Spinning, or spin fishing, has grown enormously in popularity over the last 2 years. The reasons are numerous but there is no doubt, that discerning anglers find it appealing because it is quick, clean and stimulating. The other major factor is the quality and quantity of lures that are available on the market today.
These days, time is a big factor when it comes to personal recreational activities, especially when they do not involve the rest of the family directly. With spinning one can put in an hour or two early in the morning or late in the afternoon on a regular basis without affecting family time as bait fishing would.
There is very little pre-preparation and very little cleaning afterwards. Long days spent on the beach, rocks, boat or river bank and bait fishing invariably mean lots of sand, salt, mud or bait needing to be cleaned or washed off equipment. Strong bait smells are very bearable for ardent anglers, but it’s amazing how much more pleasant it is not having to cope with these niggles. No tackle box full of sand or covered in mud, no bits of sardine dried onto the side of the cooler box etc.
The challenge of fooling fish into eating the lure is something that has forever excited mankind ever since we first moved into the caves. There is an inherent passion for the hunt in particular with the lure that is so much easier to fulfil these days than ever before. Along with this has come the stark realisation that we need to look after what is dear to us. You won’t often find a spin fisherman who is not very aware of the need to catch and release a lot more than he actually keeps. The privilege of still being able to eat wild fish can stay with us forever, if we ensure we lead by example. There are many fisheries all over the world that are stronger now than they have been in the last 50 and in some cases 100 years. This is the result of a strong conservation ethic.
Today’s equipment is truly incredible and although high-tech, it’s amazing in its simplicity. Everything has gotten smaller, stronger, lighter and, believe it or not, cheaper from a value for money point of view. Depending on the area or sort of fishing you intend doing, the equipment can be divided into three categories – light, medium and heavy spinning.
Light spinning would cover estuary, river, dam, surf and gully type fishing and would normally comprise of a 6’ or 7’ medium to slow action rod with a 2000 or 3000 size reel and 10lb to 20lb braid. This outfit can also be used for drop-shot fishing. It will throw lures of up to 1oz max, but generally ½ oz to ¾ oz.
A medium outfit is undoubtedly the most popular by far in the sea. Here a 5000 size reel with 20lb to 30lb braid and a 10’ or 11’ slow-action rod is used for beach and rock work, but if being used off a boat, the rod should be around 7’ to 8’. It will throw from 1oz to 2oz with 1 ½ oz being the optimum. The more one intends drop-shotting with this kind of outfit, the more one should be considering a faster action rod.
A heavy spinning outfit is normally associated with a minimum of 50lb braid and ideally a 10000 size reel, but anything from 8000 through to 18000 will do the trick. Again, 11’ is probably the best length for the surf and rock fishing and although one can use longer rods, they tend to start tiring one out a lot quicker than the shorter rod. Whilst the action can be a fair amount faster, it still needs to be a slow rod under load. The rod should throw from 2oz to 4oz with 3oz being the optimum weight.
It is great to be as mobile as possible for the land-based stuff so a nice comfortable back-pack that will carry your leaders, lures, tools, water, etc, is very necessary. Spare spools for reels are always a very good option as often when the fish start biting, it is not for long and one can’t afford to be fiddling about retying leaders etc., whilst the fish are biting.
A good selection of lures should always include a long casting surface plug, some stick baits and some Max-Rap type long-casting slim minnows. On the spoon side, a long-casting fast-action spoon is very important and it is also a good idea to have some slower S-type spoons. At least one or two in the glow-in-the-dark colour is very important. Depending on the area, a couple of buck-tail jigs, some jig-heads and plastic jerkshad and paddle-tails will complete the selection.