Reg Bird is a regular at Davo's but never more so than early this year when he lost two Penn combos in quick succession and in identical circumstances.

In each case he'd followed his usual routine at Sunshine Reef, dropping a well weighted handline to the bottom then casting a light weighted Squid and Pilchard duo out the back of the boat.

On both occasions the handline went off first and both times Reg propped his rod against the transom to grab it, only to see the rod immediately hit hard by a monster pelagic and disappear over the side before he could get back to it.

The boys at Davo's could hardly believe it when he came in to buy his third Penn Power Stik and Senator 113HL reel in three months, but after commiserations, were more than happy to supply yet another replacement.

Two weeks later Reg and his regular fishing buddy Toby were again at Sunshine Reef and you guessed it, Reg's handline went off first.

This time our intrepid angler wasn't about to be caught napping and took his time securing his 'new' rod, only to see the round plastic handline spin out of control and literally fly out of the boat.

It ended up in the water about two metres from the side, furiously spinning on the surface as it proceeded to feed out the best part of 200 metres of 40kg line.

Keeping his cool Reg reeled in his other line, stripped the bait, stretched out, and speared the rod tip
through the centre hole of the still spinning spool. All this before Toby even realised what was going on.

He almost had it to the side of the boat when it spooled out to the knot and shot back down the shaft of the rod. As luck would have it the 5/0 hook on his rig sank into the plastic spool as it flew off the rod tip and the battle was on again.

The 13.9kg Tuna that was on the other end (top right) took a further 100 metres of 15kg line before Reg got the situation under control.

After that it was fifteen minutes of hard slog, reeling back nigh on 300 metres of nylon, a large circular spool and a feisty Bluefin Tuna that was still trying to figure out where on earth this guy was getting all the line from.

Oh, the bottom left photo? That's Reg and Toby after a normal outing.

Nothing out of the ordinary happened. They caught some nice reefies, had a few cuppas and a chin wag, didn't lose any gear, and generally had a great day, which is as it should be - well most of the time anyway.

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