Over a year ago found myself in the market for a new pair of bait runner type reels. After weighing up the options of the available on the market in my price range I opted to purchase a pair of Korum Kxi 60 freespin reels which really looked the part.
In the time that has passed since accruing these I have used them in just about every situation and weather imaginable, from Spring tench fishing on large gravel pits, right through quiver tipping for Zander on the Warwickshire Avon in Autumn, and in all situations they have performed admirably.
It was not until my early Spring campaign of this year that small foible developed in one of the reels. Very occasionally the free spool became a little temperamental at the very lightest setting. Although intermittent it became a little worrying that sooner or later it might let me down just at the wrong moment. Then more recently the second one also started to show signs of going down the same route. At first I pondered contacting the retailer. But when I ran the scenario through in my head 'I bought a pair of these reels well over a year ago. I've hammered them in every weather come rain or shine and now I think there is something wrong with them' I got the distinct impression that how they would reply would start in a laugh and end in an expletive. So rather than be made a fool off I instead contacted the manufacturer via their website and explained my situation.
Their response was nothing less than amazing considering I was just some bloke who had emailed them via their website. Straight away they asked me to send them back to their service department where they would check them over and repair them, no questions asked. Well a week after returning them I received a parcel I assumed would contain my freshly serviced Kxi's.
But what was in the box was not my serviced reels but.... A brand new pair!!!!
Not only did they supply me with the new reels but they considerately returned my spools from the old set. Meaning I now have four aluminium spools per reel. To add to that they even chucked in a few goodies including a fetching green baseball cap that I will certainly be sporting for the rest of the Summer.
I have to say that considering the reasonable price I initially paid for these reels, Korum's response has been truly amazing and has left me in no doubt that they actually care about how their products are perceived and whether the anglers that use them are satisfied with there products. So all I can say is thank you very much everyone at Korum. Job well done.
Having a newly spooled pair of brand new reels seemed the perfect excuse to hit the lake for a night session and test them out. So after attaching them lovingly to my Avon rods and setting up the rigs with probably more than due diligence, I headed off to make camp on the shores of the lake.
With the entire night at my disposal there was no way I was going to hold back, it being Summer and all. With no doubt in my mind that the lakes residents would get onto the feed I mixed up a smorgasbord in two large buckets. 4k of green crumb, 2k pellets, 3 tins of sweet corn, 2 pints of hemp, 2k stewed pigeon mix and a few choice flavours gave me around 12 kilos of bait once it was all damped down and ready to be balled in.
A quick lead around found a large clear patch in the weed an easy cast out in an area the seem to be residing in at the moment. Then with a marker float bobbing around central to the patch I fired out ball after ball all over the area. Even dropping them in on a high arc to try and get maximum impact on entry so as they never made it to the bottom whole. As one last cherry on top of the cake I finished off by scattering half a kilo of 10mm Boilies loosely over the baited area to try and get the fish looking for those bigger tasty morsels.
With lines marked and rigs cast out I settled down in my shelter thinking that after all that racket the swim would take a long time to repopulate and this would give me a good four or five hours of dozing before any action occurred. It did take sometime for the fish to venture back in. But no where near as long as I have seen before on the lake and I had not go so much as one wink of kip before it happened. Once the light faded my it was like a switch flicked and the frenzy began.
I was straight into a good size fish on my first bite and that one hadn't even crossed the rim of my landing net before another bobbin began to rise and fall slowly indicating a second fish. The first fish looked huge in the bottom of the net but I never had chance to do anything with it. So I left it in the edge whilst I attended to the second rod. Now with two bream in the bottom of my net I did for a moment consider going for a brace shot. But the second fish literally half the size of the first so I opted to just release it straight away so I did not have to worry about it whilst I weighed the bigger one.
After weighing the fish at a little over 9lb I attempted to get a photo. This turned out to be a little hard as you can see from the state of the photo as my third rod, which I should just say was on a smaller separate spot just down the edge, started to bleep as I was trying to take it. This again turned out to be a smaller 4-5lb fish and after releasing both fish I turned round to see the carnage that was my spot. Three rods all out the water, nets mats and me all caked in bream slime and this was only the beginning.
For the next five hours I worked feverishly to try and keep rods in the water. I do not think at any one point I actually managed to have all three rods in the water at one time. As they just rattled off one after another time and time again. Every time I looked into the bait bucket my bait seemed to dwindling more and more the feeders were going out so fast.
I do not know how many fish I had landed but by two in the morning I was in a real state. My casts were getting less accurate and I repeatedly forgot to clip up. Fatigue was getting the better of me and quite frankly the fish seemed to be getting smaller as the night wore on. It was hard, but I had to make the decision to pull my rods out the water just so as I could get some sleep. It is not an easy thing to do, to stop fishing even though this was one of those time when they can't get enough of it. But I had to do it before I did something really stupid, like standing on a rod or something in my totally dazed state.
I can't even remember throwing off my top or crawling in my sleeping bag. But somehow I did manage to remember to set my alarm to go off at five so I could recast and hopefully fish whilst dozing in the morning.
It is surprising how refreshing only a few hours of sleep can be. My eyes pinged open instantly the moment the sound of my alarm began to build and got straight on with business of getting the rods back out. All three hit there spots first time and I got the feeling the fish were still around as I felt two liners as I set the bobbins.
The fishing was a little less frantic in the light. Which enabled me to sleep for probably thirty minutes between bites. The first takers were pretty average for the lake, falling into the 4-7lb bracket but a couple of naps in a very slight bite yielded a very solid resistance. We all know bream fight like wet sacks but this sack felt like it still had spuds inside. Compared to a lot of the previous fish I took it very easy on this one as it wallowed in. Just of the net I saw a pretty big tail, then as it rolled over the cord it looked big.
I have now caught so many bream from the lake that I have seen probably every possible different shape on one fish or another. Long ones, short ones, thick ones ,and thin ones. But this one had all the positive attributes it needed. Massive humped back, deep pigeon chest and although not a super long fish it was defiantly wide.
The scales confirmed my hopes. At last a double from the lake. Though only just at 10.2lb!
Weirdly that was pretty much it as the bites went and the first and last fish I caught were the biggest of the whole session and interestingly younger looking fish than a lot of the average ones.
I have racked my brain to try and figure out how many fish I landed through the night. But the best I have come up with was that I lost count somewhere between fifteen and twenty. But I now I landed lots more of all shapes and sizes. A conservative guess may be around twenty five fish through the night. Add to that the confirmed six in the morning. Using some very rough sums and average weights plus the two definite weights has me thinking the total weight could well have been anywhere between a hundred and fifty to two hundred pounds. Though I could never confirm the exact weight I certainly had a few hundreds pounds worth of bream slime caked on my kit which I had to try and clean off.
Oh, and as for the new reels, they were faultless!