Fishing Buddy H-Frame review

Recently moving back from Angola to South Africa has meant no more beach driving for us = a lot more walking and a lot more carrying! After doing some homework on suitable tackle boxes for Rock and Surf fishing, we settled on the Fishing Buddy H-frame. A few minor adaptations and we were good to go!
 
The workmanship on the Fishing Buddy H-Frame gets a 5/5 in our opinion – it is extremely durable! However this doesn’t hinder the weight or the comfort of the frame. The straps are perfectly placed, adjustable and well padded to ensure that it is a perfect fit for anyone! It even gets a seal of approval from Stella!  
The only two (minor) negatives with the Fishing Buddy H-frame that we can comment on are that:
1) if rods are left in the rod holders, the box tends to fall over. This however is not an issue for us as we always carry proper rod stands with us.
2) the cable ties which hold the lid don’t allow the lid much movement and eventually either snap or cause damage to the lid. This is a very easy and quick fix… we used some parachute chord and a drilling machine and it is now good to go!
Carlos has been using his both competitively and socially, for a year, with no complaints at all! I have recently got one, whilst it is mostly used for nappies and bum cream – it gives us an extra surface to easily put on the cooler box and allow us to carry along a few cold ones and spare bait! 
If you are looking for an H-frame, we would highly recommend that you go check out Fishing Buddy on Facebook or on their website!
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*** Please note that we are not sponsored by Fishing Buddy. Our review is nothing but a reflection of our own opinion. ***

The circle of trust…

One of our favourite fish to target are kob (also known as kabeljou, mulloway, jewfish). In my opinion, very few fish hit a lure as hard as a kob. While targeting any of the kob species you always stand a chance of catching that 100b fish you have been waiting for, as it is not uncommon for large fish to come out in-between a shoal of juveniles.

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The one problem that makes targeting kob species on lure a challenge is their love for structure, as we all know that structure equates to snags. Attempting to catch these fish on lures often ends up being a pricey exercise. But there is a simple way to reduce our risks of turning that kob into a rockfish – circle hooks!

Spoons rigged with circle hooks take some getting used to as one often finds themselves falling into the trap of striking when you feel that bite. It is important to note that in order to increase your chances of a perfect hook set a slow, steady retrieve is required. Once you have felt that distinctive tap at the end of your line, maintain your constant, steady winding until the fish is on – it really is that easy! Another thing to take into account is the type and size of the circle hook you choose to use. I personally prefer the Eagle Claw Billfish L2004ELG-7/0 as to date they have resulted in the best hookup rates (they are also not so heavy on the pocket) – a smaller hook is better than a larger hook. Furthermore, we have found that by replacing your traditional split-ring with a homemade piano wire ring, one allows the circle hook free movement to do its thing – your hook is therefore more likely to be in the right position when the time is right.

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Once you have mastered the technique you are bound to reap the benefits. Advantages of fishing with spoons rigged with circles include:
1) Your chances of getting stuck between the bricks is significantly reduced, allowing you to fish your spoon at a slower speed with more confidence.
2) You are not only limited to kob. Since using this technique we have landed a variety of “by-catch” using spoons rigged with circles, including leeries, shad, yellowbellies as well as a 50kg dusky shark.
3) Circle hooks are easier on the fish than J-hooks. Your chances of a successful release are therefore significantly increased when using this technique. Fish around the globe are under increasing threat – remember by letting them go, you let them grow.

So, next time you tempted to target a kob, take a leap into the circle of trust and give this method a try.

Reel Maintenance

Today we are covering a topic which is so simple but is often neglected by majority of anglers – reel maintenance. Any individual with a basic set of mechanical skills can carry out this task. However, here is a simple guideline to do a basic maintenance and cleaning “service”. Prevention is better (and cheaper) than cure!!

(Please note that full services should still be carried out by a professional – your local tackle shop should be able to point you in the right direction).

What you will need: A screwdriver with multi-bits, a non-abrasive rag (e.g. mutton cloth), cotton buds, fishing tackle protector, TG’s rocket fuel liquid grease and oil, multi-purpose lubricant (preferably WD40), marine grade lubricant (grease).

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Step 1: After giving the reel a spray with some fresh water, allow it to dry. Remove the spool and handle and give each component a light coat of multi-purpose lubricant.

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Step 2: Using the mutton cloth and cotton buds, give the entire reel a proper wipe down – be sure to get into all the nooks and crannies (this is where the ear buds come in handy).

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Step 3: On most new reels there is a screw/cap that allows you access to the bearing in the handle. Add a few drops of liquid grease. The handle knob takes a lot of strain and is often one of the first components to pack up – a few drops of liquid grease will help to prolong the lifespan of your reel handle.

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Step 4: Ensure that all salt residue is removed from working parts, in the handle, by giving it a decent spray of multi-purpose lubricant, wiping it down and then applying a light coat of grease. Be sure to apply some grease to the thread as well.

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Step 5: Remove the handle screw cap and handle and apply some liquid grease to the bearings on both sides of the reel.

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Step 6: Apply a few drops of liquid grease to the main shaft of the reel.

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Step 7: Apply some grease to the thread of the shaft.

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Step 8: Add a few drops of oil to the roller bearing and work it through by rolling it with your fingers or a piece of line. Wipe off the excess when complete.

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Step 9: Give the reel and spool a light coat of tackle guard, wipe it lightly and re-assemble. Your reel is now ready to be stored or fished!

A few extra tips:

– Perform this basic service on your new reel before use, this will prolong your reels life by at least 40% by reducing the risks of corrosion. When the factory assembles any reel, minimal lubrication is used.

– Be sure to always tighten your drag before hosing down your reels. By tightening the drag you compact your drag washers which eliminates the chances of water from entering the drag assembly and later creating a sticky drag. After the hose down, be sure to loosen the drag and spin the spool freely before storage – this prevents the drag washers from sticking together.

– NEVER submerge your reel in a bucket of water, it is the worst thing you can ever do to it!