Sunday, 2 February 2014

Daiwa SS Air 2014!

As the Osaka tackle show draws near, the release of new offerings from most brand names are floating about magazines and the internet. After going through the 2014 new products site from Daiwa, it seems that 2014 will be an awesome year for the big name.

The array of stuff varies from new-olds such as the limited edition Steez SV and the Toshinari Namiki edition Steez SV to the new Kohga series and the SS series, which holds the new SS Air BFS!



The SS platform consist of the SV and the Air and the frame looks to be Steez with a tweaked front end and sideplates. Based on Specs and pricing the SS seems to be a step below the Steez on Daiwa's roadmap. The T3 has always been regarded by many as the epitome of baitfinesse, the cream of the crop, but personally i was never a fan of the T3 body as it was just too bulky compared to compact bodies such as the Shimano aldebarans, Revo LT series and such with regards to BFS. On top of which , regardless of what everyone says, the Zaion frame still felt too plastic to command the premium price tag; which is also a reason why no one in Lure × Style pulled the trigger on one till date.

 SS Air Specs

The release of the SS Air meant that we could have all the features of the T3 air especially the thing of our lust; the K.T.F jointly produced spool in a none T3 body. Losing the T-wing system was not a big deal for us either. Some of the SS Air features as follows:

-G1 Duralumin Air spool
-Zaion Handleside plate
-20 clicks mag adjustable Air brakes
-Ultimate tournament drag
-Zaion enlarged swept drag star to shorten distance between frame and star tip by 1.6mm for single hand retrieve used in BFS techniques
-Zaion Knobs per T3 Air
-Speed Shaft






Air spool <3

Speed Shaft technology, shaftless system for reduced resistance during casting


The other Daiwa toys for 2014





The hottest looking spinning reel ever if you'd ask me

Currently Daiwa have really seemed to up the ante with the new offerings. At the moment for Shimano JDM, the only changes are the release of the Chronarch Ci4 in the Jdm market, Exsence DC lefty release as well as updates for the Conquest and Scorpion platform.  

Let's see if there's more than meets the eye after the Tackleshow and of course any other new BFS gears for 2014!!

All pictures credited to Daiwa japan. Original site can be found at http://http://daiwa.globeride.co.jp/

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Lure × Style heads to Taiwan!

Words without action has been plaguing the crew at Lure × Style for all too long. Talks of overseas fishing trips had always been on the cards, but we never seemed to be able to pull it off.
Then, came a week of serious talks, some googling, as well as calender scheduling, we finally bit the bullet and booked the flight. 

Where are we heading? To Taiwan, that's where! Cooling weather, great food and people were enough to get us going, but the tackle shopping and largemouth bass fishing really caught our attention.

It was an awful long countdown to our highly anticipated trip and we were finally gathered at Singapore's Changi Airport on the last day of 2013, all ready to kick some bass ass. 


We arrived at Taiwan in the wee hours of new years day, tired from the lack of sleep on the cramp seats of our Jetstar flight but excited nonetheless. We made our way to the hotel which was in Ximending to unload our stuffs and to find a place to grab some grubs. 

After a Quick breakfast; my first taste of authentic Taiwan cuisines, we were back at our hotel lobby to setup some of the reels for action later that day.

Tinkering with reels in every parts of the world

It was finally time to head off to our first stop; Fun lures, a lure fishing specialty shop at one of the many Etuoh tackle stores across Taiwan. This outlet also happens to be the Etuoh's flagship store and boy was it a treat. 

We were like a bunch of kids walking into  Toys"R"Us, as rows and rows of tackles greeted us. 

Lures

More Lures

Even more lures







It goes without saying that a lot of money was spent on that day in Etuoh, as well as the next 5 days that we visited. Fun fact: Out of the entire week there was only 2 days that we did not visit the tackle store; tackle geek madness.

A tiny fraction of loots from Etuoh, not inclusive of rods and reels =/

After 3 full hours of browsing the tackle shop, it was finally time to wet some line. The friendly Staffs at Fun lures, which we soon, became really well acquainted with helped us arranged for our trip up to "the mountains" which the locals called it, for some largemouth bass pond fishing. The staffs were well affiliated with the pond owner who was a regular at the tackle store, many local events and tournaments are held regularly at the pond.

Kelvin with a largemouth landed on a very short prior trip to "The Mountains"



The pond was well stocked and filled with many structures to attack. The great weather and extremely friendly Taiwanese locals has really got us loving the place even before we caught anything. As we arrived on new year's day the pond was crowded with anglers at most corners and we decided to take some time to watch what the locals were doing whilst rigging up before doing any fishing.  

We were trying more mainstream lures such as vibes, minnows, spinnerbaits and such but after about an hour into fishing we were still landing none, while the locals were landing fishes pretty consistently. As such, we decided to spend more time looking at what the locals were doing right. Not everyone was landing fish and the better anglers were accounting for majority of the day's catch. I eventually noticed a particular structure where the fishes were being hauled up more than anywhere else. This was to be the owner's house which is built atop of the pond and having it's porch extend over the edge of the pond. The anglers were skipping their lures deep under the house and pulling bass out. When the angler at the spot left, i decided to give it a go. I rigged up a Jackall Cover craw and after dialing in the settings, skipped it under the house. This resulted in the capture of my first Largemouth bass.


It was a beautiful fish and the characteristics couldn't be any more different than the peacock bass at home. The cool weather has also made the Largemouths less aggressive compared to the summer seasons. They were going after mainly natural presentations, while the peacocks at home prefers flamboyant colored lures retrieved at the speed of light. It was also apparent that blindly casting with no effort in trying to understand the fishing here would result poorly and quite possibly landing nothing. Many have told me that Largemouths presented little fight. But over that week we landed over a hundred bass, we all think that the deep running Largemouths were really great fun and some of the bigger bruisers could really put a bend on our BFS rods. At no point in time were we complaining, but then again it could have been attributed to our BFS tackles. 

Smiles all around

Kelvin working his favorite lure




Eventually everyone started to get a grasp fishing this field and fishes were starting to add up with the bass turning more aggressive towards hardbaits as night fell. The first day ended with a total average of 5 bass per angler over the period of 3 hours. It wasn't much but we were plenty stoked. The largemouth bass in "The Mountains" proved to be intelligent and required a lot of spot targeting as many bass were holding at structures, compared to plenty of blind casting in local fishing. The whole experience was not only fresh but also really appealing to us. 

On the next day we went back to Etuoh for more tackle shopping and the staff at the shop gave us a few more pointers on strategies which could be applied at some of the structures of the pond. The first day proved to be merely the tip of the iceberg thus we returned immediately on day 2 for more. 



It wasn't long before we started hitting fishes with our newly acquired knowledge of the pond as well as applying our experience from the day before. We eventually started landing fishes more consistently and even coming up with several techniques of our own which worked really well. Our pitching and skipping techniques started improving under pressure as these techniques were less often used back at home, but essential in places like this. Most of the presentation, being natural, involves the use of weightless rigs which turned out great for BFS users like our crew.



Day 2 ended with more than 30 bass being landed and we were mighty pleased with our improvement! 

One of the many crowded Night Markets in Taipei

As most of the fishing were not in our area, we had initially planned a trip up to Taoyuan where most of the largemouth bass fishing is situated. But due to some lazy bones as well as bad weather forecasts we ended up fishing only at the pond throughout the trip. Though it could have been more worthwhile exploring, we decided that we were not well prepared enough for daily long trips out of Taipei and shall leave that for our next trip back instead where staying in Taoyuan would be considerably better for fishing.

We eventually got really comfortable with the fishing and were all doing well enough to rival some of the locals! Our dear grizzly had also came up with a killer Megabass Pagani Siglett technique which alone, accounted for at least 15 bass for the trip.





Some of you may have noticed the FX68 in the last picture. This was a FX68 fitted with the Megabass IS spool with a narrower bearing swapped in to make it work. If you're wondering, then yes! it does casts like a dream.



The Bear testing out the FX68 Finesse borrowed from Kelvin. Paired with his newly acquired Poison Glorious BFS Multirole. 











Eventually our trip had to come to an end. The week blitzed by at such speed and our mood switched from elated to deflated in the blink of an eye. The lifestyle that we had in Taiwan was the absolute dream. Wake up and head out for one of the many delicious street food stores, going to one of the coolest tackle megastore, fishing at the beautiful pond stocked with awesome largemouths ontop of a picturesque hill and ending the day with all the nightlife of Taipei. Wake up and do it all over again. 



However all good things comes to an end thus, before we know it, our bags were packed and we're prepared to head back to sunny Singapore. We have learnt a lot from everyone in Taiwan and the experience, be it fishing, eating or shopping was off the charts. 

The hospitality of the Taiwanese was definitely beyond words, everyone was so eager to help and genuinely friendly. It was no surprise that Taiwan quickly became one of our favorite countries in the world and Lure × Style will be returning for more of the Taiwan experience soon enough.


Tackles used on the trip:

Reels:
Abu Garcia Revo AE74 LTZ
Daiwa Alphas MB Spooled x 2
Daiwa Steez SV 6.3
Megabass Zonda 68
Megabass FX68 MB Spooled
Shimano Aldebaran BFS XG
Shimano Metanium13 Yumeya Spooled
Shimano Stradic Ci4
Shimano Conquest 100DC

Rods:
Megabass Destroyer F3st-63X
Shimano Expride BFS 165L-BFS
Shimano × Jackall Poison Glorious BFS 164L Multirole
Jackall Bros Tranpo G2 T2C-68L
Majorcraft Volkey BFS VKC-692XUL BFS
Majorcraft Volkey BFS VKC-652UL BFS
Daiwa Airedge 662L Bait finesse Versatile
Abu Garcia Salty Stage KR-X baitfinesse custom
Graphiteleader Calzante
Graphiteleader Nuovo Bosco