<$40 Shimano Eclipse rod does the bidness again

Go on then, tell us your stories...
Casualtyward
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Well done Kingifiddler. That's a monster fish!

Over a metre is pretty hefty and would put it in world record class. Pretty safe to say it's over 20lb.
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kingiFiddler
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Thanks man. Was a heck of a feeling when I got colour because i have never seen a snapper that long before and my brain didn't quite conceive it was a snapper at first, rather a small shark, until I saw the colour.

The bizarre thing was it was long but not heavy. The part of it just ahead of the tail fins seemed way out of proportion to the rest of the fish. Doesn't really show it in the photo but it was pressing up against my tummy. Not the best photo either but I just wanted to get a shot and get it back in the water ASAP. I've read they don't get much longer than about a metre anyway but this thing only felt like about 22-24lbs when most guys are telling me a snapper that long would be about 30lbs. There's no way it was anything like 30 lbs.

Regardless, it was the only snapper that's ever been a good fight and I'm now retired from chasing big moochers because it sucks if they are gut hooked and I have to kill something that's probably over 40 years old and might be closer to 60. I don't like that. At all. If I'm honest I was very sad to have killed the 16.5 lb-er a few days before it and when I first saw this one, I was desperate to confirm it wasn't gut hooked and so relieved to find it wasn't.

To see that big unit swim off was one of the best feelings I've ever had and probably ever will, on kayak.

If anyone thinks I haven't gotten my sub $40 worth out of this Eclipse rod this Summer, they have rocks in their head ;-)
Last edited by kingiFiddler on Fri Mar 26, 2021 2:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Casualtyward
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Good work, KF!

I did a bit of research between posts. The World Record caught by Mark Hemingway in 1992 off Motiti Island (TGA) weighed 17.1 kg. He reckons his fish was 1m long (though quite fat).

The current IGFA length record is 81.0cm.
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kingiFiddler
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Good to know, thanks Casualtyward.

The Hornet and cheap Eclipse rod have had a stellar Summer chasing fish and I don't think they are done just yet. There's a >20kg kingi out there somewhere that they'd like a rematch with before they'll be able to slip into Winter mode willingly.
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kingiFiddler
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Counted 36 boats before I even got over the bar this morning. Worst I've ever seen it. Didn't look like anyone was catching anything either, so whilst not the big unit I was hoping for it was better than none. When asked if it would have preferred to have been caught on a $400 rod the king declined to comment so perhaps it was a bit miffed to be yet another victim of the Eclipse weapon.
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kingiFiddler
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Photo isn't very flattering but this one this morning was all muscle and dragged me around for quite a while. Eclipse rod and my trusty baitrunner are such a nice livebaiting combo. So nice to be able to micro adjust the secondary drag based on size and grrrr left in the livie, then flick it to exactly the primary drag you want when you want to learn what just took off with your livie, or at least how much moxy and weight it has. I love that moment when that question gets answered.
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TBreezy
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You've been having a ripper of a summer, man. I'm interested to know what hooks you are using for your bic pen lures. Keen to give it a go
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kingiFiddler
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Have tried a few different types and all work just fine, but ones with a slight recurve help keep the little buggers on when close to or lifting into the yak.

Favourite, but I have none left so just use whatever, were small inline eye lure hooks I bought to replace the trebles that come on lures. I think they were BKK Diablo and the eyes were very small so would fit inside the pen just fine and they were a great shape and very strong. Having inline eyes, it kinda looks like an actual eye when in the lure.

But have also tried small octopus types but they tend to not hold the fish on as well, and some longer shank but still small J hooks and just crushed the eyes a little to fit.

There are different sizes of the clear bits on BIC pens too, and both the big and small ones work but I prefer the slightly bigger ones if I can get 'em. If I were you I'd take the clear bit into a store and try the hooks out to see if they'll fit. I really should get some more of the inline eye Diablo's so if you find a store that has 'em and they fit into the pen end without crushing the eye, please sing out the size. I think it was 1 or 1/0 but can't recall.

Good luck and please let us know how you get on.
TBreezy
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Awesome, man. Thank you.

Will do! Don't get out as much as I'd like to at the moment but I'll be sure to let you know of any success.

Looks like Marine Deals stocks the 1 and 1/0 size Diablos if you can't be arsed going to a store ;)
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kingiFiddler
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Maybe you can ring and ask them to break a pen and check if the 1/0's eye will fit inside the clear bit for us then get back to me so I don't have to be arsed.

:-)
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kingiFiddler
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Best <$40 I ever spent.
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TBreezy
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Awesome catch, man.

Can confirm, size 1 Diablos fit inside a pen. Tried the pen out about a week ago but nada. They were going for a bibbed lure.
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kingiFiddler
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thanks for that info. good to know.
*edit* just ordered the size 1's in and made up a new lure ready for a sunrise sesh tomorrow, weather/swell permitting.
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kingiFiddler
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Just wanted to post some musings on that pen lure. In the past, with my one-rod KISS mantra, I'd tie the lure to the 50/80lb flurocarbon leader on my mightly eclipse livebaiting rig. But having just bought a wee kidstix+reardrag reel combo that came spooled with mono, I tied directly to the mono, no leader.

It sucked.

The day before there was no probs catching bait with my regular set-up. But, now with the new kidstix, I was left wondering waddup and considered the variables:
-lower rod so lure not in the same orientation
-mono mainline instead of braid
-fickle baitfish playing hide and seek
-no fluro leader

So, having played around with more or less line out to no avail, paddling all over the bloody place trying to find where they were hanging out, I did a few laps in one normally productive stretch of water as a control, tied a fluro leader to the mono and actually caught one, but only one, after a few more laps. So tied the lure back on my livebaiting set-up and bingo, straight back into them in the same stretch of water. Go figure!

So, I'm still unsure if it was the extra foot of the mighty eclipse rod, that it had braid instead of mono mainline, just random luck or something else.

Am heading out as support boat hunting for the neighbour's elusive first kingi at sunrise tomorrow if weather plays ball and he's not too sore from a pretty serious mission we had yesterday. That involved a shark, capsize and nearly getting blown off the edge of the world. So, I'll make sure the mighty eclipse is back with the pen lure as my control and I'll keep experimenting with the kidstix pen lure set-up. Perhaps will try braid tied direct to the lure, no leader, and if no joy then braid mainline and fluro leader just like the mightly eclipse and see if the kidstix is just cursed with normal rather than the exceptionally brilliant luck of the mighty eclipse.

'Tis a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.
TBreezy
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Wow. That's really interesting about the difference it made when tied to a different setup. It could be that is has something to do with the height of your Eclipse rod, the weight of the braid/fluoro and how that affects the pen lure in the water, compared to the other setup. Perhaps it swims with a different action or at a different depth. Buzzy!
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kingiFiddler
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It's a tricky one to understand.

Didn't try just braid with no leader yet as the pressure was on during the weekend to get livies and no time to experiment. My neighbour (new to kayaks and hasn't fished since a kid) and I are in the CFC (chockie fish challenge) up against a very experienced boat fisho with a young gun on board. Both the neighbour and the young gun have never caught a kingi so the challenge is about who of those two gets the best or only kingi. Young gun struck too early on three big ones this weekend down near Auckland and my guy busted off at the yak up here, so we are still nill-all.

Looks like the rematch is next Sunday. But the CFC means I can't really experiment with the kidstix yet. But it was working just fine with the braid and fluro leader the last trip out. But everything seems to have slowed down and I'm catching the livies at a crazy-slow paddle speed. Much slower than normal. Not sure if related to the kidtstix or lower sea temps slowing everything down.

Once the CFC is won/lost, I'll get back to experimenting.
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