Group: Super Administrators
Joined: Jan. 2004
||Posted: Dec. 02 2007,08:19
Final Answer? A great rig for almost no $$$.
|1. Reel: Shakespeare "Excursion": holds 145 yards of 8 lb, both stainless and composite spools, 4 ball bearing, nice handle. $18.95|
2. Rod: Shakespeare "Durango": glass (blank through handle), 6 ft, 6-10 lb, "medium", two-piece, five Fuji-like guides (SS with aluminum oxide inserts), EVA comfy grip. $6.95 (yup, you read it right)
3. Line: Shakespeare 8 lb clear mono, 700 yards. $2.95
Some of you will recall I bought this medium rig for just $28. Yup, you read it right. I'd forgotten my good rigs at home that day, so picked up the cheapest possible combo thinking to use it just for the day.
Turns out I liked it. But we all speculated just how long this cheapo unit would last - whether it would stand up to salt water - and especially, how it would perform with a serious fish. Survey sez....
I've now owned and used this rig - hard - for 6 months, handled all manner of fish. It is my daily rig, and it's still smooth and solid - with no maintenance other than a fresh water rinse. And sometimes not even that.
And yesterday was the acid test.
Hooked, fought and landed a 4 plus cuda - a personal record. A mean, fast, strong fish who made repeated runs, long long projectile jumps and pulled me around for at least 15 minutes. Had to fight him hard to make sure he wasn't even close to green as this was not a fish to be trifled with close to the kayak. You need a strong, smooth drag for a fish like this.
My now very used all-Shakespeare $28 Wallyworld special was faultless. The drag smoothly slowed his repeated fast runs. The rod, if anything, is on the light side of medium but this worked to my advantage with its medium action nicely absorbing the shocks. I fought a very serious fish with complete control with my Shake Croix!
I have now been convinced that everyday kayakfishing may not require the kind of expensive equipment most of buy (or want to). This is especially true in our sport where a medium rig is about right, conditions are very wet and where it's all too easy to lose or damage a rig.
With the Shake Croix, no worries - it's only $28 for a whole new rig. Plus it holds up and performs. And the two-piece is soooo easy to transport.
What would I change? A more rigid reel handle (Shakespeare decided to go for rubber comfort instead) and a longer butt grip (it's more like a short two-hander). Still, I've accomodated to both.
I have found that I like this all glass rod and no longer miss the fast (breakable) tip action most of us seek in lour IM 6, 7 and 8 specials. Either my casting has improved or the slower action of this glass rod has resulted in greatly increased accuracy for me.
I do a LOT of skip casting under the mangroves, often from max distance, and can now skip em in WAY under the mangroves, or lay it within a foot of the mangrove line from 75 ft.
All in all, it's really hard to justify my old Redbone/Shimano units that cost more than five times as much. I still remember freakin out when I lost one of these at the redfish fishing tourney when a passing Cigarette launched it out of the rodholder and into the briny deep...
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