May 14

The Ross Reel Sale

Ya know, I totally missed this. I’m not sure how that happened. I knew Ross and S.A. were sold to Orvis and I thought it made pretty good sense. Orvis has struggled to convince many anglers that they are an every-man company, suffering from a stodgy image (undeservedly, in my opinion). Another way of looking at their problem would be to say that guys aren’t putting Orvis stickers on their Yeti coolers.

Ross, now Ross is an every-man brand and you actually do see Ross stickers on Yetis every now and again. Ross could bring some of that Yetiness to Orvis and that would seem to be a pretty good pickup.

Then, when I wasn’t paying any attention, Orvis turned around and sold Ross (while keeping S.A.) to the Mayfly group (which also owns Abel).

Ross used to be very strong on the Made in the USA theme and Abel is as well. Ross is mid-market price-wise and Abel is way, way, way at the top. The two do compliment one another, so that is nice, but I’m still scratching my head over the Orvis purchase and then sale of Ross. I guess they didn’t have a plan to keep Ross from the start. You can’t say they gave it a shot in just a few months.

I’ll be interested to see what comes of the Ross brand. I hope it continues to make reels in the US and I hope they reclaim their place on your Yeti.

Mar 12

Cuba Gear List – Ross F1

The Cuba trip is fast approaching and that means I’m begging and pleading for gear to be sent to Bonefish on the Brain World Headquarters.  Largely, I’ve succeeded. Looks like the packing list is going to include rods/reels/lines from Orvis, Ross, Sage, Redington, Rio and Scientific Angler.

Now, important to note, I don’t get to keep all this stuff.  I am forced to send it back to the manufacturer once my trip is done (and I finally get around to it, usually a month late).  It’s a great opportunity to get my hands on some gear and see how it feels in the field.  The good stuff will get talked about and the stuff that wasn’t so awesome (of which there is surprisingly little) doesn’t (unless you ask me directly).

One of the reels I’ll be sporting is the F1 from Ross.  I’m excited to see this reel in action after seeing it in a couple of places over the past year.

It comes from 2 wt. to 9 wt., so I won’t be putting it on any Tarpon rods, but I should get to pace some bonefish on it.  Very much looking forward to seeing how it performs. Field and Stream just gave it the blue ribbon for best new reel of 2011.


The F1

Dec 10

My Bonefishing Reels

Since I was talking a bit about reels, I figure I should let you know what I actually am throwing out there…

My primary bonefishing reel is the TFO LA 375.  It is a good, solid reel with a composite disk drag.  I used this on my last trip to the Bahamas (Jan. 2010) and had no complaints (and only compliments) on that reel.  It retails for about $290.

I also have a Ross CLA that I tend to have my 9 wt. line on.  I have not hooked that many fish on this reel and haven’t really given it a real test in the salt.  It retails for about $230.

If I’m going lighter, I tend toward my Okuma Helios.  It is the least expensive of the group and cost me about $173.

I’ve had two spectacular reel meltdowns… the first was a Redington, I don’t even know the model number.  I was on Kauai and the drag just… well… stopped working and I couldn’t figure out  why.  I didn’t even send it back.  This was bought about 8 years ago and wasn’t even a large arbor reel.  I recall it doing well on the Babine River for big steelhead, but after 2 days in the salt it just crapped out.

The other reel implosion was a Cabela’s large arbor something-or-other that chunked out on me down in Mexico with a decent jack on the line.  I landed the jack and tossed the reel.  It was TOAST.

Recently I got to play with a Nautilus NV and Orvis Mirage down in Belize and both are just fantastic pieces of fishing art.

There are so many reels on my wish-list… that Nautilus was just damn sexy.  My friend Shane loves is Galvan Torque 8.

The number one reel I’d like is probably a Zane Ti from Hardy… since it sells for $8,000.  I’d like it so I can sell it and buy a Nautilus and a Galvan, a Sage Xi3 and Orvis Hydros and have enough left over to head to Andros South for a week (and leave a big tip).

Jan 10

My Toolbox for GBI

OK… I have all my rods/reels/lines.  I’m ready… now the weather just has to cooperate.

Rods... not "poles." Never "poles."

The 7 weight
Rod: TFO Axiom
Reel: Okuma Helios
Line: SA Bonefish Line

The 8 weight
Rod: TFO Clouser
Reel: TFO Large Arbor
Line: Teeny Bruce Chard Bonefish

The 8/9 weight
Rod: Albright GP
Reel: Ross CLA 5
Line: Teeny Flip Pallot Bonefish

Dec 09

Getting Geared Up

My Bahamas trip is coming up… well, in a month, but still, I’m gathering the gear I need.  I’ve decided what rods and reels I’ll be sporting.  Here’s the deets:

Rod #1

  • 8 wt. TFO Clouser 8’9″ 4 pc. – My local fly shop (Off the Hook) is making me a deal on this rod and from the folks I’ve talked to it seems like a really sweet stick.  It is intended to throw big bugs and heavy lines, so we’ll see how it does with the Rio Bonefish line I have coming for it. I’ve read that the folks who have used it have not missed those missing 3 inches.
  • TFO Large Arbor – A sweet, sweet looking reel.
  • Rio Bonefish Line Bruce Chard Bonefish Line by Teeny– 8 wt – Have not cast this line yet.  I was going to fish the Rio line but talked to a guy who had his Rio line basically fall apart on him down in Belize.  So, I switched to the Bruce Chard line.

The reel is in the mail

Rod #2

  • 8/9 wt. Albright GP 9′ 4 pc. – I cast this rod a little down in Vallarta, but never with the line/flies that I’d be using on the flats.
  • Ross CLA 5 – I used this last trip on my 10′ 9wt. Good, solid reel capable of hanging in there with a dream-size bonefish.
  • Scientific Angler Bonefish Line – 9 wt. – Used this line last year.  It feels a little heavy for shallow water situations, but part of that may have been the rod.  We’ll see.


Now, I would have also brought my St. Croix Legend Ultra, but  it was stolen in Mexico… so… well, that makes it impossible to do that see.  I guess I could invent a time machine, but I’m kind of busy raising my daughter and tying flies.