Out on the last of the ebb at Pt Chev, with a handful of berley, and the Vapen vanquished a 40cm snapper – my best in the harbour for maybe 3 or 4 years.
Got out this morning in the NE and no rain. The stalking area was tea coloured. Almost turned around and left, but then decided to walk 15 mins along to the point at the end to see if there was any shelter around the corner. Fortunately there was and I started tossing a smaller 1/0 clouser pattern on the new Nemesis with the brand new Sage 2280 fly reel I spooled up last night.
No hits or fishy signs for first 60-70 minutes, but as the tide turned and current picked up I hit about four small kahawai that all fell off.
I was just about to leave and while wading back along the sand bar when a stingray came up alongside me. It was a couple of meters beyond my rod tip. I didn’t see any escorts but then spied a slight boil of water behind it. So I dropped my fly in the area, a couple of strips and wham!
Long short short (my first video alone of the fight is 22 minutes long) the nasty beggar used the current to his advantage and had me following him about 200m then I walked him 200m back then I followed him 100m out again and had to walk him back. Keeping fit while fishing!
When I finally landed him he only measured only 68cm !!!!
I’d hate to think what would have happened if he was any bigger …
And a video of the release (sorry for freeware logos!)
On the way back – maybe we’ll meet again …
This was also the first outing for my complete new outfit, a Nemesis 7wt with a Sage 2280 fly reel. It is a sweet combo. And the fly was one I tied the night before to be visible in the slightly turbid water of the estuary.
The reel had a grueling first test run, getting soaked in saltwater and I had it cranked up during most of the fight. The drag is smooth and the setting knob is large and graduated clearly.
And the next outing for the combo will be for trout in the Rangitikei River, for which I’m sure it will be more than adequate!
I have met my Nemesis – and so far I’m enjoying the experience!
An Airflo Nemisis fly rod, that is, a 9ft 7 weight 4piece rod to replace the light saltwater duties that have been ably carried out by my twenty year old Composite Developments IM7Plus rod. The Nemesis is a range designed and made for Manic Tackle Project for the New Zealand market.
I have a gallery of detail shots below to show it in all its shiny newness, even the cork plastic is still in place. The green blank has a lustrous depth of colour. A quick flick with my Cortland 444 line confirmed the fast precise action was there that I wanted for my estuary work.
For an under $300 rod it is well presented, and even comes with an extra tip section. The only slight quibble is that I would have preferred a double locking reel seat, but my CD rod had a single locking ring and I never had a reel fall off. First world problems … now time to get a fish on it. Who knows, over Christmas holidays I’ll take it south and see if I can extract a trout from the Rangitikei River with it!
So I finally got a 10wt line for my 10 wt Redington Vapen Red. A sensible thing to do. The line is a Rio Outbound Short WF10F/I (in the coldwater formulation) that has a 12ft clear intermediate tip in front of the white floating head and light minty green running line. Factory welded loops at both ends. After my my over-lining fiasco (with a 12wt Airflo wind crusher) it was with a sense of keen anticipation that I wound the new line onto the Sage 4210 reel. I quickly threaded the line through the rod rings and headed over to the local school field to learn how good the line was.
I wont beat about the bush: it took a few minutes getting used to the short head, and the other characteristic which is common to fly lines with dual densities, the front taper has a bit of a kick. Once the introductions were over it was time to see how far this canon could shoot. After a few warm ups I gave it my best shot: it not the prettiest cast, with a slight breeze from my left, but it flew and pulled the line out until the backing knot was at the first stripping guide. That was 96 of 100 feet of line out of the rod tip. A personal best. I am a happy swoffer: my dream combo is finally all together and can send a fly further than I’ve been able to do before.
The line itself is very nice: my concern was that the cold water formulation would result in wiry handling but instead it is seductively supple and smooth even in the cold of a July evening. The real test will be in the water on a cold winter dawn.
There’s nothing like new tackle to pump that urge to go fishing! Time to point this outfit at some water, preferably with fish in it, and get it into fish fighting mode.
Okay – I took my wallet to a recent Strip Strike club meeting at Totally Fly in the Viaduct, Auckland. Cunningly Rene Vaz had berleyed the shop with enticing specials and I decided to bite down on a new fly line for my Redington Vapen fly rod.
This is the first ridge construction line I’ve owned and the texture definitely feels different to the super slick conventional designs. It is a saltwater beast with an aggressive front taper that is design to pile drive heavy flies into annoying breezes. The core is 50 pound breaking strain braid so your 15 kg leader will break first, rather than a trout-evolved fly line would do. If you are unlucky enough to get snagged, in my experience, you’d straighten or break the hook before the leader would part.
Then there is just out and out cool colour scheme. First the clear intermediate front taper, a grunty floating blue belly section that is the engine designed to pull out the 92 feet of high visibility yellow running line. That all adds up to 120 feet of reach – for the truly skilled casters. For me, if can do 90 feet (27m) I will be a happy swoffer indeed.
Now all I need is a window to do some winter swoffing!
Finally took the Vapen out with the Sniper for a test fire on the local school field.
Wow – this line is a beast!
You could point it at Cyclone Bola and it would slap the fly in her face with a smug grin. The front taper would probably turn over a seagull if you had one on the end of your leader.
The polyurethane material feels very tough and the line flies out like an express train. I was on the rugby field and easily got 24 meters. Okay, this is a 120 ft line, so shouldn’t I be expecting at least 27 (90 ft)?
Well that’s my fault. As mentioned above this is a 12 wt line and I have a 10wt rod. You can over-line for sure, but in this case , it was definitely too much: getting the head fully aerialised was over-taxing the rod and unable to get good line speed. The fact with less than optimal line speed and flight profile that I could get 22 meters plus says a lot for the line.
At first I thought about cutting back the front taper to lighten it, but it is a line designed for a purpose: deliver big flies with authority. I respect the design and the build quality enough to not want to mess with it because I took a punt on over-lining.
Now to get a good 10 wt to bring out the best in the Vapen … there’s winter fishing to be done!