GLOOMIS

One More Drano Trip

We decided to make one more trip down to Drano because the week before, we really only got one good day of fishing and the damn counts were great. Again, we experienced what Jeff calls “The Drano Slump” where we make this big trip only to find out the fish want something else, there aren’t any fish, or we seem to be the only ones who can’t get a bite.

Our friends Kari and Derrick headed with us and it was Kari’s first Drano experience. We got to the launch early enough to be fishing in the dark and we felt confident! We watched a few other boats hook up, mostly on Superbaits/pro-trolls, and a couple on plugs. Following exactly what worked for us the weekend prior, we waited for our turn! We waited and waited and waited. We started the journey over trying to figure out what the fish wanted, speed, presentation, scent, bait or no bait, depth, and we had 2 pole endorsements so we had a boat full of rods out!

We finally got 2 fish near the end of the day and missed 2 others with a new captain on the motor! We decided that pretending to not know what you are doing is all the fish really want! We set out Sunday in hopes for better fishing and a little more wind than Saturday. We got what we asked for as far as wind goes and the fishing was okay.

We fished until 1PM to make the long drive home and we got 2 fish my mid morning. One on a plug and one on a Watermelon Superbait behind a Pro-Troll Flasher. We got a couple new plug rods a few months ago that have yet to be broken in with fish so we were excited to see that one get the plug fish! It was the IMX 1021-2cs which is rated 10-20lb 8’6″. The IMX blank makes it great for small plugs by allowing the plug to work more freely but but it’s still got the backbone for big king plugs and fish! It’s pretty cool to see the rod working all the way through the butt.

Taking my first CPA exam this Friday so this is what I spent a good portion of my time in the boat doing. Wish me luck!!

 

Jeff’s Birthday Trip

Jeff’s annual birthday trip to Drano Lake was a success! I won’t lie and tell you that the fishing was fantastic, because it wasn’t. We started fishing Drano several years ago and we fell in love. His parents started joining to celebrate his birthday and it’s now an annual trip. We’ve made some great friendships over the years and each time we go back, we add new friends and share laughs with those that we only get to see once a year. When you spend every daylight hour in a tiny little lake with the same people, you’re bound to share a few laughs (and beers) with fellow anglers.

 

We came home with 8 fish over a 3 day period and went a solid 24 hours of fishing without a single bite and didn’t hear of a single boat limiting either of those days. We finally dialed in our Superbaits and the fish made it to the lake and ended up with a few for the box.

It was a grind, both mentally and physically, but I got my studying done and we ended up with the highest class of springers there is! This is the stuff we dream of filling our freezers with! We tried about everything you could imagine on Saturday ranging from Brad’s Superbaits behind a Pro-Troll flasher, prawn spinners, herring, died herring, plugs, Wigglers, you name it. Sunday night we finally got our first fish with Captain Gordon (Jeff’s dad) on the motor. It was complete chaos but there was so much joy and excitement. We weren’t getting skunked!!!! We got another that night just as the daylight faded away and were the last boat in the lake. there was a bit of drinking involved and we made some of our best memories :)

It took a while, but we made more friends, saw old friends, and laughed a lot. Monday Jeff’s parents left for home early and it was just the 3 of us. We relaxed, napped, laughed more, got a little sunburnt, and most importantly, CAUGHT FISH! Our time had come and we were finally the boat that kept getting bites! Almost all of our fish were caught on Brad’s Superbaits stuffed full of smelly goodness. In a fishery that we only go to once or twice a weekend, it took a while, but we finally dialed in the right speed, weight, size, scent, etc.

I finally got my first springer of the year and hopefully got rid of this depressed state that I’ve been in for the past month spending countless hours fishing only to hear “you should have been here yesterday”. Drano Lake holds a very special place to Jeff and it’s a continued challenge that he enjoys trying to master from several hours away. It’s a trip that we spend months preparing for and make some of our favorite memories. We just may make it back there this weekend with the damn counts finally on the rise :)

 

Springers are here!

Even though I had yet another weekend of fishing, the real excitement and success came from a springer that Shawn caught on the boat! The first springer of the year and I can’t wait for dinner tonight!

We weren’t exactly targeting springers but we did make sure to have a few bait rods out just in case. We almost always have a couple people fishing bait no matter what, but this springer happened to be hungry for an artificial lure with steelhead scent. One of my favorite things about springers is their unpredictability, change of preference, and the uniqueness of each one. We didn’t believe Shawn when he hooked up and said “it’s a springer”. It ran to the other side of the river and I quickly jumped on the bow to show him how to steer the fish back to our side. He got a bit nervous and told me “don’t mess with my fish” lol. Once he got the fish back over and we saw that purple back, the atmosphere changed. Jeff grabbed the net, I grabbed the  motor and there weren’t anymore words said except between Jeff and Shawn. The fish was now in the boat and they celebrated with beer.

Aside from the springer, we had another great accomplishment! Shawn’s son’s (mother’s, brother, cousin, just kidding) girlfriend was out with us. She got her first salmon with us this fall and she got her first steelhead this weekend! The first fish to the boat and she did awesome!

We had almost everyone else get at least one steelhead and I hooked 4! Another victory for me!

G Loomis IMX & Shimano Curado reviews

It’s like this rod/reel combo was made for me! When G Loomis announced a new product being added to their line up, I thought, “Honestly, what else could you possibly make?” I started out fishing a Loomis and never found a need for a different rod. Last winter, I was able to attend their release party with their full IMX line up on display and got a sneak peak at the new Shimano Curado that was set to be released that spring. I had been trying to preserve my old Curado for as long as possible but I’d fished it hard for the past 3 years and I felt the end coming near so when I saw this one, I was beyond ecstatic. Needlesstosay, my old Curado is still trucking on bringing in the fish!

We purchased a few new IMX’s this past year, but there were 2 that got me so excited, I lost sleep over. One was the IMX 1562-2 CPR 13’ (which I’ll be doing a review on next springer season) and the IMX 1363-2C 11’4”. My previous float rod was a little too heavy for steelhead, and a little too light for big fall kings so I decided this year I’ll be using 2 float rods for small salmon/steelhead and then the big coastal kings.

Why do I fish a casting reel when I’m float fishing?

I spend equal amounts of time fishing a spinning reel and a casting reel and they each have their perks. Float fishing is about sending out the most natural presentation as possible. You want your float moving smoothly and freely with the current. First reason: I can let line out with almost no tension to my float. This can be obtained best with a center pin rod/reel with the 1:1 gear ratio, but a casting reel is the next best thing. Second reason: When you’re fishing a spinning reel and letting line out, how many times have you been caught with your float going down and your bail open? Seasoned anglers can quickly just grab the reel and set the hook, beginners have plenty of other things to focus on when that moment happens and they end up setting the hook and you hear “pfffffff” as you watch all the line come coiling off the spool when the angler sets the hook. With a casting reel, you only have to press your thumb on the spool and reel to engage. Simple as that!

Here are the reasons why this rod is hands down, the best float rod for a seasoned angler that fishes a casting reel:

ROD: 1363-2C 11’4” 6-12 LB

  1. It’s over 11 feet long! I stand tall at an astounding 5’2” so float fishing has its own areas of difficulty for me. It’s not only hard to cast when there’s only 3 feet of me above the water, but it’s even harder to men my line when my elbows are basically touching the water. Some might say 11’4” is a little bit much, but for the vertically challenged or those that can handle that much rod, it’s perfect. I’ve fished a 12’ float rod before, and that was a little bit too much for me. It was difficult to land fish in the drift boat because I had to step back so far, and I was constantly getting the line wrapped at the tip. For some, 12’, 13’, or even 14’ works for them, but for me I found my new comfort level in 11’4”. Mending my line is a breeze and I finally feel like I can fish without the challenges of my height! Last benefit of a longer rod: when I set the hook, I don’t have my hands behind my head, falling backwards because I have to lift higher to catch up with all the line sitting on the water.
  2. The graphite is so sensitive! I can darn near FEEL the fish bite before I watch my float go down. Okay, but really. Fighting fish has never been so fun. You get to feel every little move and this time, you’re not afraid that you’re going to lose the fish because it’s acting crazy. The IMX graphite absorbs every head shake and run and gives me that extra second to realize when the fish is running right at me. The 6-12lb weight ratio doesn’t matter when I’m fighting a 20lb king because the rod absorbs everything! I was bringing in kings left and right, pulling them up heavy current without a hitch. If they wanted to go for a run, my rod didn’t buckle under pressure because it’s like a rubber band.

Check out the “Bend test” on the new IMX series here!

 

Reel: Shimano Curado 201HG

  1. I could cast a country mile! With a longer rod, you get an extra “Flick” at the end of your cast which makes it go twice as far. Paired with the new Currado’s SVS Infinity Brake System, I was able to cast farther without getting a backlash. The came off the reel smooth and evenly making my casts effortless.
  2. Greater line retrieve ratio! Am I the only one who reels up as fast as I can so that I A) don’t get skipped in the casting order and B) can get my stuff back in the water ASAP? The new Curado’s have a gear ratio of 7.2:1 whereas the Curado CU200 had a gear ratio of 6.2:1. That’s 17% greater of a gear ratio! When the fish take that turn and head straight towards me, I can crank up faster than ever and keep the tension before fully catching up to the fish.
  3. It’s so smooth! The Curado comes with Shimano’s X-Ship technology which adds cranking power and makes it easier to turn whether it’s fully loaded by the weight of a fish, or weightless. The A-RB bearings which support the pinion eliminates unnecessary twisting which provides more power and a smoother retrieve.
  4. My favorite part: They have the 201 series now which means a left hand retrieve! Well, maybe not my FAVORITE part, but I wouldn’t purchase the reel until they made it in a left had retrieve. Jeff fishes a right hand retrieve so I can fish either if I have to, but I’ll always prefer the left hand retrieve! Why? Because I hold the rod with my right hand. My right arm is stronger so I want to cast with my right arm, support the weight of a fish with my right arm, and mend all day long with my right arm. When I go to set the hook and engage my reel, I don’t want to have to switch hands!

So, for anyone considering a new float rod, make it easier on your life and pick yourself up the 1363-2C IMX and Curado 201HG!

~Bry