Friday, January 13, 2017

River Road Creations Cutters - Review

Those of you that read my blog know that I enjoy tying foam flies. Mainly, I tossed them at panfish and began tying them for bass too. And did I ever slay the Smallies with those Hoppers! The first "foamie" (as I lovingly refer to foam flies) that I ever set eyes upon was the Club Sandwich Hopper at the local Orvis shop. I mainly casted Betts' poppers but when I say that foam fly, I knew what I was walking out of that store with - foam. The Orvis site had tying instructions for the Club Sandwich Hopper. I tyed up a few and then progressed into foam cylinder poppers and Gurglers. Even though I was making deer hair poppers for bass, it was a foam popping bug that hooked my first topwater largemouth bass. 

One tool that helps me to have a clean cut and more refined look to my foam flies is a River Road Creations cutting tool. I've been using them for 5 or 6 years now. It's not just the foam cuttters that have helped me to tye better flies but also videos and forums and just sitting down for hours on end. At one point, I was selling quite a few online. Until I got sick of it, ha.

Today, someone asked me if these Cutters are worth buying?  YES.  You can buy one Cutter or a set.  There are wing cutters and Chernobyl cutters, stonefly cutters, etc.  It even comes with a white rubber pad - "The white cutting pad that comes with your cutter is required to use your cutter - to ensure that it lasts for many, many uses, as well as to protect damage to work surface. Each River Road Creations cutter must be used with the pad provided, or a replacement pad for proper use."

The cutters provide proficiency and an accurate cut.  The lifespan is upwards of 2,500 cuts (bodies) and possibly many, many more.

Even though the cutters can be found on other sites, I buy directly from them.  

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Lamson Konic II Review - Lamson Fly Reels

Lightweight, dependable and a lifetime warranty - all the things you look for in a reel.  No, this reel is not made in America and no longer in the Lamson line-up.  However, the Lamson Konic can still be purchased as a new item and at a great price.  I had the Lamson LP 1.5 - from back in the day and loved it!  Great sound, light weight and lovely drag.  I used it for trout, smallmouth, panfish - and more - all on a rod my father built for me.

Lamson LP reel

"Konic delivers smart design and high performance in Lamson’s most affordable reel. The same, super-smooth, fully sealed conical drag system and stainless roller clutch used in our more expensive reels are matched with machined components and pressure cast ALDC12 aluminum alloy spool and frame. Konic is anodized then finished with a 100% solid polyurethane coating to resist gouging and abrasion."

Sure, you can buy some pretty darn nice brand-new reels for about what these Lamson Konics II are selling for but it's the lightness of the reel that attracts me.  WHY?  I want a light combo - I bought a TFO Signature Series II and an Allen Trout 2 reel.  Honestly, the reel was a bit heavy - even for CNC and even for a reel that balanced out with the rod.  I have a GLoomis Adventure 3 that is obviously smaller than the Trout 2 that is very lightweight.  I have even used my father's GLoomis Adventure 5 and remember that is almost seems to weigh as much as my Cortland Crown II.  I'm not knocking Allen too hard and I love the Trout 2 drag - heck I even have the Allen ATS.

Waterworks Lamson Konic II Fly Reel
Line Wt.Capacity
1.5 II1.00"3.10"4.403-4 wt.WF4+100 (12)
2 II1.10"3.40"4.705-6 wt.WF6+100 (20)
3.5 II1.22"3.70"6.107-8 wt.WF8+200 (20)
4 II1.25"3.90"6.809-10 wt.WF10+240 (30)

Drag - Sealed.  Easy to configure from RHW to LHW (which I've done cuz I used to adjust drags with my left hand) smooth (and obviously depends how you control the drag and play the fish) - and obviously will be a smooth drag cuz it's Lamson and when you spend at lesat $100 on a reel, the drag will be proper.  I used the drag every now and again but mostly on the trout river with those big Brown Trout and that little fiberglass rod.  It's a hansome reel that will match most any rod - it's not orange or pink or blue.  And it's not a $300 reel that you'll cry over when you fall and scar up the anodized finish, lol.  Lamson obviously focuses all their attention to reels and provides a quality product.

Spool - No knobs to unscrew or switches to push.  Firmly pull the reel off or snap into place.

The Lamson Konic II paired with my TFO Clouser provides a lovely lightweight combo - one of which I don't feel like I have to grip hard or think about the weight of the reel on the back of my palm (and I don't have a sore palm from gripping the rod hard) - and I swear the Allen Trout 2 (5.42 oz.) and TFO Signature Series II were balanced.

Tight lines.

Friday, January 6, 2017

VEDAVOO Beast Sling Review

Fishing, hiking, biking, walking the dog - I have taken the Vedavoo Beast Sling with me.  I take water, doggy bags, load it with several groceries at the store, take snacks, fill it with my papers and lunch for work . . . even thrown in some fly boxes too.

Photo -Vedavoo 

I bought this Beast Sling pack to haul more items than with my Cabela's sling pack (which I still use) so that I could be more prepared on those long wade fishing trips.  I take a tensor bandage, drink, snack, fly box(es), eye drops, Leatherman tool, camera, phone . . . . and after 6 hours, it is more comfortable than the other sling pack when fully loaded.  Plus, it's main design feature is that it holds Cliff's Bugger Beast Jr.

Watch Vedavoo's video.

On my Beast Sling, I hang my net and my camera too.  I have some carabiner clips for forceps, clippers, Leatherman tool, etc.  And, you can also strap on your rod case.  It can be customized for Left Shoulder or Right Shoulder.  It's a versatile sling pack.

I love my Vedavoo Beast Sling.  It's what I spent last Christmas' money on.  This past Christmas, I bought something lovely on which I'll give a review after it gets some use.

Tight lines.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Cabela's Advanced Anglers Sling Pack REVIEW

If you are looking for a great deal on a sling pack, then this is the one for you.  As this pack (retails for $29) regularly goes on sale a few times each year, it can be purchased for as low as $19.99 - right now it's $20.99 on the Cabela's web site.

 The Cabela's Advanced Anglers Sling Pack has a couple of little slots on the pack for which you can loop a net cord through and perhaps some carabiners. The sling pack is light and dries out quickly. There is space enough for a few small to medium size fly boxes and perhaps a bottle of water (or attach water bottle on exterior) and snack. It's got a band that keeps the pack from sliding around when you bend over. When sliding the pack around for access into the pouch or pocket, unclasp the band and pull the bag up or down. I'm somewhat a gear minimalist and prefer to keep wading light. If you are looking to save a few bucks and have a proper sling pack, this one is for you.

I can loop my camera through a strap and the fly box is attached to a zipper on a carabiner. The net was looped through a slot hole in the back.

Room enough for a few medium size fly boxes and a Martin fly reel.

Tight lines.

Cabela's Advance Anglers Sling Pack

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Pat's Rubber Legs - Nymphing for Bass

This is my second favorite Smallmouth Bass pattern.  When it comes to bass - what's the saying? - "More legs is better".  I use weighted Pat's Rubber Legs - anywhere from a size 10 to 6 and the odd 4 here and there.   I find these flies challenging (but not too much) to tye.  All those legs!  I had to do some shopping around to find the right color legs and chenille - think I found chocolate brown chenille somewhere last year.  Honestly, tying your own PAt's Rubber Legs beats paying around $3 for a fly.

Back when I almost exclusively fished for Panfish on small creeks, I used to carry different trout nymphs and those found in Tom Nixon's Fly Tying and Fly Fishing for Bass and Panfish - such as the Jeremiah Nymph 1 and Nymph 2 - of which I can't remember because I gave the book to someone else.  Obviously, it mimicks a Stonefly but I also would like to think the fish believe it's a Hellgrammite.  I guess you could tie in some marabout or rabbit strip.  Mainly, I just drift the fly but I will occassionally strip it.

I would give a tying recipe or instructions but this video that I found at the Die Fische Blog is the best tying video I have seen on Pat's.  

Just as Die Fische gives credit - please note it was made by Tightline Productions.

Can't wait for warmer weather - love wet wading.