Friday, May 27, 2011

5/27 - Back in the river...& a Reel review.

Had Chris W. and his wife Leila, for a day of river/inlet fishing. Departing at 7am we headed to the jetties. Yep, the swell was still lingering from yesterday's hard SE winds. Pogies? Couldn't get any easier. I find it so funny, because I can easily remember years when a livewell of Pogies for bait was a luxury. Because if you had the money and time to spend hours looking for them, you might of ended your search finally all the way past Ponte Vedre beach.

Now, all we have to do is turn the north jetty, and there they are. Oh, how each year is a spin of the "wheel of fortune".

We started anchored inside the north rocks as the swell picked us up and down. My usual one Black Drum per day spot, now that it's summer. But instead of using shrimp we dropped over live Pogies. The falling tide had just started pushing.

It was not super uncomfortable, I knew we wouldn't be here all that long. Eventually, the cloud of queasiness hung over Chris' head. So we picked up and headed down river toward the Little Jetties area.

The tide there was just starting, so we tried Pogies. But after I caught a yellowmouth Trout on a dead shrimp. We switched over to all Shrimp. Sitting along the channel edge, fish number one was the lowly Toadfish. Then came one Seabass after another. As I hoped for more Yellowmouths, maybe Croakers, or even a Drum.

Those rule making fisheries people who have closed Seabass in NE Florida should come with me. The St. Johns River is carpeted with juvenile Seabass, and during this time of year there's probably 1000 small Seabass for ever single jetty rock out at the inlet.
I find them a nuisance, many times.

We did catch a few Whiting. But that was it. Only a few. I wanted to NOT run around, I wanted to keep lines wet. So we stayed put. And it finally worked, with one of my standard river rods bowing over as it sat in the rod holder. Something sucked up a live Pogie, and was haulin' butt......ripping line off the spool!
It was a long hard battle in the strong current on the light tackle.
A multi-spotted monster was now in the boat!
Weighing in at 27 pounds!
We tried for another, and the the small fish stopped completely biting. And right as the current slowed my crew was ready to pack it in.
We "may" have had another chance at a monster Redbass, as the tide slacked. But, we ended on a high note. And I was finally home for dinner time, too. Later, the skies darkened, and the breeze picked up as I cleaned the boat up after the last two days. So it was a good thing to not linger to late today.

I'm keeping a close eye on the winds for Sunday & Monday. With a full boat each day.


Shimano TRN100G - I've had these reels since this past winter. I wanted to match up my Ugly Stik white catfish series rods with a really tough (hopefully) reel that I could use as a utility bottom fishing reel. I've had similar Shimano's before, such as the "charter specials" that are lever drag, levelwinds. But those were just a bit too involved for basic bottom fishing. I already have "twin drag ACCURATES" that are lever drag reels. And nothing made can compare to them. So, I got a 6 pack of the Shimano TRN 100G's for everyday use.

These reels come in two sizes. the 100's and 200's.
For my purposes, there's no need for a 200. They already hold so much 30# braided line it's ridicules.

Here's the stats:
Power Pro,  braided Line Capacity (# Test/Yards) 40/410,50/405,65/390.......and I'm using 30#

Max Drag is 14 pounds which has proved itself more than adequate.

The gear ratio is 4.3:1, which is slow. Especially when you're used too 6.2:1 Shimano Curado 300's.
But my customers need power, not speed.

 So now it's been almost 6 months, and these reels have been used and abused. And I can say, "THESE ARE SOME SERIOUS WORK HORSES." Kinda like a Abu Garcia 6500 Ambassador, which used to be the fishing reel equivalent of a Timex watch. The TRN100's are a tad larger. But when it comes to the DRAG, not many reels beat the Shimano's. And being a GRAPHITE reel, you don't get the corrosion problems you get with an Ambassador, either. (been there, done that, didn't get the T-shirt!!)

I actually chose these reels because they were graphite. Because of their daily use, the last thing I wanted was corrosion issues.

I can tell you that I'm still very happy with their performance. And if any of you really know me. I will buy, use and get rid of tackle in a heart beat, if it's not working out for me. I buy sometimes just to try it out. Some make the grade, most don't.

These reels have worked through all those winter Drum, and now monster Redbass. But at the same time, they are also my Kingfish, Cobia and small Shark reels this summer. I gave up a long time ago on having designated special Kingfish rods and reels, because Kings don't really put up all that much of a battle to start off with. Certainly, not compared to a really big Redbass on a falling tide in the river. do want the smoothest drag you can get when it comes to small hooks and live bait, when King Mackerel fishing.

Yesterday's battle, against the 26 pound Redbass had me thinking about these reels as I cleaned them after the charter. I wiped them off with a damp towel, inspected them and said to myself. "These were a great investment, for my charters." They're not fancy, they're not super high speed, or Gold anodized aluminum. But I sure have got my money's worth out of them in the last 6 months. And without a hitch, either.  And to me, that makes the Shimano TRN100's a good durable reel, I'd recommend and buy again.

Best Prices, with FAST free shipping, and you can also earn REBATE POINTS, in case you're wondering:

I may even get a couple more, for a few more Ugly Stiks I have.

Tight Lines.

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