Apr 10

Rods, Rods and More Rods

When getting ready to move I had to try and reign in the chaos that had spread from from one or two bins in the garage to several bins of fly fishing gear, each exploding and overflowing all over a large shelf.   Something clearly had to be done.

In those bins I found… a surprising number of my daughter’s socks, a few beer bottle caps, twigs/sand/dirt, lots of bits of tippet, a few salvageable flies,  a couple of lines I forgot I had (a surplus 5 wt. clear intermediate sink and a 9 wt. sink tip), a few of the indicators I like to put on my line (off the water) when tight-line nymphing for trout, a couple of broken reels and mismatched heavy socks and fingerless gloves.

Order is restored.  My wife will be happy.  I’ll be able to find the gear I’m looking for again and the movers didn’t break anything.

It is clear from a rod perspective, I am well covered from most anything from #2 to #9… included here… a #2, #3/4, #4, #4, #5, #5, #5, #7, #7, #8, #8/9, #9.   Yes… that’s 12 rods (although, technically, the #2 is my three year old daughter’s.  Cheap is clearly the theme… 5 of these rods are TFO’s.  One is an Elkhorn.  One is a T&T (my favorite 5 wt.). One is a custom rod  raffled off for the Shasta Fly Fishers.  One is an Albright. On the pricey side, one is an R.L. Winston and two are Sage.

It is fun to look at all those rods and think back to the special memories I’ve had with each. The future seems somehow brighter when you know you have the right tools for the work ahead.

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.

Aug 09

Silly Priced Bonefish Rods

In my search to be as cheap a bastard as I possibly can, I’ve been intrigued by the Albright Fishing Company.  They have a rod (the GP series) that they are selling for about $80.  The one I have looking at is a split weight rod… 8/9, 4 piece.  I have not been a fan of split weight rods, but, at $80… my interest has been piqued.  It was for that reason that I asked my bro for that very rod for my birthday.  I have been informed that it will be making it’s way to the Bonefish Fantasy Capital of the world, here in the Sierra Foothills.

There are other great cheap rod companies out there.  Echo and TFO spring to mind.  The both have very serviceable rods for under $200.  The $200 threshold seems very reasonable, really and I’m sure that they compete well with the $500-$800 rods that sprinkle the pages of glossy ff magazines.  Breaking the $100 barrier seems excessively cheap… but that’s the kind of guy I am.

I’ll be taking the Albright Rod with me, I hope, when I go to the Bahamas in the Spring (2010).

In the end, I think it is important to remember that what is or isn’t a bonefishing rod is largely up to you.  An $80 rod will likely be slower than a $800 rod, the components will be lower quality, but remember that folks have caught bonefish on all manner of rods.  With modern graphite rods, you know they’ll work to a point.  If you are fishing in the Keys and are an excellent caster, you might get 20% more out of a really high end rod, I’d imagine.  For the masses in most situations, I don’t think it matters.

I ended up buying two new TFO rods for my trip and bringing the Albright GP along.  I only cast the GP a little bit, but one of those instances was casting a 1/0 popper with a wire leader and… the rod did very well… I was impressed.

I doubt I’ll own another $700 rod.  Personally, I don’t see the value there and I hate being charged for the label… that’s my impression/belief and I’m sticking to it.