Bassing PV and the Shoe 5-1 Plus Review of Shimano Tranx 300HG

Kman

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I fished with Lal on the Ducky Monday, 5-1. We launched from Davies and made a B-line to Rocky Point, where we were met with 58 degree, mildly dirty green water. This was to be the inaugural trip for my new Shimano TranX 300HG reel that I paired with a mint condition Loomis-made Shimano 815XFA trigger stick.

I popped the TranX’s cherry on the first drop and pulled up a nice little taco-sized sandy. We caught a healthy amount and variety of fish at various depths for the next couple hours. The drift was downhill and there was no wind. No one method worked best. Jigging off the bottom, or casting out a ways and slow cranking back to the boat both produced fish.

Rich and his pals on Taxfree met up with us there. Insults were exchanged and we agreed to share info. Good to see you Rich.

We fished RP for a while then hit a couple spots down the coast for a few more fish, then Lal decided to make the run to the Shoe, where he and Cory had good fishing the day before. We started at the 105 and kicked some bass during what is usually a slow time—noon. We bagged it at 3 and headed for the barn.

Totals: Maybe 50 bass 80/20 calico/sandy. Bycatch was the usual rockfish suspects, plus a sculpin and a baby 5-6lb BSB. Ten or so in all. All fish were released to fight another day. No real bigguns to talk about. I think our biggest bass ran around 3 pounds.

What worked: All fish but 3 were caught on plastics,. Broken record here, but my 4" Kman Special clear with red/silver/gold flake caught all the plastics fish but one. A 4” Calico Hunter (my second favorite color) caught one bass. The scent I add to my swimbaits really made a difference. We caught several fish that took 3-4-5 tries to set the hook, and I credit the stink for those repeat bites. My scent is no secret: I use a little bit of worm oil and add some concentrated Anise to it and marinade the baits in it. The fish LOVE it.

I caught a couple fish on the Colt Sniper bounced off the bottom, and one more on a spoon swum slowly along the bottom.

Some pics
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Decent sportcoat caught with a TranX 300HG/Calcutta 815XFA--my new favorite 3Bs setup.
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I was especially happy to boat this monster with the Sniper. He put up a massive fight, but in the end, I prevailed.

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Lal bendo
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Thoughts on the new TranX 300HG: It’s definitely an upgrade from the Curado 300 series, which have been my workhorses for years. The super smooth gearing, sealing, anti corrosion coated internals and a third drag washer are all welcome improvements. The spool is narrower and taller than the Curados, making casting even more effortless.

The smoothness of this reel is simply amazing. Several times during a retrieve, I had to look down to verify the spool was actually turning. It was that smooth. This is even more impressive given that this reel has a 7.6:1 gear ratio.

The power handle: Well this is a matter of taste, and what fish you are targeting. I didn’t care for it for repetitive cast bass fishing. I much prefer paddle handles, and being able to turn the reel with just wrist action, rather than moving my whole arm. I bought this reel for the gear ratio, and will retrofit it with paddle handles of some sort in the future. I’m sure the power handle works fine for winching in fish, but I don’t fish like that. I pump my fish.

Since this is a 300-sized reel, I can’t really see myself targeting big fish with it as it just doesn’t have enough line capacity IMHO. I caught a 30# YT on a Curado 300DSV, but we only boated him because we chased him down (a few times) with the boat. Since I’m not a boat owner anymore (sigh), I would not inconvenience my skipper (or lower our fish count) by targeting big fish with such a small capacity reel. Now a 400 might be a different story. A 400HG with its power handle would probably work for local yellows and schoolie tuna, though I would use it as a "OK, I have all the meat I need, let's have some fun with the light gear" kind of rig. Again: Just this fisherman's opinion.

Anyways, I love the TranX. It is a big improvement over the Curados, which I thought were damn good reels already. The TranX 300 series gets two big thumbs up from me as an inshore reel.

Here are pics showing a Curado 300DSV, TranX 300HG, and Lexa-HD 300HS-P side by side.

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So anyways, we didn't sink the boat or get arrested or towed. It was a great day on the water.
 
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SaltH20Angler

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    Another great write up Kurt. I still havent had a chance to use that grab bag of red leadheads and red flake swimbaits I bought from you a month ago. I might have to get some of that worm oil/anise and lather them up in hopes of puttin some hurtin on the bass lips. Lol.
     
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    Kman

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    Another great write up Kurt. I still havent had a chance to use that grab bag of red leadheads and red flake swimbaits I bought from you a month ago. I might have to get some of that worm oil/anise and lather them up in hopes of puttin some hurtin on the bass lips. Lol.

    Hey. Your swimbait bag had the sauce in it. Give your baits a sniff. They should smell like licorice.
     
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    Kman

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    Great writing and a great report. Where does one buy worm oil, I'm guessing it's not next to the olive oil at my local Ralphs?

    I buy anise scented worm oil where I get the raw plastic. It is not very strong, so I also get the pure scent too.

    http://www.pouryourownworms.com/Scented-Worm-Oil-and-Marinades-1-Pint-4000-16.htm
    http://www.pouryourownworms.com/Pure-Anise-Scent-1-Pint-Pure-Anise-1-Pint.htm

    $15 for a pint of oil plus $25 for scent plus $15 in shipping.

    Or, you could buy some swimbaits/Leadheads from me, and I'll throw in a couple extra ounces of my stink in a bottle.
     
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    Kman

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    Great report. Question, thoughts on tranx vs lexa?

    Not really qualified to answer that. I've used the TranX for exactly one trip and Lal owns the Lexas. Lal did fish the TranX yesterday, and he gave it back to me saying "If I fish it any longer, I'll have to keep it." Guess he liked it.

    Talking specs, the drags are similar, as are the ratios. Lal and I believe the TranX is smoother. Where the TranX shines (ASSuming it works) is in the addition of seals throughout the reel to keep water out and the coating of the reel's internals with a special anti corrosion coating. The latter is a double edge sword, as that coating can't be touched by human hands (without gloves) or sharp objects. I have always done my own reel servicing, but if this reel ever needs to be opened up, it's going to Shimano.
     
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    hucklongfin

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    At least it doesn't have mag sealed bearings that need the special unobtanium fluid that only comes from unicorn tears.
     
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    SaltH20Angler

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    Hey. Your swimbait bag had the sauce in it. Give your baits a sniff. They should smell like licorice.

    How long does the sauce scent last? I know you put it on the swimbaits which were moist when I bought them. Its been more than a month and the plastics are no longer wet. Totally expected because I removed them from the bag they came in.

    As far as sniffin the baits... I cant give my wife another reason to support her growing belief that I am literally insane when it comes to fishing. lol. I can just imagine what she might say if she caught me sniffin baits..hahaha!!
     
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    Tuna Vic

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    Sounds like you guys had the lines stretched all day,very nice,pretty nice looking setups there,thanks for the report and pics!
     
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    Kman

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    How long does the sauce scent last? I know you put it on the swimbaits which were moist when I bought them. Its been more than a month and the plastics are no longer wet. Totally expected because I removed them from the bag they came in.

    I should make up a "care and feeding" sheet for my swimbaits. It's best to leave swimbaits in the bag until ready to fish. That way, the scent has the maximum time to soak into the plastic. I've had them stay stinky in their bags for months.

    I fished a new reel a TON the other day, and had one swimbait on it a good chunk of the day. That bait probably caught ten fish before I lost it. It was all bit up, shredded and torn, but it was still getting bit like crazy. Hell, it wasn't even clear anymore. It was so bit up, it was whiteish. I think those baits get bit better the more chewed up they get. My best guess as to why is as the baits get bit up, the scent in the plastic gets released and they smell even more. I've been fishing this color/scent combo for over a decade now and I don't switch baits till they lose their tail or won't stay on the leadhead anymore. The more ripped up they get, the better.

    As to your wife thinking you're crazy about fishing, come on man, that ship has sailed. Sniff away!

    Oh, cool trick for keeping swimbaits/grubs as long as possible: When they get so bit up that they start pulling down the hook (getting your pants pulled down), put a drop of Super Glue on the leadhead shaft, slide the bait over it, then dunk it in saltwater to instantly cure the glue. The bait will STAY ON for the duration. Be aware that dripped Super Glue on upholstery is no bueno.
     
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    Kman

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    At least it doesn't have mag sealed bearings that need the special unobtanium fluid that only comes from unicorn tears.

    Spoken like someone who manages aerospace engineers...
     
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    Kman

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    Do you make your own molds, or did you buy them from somewhere. Looks kinda interesting to try and make my own swimbaits

    Sent from my Pixel using BDOutdoors mobile app powered by Tapatalk

    Yup, make my own. YouTube and Pinterest are full of how-tos. You basically make a swimbait, then make molds using RTV, or whatever floats your boat.

    It's a ton of work--especially for multi-color pours. Not worth it, IMO.
     
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    kman2422

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    Yup, make my own. YouTube and Pinterest are full of how-tos. You basically make a swimbait, then make molds using RTV, or whatever floats your boat.

    It's a ton of work--especially for multi-color pours. Not worth it, IMO.
    Can I buy a some swim baits from ya?
    And it’s coincidence that my log in is Kman2422.
     
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