Wednesday, February 24, 2021

All About Fishing: Part III of III

In my last and final 3-parts blog on fishing, I would like to present my rods, reels and lures that I have used over the years. Some of them have been with me from the start of my fishing journey – testimony that if you pay good money, your purchases will last you a lifetime. I am also happy to say that other than a number of lures, I have never lost a reel, or broken a rod.

I own 9 rod sets – all made of carbon fiber blanks and designed for the bait casting form of fishing. Of the nine, 3 are single piece: 2 for Mahseer and one for Trout. Single piece rods are stronger but cumbersome to carry. But these rods can reel in Mahseer of upto 70 KGs – and trout of up to 12 KGs - not that there are any fish in that weight class surviving in the wild.

A Classic 2-pieces rod set from Abu Garcia of Sweden

Custom crafted for me - one piece Mahseer Rod with blanks by Tamer of USA

Real brute of a rod - single piece rod by Shimano of Japan

Single piece trout rod custom crafted for me in 1994

I have 2 rods that are of 2-pieces construction. They both come with pistol-grip handles. One is a classic by Abu Garcia of Sweden. The other is a custom crafted rod specially built for me in Singapore. The blanks are by G-Loomis of USA.

Two pieces classic rod set by Abu Garcia of Sweden

Custom crafted for me in Singapore - two pieces rod set with reel seat made of wood

I have one rod set that comprises of 3 pieces – the blanks are by SAGE of USA and is also a part of a family of rods that is very special to me.

Three pieces rod set custom crafted for me by a rod builder in Singapore - blanks are by SAGE of USA

I have another 2-pieces rod set constructed by Shimano of Japan which I bought in 1986 and forms a part of the family of rods that I hold dear.

Original rod set made by Shimano of Japan - my first and most loved rod set

Two pieces rod set custom crafted for me - with blanks by G-Loomis of USA

The most valuable and precious rod set I have is a pretty unique one. It is crafted by Shimano of Japan and I am told it is the only rod model in the whole world for which a special issue of reels were built to pair with it. I know a rod builder in Singapore who has that particular reel for this rod. When he saw that I had the rod, he was ecstatic and wanted to buy it off me – because he said he had the reel built for the rod. I said, I have a better idea - let us do it the other way round – let me buy that reel off you. He said NO. And I wasn’t willing to sell mine to him – so we had no deal.

During a fishing trip some 20 years back, one friend slammed the car door on this rod’s tip and smashed it out of service. I was heart broken because I loved the rod – its medium action, its length, its aluminum reel seat with rubber pistol grip. I could not imagine giving up the rod. Thus I made a trip to Singapore – with an endeavor to do something with the damaged rod and make it even more meaningful. I hunted for a rod builder with special skills and tooling - to build me rods that would adapt to the aluminum rod handle. I located one – he knew exactly what I wanted. He machined aluminum parts on a special lathe machine – that enabled two different rod blanks to be slotted into the aluminum rod handle. Thus I turned a defunct rod into a family of 3 rods sharing the same rod handle. An example of how to turn a disaster into something even more meaningful. The following is the special rod set of three rods using one common rod handle.

My Most special collection - three rod sets that fit into one unique aluminum rod handle and reel seat

As I said earlier, I am into bait casting form of fishing. I have 8 multiplier reels: 4 for the mighty Mahseer and 4 for trout. The black one by Abu Garcia called Ambassadeur F-I-V-E is my first and thus the oldest reel I own.

My collection of multiplier reels

Initially I started off my fishing journey with metal spinner baits. Over time I graduated to plug baits. They attract bigger fish and are more effective and makes for better casting. Some of these plugs are made of plastic and some are made of Balsa wood which tend to be more expensive.

A small selection of my collection of Plugs

It is important to protect what you have. I have a number of rod cases that protect my rods during transportation and on fishing trips.

A variety of sturdy rod cases by Plano of USA that fit all

My biggest Mahseer catch weighed in at 27 KGs. My biggest brown trout was caught at Zomlingthang, Punakha. It weighed an impressive 7 KGs.

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