By: Kalle Grahn, Guideline Power Team Sweden
Unfortunately, I’m a rod breaker and reel smasher by nature. Well I use my gear, it spends more time along boulder strewn slippery river paths, on bushwhacks back and forth to the waters than on the shelf in my garage. Heavy sink line fishing in early high water puts the rods in close contact with trees. Flies catch the bottom sooner or later and may put up a fight. I fight fish hard. For me that’s a matter of proper CnR. I often hear that I should be more careful. But it’s the way I fish. Kind of quickly I find out the gear that does the trick for me. And that gear, I can promise, will hold out for loads of beating.
On a resent trip to The Florida Keys for some tarpon I got asked by Leif Stävmo to test some of the new RSi rods and the new Vosso reel.
– Give them a beating, he said.
I could see a slight worried shiver in the corner of his eye when he handled over the gear – he knows the way I fish. Fighting big fish is not done with long pumping moves. Fighting big fish is a matter of short pumps with the rod tip pointing towards the fish and loads of pressure on the reel. I’ve had reels not coping so well with this hard pressure and off course I’ve broken a few rods in the process. Through a week of fishing the guide put me in position to hook more big fish than I ever experienced before. Fighting the fish was the time consuming part, not finding them – a once in lifetime fishing.
The Vosso reel is light and might, by the nimble look and weight of it, be thought of as not being so strong. The whole thing is about the torsion of the main shaft. If it bends just a tiny hint, the spool will hit the housing and make a screeching sound and in worst case hinder reeling. This is a flaw in many reels out there that does not show itself until it might be to late, at a time you might be hooked up with the fish of your life. The main shaft matters! The Vosso got thoroughly tested and its strength surprised me. The perfect heavy-duty drag just added to the experience.
The RSi rods are fast, lift line out of the water and carry the big flies. That I figured out on the first day, it’s what I expected them to do. During a week of fishing, as confidence in them rose, I pressed them harder. I loved the idea of some grip tape on the handle for sweaty fights that Leif had suggested. And I heard his words ringing in my head: Give them a b… So I pressed hard, I put them in angles that have broken rods for me before and I pumped the rod in all the stupid ways I could come up with. The guide shouted at me and asked in many f-word what the f… I was doing?
-Have you gone mental?
Home again I delivered the rods back to Leif with a blank expression on my face. I saw his worried hands fingering the rod sleeves nervously looking me sternly in the eyes. Probably thinking: The bastard’s broken rods again… When he took the rods out wrinkles turned up in the corner of his eyes.
– Did you give them a beating – your way?
-Yes, I did.