Black Magic Flasher and Strayline Rigs (2003)

When Black Magic Tackle recently sent us samples to try, they went into the tacklebox for a trip to Tangimoana - tablefish heaven. Tangimoana is a great place to put tackle through its paces. It produces a variety of fish in good numbers (see the 'Destinations' feature in the October issue).

The weather produced a two-day window of winter opportunity that allowed us to get out over the bar and onto our hosts' hot spots. In this part of the world the locals swear by their sabiki rigs and produce an interesting homebake variation on the commercially manufactured theme. The two crews we fished with - Dave Adamson on Blue Topaz and John Grice on Deliverance - both considered their very similar flasher rigs to be 'the answer', with yellow the favoured colour.

Certainly their photo albums produced evidence to back up the theories. Our first trip out was with Dave, and that trip produced some good sized cod and some great gurnard, along with what would have been bins of spiny dogfish had we kept any! Advertising rep Peter Francis and I stuck with the Black Magic rigs, and these certainly held their own against the local 'hot shots'. I had one of those days where I attracted the majority of unwanted species, but at least my companions appreciated my keeping these pests occupied while they got on with the business of catching dinner. If nothing else, the spiny dogs tested the durability of the Black Magic rigs, which,  although the worse for wear, remained intact through to the end - and, most importantly, were still catching the occasional target species.

Their big test came the next day when provincial honour was at stake. In what had the sniff of a set-up to it, John and his mate Barry 'Big Fish' Booth challenged the Jaffas aboard Deliverance to a duel. The rules were simple: each legal table species, whether kept or returned, counted as a point. · We were anchored in around 50 metres of water, our rigs sweetened with slivers of squid or small kahawai cut baits. They took the port side, we took the starboard, and the battle commenced. The Blues raced off to a good start, the New Zealand-made Moonglow Moochers and the Seafood Seducers kicking butt. We landed the first five fish and were never headed, to run out the 'winners' at 52-42.

The Moochers and Seducers had proven themselves in the tight struggle, and although they ended up battered and bruised, they did the business for us, landing blue cod, kahawai, tarakihi, gurnard, several varieties of shark, as well as the inevitable 'coutas. I would anticipate these rigs would catch fish no matter what the species or location. Available in three hook sizes - 4/0, 5/0 and 7 /0 - the sabikis are rigged ledger style (IGFA legal) on quality Black Magic trace. Each rig comes in a plastic pack and is wound onto a closed-cell holder, both of which are reusable. On a previous trip out from Waipu Cove targeting snapper, I was able to put the Black Magic strayline rigs to good use (both 'Chartreuse' and 'Bleeding Pilchard'), drifting half-pilchard baits under a school of feeding kahawai to produce a good bag of snapper to three kilos. 

On a number of occasions I lost my bait to pickers on the bottom, only to be hit on the retrieve by the kahawai feeding in mid water. These kahawai, although not big enough for the smoker, made great cut baits and were used for the snapper. The stray line rigs consist of a 6/0 baitfly tied on the end of 80 pound Tough Trace, with a 'keeper' or second 6/0 hook snooded above it The rig can be used just as effectively off the rocks or the beach, and each pack contains two made-up traces ready to fish. Like the sabikis, the strayline rigs come with their own holder and plastic pack, and are manufactured in New Zealand.

November 2003
New Zealand Fishing News Magazine.
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