I was back in Cardiff, South Wales taking my son back to school, and I couldn’t resist a visit to a tackle shop that I frequented in my youth – Garry Evans tackle shop is still there, still run by Mr. Evans! Whilst there, almost on a whim, I made an impulse purchase of a 10-30 gm casting class Shimano Exage BX S.T.C 240 Medium Travel Rod:
I picked up this rod with the idea of hopefully using it on the beaches of Southern Oman next year (?). However, for now I wanted to give it a trial on some big fish to see how it casts and how it performs under pressure. There was only one place to go ……. the Natural Exotic Pond at Rawang!
When I arrive it was uncharacteristically busy. My favoured Post 6 was taken, so was Post 5 and 7. I had to make to with Post 8, and it was slow (well dead, actually) and in half an hour I didn’t register one touch. The new rod was casting ok, at the heavier half of the lure weight casting range, although it was a bit unresponsive at the lower end. Then I noticed that Post 6 had become free and I quickly changed places.
Once at the new location, things were still slow. I switched to my light spinning rod and quickly hooked up a small Asian Redtail Catfish on a black grub tail lure:
I followed this up with a fish of c.7 kg which put up a good fight on the light set-up:
I decided to switch back to the new, heavier Exage rod and, after a quiet 10 minutes I got a good strike. The fish put up a strong fight and gave the Exage a good test and I was surprised when a decent size Pacu came to the net, my first at the NEFFP. It weighed in at 8 kg, a personal best Pacu. Unfortunately the assistant messed up the photography and I was left with only one, unflattering self taken picture – pity because it was a good fish:
After another slow period and a change of lure I followed up the Pacu with a decent Amazon Redtail Catfish of c.6 kg. Another good test for the travel stick:
Finally, towards the end of the 3 hour session I hooked into another decent fish. I could tell by the way it was fighting that it was probably foul-hooked, but also that it was a decent sized fish. After about 10 minutes I brought a big Mekong Catfish of possibly 20 kg to the bank:
Unfortunately it was tail-hooked but that only made the fight harder. It was definitely a good workout for the Exage travel rod! I looked forward to using it in the marine realm sometime in the not too distant future. With that, and with an impressive sunset, it was time to pack up and head home. Tomorrow is back to work time!