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Fishing Gear

  • May 7, 2012

    International Nymphing: The Spanish Combo

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    By Kirk Deeter

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 19, 2012

    Tackle Tip: Fix a Busted Rod Guide on the Water in Minutes

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    By Bob Stearns

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 18, 2012

    How To Fix a Poorly Fitted Trailer Coupler in Minutes

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    By Bob Stearns

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • April 2, 2012

    Matching a Spinning Reel to a Rod, and Other Useful Info

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    By John Merwin

    Among many thousands of fishing-related web sites, I’m always surprised at how few there are that have really solid, useful information. So I was happy to fall upon one such over the weekend from Anglers Resource, which is the sole North American distributor of Fuji rod components. If you’re about to buy a spinning or baitcasting rod, Anglers Resource is a must-read.

    The section on five rod-buying tips is really excellent. They demonstrate how to match a spinning reel to a spinning rod, for example. Take the reel you plan on using with you when you go to a tackle shop. Then check to be sure the reel’s centerline axis matches the guide set-up on the rod you might buy. In the accompanying Anglers Resource photo, the match is marginal at best.

    Importantly, the company is not touting any particular rods or brands. It’s just that the physical configurations of spinning reels and rods are widely varied. Some match well together. Some don’t. And the only way to get peak performance is to check that match before you buy. This is just as true if you’re planning on spending $50 as it is if the price tag were $500.

    There’s lots of detail, also, about guide size and spacing on both spinning rods and baitcasters. Maybe more than you want to know. There are plenty of people who don’t care about this sort of thing. As in “Here’s my money. Just gimme a rod.” But there are plenty of others (like me) who obsess over the smallest details. For those, the Anglers Resource sections on static loading and guide spacing are truly enlightening. [ Read Full Post ]

  • March 5, 2012

    Pro Tool's J.Wayne Fears Series Knives

    By David E. Petzal

    Pro Tool, which makes the Woodman’s Pal combination tool, and master outdoorsman and writer J. Wayne Fears have designed three new knives that bear his name (top to bottom): the Ultimate Survival Knife, the Ultimate Outdoor Cook Knife, and the Ultimate Deer Hunter’s Knife. J. Wayne knows about everything there is to know about hunting and staying alive in the wilderness, and the knives show the input of someone who knows what the hell he is doing.

    All three are made of 1095 cutlery steel, tempered to Rc 54-56. This steel makes a blade that sharpens easily and takes an edge like a razor, but usually requires a fair amount of resharpening. However, these hold their edges like Grim Death itself. Out of curiosity, I cut the top out of a steel acetone can with the Survival Knife. Its edge needed a little retouching, but otherwise it didn’t seem to mind.

    Because tool steel rusts, the Deer Hunter’s Knife and the Survival Knife have their blades and tangs epoxy-powder coated. The Cook Knife does not, and if you leave it in your kitchen knife drawer you must stress to all who may use it that if they put it in the washing machine, they will be stabbed with it. Repeatedly. [ Read Full Post ]

  • December 8, 2011

    Why Bass Fishers and High Stickers Should Love Czech Nymphing

    By Kirk Deeter

    I've been hanging out with Steve Parrott of the Blue Quill Angler in Evergreen, Colorado, lately, and I have to tell you, I think he's made me a convert to Czech nymphing.

    Steve has a relatively new DVD on the subject, which I eagerly endorse as a potential stocking stuffer, because he takes a topic that many of us find, well, literally "foreign," and brings it right home in a way that's easy to understand.

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • December 5, 2011

    Major Tackle Manufacturers Moving Out of China

    By John Merwin

    Let’s talk about China, Inc.. If you’ve bought much low- to medium-priced fishing tackle lately, chances are it was made in China. That country’s manufacturing capacity and sophistication have grown enormously in recent years, which combined with relatively cheap, skilled labor made it a logical source for many global tackle brands. But now that appears to be changing.

    Not that Chinese-made tackle is about to disappear. It’s a very big industry there, and the Chinese fishing-trade expo--called “China Fish”--is a huge international deal.

    But consider this current headline from the European fishing-trade journal Angling International: “Giants Accelerate Move out of China.” Rapala, for example, is moving some lure manufacturing along with some VMC hook operations from China to Batam, Indonesia. [ Read Full Post ]

  • November 15, 2011

    Review: New Work Sharp Honing Rod

    By David E. Petzal

    Some time ago I introduced you to the Work Sharp Knife and Tool Sharpener, a small belt sharpener that has had roughly the same impact on Western civilization as the printing press, penicillin, and the Hula Hoop, and all because it is the first device that will let even the most fumble-fingered put a razor edge on nearly anything that cuts. (I have put a paper-slicing edge on a Cold Steel Spetsnaz shovel with it.) [ Read Full Post ]

  • October 17, 2011

    Review: 5 New Flashlights For Anglers

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    By John Merwin

    Flashlights. Everybody needs at least one and--most often--more than one, each light suited to a particular task. In my case, that includes tying on a fly or lure after dark, finding my way through the alder tangles back to my truck, and illuminating the area around a camp stove so I can have dinner.

    I recently had the chance to test five new-for-2012 flashlights, a couple of which are truly outstanding. Fortunately, my neighbors didn’t call the cops despite seeing all the odd-looking activity in my yard after dark. I am thus still free to report the following.

    1. The PolyTac 90 LED is a small (4.1 ounces, 5.22 inches high) right-angled light that puts out a whopping 170 lumens at its highest setting with 3 hours and 45 minutes run time. On the lowest-output setting, the two 3-volt lithium batteries are said to last for 30 hours. An attached belt clip plus a hanging carabiner give various attachment options. At $85, it’s nice, but pricey. From streamlight.com. [ Read Full Post ]

  • October 17, 2011

    Tie Talk: The No-Tool Whip Finish

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    By Tim Romano & Kirk Deeter

    Fly tiers often use a whip finish tool to create the knot at the head of their fly, but here, renowned fly innovator Rob Russell shows how you can make the same, durable knot with two fingers.

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • September 30, 2011

    Review: Jeep 2012 Wrangler Rubicon 4x4

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    By Slaton L. White

    How do you redesign an icon?

    Carefully. Very carefully.

    Just ask the guy responsible for the Wrangler YJ, which replaced the beloved (but slow-selling) CJ in the late 1980s. All in all, not a bad vehicle, but it was vilified for having square, instead of round, headlights.

    Small beer? Not to the hard-core Jeep fan. Jeep engineers learned the lesson, and though the current model desperately needed an upgrade--especially a more powerful but fuel-efficient engine--designers knew they couldn’t change the shape or alter its iconic look in any substantial way. In other words, it had to have round headlamps, as well as the seven-slot grille, to carry on the hallowed Willys tradition. [ Read Full Post ]

  • September 28, 2011

    Fly Fishing Heirloom: The Custom Net

    By Kirk Deeter

    by Kirk Deeter

    I've never had the spare money (or the burning desire) to own a bamboo fly rod.  I'd be too afraid to break it and I like to fish my rods. Besides, I have some very special graphite rods that mean the world to me for different reasons, but more on that another day.

    I'm pretty tough on most of my gear, as anyone who has fished with me can tell you. I'm also no slave to fashion. I wear a ratty old vest; my waders are grease-smeared and tattered; my hats are all sweat-stained and riddled with snags and pinholes from flies being stuck in them. River rattiness is almost a badge of honor for me.

    But if there's one thing I really care about, it's my net.  Think about it. The net is what you use to close almost every deal on the river. It is the tool that turns the hunter into the healer. [ Read Full Post ]

  • September 26, 2011

    Why You Must Maintain Your Tackle

    By John Merwin

    The wages of my fishing-tackle sin have come home to roost. Thinking about an upcoming saltwater trip to the Rhode Island shore, I pulled a favorite wide-spool baitcaster off the shelf. Bad, John. Very bad.

    The reel suffers mightily from corrosion and accumulated grit. All the cleaning and maintenance I should have done last fall or winter somehow got put off. Just as such things always seem to get put off. But I want to use the reel in a couple of weeks, so now I've got to do it.

    It’s a classic case of a fishing writer’s “do what I say; not what I do.” I mean, how many times have I preached about taking good care of good tackle? [ Read Full Post ]

  • September 23, 2011

    Review: Chevrolet Silverado 2500 4WD Crew Cab

    By Slaton L. White

    Ten years ago I went on a week-long salmon safari in Alaska, living out of a slide-in camper in a Silverado equipped with a Duramax 6.6-liter V8 turbo diesel. It was an epic adventure, and looking at my old notes I see I raved about the truck’s performance. “Moved well from a dead stop. Quiet, even at full throttle. MPG: averaged between 11 to 14 mpg.”

    A lot has happened to GM since then. After teetering on the brink of insolvency for years, it finally plunged into bankruptcy two years ago. What many people don’t know was that the company came perilously close to Chapter 11 in the 1990s. But they got a stay of execution. Know why? The Silverado. It was just about the only GM product people wanted to buy...and they bought enough of them to help keep the company afloat.

    The Silverado was good then...and it’s good now.

    I can say that after logging 900 miles in one recently. The 2500 4WD Crew Cab is a stout build, and boasts a maximum towing rating of 17,000 pounds. That means that when you drive it without a trailer or with an empty bed, it’s a bit rough. But when you get some weight on those rear wheels, it tames down nicely. [ Read Full Post ]

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