All posts by Spineri

Frank Steinmann


Hi Frank finally we have one of our favourite photo ninja’s on Spineri … As I remember you have promised to be naked for this interview, are you naked right now?

Hello Robert and Goran. Well, as a matter of fact I will literally drop my pants for you guys here, but the rest of your dear readership might not be so off within “special interest”, so we leave it that virtual way and limit stripping just for the cause of fly fishing this time (and remember Goran and you still owe me 50 bucks for the used underwear you ordered last week).  


So man, you like to dive in your frozen rivers and make great images, what drives you to cover these rivers and to go again and again under the surface?

As a photographer you have to keep on moving and in motion. Somehow I am slightly fed up with all sorts of images being confronted with when entering my favourite fishing websites or the classic time killers Facebook and Instagram. Everything has been shot already and spoiled too. So I took the chance to go someplace not everyone might be able to and also have the great opportunity to meet the fish I normally prey on from the shore in their natural habitat.

Not hooked, or dragged, not being held by a posing fisherman, not grasping for air in a landing net or rolling it’s eyes skywards. And once you swam in between hundreds of migrating sneep, schools of roaches, stare into the eyes of a large pike, you won’t forget this experience and want more. Winter time is great for river diving as many fish gather in special places to seek shelter from the cold and predators, so you can find many different species cuddled together. The cold is the last you sense in this case, I forget about it as soon as I enter the sublevel of our fishing department.


For people who want to start underwater photography, word of advice… Are cheap underwater housings OK, or should they go pro?

As for any recommendation concerning the acquisition of accessory I say: Buying cheap will make you buy twice! So save your money and go for the real thing. At least when intend to participate into professional photography. Nowadays compact cameras and even smartphones are waterproof and the classic GoPro is being used to caption underwater footage. But in the end of the day nothing beats the quality of a high end DSLR into a fitting housing!


Do you prefer to fly fish?

Today I do, tomorrow I won’t. It totally depends on my mood and the way I want to experience my fishing trip! Nothing beats the run of a large barbel on a 3 weight fly rod. Rising brown trout on a march brown are a delight. I enjoy pike fishing with a huge streamer and the direct contact on the fly rod when playing a 45 incher in the rapids of my river. But there is a time when I just feel like casting lures and swimbaits that way like 300 grams. Brutal and clean jerkbait fishing. Ultralight equipment for perch fishing is great too. So it really depends on the mood I am in. At the moment we speak, fly fishing becomes popular more and more. Many ex-spinfishers become puristic fly fishermen and –women and condemn their once lived spinfishing attitude. Flyfishing is being sold as sustainable, clean, pure and sexy. Well, that might be true somehow, but we must take care that spinfishing doesn’t get the raw deal in the end! Done properly and with barbless trebles or single hooks e.g., it is still a very delightful way to catch good fish too! It´s not barbaric or clumsy! I swing both ways and I love it! I really don’t feel comfy with those “fly only elites”, still we all wade in fishes piss ;-)


You know I always thought that fly fishing connects you more with nature than lure fishing… And that fly fishing attracts people who have deeper connection with stuff around them and aesthetics… I think that this is why fly fishing has more good photographers than spinning fisherman. What do you think about that?

This is a very good question; I think a scientific review might be worth being written about this theme! You may want to include social scientists, psychiatrists, statisticians and more folks that might end up defining the profile of both types: Lure- and fly fishermen/women. As for the moment I lack of a great fishing related -pro- photographer that does lure fishing only, indeed a delicate matter! The personal perception of nature has in my opinion nothing to do with the way you choose your fishing style. But maybe endurance, patience and humbleness is something that costs you time, time you need for matching a fly pattern, time for choosing the right cast style and in the end the cast itself: It takes time until your fly or nymph reaches its destination.

And maybe this is a personal issue, a question of “your nature”, when you’re in for the rush and baitcast like there is no tomorrow, you don’t find the time to inhale the breath that is necessary when following a hatching mayfly. So you got an ADHD diagnosis you might want to go for high frequent bait casting to find peace. And as flyfishing once was a economic-privileged hobby, maybe the acquisition of high end camera equipment was too. Times change, photography became mainstream so cheap fly fishing gear is amongst us, we will see, what changes may come.


So… What is your favourite species of fish that you like to target?

Honestly I can’t say. It´s depending on my mood again. As my roots are based in Germany and all my patriotic energy maybe focussed on river fishing her, of course I love pike fishing. Pike strike with brute force, you can sight fish for them and nothing beats the run of a big pike in a fast running stream over here. Of course the brown trout and its exquisite possibilities to stalk upon are something I won’t miss over here when spring finally arrived. I love the Danube Salmon and its hidden way of life. I don´t like the safari for this species that goes on in several streams of beautiful Slovenia. Put and take like character the fishing has become. The fish is a trophy and stocked into rivers that normally won’t inhabit those large fish. So the chance to catch a real residential and wild “Hucho” is an effort I love. Of course there is tropic saltwater fishing: Hot blooded fierce fighters like GT or Tuna – so many species left to target at and catch. I can’t tell where to start. But as I mentioned: My heart belongs to the pike. 

Do you have days when you just want to catch bigger ones?

Yes, of course. The hunt for your personal best may become very obsessive and one has to take care not to fall for it! Especially the social media response towards trophy fish makes us fight harder to catch a big one just for the likes. So the most intense experience of fishing might be the trip without camera gear or smartphone!


In the end I think it is good to set yourself a goal but it should be because of you and not the public eye. But speaking about camera gear and smartphone how often do you really go fishing without those?

Honest answer or a made up one? Ok, truly I try never to use my smartphone when going fishing. I like to have a shot the way I create an image in my mind before I pull the trigger. The range and variety of lenses I carry lets me adapt to this imaginary image. With a smartphone I rarely can do that, nor can I reach the quality of a full frame image. Snapshots ok, but then I prefer to keep an image of the scenery in mind and do not try to capture it with a phone to have it stored away in an utterly cacophony of cloud images. My DSLR I carry when I know the light situation might be worth it or when I expect to catch a nice fish. I don´t go out any more promising myself “I am going to take pictures”. This ends up in compulsive shooting of … nothing worth it! So when I really want to focus on fishing and try to adapt to nature in an independent way I carry one rod, maximum 3 lures or streamers/flys and no camera. Happens 5 out of ten times I must admit.

You have beautiful trout waters near you… What is the size of the biggest brown trout you saw there or catch?

The largest brown trout I ever saw was when diving in winter. It must have been way over 80 cm (31 inches) and was gigantic, It hid between plenty of white fish and was surely a pulse quickener. I caught one with nearly that size once, but it was an exceptional fish. A residential brown trout, not a stocked specimen.

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Good photo or good fish… Do you prefer one over the other?

There can be only one discipline worked out correct: Whether you fish or you take pictures! Doing both at the same time often ends in chaos: You fight a fish and already start to think about the shutter speed and the light situation. You lose concentration of course and might lose the fish too. When I’m on my own and expect a big fish to be landed, I setup all my gear before I fish. This means tripod, remote trigger, external flash etc. So I can guarantee the time until the fish can be released is very short! But in the end it is more relaxing if I go out and document a buddy while he is fishing, I have all the time and focus I need for a perfect shot. No preference – there is time to fish and time to shoot.


I saw that on some of the photos you share you like to talk about preservation… Is that one of biggest reasons why you push yourself in photography?

I studied Geography, Botanics and Zoology with a focus on fish-ecology and freshwater biology. So conservation is an obsession of mine that comes from my love towards fish. Plain simple, I adore fish! Any kind from Guppy to whale shark. As a matter of fact I started underwater photography in freshwater, to charge off a bit of the money invested in my camera gear, but as a photographer yourself, you know the deal with selling pictures. But in the end it is more of an outcome to sell a rare fish that is in its natural habitat, not hooked, on a picture to a governmental conservation institution, than the hooked big pike to a print magazine. So I do conservation without my camera, when working on my local rivers and I feel happy when I can document it with my camera, make other happy and even sell a photo from time to time.

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As a person who studied fish-ecology and freshwater biology and as a passionate pike angler, I have one question for you, really it is THE myth I would like to clear. Here in CRO it is a very popular myth that pike loses its teeth during spawning period. To me this doesn’t make any sense… But, people believe in this and off course they have their own fishing experience which in science world is lowest evidence possible What is your opinion on this, do you know any study that confirms this… Is this true of false?

Well I lack of scientific proof concerning that rumour! In fact female pike tend to grow larger than males and during spawning season they will develop a certain feeding-constraint which will keep the smaller males from being fed on. Truly pike can lose their maxilla and mandible teeth (you might want to call them fang), they can regrow them and often many teeth are being hidden beneath a skin septum that covers the mandible. So it may appear that especially large pike might look like they are toothless, which is not the case. The hackle teeth that cover the throat and pharynx are not replaceable and they cannot loose them. So after the spawning period you often catch pike with serious injuries and bite-marks. This happens when male pike having their territorial fights or tend to fight for females. This may prove the fact that they don’t lose their teeth.


Do you think that global changes of temperatures will affect trout and cold water species in a bad way?

Of course it will and it already happens! There are serious papers afloat that deal with climate change and the decline of fish populations! It’s not only the warming of the water that will be bad for especially salmonid populations worldwide but it is also the increase of flooding that has an impact on spawning grounds for these fish.

So during summer we will have higher temperatures leading to drought and lacking of water. The consequences will be a decrease in oxygen concentration, boosted growth of submerse vegetation, increase of aggradations, sewage discharges won’t be diluted enough this together with the drying up of wetlands might end up with an extreme nitrogen-mobilization. During winter we will experience an increase of flooding. These will end up with the rivers eroding deeper and oxbows and ewes will be separated from the original river.

And as mentioned above the drift of mud and other particles might lead to further colmation of the interstitial. So some species like carp, roach and other ubiquity fishes – even invasive species – might be the winners of this process. On the other hand we might lose certain populations of especially salmonids like brown trout, grayling and also the salmon.


Do you have problem with overpopulation with carp and grass carp in German lakes?

During the 80´s it was very common to put grasscarp in lakes and ponds with lush submerse vegetation. Anglers tried to get rid of plants to have better fishing conditions. Depending on the type of waterbody this was a big mistake. Plants will manifest all nutritions in their metabolism, so the nitrogen for example is fixed in the submersed vegetation. Algea blooming is reduced that way and some species like tench and rudd but also carp and pike rely on plants for spawning aid. In fact I wrote my diploma thesis about these photophilic species. So what happened is the grass carp fed on the plants and released a load of half-digested plants and a huge amount of nutrition into the water.

Nothing gained. Lake becomes eutrophic, you get algae bloom and loose the underwater vegetation witch normally bonds nutriotions and keeps them “locked”. It’s same with normal carp when there are too many. This is why putting in any carp in waterbody is a risk. This is a classic example of mankind and its interpretation of “natural correlation”. Luckily our winters were too cold for the thermophile members of the grasscarp, amur carp and silver carp. They would not spawn. Nowadays we still have them in stocked lakes but we rarely find them in rivers or streams. As for the standard carp: Carp fishing is very popular in Germany and like fishing for predators, it is a serious economic business for the fishing industry. Carp are being stocked big time and the boilie-fraction keeps a jealous watch over the strict catch and release practicability. Overpopulation we don´t have with carp, the management of stocking often works in a very balanced way and again the long and cold winter period in Germany limits the growth of fish and its populations too.

You know we would really like to visit you and your place, I really hope there will be time to do this in near future. We like you’re pike waters very much! If we were to come where would you take us?

So, my home water the river Lahn holds some pleasant surprises when it comes to fierce river pike. Strong fighters. Not that fat like the pike that feed on whitefish in the big lakes we have. But more of an agile type and when you hook a fish like 1,10m plus and it runs into the rapids here, you are going to have a fun time! There is also a large water reservoir lake in my hood “Edersee” it is called. And I dare to say it is one of the best lakes for big perch in my country. Loads of 50 plus fish in there. Not easy to find, but possible to catch. For you ultra-light fishing fanatics it might be paradise!


This place sounds very interesting… Is ultra light fishing popular in Germany?

Yes it is! Since the global market of fishing tackle is opened 24/7 and the acquisition of high-end tackle from Japan or the US has influenced our fishing style so much, the wind of change has arrived. Mepps and Co became uncool and out of fashion as the soft plastics begun to boom. Cheap lures by the dozen, funky names, colours and the option to carry a wide range of light lures led to boxes filled with ultra-light tackle. Wacky, Neko-rig, Rockfishing – you name it. Also the ultra-light trout fishing is quite hip and fishing with Japanese hardbaits or spoons might be a delight as you know for yourself.

Also streetfishing is quite popular, this event often comes with ul-gear. I do it from time to time, but when I end up catching perch around 8 cm and start to remember how much fun it was to get these with a float and three maggots when I was a kid, I wonder if all the Japanese high end gear is justified for a discipline like that. And catching trophy fish on ul-gear is a matter of your own ethics: Fighting a large fish until it is totally exhausted can´t be your goal.

So well it might be a flavour of the month thing, at the moment many young anglers here discover the light fy fishing and do catch too, so a shifting of interest might be happening again.

We also hope that you will come to Croatia again, and if you come, is there something that you would like to catch here in CRO?

Maybe one of your beautiful Croatian ladies? I have to talk about this subject with my girlfriend, but at least I might dream of it right? The saltwater fishing is something I would like to do with the fly rod! Bluefin or Amberjack if possible would be a nice and exciting fishing.


That bass you caught last time was a surprise for guys from Karlovac and Goran too. They have told me that you threw some super noisy lure that they would never cast :)… Was that your last try or knowledge? :D

It was so hot that day! We all were like melting. And it was by far the most stupid thing to start fishing in noon, at the highest temperatures…So we were sweating like hell, were exhausted and didn’t catch anything until dawn. I tried topwater lures, frogs, soft plastics and even the fly rod: No bass! So just when thinking about quitting the fishing, I saw those two big bass lounging around close to the surface. Then I said to myself: Now it’s time for the most ugly lure that earned no chance until today and didn’t earn any trust so far: It was a Deps Buzzjet jr. in some strange Japanese tree frog pattern….I never fished it before. So one cast and the bass gulped it down right away. Not a second of time wasted. It was hooked properly and then the shit hit the fan: I mean your dear readers know about the waste problem concerning the waters we fished in? Stupid people dumped all sorts of trash in it and just when I tried to land the bass I hooked into a pair of used pantyhose! These were soaked with water of course and together with the furious bass too much for my rod…. The tights got stuck in a branch and the bass shook loose the hook. Luckily it was exhausted and lay flat in the shallows so I jumped in and could grab it. Well the pantyhose still was attached to the buzzjet… Nasty stuff! But today I wear these with pride!

And just one last question…

Smoking salmon of smoking weed?

I mean I am 44 by now, I had my days of fun and reckless lifestyle. With the family there comes responsibility. But from time to time a good smoke before a good meal might come in handy.


Frank, we hope that you will visit us on our page more and in CRO… Really happy and honoured that you made some time to be here with us ;)

I am looking forward too, I love you’re country and I got some deep connection with Croatia as many of my childhood friends here in Germany were Croats and I always love the culture that was being lived in their places and homes! So the honour is on my side that you guys took some time to host me! And I sure will be back at least to show Goran that there are bigger bass in that swamp hole!


Trinis 2017


Trinis Neo and Shinjin Neo range of rods were accepted by fishermen not just in Croatia, but all over the Europe. That doesn´t come as a suprise, since both were built on great blanks and equipped with Fuji guides and fair priced. In 2017. these 2 families will become one happy family with more models than ever. We are talking about more than 50 models, both spinning and casting. We at Spineri, together with all of the people that attended 3. Sakura UL Tournament in Lokve, Croatia feel really cool because we had an exclusive opportunity to see and try some of the new models before everybody else.


Trinis Neo and Shinjin Neo gave us many great catches in the last couple of years, since they followed us on most of our fishing trips and we have nothing but great memories with them. When we heard that boys in Sakura plan to combine these 2 series in one, in a way that they will take Trinis Neo blanks and put Shinjin Neo guides and grips so that they can lower the price, it felt like positive answer to our prayers. The thing is that we like our Trinis Neo rods a bit more than our Shinjin Neo rods, since they are a bit classier. They trully are, as they say, top shelf product. In the other hand, Shinjin Neo rods are exceptional in so many ways. Their range was so vast, with so many models that suit modern lure angler needs that we used them more.

Sakura´s new range of rods is built on superb Trinis Neo blanks, which are fast, sensitive, powerful and transmit every move of the lure together with shiest takes so they deserve to carry Trinis name. To continue with a mission that started with Ryokan rods last year, and that is to close up Sakura rods to wider circle of fishermen, they decided to put Fuji Alconite guides on blanks, which are cheaper than SiC guides, but they don´t affect on performances, or durabillity at all, neither they make any difference while fishing. Difference in price is substantial, though, so new Trinis should cost somewhere like Shinjin rods in the past.

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Now, when these two became one, when we have Trinis Neo blank wrapped up in Shinjin Neo equippment, we feel like we don´t have ask for nothing more.. Maybe only something in 2,50 meters of lenght around 25-30 grams of casting weight. Untill then, 2,33 long models from Long Range range will do the job, just like they did in the past.

So, what´s new and how does it look? 30+ spinning and 20+ casting models models that cover everything you can imagine, from UL to shore game, in lenghts from 1,80 up to 2,9 meters, with casting weights as small as 3 grams up to 150 grams. We have special models for micro lures and drop shot techniqe, followed by float tube models. Then we have some specials for spinnerbaits and cranks made of fiberglass, short models for vertical fishing, allround models for everyday fishing, together with long range, travel and power game models. It´s like the end that monolog from Tarantino´s From Dusk Till Dawn movie.. If we don´t have´em, you don´t need´em!


As we said, thanks to Sakura´s Tanguy Marlin we had an exclusive chance to see and try some of the new rods and we like how they feel and look like, as well as all of the people who tried them on Lokvarsko lake shore on 3rd Sakura UL Tournament.

4-piece travel model in lenght of 2,13 m with casting weight 7-28 grams was kind of suprise for all of us. It feels more powerful than rated and I find this awesome rod for heavy cover fishing for bass and pike. Fast, stiff and sensitive tip casts everything from 10 to 30, or even more grams and it´s strong backbone has enough power to cope with biggest bass and medium sized pike, among other species.


Great allrounder for those who travel a lot and can´t or don´t want to carry too many rods around. There are 3 more spinning models and 4 casting models covering most of the situations modern lure angler can come up.

Trinis Long Range models in 2,33 m of lenght and with casting weights of 20, 35, 60 and 85 grams are followers of Shinjin Neo Long Range models. Past models were my favourites, in lighter versions for bass, asp and barbel fishing and in heavier versions for pike and hucho. New Trinis LR with advanced blanks continues great tradition and looks better than ever. No matter if you´re after bass and pike on some lake, or pond, or you look for asp and barbel in river rapids, or you cast for seabass and bluefish from the sea shore, these rods will manage it. Although they are only 2,33 m long, due to it´s tip action, they cast lures far and accurate and because of it´s lenght, it´s a child game to animate twitchbaits, stickbaits and soft swimbaits with them. Shinjin Neo LR rods were exceptional rods with reasonable price, Trinis Neo LR with advanced blanks and same price are bargain!

Trinis Neo family of rods in 2,13 m of lenght were our pets. UL, ML, M version, we have them all here at Spineri. Because they are awesome rods. Awesome blanks, awesome equipment, awesome action, al packed in nice finish. They were a bit too expensive for our fellow fishermen, but every single one that put his hands on any of them said those are remarkable rods. After I spent some really quality time fishing with Trinis Neo M (2,13 m, 5-21 g), I can say that new Trinis didn´t lose anything of it´s action that I like so much. It seems very stiff at first, but it has perfect curve when fighting fish. I used mostly for bass fishing with wide range of lures, from soft stickbaits like 3-4 inch Senko to mid sized spinnerbaits and shallow and mid running crankbaits, but there were times when I was abusing it. Times when asp is chasing minnows on the other side of the river, and only lure you can cast that far is 30+ grams soft vib.. Well, Trinis can that, too and I am sure that new model doesn´t stand by a bit. Same blank, new guides, better price.. Doesn´t get better than that.


Somewhat in a shadow of new Trinis were new Sportism models. Sportism 862 MH was first Sakura rod I used. I remember an enormous amount of power packed in nice, eye catching red and white cosmetic. It turned out it is sensitive enough for shy zander takes at one side and powerfull enough to cope with 10-15 kilo catfsh in Sava river rapids. New models are redesigned, they got back Sakura black and orange cosmetic and thinner handles, so it sits nice in the hand. That feeling of power when you hold one, didn´t change, though. There are 12 spinning and 6 casting models covering everything from UL to XXH fishing.

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In 2017. Ryokan family will get new members, too. One UL rod with solid tip (2,30 m, 0,5-5 g) and 2 work horses in 2,60 and 2,90 m of lenght with casting weights of 15-60 g and 20-80 g. Since I am abusing 782 and 802 MH models since they came, I am allowed to say that these rods feel unbreakable, especially shorter one. I´ve been casting big lures , over 70 g with 782 MH model and pulling pike from heaviest cover. Guys from Topfishing store lifted bags of fish food with it, but the craziest story is one that Tanguy told us; they took one and bent it in a circle, so that tip of the rod ended on it´s butt. As they say on TV, don´t try this at home.

Anyways, in a couple of days of Tanguy´s visit, these rods caught almost everything that swims in Croatia. Pike, zander, trout, barbel, asp, .. and it´s fair to say they domesticated here. Comments on presentation at Sakura UL Tournament were great, too, so there is no other to sit and wait for them to show up in fishing stores. Looks like we have a long, long winter in front of us..




Every year, Sakura boyz bring to daylight a piece of fishing gear that takes our breath away.  This year that are Players rods. 8 spinning and 5 casting models look absolutely amazing and we couldn´t wait to get our hands on them. We decided to try ULST and ML+ model and here are our experiences.


ULST model iz UL toy with solid tip, 2,18 in lenght and 0,5-5 grams of casting weight. It is conceived as a weapon of choice for soft lures, but it´s much more. It handles little spoons, twitchbaits, even smaller inline spinnerbaits with no problem what so ever. So, it´s excellent choice for trout and perch fishing, but it has  enough power to cope with uninvited guests, like smaller pike, chub, even a barbel.


Players ML+ is also very versalite. With lenght of 2,13 m and casting weight between 3 and 15 grams, it´s great tool for soft lures and it also feels great casting and handling twitchbaits and topwaters. Soft lures around 10 grams together with twitchbaits and topwaters up to 10 cm suit him the best, although ML+ model has enough power to cast and work even heavier lures, like 105 mm Naja SuB.


Because of its sensitive tip and strong backbone, it´s an excellent choice for finesse fishing for bass, or river fishing for chub, or asp, as well as sea fishing for seabass, smaller bluefish, etc.



We don´t wanna waste too many words about design, it´s enough to look at the photos. We find it beautiful. It´s important to say that all Players come with Fuji guides and KR concept, Fuji reel seat and monoblock handle for better balance and sensibility.


For info about rest of the Sakura Players range, there is a link, and to see how ML+ model works in practice, click on a YT video!

American Dream


Hi Jean-Christophe, welcome to Spineri, we’re happy to finally have you here.

Bonjour ! I’m glad too, I really appreciate the energy you put in your job and your pictures are beautiful. I was supposed to answer that interview a long time ago but I’m so busy fishing that I didn’t take time for that.  Sorry. 

For starters please tell us how did you find such big love for bass fishing and bass fishing competitions?

I come from a small island in north west of France, ile de Groix. I  grew up fishing for salt water fish. We moved on the main land in 1988 I was 8 years old. At that point I’ve started to fish for carp, chub, trout, perch and pike I was using live baits mainly and some little spoon my uncle gave me. For Christmas 1989 I asked my parents to register me to a fishing magazine. I was able to read the hundred pages of the issue in one day, I was so passionate. Then I would go to the lake or the river and tried what I read.Usually it wasn’t a success but I remember one day reading a beautiful article about a French journalist fishing in Texas and Mexico and catching huge bass. He was using a spinnerbait. It made me dream so hard about bass and that crazy looking spinnerbait. I was 11 when I owned my first one. After that I’ve never put a live bait on my line anymore, except worms for trout. I built a lot of knowledge sharing with friends and older guys, but I also spent a lot of time fishing by myself. You can’t increase your level if you are behind your computer chatting about fishing instead of being on the water. In the late 90’s I traveled in the south west of France and started to fish for bass. It was amazing, I had the feeling that I didn’t know how to fish.Bass is so unique it requires so much technique and scientific knowledge. If you don’t know the seasonal pattern and what the fish are doing it’s going to be tough to adapt and catch them. Early 2000’s I met Tanguy and we began to fish together. Lot of fun, lots of good moments. We tried to give a new vision of fishing and a different energy through a blog, articles, videos and pictures. Then we fished tournaments together with a pretty good success.I fished in France, Italy and Spain for bass, but I felt limited. Even if the landscape and those countries are nice I felt limited and frustrated. I wanted to live my passion for bass fishing and fish in Bassmaster tournaments. I had to go to United States, it was a dream, it was in my guts. I was school teacher in France and it took me five years to save money and apply for different positions of school teacher in US. I ended up in Louisiana and bought a truck and a bassboat 15 days after landing from France.I fished the co-angler side of the Bassmaster Central Open my first year. I finished in third place overall and qualified for the pro side last year. It was tough because I don’t have the knowledge of the locals and I have a lot to learn.In 2016 I’m going to fish the pro side again and as everybody here try to qualify for the Elite series.  It’s a huge challenge, really difficult, but I’m going to give all that I have for that. I’m spending over 250 days a year on the water and I have a partnership with RangerBoats for 2016, it helps. It’s hard sometimes, but it’s all about passion.


What are the strongest bass tournaments in Europe and how much are they strong compared to American tournaments?

In Italy you have a strong scene of bassmen so as in Spain. Portugal is good too. In Europe we have a strong field of angler influenced by American and Japanese bass culture. The only thing is we don’t have all the variety of habitats that the bass fishing handbook can offer. Europeans are good at fishing clear water and rocky lakes, but what about grass, shallow muddy water, smallmouth bass, Florida strain, huge lakes and rivers ?
We have so much to learn from Americans and you can’t do it in couple months ! 
Americans have been fishing for bass forever and brought it to Europe in the 40’s. Those guys are used to catch them all over the country since they are in age of fishing. You can’t compete with that without spending a huge amount of time on the water and share. 


At one point you moved to America and started to participate in big USA bass fishing tournaments. How different is it to catch bass in Europe and in America?

Before coming here I was used to clear water and rocks or wood. I needed to increase my level in each compartment of bass fishing and discover what grass fishing was. The best scenes in United States are Florida, Louisiana, Texas, California and north east for smallmouth. So I decided to move to south west Louisiana thirty minutes away from the Texas border. I’m close to Sam Rayburn Reservoir, Toledo Bend (biggest man made lake in the US), Calcasieu River, Red River, Atchafalaya Bassin and a huge marsh that looks like Okeechobee in Florida and holds giant fish.
The strain of fish is different here in the south and the cold fronts affect them so bad! What is really different for me is the hunt. The way of finding fish. Those environments are so big, you have to cover a lot of water and be sure that you are doing the right thing. That’s why it’s so important to understand the seasonal pattern, how the fish behave through the year on each body of water you are fishing. After almost three years here I’m starting to have a better global vision of what I need to do. 


Was it then that your friendship with Sakura start or before?

As I told you I met Tanguy and then Franck in the early 2000’s. We were close friends really quick, so when he started to work for Sakura I just followed him as a pro staff member.

I have read somewhere that, since bass, like all fish, doesn’t have eyelids it is estimated that during sunset he needs like 15 min for his eyes to adapt on the light shift. They say that is why he is so aggressive in that period for surface lures, what do you think about that?

Ahahaha! I don’t know about that and I’m not a scientist, but what I think is like for any other animal or human being before going to bed it’s dinner time, and before starting your day it’s breakfast ! Those two moments of the day are premium periods to catch fish, no matter what you are doing if you are fishing top water, crankbait, flipping or cranking. You can’t miss that ! 


On some videos we can see that in America bass is active under the ice… But here in Europe, specially here in Croatia, bass fishing during winter is dead. Are we doing something wrong or are the fish just inactive?

It’s no secret that when you have ice in the water bass are pretty tough to catch! In Canada and northern states of United States they have a special strain of bass created to be more tolerant to very low temperature. You can still catch fish in really cold water but don’t expect a lot of bites. You have to slow down a lot. It’s painful! 

Do you prefer finesse fishing or power fishing?

I wish I could fish a topwater all day for 365 days ! But unfortunately it’s not the case, you always need to adapt to what the fish want. I like to catch them fast and with a safe and strong technique, especially if I’m fishing a tournament, you know big rod and 20 pound test fluorocarbone with a big single hook. I like to locate them with a spinnerbait and then take the area apart and use a Texas Rig.
But when I’m fishing a river system with clear water I can’t avoid to use a spinning rod and 8 pound test fluorocarbone. Fishing a weightless Senko or a wacky worm is always efficient and the fights are fun on that kind of gear.

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How much difference does the color of the lure make in bass fishing?

Colors are a big factor in bassfishing like in any other type of fishing.I’m going to give you a quick pattern I use on my soft baits:First you need to base you bait color on the water clarity and the cloud cover.If the water is clear and the sky is clear I use really light colors, close to translucent like watermelon, watermelon red, watermelon black flakes. White can be good in the morning and evening If the water is clear but you have clouds cover and less light penetration I go with a green pumpkin, green pumpkin black flakes or june bug.Then when it’s stain (50cm to 80 cm of visibility), june bug and green pumpkin are still my go to. Finally when the water is really dirty I use black, or black and red. Something that can offer a lot of contrast. Also you have to observe and keep in mind the kind of baitfish you have in the water you are fishing. Shad, crawfish… Because it will be a huge indication on what the fish are feeding on and you want to try to match it.

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What Sakura lures do you use most in your fishing?

When I try to locate fish I like to use the MONARC spinnerbait. I’m also a big fan of the NAJA SUB and his unique way to fall by the tail. The SLIT SHAD is also a bait I’m using in many different context.

You made a small presentation about new Sakura Players rods. Are you planning to use them for tournaments? What do you think about the new Players?

Oh yes I’m planning to use them ! I’ve been fishing with the PLAYERS since the beginning of 2016 and I’m really impressed. Lighter than the FURIOZZA, really sensitive and powerful. The talon full carbon offers a new look but mainly more sensitivity and a good loss of weight. I’m really in love with the 7’4H for flipping and the 6’8M for top water and soft jerkbait.

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Thanks Jean for being here on Spineri and sharing with us your incredible fishing story. We wish   you all the best in future bass competition and life. We will be following you and we hope that   now you will come more often here to share with us your experiences.

Thank you so much for that interview and for the support. I’m looking forward to writing in Spineri and sharing more fishing stories or techniques with you. Merci, à bientôt. 

I would like to thanks RangerBoats, Navicom for Humminibird and MinnKota, Costa Sunglasses and Sakura Fishing.

Keep on fishing !




Hi Gong Lei it’s a pleasure to have you here on Spineri.

Thank you for having me here.

On your Facebook profile we have a chance to see that you catch a lot of big fish! Can you say how did your love for lure fishing start, and what pushed you to develop yourself more as a fisherman through the years?

Yes, I love to chase after monsters and keep challenging myself for big fish.  It all started many years ago.  I find using lures to “trick” fish to bite is more challenging than using real baits or trolling. It’s the thrill I get from casting, working and fooling the fish to bite.


If we judge on your videos, you have a wide range of very aggressive predators that like to attack your surface lures. Do you prefer some species rather than others?

I choose my target species.  I travel very far, as long as 2-3 days to search for my target species.  I go after the strongest or the fastest ones.


It’s seems that you fish some untouched waters. Is fishing with casting reel and lure something usual in your place or are you an exception? How is the situation with catch and release approach on your waters?

There are not many lure anglers where I live but the number of fishermen is quite significant too.  Therefore, the fishing grounds around here have very high pressure.  Many anglers here don’t release but throughout these few years, the number of catch and release anglers has increased quite rapidly.  I have been trying my very best to educate them.


We can see that you prefer fishing with a casting reel. Is that because you like fishing with this gear or is that just simply the best setup for fishing these big fish in hard cover?

Using a casting reel to fish is more challenging.  You get better accuracy and sensitivity.

Plans for future?

At this moment, I am concentrating in Papuan black bass but I do have plans for other species also.  What are the challenging species around where you live? 

I think that every species of fish is challenging if you chase their record breaking specimens. So we have big pike that I think you would like cause they are very aggressive. Big catfish that are very strong and unpredictable. We also have large brown trout and hucho hucho salmon. Catching a trophy specimen of any of these can be really hard and challenging. There is more, and I would like to use this opportunity to invite you to Croatia to chase whichever you like. We would be very happy if you would come. You have everything here… You only need to buy a ticket and take some gear that you prefer :)

If somebody from Europe would come into your neighborhood looking for some advice about lure fishing. What would you tell him? What fish is present in all the waters?

There are Europeans coming to where I live to fish from time to time.  The common problem I saw is casting skill and understanding the lure action problem and hence my advice to them is to practice the casting and understand the actions of lures before coming over.   Since the fishing pressure is high, brushing these skills certainly helps.


We know that you have caught one of the most popular sport fish in the world “black bass”… But we also see on your wall that you catch a lot of real black bass. More precisely papuan black bass. How powerful and aggressive is this fish? Between black bass and Papua black bass, which do you think is more agressive in attacking your lure?

The common black bass or large mouth bass is a lot easier to catch compared to Papuan black bass.  One is among the weakest fish and the later is the strongest freshwater fish I have ever encountered. Do note that I can’ find Papuan black bass in where I live. I have to travel 2-3 days by flight and sea to some remote rivers in South East Asia to get them.


DUO has some great lures, can you tell us which are your favorite models from this company?

I am the Pro Staff of DUO.  I would say all their lures are designed for a reason. I don’t have any specific preference but I tend to sway more to top water because I like to use top water more than other. 12038437_444419445760172_4279503765643418363_n

And if we ever come near your fishing spots for black bass, except fishing gear, what is important to have with you if we would go to such remote places? Something against bugs, snakes?

As for black bass, it all depends on where you fish. There are places medium heavy setup would suffice but there are also places you need to use the heaviest casting setup you can find on the market.  I have been using my own custom rods recently, custom to suit my style and target fish at specific places I fish.  Snakes have not been an issue but insect repellents against mosquitoes and sand flies are essential.


We saw you caught giant trevally… Are you impressed how strong this fish is?

Giant trevallies are strong without a doubt, but fresh water is my forte. I only spent less than 5% of my time during such trips on saltwater species.


Do you have a brand of rods and reels that you prefer to use? Can we know the names of brands? If you have them?

As I have mentioned above, I have been using custom fishing rods and design them from scratch, i.e. from the blanks for all these expedition and adventure fishing. They are solely for my personal use and I don’t have any plan to make it commercial at the moment. However, nobody knows what will happen tomorrow. Who knows one day I may cooperate with some company to develop them for the mass market.


That is it. Big thanks for this interview and for letting us into your world of fishing. We’re looking foward to see more of your fishing adventures and great catches. And hopefully you will come here to Croatia someday and we will take you fishing :). Tight lines!

It´s Trinis Neo world!

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Trinis Neo family of rods comes in wide range, we are talking about 28 different models of rods, both spinning and casting. We will introduce 3 spinning models that we at use for some time now and we can say we know them by soul. We are talking about UL, ML and M Trinis Neo rods, all in 2,13 m of lenght.

Range of Trinis Neo rods for UL game are dark object of desire of many UL anglers, for sure. For start, they look classy and stylish on a first sight, and when one takes any of them in hand, they feel as light as feather. Fuji reel holder and K guides only improve their modern appearance. Longer model (Trinis Neo 702 UL, 2,13 m, 0,4-7 g) weights only 95 grams and when I tried it for a first time, I was in doubt if it is a bit too delicate. First cast showed me I was wrong, and first hooked trout put up a smile on my face. It was clear that Trinis Neo is my new weapon of choice for UL fishing and more. Fast actioned, sensitive, but strong with receptive tip that transmits every bite, Trinis Neo can cope with much bigger fish than those that are common targets in UL fishing, like perch, or trout.

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Trinis Neo in ML version is a true diamant in all of the Sakura range of rods, and more. In last few years many rods went thru our hands and Trinis Neo ML is one of the best. If you ask Robert, maybe even the best, since he uses it for wide range of fishing. Trinis Neo ML (2,13 m, 3-10,5 g) can be used for UL fishing too, since his tip will catapult smaller lures at far distances and enjoy fighting small perch, for example, but you can also use it for barbel fishing with soft swimbaits like Slit Shad 75 mm on heavier jig hooks and end up as a winner after rodeo that big barb usually provides once hooked. Everything between these two extremes is a pure fun when using Trinis Neo ML, and that´s what fishing should be at the end! In Robert´s hands Trinis Neo caught pretty much every fish that swimms in rivers and lakes of Croatia, together with some sea predators. ML model of Trinis Neo is a true all round spinning rod.


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˝M˝ in Trinis Neo M stands for medium power, but this rod is so much more! When I saw it for the first time, black bass was first fish I thought of. After I realized this is no ordinary 20 grams of casting weight rod, I started using it in many situations, whether I am after black bass, pike, asp, chub, or barbel. Trinis Neo M (2,13, 5-21 g) handles shallow and medium running crankbaits, like those from Golem range without a problem. Topwater lures and twitchbaits I like to use a lot during a warmer part of the year suit him perfectly, as well as soft swimbaits and smaller metal jigs and vibes in colder part! Trinis Neo M is a great power fishing tool which likes the best to fight with fish around 40 cm and up. Since black bass bigger than 40 is rare here, chubs around 50, together with 60-70 cm long asps and barbs of river Sava make good replacement!


People say that money can´t buy happiness, but it can buy a nice piece of a fishing gear and that´s kind of the same thing. Trinis Neo rods are more than just nice!

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Daiwa Luvias


Luvia; spanish- pure, or clean, finnish- loved, or love.

Luvias reel takes it´s place in the upper class of Daiwa´s range of reels, right next to Certate, Morethan and Exist and truly is a piece of gear with pedigree. It´s normal to have big expectations once you decide to spend a lot of money for a reel. It is normal as well to be prepared to spend fine amount of money on something that has MADE IN JAPAN tag on itself. After 2 years of hard labour I´ve put up in front of this beauty, I can say she´s worth it.

Luvias weights only 205 grams so I was a bit sceptic about it´s power, especially I bought high gear model, Daiwa Luvias 2506H. Fear and skepticim lasted shortly. Luvias seems to be stronger, or more powerful than some full metal models I´ve tried, such as legendary Daiwa Tournament 2500SiA, which I owned and enjoyed for some time. Also, it´s much lighter, for which it can be grateful to Zaion- high density carbon. We won´t bother you no more with advances that Zaion offers, for we are fishermen, not physicists. All we can say is that Daiwa found an excelent material for it´s high-end reels.


Benefits of Zaion, together with it´s lightness, is that reels made of it seem as they are so much better in any way one can imagine. One of reasons is that the handle screwes directly in gear mechanism and even after 2 years of torture it doesn´t show any sign of wear, nor it wobbles in any way. Luvias 2506 is made for light fishing, but I have to say I wasn´t always so kind. More than often it had to fight with big spinnerbaits and deep diving crankbaits on the other side of a line. All of the harassment Luvias handled better than expected and it´s still tight as it was the first day I took it out of it´s box. Luvias in 3000 size is much more appropriate for medium hard and hard fishing, of course, as 2004 size is more fitting for UL fishing, but 2506 can handle bigger lures and, due to it´s weight (only 205 grams), fits any UL rod.


So, after a really hard season of river fishing and heavy bass power fishing I decided it was time to give it some slack. So I reeled up nice thin 9 lb braid and decided to use it only for what it´s made for, light fishing for trout, perch and chub. And barbel lure fishing occasionaly, simply because I love to listen how that brake of it´s screams while it tries to control those savage barbel runs. Daiwa reels are famous for their excellent brake mechanism, and Ultimate Tournament Drag can wear it´s name proudly, for it surely is ultimate! It handles every situation, from that furious asp takes to massive barbel runs smooth. No suprises there.


All of the Daiwa reels reel in line very good. Luvias does it superb. Even if we are talking about slack line, with who many other reels have big problems. Bird nest is a word that Daiwa reels didin´t hear of. It doesn´t matter if you use inline spinnerbaits for trout on a fast river, jigging for zander ona a lake, or fish for bass with unweighted soft lures. For all of these situations Daiwa has 2 solutions: Twist Buster and Anti-Backlash System. They get the job done. Another thing that makes Daiwa reels better than the rest is bigger spool diameter- less friction, less line twists (less memory for the line) and longer casts.

What to say at the end? Most of the people will agree you can´t put a price tag on something you like. The vast majority of fishermen will confirm that with a smile. I find that most of us fishermen are big kids. And kids like toys. New toys, to be correct. Daiwa Luvias is not a new toy, it´s on a market for quite some time now and it has awesome reputation. It´s a serious tool and a big boys toy in one. Kind of toy that puts up a smile on a face every time you take it in the hands and a kind of tool you believe in it´ll get the job done, every time, even if one overloads it from time to time.


Franck Rosmann


Bonjour, monsieur Rosmann, it´s real  pleasure to have you on Spineri.

My pleasure too ! Please call me Franck!

Ok, Franck, for start, tell us what it´s like to have ´your own´ fishing brand? What it´s like to be in head of Sakura? I guess your job is a great joy in one hand and a big responsibility on the other…

Well, you’re right ! It’s a real pleasure that bring many satisfactions all year long depending of our activity. This job put a lot of pressure ans stress too, like a chess game!!! But when your new product or the whole range of your brand become popular all over your country or Europe it brings you joy like victory in competition. I must thank Mr Francis Coutou, former president and owner of SERT, who hired me as product manager 10 years ago when he decided to launch a new brand, Sakura.


Sakura has really nice range of lures, from topwaters, crankbaits, twitchbaits, softbaits, etc. Lots of novelties every year and so on. How many time do you guys spend on developing one single lure? How many of them never earn it´s spot in the final selection?

We try to reach a rate close to 100 % between projects and final commercial lauching. Because of the needs of current market we develop new products all along the year. The main phase is during winter between september and may but some projects need more time. 

When you´re developing new lures in Sakura, do you make them to suit you, or you have the final consumers- fishermen in your mind? Or one goes with another?

Yes I can say both ! Some lures or other fishing tackle are “must have” in a complete range to match the market and consumer needs but we already have proven that we have made real innovations based on personal ideas.

And when it´s all done, do you know you have a killer lure that will be accepted worldwide? What it´s like to see that something you made catches fish all over the world?

In this kind of “game” you must be ready to face to all situations and stay humble and modest! But sometimes you think your lure will be a killer and nothing happens, sometimes it´s the opposite. But when developing rods, for example, it’s easier to think in advance what will be the future of your creation. Perhaps it’s because there’s less competition and because Sakura is very popular and has one of the best reputation for building good and affordable rods.

You know our products and we are lucky enough to offer some worldwide class lures, that’s a great feeling of joy and proudness when you see big fish that produced big smile on fisherman’s face ! It’s probably just because we are fishermen too !!!


Now, a little something about Franck Rosmann the fisherman. When Etienne visited us last year, we talked about you quite a lot. He said your style of fishing is power fishing, among other things. What are the advantages of power fishing, why do you prefer it?

I must say I like this kind of fishing because it’s active and often brings surprising and violent strikes. Power fishing allows you to have success even if you don’t know a place or if you’re not equiped with hi-tech sonar and fish finders. When I started fishing this kind of electronic devices were not allowed in France so that’s probably why I learned lure fishing with this efficient style. One more important point is that Power Fishing make you move a lot and ask you to adapt your strategy depending of the new spot you discover. It’s sometimes mechanical, but not boring !

What would you say, when is power fishing most efficient? Time of year, conditions, etc?

I can say that Power Fishing is efficient all year long. You must adapt the depth, the speed and the kind of lure you are using. There’s no only one style to practice Power Fishing. You can use topwater lure as well as heavy spinnerbaits or even rubber jigs. I remember one tournament in Spain we have not won but finished it on Top 3 thanks to shallow water Power Fishing with 3/4 Oz football jig with soft crawfish trailer.

Finesse fishing? How do you stand with finesse fishing and do you use finnese baits only when it´s absolutely necessary?

I like Finesse fishing too. I like fishing weedbed edges with small rubber jigs, targeting schools of perch or trying to find bass with light texas rigged softbaits. But you’re right, I use Finesse only when conditions are hard and fish inactive.


We know there is no such thing as a best lure, but there are some better than others. Do you have your favourite(s)? Lures you believe  more than the others?

If we talk about bass lures, I like very much using rubber jigs, spinnerbaits and stickbaits or poppers. I also like buzzbaits beacause of the explosive strikes they can produce sometimes. One year I fished bass during all along the summertime only with a special buzzbait I have modified. For pike, spinnerbaits and spintails (Divinator from Biwaa) are my favorite lures. With my fishing buddy of the 90′, Laurent Poulain, we won many tournaments with spinnerbaits. These victories helped us to promote lure fishing in France thanks to the good results we had fishing versus natural bait anglers.

What kind of lures are  in your fishing box when you`re after a  black bass?

I have all kind of lures from topwater to bottom. Hard, wired or softbaits ! The only lure I did not use at all for bass is jigging spoon.

Favourite fish? Black bass, or?

Hahaha ! I think you already know the answer! Yes, Black bass stays my favourite fish because he’s a great part of my life. Even if I fished him obsessively for years, he impacted me not only my fisherman life, but he followed me since my teenage and help me be what I’m today. I did some small action for him compared to what he gave me during all these years. Now I have a new relation with him and don’t fish him as intensively as before. I discovered tropical fish both in saltwater and freshwater and I must admit I like GT and Peacock bass too… But it’s not the same story!


Fishing scene in France? What are you guys after mostly, what do you catch, with what gear and so on? Boat fishing, bank fishing, sea fishing?

In France, if we only talk about lure fishing, I can say that there’s two different major kinds of fishermen practicing in our country waters. Saltwater anglers targeting seabass and freshwater ones looking after Pikes or Zander. For sure you could find big catfish, bass, trout or perch fishermen but these first ones are the trendy. More and more anglers use semi-rigid inflatable boats or “bass boats” fully equiped with updated electronic fish finders and sonar. They use spinning and casting gear with all kind of lures and they are very skilled now if you compare the fishing level to the one we had in France 15 years ago, it’s amazing.

You traveled a lot, right? Visited some remote places and caught some nice fish.  Do you have some place you would like to visit again?

I traveled a little bit more in tropical destination that’s right. It’s to balance the lack of time to go fishing during the year because of hard work. I pay attention to save some weekends to be with my family. I traveled many times in Madagascar and I really fell in love with this island for many reasons. It is not complicated to travel there and it’s a safe country with nice people…and good sized fish ! I’m sure to be back in the very next years. Same for Brasil and the great Amazon rivers. I had a nice trip 2 years ago but fishing was very hard. I need to go back there also to meet more Tucunare than during this first trip.

Peacock bass? You caught some.. What it´s like? Power fishing to the bone, I guess?

Peacock bass or Tucunare is a concentrate of muscle and hi-energy power. We can call him “Fast and Furious”. You’re right, it’s pure Power Fishing!!! I had never seen such a powerfull fish before. I sincerely recommed to your readers to try it once… or twice!!!

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If you had to choose one characteristic that makes a good fisherman, which one would it be?

The most important for me : being respectful to nature and fish.

And bigger picture? What does it take to call someone a good, even great fisherman? Quick adjustment, open mind, lots of hours on the water, lots of gear, persistence, ..?

Nowdays, facing to high pressured fish, of course you need to have a wide range of lures and gears but it’s not the most important in my mind. The skills that make a good fisherman in terms of efficiency could be : open mind and sense of observation and being able to think like a fish. In french we call it “le sens de l’eau” that means to understand how the fish environment works and how the fish reacts to changes (daily, weekly, monthly, etc). When our population was more rural than urban this skill was common because people were fishing for eating. Now, mainly practicing catch and release, our fishermen put more confidence in tackle and electronic to help them to connect with fish! They are a new kind of good fishermen!


When we interviewed Tanguy, he said, simplified, sharing is a great way of learning about fishing. Internet made it so easy to share things these days, how do you feel about social networks, forums, blogs, etc? Is it easier now to learn something new, or there are too many infos that can make someone who just started fishing all confused and lost even before he started?

I agree with Tanguy and definitly think sharing from one to each other is the best way to learn. Not thru a machine, but live ! That’s one of the reasons why I founded Black Bass France in 1994.

Spinning vs casting. In intro for this interview, for which we are  grateful, you said lure fishing for pike, bass and zander is 60% baitcasting and 40% spinning. Here in Cro  spinning gear is much more present. Baitcasting gear has it´s share in pike fishing and sea fishing from the boat. Only small part of bass fishermen use baitcasting gear. Maybe the reason is that we mainly catch bass from the bank and most of the time with some of the finesse fishing methods. What it´s like in France and how would you bring closer advantages of baitcasting gear to the (bank)  bass fishermen here?

Yes, bank fishermen mainly use spinning gears everywhere because of simplicity to use and efficiency to cast far effortless, that’s why it’s still very popular around the world, and in France too. When I (with my friends) did promotional actions with BBF we talked about comfort and quality of lure presentation. When you do close range cast like pitching (and this is easy to explain during fishing show or exhibition in shops) the people understant that you cast is accurate and delicate, so you can catch more fish and longer thanks to the ergonomics of casting rod and reel. Bass are very often hidden in the cover close to the banks so you don’t need to cast so far. But if you want to do you can buy a longer casting rod and it’s done ! Nowdays we (Sakura and other fishing brands) offer baitcasting gear able to cast finesse lures. For me, it’s clear when you must use light lures (< 7-10 g) it’s better to switch to spinning gear. I have nevers said that everybody must let spinning tackle down and only use casting one because it’s trendy or more fashion. A fisherman must be adaptative and use the best gear at the right time.


When fishing from the bank for black bass, what do you use most often? Spinning, or casting gear, reel, rod, lures?

To be linked with the previous answer, I always bring 2 rods when I go fishing from the bank for bass. 1 spinning combo like a Shinjin Neo 6’6 ML or Trinis Neo 6’3 M with a size 2008 5,1:1 Siryx reel filled with 8 X Sensibraid 0,12 mm and a casting one Furiozza 6’8 M or MH and a 6,4:1 casting reel like an Oxio or Calix filled with 0,16 mm braid line or 0,33 mm Aya mono. I always use fluorocarbon leader. With these combo and a small assortment of lures, I can stand many conditions.

I put in my box some bags of soft stickbaits like Gary Yamamoto Senko, Grubs and Crawfish or Flappin’ Hogs. For sure, I select some clear and 2 tones Slit Shads in size 10 cm (very versatile) and I take some hooks, glass beads and bullets in various sizes to Texas rig or weightless rig my softbaits. Some rubber jigs in 1/2 oz in black/red and watermelon colors are perfect. Never forget 2-3 spinnerbaits in hot and natural colors in 10-17 g (Monarc) and 2-3 medium sized jerkbaits (8 cm) and 2-3 in small size (5 cm), they are here to match the fry, so I prefer natural colors (Akaru Minnow and Phoxy Minnow). To be complete I pick-up some topwaters in small to medium sizes (4-10 cm) in mixed natural and hot colors (Pop’n Dog and Naja) and 2-3 shallow to medium runner crankbaits in the Golem and Bomba crank models.

I find that many fishermen here neglect the shore when they are after bass. Do you search for bass out in the open water straight away, or you work the  bank first?

I agree with you. I always start to fish a new spot fishing the bank under my feet! Sometimes there’s some caves and bass like to ambush here… So be quiet when apprcoaching new spot and start casting some meters before the edge of water.


RH baitcasters.. They´re big in USA? What do you think of that, did you try it?

Since I started baitcasting I alwayas ask why american anglers mostly use right hand baitcasting reels!!! After years of investigation I have the following answer : US angler (at least in the past) were mostly Power Fishermen with big crankbaits and spinnerbaits and because this technic need physicial stamina and strength, they used their stronger arm, wrist and hand (if they were right handed) … the right one for casting and cranking ! Their weaker left arm was not sollicited as much to move the lure, just holding or jerking the rod. In Europe because of our fishing technics using lightest spinning gear to cast and move accurately the bait or the lure, we only use our stronger arm to cast and animate the lure. The cranking motion done with spinning reel is not so powerful and fast as with a casting reel doing Power Fishing! When I discovered the casting gear, I naturally tried to find left hand reel to keep my habits!!! I tried some RH reels but I don’t want to change.

Back to Sakura.

What can we expect in 2016. from you guys? New Ruty Minnow is an absolute killer, I fell in love with Phoxy HW at the first sight, Slit shads are still our favourite softbaits.. What´s cooking for new season in Sakura´s kitchen?

Hé hé ! Many, many news are cooking ! To give you a quick overview : we will widen the Phoxy Minnow HW range and colors, bring a new lipless crankbait with 3 different sound patterns, a metal blade, some intersting saltwaters lures like pencil popper and surface skipping spoon, new sizes of Crazy Anchoa jigs and Mister Joe, etc.. We have designed a super mini-monarc for finesse spinnerbaiting and different models of swimming jig and chatterbait, etc. Rods and reels ranges will be changed or completed as well (3 new series and new multi-piece Mitsio Travel).


Modern lure fishing in the future? Where do you see it, in what direction will it go? Real life decors on hardbaits, softbaits that look, feel and smell  like the real thing, UL fishing, down-sizing of the gear, scents, ..?

I think fishing tackle must keep limits in terms of capacity to fool the fish by themselves! I think human action must be kept, that’s the thrill of fishing… If it’s too easy it’s not fun nor intersting ! I really wish that we could use more and more environmentally safe products to make lures and packagings.

And for the end, something that many people asked us already.. Sakura UL tournament 2016.? You were so generous last year, can we count on your support this year too?

We really appreciated to see such motivated people like you and all croatian anglers enrolled in this event, doing a very good promotion for our brand. For sure, we will support the 2016 Sakura UL tournament.

Monsieur Rosmann, thank you for everything, I hope I didn´t ´smother´ you too much and we´ll talk again when you make the final line up of the gear for 2015.

Merci beaucoup encore une fois!


Spinning vs casting


I fish for bass with lures and became a true addict of this fish since I was a teenager, I mean from the beginning of the 80s. During all my school course I avidly fished for bass with traditionnal spinning tackle we could find in french shops. Since I started to work as fish farmer at the end of the 80s, I got some american fishing tackle catalogs and discovered the modern era of lure fishing. After a year of study and practice I tried to bring baitcasting fishing and tackle closer to the French fishermen through different media and animations field. I was an author in a wide spread fishing magazine so it was easy for me to share with other fishermen.

From the second half of 90s, I decided with some friends to found Black Bass France, a non lucrative association, to protect the Black bass french population and promote this game fish offering to anglers the joy of an amazing catch.


In the same time, the presence of specialists such as Hiroshi Takahashi, amplified and reinforced my goal to popularize modern lure fishing tackle. We created a real movement thru all the country and proved many times in predator tournaments that this tackle is even able to win versus natural baits, in various conditions.

Today we can see and affirm that the use of this technique is perfectly mastered by many fishermen, regardless the age and initial level. This technique has become so popular that we sometimes even tend to forget or even denigrate traditional spin rods and spinning reels in France for fishing as they did in USA. Because of the tough conditions, Japanese bass anglers never forgot to use spinning gear, when necessary.

However, my message has always been clear : One technique does not exclude the other one, but are totally complementary. Depriving yourself of one of those two would be a technical foul, in sports terms, it’s like starting a golf course with only one club!


Let’s go straight to the point and leave aside the exceptions: spinning is better recommended for delicate presentation called “finesse” and/or to cast light and teeny lures with thin lines. When you need to cast far or fish deep and vertically, spinning should be the best choice too. Zander fishermen know that very well when they use soft baits, like shads, close to the bottom in more than 15 m of water. As a bass fisherman in rivers and lake with heavy shore cover, I really like to skip my lures underneath the tree branches to reach hidden spots where the biggest bass like to ambush. Even if some fellows use casting to do that, believe me it’s far more easy with spinning tackle (talking about soft baits, hollow frogs).


One more thing you must know about spinning advantage is that under high winds (saltwater fishing or bad weather in freshwater) you could throw your lure with minimum difficulty while with casting equipment it’s nearly impossible or you may spend most of your fishing time to untangle the bird nests made in your reel due to spool overruns. On the other hand,you will better use a baitcasting equipment for heavier lures and stronger lines, practicing a run and gun strategy named “power fishing”. You will be able to make repetitive and quick casts to different targets, keeping your boat or float tube in ovement.

Some lures I like to use for power fishing are deep crankbaits and spinnerbaits, but both pull on your rods and offer big resistance when you crank the line. That’s why, here again, baitcasting gear is a better choice. The multiplier and compact baitcasting reels can handle the efforts applied to mechanics while a spinning one can’t.


Let’s come back to the heavily covered banks we talked about before and let’s notice that baitcasting rod and reels perform more accurate and discrete presentation of rubber jigs or texas rigged lure in small pockets of reeds or close to dead trees. To do this properly when fish are inactive and stay close to cover, you will use short pendulum casts named pitching or flipping, to send the lure just in the nose of the fish. Because casting equipment is often more powerful and stout than spinning one, you will be more comfortable to pull a fish and extract it from heavy underwater cover with thicker line. That point gives you another advantage if you catch a bigger fish than you imagined, for example catch a big catfish when fishing for bass !

To sum up, if you want to own a complete equipment for bass, perch or pike, the proportion is generally shared like 60% in baitcasting gears and 40% in spinning. We are not so far from parity, keep this in mind … The pleasure and the results depend on it !

Franck Rosmann

Damien Brouste!!!


Hello, Damien.. Nice to have you on Spineri. I see that you are fishing addict like us. You have caught a large number of different species on fly and made some great photos in the process. We are especially interested in one of your pursuits and that is Golden Dorado. It looks like something in between brown trout and largemouth bass to me. How would you describe it, or with which more familiar fish would you compare it with when we are talking about fishing it?

Golden Dorado is a pretty unique fish. It have the same behavior, aggressivity of a trevally and it can live in pocket of waters like a trout. Sometimes it’s surprising to have such a big fish in such small waters. 


Have you tried lure fishing, or you are fly fishing only? Is it possible to fish for golden dorado with lures, or is it fly only?

Yes, I’m lure fishing from time to time with my friends. Love the infinite possibility of animation. It’s impossible to have the same thing with a fly. It’s easier to fish for Dorado with lures than flies. You can cast farther and cover a lot more water in less time.


What would be the best advice to give someone who decides to go in Bolivia to fish for Golden Dorado?

If you are a hard core fisherman who fishes all day long, take care of your feet. I use one pair of thin socks, one pair of trekking socks and one pair of neoprene socks. The worst thing that can happen is to have some sand in contact with your feet. On the ninth day of my trip, I couldn’t walk anymore, no more skin on some part of my feet…

If you are a regular fisherman, the best advice is to bring some light clothes because of the heat and humidity. And to train to do big strikes because the mouth of a golden dorado is full of bone. 


Most of people think that remote locations like that don´t ask a lot of knowledge. I wouldn´t agree with them. Have you ever experienced day without a bite? How important good guide is?

Bolivian forest can be dangerous if you are not with a guide. A lot of things try to bite you. I have been bitten by an ants, bees, wasps, ticks, leeches and spiders…… I don’t know if I spent a day without a bite, after some days, you get used to them!


You have to be careful of ant24 (the pain stays for 24h), tarantulas, some beetles and snakes. So you have to check before putting your ass on the floor! The pollen of some white flowers can make you crazy for the rest of your life.


Videos show dorado puts up a great fight, with lots of jumps and sudden runs.. What kind of equipment do you recommend, or use?

In my opinion, Dorados do a vertical fight. They jump a lot but they don’t pull very hard. It’s still a fantastic visual fight. I used 8 and 9 weight ultra fast fly fishing rod. In fact, i think that you have to use a rod strong enough to cast big lures/flies. About the reel, you have to be very careful with the sand on those rivers. It’s like flour that goes everywhere!


How to recognize a good dorado fly? You have some favourites, i suppose..

On those rivers, the bigger, the better. I prefer thick black flies because i think it’s easier for the fish to see it in brown water.


There are many amazing photos of Dorado and you, both on FB and your web. There are also many beautiful trout there, together with some sea monsters.. Is there some fish, or some fight that you´ll never forget?

Definitely! My first GT, their power is so awesome, you can not imagine before living it.


A big trout in a deep wild New Zealand valley where I had to swim in that cold water in the evening. 


My biggest Koï carp, I had to swim too because I hooked it on a 5 wt, and I couldn´t do anything to stop that monster for a couple of minutes. I had to dive to pass the rod under a root in 2m of water. My fly boxes popped out of my pockets and my cap too!

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And the last but not the least, a big surubi in a Bolivian river while it was raining. That fight was epic too. I had to swim (again!!). This fish is rare and it has incredible power.


What would be your favourite ´target´ and why?

I don’t have a favourite target. Every fish have his specificity, and that’s why it’s so interesting to chase them all! But if I have to choose only one, it would be carp. You can pursue them everywhere in the world. And their behaviour is different in each waters.

You have some beautiful photographies on your web. Would you say that for you a good photo is equally valuable as a good fish?

Photography allows me to share those great moments I have on the water. When I see one of my pictures, it reminds me at those feelings, sensation I had in that particular moment. But if you ask me if I prefer to fish or take a picture when I’m alone, I can tell you that story that happend to me on a flat of Western Australia. I had 2 tailing wrasses in front of me. One of the tail was blue and the other brown (male and female). It could of been fantastic pictures. But I prefered to have a try with my fly. It was a difficult choice because all of the fish I have tried earlier that morning didn’t notice my fly.

But my perseverance was rewarded by that fantastic catch : a Redblotched Wrasse. A pretty new fish in the fly fishing world. Finally, I can’t resist to a tailing fish!


What camera do you use for your photography and your favorit lens?

Most of my pictures have been taken with a Nikon D700. I bought a D800 just 6 months ago. I use 3 lenses : 20mm 2.8, 50mm 1.4 and a 180mm 2.8. Sometimes I use a 105mm macro lens of a friend. 

Who is your favorite photographer and why?

I don’t have a specific favorite photographer. A lot of photographers in the fishing world do a great job. I get my inspiration everywhere, even in fashion and landscape photography.

Damien, big thanks for letting us into your world of great fishes and beautiful photography. We will continue to follow your work and we hope that our roads will cross some time in our life. Croatia has beautiful trout waters and if you have a wish to come here, we will be more than happy to take you fishing.


More from Damien on his web site: