Saturday, 10 May 2014
Down with Abu
I am suffering from a deep need to fish, I have boot full of tackle, I am less than few miles from the lake and the traffic is not moving. Ahead a helicopter is trying to land and I am guessing it is an air ambulance. When the lights change I cut across behind the stationary traffic and do a U-turn and briefly enjoy the empty lanes before turning on to a small road and heading across the countryside.
Even away from the main road the traffic is backed up through villages not used to dealing Friday evening’s commuters. It is slow going; each junction holds its own torture. When I finally inch my way into the lake car park it is empty, although the line of traffic I had escaped from is moving slow enough to be considered for parking tickets.
It is not long before I am stood in some water and the traffic is forgotten. I am here to fish and work out some filming ideas; two things that I find seldom go well together. I have found a fish but it hasn’t found the hooks, there is always a chance if I set the camera going and recast it will make another appearance. After half a dozen badly aimed casts the pike finally makes contact with some metal and I am in, the only pressure now is to land it for the camera.
When It is back in the water and I have had chance to get myself together and check the camera was actually recording I spot crack in the handle of the rod. The carbon fibre that runs beneath the handle has split; this is not the first problem I have with this rod. Part of the reel seat broke on its first outing, I should of sent it back but I am a tinkerer and I added a brass ring from an old rod and re-whipped the reinforcement at the joint with some Kevlar thread and epoxy That re-whipping is now holding the handle together well enough for me to continue fishing. I could just blame myself for buying cheap fishing tackle but I do not believe spending another hundred pounds will make me a better fisherman or bring home anymore fish.
The reel I am using is also a cheap Chinese import, a copy of an earlier abu bait caster. The reason I bought it was as a spare to and Abu pro-max reel but to be honest the Abu is a piece of crap and I have stayed with the import. The Abu cost over a hundred pounds and I also should of sent it back after a couple of months, it never really performed; too much plastic and too little engineering and quality. I have older Abu boat reels (7000i, seven) which I used to use almost daily boat fishing in the Atlantic, and to be honest these are a tools that just work without any questions, a little rinse after use, some oil some grease and I have friends for life.
The truth is that high prices these days only guarantee that a lot of money has been spent on advertising and sadly Abu seem to heading down that route. Will I buy another Abu Reel, probably but it will have to be old school and pre-owned. The rod handle will be repaired but I do need to build my own rod.
I pick up another three small pike and miss some in equal measure before my camera battery dies and I think about going home on some empty roads.