29/05/12 - Author: admin

Deep dropping the reefs from 70 to 250 fathoms can be a real lottery, and one of the major attractions is that you just never know what’s going to pop up alongside the boat next. Aside from the usual tasty players like bar cod, hapuka, gemfish, bass groper and blueye trevalla, monster nannygai, frostfish, coral cod, even the superstar broadbill swordfish are right in the mix. And then there are the other ooglies that will have you flicking through the fish ID books to identify — often without much luck!

Of course it’s the development of thin but incredibly strong braided line like Power Pro Depth Hunter that has opened up the deep grounds for recreational anglers. Granted, it is possible to fish the deadly depths through braid-filled 24 and 37 kilo game rods, but even if you’re super fit, one drop is enough, and most crews still have to double or triple-team the outfit. It does become a little easier as the fish get close to the top and begin to float, but it is still a lot of hard yakka.

Electric reels are the only practical solution. Those that decry this approach as unsporting obviously haven’t done it. After ten minutes they’ll willingly acknowledge that electric is the only way to go!

Other factors like current and wind strength come into play too, and there’s more to this deepwater bottom fishing caper than dropping over a stringer of circle hooks above a big weight and waiting for tonight’s dinner to pile on.

Electric reels like Shimano’s Dendou Maru makes the whole process so much simpler. You hit the bottom, crank up the slack and wait for a bite. If you’ve positioned the boat well, it usually doesn’t take long. Everything that lives down there has a big mouth and an even bigger appetite.

Powered by a rechargeable 12-volt battery, the Dendou Maru holds an honest 1000 metres of 37 kilo Power Pro braid. Stainless steel gearing, three A-RB bearings and two roller bearings, and a Cold Forged aluminium spool that won’t spread or warp means this reel is up to the deepwater challenge.

Shimano’s TCurve Revolution Offshore Deep Drop rod is the perfect match for the Dendou Maru. The aluminium bent butt gets the tip out beyond the transom, the roller tip keeps line friction to a minimum, and the TCurve 3 blank has sufficient reserves of power to deal with what could be 50 plus kilos of fish on the other end.

Having an electric outfit on-board can help liven up a day’s marlin trolling too. If the stickfaces don’t want to play (and unfortunately, that happens a lot), a couple of hours’ spent deep dropping can put a nice feed in the icebox and all of a sudden that fuel burn doesn’t seem so bad after all.

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