Fluff Flinging For Pike

by Al Rawlings

 

A while ago now I was kindly sent a 8/9# fly rod aimed at the predator market from well established rod company Sharpe’s of Aberdeen to “use and abuse” cough,  I mean review lol.  

Due to the terrible unsuitable weather and conditions that I’ve experienced when ever I’ve planned a fishing trip, and some bad health days on top of that it’s taken some time to get the review written up and pics I needed to finish.  Later on after a mix up, an Okuma 8/9# fly reel and spare spools arrived to take the Scierra sinking, intermediate, and floating fly lines with suitable backing from Ron Thompson, and a big bag of assorted colourful pike flies from Caledonian fly company to fling around.

First day out, which was a few hours in-between the rain storms! Yes, it’s been that bad, at last I could take some photos without getting my camera wet!

Rod

Sharpes of Aberdeen Gordon 4 9ft #8/9

The rod, a Sharpes of Aberdeen, Gordon 4 (saltwater/predator) 9ft, #8/9 line is a 4 section rod that comes in a smart hard green safety carry tube with zip entry measuring 80cm or 2ft 7 1/2 in old money long, making this rod an ideal travel partner. Inside, a green cloth 4 section bag houses the rod sections for extra safety, you can be assured that this rod will remain safe and secure virtually anywhere while it’s in this hard travel tube. 

This Gordon 4 (saltwater/predator), comes with a fighting grip, positioned just up from the handle to aid fights from larger predators, which fortunately I found to be of great help (at last) for resting your arm during a good fight.

The rods appearance and finish is second to none, with the smart translucent dark green gloss finish and burgundy whippings. The multi-modulus carbon mix blank is extremely light weight, weighing in under 4oz, and is ringed with 8 high black snake guides (including tip) and two lined stripping guides on the 2nd section, as well as a keeper ring for your fly. The rod sports an attractive cork handle and incorporates a secure two ring locking reel seat. 

 

 

The rod was a breeze to use, and punched out weighty wet pike flies with ease (my casting must be getting better)  I felt the rod to be at home with the intermediate and floating lines more so than the sinking one, although this could well be just me? But this was not a problem at all, as the most common/productive lines were the former when targeting pike in the shallows around the decaying weed beds.   

The Gordon 4 (saltwater/predator) from Sharpe’s of Aberdeen is a quality product, that retails at £250, for more info here's the link... 

Web: www.sharpes.net

 

 

Reel

Okuma SLV 8-9 Fly Fishing Reel

This fly reel would be ideal for freshwater or saltwater use,  and bringing in everything from sea bass to large pike, with unbeatable performance and value for money it’s a great all rounder, sporting a good spec too. 

Featuring a multi-disk cork and stainless steel drag washers with a roller bearing that allows the drag to engage in one direction only. The SLV 8-9 reel includes a precision machined brass bushing drive system and a machined stainless steel spool shaft. SLV fly reels utilize Okuma’s signature alumilite diecast aluminum frame and diecast super large arbor spool design. The non-slip positive grip rubberized handle knobs and easy to change left to right hand retrieval conversion make the Okuma SLV Fly Fishing Reel 8-9 both functional and conveniently easy to use. Weighing in at only 6.1 oz, and retrieves 12” of line per one revolution, I found the reel a delight to use, especially the one way drag system. 

 

 

Lines

Fly lines used were from  Scierra ( http://www.scierra.com/lines/hmt-v2-fly-lines/)   in the form of the HMT V2 WF9 floating, WF 9 intermediate, WF 8 sinking type 7, (sinks 7” per second) 

The Scierra HMT V2 lines are a further development of the highly regarded HMT lines, which have been widely applauded for their Loading Zone taper designs, slick coating, and extreme castability. The V2 lines build further on these attributes, and they have been improved in a number of ways. First of all, they make use of a coating with improved durability. Secondly, they are built on a core with lower memory and elasticity, and thirdly they come in upgraded colours by popular demand.  

Looped at the front taper, Clear classification mark at the front loop end to aid identification, Supple coating,  2 colour loading zone for easy see to aid your casting, I found them easy to use an very adequate for pike fishing, at an realistic and affordable retail price.

Fly line backing was from Ron Thompon, “energiser hollow braid” 50m in 30Ib BS which did what it say’s on the box and performed perfectly. 

 

 

Flies

Caledonia Fly Company Ltd was formed in 2003 and is based in Crieff in the heart of Highland Perthshire Scotland. They market and distribute the highest quality fishing flies throughout the UK and Ireland to the retail tackle trade and fisheries. 

Follow the link for a comprehensive list of their retail outlets

http://www.caledoniaflies.co.uk/caledoniafly/

 

 

The Fishing

Have rod will travel.  Fishing has been in Ireland and Scotland, when conditions were more suitable to use a fly outfit rather than bait fishing I fished with it.  Slowly drifting into the shallow weedy bays, and retrieving the brightly coloured flies, when takes were forth coming it was really fun and addictive fishing. I’ve realised over the years that a fly outfit for pike fishing is another genuine method. What I mean by that is, the method has it’s day’s just like static baits, or lure fishing or trolling. Sometimes it’s the only method that will catch a pike, and good pike at that.  With this knowledge, a pike fly outfit has become an essential part of my pike fishing armoury today.  Particular on east wind atmospheric days, or after a cold front has moved through when the pike have already fed-up, a fly can still catch a non-feeding pike I believe at such times, all you need is to fish a water with good visibility (an eyesight water)  to make things happen with this method. Of course the method can also catch feeding pike too, all in all a great fun method for catching our quarry. 

 

 

One issue that should be mentioned here is water temperature and fight times when using a fly rod to catch pike,  I can’t stress this enough to fight the pike as quickly as possible, and just as important rest the pike in the landing net before unhooking for a few good minutes to aid recovery.  The higher the water temps, and the longer the fight times raises the problem of lactic acid build up within the pike, and to avoid fatalities the above guide lines will help ensure a safe healthy release.

After few days here and there with this fly out fit in tow, I eventually caught some nice pike up to 22Ib's, my best on the fly to date. I knew just the place to try, a clear water with a good population of doubles and the odd 20. I did well there last autumn, so it had to be worth a good go with this kit, and I can report that the Sharpe's rod, performed incredibly well, I certainly gave it a good bending lol.     

 

 

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