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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
With bites being so quick and baits often being rejected if they don't feel right, has anybody tried or thought of trying, anything similar to hair-rigging (soft baits), or fishing more assist hooks (hard baits)??

My LRF mission is yet to fully begin (waiting on a silly amount of gear to arrive), but rather than just putting up with the fact that bites are quick and hard to hit, should we be combining this type of fishing with other branches of the sport in the UK?

In the carp fishing world, hair-rigged baits massively up your hooking rate by basically being an "anti-eject" rig. Once the hook enters the fishes mouth as it sucks the bait in, it has trouble getting out again because of the angle of the hook/line.

This will work if the fish are fully inhaling the bait, but not so if they're just plucking at the bait to check it out. I'd imagine that very small fish have a problem fully inhaling a bait on the first go - and probably wouldn't do so if they're weary, but as we start using smaller baits and hooks it might become a possibility.

What are people's opinions on the way small fish are currently taking baits? Are they just pecking at the tails of baits, or inhaling and very quickly exhaling? Understanding this will make finding a resolution much easier.
 

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My experience of bites that I can now feel (that I wouldnt even have felt before I had the correct balanced gear) are akin to someone flicking your braid. Thats for bites on the drop, in what has so far been very cold water. Even though some baits are only 2 inches long, I think my bites on slow retrieves have felt 'plucky'. Every now and then you do get the lovely bang and increase in weight (unmissable), but on the whole I think stingers would be a valuable addition. Yet still I havent tried it...I think I'll set up a few SB's with stingers at home.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, have been thinking about tiny stingers too. I suppose when you start to think 'mini' and come down in an exponential kind of way, we currently put stingers on 6"+ baits for 'normal' size fish, but for smaller fish it actually makes sense to put one on a 2" bait.
 

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Yes, for Pollack, tiny stingers would certainly add to the hook up rate.
trouble being of course, we are very small lure wise and adding extra hardware is really damping.

I too think that we should grab this opportunity to draw in the very best developments from other branches.

Me and Kev already do this with largemouth/smallmouth, steelhead, salmon, sea trout (brown), crappie, bream etc....
 

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Could the pluck type takes be fish that are just too small to eat the lure properly?

Can you feel a difference between takes that you hit and those you don't?

In freshwater you often get very small perch following and attacking a lure even though they could never eat it due to a small mouth. Those takes feel like a tap with no weight and striking is fultile. The ones that connect have weight after the tap. That's with weighted jigheads where there is contact on a reasonably tight line.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
There might be something in that I think David. To be honest, as controversial as this might be, I'm not fully convinced by fish 'plucking' a moving lure. I'm always happy to be proven wrong, but I do kind of think that if a fish isn't taking a lure properly (i.e. 'plucking', assuming thats what people think it is), then it's not looking natural enough. Still, achieving perfection is going to be blimmin hard, so sorting a way of maximising hookups is always going to be something to think about.

You're right of coarse Keith about dampening the movement of small lures by adding hardware. I've come up with a simple rig that may achieve what I'm after, but it needs testing. Out to the garage tonight and on to the water tomorrow!
 

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Could the pluck type takes be fish that are just too small to eat the lure properly?

Can you feel a difference between takes that you hit and those you don't?

In freshwater you often get very small perch following and attacking a lure even though they could never eat it due to a small mouth. Those takes feel like a tap with no weight and striking is fultile. The ones that connect have weight after the tap. That's with weighted jigheads where there is contact on a reasonably tight line.
Remembering that 90% of my fish so far have come fishing on the drop...
Bites hit to bites missed ratio has got much better as we've gone smaller, lighter and faster with gear and techniques.

They feel the same. Different species bite differently though.

When retrieving, yes, little knocks etc are hard NOT to strike at simply because, they feel electric by comparison to an 'on the drop' tap, or pluck.
Obviously, the best way is to steady wind. Saying that, even retrieving, i use staggered 1, 2, 3 Stop, 2, 3 or variations of that. Bites often come as you either have stopped, or you turn the handle again.
 

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Not sure what the answer is. Optimum hook placement would have to vary by target species and then non target species could create problems.
In the US when carbon rods started to be used the bass anglers noticed their hookup to bite ratio with crankbaits dropped. The carbon rods were too fast and sensitive resulting in anglers striking before the bass had taken the bait properly. The answer was to revert back to slower reacting glass for crankbait rods or more recently carbon rods with the same characteristics of glass. It could just be the same problem, are the rods becoming too sensitive for certain techniques or species? Are the plucks because the fish are not being given enough time to swallow the bait before the rod (as opposed to the angler) reacts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Good points actually Mike. I remember now thinking a while back that I was going to start using fluoro mainline to answer all my own questions/theories here. I'll need to read up on it again but I did spend a lot of time a few weeks back looking at the Aussie bream forums and their reasons between using fluoro or braided mainlines. Fluoro seems a big favourite when it came to cagey fish. Starting at longer leaders (1 rod length+) and eventually ending up on full fluoro mainlines to give the fish more time to grab on to and hold a lure before it's ripped from their mouth again. This is the case with hard lures at least and is done under exactly the same circumstances as above. Softer rod or more forgiving line, the aim, theory and results seem to be the same across the World?!

Having finally remembered that I've already read a load of stuff about this, its hard to say with any real experience on the water, but it makes sense that light fluoro mainiles could be the way to go with small vib and hard baits.

I have some 4lb P-Line sat in front of me right now that should get some use in the next week or so when my rods arrive.
 

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Another thing to consider is retrieve speed. LRF specific reels deliberately have a slower retrieve than their non LRF counterparts. Most the fish are very small and even to them it probably looks very unrealistic to see a 2in bait fish tearing around at what is likely a rediculous speed! In the LRF dvd the guy fishing at night retrieves very slowly, even slower than they do during the day. So slowing down the retrieve might help.

Not sure about all the reasons why they use FC straight through for bream but I know it is not a recent thing, they were using 2lb FC straight through in tournaments when I was out therein 2002. It seemed to be used more on 'pressured' waters and they used it with SPs. The hard baits weren't as popular then but they seem to have caught up a bit too. Maybe there is something in the characteristics of braid that fish can detect, perhaps some sort of resonance?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
What's the water clarity like out there generally? Could it just be as a simple as it being more visible? There seems to be a lot of talk about the length of leader making a big difference over there, and its pretty much taken as gospel.

From what I've read (at least on the forums) they seem to be in to braid for the soft baits mostly now. And braid or FC on the hard baits.

I was watching some of the Shimano rockfish videos yesterday and the retireve speed was noticeable there too. What was also quite obvious I thought was the fact that they put very, very, very little movement in to baits after dark. Even with just straight tailed baits like some of those we bought at the show, their retrieves were all just straight and sloooow.

I should have taken more notice of what mainlines they were using actually (FC or braid).
 

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A need for both light PE and fluorocarbon in my opinion.

Lightest I have is 5lb mainline FC and 0.4PE 8 strand braid at 6lb.

In gin clear water, FC makes logical sense.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
A need for both light PE and fluorocarbon in my opinion.
Definitely. I know I have no real experience on the water yet, but I'm going to be starting with FC on my hollow tip rod and light PE on my solid. With a couple of spools for each reel I then have the options to chop and change I guess.

What's the diameter of your .4PE Keith? Have asked Andy about it on the PE diameter thread (and going below 6), but I'm interested in the Daiwa Tournament 8 strand stuff at 10lb (0.08mm).
 

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Definitely. I know I have no real experience on the water yet, but I'm going to be starting with FC on my hollow tip rod and light PE on my solid. With a couple of spools for each reel I then have the options to chop and change I guess.

What's the diameter of your .4PE Keith? Have asked Andy about it on the PE diameter thread (and going below 6), but I'm interested in the Daiwa Tournament 8 strand stuff at 10lb (0.08mm).
Not sure on the diameter, I'll check.

I just got my replacement tubular tipped 1-9g cormoran ULX in today. It came in with the main order and there is a bunch of stuff in there that looks the bo**ocks.

I also picked up a TR5 multi version for a bit of conventional HRF fun. Just fancied it as the Japanese seem keen on baitcaster fishing HRF.

I haven't tried the FC straight through on the tub tip but on the solid tip zat-7 it works great.
 
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