The Cheese is always greener

Hello?…(taps microphone) Is this thing on? …Right… For starters, Happy New Year!! I’m pleased to announce that I, your risible rotund raconteur, the Tackle Rat (but you can call me ‘T’), am back! I guess I’ve got a bit of explaining to do, and there’s no better place than here, and no better time than now…

Well-established readers of Fish and Boat Magazine will be able to cast the remnants of their pickled brains back to a time at the beginning of last year when all was well in the world. Lures were cast, rods were bent, and the little hairy bucktoothed yours truly, who smells slightly of Bega Mild and Tasty, gave you all the good oil on a whole bunch of tackle related matters. Then there came a time when I thought that hanging up my gold cap and boots was the way forward… that life on a lush grassy dairy farm with a icy bubbling brook flowing from the curvaceous cleft of evergreen granite hills was how I would end my ratty days. What more could a retired T Rat need?

Well, that’s what I thought anyway, but it seems that the old euphemism about the cheese looking greener on someone else’s plate rings as true today as it did when great Grandma T first dropped her dentures in the dunny! It was my job to get them out then… and it’s still my bloody job now! Hasn’t she heard of superglue!

I digress… the point I’m trying to make is that it’s a precise and profound observation ‘they’ make about ‘the grass’ being greener over there, or in this case, the cheese! The dreams were the problem, well…that, and it seems I’ve now developed a particularly violent case of lactose intolerance! You see, I kept on having these uber-vivid dreams of chasing silvery barra, or trekking up mist laden rainforest gorges, or punching the bow out into the gentle swell chasing the horizon you can never reach… Actually, it could just have been the cheese – they reckon too much before bed can do loopy stuff to the brain. And that’s the dilemma right there – it turns out that it’s entirely possible to have too much of a good thing.

So, after much ado about nothing, the Tackle Rat is back! I’m also several dairy-ingested kilos heavier, but now slightly more mature… see what I did there…mature…cheese…

Well, I did only say slightly more. Lures will be cast again, and rods will be bent once more, and it gives me the greatest of pleasure to share my insights into the wonderful world of tackle with you all once more, so, with no more delay – let’s talk tackle!


Rat’s Appa-rat-us: Boomerang Tool Longsnip from TT lures

My journey back up north to the flood delta was quick, but, with my flatulent cheese-gut, I didn’t win any friends on the plane. Thankfully, now that it’s over, I’ll keep off the cheese and it shouldn’t come back… And that scatological segue brings me beautifully onto my first little gem which is named after something that flies but does come back – the Boomerang Tool Longsnip from TT Lures! The boomerang part will become all to clear shortly, but I must comment straight away on the usefulness of this little tool. Every angler ever to walk on this good green earth will, at some point, need to trim or cut some aspect of their angling rig, and to have something like the Longsnip handy is, well, that’s just it – it’s handy to the point of wondering what you ever did without one! It comes fitted with a solid split-ring so that you’re able to attach it to just about anything including your tackle bag, boat trims, kayak, and even yourself should you be so inclined. The cutting blades are 420 stainless steel (so it’ll handle the salty stuff) and the makers say it cleanly cuts leaders and braided mainlines to 50lb test. Now, in my usual fashion of going way over the top, I’ve tried it on lines up to 80lb with no dramas and gone right to the other end of the spectrum surgically severing wafer thin 2lb without having to hold the line under tension, so they’re sharp and durable! The boomerang name comes from the retractable line (which safely extends 90cm) that attaches the tool to the split-ring to stop it being lost overboard or pinched by a fishing ‘buddy’. I think that for a rough-handed ribald rodent such as myself, the attaching cord could maybe be a tad thicker to enhance its durability, but that’s a small gripe, and doesn’t affect the performance it was designed to offer. Even if you’re as gumby as a sea cucumber trying to use chopsticks, it’s got a practicality factor of 200%. From ‘safe’ mode it can be unlocked and operated with one clawed paw and is just as useful for trimming knots while rigging as it would be for minute alterations to a fly to achieve the perfect presentation. Their motto – ‘Smarter tools – always handy, never lost.’ – says it all, and for a nibble under $25, the Boomerang Tool Longsnip can be yours to keep and treasure.

Rat’s revelation: Dragon V-Lures Maggot from JML Angler Alliance

You know, I had it pretty good on that dairy farm for a while there, but life on the milking chain gang is not all cream and yoghurt. There is a seedy underbelly of produce that never sees the shelves of any shop, and if it did it would probably dissolve them, steal the cash draw and be last seen hitching a lift at the truck stop! Yes, there are some things that even the flies wouldn’t touch for fear of spontaneous combustion, and they would rather lay their eggs… elsewhere. Thinking of baby flies, it makes you wonder why someone would name a lure after them, but in the case of the Dragon V-Lures Maggot, brought to our great nation by JML Angler Alliance, it’s definitely a name that catches your attention. Basically, for people with a short attention span… what? Oh, sorry, like me, it’s a grub style soft plastic lure. It comes in the four different sizes of 2, 2.5, 3 and 4″ and the value for money factor is obvious immediately as each pack contains 20, 15, 8 and 8 pieces respectively. Maggots retail for $9.50 a pack (apart from the 3″, which are only $7) and Dragon (who are actually a Polish company) have a wide range of products viewable at, but to see what the JML crew are bringing to our golden shores as well as a handy store locator, check out

Now, the lure itself is something very special. I’ve heard comments to the effect of it being just another grub and imitating already existing products, but let me squash that rumour like a cane toad under the tyres of a 18 wheeler – this is no imitation! The elongated body profile and realistic veins in the extra thin tail produce a fluttering action that mimics a living creature so closely that it brings new meaning to the word ‘lifelike’! There is no other grub style plastic that I’ve come across that can boast this sort of exaggerated tail action! Even at a dead stop in the water, the slightest turbulence causes movement and is almost sure to attract predation. What I do know is this – tarpon suck them down like lollies; sooties crawl all over them with malicious intent, and jacks hit them hard with murder on their minds! The super delicate tail is its biggest draw card but also its only let down, as it can be nipped off by tail biters just a little too easily – having said that, there aren’t too many plastics out there that don’t suffer damage when attackers miss the hook, so I don’t see this as a negative issue, and it never detracted from its fish catching ability. In fact, when I did notice significant damage, I took to it with the Longsnip creating a mini sort of I-tail jerkshad and kept on fishing and catching… Two lures for the price of one!

JML Pty Ltd (established in 2003) is the brainchild of experienced sports fisherman Tony Shao, and he’s one of the major influences behind introducing high end, top quality Japanese fishing technology to the Australian market. I’ll be keeping a beady eye on these blokes, as I’m sure there are great things to come from them in the future!

Rat’s road test: Samaki Diamond FC leader from Bluefish imports

I’ve got one more quick thing to look at for you before I go and chug down a bottle of Imodium, and it’s one aspect of tackle that I was quizzed about recently. The quizzer wondered where my preferences lie in the whole mono verses fluorocarbon leader debate. Well folks, the answer is simple. My preference is for the right leader that will do the job under the specific circumstances – sometimes you want the stealth of a fluoro and sometimes you need the stretch and suppleness of a mono, so it’s horses for courses really. But there are products available now, like Samaki Diamond FC, that blur the defined line between the two sides. Diamond FC is a 100% Japanese fluorocarbon leader and has been designed, according to the makers, to be the ultimate stealth leader. Its high refractive index means that it breaks down and disperses light particles, making it practically invisible in the water and it’s made using Triple Resin Processing (TPR), which is an intricate manufacturing process that fills spaces between molecules with resin to produce a moisture-proof, shock-resistant and hardwearing line, apparently making it 20 times more abrasion resistant than regular nylon. A stand out factor with this line was the noticeable lack of pinching in the knot. I’ve used other fluoros where you can visibly see the line compressing whilst cinching up the knot, but this didn’t happen with the Diamond FC, and there was also very little evidence of forming damage behind any completed knot. The ‘Triple Resin’ technique produces a fluorocarbon that combines discernable body rigidity and suppleness to provide a desirably stiff aspect but softly finished low stretch article that’s just magic to work with. It’s available in 4, 6, 8, 10, 14, 16, 20 and 30lb breaking strains. At $25 for a 100m spool, it’s pretty easy on the hip pocket too. During testing, Diamond FC dealt with being dragged through snags by sooty grunter, over and behind and around rocks by feisty little jacks, and also stood up to the damage caused by stupid silver fish that can’t tell when to leave a smaller lure alone! Fluorocarbon is renowned for its abrasive resistant qualities, so this has to be taken into account when choosing a brand.

I really liked the dispenser too (I know, it’s not relevant to the line’s performance) which has a few nifty ideas that just make it a little easier to use, especially if you’re all claws and no opposable thumb like me.

Well, that’s about your lot for this month as the temperature climbs again. The lure of that silver fish come February is mighty strong, so I’ll try to touch base as regularly as possible from now on, but don’t be too put out if I miss an issue here and there.

Ya see, there’s a very real chance that Mrs T might just be about to drop a… I mean have a… Look, there could be a whole new set of mouths to feed in the near future, and of course now that I’ve moved back up north I’ll have to find a job again… maybe another farming one where looks are not really an issue. I’ve heard the mangoes are getting picked so I might jump into that for a while… As long as they don’t mind them being gnawed off one at a time! It’s great to be back folks, so until next time, stay safe!


Jacks like to dive for cover once hooked, just like
this one did, but the Diamond FC was up to the
challenge and extracted him from his lair.




The Boomerang Tool Longsnip from TT Lures who’s name describes it so perfectly that nothing more needs to be added.