No, it’s not some strange acro­nym or a dif­fer­ent ver­sion of WTF? Which in­ci­den­tally means... Wed­nes­day, Thurs­day, Fri­day... just to get your mind out of the gut­ter...

SA Bass - - Contents - >> Kevin Holm*

No, it’s not some strange acro­nym or a dif­fer­ent ver­sion of WTF? Which in­ci­den­tally means... Wed­nes­day, Thurs­day, Fri­day... just to get your mind out of the gut­ter... – Kevin Holm

LRF... mean­ing... Light Rock Fish­ing

Okay, so, there are these new rods out there and sud­denly it seems that LRF is be­ing whis­pered be­hind closed doors and in the dark­est hours of the night by those that have ex­pe­ri­enced some­thing pos­si­bly just short of the Holy Grail in the pur­suit of those things with fins and scales.

Granted, LRF rods are in­tended for which the name im­plies .... Light Rock Fish­ing... but more and more se­ri­ous bass an­glers from around the globe are switch­ing to a new, more del­i­cate ap­proach to their sport through a rod that was orig­i­nally de­signed for a dif­fer­ent pur­pose.

LRF rods are mostly just un­der 8ft in length with a very thin di­am­e­ter and un­like graphite rods, is made out of high­mod­u­lus car­bon blanks which can with­stand ab­so­lutely enor­mous pres­sure. As these rods are de­signed for lure sizes be­tween one and seven gram in weight with a bal­anced reel and su­per thin 2lb line to match, it’s clear that the orig­i­nal aim was to use lighter, more sen­si­tive tackle to en­able sport an­glers the op­por­tu­nity to tar­get smaller and more species than what con­ven­tional tackle would al­low.

Most of us how­ever tar­get species like bass and this is where the lat­est in LRF technology comes into its own right. Lighter rods and lines means greater fi­nesse pre­sen­ta­tions to some­times finicky bass es­pe­cially in pres­sured wa­ters.

With these new rods, its pos­si­ble to make long, ac­cu­rate casts with much smaller lures and since the tips on these rods are in­sanely thin, you of­ten feel the bite or see the rod tip load up be­fore the fish can feel the ac­tual pres­sure of the line on the hook or lure and then drop it to leave you strik­ing into noth­ing.

The lighter tip means in essence that fish pick up the lure and be­ing on the other end of the rod, you can gen­tly lift the rod and feel for that pres­sure in­di­cat­ing that a fish has the lure in its mouth and of­ten enough with­out the un­wanted tension on the line that would other­wise alarm the fish and cause it to re­ject the lure.

I re­cently took pos­ses­sion of two new ranges of LRF rods avail­able from Sav­age Gear through lo­cal dis­trib­u­tor RAD fish­ing and the Okuma LRF rods dis­trib­uted by lo­cal dis­trib­u­tors, Sensational An­gling. On my first im­pres­sion, I was stunned at how long and yet how light these rods are with in­cred­i­ble flex­i­bil­ity in the last twelve inches of the ac­tual rod tip.

Be­ing an ul­tra-fi­nesse an­gler, I’ve al­ways gone with lighter pre­sen­ta­tions and smaller lures and hardly fish lures as big as four inch. Pre­fer­ring lures more in the 2.75 to 3” range.

As the tips of these rods are su­per flex­i­ble, it takes a bit of get­ting used to and I missed a few fish on the first out­ing. On the sec­ond out­ing how­ever, I had the “feel” of the rod and soon I was throw­ing a light 1/16 ounce Mojo rigged 9cm pad­dle­tail over some weedbeds. Since I was us­ing such a light Mojo, it didn’t snag like oth­ers and slid across the weed pre­sent­ing the bait into pock­ets that pre­vi­ously would have not been pos­si­ble. While slid­ing the lure along, I felt the slight­est re­sis­tance and put a frac­tion more pres­sure only to see the rod tip nod and feel a slight tug... sweep­ing and reel­ing at the same in­stant, I felt the hook set and it was... fish on... but then some­thing strange hap­pened as this fish was not be­hav­ing like bass do, no jump­ing or shak­ing of the head, just a steady fight up to the mo­ment it came next to the boat and then it dashed for life... the rod ab­sorbed this beau­ti­fully and shortly I landed a fine fish of 2.176kg... at Bronkhorstspruit! This was re­peated dur­ing that day... eight more times to be ex­act and not once did any of those fish jump as they usu­ally do. Land­ing fish be­tween 1.2 and 1.7kg and giv­ing me a five fish bag weight of 8.15kg.

Think­ing about it and do­ing some re­search brought me to a con­clu­sion which most re­cently proved it­self to be pretty spot on... due to that flex­i­ble tip and less strain on the line with the tip ab­sorb­ing most of the shock dur­ing the fight, these fish did not feel the same tension as they would nor­mally do with other tackle and thus were not in­clined to jump in or­der to throw the hook mak­ing for per­fectly strong fights and yet, as an­gler, I was the vic­tor.

The two rods that my­self and fish­ing part­ner, Kevin have been test­ing are ab­so­lutely in­cred­i­ble and al­though both are classed as LRF rods, each has some very unique at­tributes that is worth a men­tion here.

The Okuma range of LRF Rods are medium priced, look and han­dle well and never let us down dur­ing the three week test­ing pe­riod, hav­ing landed fish from 300g to 2kg with equal ease. The Okuma range uses a patented Uni­di­rec­tional Fiber Re­in­forced (UFR) tip and vastly im­proves the strength, sen­si­tiv­ity and flex­i­bil­ity of the cru­cial tip sec­tion. Us­ing a graphite blank at the bot­tom and then weav­ing it into a glass fi­bre tip

LRF rods are pretty new and their uses are still to be ex­plored but I think that for drop-shot fish­ing and es­pe­cially us­ing smaller jigs or even the pop­u­lar Ned-rigs has found a match made in heaven...

Us­ing an LRF is go­ing to take a bit of get­ting used to but once mas­tered, the re­sults are in­cred­i­ble and speak for them­selves...

These rods are not cheap but then again, qual­ity does not come cheap ei­ther and in the end, that ex­tra cou­ple of bucks is worth it to add at least one of these to your arse­nal and weapons of bass de­struc­tion.

The LRF rods are avail­able in dif­fer­ent lengths from most lead­ing tackle shops and there is a model to suit each and ev­ery pocket too.

My fish­ing part­ner and my­self have been us­ing the LRF range rods with equal rates of suc­cess over the last six weeks. These rods, we have matched up with Awa-Shima C+Hyper­cast monofil­a­ment line which is su­per thin yet in­cred­i­bly strong with vir­tu­ally no mem­ory and our old favourite setup of a very light slid­ing Mojo rig.

These rods are here to stay and they take the art of ul­tra­fi­nesse an­gling to a dif­fer­ent level in­deed.

Both LRF rods show­ing slight dif­fer­ences

A strong fight­ing fish caught on the Okuma LRF rod

Kevin Holm with a bass caught on the Sav­age Gear LRF rod

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