For the last 2 fishing seasons I have been using the 3000 size KastKing Sharky 111 Reels . I was really happy with their performance but a change in terminal tackle found them wanting in casting distance . I decided to purchase their big brother , 2 of , and will be posting opinions on their performance etc over the coming months .
Due to the fact of their bigger spool I have gained 40 - 50 metres in casting distance . After speaking to one of the managers of Platypus Lines Queensland I decided to try out their Lo -stretch lines . I ordered 2 spools of 300 metres in 4KG breaking strain . I used Dacron backing and topped the reels off with the 300 metres of the Lo- Stretch .
I have fished the last seven days straight . First impressions . The extra casting distance of 6000 size has allowed me to catch fish each trip to the lake . The extra casting distance is paying dividends .
Very smooth reel in use and beautiful line lay on retrieve . Drags both front and back are easy to set and hold adjustment . The Lo- Stretch line compared to the Platypus Super 100 line I use on the Sharky 111 3000’s . It is a Copolymer Line which I like . Too early yet to see how it stands up . Am impressed so far .
The second picture shows my “Bait Bandit” friend . He is an Australian Top Knot Pigeon and he has thieving bait down to a fine art .
The first picture shows part of the lake we fish .
08-10-2021 . Spent two hours down at the lake from 3 - 5 PM . Wind was gusting from the North West made fishing conditions difficult as per the photos , Very choppy . Jagged 2 fish but lost them on the retrieve in .
Reels performed ok and I was quite happy with their casting ability into the stiff wind . They are yet to be tested on anything weighing more than a Kilo . Their gearing at 5.5 to 1 should be about right for a 6000 size reel .
Impressed with the Platypus Lo-Stretch line . I’m running 4KG test and was really giving the line a belting into a stiff wind . No snap offs or wind knots occurred
Just watching the barometer and the wind direction . Might head down to wet a line if things keep improving .
19-10-2021 Have forwarded video to KastKing , at their request , showing the fault that developed in one of the reels . Their responses have been prompt . Am now waiting to hear what action will be taken to correct the problem with the reel .
KastKing have just notified me that a new reel is on its way to replace the 6000 Bait feeder that had issues . Impressed with quick turn around . I sent them the video of the reels faults to their American office 2 days ago and they have , no questions asked , despatched a replacement reel
06 -11 - 2021 . Just an update on the KastKing situation . Still fishing regularly but have gone back to using my Australian Alvey reels . When the replacement 6000 KastKing arrives will test further .
The " wind knot " problem I had with the second 6000 may be an issue with these reels . KastKing’s latest newsletter addresses the issue of wind knots and goes into some detail how to prevent them . Seems strange as they market the reel with an " anti - twist " bail wire .
I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt on that one .
I may have to use a thicker line . I’m using Platypus Lo - stretch 4KG . .23 mm diameter . I have some spools of 6KG at .28 mm diameter . Might respool and see how it goes .
Braid fishing line is much thinner than the given weight of mono filament line .My fishing buddy used Gossen braid at .11 mm . My KastKings are braid ready but the twist issue worries me . Will sort it out in due course .
Friday 26- 11 2021 . Knock on the door around 5.00 Pm . Parcel left in doorway with a brand new Sharky 111 6000 Bait feeder to replace the defective reel. Not bad service considering the pandemic has slowed deliveries up . Usually in these cases the defective reel must be returned . KastKing apparently , in my case anyway , did not require this . I just uploaded a video to my YouTube channel showing them that the reel was defective .
Finally I had a replacement reel for the KastKing 6000 which had failed . This time I decided to take a different approach to setting up the reels and rods .Too many fishing Mags , YouTube, Facebook and Intagram articles assume the user is an experienced fisho . I decided to go back to basics and explain how I set up a rod for line weight , casting weight and the type of fishing it suits . Somethings will be referenced to Google or to look up on YouTube whilst others I will give an in depth run down on the how’s and whys I fish using my methods in theses posts .
OK firstly the line I spooled the 6000’s with . For the last 4 years I have used Platypus Super 100 line and KastKIng leader line . Both nylon mono filament lines . Just by the by there are four types of line , nylon monofilament , copolymer line , Flourocarbon and Braid .
I use Copolymer line .At the moment I’m using Australian made Platypus Lo- Stretch . Why ? Because it is bloody good line . Half the price of the Platypus Super 100 and Platinum and where as I have had line memory issues with them the Lo - Stretch has virtually no memory .
Ok . Line weight . I’m casting out 40 -50 grm weight so common sense would dictate a line of at least 6 KG . Not for me .I’m using 4 KG . .25 mm . I use the English style over head cast . Rod held directly over head with the tip at about 30 degrees to the ground . I am a right hand caster . I pull the butt of the rod down hard with left hand and punch forward with the right . If you don’t hear a "whoosh " sound you have not got it right .In the right conditions you will easily cast over 100 metres easily. Google it up or check YouKnow for the correct technique . I do not use a shock leader of heavier weight line and it amazes me that the 4KG does not snap . AS I said a real good line . Cheap at half the price .
Ok we have spooled the reels up with 4 kg Lo - Stretch Copolymer . The rods I use are 13 ft , sorry for the Imperial measurement , tournament type quiver tip rods . Quiver tip means I can change the tip of the rod for casting or bite sensitivity . I run a medium stiff tip which is a good compromise . Remember this is my carp fishing gear . My surf and spinning set ups a whole different ball game . What I hope is that you can pick up some tips here to take across to other styles of fishing .
Part 2 : How to find your rods optimum casting weight to suit the reel you are using .Will post this part on the 12 - 12 - 2021
Part 2 : How to find the optimum casting weight of the rod you are using .
Most modern E glass or graphite rods cover a wide spectrum of casting weights …
.The rods I use are 3.9 metres long and have a casting range of 30 - 80 g
Some tackle shops have a jig which will let you know how the rod loads up for optimal cast weight .
What I do is weigh a group of sinkers , in this case 30 - 80 g . I weighed up roughly at 30 - 40 -45- 50 - 55 - 60 - 65 - 70 - 80 g weights .
I go down to a local footy oval on a day that is not too windy and measure a distance of 125 metres . I first cast the 45g on the first rod and it went over 100 metres . I jumped up to the 55 g weight and it did not cast as far . 50g went nearly as far as the 45g so I knew my optimal cast weight was between 45-50 g . I tested the second rod for similar results .
The sweet spot for casting on most rods is usually around the centre as quoted on the rods casting weight capacity .
You can buy specialist casting weights in all weights or make them up like I did by trimming sinkers down to near the desired weight .
Remember unless you have to add a heavier sinker , we will say , in a side swell when surf fishing or on a fast running tide extra weight will not mean extra distance . You will be lobbing the sinker not casting it .
Take some time to learn your gear to gain confidence with it . Have everything sorted before you hit that hot spot for fishing you have waited all year for holidays to fish . I go to the lake I fish and within 10 minutes I have bait in the water . Time wasted adjusting gear and tying terminal tackle is less time fishing .
One thing I am often asked is the knot I use to tie hooks and swivels with . I have found the Uniknot serves me well with mono filament and Copolymer Lines . There are tutorials on YouTube how to tie it . If you use Braid line there maybe better knots out there . I don’t use Braid line .
Due to the Health Department in Victoria warning of an increase in mosquito numbers due to the unseasonal rainfall over the last few months I will not be going to the lake at my usual times due to the mosquitos potential to infect with the Ross River Virus . I’ve had this virus before 20 years ago , catching it in Northern Victoria ,
My doctor tells me I may still have the anti bodies in my blood stream to fight it off but is not sure . The symptoms are Flu like for 2 weeks or so and then you feel very lethargic . I was a good 12 months recovering from it .
Because of this , and some personal reasons , will be cutting back on the fishing content until conditions become more favourable .
Finally got a few days in fishing . Spooled up the replacement 6000 and put it through its’ paces . One thing I had to adjust to after using the Sharky 111 3000 size is the faster retrieve . I was actually winding to hard and pulling the hook out of the fish’s mouth .
I actually took the 3000 Sharkys down to the Lake as I had mounted them on a couple of new Quiver tip Wilson rods . Still as smooth as before and the drag worked perfectly .
Will have to use both the 3000 and 6000 a while longer to really test their durability .
Over the years with spinning reels I have owned and fished Mitchell (French manufactured ) Fin Nor Ahab 8’s and 12’s ( US made and in my opinion the best spinning reel ever made ) Shimano Stradics and a Daiwa Black and Gold Series ( Legendary Reel )
How do the KastKing Sharky 111 bait feeders compare to these reels . I currently own and use a Fin Nor Ahab 8lb and a 12lb . They have not been made for over a decade and still bring $800 + on Ebay . If I fished the surf like I did in my younger days I would be taking the Fin Nors because of build quality and features I like in them . If I needed back up reels the KastKing would suit my needs .
I have gut hauled some big carp , 5kg + with the KastKings and had no problems . The 2 3000’s have performed faultlessly . I will be doing some lure casting for Flathead soon and will use one of them along with my KastKing Kodiak (great little reel but I think no longer available ) .
The tests on the Sharky 111 Baitfeeders will be on going . I live on the local Wetlands and there are lots of bodies of water I’m yet to fish . It is walking distance from my home .
If my health holds a few trips to the surf to really see what these KastKing 6000 's are made of .
Unfortunately the EPA has closed down the lake I fish in temporarily due to the run off from a fire at a chemical works near Cherry Creek ,Altona . A large number of fish have died . I hope the rakali ( native water rats ) are ok as the lake had a healthy population of them .
With petrol over $2.00 a litre I will curtail my fishing for the time being as the other places I fish are some distance away and are generally over crowded . Often I have gone to them on a good night weather wise and can’t get a spot to park .
Wind knots continue to be an issue with the 6000 reels . I think an increase in line thickness might fix the problem.