Recently acquired a baitcaster set, in the form of a Nories RBT78MHC (RockFish Bottom) 7'8 Telescopic 7-21g with Shimano Calcutta Conquest 51DC. The reel is spooled up with the fantastic Sunline Castaway 1.5PE (25lb). Having owner a few Nories rods now, including 3 others from the RockFish range, I was confident that the new rod would be a good addition. Just from the aesthetical point of view, this combo is a real beauty!
Being new to baitcasters, I thought a little practice in the garden would be a good idea, and proved to be very useful, in getting my head around the ins and outs of casting with this reel. Had a few backlashes, but was able to learn from them, and pick them out with ease. The reel its'elf makes a pretty cool noise on casting, as it does it's magic controlling the spool. My thoughts were to use this as a close range soft plastics tool, a style of fishing that lends it'self well to the various local marks I fish.
So, onto my first outing with this set up, which was to be afloat, in my little Zodiac 310. Headed out to the Start Bay area, parked up, and began the task of pumping up the little inflatable, mounting the engine, and setting the boat up ready for action. It can be a fun little tool, with the 4hp Suzuki engine, you can easily transport it all in your car boot, pull it out, and be afloat in around 20 mins of vigorous foot pumping and carrying to the water.
Hugging the shoreline, I made my way in the Dartmouth direction, a nice sunny start, with light Westerly winds. Starting out with a Damiki Tokon 20g jig, soon into the first of many Pollack, and the first fish coming to the boat on the new rod & reel. The Pollack were coming thick and fast, biggest probably around the 2lb mark.
Drifting the boat close in over some weed and rock structure, I switched over to an Ecogear Power Dart Minnow, combined with the Ecogear Power Dart 14g head. This combo is great because it allows a small treble to sit in the belly of the lure. With a straight retrieve, the lure can be made to dart with movements of the rod tip, and this action bagged me a small Bass. The Calcutta Conquest reel makes a satisfying click as the drag works, and the fiesty spikey was brought to the boat.
As I drifted further down the coast, I stuck with the Ecogear Power Dart Minnow, and went on to land a good few more Pollack, which made some good deep runs as I brought them in. The Sunline Castaway was behaving really well on the reel, and I was able to start increasing my distance as I became more confident with the set up. Whilst bottom bouncing, felt a dead weight on the line, and reeled in a cool looking Hermit crab, hidden deep in it's shell.
Only downside to the trip was heading back to the car, when the weather took a turn for the worst, and powering the little Zodiac back in the strengthening Westerly wind! Back safe, all packed down, and happy with my first session with the baitcaster. Looking forward to getting out on the rocks with it soon, and testing it out with some more Bass and hopefully a few chunky Wrasse.