Mar 13

The Quiver

Here’s what I’m bringing to the Bahamas… for my “family” vacation.

I’m bringing three fly rods.

I’m bringing one spinning rod (first time for that).

I’m bringing three fly reels.

I’m bringing one spinning reel (thanks Charlie).

The quiver for Spring Break 2013

The quiver for Spring Break 2013

The gear is almost all mine and almost all on the budget side of things, with the major exception of the Abel Super 7/8n. I’m going to fish the TFO and Abel as my go-to set-up here with the 10 for the cuda and the spinning rig for my daughter and wife.

I think the lines on the fly reels are all RIO. Pretty sure the Lamson’s both have RIO Clouser Tropical lines, which have been kind of my standard lines in the salt, but which, as far as I can see, isn’t in the RIO lineup anymore, although maybe it has just been re-branded. The Abel has the new RIO Quickshooter, which I’m interested to try out.

Mar 13

Others succeeding, where I have failed

Me: Hey, you guys seem to have some great reels.

Them: Gee, thanks. We feel our reels are pretty awesome. Did you see us attach one to a motorcycle?

Me: (cough) Yeah, that was, um, great. Hey, I am running some reel tests simulating normal wear and tear so someone going to Christmas Island can know they can trust your gear.

Them: Testing… um… so, like, what did you have in mind?

Me: Well, I want to attach one to a high speed drill, a bunch of times, like… a whole bunch of times. Then, I want to drop it in sand and put it back on the drill and then drop it in saltwater and put it back on the drill and basically see if the thing breaks. So, what do you say?

Them: HOLD ON Captain Crazypants. No effing way. Who the hell are you, anyway? Ya know, we test these things ourselves and we don’t want you breaking our stuff and then writing bad stuff about us. Didn’t you see the Tesla review thing? We don’t want to go there buddy. How about we pretend you didn’t mention this. Mkay?

Me: Uh… bummer man… bummer.

Yeah, that’s more or less how most of my Reel Testing efforts went. I had a hard time getting a hold of the gear I needed to actually test.

Here’s the thing though… I wasn’t the only guy thinking about this. The folks at Trident Fly Fishing (this is the link with all their results) put together some tests… with like, science and stuff.

I’m a fan of what these guys pulled off. They even forked out some of their own cash to test some of these reels.

The surprises for me came in the form of two reels… first, that Cheeky did so well, tying for 4th… they are new kids on the block, so it is great to see them place so highly alongside established players. Another reel that tied for 4th was the Sage 1880. The 1880 is a $140 reel. That is some good pricing.

The overall winner was the Hatch 7 Plus, and that is not a real shocker. Those that have fished with that reel seem to have found Hatch religion.

I would have liked to have seen some Nautilus reels in there and Galvan too… but this is a pretty solid set of reels. Well done Trident… well done.

From my ill fated reel testing.

From my ill fated reel testing.

Sep 12

Spending my own money

I had a birthday recently. I’m still waiting for your gifts to arrive, any tracking numbers to share?

Anyway, I had some gift certs to that little on-line marketplace called Amazon. I get a lot of gear on loan for trips, so I thought it might be interesting to know what I spend my own money on, and why.

The newest member of the family

First, I would normally try to buy from a shop. Getting the Amazon gift certs ruled that out. There are some shops around here, but they don’t sell through Amazon, so that was not where I was going to drop my money.  I had $300 to spend and on Amazon there really weren’t that many choices for saltwater appropriate reels.

My options were limited. The reel options were Hatch, Galvan, Ross, Hardy and Lamson, for the most part.  When you look at the right size at the right price, the pool was reduced further.  Would I like a Hatch or an F1 from Ross or a Nautilus?  Yes.  Would I have bought one of those if they were $300?  Yes. I would also buy a Tibor if it was $300, which they just aren’t.  So, confined by price, I looked for value.

I have to say that I know Aaron Adams and Davin Ebanks haves been fans of Lamsons and that did come into play.

I also put a Lamson through reel testing and it passed with flying colors.

It feels a bit like a modern consumer tale. It was vital I was not restricted by where or how I could buy the product.  Additionally, I was swayed much more by what I saw through my social network and through non-aligned social media than I was swayed by commercials, ads or any of the industry hype I have a habit of drinking like so much Kool-Aid.

So, that’s the story of my new Lamson Velocity 3.5. This reel is intended to take the place of my TFO 375, which has frozen up, corroded from saltwater exposure and is no longer fit for service. This will be my 7-8 weight bonefishing reel of choice (within my stable of options), until and unless it makes me regret that decision.