It was a Sunday afternoon, I was bored and was thinking of going fishing with my sons. But one wanted to go to FV Semenyih to try for snakehead (a great venue, but with poor recent fishing), the other wanted to go along with my suggestion to fish at Rawang (aesthetically unpleasant, but with a variety of huge fish) ….
I’d all but given up and decided not to bother when I got a text from Shamin & Nawashad saying that they were in Sri Hartamas and on the way to the NEFFP, and would I like to join! I was grateful for the invitation and decided to join them. I also decided to dust off my vintage Abu Ambassadeur 7000 and give the new drag plates a burn.
Now, I’ve had this reel for 35 years, since I was a kid, and used to keep the reel drag locked tight (we never used to catch fish that could pull drag in those days ….!!). I’ve now used it a number of times on blue water game-fish and am concerned with the drag – it’s snatchy with a lot of inertia. I’m not sure if this is how the old style drags were, or if the drag has been damaged by being stored screwed tight. Anyone out there got any experience with this – can it be remedied? I added new drag plates thinking that the originals may be sticky and binding, so was keen to test them out.
I met with Shamin, Naweshad and their cousin, Irfan, at the pond and we started to soak baits on the bottom – me using whole dead small rohu-like fish; the others were using cut catfish baits. As we were setting up, the man just up the bank from us brought in a nice Alligator Garfish:
That catch enthused us and we were soon rigged up and soaking baits. Initially, the catfish homed in on the cut catfish chunks in a greedy display of pseudo-cannibalism … Shamin had a missed strike, and then Naweshad hooked up a strong fish. Whilst I was getting ready to take some pics of Naweshad’s fish, my rod clicker started to buzz as a fish ran with my bait. I scrambled back and set the hook on a small , but spirited Amazon Redtail Catfish. It gave the Abu 7000 drag a burn (better than before but still snatchy) before I brought the fish to the net. All captured on video by Shamin:
Amazon Redtail Catfish on Vvntage Abu 700 Reel
Meanwhile, Naweshad had brought his fish to the bank – a nice, feisty Asian Redtail Catfish:
The first fish set the pattern for the rest of the session. It was only 10-15 minutes between strikes and the fish hit all of our offerings with almost reckless abandon, and, with the exception of my first fish, all the fish were hard fighting Asian Redtails:
Shamin and Naweshad were testing out some rods for a local tackle shop, and gave each one a good work-out on some decent sized cats. Shamin also managed to get another good video of the Abu 7000 in action for me, this time on an Asian Redtail:
Vintage Abu 700 Reel, Asian Redtail Catfish no.1
Irfan was also in the thick of the action, landing a succession of good sized of Asian Catfish:
Irfan with a big Asian Redtail
The bigger specimens started to show as the light began to fade:
Asian Redtail Catfish
It was a very pleasant afternoon. We must have landed around 20 fish between us. I’d given the Abu 7000 a test – the drag is still snatch, but manageable. I probably need to take it to a reel expert to get it sorted out, if possible. It’s still nice to fish with, still looks good (and certainly doesn’t look dated compared to modern reels), and reminds me of my late old Dad who bought it for me all those years ago.
Thank you Shamin for the invite.