The right fishing rod

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You have a mate who caught his first sea bass last month, he hasn’t quit talking about it since  and has bugged me to death until you agreed to take him fishing. Although you offer to let him borrow one of your best sea bass rods, he insists on bringing his own rod and reel.

He shows up with a cheap discount store combo. It has a tiny, plastic ultra-light reel mounted on a rod that resembles a willow switch with guides on it. The rod and reel would struggle to land the minnows or any soft baits you planned to use.

His fishing experience would have been much better had he known what to look for in a rod and reel before buying an outfit.

Beginners (and sometimes experienced) anglers often don’t know how to select a rod appropriate for the type of fishing they plan to do. A rod designed for travelly won’t work for hauling in big sea bass or any large fish.

Before deciding which rod is best, anglers should know the power and action of a rod. These two components often get intertwined and confused, even by experienced anglers.

Rod Action

The action refers to how much a rod bends when you’re casting or have a fish at the end of the line. An extra fast action rod bends just at the tip. A fast action bends in the last quarter of the rod. A moderate-fast action rod bends over the last third. A moderate action rod bends over the last half. A slow action rod bends all the way into the handle. Fast action rods put more force into your throw and give you longer casts. Softer action rods are more forgiving and have less tendency to throw live bait from your hook.

Rod Power

The lure weights and line sizes that a rod can handle determine its power. Ultra-light rods are designed for 2-6 pound line and lures weighing from 1/32-ounce to 1/4-ounce. Rods can handle progressively heavier lures and line as their power increases from light to heavy.

All Around Rod Choice

A great choice for all-around fishing anywhere is a medium-light power, fast action rod for use with a spinning reel. These reels have an open spool in the front and mount on the bottom of the rod. They are the best choice for fishing situations where the line being used is 10 pounds or less in strength.

This kind of rod is supple enough to enjoy catching small farm pond carp or panfish, while beefy enough to land a large kingfish or a 10kg sea bass. Spinning gear is easy to use and allows you to cast light lures a long way. Spinning rods help protect light lines, allowing beginners to make mistakes while landing a decent sized fish without breaking off.

The fast action gives the rod enough heft to set the hook when fishing a plastic worm or jig for bass, or setting the hook on a catfish.

Light Power, Fast Action

For salmon, crap and small trout, a light power, fast action spinning rod is a good choice. A quality ultra-light rod also works for these fish, but many ultra-lights are too short and too wimpy. A 2m ultra-light rod with the backbone of a boiled noodle isn’t worth the packaging it came in for any species.

Medium Power, Medium Action

For larger sea bass, and catfish, a medium power, moderate fast or fast action baitcasting rod works well. Baitcasting reels have an enclosed spool and mount on top of the rod. They are the best choice for lines of 10 pound test or higher. They require much greater practice than spinning gear to use effectively.

Moderate Fast Action

Choose the moderate fast action if you plan to fish leeches or minnows, or chicken livers for trevelly. The slightly softer action usually helps prevent you from throwing off the bait while casting. If you plan to jig and worm fish for largemouth bass and occasionally fish for the other species, choose a fast action, medium power rod.

Heavy Action

Get a medium heavy or heavy power baitcasting rod with a fast action for striped bass, hapuka, flathead, catfish, blue nose and groper. This set-up is also good for flipping or pitching jigs for largemouth bass. Choose a moderate or slow action rod with a medium-heavy or heavy power rating if you plan to use live bait. Again, the softer action protects against throwing the bait off the hook on the cast. These rods possess enough strength to land these fish, but they can also handle the heavy lures and strong line needed.

Remember select a rod and reel thats suitable for you if in doubt ask the sales person in the store they will guide you in the right direction

Cheers and happy fishing

The Best Way To Cook Your Freshly Caught Fish

Budget Gadgets

A freshly caught fish can be cooked in a thousand different ways. And
any fisherman well worth weight in sea salt has his own unique way of
cooking freshly caught trout, salmon or whatever fish he caught. So
fisherman all across the country has been handed down methods of cooking
fish. Here are some tips to get the best out of your fish


1)  Hygiene is a Must always wash your hands before and after when handling or cooking seafood (This goes for all food actually)

2)  Do not leave fish sitting in the sun, next to raw meat or poultry as this will cause cross contamination (Salmonella)

3)  Be well prepared before hand and everything should go well

Cleaning fish : Cleaning fish is just as important as cooking it make sure you
remove all the uneatable parts ie: Gills, stomach contents, and scales
etc wash it thoroughly but don’t drown it in fresh water (This is the
most Important part to remember) If you are going to
fillet the fish make sure you remove the skin (Some people like the
skin) and the fish bones.

If you don’t want the hassle of cleaning the fish then go down to your local fish monger and for a small fee he will have it all ready for you to cook and eat


1 Frying

Frying a freshly caught fish is as good as it gets the smell of  olive oil
emanating from the frying pan and the flair a fisherman puts in flipping
his catch is worth its weight in gold for the novice fisherman make sure your oil is extra hot but just short of burning also make sure that the fish is well coated and salt and peppered you may want to try other herbs and spices for a more delicious tasting fish meal its up to you.


2 Grilling

At first glance grilling would seem to be the easiest way to cook your
fish a newbie might assume that grilling fish is the same as grilling steaks or sausages unlike chicken and beef, fish tends to lose most of its own juices when its cooking on the grill to prevent moisture loss coat the fish in olive oil or a basting solution  you have made the oil and the basting will help stop the fish from drying out secondly heat the grill up so its nice and hot spread olive oil on the grill and make sure you monitor and turn them when the fish is cooked halfway through after being flipped watch the fish carefully remove the fish as soon as it is cooked fish do not take long to cook probably 2-4 mins a side depending on the thickness of the fillet and take a little care when flipping them cause they tent to break up and DO NOT BURN THE FISH or you will be forever cursed by the fish God and not only that your mates will bag you forever!!

An option to basting the fish with oil is to wrap it in aluminum foil. The
aluminum foil will keep it moist and marinate the fish in its own
juices, adding herbs and spices enhances the grilling process and the
taste of the fish.


3 Baking

Baking is the best option for those who do not want to watch over the fish during cooking prepare and place your fish in the your ingredients or marinate  preheat the oven, then pop the fish into the oven for a predetermined cooking time you can check on the fish from the time to time, ensuring that you don’t overcook your meal serve on a bed of steamed buttered rice and roasted potatoes sprinkle on some and a wedge of a olive and lemon (nice herbs to use are dill, basil, marjoram, oregano and rosemary ) but you can use and try what ever you fancy


4 Battered fish


fish I just love battered fish their are a few batter recipes out their
like my favorite herb batter which is so nice, oyster batter, herb
batter and many others to make  your batter select the right flour I use
plain or self raising flour Here are three very easy batter recipes


Plain Batter

1 1 cup self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water

Mix flour, baking powder and salt together add milk and water and mix until batter runs smooth dip your fish in plain flour first then the batter and cook in hot oil.

Tempura Batter

2  1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
2/3 cup ice water
Yellow food coloring (optional)

Oil for deep frying your choice of dippers : fish; shrimp, scallops, chunky-cut chicken and vegetables are good sift together the dry ingredients beat egg slightly and mix with the water and a few drops of the food coloring, if desired
add the dry ingredients. Stir only until mixed mixture will be slightly lumpy dip fish, shrimp, chunky-cut chicken and vegetables etc into the
batter and deep fry until golden brown drain on paper towels.

Herb and spice Batter fish

3 cups flour
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons paprika
1 teaspoon red pepper
4 tablespoons seasoned salt
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sage
1 teaspoon thyme
1 tablespoon chili powder
Beat all ingredients together dip fish into batter and deep fry until golden brown make sure your oil is hot but not smoking I use olive oil it taste wonderful be very careful when working around hot oil some people use lard but I only use olive oil

5 Smoked fish

I just love freshly smoked fish the smell the look the feel but mainly the taste I don’t know how many smoked fish I have tried in the last 30 years but I’ve eaten quite a few but sad to say a lot have been a complete disaster too burnt too soggy too raw etc etc  how they manage to do that I simply don’t know because smoking fish is probably the easiest way to cook fish in this part I will try and show you the best marinates and basting sauces preparation and cooking times (Take note everyone has their own way of smoking fish so send me a copy of your recipes so we can share our stories with people who don’t know how)

For whole fish this way of smoking can be used for most types of fish

1   Preparation

As always the fish has to be cleaned out but leave the scale and head on (you can remove them later when cooked) then its just a matter of splitting the fish in half but making sure you don’t cut all the way through then open the fish so you have like a butterfly look and that’s basically it make sure all the uneatable stuff has been removed and washed thoroughly now the next step is to dry the fish this is important to wet and the fish will will steam itself cooked so hanging your fish in a fish safe(most fish safes and be brought at any tackle shop but they are very simple to make)  is the best but not in direct sunlight you need and nice cool breeze for about 3 – 4 hours should be good once dry you may need to season the fish I use sea or rock salt and ground black pepper just lightly sprinkled over the fish you will need a good smoker and Bunnings will have all the equipment you need

A mixture of honey brown sugar with kiwi fruit or red apples mix them all together with soya sauce or black bean sauce maybe a pinch of dill this will make a nice basting most supermarkets have basting sauces already made give your fish a good coating you need to get your smoker heated up and your chip smoking and do not let them burn once that’s done place your fish skin down inside the smoker place the large fish down on the bottom rack and the small pieces on the top rack most smoker are a two level type place the lid on depending on the size of your fish it usually takes about 20 mins but you can check do not let your smoker over smoke

Add your own great fish recipe because their is nothing like a freshly
smoked, baked, grilled, steamed, BBQ’ed, raw, hangi’ed well maybe not in
a hangi but any other way that you like to cook your fish I want to
hear you thoughts all you fish heads out their even your SECRETE RECIPES and a short comment if you like so
Happy fishing and Bon Appétit more cooking ways will be added later


Whatever fish you catch, a great recipe and proper cooking will for sure enhance the catch take time to prepare for cooking, a badly cooked fish will
no doubt spoil your day. Remember the first rule of cooking, don’t
overcook your fish.



Hello fish heads

Why don’t you leave a message or maybe sent me a blog of your own about recipes on how you cook your fish I would  love to read about different recipes and try them out myself and send me some great fishing stories so we can publish them and let other people try you recipe so lets get writing and sent them in

                            Thanks from themadfisherman


The Team @