By Bradley Sissins
Kris Hickson is one of Australia’s highest ranked bream anglers, consistently finishing at the pointy end of ABT events. Known as one of the brightest young anglers on the circuit, Kris is one of the few anglers that really thinks outside the box and is at the cutting edge of tournament techniques.
Kris loves his Daiwa Interline rods, so we spent a while talking to him about what he likes about them.
Q. So Kris after using the new TMZ Interlines for the past bream and bass tournament season, what’s your reaction to the rods casting abilities.
A. At first I was very sceptical of the interline concept, the idea of no guides one would think that the line flow would be impeded, but once you understand the principles of how line flows through guides then the interline concept makes perfect sense. The first thing I tried was to cast light weights, my choice on the first occasion was to use my favourite bream fishing technique known as ‘pink grubbing’ – this is where you use a 2 ½” Ecogear paddle tail and unweighted worm hook, it must only weigh about 2 grams maximum. The simple truth is these rods cast this weight further than any other rod I have used, their performance is surprising.
Q. You’re known for fishing with up to 15 plus outfits during a tournament, most are technique specific outfits, how does the interline fit in to your rod arsenal?
A. The interline rods are the best tool for casting topwater and stickbaits lures in open water situations. With guided rods if you really cast them hard you continually get guide line wrapping but with interlines it just doesn’t happen, you really can create tremendous casting power to deliver a super long cast without fear of guide wrapping. The even taper of the rod keeps the hooks in a fish and you can use a long leader without the fear of a knot catching on the guides of a standard rod.
Q. Many anglers measure the rods main strength for casting accuracy, how does the interline rate?
A. The big thing about Interline is that there’s no opportunity for the knot to catch and alter the trajectory of the cast. With the line running through the middle of the rod the true blank action is exhibited, there is no blank twist due to guides and there is no ‘spine’ so a rod doesn’t twist or alter its trajectory. If you point the rod in a direction that’s the way the cast will go. I’ve been using the prototype new 6’6” ULFS model over summer, when its released in late autumn 2010 it will definitely become my go to rod for casting crankbaits accurately at snags, wharves and pylons.
Q. The physical strength of a rod can really decide if it wil attain popularity in the market place, how’s your experience with interlines been?
A. Because there are no guides or weak spots on the blank, so you get evenly distributed line pressure along the blank there’s nothing to let go when you’re really putting the hurt on the fish. I’ve poled some bream from some evil situations that a guided rod wouldn’t have survived.
Q. Today’s savvy anglers want to look the part, for many anglers looks and fashion is everything, what’s your thoughts on the quite adventurous looking cosmetics on interlines?
A. They look unreal – especially the Z-series, really futuristic. Great cosmetics and components make the rod stand out amongst many other understated rods in the market.
Q. You use mainly the spin rods, what sort of reels do you use on them?
A. I fish a Luvias DA or TD Sol 2000 to 2500 reel on my 7’6”, 2-8lb rods, these are spooled up with Daiwa’s 6lb Tournament Hi-Vis Dyneema with 4 to 8lb leader. The new 6’6” model I have been using is married to a Steez 2004 spooled up with 4lb fluorocarbon – this is the perfect crankbaiting rod.
Q. Like many tournament anglers, you have a super fast American style bass boat, infact yours is one of the fastest in the field, space is limited and storage for all those outfits must be a dilemma?
A. One thing that is brilliant about interlines is no guides. You can pick these rods up and fish with them instantly. They don’t get tangled with other rods. I change rods 100 times a day and efficiency of these is paramount.
Simple procedures like loading the Interlines into the rod locker is dead easy – there are no guides to catch on the tubes. And there are no guides to break.
When you store these as two-piece rods, rigged, as a two-piece, they store very neatly.
Q. Many anglers are using ultralight fluorocarbon lines in the tournaments so drag performance is essential, interlines have more contact points so how does this affect drag?
A. You don’t feel the guide drag on these rods, there’s no uneven drag pressure or line catching or “pulsing” through the guides. It’s hard to explain, but it feels like the rod is being pulled forwards instead of downwards like guided rod. They’re definitely smoother.
Q. Light line techniques for finicky fish really gets down to sensitivity, interlines use some of the highest-grade carbons available, so are they sensitive?
A. Because the line has direct contact to the blank and the reel seats are high grade carbon they are perfect for crankbaits, you feel like the lure’s action gets transmitted to your hands, whereas it gets dampened by the metal frames on guides, guide bindings etc in a standard guided rod.
Q. One question most anglers ask is how do you get the line up the middle?
A. Most anglers will say that they take longer to rig up but generally these anglers have never used one, so how can they comment? They are MUCH easier to thread in the wind, dark or under tournament pressure.
And you NEVER miss a guide and with just one pull with the line threader and they’re good to go. Daiwa has provided simple easy instructions in their Interline catalogue, rod tag and on the website, it couldn’t be easier.
Q. Any last comments?
A. Go out and give them a try, they truly are awesome and anyone who has doubts should just give one a cast in a Daiwa dealer or ask many of the tournament anglers who own one at the comps to borrow one for a flick.
For more information go here.