boggles at to the amount of rock and dirt that fell into the water when this happened:



Flathead fishos haul up a Honda step through. Thanks to SETFIA:



Sunday 11th September, and Karl Houseman from Shooters and Fishers Party on the spot for the latest trailer tragedy:



I’m no guru but something’s wrong here


The mould of the big jewfish Dan caught earlier this year has arrived. They did a great job:



Tackle, and up to Umina on Friday 9th to install and demonstrate a downrigger on a client’s nice Haines. He can’t wait to give it a try. Will be doing a lot more of this, as we head towards summer:



Competition bream chaser Dean loves his Cranka Crabs. He thinks these new models could offer some XOS opportunities. For sure he’s right:



Some nice bream and jewie lures and they now have a large soft plastic crab for groper, either off the rocks or close in the boat


Mate I'm chasing a couple of things, keen on some pricing and advice. 1. Reel handle knob replacement on a Shimano Stradic 4000, I want to replace the handle knob. I assume I just need a medium knob + bits. 2. Carbontex drag replacement on the following reels, the above Stradic 4000, Baitrunner 8000 and Saragosa 8000. 3. Handle and knob on a Shimano TLD 20 - as you're no doubt aware the handle on TLD's is rubbish i.e. too short and hard to wind. I've seen some guys replacing them, do you have any suggestions?


For replacement of a reel knob with riveted handle, please check this video? It covers the whole thing and shows how easy it is;



For pricing, we have:


  • Medium reel knob in blue & silver or black & gold, $35 each;
  • Large reel knob in red & silver, $39 each;
  • Postage for either or both: $5
  • Sheet of 1.0mm carbontex: $22.50

Here’s a pic of an upgraded Stradic. The improvement in comfort and control (especially when jigging or spinning) is just amazing:



Hi Andrew - wouldn't mind some dry storage boxes for my gear. do you have other colours. what price for 4-6 of them?



$20 each

Postage $45 for 6

or $40 for 4

Each dry box has a lockable lid and a water proof O ring, which compresses on closure. Only black boxes with high vis yellow handles available. If your inquiry about dry box colours is so you can tell what’s in each one, there’s a way to do that. On the dry box lid is a glossy panel where a label can be applied or even sticky taped. Really good bits of gear, I take two on every trip. Get back to me if you would like a Paypal request or any further information?


South to Victoria and here’s a cracker of a fish. Thanks to Geoff Wilson:



Tim Johnson with a 7.5 kg snapper he caught from Corio Bay on Sunday


85 years old! That’s fantastic. Hope I’m still fishing when I hit that milestone – if I do:



Eric Box 85, with a 2.3 kg brown trout he caught from the bank of the Konongwootong Reservoir near Coleraine last week


To politics, and Gabe in the USA trolls (militant vegan antifishing activists) PETA, on their Twitter page. That’s awesome:



Sydneysiders might recognise this location. It’s the grassy slope on the north side of Roseville boat ramp:



Readers younger than forty might be surprised to hear that the NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service weren’t always the green fascists they are now. Way back when, before the Fahey Liberal government (who were about as Liberal, as the Baird Liberal government) they used to take their government Charter quite seriously. That charter was in two parts. Firstly, conserving the environment. Secondly, providing recreational opportunities. People are often surprised when I mention that some of the States’ largest national parks were originally dedicated for recreation. The idea was that hard working Sydneysiders and their families could get away from the hustle and bustle of city life and enjoy the beauty and relaxation that nature has to offer. Which is why, when I was a kid, on any summer Sunday, you might see thirty teenagers doing bombs off the bridge at Bobbin Head. That has of course all changed. The (ridiculously named) Parks ‘Service’ was long ago hijacked by leftist greenies. They hate the public and see us only as their personal ATMs. The structure in the pic below was built before this change happened. It was going to be a restaurant and service facility for public visitors to the National Park and also, for boaties using the ramp. After it was built, the yuppies and toffs living across the bay at Roseville formed a protest group, saying the noise generated by public visitors would damage their enjoyment at home. For ‘enjoyment’, read ‘house values.’ So the whole structure was torn down – having never been used:



As usual, the fishos and boaties who would have used this facility are ignored in favour of the well connected. Lads, as I always say, deep thanks to those who make the effort to send in the pics and reports that make this newsletter worth reading. Over four thousand subscribers now so please keep the intel coming? So many readers grateful for your contribution. Until next time,


Andrew Hestelow

Managing Director