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...
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