View single post by Andre Laas
 Posted: Fri Jul 31st, 2009 12:17 pm
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Andre Laas

Joined: Thu Nov 8th, 2007
Location: Westville, South Africa
Posts: 1545
Sliding has made a huge impact upon the shore angling fraternity, and as always anything new will create a lot of reactions. There is a lot to be said for and against the sliding technique, and this will probably be a controversial topic for a long time to come.

My personal opinion is that sliding has opened a whole new aspect of angling for both the recreational and competitive angler, and although it does provide any angler with some definite advantages, I do not feel that it is giving an inexperienced angler an “unfair” advantage, or that it will completely level the field in competitive circles.

The art of sliding is just that…an art, and it is definitely not as straight forward and easy to use effectively all of the time. Sure, most anglers can cast out a heavy grapnel, slap some bait on a slide trace and slide it down the line towards the deep, and sure a lot of these anglers will pick up one or two good fish, but as with all forms of angling, not every-one will be able to achieve constant good results with this technique, and experience and knowledge will still come out tops!

Sliding is a much more tedious process than fishing cast baits. You cast out, set the sinker, prepare your bait, clip it on the line, and then start shaking your bait down to the stopper ring. In the time it takes to complete this process, an angler capable of putting in a decent cast with heavy bait would have had his bait in the water for about 10 minutes before the slide bait reaches the target area. Thus, the guy skilful with cast baits will have his bait in the strike-zone for much a longer time.

Slide baits can also not be used at all times and under all conditions, and somebody that is only capable of fishing slide baits effectively will definitely not move up the competitive ranks too fast, as some areas and conditions will require a magnitude of other skills from the competitive angler.

Like with all angling, it is knowledge that gives the real advantage and “luck” in the end. Casting an 8 ounce grapnel out 170m and sliding out big bait that took an hour to prepare onto a marine “desert” is not going to yield many results. Like any other form of angling, just walking down to the closest spot on the beach and casting out as far as possible will more often than not send you back home with a “mombakkies”. One of the most common problems that inexperienced slide anglers (me included) experience is burn offs due to the slide not getting to the stopper for various reasons. It takes a lot of time and effort to learn the finer bits of negotiating side-wash, sending your bait out between sets of waves, using rips and undertow to your advantage and etc. etc.  

I really think that the sliding technique should be seen as a new flavour to spice up the R&S angling scene rather than a technique that will level the playing field or provide an unfair advantage to some. It may result in some more catches, and maybe more hook-ups with really big fish, but it is a technique that is available to all, but is only really mastered by a few. It is the experienced angler that can successfully work this technique into his repertoire that will be coming out tops 99% of the time!