Thursday, December 25, 2014

Cabela's CGR Review

While I only made one trip out with my new Cabela's CGR, I got a pretty good feel for the rod.  This year is the first time since I first began fly fishing ages ago that I've used glass rods.  I really enjoy casting the rod.  While I do think Cabela's CGt casts like butter, I do think that 5 weight line on the 5/6 rod was adequate.  

The only issue I ran into was rod control - using a 7'6" instead of a 9' or 8'6" for trout fishing.  Also, glass is going to have more action than a graphite rod but when fighting 14"+ brown trout in swift water, the 5/6 didn't handle those fish as well as I would've preferred.  I did have to play a few and my dad had a hand in netting them.  But it was barbless and catch and release, so . . . you're gonna lose a few.  

However, I do believe the 7/8 Cabela's CGR would be the way to go in being able to play and sufficiently landing decent sized trout.  Today, I bought the 7/8 CGR for specifically handling spunky trout and smallmouth bass - and possibly for better casting on heavy streamers.   This rod is also 7'6" and both have fighting butts.   Did use the butt on the 5/6 but didn't land my biggest brown trout of the day.

Obviously, my review of the Cabela's CGR 7/8 weight rod will be coming later.  A few weeks ago, I matched a Lamson Konic with the CGR 5/6 but will probably be using the Martin 66 click and pawl for next year's #clickordie.  And, I'm most likely going to match my very first fly reel - the Rimfly click and pawl to the CGR 7/8.

I plan on landing a few more trout before focusing on my prep for smallmouth bass.  Dad wants me to take him out for a few Smallies.  Since losing several honey holes, I've got to continue scouting some new waters.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Beautiful Browns

Dad and I woke up around 4 am or so.  Well, I did.  He was dragging butt.  Trying to reach our destination on the river first, we headed out to the Little Red River.  And of course, someone was already at "our" spot well before dawn.  Figures.  The early angler move down a bit and we still got to fish near where we wanted - well, at least I did.

My first fish came on a sow bug within a few minutes.  That fish put a serious bend in the new Cabela's CGR fiberglass fly rod.  It headed down stream and I fought it back and was just about to bring my net around when the brown took off upstream.  As I tried to slowly apply pressure on the line, SNAP.  Wonderful!

I had my father net the next several for me. The riffles were very swift and it seemed the Browns wanted to head downstream to a large hole or flat.  

While I did catch some lovely Browns, I had one take every inch of slack and then some.  Dad tried to land the fish and eventually, a guy downstream - as I kept having to walk the the beast - offered to land it.  Well, he reached over a log and spooked it.  Snapped my fly off - 4X and a pearlescent red ass size 16.  

We  started out with sow bugs but they really tore up the Red Ass.  Then, they started hitting weighted buggers, flashabou buggers and cone head buggers - black.  Olive buggers were a huge bust.  Being barbless and playing them in the very swift riffles, I think we played more than we caught but we stopped counting.

A nice brown that my father landed.

I had a nice fight that began in the riffles and ended in a deep hole with this brown. Had to step off into a 4 foot hole to pull it out of the weeds.

Caught a few nice 14-16" or so.

The Cabela's CGR 5/6 fiberglass fly rod was satisfactory.  However, I do think a 7/8 would do very well in handling 14"+ Browns.  Maybe it was the overcast sky that caused the fish to be more active and not hold so deep or maybe it was that I was pumped and ready to go but it was a day that my father and I will remember for a long time.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Ten years later.

While I almost never share where I go fishing, I don't think this photo will ruin the stream.  For a Monday - and probably because is the week of Thanksgiving, this area was pretty full of fisherman.  Just the thing I avoid when fishing - people.  It's been ten years since I chased trout.

Despite being packed in like sardines, I did get to speak with the guy next to me off and on over a few hours.  While I did have some nice ones on the line, I managed to land three nice ones.  Dad put on a show.  He landed a number of them.  Figures.

I drifted a set up I'm not used to - drifting and egg with a sow bug or soft hackle tethered and small split shot.  It was effective.  But I switched to a bugger and landed one more before heading home.

Guess I'll be heading back.  While the island was productive and packed, I may hit up the Swinging Bridge with some streamers next time.  While the 4 wgt. CGt was fun, I may take a heavier rod.  Struggled with a few big Browns while drifting in swift riffles.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Vintage fiberglass fly rods and smallmouth bass - #glassisnotdead


It's been a while since I posted.  I've been chasing smallmouth bass with my glass rods.  I bought a TFO Clouser rod but have mostly stuck with the glass rods.

I bought a 5 wgt. 7' Berkley Buccaneer travel rod.  I'm still waiting on it arrive but am excited about the opportunity to use it and to pack it in to some of the more remote spots I fish.

I also bought another vintage glass rod.  A Wonderod built in 1957 and I'm gonna put something on the wraps before I use it.  Amazing condition too.  

I bought a South Bend Outdoorsman.  A nice vintage blue collar rod.  One problem, it was from an estate sale.  The seller on ebay didn't know the top section was from a different rod.  It looks like it matches but I think it's for a spinning rod.  He didn't have the matching section.  I was in contact with someone to buy another Outdoorsman which is broken but has the matching section but he wants me to buy another rod too.  SO, this rod will sit for a while.

I'm looking to purchase a matching reel for the Wonderod and possibly the Buccaneer.

What not post some smallmouth bass photos.

I am so excited for the chance to cast my new vintage glass rods!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

CGt fly rod - my review - #glassisnotdead - smallmouth bass

Last week, I bought a Cabela's CGt and took it to my favorite smallmouth bass stream.  I am really impressed with the presentation.  Casting is spot on and accurate.  I've got a GLoomis Adventure 3 with 4 weight line matched to this 4 wgt. CGt.  This will definitely make a great trout rod.  It provides a gentle presentation with nymphs.

I've heard from a number of folks that they prefer the Cabela's CGR glass rods.  The CGt does have a lot more action than a typical or traditional glass rod.  I would've liked less action myself.  The flex goes a bit too deep.  I fought this smallmouth bass (photo above) and had to play him more than I played larger bass on my 4/5 wgt EC Featherlight.  I even had to let him play out on the drag as he took off upstream in the swift deep riffles.  I honestly thought he and a few other smallmouth bass had to be played out too long.  Therefore, increasing chances of getting loose.  It was exciting and I will use the CGt again but I will be keeping an eye out for the CGR which seems to be based more on the old school glass rods.  Word is that the CGR is coming out again this fall.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Fussy Fall Smallmouth Bass

It was a frustrating morning yesterday.  I had planned to fish this weekend but storms threaten the outings.  Thunderstorms were supposed to quench the dry garden today but that never happened.  So, I was very frustrated in making up my mind yesterday morning.  I hadn't slept much the night before and had a Honey-Do List waiting on me.  About 8:45, I decided to fish a spot where I would be shaded enough not to melt in 95 degree sun rays.  

By the time I arrived, I had convinced myself to tie on a foam hopper and stick with it.   Of course, me being me, that plan didn't work out.  The silly little fish were interested enough but not big enough to take a large Evazote foam hopper on a B200 bass hook.  However, a large Sucker decided he wanted it and he and I fought like crazy on the Eagle Claw Featherlight.  It was awesome until he yanked so hard the hook came out.  Oh well, he have about 5 or 6 jumps.   

I was stealthy as heck.  The water was down quite a bit and the bass never returned to the hole I waded through to access the stream.  With the hopper, I tried a soft presentation and a loud presentation.  I would even twitch the fly a little bit too.  I had a few takers but the hook didn't set and I would lose them on the jump.  And it seemed that they smallmouth were closing down their mouths on the hoppers and once the fight ensued, they would spit out the fly. 

After many close calls, I switched to Pat's Rubber Legs.  It's been a savior this year.  But, even with this fly on, the bass were still shy.  They came out to look or tug on it.  Even though the area was shaded, the smallmouth bass were hugging structure.  I only fished maybe an hour and a half.  I could tell it was going to be a challenging day on the stream and I still had to finish my chores at home.  This was a day when your drift had to be spot on.  Ya know, drift it right to them and even then . . . 

Hoppers have been abundant the past few weeks.  I'm wondering if they already had full bellies.

Selling a few things to save up for a rod from Blue Halo.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Vintage fly reels & Rainy's Evazote foam

Vintage Mitchell, Berkley and Heddon reels.  Guess I shoulda known they made reels.  If you didn't already know, folks are buying them to match up with vintage and new glass rods.

I bought this Martin 61 and some blue line to go on this vintage tuna can reel.  However, to match my EC Featherlight rod, I bought a cheap reel.  I could've bought a gold Orvis reel to match but it's a cheap rod and I really don't need a high dollar set up to chase smallmouth bass.  Besides, I already bought an Allen rod and reel and TFO rod for smallmouth bass this year.  

I'll give a review on this cheap reel, my Martin tuna cans and The Fine Art of Creek Fishing.  I just have to get around to spending some time on the stream but it's too dang hot.

I also bought Rainy's Evazote foam.  Love it.

I hope to do some wading Saturday morning.  I've got grasshoppers in my garden and yard.  Hopefully, I can still #throwdahoppa.  Maybe, it won't get too hot too quickly this weekend.

Tight lines.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Vintage fly reels - Martin reel.

I just bought a Martin 63 reel.  It may be from the 80's.  According to a link I found, the key to dating it may be he plastic hub. .  It could be made by Martin or perhaps Zebco.  It's interesting to look up information on these reels and companies.  

I am also lookin at a red South Bend 1122 which I think is made in Japan and possibly by Shakespeare.  I know some guys that have been collecting vintage glass rods and reels.  I'm interested in pursuing these older reels to match my glass rods.  I saw an old Berkley glass rod and from the Fiberglass Fly Rod facebook page, I've learned there are a number of good old glass rods and reels out there that can be purchased at a fair price.

I'm wondering, which vintage reels my readers own.  Does anyone have a certain preference for certain brand name vintage rods?  In the meantime, I've got some reels to watch on ebay.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Fly tying a foam hopper.

My blog gets a lot of visitors looking for foam flies or tying instructions for hoppers.  I'm going to give instructions on my own first productive smallmouth bass foam flies.  One afternoon, I tied this "hopper"/foam fly in a hurry and hurried off to the stream.  I'm not sure why I chose these colors or why I tied this design.  

All I know is that I caught a bunch of smallmouth bass in about a 50 yard stretch.  From this fly, I just started tying this or the Chernobyl Ant and sometimes the Los Alamos Ant.  Most of my previous foam flies where good for panfish but this fly must've had a good profile or I lucked out. 

So, here are some photos I took with my ipad which doesn't have the best quality camera.  I've been busy tying up a bunch of flies for some friends which is why my desk looks a bit messy.

Cut two foam strips (which ever color you want).  1 1/4 x (not quite 1/4 inch but a Centimeter).  Although, a 1/4 inch width may be fine.

I use size 8 streamer hooks.  I sometimes use size 4 and cut my foam longer.  Tie in at the barb.  Depending n your thread size, it could be 6 - 8 wraps.  Before tying in the body, make sure to wrap plenty of thread onto the shaft of the hook.  You'll need to do this layer so adhesive can be applied to keep to body in place.

Use whichever legs you want.

Tie the legs in at the "tie in point" of the foam body.  Your legs will stretch from this tie in point to the front of the body.  Don't trim the legs just yet.

Stretch the legs forward and tie in one side and then the other.

I like to add an indicator for when I drift.  The head will be shorter than the butt/abdomen.

You'll need to do two or three half-hitches.  Cut thread loose and apply glue/adhesive at the "tie in point" and behind the head.  If you want place glue along the hook shank from rear to front legs but not too much.  It basically a Chernobyl Ant/hopper.

I've been tying up a lot of foam flies this weekend.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Casting glass.

I broke in the new glass rod on some smallmouth bass today.  About 15.  Several 12-14 inchers on the day.  

Heck, even this guy put a bend in the new stick.

I didn't spend much time out today.  The line was a pain in the butt.  I has it out yesterday trying to take the coil out of the line.  The line was sold on the reel and seemed to be on there a while.  It kept twisting and coiling.  Grrr, threw off my casts.  Pat's Rubber Legs was the fly today.  I was very impressed with how the Featherlight loads and how light it is which also makes for a great fight.  I just may pick up the 7'.  This rod just might be my new trout stick too.