Light tackle bait soaking and lure flicking form the backbone of Aussie angling. Species ranging from bream and whiting in the estuaries, to salmon and tailor on the beaches and bass or trout in the fresh all make up the bulk of what each of us sets out to chase when the weekend rolls around. I’m no different, as I love chasing any or all of our smaller, common bread and butter species.
This sort of fishing is also an ideal way of testing any new tackle that comes onto the market, as the fish are readily available and they’re what the gear is most likely to be used on by other anglers right around the country. For me, living smack bang between two large coastal lake systems, with a variety of excellent rock and beach venues only a short drive from home, it’s easy to find one fish or another willing to take a bait or lure and give any new tackle a good workout.
So armed with a new Aird X 2000 reel and Aird X 702LFS rod I got to work on the local lakes and a favourite, semi-protected beach corner where a variety of species are known to show up. As is normally the case, bream and whiting were the first to be caught, followed by a few nice flathead.
Just after releasing a flatty, an explosive surface strike a few metres from the kayak caught my attention. The natural reaction was to cast straight towards the action, although I didn’t expect such an instant and violent result. Next thing the little Aird’s drag is absolutely screaming, with line rapidly peeling off. After ten minutes and several more blistering runs, a solid salmon came aboard my kayak.
Although this outfit wasn’t really intended for surf sized salmon, I took it to my reliable beach corner spot a week later, in the hope of catching a few bream. Again, the drag was soon howling, with a solid sambo ripping out line and powering off into the waves. Another couple of salmon and a small ray completed that session and I walked back along the beach feeling extremely happy with the high performance of this little Aird X combo.
Tackle technology and manufacturing has come a very long way over the past decade and it’s now quite amazing to be able to use such affordable rods and reels that are so smooth, look great and deliver high end performance like the Aird X range.