|By Greg Seeto
Summer, when the bream are up and actively feeding, has to be my favourite time of year for Bream fishing in Sydney. Other than the visual excitement of surface fishing, there’s no more fun than running small crankbaits really tight to structure on ultralight 3lb spinning fluorocarbon. The anticipation of that telltale bump, followed by line peeling off is a rush I just can’t get enough of!
Until recently, I’ve been using a Daiwa Battler Sparrow TD-BA 661LXS rod matched to 1003 Luvias reel for my crankbait rod. This is an awesome combination, and I absolutely love this rod. So much so that, even though I already own 2, I’ve just snapped up another one that came up on the second hand market.
For about four months though, I’ve also been using 3 models of the Tournament Master Z-I interline spin range. Each has it’s place in my quiver of rods, but the Interline TMZ-I 662ULFS matched to a Caldia 2004 is fast replacing my Sparrow, and becoming my go to crankbait outfit.
Tournament fishing is a great test arena for your gear. You soon become aware of what gear works, and what doesn’t. Little nuances with your gear become amplified in these conditions, and not all gear stands up to the punishment that consecutive days on the water can dish out.
The Australian Open this year was my final test for this rod. I had used it extensively leading up to the event – social days, several 1 day tournaments and for the 2 weeks I spent on Holiday in Mallacoota over Christmas. But 4 solid days fishing the Open on Sydney Harbour would really put the rod through it’s paces.
In general my feedback about this rod is probably pretty similar to everything else you may have already read or heard. It really does cast a long way. Particularly with straight through fluorocarbon line and my favourite Atomic Crank, it will outcast all of my other rods, and accurately too. They are really smooth. The absence of guides allows pressure on the line to maximise the full action and power of the rod. This means you can run light lines, with light drag, and still muscle a fish even in really tight situations.
But, the real praise I have for the 6’6 Interline is about the little things that you don’t necessarily think of until the fishing conditions are tough.
I’ve already written previously about my Australian Open experience here, but briefly, I’d found my fish cranking the front edges of a handful of marinas early in the morning. I then spent the rest of the day hopping between wind blown points and pontoons in the main river. Just about anywhere that was copping the current and the wind seemed to be holding fish for me.
But, when I say wind, I mean Wind! I found myself in wind corridors, gusting straight at me at upwards of 30-35knots at times. Casting with accuracy in these conditions is hard work, and at times I couldn’t cast more than 5 or 6m in front of me! Timing your casts to the gusts is not always possible, and anyone who’s cast a traditional guided rod with ultralight line in these circumstances knows a thing or two about guide wrapping, either around the stripper guide or the rod tip. The result of trying to cast the lure too hard, this was completely eliminated with the interline, and consequently took one of the variables out of the equation.
The other aspect of fishing these windblown areas was the associated wind chop – it was up to a foot and a half at times and in really close proximity to the structure. The technique I was using required constant contact with the lure as I slow rolled it past obvious ambush points. Most, if not all of the takes were a series of quite subtle “bumps” as the fish chased down and mouthed the lure as it swam past. Although the chop was helpful in allowing me to fish close to the structure on one hand, on the other, these takes were often only within a meter or so of the boat, so the sensitivity and softness of the rod tip were critical to detect the bite early and set the hooks, but prevent the hooks from pulling as the fish tried to get back to the structure.
I had 9 rods rigged on my boat during the Open, but only 4 got used 90% of the time. My Sparrows ran a distant second to the 2 x 662ULFS Interline outfits.
Greg, the eldest of the three Seeto brothers and father of three, owns his own printing business with his wife and has fished the tournament trail for the last four years both as an individual and in a team and achieved many top ten finishes in that time.He loves fishing with his kids, and has fished several tournaments with his 10 year old Daughter.
The three brothers now have their own website covering all aspects of their fishing experiences. Click here for more information