Product Reviews

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Local Boat Ramps

Information on the quality and location of local Boat Ramp facilities. Includes photographs, maps and some video content.

Family orientated

Promoting family fishing.

Fish for the future promotes catch and release fishing.

Great Fishing Locations

Popular fishing spots including GPS locations, sounder shots and maps.

Regular fishing reports

Regular fishing reports from our fishing trips.

Product Reviews

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Fly Fishing

Chasing Golden Trevalley on the Magnetic Island flats.


Enjoying one of the many beautiful beaches of Magnetic Island.

Wednesday 28 December 2011

Haughton with my Sister!

Been a long time between posts lately. I have been out fishing a bit, but between a 10 day holiday in the Whitsundays, 2 kids Birthdays and Christmas there just hasn't been time to string a few lines together! 

Today Dad and I took my Sister and her Husband down the Haughton for a bit of a relaxing fish. It was only drowning some half pillies, but they had a blast. Bites were pretty consistent, even if most were from the mozzies and sandflies! But we managed to put together a small bag of Bream in the 28-31cm range. The only Jacks that were boated were well under sized. Tide was still very big to be up fishing the creek. 

For Christmas I scored a Gopro Hero HD2 video camera, so this was also a bit of an opportunity to test it out! Very easy to use and the quality looks good. Expect to see a lot more video footage on here in future. 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.

Thursday 22 December 2011

Fishing Townsville Merchandise

New stock of Fishing Townsville shirts have arrived. They are available for purchase from the Merchandise page. I also have a number of large full colour stickers available at a very good price. If you would like a shirt for someone special as a Christmas present and live in town I will hand deliver to ensure you have it in time. Just send me an email.

The following sizes are available for immediate delivery.

M     - 2
L      - 5
XL   - 3
3XL - 1

Friday 2 December 2011

Gulf Barra Odyssey

Forum member Alchemy (Dave) has recently returned from a once in a lifetime long range trip to the Gulf. He shared this story on the forum and everyone enjoyed the read. With his permission I now present this here for everyone. I hope you enjoy the read it as much as I did!

Since building the new 7.5m diesel powered Origin I had been keen on an extended trip to a remote area to sample Queensland's best fishing. A couple of options were floated; option 1 was to tow to Karumba with a couple of smaller boats to fish the rivers north of Karumba and option 2 was to tow to Cooktown to fish the reefs around Lizard Island. We opted for #1, but I will do #2 some day.

With Karumba locked in, some serious planning got under way. How much water, food, beer, fuel for Alchemy and petrol for the tenders/generator would be needed for the two weeks at sea?

The Odyssey Begins
The Gulf Barra Odyssey began in ernest with the drive from Townsville to Karumba. Our small convoy of three cars and boats left Townsville at 0300. Our first stop was Greenvale for breaky and fuel, then Mount Surprise; Georgetown for lunch then on to Karumba Point servo for the big fuel up.

We then headed over to the Gulf Country Caravan Park to tie down the fuel drums and load up for the morning's launch.

Drinking water planning
With four aboard we allowed 4 litres of drinking water per person per day, plus a bit for showers. Alchemy has a 100 litre fresh water tank, so for the extra I froze down five x 20 litres drums of fresh plus numerous 1.25 litre soft drink and 2 litre milk bottles. Our fresh supplies ended up at about 250 litres.

Fuel planning
I had never towed another boat behind Alchemy so had no idea of our fuel burn for this trip as I had planned on towing Bob's 520 Fisher and my 3.9m tinnie. In the end we took a stab at 700 litres of diesel. 500 in the main tank and 200 in jerry cans. My thinking was that when we arrived at the first anchorage I would top the tank and work out our consumption, enabling an accurate plan for the rest of the voyage. For Bob's boat; "Mundoo" he had 250 litres and for my tinnie and generator another 200 litres = 450 litres of petrol. It was a good sales day at the Karumba Point servo when we arrived!

Food and beer planning
The food planning was Pam's domain and she catered perfectly. Pam catered enough food for a meal every second night. The rest would have to be fish or crabs. Instead of bread we took wraps which were perfect for lunch with cold meats plus also great with fresh fish, cheese and tartare sauce. Clearly one of the trip highlights. We had wheetbix for breaky most mornings with two bacon and egg indulgences. All the milk and perishable meats/pre-cooked meals were frozen before the trip and loaded into Alchemy's 100 litre freezer. The miscellaneous cold foods were split between Alchemy's 100 litre fridge and the 400 litre fish box which had all the frozen drinking water. So far as the beer goes.... there was just enough though the frozen drinking water ensured the first few days supply was frosty.There were snacks such as peanuts and muesli bars for us to take out in the tenders plus a supply of icy poles. We didn't want for anything in food/drink terms.

The Emergency Plan
Given the remoteness of the area we were exploring and the unknown VHF coverage we opted to hire a satellite phone (Google SatCom, located in Townsville). This was relatively cheap insurance at $200 for the two weeks, plus call charges. We also spoke with Bruce from Karumba VMR. Bruce was a wealth of knowledge and advice. Every few days we sent Bruce an SMS from the sat phone to confirm our location and status. The other advantage of the sat phone was that I got my wife to SMS us the weather forecasts, allowing us to better plan our return voyage.

The open sea leg plan
The original plan was for Alchemy to tow Mundoo and my tinnie at between 6 and 7 knots when moving from Karumba to the first spot, and likewise for any moves between the systems we wanted to fish. This went out the window on day one; the worst day and most incident packed day of the trip.

By the time we launched at Karumba and cleared the Norman River leads there was already a 5 to 10 knot breeze behind us. About an hour after clearing the Norman River leads we stopped for a break. When the slack on Mundoo's tow rope took up Mundoo and tinnie decided not to follow. I turned Alchemy around so Bob could board Mundoo to reattach the tow rope but when Bob tried to re-board Alchemy the surging waves forced Mundoo into the stern of Alchemy. Bob tried to fend off but his leg was wedged between the two boats injuring his knee badly. After some time it was decided that Bob would have to swim back from Mundoo as we felt this was the safest way of getting him back aboard.

A few hours later we were north of the Smithburn River with a solid 20 knots on our tail when the tinnie tow rope broke. Learning #1 - ensure you don't skimp on tow rope size. After Bob's experience I decided to swim for the tinnie and drive it alongside Alchemy; which I hoped would provide some protection from the nasty short sharp sea that had developed. Learning #2 - ensure every boat has an easy access for climbing aboard for swimmers. I was able to scramble aboard over the tinnies transom using the outboard cav plate as a step. I quickly got the tinnie motor started and raced up alongside Alchemy for the last 5km to Van Diemens Inlet. Running parallel to the coast was sort of ok as Alchemy provided some protection from the SW'ly sea (though at one point I thought "this isn't too bad" and ran ahead of Alchemy about 100m. Bad move as I quickly realised the sea was at least 1.5m so I turned and scarpered back to the lee of Alchemy), but when Mike pointed toward the coast and we swung to shore my protection was gone. Alchemy was still towing Mundoo and running at 6 knots, but I needed to be planning to handle the beam sea in the tinnie, so I shot off making for a gap in the breaking waves a couple of km ahead. Fortunately we had arrived not long before the top of the tide and we were able to slip straight into the inlet over the outer banks.

After day one's events the open sea tow plan was scrapped. We decided Bob would need to drive Mundoo solo and Alchemy to tow the tinnie. This would impact our petrol supplies as we never budgeted for Mundoo running solo at speed up the coast and ultimately back to Karumba but it was the only safe method. Learning #3 - it is much better to cruise at speed for the sea worthy vessels than trying to tow.

Van Diemen's Inlet
After our event packed first day we decided to stay put in Van Diemen's Inlet (VDI) for a couple of nights. It hadn't featured on our planning and we only shot in there as the light was fading on a dismal first day but VDI turned out to be a great system and much bigger than we expected. From the Karumba town ramp it was about 75km so I was pleased when I could only jam 60 litres of diesel into Alchemy's fuel tank. Once that was done and breakfast out of the way we headed off for a fish. Bob the barra magnet already had five barra boated by the time Mike and I got underway. Mike and I struggled to find a fish until Bob called us up on the VHF to "the stick". The stick was just that. A none de-script frail bit of timber, but on a deepish bend. The stick was loaded with barra and after day one my boat had released about a dozen barra and Mundoo about 25. We kept a couple of salmon for dinner that night and to bait the pots.

The next morning we pulled the four pots to find a great feed of crabs. VDI had turned out to be an excellent stop-over. It was producing quality fish, crabs and anchorage plus had an awesome sandy mouth that the tide raced over at dusk which produced several more fish on poppers for us, including some great salmon.

Despite this we were keen to explore further north so we set our sights on Duck creek; only about 20km further north.

Duck Creek
After our tribulations at sea on day one we were keen for an easy run and to see how Alchemy would go towing the tinnie at speed. We slipped out of VDI at 0700 and arrived off Duck with a falling tide at 0830. The run up was great. Mundoo had no problems but the most pleasing aspect was Alchemy's ability to plane at 18 knots towing the 3.9m tinnie. We mucked about a bit trying to find the entrance to Duck and decided we'd found it. Mundoo was ahead sounding out the channel but only found shallow water, as did Alchemy. Alchemy with her deeper draft found the sand firmly so Mundoo cast a tow rope and I lifted the bravo 2 leg in the vain hope Mundoo could tow us in. It wasn't to be. Alchemy and Mundoo spent a good eight hours on their sides waiting for the tide to flood. We made in to to Duck about 1700. Bob, Pam and Mike chose to walk the flats looking for fish but their zero result vindicated my decision to stay aboard Alchemy to sleep, then have a few quiet beers.......

Duck creek had a great sandy beach to the north and an awesome looking mangrove lined southern bank at the mouth. We fished all these areas for more barra and salmon, and again baited the pots for more crabs.

For each of the two nights we spent at Duck we took advantage of the sandy beach for a fire at dusk; one of which we used to bake lamb shanks in Bob's camp oven and the next to boil up six nice muddies. The fishing at Duck was slow compared to VDI so after two nights we again set our sights further north. The Gilbert was to be our next destination.

The Gilbert River
The Gilbert was another 35km north and we made an early start. On arrival we found a vast expanse of muddy water and shallow banks. Finding an entrance here was going to be very hard. Bob poked around with Mundoo but couldn't find the four foot of depth I had asked for. I wanted this depth as we were again facing an out going tide and I thought I'd anchor off in deeper water and wait for the late afternoon tide rather than go aground again. It was about then that a pro crabber (Gary) cruised up alongside for a chat. Gary was on his way back to camp from Karumba, loaded with supplies. Gary asked if we were trying to enter the Gilbert, then shot off to check out a couple of marks at the entrance. Gary quickly returned and offered us his hand held GPS; complete with track to follow into the Gilbert. We gratefully accepted and began following the snaking track over the Gilbert's shallow outer banks. The shallowest spot was about 0.8m, a fair bit less than the ideal 1.2m but we pressed on and made it in without incident. We steamed upstream about a mile before dropping the pick on a wide sheltered bend. We had been dumping our petrol supplies ashore, but there wasn't any sandy beach here so we strapped them on to the side decks of Alchemy. The empties were strapped on to the hard top.

It wasn't long after dropping the pick that we were off for a fish. We ranged from the flats around the mouth where Bob and Pam scored some great barra in excess of 80cm, to the drains and side creeks. We hadn't seen any box jellyfish in the previous two spots, but this changed in the Gilbert. Mike spotted a couple toward the mouth one morning, which quickly turned into dozens cruising past the tinnie on the ebb tide. A close watch was then kept on our braided lines and crab pot lines. It was around the drains toward the mouth that Mike scored a few nice barra around the 70cm range. Later that day we fished some great timber upstream of Alchemy. At dusk the barra we smashing poppers and stick baits. Almost the most memorable session of the trip.

So, why wasn't this the most memorable session of the trip? Bob had been toiling to find a meter class barra and reckons he and Pam both dropped one on a stick at the Gilbert mouth flats, but it was the Sunday afternoon and both tenders had made there way further upstream.

Mike and I chose to shoot even further up and found a beaut looking creek. Not far inside this creeks mouth we cast to some good looking timber, but without success after a few dozen casts we were about to move on. It was now that I fired a great cast in tight and Mike said "that deserves a fish"; apparently the fish agreed. After a few winds into the retrieve my green B52 stopped; presumably snagged, but as I lifted my rod tip to try to work the B52 off the snag the lure moved a bit. I thought I was free, but then the lure took off. Some 30 meters later a big barra's head and shoulders appeared; too big to jump cleanly we knew this was a great fish. Mike worked the Minn Kota to keep the tinnie mid stream and I regularly changed the line direction in an effort to keep the big barra from making it back to cover. Some 15 minutes later our tactics paid off and Mike cleanly netted the big barra.

Mike struggled to lift the net from the water, but once he did we worked quickly to remove the barbless trebles, measure and take a few quick photos; then she was returned to the water and swum until strong enough to swim away. The big barra measured 117cm and I estimate the weight at a bit over 20kg. Truly a fish of a life time and extremely satisfying to have caught her on a cast lure in the wild.

Gulf Hazards: Crocodiles, Box Jellyfish and Storms
We didn't see, or see any sign of crocs during the first week, but within a few days of the second week we found six. One very solid specimen in the Gilbert which was too wary for a photo but the slide was big enough to indicate this was a serious lizard.

Then there was this fella. He was sunning himself on the beach at the mouth of VDI. We only spotted him as we approached in Mundoo to walk the beach again to cast poppers for our last afternoon in the Gulf. He moved on, we fished but we kept a good distance back from the waters edge.

During the first week we had numerous storms and one in the second week; all apart of the build up to the wet. None with any rain, but plenty of lightning and one in particular came with a cold change and strong winds. We found the best way to deal with these was to anchor Mundoo off a few hundred meters away and to swing the tinnie off Alchemy's stern on the tow rope. Here is Mundoo anchored off while we await a storm preceded by a bush fire. Extreme conditions!

Box jellyfish are a real threat if you don't keep your eyes open. They are relatively easy to see in the water, but I would never jump in to go ashore or drag the tinnie unless completely covered. It is also wise to keep an eye on your braid when retrieving lures in case your line passes through ones tentacles. We regularly wore sun gloves for sun protection but these too would offer protection from stings. Each boat also carried a first aid kit including vinegar.

Our time in the Gilbert was up, so we made plans for an early start to run back to VDI for our last two nights. The run down was uneventful and given we now had the mouth sussed out we planned all the way into VDI easily.

By now our petrol supplies were running low, so to save fuel we all piled into Mundoo for an assault on the stick. Again the stick didn't disappoint, but we cut our stay short due to an approaching storm.

The next day we did the same, except we took Alchemy up to the stick and towed the tenders to ensure we had enough petrol for Mundoo to run back to Karumba, and the stick fired again.

Our last session in VDI and the Gulf was a fishless one casting poppers from the beach at the mouth,though we did score some nice muddies and watched a beautiful sunset.

The final leg was the run back to Karumba. We left VDI at 0600 and we arrived back at the Karumba ramp at 0830. This gave us the day to unload and wash the boats, plus re-pack for the 950km drive back to Townsville. We were also fortunate enough to run into Gary and Bruce at the Sunset Hotel on our final night. I would strongly recommend speaking with Bruce at VMR Karumba before planning a trip like this as he has a wealth of information plus a great bloke.

Sunday 27 November 2011

More Fingermark on Gulp Squid Vicious

Today Dad and I finally got the opportunity to once again get out and try for some Fingermark on the new Gulp Squid Vicious soft plastics. We had been watching the weather all week, but as Sunday slowly started to look worse and worse we decided West Point was as far as we needed to go. We hit the ramp about 4.30am to find very little water on it! I knew the low tide of 0.36m was going to make things challenging, and was the main reason I didn't want to launch any earlier. We ended up using the far ramp and had no trouble at all.

We had a beautiful run down the inside of the Island, with the water almost glassing out as we got closer to our destination. We worked the plastics around several marks in the area, but despite large shows of bail all around we struggled for so much as a bite. We worked hard all morning dotting from mark to mark. A couple of Nannygai and some small cod were all that made it in the boat. Eventually we moved to a mark closer to the Island and soon found success with several hard hits and fish bust offs. Its rough country here, and all the fish found their home with ease. The only fish landed was a small Queenfish and a GT.

As the tide topped out we moved wide again. This time we found a few fish willing to bite. I was first with a fish in the boat, a small Fingermark just over 40cm. At last a fish in the eski! He was soon joined by a nice Grunter just a little bigger, and then another Grunter of much bigger proportions. This was now starting to look good, well for me at least! Then came a complete shock, and solid fish that hit hard and tore line off in several strong bursts. I had my fingers crossed for a bigger Fingermark, but Dad had tipped correctly... A big fat Catfish!!

Still hopping between marks I soon hooked up to a better fish. Good head shakes and tail beats, much more Fingermark like. Soon a better quality fish was boat side and in the Eski. At about 3kg this was looking like the fish of the morning.

By this stage Dad was a little frustrated at the number of fish I had in the boat and lack of bites he was getting. So he decided to go with what I was doing and downsize his leader and jig head. He wouldn't have made half a dozen casts when a big fish hit hard and took off. This was a quality fish that had us worried a number of times and she headed hard for the structure. But with hand on the spool and tackle pushed to the limits Dad held her back each time. Soon a large Golden shape appeared from the depths. A big Finger! In the net and it was high 5's all round. The fish went 89cm and is probably around 7kg.

Dad decided to put down a rather large live bait while we were drifting the marks. This was the result of his efforts! The live bait lasted 1 drift and about 5mins!

As the tide turned and started to run out hard the bite stopped. We tried a few more spots but soon headed home. A good run again until the last 10mins outside the harbour. Despite the average weather forecast we had managed to have an awesome day on the water.

I found most success today on the Squid Vicious in Black Catalpa. But the Orange Tiger also produced fish, but I had gone through the only packet I had before the bite really started. I fished these plastics on a Nitro Jig Head in 3/8oz 3/0. 1/2oz was needed when the tide was running harder, but the downsize was worth it as the run slowed. The Gulp plastics and Nitro Jig Heads are both available at Pro Tackle. Both Terry and Graham have been using these plastics with great success and will talk anyone through the technique. I was fishing with a Shimano Sustain 4000 on a 7 foot Loomis Spin stick. 20lb braided mainline and 40lb leader managed to win most of the battles! It seems light is best. The vast majority of the fish came on the last of the run in tide and the water slowed a little.

Saturday 26 November 2011

Media Release - No more pectoral fin removal for recreational fishers

Recreational fishers will no longer be required to remove the pectoral fin from coral reef fin fish and Spanish mackerel from today following changes to Queensland fishing rules.

Fisheries Minister Craig Wallace said the requirement for recreational fishers to remove the pectoral fin was no longer considered necessary.

“We had the rule in place to help prevent illegal marketing of coral reef fin fish and Spanish mackerel,” Mr Wallace said.

“By requiring recreational fishers to remove the pectoral fin, we were seeking to identify people who were selling the whole fish without a commercial licence.

“Illegal or black marketing is a significant threat to the economic viability of the commercial fishing industry, and it is imperative we continue to target such activity.

“However, we found that the rule to remove the pectoral fin did not help prevent illegal marketing and by removing it we are reducing the regulatory burden on recreational fishers.

“The Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol has a number of ways for targeting illegal marketing including onsite inspections of seafood wholesalers.

“The public can also help by reporting suspected illegal fishing activities to the Fishwatch hotline on 1800 017 116.”

For further information on fishing rules, visit

Media: 0437 113 241

Sunday 20 November 2011

Townsville Marine Humminbird Information Evening

Townsville Marine are going to host an information evening for those interested in getting the most out of their Humminbird sounders. In the past these events have been closed to forum members only, but this time it's open for anyone to attend. Emmanuel will provide Greek Souvlakia and nibbles at no charge. Beer and soft drinks also at no charge, but reasonable consumption limits apply.

When: 30 November 2011
Where: Townsville Marine Showroom
Time: 7.00pm
Topic: Humminbird Sounders and iPilot Electric Motors

Lucky door prize voucher 40% off any Humminbird or Minn Kota product. This is better than a "giveaway" because you get a really big discount on a model you want rather than a thing that you don't.


Saturday 12 November 2011

Round 2 with Gulp Plastics and Fingermark

During the week I had Townsville Marine fit a pair of GMI 10's to my Suzuki. So regardless of the weather I was heading out today! I picked Dad up form his place about 4.30am and headed off for West Point. It was a reasonable run over with about 5knots over our shoulder. Once at West Point it was quite calm in the lee of the island. 

After having some reasonable success last trip out, we were keen to again work the various Gulp plastics for Fingermark again. We fished several good marks with stacks of fish and bait showing. More bait than I have ever seen on some of these marks. But it was hard to entice a bite! Dad managed a couple of small Nannygai, 2 cod and a little Mackerel. I had nothing to the boat (dropped one and missed a few smaller hits) until we moved to a mark closer in to the island in about 6m of water. Again there were good shows on the sounder and after a drift of two I was hooked up to a solid fish. It came to the surface and had me thinking Queenfish, but as it turned we both spotted a gold tail. Dad was thinking Trevalley, but I had Barra on my mind! Next jump proved me correct as a big bucked mouth came out of the water. Some solid runs on the 20lb Sustain spin gear I was using and she was soon boat side. Estimated at about 90cm she was obviously released to go about her breading duties!

The run back was a bit choppier, but I still managed to sit on just under 40km/hr all the way. The GMI 10's are invaluable. I am now able to tell exactly how much fuel I am using for the speed and revs the motor is running at. On the way across to west point I sat on about 4000rpm for 0.6lts per km. I found that in smooth water and trimmed up I can get 0.5lts per km at 3,800 rpm and about 20knots. The whole trip used just on 25lts. Not bad for a big 150 pushing a heavy glass boat in poor conditions! 

Wednesday 9 November 2011

Townsville Marine - Yellowfin Clearance

Townsville Marine is clearing the last 3 Yellowfins in stock at really cheap prices!

This sale is for the 3 boats in stock only, once they're gone they're gone.

All on alloy trailers with saftey gear and rego.

First in, first served. Never to be repeated!

Yellowfin 6200 Cabin - fully optioned - Suzuki DF175 with Garmin Digital including Garmin 750S touchscreen $63,990 - save $11,000 on RRP

Yellowfin 6200 Cabin - fully optioned - Suzuki DF175 with Garmin + Humminbird 10.5" display $63,990 Svae $11,000 on RRP

Yellowfin 6200 Centre Console with 150 Optimax $56,990 Save $12,000 on RRP

Call Emmanuel on 0411 753 555 if interested.

Wednesday 2 November 2011

Movember Donation

Well guys, Movember is now in full swing. The itches will start shortly I suspect! If you would like to make a donation to the Fishing Townsville Movember team then please follow the link below. Its also not too late to join the team. 

Any business that donates over $100 to the team will have their logo and link to their website placed at the bottom of this post. 

Progress Photo!
Thank you for supporting Movember 2011. 

Businesses Supporting Movember

Nil at this stage!

Sunday 30 October 2011

Shimano Chronarch D Product Review

Barramundi fishermen are often looking for the perfect reel for lure casting. As most of my readers would be aware, I really only started targeting fish like Barramundi on lures a couple of years ago when we purchased a small tinnie and electric motor. Before that my only experience in the creeks was live and dead baiting. Consequently the only outfit I had suitable for the task was a Shimano Calcutta 200 on a G∙Loomis GL2 644. Now don't get me wrong, this was an excellent setup and has served me well for quite a while. But as my lure casting became more 'serious' I started to want more from the outfit. My biggest problem with the Calcutta is that being a drum style reel it is quite large to hold in your hand. Its also a very heavy reel more accustomed to sitting in a rod holder with a live bait attached. This might not seem a big deal, but when you are casting lures quite literally all day long, comfort does start to play a role.

Given that my next reel needed to have this comfort in mind, a low profile baitcaster reel was the obvious choice. Shimano have an excellent range of baitcasters, from the lower end Caius to the top of the range Calais. For me, the upper end of the range was where I wanted to be. So that left me with the choice between a Curado, Chronarch or the Calais. After some discussions with the ProTackle guys I ruled out the Calais. This is a superb reel and deserves the title of being the flagship model. But it's a complex reel that needs high maintenance to keep it in tip top shape. Something not every fisherman is prepared to do! So now it was between the Curado and Chronarch. I was going to go with a Curado as this seems to generally be the reel of choice for most anglers. It's an excellently priced reel and is more than up to the task of big Barramundi. But when I put it side by side with the Chronarch, it just didn't compare. The Chronarch was a lot smoother, more precise and had less 'play'. So the Chronarh D was my top choice.

The side plates and frame of this reel are all aluminium, making it super strong and very light weight. The spool is an aluminium magnumlite design, and is again super strong and ultra light. There are 6 Stainless Steel A-RB bearing and one super smooth roller bearing. This is 2 more bearings than the Curado and, coupled with the precision engineering of the aluminium spool, is the main reasons the reel is so much smoother. Gearing is Shimano's powerful HEG (High Efficiency Gearing) coupled to a durable brass drivetrain. The infinite anti-reverse is instant with zero backward movement in the handle. 

Cast control is provided by Shimano’s VBS system. This is quickly and easily accessed through a flip open side plate. This 'escape hatch' requires no tools to open and also provides maintenance assess to the bearings at each end of the spool. Terry from ProTackle also recommends opening this hatch after cleaning the reel to allow air to enter and dry the inside fully.

The Chronarch features a high quality Dartanium drag which is capable of delivering about 5kg of maximum drag pressure. This is pretty standard for a reel of this type, and assuming the 1/3 rule allows good drag pressure for up to 30lb braid. Additional pressure can always be applied using a thumb on the spool!

The handle shank is cold forged aluminium that has been drilled for weight reduction. The accompanying star drag is also cold forged aluminium. The handles are a sexton material that provide a very positive feel. Thanks to all the bearings and quality materials used in this reel when you turn the handle the movement is very smooth and fluid like. 

There is a D5 and a D7 version of the reel, the difference being the retrieve rate. The D5 features a 5:1 retrieve ratio, while the D7 is obviously 7:1. I opted for the quicker of the two as a faster reel is always my preference. My thought is that you can always slow the retrieve down, but you can only wind so fast! Plus, sometimes when lure casting to Barra you only want to work the lure for the first few meters where the cover is and then rip the lure back to the boat for the next cast. The faster reel is better for that. 

I have been using this reel for several months now and am extremely impressed. The drag has always been super smooth, casting is light and nimble and reel looks and feels as good as the day it arrived. In the hand the reel is comfortable and light, good for full days lure casting. The reel casts like a dream, especially with the more lightly weighted plastics that many baitcasters struggle with. A 4in prong with '00' ball sinker for example will cast very easily. I chose to spool the reel with 30lb PowerPro with the intention of it being a Big Barra Reel. But as luck would have it the biggest fish I have landed have been Barramundi in the high 70's. But from those experiences its quite clear to me that this reel is capable of much more! I have put the reel on a custom made graphite CTS rod built by Bundybear. But, it would go quite nicely on either a G∙Loomis 665 or T-Curve Barra rod. 20lb PowerPro and the lighter G∙Loomis 644 would also be a nice combination. I highly recommend this reel for any avid lure caster who demands the very best from their tackle. 

Since purchasing this reel Shimano have now released a Chronarch E series. The Calais has been removed from the range, leaving the Chronarch as the flagship reel. I have no experience with this new reel as yet so cannot comment on the changes to the 'D', but there have been mixed reviews around.


• Aluminium frame and side plate
• Dartanium Drag
• Super Stopper
• Super Free (SF)
• Magnumlite Spool Design
• High Efficiency Gearing (HEG)
• Escape Hatch