Apr 12

Leaders and Leaders

I actually didn’t tie a single fly today.  I feel like that’s a step in the right direction.  Instead, I tied up some leaders.

I’m not buying a single leader for Cuba. I’m tying all of them… the bonefish leaders and the tarpon leaders.

I’m trying bonefish leaders that are about 9 feet, 40 pound butt down to 15 pound fluoro.

For the tarpon I’m trying 9 footers, 40 pound butt down to 50 or 80 pound shock.

The general formula is 4′ of 40#, 2′ of 30#, 2′ of 20# and then either the shock tippet on a bimini or the 15# tippet.

I’ve used this formula before and haven’t had any issues with it. I like it because it is simple. I like simple. Simple is better than, well, not simple, which I kind of hate.

So… any fatal mistakes I’m making?

Nov 10

Shout out to the California Fly Shop

Today (actually, yesterday as you read this), my wife broke me off a little free time.  I could have grabbed a rod and gone in search of bass or carp, but instead, I headed up 101 to the California Fly Shop in San Carlos.  I’d never been there before, although I had seen some announcements from them over the years and I may be on their email list.

I needed help and I needed a full fledged fly shop to get that help.  We have an Orvis about 10 minutes away, but, ya know… the retail experience at Orvis is very uneven.  The fly fishing side of the store is often left in the hands of folks that don’t know a sink tip from a lead sinker.  Every once in a while you find some real quality folks there, but if they aren’t working that day you are SOL if you actually need some advice or something unique.  I have heard from a couple people that their actual gear has come leaps and bounds, but sometimes you just need a real fly shop.

The California Fly Shop is about a half-hour drive away and is tucked away in an industrial park, although it is next door to an REI.  I finally found the shop and the lack of cars out front made me wonder if they were open… which they were.  I walked in and found it to be a pretty nice shop… well stocked with gear, rods, flies and fly tying materials.  I picked up a few things and when Steve asked if I needed any help, I confessed to him my frustration with the Bimini Knot.  Fifteen minutes later I had learned the knot, gotten pretty sorted on what my tarpon leader needed to look like and I was out in the parking lot test driving the G. Loomis NRX in a 9 wt. and chatting with Steve about Baja.

Thanks Steve.  I appreciate the time you spend helping me out.  You guys have a great shop and I’ll certainly be back. My first and second Tarpon Leaders are now done.

The NRX 9 wt. was LIGHT but powerful.  It really felt like casting a 7 wt.  I was casting with a Rio Outbound floating line, which makes it pretty easy to cast, but I have to say, first impressions were very positive.  I still won’t be buying one unless they knock about $500 off the price tag, but if I found one in the Orphanage for Abandoned Rods, I’d probably rush through the adoption papers.

A nice shop with helpful people