Technically Speaking: about Fishing Gear in Singapore.

When my father brought me to the neighbor beach, we had climbed cement wall and jumped between tetra-pods and went down to near-by sea surface for fishing. We did not have rod and reel, only line, sinker and hook. I forgot how my father had connected line and sinker but after tighten those items in order, he started swing the line and thrown into the sea. As a boy, this series or action was welcomed with fresh impression. This style of fishing is so called Hand-line Fishing, simplest and basic style of fishing. Hand-line fishing is enjoyable as response of fish at the end of line comes to you directly to your fingertip and less chance to failure hooking.

However, with advancing fishing gear technology, more and more or almost all anglers do not play hand ling fishing anymore, instead, anglers use reel and rod to shoot sinker far away from shore to achieve their dream to catch BIG fishes. 

In Singapore, anglers fishes in various style such as surf, lure, pole, shore, boat, kayak, fresh water, sea water, pay pond, fish, cuttle fish, prawn, etc ... it is not possible to introduce all fishing description here and only what I play such as shore bait fishing style is introduced hereafter.

1) Surf Fishing.

In Singapore, many anglers enjoy surf fishing, targeting stingray, shark, snapper, granter, sea-bass, barracuda, queen fish, diamond trevally, golden trevally, giant trevally, cat fish, parrot fish, grouper, etc ... those fishes can be caught by using reel and rod with different line, leader, sinker, rig and hook.
Following introduces basic of surf fishing.


a) Rod

For beginner, light and shorter rod should be recommendable, let say around 3 m 2 pieces joint, 8 - 20 lb rod, and if you are budgetary sound, you may look for some branded one (like Japanese made) it may cost between SD 300 and SD 1,000, but don't worry, this range of rod can be found by affordable price between SD 30 and SD 80 and is just enough for starter. When you hold the rod what is important is to feel rod is thin, flexible and light, also its tip is sensitive. This size rod can not let your sinker arrive 100 m away from shore but can reach up to 60 - 70 m when you use to handle it and just handy to aim various fish species.

[Parts of the rod]

* Butt Cap: optional part: can be opened normally to drain water and dirt for cleaning or change it with different shape according to your fishing style.

* Handle Grip: bottom area of rod, foam rubber or cork insulated and easy to hold the rod.

* Reel Seat: there are mainly two types, one is screw tighten and gthe other clip type, most of rod in Singapore use screw tighten type.

* Hook Keeper: some rod has some does not, Japan made rod does not have this normally.

* Butt: lower piece of rod and no accessory attached in this area for longer rod, but butt guide could be found for shorter rod.

* Joint: as named, part that lower and upper part or rods are joint at the joints. There are also two type, one is hole (female) at lower part of rod other has hole at upper part or rod.

* Guide: line pulled from reel pass through these eyes of guides. Line comes out from top guide is connected to either leader or sinker depend on your rigging style. Line size uses for shore fishing comes between 15 and 40 lbs. As a beginner 20 - 25 lbs line should be just handy to cover various fish sizes.

* Windings: securing guide to the rod surface. It is better to learn how to replace guide as the guide comes with those budget rod used to give way at lower quality ceramic ring.


[Additionally Speaking]

When you become seasonal angler, you may want to upgrade your rod, in this case, 3.9 to 4.2 m surf rod will be yours. Your master skill will meet with such higher end rods.

Rod has two types for its jointing system, one as sectional joint type as the left picture, other is so called telescopic type. Telescopic type rod does not occupy space of your rod case, lighter and easy transport, however the guide is not fixed and loosen sometime while you fish (due to advanced technology nowadays, guide sitting surface is improved remarkably for those high end rod but for those economical one has still same old story) causing line tangle around guide and may snap when you swing the rod. Make sure the guides are pulled down and fixed on the rod properly when you prepare the rod.


b) Reel

Similar to one at any other country, Singapore anglers mainly uses two types of reel, one "spinning reel" other "multiplier reel", top picture at the left shows "spinning reel" bottom for "multiplier reel"

b1) Spinning Reel

For beginner, 20lb - 150 to 200 m capacity middle range reel could be suit for 3 m rod, it costs from around SD 10 to SD 1000, depend on its origin, number of bearings, material quality and technology used.

[Parts of the reel]
* Reel Foot: slot this part into reel seat, either screw down or slide clipping the reel seat and fix this reel foot to the rod handle area.

* Reel Handle: only a purpose > turn it to retrieve line.

* Line Roller: first reel part the line meets with reel. Most of the roller can turn when the handle is turned and line is being retrieved.

* Line Spool: where the line is wound and stored when the handle is turned.

* Bail: Open it when you shoot sinker to the sea, then close it while waiting fish hooked and when you turn handle to retrieve line.

* Drag Adjustment: loosen it while you are waiting BIG and Strong fish, or just tighten for the small game. Do not forget to tighten back when you retrieve line.

* Anti-Reverse Lever: turn left and right enable rotor turn free or one direction to retrieve line.

b2) Multiplier Reel

Personally, I use only small multiplier reel for ISO rod, and introduce it at later section in this page.

c) Line

When I had started fishing long time ago, there was only nylon line, after the years of break, when I was back for fishing, I had overheard the sales person in the tackle shop explaining about line to the customer and saying PE line PE line (braided line), in my heart "What is PE line??" Of cause, I found it soon and tried.
I impressed the line is solid, stronger than nylon line (mono line) by the tension strength, sharp response to the signal from fish and easier to feel condition of sea bottom, however I still prefer nylon line personally due to its flexibility and smoothness, that is required when you use to fish at rocky ground to minimize earth-hook. 

Its smoothness provides chance for rod and reel longer life at its surface touched with line. I understood that PE line has higher friction with those surface than nylon line (once again, when you are using those high end high quality rod and reel, this may not be your problem.)
Other merit of nylon line is its durability to the abrasiveness. When you fish at those rocky area, the line touches on the surface of rock frequently. Imagine when you retrieve sinker, the line moves on the rock surface at where a lot of barnacles and other sharp objects are projected on the surface, when you use PE line in such environment, the line snaps easily after few turns of reel handle.

At last, for PE line, you may take longer time to detangle line, and if it is night, you may give up and just cut the tangled part.

Range of line normally used in Singapore are from 12 to 50 lbs subject to its fishing condition and between 20 to 25 lbs come in handy for various situation of fishing.

12 to 20 lbs: for sand beach, no earth hook, required long distance sinker shot.

25 to 30 lbs: for rock and sand mixed bottom, lightly earth hooked area but still required longer distance shot.

35 lbs and above (usually up to 50 lbs): for rocky area, minimize earth hook, distance shot is not required.

As far as your budget allowed, purchasing better quality line may present you happier moment of good catch than using lower quality line that may snap suddenly during your dealing with big fish.
d) Leader

Leader is also line nearest to the hook, exposed to solid objects in the fishing environment and touching those objects such as coarse sand, rocks, sharp objects on the surface of rocks, fish teeth, underwater structure and so on.

Sometime leader is part of rig such as main body of the rig or just joint to the rig upper part. Purpose of the leader is to endure such severe environment and uses one or few size thicker than the line to make the leader. In some case, two line twisted for certain length makes as a double line leader for its durability.

Other purpose is to endure stress while you swing the rod and shoot the sinker over the sea, it called shock leader. Shock leader can be found in the tackle shop and used to make rigs as this line has certain and much better quality than normal line and higher durability (cost of shock leader is also according to its high quality but each coil of the shock leader has just 20 to 50 m length and still affordable to your pocket)
e1) Apollo Rig
e) Rigs

There are various type of rigs introduced for the surf fishing in the web site and it is not possible to introduce all in this page. Only few popular rigs Singapore anglers make and use for the fishing frequently are introduced here.

e1) Apollo Rig

One of the most popular rigs Singapore anglers used. number of hooks tighten to the line are as you like but 1 or 2 hooks are normally used. Personally I prefer to use longer snood and one hook as there is no such promise if you use 2 hooks your catch must be double. The picture left is almost self explanatory, and to support in detail, some more description is added.

* Line sizes
   For leader: 30 to 50 lbs
   For snood: same as Leader or one size down from leader size such as 20 to 40 lbs

* Knot I used
  between Swivel and leader: Clinch Knot
  between leader and snood: T-knot or using 3 way Crane Swivel
  between snood and hook: Japanese Fisherman's Knot or Snell Knot

* Hook types and sizes
  Locally popular hooks are SSW Bait Hook, Beak, Circle Hook and Sode Hook for small game.
  Hook sizes are; No. 2/0, 1/0, 1 or 2 for big game, 3 to 5 for small game.
e2) Long Snood Bottom Feeder
e2) Long Snood Bottom Feeder

Another popular rig in Singapore fishing scene, picture at your left shows rig setting for big game.
For smaller game, you can maintain length of each section without steel leader but size of leader, snood, sinker and hook should be adjusted to smaller sizes as follows.

* Line sizes
   For leader: 30 to 50 lbs
   For snood: same as Leader or one size down from leader size such as 20 to 40 lbs

* Knot I used
  between Swivel and leader: Clinch Knot
  between leader and snood: T-knot or using 3 way Crane Swivel
  between snood and hook: Japanese Fisherman's Knot or Snell Knot

* Hook types and sizes
  Locally popular hooks are SSW Bait Hook, Beak, Circle Hook and Sode Hook for small game.
  Hook sizes are; No. 3 to 5 for small game.

This rig provides you to more free bait movement, less alert by fishes coming near to the bait and more hooking chances of those fishes swimming near bottom of the sea.

Personally, I have modified this rig for more hooking chances, for example, provide some free movement at joint of leader and snood present more natural bait movement according to the water current.
e3) Simple Rig with Japanese Sinker (Jet Balance; Jet Tenbin)
As we can buy some Japanese sinker sometime available at one of Japanese discount shop nowadays, just one and simple rig example is introduced herein. Just ignore all Japanese words at the left picture as you can use those lines, swivels, leaders and hooks you are using for your own rigs. Only what may be different with your rig is what you can find word スナズリ(2本撚り部分)that is "twisted leader" length about 50 cm. This part brings you rig's durability and less tangle within rig and with line.
The sinker you may purchase should be No. 10 to 30 for surf fishing and depend on to your rod length.
Even if you use long rod, lighter sinker recommendable if you are aiming rock fishes with short distance spot to avoid earth hook as much as possible.

Still to come ...


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