Who’s the Best in Marine Electronics?

HDS CarbonIn years past, Garmin was one of the more popular marine electronic brands. Well, times are a’ changin’, and for good reason. Ever heard the saying that someone became, “too big for their britches?” That would apply to what Garmin has evolved into. Garmin has it’s hand in nearly every cookie jar possible. Automotive, Sports & Fitness, Outdoor Recreation, Marine, and Aviation. They started back in 1989 in Lenexa, Kansas. Now, they’re headquarters are in Canton of Schaffhausen, Switzerland.

Simrad radarAlternatively, let’s take a look at Navico, Inc.  Navico, Inc., owns SIMRAD, SIMRAD Yachting, Lowrance, and B&G.  These brands have been the go to marine electronics brand for powerboats and sportfishing since 1946. That’s 43 years of experience over Garmin. Guess what? No fitness watches, no automotive GPS, Outdoor Recreation, etc. SIMRAD is owned by Navico, Inc. Navico owns B&G, Eagle, MX Marine, Lowrance, Navman, Northstar, and the SIMRAD brands. They’re all manufactured and distributed under the Navico umbrella.

AGGRESSIVE PRODUCT LAUNCH SCHEDULE:

Did you know that on average, Navico launches a new product EVERY 20 DAYS? They’ve maintained an unprecedented product launch schedule. Yet, the majority of their revenue comes from products launched during the previous 2 years; a testament to the quality of their products and dedication to product innovation.

Hook 7

Live to Fish, 9942 State Road 52, Hudson, FL 34669, 844-934-7446 www.livwtofish.com #livetofishsports is excited about choosing to become an authorized dealer, installer, and warranty repair center for the Navico brands. We can handle installations of marine electronics and marine audio systems at our facility. In fact, a number of jobs have already been successfully completed. Our 13,100 square feet of covered space is a nice thing to have in this regard.

Depending on the circumstances involving the vessel, we will also travel to where your boat is located. We’ll review what you have on board marine audio and/or marine navigation/electronic wise, and provide a quote. As a new venture for Live to Fish, we’ve taken significant measures to ensure we have only the best individuals working to ensure complete customer satisfaction. Word of mouth remains one of the most powerful forms of advertising. We haven’t lost sight of that fact, and never will.IMG_2571

How to Properly Texas Rig

The Texas rig is arguably the most popular soft plastic rig used today. It can be used in freshwater as well as saltwater applications with many different kinds of soft plastics. I researched the inventor of the Texas Rig and finding a consensus is difficult. About the only thing we know for sure is that it was invented in Texas. Some say it was a guide down there that came up with the idea although his name was not saved for posterity. It’s too bad because that person would have definitely gone down in history as a fishing legend.

Being weedless, the Texas rig allows you to fish a soft plastic bait in and around weeds, brush and other types of cover while being able to stay virtually free of getting hung up. While it was first used primarily with worms it is now used with countless soft plastic baits in many different applications. You can fish a worm slowly along the bottom. You can pitch and flip a creature bait around cover, or burn a soft swimbait like a Gambler EZ through the Kissimmee grass in lakes in Florida. In saltwater, you can use the Texas Rig to fish a fluke or artificial shrimp. It is truly one of the most versatile rigs you can throw and even though it is decades old, there are still many anglers that don’t know how to rig it correctly.  In this video, we show you how to properly Texas rig a worm but remember that you can use this same rig with different baits. Give it a try the next time you are hitting the lake or skinny waters of the Gulf of Mexico and let us know how it fares for you. If you’re interested in purchasing the Trapper Tackle hooks mentioned in this video, click here.

By: Founder of Freshwaternation.com and Live to Fish Team Member: Dan Doyle

New 2017 Shimano Curado K from Live to Fish

It’s great when a fishing tackle manufacturer makes a product and completely gets it right. Unfortunately, a perfect relationship combining engineering, design, performance, and what emerges as the final product, doesn’t happen as often as consumers would like.  Fortunately, Shimano did, “get it right,” so to speak, with the Curado baitcasting reel.  The Curado has gained faithful fans and diehard enthusiasts. Given the legacy inherent within the Curado model line, there are fishermen who have literally been fishing with different versions of the Shimano Curado for decades.  Some brief history on the different versions of the Shimano Curado is noted below:

1992 Curado 100,200 (5:1) 2 bearings
1993 Curado 100A, 200A (6:1) 5 bearings
1994 Curado 200B (6.2:1) 5 bearings
1999 Curado 200B5 (5:1) 5 bearings
2001 Curado 200BSF (6.2:1), Curado 100B (6.2:1), Curado 200B38 (3.8:1) 5 bearings
2006 Curado 200DHSV (7:1), 200DPV (5:1) 6 bearings, 100D/DSV (6.2:1) 5 bearings
2007 Curado 300D (6.2:1) 6 bearings
2008 Curado 200E7 (7:1) 200E5 (5:1), 300E (6.2:1) 7 bearings

Before we get into the 2017 Curado K, some history concerning the Shimano company may be of interest.  If not, simply scroll down.

SHIMANO COMPANY HISTORY:

Most people are familiar with the Shimano name when it comes to fishing reels.  However, the company’s history may not be as well known.  In February 1921, Shozaburo Shimano opened Shimano Iron Works in Higashi Minato in Sakai City.  He was 26 at the time.  The location for his new company was a then demolished celluloid factory.  The monthly rent was 5 yen.  In 1921, that is the equivalent of $553.66.  The space measured no more than 430 square feet.  Shozaburo didn’t even own his own lathe.  Through a friendship with the owner of Sano Iron works, he borrowed the only lathe Shimano had at the time.  For the next 49 years, Shimano focused their manufacturing efforts on bicycle parts.  Shimano didn’t launch it’s Fishing Tackle Division until 1970.

Shozaburo Shimano:

Shozaburo Shimano 2

In 1978, the Bantam 100 and 100ex were the first reels produced under the Shimano name.  These reels were produced for the Lew Childre, Co.; more commonly known today as Lew’s. In 1989, the Childre family licensed the Lew’s brand to Browning.  Today, the Lew’s brand and its many well-known trademarks are under the ownership of Do Outdoors Inc., and longtime Childre family friend Lynn Reeves.  Here at Live to Fish, we proudly carry a number of Lew’s fishing reels, including the Lew’s TLCP1XH Team Lew’s Custom Pro.

In 1979, Shimano expanded their lineup with reels such as the 200, 300, 400, 500, and 10ex.  Most of these models continued until the early 1980’s.  Shimano needed a new price point in their lineup of reels, so they re-branded the old Curado into the Chronarch and cut the cost of the Curado.  The Shimano Curado became the middle man between the Chronarch and Citica.

THE NEW 2017 SHIMANO CURADO K

Curado K

The newest generation of Shimano’s Curado has a completely different shape from previous models.   I’ve personally owned and fished the previous Curado model in the way of a Shimano Curado 300E.  I bought the 300E after I’d purchased a Daiwa Lexa 300.  The Lexa 300 failed on me within the first month of ownership.  Daiwa appears to have fixed earlier problems with their Lexa line of baitcasters, but their first versions were not nearly as well made as the Curado 300 series.  In the race to create a large capacity, low profile, baitcasting reel, Shimano did a good job with the 300E.  What it lacked in drag power with 15 lbs of maximum drag, the 300 size Curado made up for it in nearly every other specification.  I used it for fishing in saltwater for Redfish, Snook, and Trout.  The Curado 300E was well suited to the saltwater environment.

Despite having a more compact size than the 300 series, the Curado K is no exception in terms of durability and reliability.  Shimano manufactured the new Curado K with both bass and inshore saltwater anglers in mind.  The reel features improved spool access and six shielded anti – rust ball bearings to help thwart corrosion.  The Curado series from Shimano has been one of the most popular reels for bass and inshore anglers looking for a reel they can depend on; day in and day out.  A reel that delivers on performance and features without breaking the bank.  The K series keeps that tradition alive, and goes with a much stealthier looking matte black finish than the previous green colored Curado.   In comparing the new Curado K to the most recent model, the new 2017 Curado K makes long casts are more effortless.  Short pinpoint casts seem more controlled with this new reel.  The new 2017 Shimano Curado K   is available for purchase through our website or by visiting our showroom located at: Live to Fish, 9942 State Road 52, Hudson, FL 34669 (844) 934-7446.

MAJOR DIFFERENCES IN THE NEW SHIMANO CURADO K

The Curado K series feature Shimano’s latest baitcast reel technological advancements. Such advancements include uniquely smooth, highly efficient, and decidedly durable MicroModule gearing.  A technology explained in further detail below.  The Curado K comes in gear rations up to 8.5:1.  There are a total of six new Curado 200K reels.  A 6.2:1, 7.4:1, and 8.5:1 gear retrieve ratios.  All models are available in both right and left hand retrieve. When compared with the previous generation, the Curado K styling is quite noticeably more compact. The first major upgrade over the previous  version is the smaller overall size.  Shimano managed to achieve manufacturing a more compact version without sacrificing any capacity. Manufacture of the Curado K starts with a solid aluminum frame to keep things pinned together; eliminating reel twist.  The handle side sideplate gets an upgraded Ci4 sideplate.  The Ci4 material is lighter, yet more rigid.  It’s a proprietary carbon composite material Shimano uses in a number of their reels. The non-handle sideplate is made from more traditional graphite material.  Under the non – handle sideplate, you’ll find access to Shimano’s new SVS Infinity centrifugal brake system.  This is the same system first introduced on the much more expensive Shimano Aldebaran reels.  The SVS Infinity centrifugal brake system offers both internally adjustable brakes, and a broader range of micro-adjustment capability with the external dial. The inclusion of this braking system on the new Curado K is one of the biggest upgrades over the previous model.   A wider range of adjustments allows anglers to more accurately dial in the amount of  cast control specific to the weight and type of lures being used.

The next major change and advantage found in the Curado K is it’s MicroModule gearing. MicroModule gearing is basically a system involving a larger main gear with a greater number of teeth, but that are each smaller in size than the teeth in the previous version.  The result is a system that feels smoother and provides greater efficiency in terms of transferring power to the retrieve.  By allowing more teeth to contact each other, the gear train becomes more efficient. Precise engagement between the teeth means a smoother power transmission without reducing the strength of the reel.  The engagement occurs between the drive and pinion gears; giving you a more connected feel. MicroModule gearing is one of Shimano’s newest gear technologies.

SVS Infinity is a centrifugal braking system, with brake weights that use inner friction against the raceway during the cast to control spool speed. Put simply, the SVS Infinity system provides easy-to-manage, consistent spool control and brake force. The latest generation of SVS Infinity allows for a wider adjustment with the brakes. The new design reduces vibration and maintenance. The result is a smoother and longer cast.

Shimano uses their simple yet effective drag system in the Curado K.  The drag system consists of Carbon Drag washers on both sides of the internal brass gearing.  Shimano rates the Curado K with 11 lbs of drag.  However, some users have conducted controlled drag tests wherein 12 lbs were achieved.

Reduced frame size to allow for a more comfortable feel in the hand. The 10% reduction in both length and width make the reel easier to palm and reduces fatigue.  Demand for lighter, smaller, yet more capable tackle would be the underlying impetus for Shimano’s decision to reduce the size of the Curado.  You’ll find that the the B side (palm side) plate is now attached to the reel.  No more swinging open like previous versions.  That is more of an advantage than some may realize.  I’ve personally accidentally opened the previous Curado model to watch my spool fall out and sink.  Fortunately, I was in no more than 4 feet of water at the time.

FINAL SPECIFICATIONS:

6.2:1/26 Inches Per Crank
7.4:1/ 30 Inches Per Crank
8.5:1/ 36 Inches Per Crank

11 pounds max drag

90mm Handle Length

6+1 bearings (4 S-ARB, 2 SUS and Roller bearing)

Aluminum frame, CI4+ A-side, Graphite B-side

7.6 ounces (standard and HG)
7.8 ounces (XG)

Visit us in person at our address above, or online at www.livetofish.com to order a new Curado K today.  We have knowledgeable staff on hand to answer on your fishing gear and technique related questions, regardless of whether you’re fishing in freshwater or saltwater.

Don’t Leave the Dock Without Reading This First

If you asked people today whether they have enough free time, polls taken show that most individuals don’t believe there’s enough free time.  Time poverty is an issue often discussed among economists.  The concern that raises for us at Live to Fish is to help you maximize your time on the water.  We know the chances are that your fishing trip was planned well in advance.  We believe you’ve worked hard and earned it!  We sympathize with the fact that you look forward to your time on the water because, well, simply put, so do we.

Thoughts of the sun on your skin, the smell of the water, casting your favorite rod and reel, catching what bites, and otherwise relaxing on the part of our world that makes up the majority of our plant, helped drown out the otherwise unpleasant experiences you endured on land.  You’d keep telling yourself, “it will all be worth in it when I’m fishing… when I’m finally out there…”  As the date of the excursion came closer, a portion of each evening was spent in preparation.  Even if your trip was a total last-minute event that came about, the information below will help.

Return from Gulf

One of the worst feelings anyone can have is to be hours into your fishing trip and realize you left an essential piece of gear at home.  Perhaps one of your marine electronics or one of your boat’s components fails.  Leaving you to berate yourself for failing to do the preliminary maintenance work necessary to help ensure your time on the water is as hassle free as possible.

You have to have a line in the water to catch a fish.  Time spent tending to other matters is time lost in which you could have otherwise hooked up.  We’re here to help you increase the time your line spends in the water, ensure have everything you need, and make the most of the valuable time you’ve been looking forward to.  Let the trip be a source of rejuvenation and revitalizing for you.   Reading the suggestions below will ensure you stay on track in that regard.

Lures:

Rapala Shadow Rap Shad 09 Crank Bait
One of the many artificial lures available both on our website, http://www.livetofish.com and in our showroom. This crankbait from Rapala is effective on both freshwater and saltwater fish

Check through your crankbaits, topwater lures, jigs, and other swimbaits.  Make sure all hooks and split rings are in good condition; especially lures with treble hooks.  Replace any components that need replacing.  Check your tackle storage solutions.  Many anglers take advantage of the water tight tackle storage boxes. However, over time, the rubber ring that provides protection from water intrusion can wear out; or come out of alignment with the lid.  Make sure this rubber ring is in good condition.  If your lures have become tangled during storage, now would be good time to untangle them and store them separately in tackle trays.  One of the most frustrating circumstances to deal with is when you see activity on the water, locate your stowaway tray that contains the lure you need, only to open the tackle storage container and find the lure tangled up with three or four others.  There’s a saying – “luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity.”  Do the preparation necessary to maximize on the opportunity.

Rods:

G Loomis Pro Green Fishing Rods
We offer a wide variety of rods by many manufacturers. Some of which include, G Loomis, St. Croix, Redbone, Shimano, Crowder, Star Rods, and 13 Fishing
St. Croix .jpg
2017 St. Croix Avid Inshore

Take each of your rods out and inspect them separately.  Are all your guides secure?  Look at the inner ring of each guide.  See the photo below to be clear on what I’m referring to when I mention, “inner ring.”

 

Spinning GuideThe inner ring in the photo is the gray colored area inside the round shiny metal circular outer portion of the guide.  Use your finger to feel around the inside of each guide ring.  For the guides that are too small to fit a finger through, you can take a cue tip and run it through the guide.  What you’re looking for are any knicks. If you feel a knick, or see a crack, replace that guide before fishing.  Replacing the entire guide is actually easier than trying to snap in a new ring.  Besides, good luck finding just the inner ring in exactly the correct diameter.  If you’re running a cue tip through the guide and some of the cotton catches, then you’ve got a crack or knick in that ring too.  Again, the entire guide should be replaced.  Fortunately, we offer rod repair services at Live to Fish with a quick turnaround time.  Our address is:  Live to Fish, 9942 State Road 52, Hudson, Fl 34669.  The reason for replacement is that the inner part of your fishing rod guide is the area your line moves through.  Your line is your essential, and only, connection to your catch.  When you’re fighting a fish, a knick, crack, or other imperfection, can result in your line being aggressively worn, cut, and breaking.  Many otherwise unexplainable break offs have occurred as a result of a damaged guide ring.  Is the reel seat on your rod secure?  When you secure your reel to your rod, you should be able to tighten down the reel seat until you feel confident that your reel is securely affixed to your rod.  You don’t want to have flex either way, in any direction.  A loose, broken, or otherwise compromised reel seat, is not something you want to discover when you’re fighting a fish you’ve spent time and energy chasing after.

Reels:

Shimano Stradic and Shimano Stradic Ci4+
We offer a wide range of spinning, casting, and conventional type reels from top manufacturers.
sustain .jpg
The new 2017 Shimano Sustain Spinning Reels, winner at ICAST 2017

Entire articles have been written on reel maintenance.  We’re not going that in depth here.  If there are new noises coming from your reel when you turn the handle, you’ve got a problem.  If it’s harder to turn the handle without any load on the line than it has been, again, you’ve got a problem.  If you feel a wobble when reeling in, you’ve got a problem.  These scenarios apply to both baitcasting and spinning reels.  Your issue may be one that is very simply to fix.  It could simply be that your reel is in need of lubrication.  Make a habit of keeping your reels in good working order on a regular basis and you never have to worry about an unwanted surprise at the wrong time.   One of the easiest and most beneficial things you can do after every trip is to thoroughly wash your rods and reels down with fresh water.  Do not spray your reel with water at high pressure.  Even with all the seals of modern reels, you don’t want to be the reason for water intrusion in your reel in an area that should remain dry.  Another simple, yet very helpful practice, is to spray your reels down with Ardent Reel Kleen after you’ve washed them down with fresh water.

Fishing Line:

When was the last time you changed your line?  Changing line was more common when everyone used monofilament because braid hadn’t been invented.  With the introduction of braided fishing line, people are more reluctant to change their line than in the past.  There’s increased cost, some people don’t know how to add monofilament backing first, and there’s the knowledge that braid is stronger.  Fortunately, Live to Fish will spool your reel with new braid at a cost per yard that we’ve set as the lowest in the area.  You simply drop off your reel at Live to Fish, 9942 State Road 52, Hudson, FL 34669 www.livetofish.com with instructions on what line you would like.  Often times, your reel can be re-spooled while you wait.  People have lost huge fish and expensive rigs simply because they failed to change their line.  Continuing to use your line beyond a period of time that’s safe will greatly increase the risk of a break off.  Offshore trolling lures can be quite costly.  It’s not impossible to lose a lure that’s worth more than what new line would cost.  There are a number of factors to consider when determining how often you should change your braided line: The lower the pound test braid, the more susceptible your line is to wear and tear, and the more often you should change it.  If you frequently fish in areas that have heavy amounts of floating seagrass with small barnacles, those barnacles rub up against your line when fishing a fish.  It’s not such a concern with 50lb or 60lb test braid, but it can be a concern with 10 or 15 lb test braid.  It may sound as if your line contacting floating seaweed when fighting a fish would be something you could safely ignore.  We sell a wide range of braided lines in various pound test strengths.  However, if you’re fishing a low pound test braid, when your line comes in contact with seaweed upon which small barnacles have grown, it’s like moving you line across a very fine cheese grater or sand paper.  If you’re doing a lot of fishing around rocks and oysters, keep an eye out for any parts of your line appearing worn.  If it’s been 6 to 12 months, and you fish fairly often, make a habit of changing your line.  The easiest way to do this is to set a simple calendar reminder at 6 to 8 month intervals.

Polarized Glasses:

I’m sure you’ve heard of the benefits polarized glasses provide when out on the water.  Polarized lenses are perfect for boating, fishing, surfing or any time spent on the water.   By cutting down on the glare, you’ll be able to see fish you wouldn’t normally be able to see at all.  Just keep in mind, when you can see the fish, they can see you.  There are a number of manufacturers that churn out some high quality polarized sunglasses.  One of the most popular for fishermen are those made by Costa Del Mar.  Costa developed the 580 lens.  The technology involved in the manufacturing of this lens, particularly the 580G, greatly enhances your time on the water.  You’ll feel less eye strain and see more fish.  At Live to Fish, we offer a wide range of Costa Del Mar frames and lenses.

Costa Del Mar Sunglasses
Live to Fish sells a wide variety of Costa Del Mar Sunglasses. Seen in the photo is one of two display cases located in our showroom.

Checklist of things is available from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.

Alternate propulsion (i.e. paddle or oar)

Anchors & Line

Batteries (fully charged and encased in plastic boxes)

Bilge device (bilge pump operable, alternative bailing device)

Boat lights

Bright flashlight or searchlight

Boat & trailer registration, permits, licenses

Bug repellant

Clothing

Compass

Drinking water (1 gallon per person, per day)

Fire extinguisher (right number, size, and class for boat; charged, not corroded, nozzle clear, bracketed, readily accessible)

First aid kit i.e. Band-Aids, first-aid Cream, Campo-Phenique (good for minor burns, cuts and scrapes), Tums, lip balm.

Food

Fuel

Kill switch (check with motor started)

Map/Charts (in waterproof container)

Matches/fire starter (in waterproof container)

Navigation lights & spare bulbs

Boat plug

Pocket knife

Sound producing device (i.e. whistle, horn)

Spare trailer tire (check condition)

Toilet paper

Trailer lights (and brakes if applicable)

Sunglasses

Sunscreen

Spare prop and lock-nut or shear pin

Weather radio

Tools

Visual distress signals (check current dates on flares, proper number)

Watch or clock

Night before list-

Hook up trailer and check lights and brakes (if applicable)

Charge batteries

Check fuel

Check boat lights

Turn on batteries, “check 1, 2, all switch” make sure it is functioning

Turn on and check all electronics

Check boat plug

Secure straps and tie down

Copyright 2017, Live to Fish, All Rights Reserved.