By David E. Petzal
“The only time I ever got my s**t together, I couldn’t pick it up.”—Roger Miller
Packing successfully for a hunting trip is far more important than making out a will which will hold up. If you die and your will is successfully contested, what do you care? You’re dead. If, however, you bring only longjohn bottoms on a hunt and leave the tops at home, you’ll regret it bitterly for a week or more.
Because I’m at the age when I have trouble remembering who I am, much less all the stuff that I have to take along, I’ve developed a system that’s worked pretty well. First, take out all the hunting gear you own. I mean everything, even if it has no place where you’re going.
Second, assemble what you need, and don’t do this by simply slinging it into a duffle bag. Don’t assume that you have patches and gun oil in your cleaning kit. You may have taken them out on the last trip because the TSA doesn’t allow gun oil. Are all your batteries fresh? Have you gained so much weight since last season that, when you button your heavy pants, little purple veins erupt on your nose? [ Read Full Post ]
By Kirk Deeter
If my dog eats the grip off my new $700 fly rod, will you buy me a new one?
That's basically how it's playing out now with many of those "lifetime guarantee" rods, whether you realize it or not. You're not exactly buying my replacement rod, but when you purchase warrantied rods, you are paying into an "insurance pool" of sorts. We all know nothing is really "free," especially not in fly fishing.
Let's break this down using basic math for the sake of explanation. Assume that an average of one in three rods gets broken in its lifetime. The retail price we pay for rods is therefore closer to the actual cost of 1.33 rods. You're kicking in an extra third. If you break your rod, that's money well spent. If you don't, you took one for the team. [ Read Full Post ]
By Kirk Deeter
Now that Mr. Merwin has told you how nice the soon-to-be-released Cabela's CGt rods are, we're going to give you a chance to win one.
You know the drill. Submit your captions for this photo—of a few ladies rubbing shoulders with a stingray (look closely)—in the comments thread below, and the best one wins the prize. We'll pick the winner at the end of next week. Simple as that. Good luck! [ Read Full Post ]
By John Merwin
I don’t often get very rhapsodic over low-end fly rods. Some of them are okay, and I recommend those frequently to anglers on a budget. But they just don’t perform as well as many of the high-end sticks.
But recently I’ve been field-testing a new-for-2013 fiberglass model that is just the nuts. I love it. The rod is Cabela’s CGt fiberglass, an evolved and improved version of the 100th anniversary glass rod they began marketing a couple of years ago. My 7-foot, 3-weight version is 3-piece and costs $149.99.
Light-line rods, meaning less than a 4-weight, have usually felt mushy to me in casting because there’s so little line weight to actually bend the rod. This has led to some overly soft rod tapers. The new CGt rods are anything but mushy, which is even more surprising considering that glass is less stiff than graphite. [ Read Full Post ]
By Chad Love
It was an old fishing bag that had been fished much in the Gulf Stream but had gone many years without carrying gear. In the first few years a man had carried it. But after many years without carrying gear the bag's current owner had told the bag that it was salao, and would be sold at auction. For damn big bucks.
Yes, that's right. Ernest Hemingway's fishing bag is for sale. It was a good bag. It served him well. You should buy it. It will be expensive.
From this story (via Midcurrent) on classicdriver.com:
Now dedicated fans of the Nobel Prize-winning novelist Ernest Hemingway have the chance to own a peculiar piece of literary history – a fishing bag that accompanied the great American author on his adventures at sea is set to cross the auction block at Bonhams in New York next month... [ Read Full Post ]
By Kirk Deeter
My favorite business stories in fly fishing are the ones that go something like this: Person genuinely loves fly fishing and realizes a need or an opportunity to make something cool, based on their experiences. Person then goes "all-in" with an investment to chase that goal. Person doesn't compromise their values, manufactures in the United States, and maintains a focus on innovation and the interests of the customer. Person's company is successful.
I'm pretty sure that's how the script is going to play out for Vedavoo, maker of slings, packs, bags and the like for anglers. Vedavoo is a small operation, but it made a strong impression a couple weeks ago at the International Fly Tackle Dealer trade show in Reno. (The name Vedavoo is an alternate spelling of “Vedauwoo”--an outdoor park with notable natural rock features in southern Wyoming; company founder Scott Hunter attended the University of Wyoming.) [ Read Full Post ]
by Kirk Deeter
We saw a number of interesting new products for the fly fishing market at the International Fly Tackle Dealer trade expo in Reno last week. On a 1-10 “innovation” scale, given the fact that this was a smaller show compared to years past, I’m going to rate the new collective product offering a 7. We’ll get into a number of specific product reviews in the coming days and weeks, but I wanted to kick things off with the NRS Clearwater Drifter.
It’s a drift boat. No, it’s an inflatable raft. Actually, it’s both—an inflatable watercraft that has a frame and is shaped like a dory. This boat generated a lot of buzz at IFTD, and actually won a “Best of Show” award in the watercraft category. [ Read Full Post ]
By John Merwin
Very often when I write about various fishing tackle items, some readers comment that they wish the item in question were made in the U.S. They’d be much happier buying a domestic-made product. They’d like to support American jobs in the tackle industry. So this morning I’ll give you a chance to put your money where your mouth is.
American-made fishing tackle is far from dead. To be sure, giant, global-tackle brands such as Daiwa, Shimano, Rapala, and more depend, for the most part, on overseas (usually Asian) factories. But look around a bit, and you’ll find plenty of quality gear that’s made here at home--hook, line and sinker. Here are a few examples.
Fishing lures are the toughest, but there are still notable examples. One is Dardevle spoons (pictured here). Michigan’s Eppinger Manufacturing is in its third generation of family ownership and still stamping out spoons by the millions every year. Want to support American-made? Buy more Dardevles. [ Read Full Post ]
By Tim Romano
A SUP, for those yet uninitiated, is a Stand Up Paddle board.
I can see Mr. Joe Cermele rolling his eyes now...
It's been almost a year to the day that I last posted on this subject and started fishing off my very own board. That post had quite a bit of spirited conversation and comments. Granted it did have a healthy dose of ladies in bikinis fishing off said boards...
Since then I've heard that SUP fishing is a fad and a "silly way to fish." Ahem, Mr. Cermele. I'm here to tell you it's not a fad and it's not going away. [ Read Full Post ]
By Will Ryan
You can put the trico and midge boxes away now. For the rest of summer, the dry-fly action is big, violent, and explosive. Stick to the grasshopper and cricket patterns here and follow these tactics, and you might just catch your biggest trout of the year. [ Read Full Post ]
By Joe Cermele
This week in our vintage tackle contest we've got an old combo with nostalgic story to match. This photo was sent in by Cale Canter, who writes: This was my grandfather's. He left it to me in his will a few years back. He was a big trout guy out in New Mexico during the 50's, and said this was his "Old Reliable." Just looking for some info and value concerning the pieces.
[ Read Full Post ]
By Joe Cermele
The smallmouth spawn is long over, the fall cooldown is months away, and every hour you spend on the water feels like a session in the sauna. If you’re a fly angler, you could retreat to the AC inside, or you could wipe the sweat off your face and tie on a dragonfly. In late summer, these large insects transform from aquatic nymphs to the buzzing morsels you see zipping over the water’s surface. These two approaches will get even the most sluggish smallies rising.
1.) Fly Pack Fishpond’s new Dragonfly Guide Pack ($90) is ideal for the fly caster using big bugs. The front fly pouch is deep and domed so you won’t crush your on-deck flies, and a large main compartment holds an extra box or two, plus other essentials. [ Read Full Post ]
By Lance Schwartz
Bosski 1600 AL ATV Wagon
ATV and UTV camping, hunting and fishing adventures off the beaten path are an exciting and relaxing way to unplug from the world and reboot your brain. The racks or beds on these machines generally get the job done for adventures close to home that don’t require hundreds of pounds of supplies. To reach some of the best destinations, however, additional provisions to supplement days of travel are just too much to handle without a capable trailer to help transport the cargo. The Bosski 1600 AL ATV Wagon is large, well built, has theability to haul over 1,200 pounds of cargo into the backcountry, and is quite possibly the best adventure trailer on the market.
[ Read Full Post ]
You can spend $500 or more for a top-end fly reel that’s as exquisitely machined as a Rolex watch. Or you can pay about a fifth of that and still get a model that will serve you well for many seasons to come. These days, a C-note will buy you a lot of reel—one that looks good, balances well, picks up line fast, and comes with a drag system smooth enough to handle big fish on light line. We asked four trout anglers to spend an entire summer testing the four reels below to determine which offers the best performance for roughly $100. [ Read Full Post ]