At last I have had a good chance to get out and find some Bass to Christen my rebuilt Tenryu Injection, I`ve been so busy the past month with LRF that I was concerned I was going to be out of touch with a few local Bass marks, normally when I’m on a bass hunt I would set at least a 6 hours aside, an plan to cover as much ground as possible, but with everything being so busy I only had a few hours to chase down a wrasse or bass, my first stop was Portland Bill, the tide was flooding fast an things looked perfect for bass but to rough for the wrasse, after 50 or so casts around the rock marks, it was obvious that there was no wrasse, Pollock or bass to be found, I decided to cut my losses an head to Plan B with the final few hours I had left.
Now this mark can throw up some big fish when conditions are right, but you have to approach the mark like a ninja not to scare any fish off, head lights off, and being as quiet as possible is key. When I arrived at this mark I could see the odd fish surfacing, I presumed it must be mullet, as the mullet fill this mark in their thousands, so I waited until the tide had just turned an started to ebb, from previous experience I know the bass are behind a reef at this mark waiting for the ebb to bring food to them. Soon enough the evident sign of bass smashing baitfish was present over the reef, time to lay a cast over the top an fingers crossed get a hit...
Lure of choice was the popular Zonk Gateride in Rainbow Pearl, worked dead slow, to keep it simple on a standard 3000 size reel I’m doing 1 turn of the handle every 2 seconds with the odd pause now and then. This simple method at night has scored me dozens of bass now, and normally a much better size fish than in day light hours. Also I think it`s worth mentioning that waiting for the tide to ebb an gain current pushes the weed down an allows you to work a diving hard lure at this mark. Fishing this mark on a low or high slack water would restrict you to surface lures and weed less soft plastics.
The DFR Injection performed incredibly, now that the rod is balanced and weighs a tone less than standard it’s a dream to use. Richard from Dorset Rods put all my rambling ideas and rebuilt this rod in to something significant;
A custom 1 off titanium butt section with cross hole to fix lanyard for kayak use, and dare I say skishing ... maybe if I man up to it, think I will need a few lessons in Jersey with the Legend Keith White first. The butt section also allows for weights to be added bringing that tip section up past neutral, my personal preference is to have a rod that site between 30 an 45 degrees for HRF. This position also helps a lot when used on a kayak or if waste deep in waders.
Gun smoke PacBay guides make this rod a true down an out rock fishing rod, how many times have I fallen an cracked a plastic or ceramatic tip eye, I’ve lost count.. Call me clumsy but it happens to us all eventually. These PacBay eyes are solid stainless steel inserts that cannot be broken and save a tone of weight from the original titanium eyes that the rod was made with. I had concerns that the eyes may not be braid friendly or fluorocarbon friendly being that the width of these guides are a lot less than standard guides, which could create a kink in fluorocarbon leaders an mainlines on the cast or when under heavy load while playing out a fish. Now I’ve caught a few good fish I need not worried, I’ve had absolutely no problems at all. One thing I will mention, an it’s a minor detail is that these guides are a lot noisier on the cast than the standard guides.. But like I said, minor detail.
Half way through the build I asked Richard if he could bind the last four Guides in a bright white, I remember reading Keith Whites blog on the development of the Century HPR rods, after owning an using the 7.3 HPR having these bindings bright white makes absolute sense. Reason being is most of my bass fishing is done at night and as much as seeing that rod tip at night helps you connect with bites, my biggest reason was to protect the rod from me dropping a foot on the blank while messing with a fish, or when walking along making sure I don’t ram the tip through a fence or between rocks.
When discussing reel seats and how you want your grip to feel is something I had never really thought about, until Richard showed me the dozens of EVA grips and combinations he could build them in. Having to think about how you want your reel seat to screw up or screw down, the length of the grip and width was an eye opener. When I thought about it in depth it made sense to have the reel seat screwing up, as I normally always hold my rod forward away from the reel its self. This would stop the reel seat screwing lose in the palm of my hand, which has driven me mad on a few rods I’ve had in the past.
Next up was the decals an paint job which I left in Richards hands, my only request was to lose the Tenryu paint job to save weight an lose its identity that so many people recognise an want to talk about, when I’m bass fishing it really gets to me when someone shouts out “NICE ROD” or they have to join you on your one man rock to ask you a dozen questions. Seriously I’m fishing not standing at a bar having a chat over a pint!
The decals were kept simple yet stylish completely different to the original boldness that Tenryu had used, to say I’m happy with the rebuild is a understatement, I’m over the moon with it. I have many rods that I am slowly selling now as this DFR rod has become my go to rod for my HRF and bass fishing, the blank has been built how it should have been built in the first place. Richard.. Thank you, your skills are second to none mate, give it a few years of my heavy abuse and I`ll properly be asking you to rebuild it yet again.
Just a quick heads up to the growing Weymouth LRF scene, I`ve put a list together of all the meets for the rest of the year, anyone can come along to these meets, if you get in contact with me before turning up I might just have a spare set of gear for anyone who wants to have a go. These meets are just open meets for fun, so please come along and have a good time fishing.
Here`s a picture to finish the blog post off, Billy Short with a Red Band Fish, I’ve seen these in a few pictures before, but I haven’t caught one on lure or with bait so I have to take my hat off to him for going out an targeting these fish with LRF gear... I’m jealous mate, but well one indeed!
Hope you enjoyed the read !