Another weekend another fishing trip

My fishing addiction has kicked right back in and I can barely wait for the weekend to roll around. I was spooling up my reels in readiness on Friday and something went haywire on the drag system on my new ( used three times) $50 Chinese brand baitcaster. I took it apart but for the life of me could not get it working so the was only one thing for it…a trip to Docau fishing shop.

This shop is owned by Fishing mad Vietnamese businessman and he stocks high end Japanese import reels ( shimano / daiwa) and rods like Megabass and Majorcraft as well as gear from Orvis and a huge selection of lures. Basically…it’s lure fishing paradise. So I decided to finally bite the bullet on an expensive baitcaster reel as an investment 😁. Hanh the owner was on hand to give some suggestions but unfortunately most were left handed retrieve. But then all of a sudden the skies parted and the light shone. Harps played and angels sung….

I can feel some wallet damage coming on....

And there on front of me..placed with reverence by the now smiling Hanh….was the most delicious reel I had ever seen. The Shimano Scorpion DC200. Fully imported from Japan and though second hand….it was in mint condition. The first thing I did was look at the price and at $290 it was a little more than I intended to spend. Mr Hanh automatically offered me 15% discount so we’re down to about $240 and I Google to read reviews ( superb) and when it was made and Google says the reel was manufactured from 2011 to 2016 so I say to Mr Hanh “hmm seems expensive” I’ll give you $200 even for it. He thinks for a second and says ok! He also then asks me if I want to go snakehead fishing in haiphong the following morning at 6am and I accept so it’s been a very successful visit.

On arrival home I start trawling the Internet for price information on the reel and what I find stuns me. Not only were these reels over usd$400 when they were new at the year of manufacture…but a new one now off ebay or from tackle shops in Japan will cost you……USD$300!! So basically I got a genuine bona fide bargain and IM STOKED! I match the reel to my new Mastercraft Corzza ultralight BF rod (usd$180 from Singapore) and I’m now on a near usd$400 combo having started at $80 for combos 6 months ago when I started rebuilding my tackle arsenal. I take my rod out into the garden of the Embassy set the spools digital control ( the DC in the model name) to BRAID and hold my breath as I fire off a cast wondering how different a very expensive Japanese made reel can be to a very cheap Chinese reel.

The answer…no surprises….

Here is my Japanese reel…

And here are the Chinese reels

I could not believe the buttery smoothness and dramatic difference. Needless to say I’m an instant convert to high end Japanese reels. Stay tuned…

So the next day I am up at 5am and excited to be heading out with some new fishing buddies. Mr Hanhs friend picks us up in a smart mazda and after a quick stop halfway to buy steamed pork buns for lunch we are heading in to Haiphong which is a particularly butt ugly river port city with factories, container yards and all manner of rusting steel cranes and ships everywhere. We weave our way into a wetland and park up and the day has begun.

After gearing up we head off in different directions and after hours of throwing all manner of lures under the hot sun into shallow waters I can tell you……nothing. One decent hook up ( me) between the three of us. My God. The guys tell me last time they fished here they caught twenty fish but that was in June when the water is higher. It was still very enjoyable being out in the fresh air and on the way home we stopped at a restaurant for steamed chicken and Heineken beers and last night I slept like a dead man.

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