Friday, 17 May 2013
I have no idea how popular fishing off kick boats, pontoon boats, V-tubes and float tubes are in the rest of the world. In South Africa, this is reasonably popular and one of my favourite ways to fish a large piece of water like a dam or lake. I would like to share some of my thoughts with regard to this method of fishing and will try to remain as unbiased as possible.
Firstly the choice of boat one chooses usually depends on cost, size and transportability. I recall looking for a large boat that will carry all my tackle and supplies for a day’s fishing. I also wanted to be raised well out of the water for two reasons:
With all of the requirements noted, I ended up buying a nine foot pontoon boat. Not sure what your requirements may be, but my suggestion is to first look at all your requirements and then look for the best boat and at the best cost that will suit all your needs.
I must share that my preference to stay as dry as possible stems from my years of borrowing boats before I had acquired my own. On one occasion, I was sitting very low in the water in a float tube. I had also borrowed chest waders which were slightly small for me. The conditions turned out very windy which resulted in water pouring down my back. At sex degrees celsius and after fishing a three hour session, I had mild hypothermia. My friends always remind me of the day when they saw and brown skinned Indian guy go blue.
As mentioned in my tricks articles, use large diving fins as opposed to the frog-foot ones. This helps immensely to control the boat and get to spots quicker, especially when the wind is blowing hard. Even when the wind is not blowing hard, often at the end of the day you will find yourself at the furthest end of the dam and now have to paddle all the way back. The big diving fins makes this far easier.
I also suggest that you pack lightly and conservatively, ensuring that everything you need is easily accessible. Also ensure that you work over your stripping cover to prevent any unnecessary “overboards” of critical stuff like fly boxes, forceps, tippets, spare spools, etc.
You will know the areas you want to fish, so I won’t cover that. However, my suggestion is to setup your net before you get onto the water. Also ensure that the net is attached to the boat with some sort of lanyard. I use an elasticated cord and attach this to the boat using a simple carabena.
I must mention some disadvantages and safety considerations for fishing off the boat. In terms of disadvantages, with most kick boats, you sit quite high off the water and get blown around by windy conditions. It takes more work (paddling) to stay in one spot. An anchor will help if you find a good spot and would like to work it. Another disadvantage is that if you need to go to the toilet, you often find yourself right in the middle and often leave it to the last minute. My suggestion is that as soon as you feel like you need to go, paddle immediately to the side and relieve yourself. It is a horrible feeling wondering if you are going to make it in time to the side. Also allow time to take off all the layers – really stressful times if you ever leave it as late as I often do.
There have been numerous safety concerns with regard to float tubes that had one main tube. If for whatever reason it became punctured out in the middle, you could risk drowning. Later models had a second backup tube as a backrest, but this is barely enough to keep you al all the kit afloat. The pontoons offer better safety features as chances of both pontoon getting punctured at the same time is rather slim. Pontoons also have inner bladders which are protected by strong outer material. Anyways, the moral of the story is to avoid punctures while out on the water.
Another safety concern is otters and snakes using your boat as a resting spot. Otters are not so much of a problem as they are often quite shy and stay away. Snakes on the other had have no concern for your occupancy. Keep your eyes open and rather paddle away from any approaching snake.
All in all, kick boats, pontoon boats, V-tubes and float tubes offer excellent access to large pieces of water and can provide you with lots of fun. Definitely worth trying if your fishery permits it.
Tight lines and screaming reels.
THE SEXYLOOPS HOT TORPEDO - Available Here.
It's taken more than eighteen months from conception to production, numerous prototypes and experiments, two explosions (!) and many rebuilds and finally we have an outstanding flyrod. There are some truly exceptional rods available, in the high end of the market, so the benchmark is high and there is no question that we want to try raise that standard. That has been a very tall order - but a great rod is built first on a great blank.
I look for several things in a blank. It has to be fishably fast (maybe someday we'll produce a slower rod, but not for me!). It has to have feel; flex for short range accurate casts, with feeling, and yet it has to have action that allows it to flex deeply for long range casts too. There must be smooth progression between these two elements. Finally I have no compromise with regards tip stability, if the tip wobbles or bounces putting a series of waves along the fly leg of the loop then I am not interested. The Hot Torpedo has the best tip recovery of any 6-weight I have cast.
I've been working with Alejandro in Spain who is a tremendously experienced rod designer and one of the finest and most knowledgeable flycasters in the world, to produce an exclusive Sexyloops' rod that we can launch upon the market. Our blanks are carefully manufactured in Spain using four different types of high-grade carbon to our own exclusive design.
These blanks are then transported to Hungary and built by Gampi, a massively experienced rod builder who gives supreme attention to the smallest details. We fit the very best cork handles to an exclusive Spanish design (maybe living next to Portugal gives them access to the finest cork, I don't know, but I do know these are the best production handles on the planet). We use Hopkins and Holloway Single Legs on the Competition 5 and Instructor 6 rods, and Single Leg Recoils on the Pro 6 rod. Our logos have been designed by Al Pyko. Our reel seats are manufactured and anodised for us in Hungary. Our rod tubes are (currently) manufactured in the USA.
My white prototype Instructor rod has been in literally hundreds of casters hands, some of the best distance casters on the planet have thrown it. The feedback has been outstanding and despite six months of incredible abuse there are no ferrule cracks, and believe me, this is very important! Stefan broke one of our prototypes in Scotland in May. The rod went straight back to Spain, with the idea that the broken section should be strengthened around the ferrule. Alejandro's response and action was to strengthen the entire second section. Something that actually went to further improve the action of the rod!
When Mr Hardy first built his company he did so on an idea that nothing was too good for a fly fisherman. That's my philosophy too. You have my word that we will never compromise over performance. We are working on several line weights and currently we have one blank ready for release. With that one blank, we have the Competition 5, the Pro 6 and the white Instructor 6. We have no planned release dates for other products - we are working on many! - they will simply be released when they are right.
The Sexyloops Hot Torpedo... Fly Fishing Without Compromise
To assist me, I have a full-time Retail Manager, Akos Szmutni, who has been busy working on rod production for me in Hungary, as well as filming and editing our soon-to-be-released Flycasting mobile phone App (three hours of downloadable flycasting instruction video, which has taken most of the summer to prepare!). Akos has been working for me full-time for the last two months. I also have a part-time Assistant Marketing Manager, Djordje Andjelkovic. Djordje is a new addition to the fold. Welcome Djordje!
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