Author Topic: Lightning strike or static jolt  (Read 3170 times)

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Offline Haroldg

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Lightning strike or static jolt
« on: November 22, 2016, 03:29:32 pm »
I was one of three spinners yesterday around 4pm on a rocky outcrop. I was belting a spoon out and had violent "static" run through me. This was so bad that I would have dropped my rod had I not been on the rocks. This continued until the spoon hit the water and nothing during the retrieve. This continued for a few more casts and some of the chaps were quite amused watching this. Some of them tried out my outfit only to experience the same thing.


The two chaps beside me spinning experienced nothing. I tried a different reel and same story... I was wearing rubber gum boots so this puzzled me. My left hand from the elbow down is still sensitive a day later. I wiped the rod down and let it rest on some concrete and the issue was resolved about an hour later.


The weather conditions turned from being blazing hot to overcast in a short space of time. In the distance one could see a storm gathering but other than a bit of wind there was no adverse conditions close by.  I did some reading up and apparently this was lightning that was travelling from the ground up and could have been quite dangerous. Apparently the safe route would have been to call it a day which I would gladly have done except that I was the only one affected and was trying various things to figure out what was going on.


Lesson well learned....

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Re: Lightning strike or static jolt
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2016, 05:45:32 pm »
I was spinning with my boys at Ifafa and we were all getting shocked while retrieving. Not a cloud in the sky but it was very humid. At first I thought it was the braid hitting my hand but when I looked at my boys they were laughing at me. Discretion being the better part of valor I deceided to pack it in and go home. It wasn't a serious jolt just a small stinging shock. We did get a lightning storm later on.Graphite rods and lightning don't mix.
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Offline Half-Pint

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Re: Lightning strike or static jolt
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2016, 07:47:22 am »
We experienced a similar thing at Mazeppa once.

Andrew our gillie was winding in a swim bait when he started complaining that the rod was shocking him. We all had a laugh saying he was just getting lazy and making up excuses to cut off the swim bait.

After a few minutes he flatly refused to continue. Someone else picked up the rod and sure enough confirmed that the rod was shocking him. Way out to sea on the horizon we could see that there was an electrical storm. Clearly there was sufficient electrical activity in the air to be conducted by the rod :shk

A reminder that lightning is NOT to be played with

Offline dugong

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Re: Lightning strike or static jolt
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2016, 08:15:35 am »
Also be very careful of crossing railway tracks to get to the beach, I once saw two guys on the back of a bakkie with 14' rods over their shoulders getting a quick lift down to the beach.......lets just say they got very lucky that day!!
Also fly fishing or even spinning for bass near 11kv power lines that you often see near dams :nuts:
Just Fish!!!

Offline Visenvryheid

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Re: Lightning strike or static jolt
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2016, 05:44:22 pm »
Wet salty braid also conducts well..I've been buzzed while casting, 5 minutes later an electrical storm broke out..I was packed up already, joints were sore for days, got zapped propper. My leg was doing like it was hooked up to exercise electrodes, I jumped onto a dry rock as quick as I could. Had small burn marks at the drainholes in my boots, on my skin..Felt like I was getting stabbed there as the shock started..It never discharged through me but as I cast it wanted too, as my spoon went sailing up high I got zapped.

Did you have drain holes in your boots? I wear normal ones to insulate me now, I reckon it was earthing through me through wet socks and those drainholes from the the wet rock, anyway close call.

Offline Haroldg

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Re: Lightning strike or static jolt
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2016, 05:52:32 pm »
Visenvryheid - Your description of the experience is a lot better than mine - That's exactly what happened... 30 mins later a huge storm followed. I do have drain holes on my gumboots but I was dry spinning from a concrete block quite high other than the salty spray. This is a long shot - the other guys beside me were not affected so I figured that there must have been residual static from the synthetic cover that comes with the Daiwa Excellers?

Offline icstuff

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Re: Lightning strike or static jolt
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2016, 08:41:49 am »
Also be very careful of crossing railway tracks to get to the beach, I once saw two guys on the back of a bakkie with 14' rods over their shoulders getting a quick lift down to the beach.......lets just say they got very lucky that day!!
Also fly fishing or even spinning for bass near 11kv power lines that you often see near dams :nuts:

Some of my best fly fishing spots are under power lines  :cnfzd
I have to say that I have never had any problems!
Squid Happens!

Offline Visenvryheid

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Re: Lightning strike or static jolt
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2016, 11:41:33 am »
Also be very careful of crossing railway tracks to get to the beach, I once saw two guys on the back of a bakkie with 14' rods over their shoulders getting a quick lift down to the beach.......lets just say they got very lucky that day!!
Also fly fishing or even spinning for bass near 11kv power lines that you often see near dams :nuts:

Some of my best fly fishing spots are under power lines  :cnfzd
I have to say that I have never had any problems!



Yet! Haha be careful!

Ja my money is still on the drainholes allowing you to earth, maybe you had sweaty socks..salty spray..ja..Been on the boat when we had to drop all the rods from the holders and drop the antenna and crouch..everything was crackling like crazy as a fog bank rolled in around us..pretty scary. I had normal gumboots on there and I was very grateful between that few mm's of rubber between me and the wet deck. There have been discussions on sealine and other international forums on this topic, the wet braid with a wet lure/spoon up high into the air is a pretty decent conductor! :) I was fishing with a shimano that time off the rocks, the common denominator is the wet salty braid though. I makes sure I am insulated these day..the burn marks on my feet were enough evidence..gave those boots away next day :)
« Last Edit: November 29, 2016, 09:07:32 am by Visenvryheid »

Offline bassbug

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Re: Lightning strike or static jolt
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2016, 12:00:08 pm »
you know that noise, that zinging noise from the tension on the line when fighting someting big on the line, that's the noise i have had on my bassing rods. at first its a laughing matter, later my senses kick in and only then i make my way off the water. stupid thing is, i should of moved off the water long time ago

 :craz: :nuts: [size=78%] [/size]

Offline dugong

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Re: Lightning strike or static jolt
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2016, 05:21:39 pm »
Also be very careful of crossing railway tracks to get to the beach, I once saw two guys on the back of a bakkie with 14' rods over their shoulders getting a quick lift down to the beach.......lets just say they got very lucky that day!!
Also fly fishing or even spinning for bass near 11kv power lines that you often see near dams :nuts:

Some of my best fly fishing spots are under power lines  :cnfzd
I have to say that I have never had any problems!
The thing is you will never know when you have the problem  :hnthnt: :the sHPLAT
Just Fish!!!

Offline icstuff

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Re: Lightning strike or static jolt
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2016, 07:28:14 pm »
Also be very careful of crossing railway tracks to get to the beach, I once saw two guys on the back of a bakkie with 14' rods over their shoulders getting a quick lift down to the beach.......lets just say they got very lucky that day!!
Also fly fishing or even spinning for bass near 11kv power lines that you often see near dams :nuts:

Some of my best fly fishing spots are under power lines  :cnfzd
I have to say that I have never had any problems!
The thing is you will never know when you have the problem  :hnthnt: :the sHPLAT

So true - We tend to stand in the water, but after some really scary moments a few years ago I leave the water if there is trouble brewing.
Squid Happens!

Offline Nellis

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Re: Lightning strike or static jolt
« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2016, 09:38:39 pm »
Being from the Western Cape we, AFAIK, does not have such issues to contend with. Is this geographic area confined? It seems to be quite scary.

Offline DavePE

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Re: Lightning strike or static jolt
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2016, 07:04:27 am »
I've had this before spinning in PE with my aerocast. It hurt like hell. I thought it could have been the braid storing an electric charge as it peeled off the reel, but reading this thread maybe it was an oncoming storm, it was very overcast if I remember correctly.