For this trip Im keen to test two new purchases. Finally I can say that my Century HPR has been purchased following a rather depressing session a couple of months ago which led to my much enjoyed MC Crostage snap into pieces. However this cloud definitely had a silver lining and enter the mighty HPR.
I have gone with the 7'3" Staggered tip which is a Wrasse beating beast of a rod. The first thing you really notice about this rod in the sunlight is the amazing petrol blue colour that shines through when the light hits the rod. Power comes in extremely early on this rod which is ideal for stopping the dirty trickster that is Wrasse. It has a slightly longer handle at the reel seat compared to the Crostage, which will take a little adjustment on my casting but it casts like a dream. 5g and a lure and its outta there, although it was also pitching very welland accurately. Very pleased to finally have this added to the arsenal and Im sure it will serve me well over the coming months/years. This rod is built to last! Much stronger and resilient than a number of like rods this is hopefully going to make it a hard rod for me to break... considering my current track record with rods this is a big plus point for me :) When we talk HRF/LRF fishing you will noticed the phrase "balanced gear" over and over again. The theory being that rod, reel and line all balance each other out so the rod will sit in a neutral state (horizontal) with minimal support at the reel seat. The HPR balances very well.. I mean very well!! With the Caldia 3000 (and previously used with the Rarenium 3000) this rod balances perfectly!
Why a staggered tip?? Well it's very simple...... power and strength. If your really bothered about portability then your probably better off getting the EBT version of this rod (equal butt and tip) which is your recognisable spigoted rod roughly in two halves. The staggered tip is a one piece which is slotted into the butt when used. It means you have a whacking great rod bag and it can be tricky to transport (no issues in most car models I have transported it in so far) but the rod is one single piece which offers those slight advantages. . This rod was designed with Texas rigging in mind and really suits my style of fishing for Wrasse.
Second test for this trip is the recently purchased Illex Superpin Tail plastic lure. Seriously if you see this at your usual stockist get some. These lures look like bait fish in a bag. Ultra realistic they swim amazingly well rigged texas style using a low weight and are just teasing any number of fish species to bite. These have to be good for Wrasse, Bass, Pollack you name it Im sure it will eat these lures. Fairly pricey for the number you get but still worth it all the same. The only slight niggle I have with this lure is the Wrasse I caught this session absolutely destroyed these lures. Two takes and the lure was nearly in half but this is Wrasse fishing and the lure feels solid enough when rigging. I will see how they go as I use them more extensively over the coming sessions.
So to the session. Weather was looking good and the sun was present but not glaring. Winds where up and swell was coming in. Not ideal as the surf was also rolling in but I was hunting out some usual sheltered spots that normally hold a few Wrasse. To be honest at first glance I started to wish I had packed the Bass gear as it was looking ripe for Bass and Pollack :)
We hit the mark bang on low tide which was a low 1.2 metre. Taking a few minutes to rig up I took Paul over to a likely spot and we started casting. The HPR was working well and I was enjoying the feel of it. Fishing through heavy weed I could really feel the features under the water through the rod and my Caldia 3000 reel. Within a few casts the rod tip has the familiar feel of Wrasse nibbles and fish on! This Wrasse gave up on the fight very early on which was a bit dissappointing, livened up a bit as I got it close to the rock I was fishing from and a little tacker is brought in.
Nice coloration which is one of the reasons I enjoy fishing this species so much. Photos done it was back in the water. I continue casting when Paul gets a tight line and his bushwhacker starts to bop... fish on!! On the retrieve the Wrasse manages to pull a dirty tactic and gets free. Paul was using a jighead and exposed hook and on the retrieve the lure has come away and the Wrasse won that battle. I suggest he switches to a weedless texas and fine tune his texas rigging. Immediately his fishing "feels" better and we fish on.
It isnt long before my HPR bends over again. I cant get over how quick the power comes in again and this fish is definitely better and putting up a good fight! The thing I really notice about the HPR is that it doesnt have the exaggerated "bounce" some softer rods have and makes controlling the fish on the retrieve so much easier. It doesn't take the fun out of the fight mind and I really enjoy landing this fish. Mush better at just over 2lb with similar coloration.
The interesting thing with this fish is the evident green/blue colour in the mouth of the fish. Wrasse do get a blueish mouth colour when they're spawning but I would expect that to have been earlier in the year. But who said nature had any rules!
We fish the rest of the afternoon but it all goes a bit quiet. Paul has a good take in a rocky outcrop which is a strong Bass like take.. unfortunately his braid is over the rock and the braid snaps clean off so we don't get to see if we had a Bass or not! We discuss structure and feature and why we choose to fish certain areas. Its a shame as the tide isn't racing up the shore as quick as I'd like and some of my favourite areas are yet to flood. But its time to call it a day. Was a cracking day and great to have Paul out for a session. Hopefully next trip we will get him into some fish :)