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Balmain blackie - geared up!


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With the winds down today I made an effort to get out to Balmain today to try out my new blackfish arsenal. Getting a bit more professional about this now: floating line (thanks for the recommendations), a brand new Alvey blackfish reel (cheers for the advice on this luderick angler) paired with a nice long whippy rod (thanks again to LA for the tip on switching to a long rod): my 10'6 Wilson Live Fibre 4-6kg.

My goal was to get out to this location and test out the new gear where there would be no wind/rocks to deal with.

Set up my rig and got my girlfriend chasing the leatherjackets I'd seen down there. Casting took some practice and it took time to make a habit of holding the spool to prevent line rolling off. I tried a couple of fly-style casts that I'd seen on Youtube but couldn't quite get it right and so stuck to side-casting.

No action or downs for either of us though a fleet of garfish showed up in the berley trail which provided some excitement. We eventually decided to re-rig my girlfriend's rod for the gars, showed her how to cast at them and wait for the bite, and promptly caught myself a nice little one. Gave her the rod and with that the gars disappeared!

I got back into the blackies and started having a couple of downs, each time pulling the hook prematurely and coming up with air. Finally got a solid down and let it sit for ten seconds before the strike. This time I was on!

It was much more controlled and manageable fight than with the 7ft rod and 3000 threadline I'd been using up til now. I loved the stretch of the nylon and the way the rod was able to cushion the fish lunging back and forth. The reel was amazing and I'm certainly converted to centrepin-style reels for blackie fishing from now.

Got the fish into the net nice and easy and I was all smiles, feeling like I'd just graduated from blackie college.


A couple of downs after that, but no further hookups and no leatherjackets and no more gars so we decided to call it a day after 5.

Thanks again to luderick angler for the tips and to others who have helped me with this outfit and my questions on floating line.

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