Monthly Archives: October 2014

Sonik Gravity Surf Rods

The new Sonik Gravity surfrods that we are listing in our Winter catalogue have been delayed, many apologies, especially to those who have pre-ordered them. These are very very nice, made from top quality highest spec. carbon with Fuji winch and Alconite K rings rung for maximum distance and available in 14 or 15ft lengths. In addition they are designed for the UK by a British company. We will have more images as soon as we get stock just have this one to show you at present.

Gravity Surf rod

Sonik Gravity Beachcaster

Varivas Bags Big Bass

Well, Mike Ladle bags the bass really, but having the right gear does help. This extract from Mikes blog is a fine example of making the most of your opportunities and shows just what you can achieve. Nice work Mike!!
Why not check out Mikes blog on a regular basis ? http://www.mikeladle.com

After a week of fairly blustery weather the forecast was for a relatively calm morning so I decided that it might be worth trying a spot of free-lining for bass. Of course it doesn’t HAVE to be FLAT calm but a stiff onshore or longshore breeze combined with weed in the water can make it pretty uncomfortable and difficult to keep in touch with a virtually weightless bait. I checked the tide tables and the surf predictions for my local spots and set the alarm clock so that I could get started before first light.
I took two spinning rods with me. One was the old Veals Surespin armed with 30lb Whiplash a shortish trace of 20lb, clear Amnesia and a 6/0 Varivas Circle hook snelled to the end of the trace. My bait was a side of mackerel lightly hooked through the thin end of the fillet. The other rod was my Teklon, with its Mitchell Mag Pro Light reel, 15lb Nanofil and a Pearl Evo Redgill – just in case!!!. I hiked along to the spot I intended fishing and was joined by another angler who was going to spin in the same area. After the fifteen minute walk we began to fish. I dumped the spare rod and my bag on a high, dry rock, flicked the mackerel bait out a few yards into the darkness and sat holding the rod with the bale arm open. For half an hour or so neither of us had a bite. A couple of times I had to retreat up the shore as the small but splashy waves began to wet my jacket.
By now the first light was beginning to show in the east so in the absence of a bite I decided to walk back and try a gulley about half way to the car. Wrong! When I got to the intended spot I found a photographer had beaten me to it. His camera, on its tripod, was focussed on exactly where I’d intended fishing. Bugger! I plodded on looking for another suitable bait fishing place. I was almost back to the cliff path when I came across a nice little strip of gritty sand. The edge of the sea, roiled by a half metre swell, was lined with a border of loose kelp but the weed only extended half-a-rod’s length out. I put the gear well above the reach of the tide, walked to the sea and lobbed the mackerel fillet out five metres or so into the murky water. Now I stood with the little waves breaking over the feet of my waders holding the line above the swell. It was pretty easy fishing because there was little or no wind to tug at the braid.
A couple of times I had to tighten the line a little but each time I opened the bale and held the loop of loose braid in my left hand. After perhaps ten minutes I felt a gentle tap on my index finger. Was it drifting weed or could it have been a small fish? No, there it was again, definitely something interested in the bait. As the thought formed in my mind the line began to run through my finger and thumb and coils slipped off the spool. A fish! A bass! As the line went faster and faster I knew that I had a ‘customer’. Let it go, five seconds, ten seconds, now the line was pouring out at speed. I dropped the rod tip towards the fish and gently closed the bale arm so as not to alarm the bass with any sudden jerks. Now it was the moment of truth. The rod began to bend as the braid tightened. It was on and the clutch screamed as a good fish hit the accelerator.
My check was set quite tightly but it had no effect on the bass which simply continued on a powerful run out to sea. ten, fifteen, twenty, thirty metres and it was still taking line. Eventually the pressure began to tell and with a series of strong pulls and powerful thrashing swirls I drew the fish closer. Sure enough it was a beauty and when I eventually slid it ashore it measured 79cm and weighed 12.5lb in old money. I stuck my fist into its mouth to remove the hook and after a few pictures I swished it about in the sea until it was strong enough to swim away. Fantastic!

Varivas Circle Hook

Varivas 6/0 Circle just inside the mouth

Varivas Circle Veals SureSpin

12lb 8oz Bass and a happy angler

Redgill EvoStix Lures with Mike ladle

Just had a couple of updates from Mike, this is the first, look out for the next as it features a double figure bass.

Mikes First Update from his Blog.
I’ve been away for a few days but just before I went I had an early morning dabble in a local tide race. I stuck to the white EvoStix lure (with ridiculous coloured spots) that I’d used last time I fished there and again it survived the kelp and rocks to fish another day. As before, my pal Mark had realised that the tides were about right for another go and this time he only just beat me to it. In fact, he was tackling up when I arrived,

Dorset sunrise

Lure fishing as it’s Just getting light

and since my gear is permanently set up I was actually the first to cast. As it happened the tide had not ebbed sufficiently for us to get to our favoured spot so we began by trying other minor races. Mark was using a soft plastic shad.
Evo Stix by Redgill stikes

A nice bass on EvoStix spotted eel.


After a while (still in the dark) I had a slight knock and wasn’t sure whether it was a fish until I reeled in to find that the lure had released from the hook. Pity it didn’t hook itself. Ten minutes later I had another bite and this time the bass (round about three pounds) hooked its self firmly and was landed and released. Neither Mark nor I had anything else until it was light when I hooked another fish that turned out to be a tiny garfish. Somehow it had managed to release the big hook and catch itself under the chin. Anyway, it was a wonderful sunrise and we both enjoyed our short session.
Garfish on Redgill EvoStix

Tiny Garfish on a Evostix by Redgill


Why not check out Mikes blog on a regular basis http://www.mikeladle.com

Penn Fathom 2 Speed …. New Model

Not too often we get excited about new tackle especially boat multipliers, but here is an exception…. the new 2 Speed Fathom lever drag reels from Penn.
Our first reaction was the 15 is a little beauty, ideal for the modern style slim, light rod / smaller reel option with braid to 30lb; the 30 size would be a super mid size reel that would be ideal for Norway etc. and its a smooth lever drag

Penn twin Speed boat multiplier

Penn Fathom 2 Speed FTH15LD2 and FTH30LD2


Second ..Feels right …. smooth, tight, big gears, nice handle and looks the part with a simple to use 2 speed (6.1/2.8 and 5.5/2.8 ratios ) operation.
Third …. Price we all got it wrong …. these are less than £200 We all thought much more expensive by over £100 so fantastic value as well.
Penn really seem to be getting their act together lots more new gear becoming available from them before Xmas.

FlaPen on trial with Mike Ladle

Mike Ladle has been out and about testing kit, something he has been kind enough to do for us for years. Here is his first FlaPen report and a picture with a nice condition bass along with some of his long term test kit , Grauvell Teklon 832 rod, Nanofil braid, Maria FlaPen and Mitchell Mag Pro reel.
‘I just had a couple of hours on the river.  I took a FlaPen to see what it was like when it was working in nice clear conditions.  The good news is that they cast like rockets, they have a nice flickering wobble so they look a bit like a Toby spoon and they stay fairly well up in the water on a moderately slow retrieve (you’d sort of expect that with the vane at the back).  On the debit side, once or twice  in an hour-and-a-half the tail hook fouled the vane mount (so not too bad), a few times the line caught on the front treble when I forced or aborted a cast (again not too bad).  I missed one decent pike and a modest seatrout.
I’ll give it a go for bass/mackerel/pollack etc. as soon as the weather/tide etc. lets me.  I think it will be murder for mackerel and schoolies.’

Maria FlaPen, Teklon 832, Mitchell Mag Pro

A nice condition Dorset bass


Maria FlaPen and bass

Bass and FlaPen