Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Daiwa Saltiga 6500H spinning reel

While fishing for monster GTs and other saltwater species in Maldives, my reel of choice was the Daiwa Saltiga 6500H,  This beast put out a powerful 66lbs of drag while holding 440yards of 80lbs braid.  The gear ratio of 5:7:1 made it very easy casting large poppers to the GTs.  The 15 bearings made the reel very smooth.  It is has a lightweight aluminum spool with carbon accents and air rotor design featuring corrosion proof Zaion carbon construction keeping the weight at 28.9oz.  .  It has a manual bail trip for reliability.  It features a magseal to keep saltwater out.  I had no issues with this fantastic piece of machinery!  I highly recommend you check out this reel on your next visit to battle Giant Trevally in Maldives or whereever your adventure takes you.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Shimano Orca

During my trip to Maldives for Giant Trevally, the Shimano Orca outproduced any lure I had.  The Orce has an internal weight which causes it to produce an erratic pop and dive action.  It has wire through construction and comes in lengths of 6 1/2 inches weighing 2oz and 71/2 inches weighing 3oz.  I used the 3oz Orca during my trip.  Shimano has recently come out with a Pop Orca weighing 5oz. Hopefully the waters levels will be low on my next adventure to La Zona as I feel this lure will be fantastic on huge golden dorado.

Sunday, March 27, 2016


On March 11, 3 friends and I flew about 14 hours out of Chicago to Doha.  After a long layover we then took the 5 hour flight to Male, the capitol of Maldives.  Maldives is an island country out in the Indian Ocean.  Just 1% of its area of 298 sq km consists of land. Throughout Maldives, alcohol is prohibited so leave your bottles at home!   Thousands of coral reefs are scattered throughout amidst the beautiful Indian Ocean scenery and abundant with fish of all sizes and species.The Ocean colors are difficult to describe the beauty it possess.  Vivid colorations of blues, greens, aquas are seen while the visibility is probably down to depth of 30-40ft.  Out main target on this trip was the giant trevally, a.k.a.GTs.   After we arrived in Male, charter boat owner, Moosa Kaleem, greeted us.  We briefly went to his hardware store which had a section of local fishing lures. I always try to visit local tackle shops on International trips as many top lure manufacturers such as Rapala have different color variations which are not available in the USA.  We then we greeted by Moosa's team of guides who work for Maakeyolhu Fishing Charters.  We took a 1 1/2 hour boat ride to the Atoll we would call home base.  We stayed in a suite with 3 individual rooms owned by Ibrahim Rasheed.  The rooms were very comfortable complete with AC!  The weather in Maldives is extremely hot!  The beautiful weather almost year round makes this a great place to head on out the calm seas.   Maakeyolhu Charters provides all tackle equipment.  However, I like to use my own so I purchased a Daiwa Saltiga 6500H and an Okuma 2 piece 7ft 6in XH Makaira popping rod.  I spooled the Saltiga with 80lbs Momoi braided line.  Top lures were 7 1/2in Shimano Orcas, stickbaits made by Atoll, and the Shimano Pop Orcas.  I replaced all hooks with Owner ST-77 and all split rings made by Wolverine Tackle.  The seas were very calm our entire trip.  After breakfast each morning we would head to different reefs fishing until dark,
 Fishing was excellent with GTs up to 35kg landed.  We also caught numerous bluefin GTs, red snapper, barracua, coral trout, grouper, jobfish, small shark, and a variety of other saltwater reef species.  I like nothing better than to see a sudden explosion on the surface with my popper being swallowed while the reel drag starts to sing!  With GTs you defiantly hold onto to your rod and hope you do not get pulled overboard!  The group lost a few monster GTs as they we impossible to stop running over the coral and cutting our fishing line.  Maakeyolhu Fishing Charters was simply fantastic.  They made sure we had a great fishing experience.  The boat was spacious and very comfortable.  High quality Shimano Stella spinning reels and good rods were available.  Meals at our base camp were delicious mostly consisting for fresh fish and varieties of fresh fruits.  I would go back in a second!  I now have tasted saltwater fishing and I it now remains in my blood.  I love it!
Moosa Kaleem can be contacted at moosa@sonee.com.mv.  Maakeyolhu Fishing Charters can be found on Facebook or info@maakeyolhu.com while Ibrahim Rasheed can be contacted at ibbevk@yahoo.com