Wednesday, 5 June 2013

That horrible moment...

So, despite the water still being green with the May bloom, off I went paddling in search of maybe the odd fish. I wanted a good paddle to see what a "distance" paddle felt like in my new Stealth 575. Unfortunately given the heat and bright sun, the distance I did (about 6 or 7 miles) was pretty uncomfortable as it was. I was soaked through with sweat by the end of it and got my first ever dry suit rash!
The puffins bobbed about, laughing at my fecklessness!
But all that pales into insignificance after what happened. I paddled out to the Head for a try for some pollack or codling. Foul hooked a little one, had a sandwich and a cup of coffee before getting ready for the big paddle over to Bempton. Turned round to look at a bird or someone on the cliffs or something (can't remember exactly), set off paddling and just as I started my raising my paddle out of the water I clipped the reel or or bottom ring on my rod, yanking it out of the rod holder.

One little splash, momentary glimpse of the rod and reel under a couple of feet of water and it was all over.  Too quick for me to jump in after it. I hopelessly stabbed at it with the paddle but it was gone.  Tried with my other rod to foul hook it on the bottom, but the ground off Flamborough is pretty rough and all I hooked was the bottom itself.

Absolutely gutted.  I'd had that Penn multiplier for about ten years.  The rod was one I'd spiral whipped myself to make it more suitable for jigging.  First time I've ever lost anything other than a set of pliers over the side.  So why did it happen?

The first reason is probably that I'd foolishly changed my paddle shaft to one that is shorter.  For me I think that meant I was raising the paddle blade closer to me on the back stroke - hence a slightly greater risk of clipping a rod in the trolling rod holders.  The second is that the rod holder on the Stealth 575 are much closer to you than they are on many kayaks, so that was also something I haven't got used to yet.  Annoyingly I had already clipped the rod while I was paddling, but stupidly didn't think anything of it.  Never thought for one moment I might catch it with enough force to pull it out.

Yes, I probably should have had it leashed.  But then a leash is nuisance, especially when you're landing fish and in all my years I've never come within a mile of losing a rod over the side.  But there has to be a first time, and if I'd thought about it carefully I might have predicted it would be with a new kayak and a shorter paddle.

Never mind. Time for a new rod and reel?  I'm on the case already!

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