Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Testing the RLS + and other fishing adventures.



Some of you asked for a report about how the RLS+ does on the water so here it is. As I said before this thing casts very smooth.  I took it on two of the three fishing spots I will tell you about on this post. 

1. Last Thursday I took it for a spin at Willow Hill reservoir in Roseville, CA.  It’s a fishing hole that I had never been to but I decided all I was going to take was my fly rod.  Either I caught a fish on my new fly rod or I didn’t catch anything.


I was looking for some bass but also wasn’t opposed to catching some trout (stocked pond) or blue gills. When I arrived, I was surprised to find out the pond was RIGHT BEHIND the high school.  Perhaps if I had a pond behind my high school I would have chosen fishing instead of getting into trouble! Lol anyway I tossed out a bass popper and some tiny panfish and baby bass quickly went to check it out. I got a few strikes but they were too small to swallow my popper.  In the distance I could see a dock and quite a few fishermen on it fishing. A couple of high school kids were screaming about having caught fish so I figured I would inch closer to it. I saw a tree hanging over the pond and since it was a hot day I figured there might be some bass and panfish underneath. Sure enough, there were bass, but they were spawning so I left them alone.  

Finally I made my way to the dock and after a few casts, I hooked into my first bluegill on a Royal humpy. Royal humpy is getting closer to becoming my go to fly for blue gills, they seem to love it! Unfortunately I didn’t get a picture of this fish because as soon as I caught it an old man asked me if he could use it for bait. I handed it right over. Soon after that my wife called and I made my way to pick her up. One quick observation, 8 wts are not for catching bluegills! (some of you are saying,” well, duh!”) I knew this but I was able to feel that this rod was designed for bigger fish and I just man handled this little bluegill with no problem at all.
Total = 1 blue gill

2. Went fishing by myself out at the bee hive.  I did not bring my fly rod on this trip even though I probably should have.  I was looking for crappie and bluegills but they don’t seem to be around yet. There were a few bass hanging around. I through a few lures and only a heddon torpedo got a few strikes from some smaller guys. I tossed out one with a nightcrawler on a classic rig but couldn’t get a single bite. The other was a nightcrawler on a simple bobber rig. The catfish pole didn’t get a single bite. The other attracted some small bass. In all I was able to catch three bass which didn’t have much size to them but I certainly cannot complain about getting into some bass action.
Total = 3 Largemouth bass



 

 3.  I took the RLS+ and a regular rod out to Boss Pond. The big difference that we all noticed was that the water was stained this time around. Last time our confidence was higher because the fish were visible. This time around you could hardly see the fish but as the day progressed, we had strikes without solid bites. My spot under the tree produced 2 small bluegills on nightcrawlers that I gave to Ol Pops to use for catfish bait. As for the bass, they were sucking up our baits, including a brown wooley bugger on the RLS but it quickly spit it out. That was the story the rest of the day at Boss Pond. Once again, I at the very least didn’t get skunked.
Total: 2 bluegills

Total Fish 3 bluegills + 3 Largemouth bass = 6 fish

Friday, April 18, 2014

It's here!!

It has arrived! My new Cabelas RLS+ has finally arrived and it was well worth the wait! When I opened it, I was happy to see it wasn't BROKEN so I was off to a good start. 
Right away i put the reel onto the bottom of the rod and checked it out. The reel feels very smooth and it looks very nice. I am very pleased with my purchase! 

I feel like some of the knots are poorly tied so I will be retying those. Also, there is no loop at the end of the line so I will be tying that in as well. I did end up taking it out on thursday afternoon but I will let you all know of the results soon.
I was able to cast it around a bit and it casts like a dream. It casts very smooth. It looks like some high quality machinery.  As I said before, I really like Cabelas' work. 

Well anyway, the family is officially up to two! I don't have a name for this new combo but I will come up with something soon. I hope you guys enjoy these pictures as much as I do!




Monday, April 14, 2014

Spring Has Sprung and the Spawn is On!



I headed into Williams after work last week  and I decided to check out boss pond with my buddies Rigo and Jaime.  What’s the worst thing that could possibly happen to you when you are excited about  going fishing? You forget something! And sure enough I forgot something important: my tackle box!  Now my dad is primarily a striper and catfish fisherman.  This means that his tackle box is full of heavy weights and large hooks.  Luckily a long time ago we shared a tackle box and I left a few things in his box. It wasn’t much but it was enough to catch fish. 

 We hit Boss Pond at around 4 PM. The water was crystal clear and the fish were plentiful. The spawn is clearly on right now.  You could see many bass, bluegills, catfish and even some humongous carp swimming around. My main goal was to catch some bass so I took my spinning Rod out and went to work. 
 First thing I did was toss in the old worm and bobber. Within seconds It was under water and shot in a different direction.  5 minutes into the trip I had my first bass on and it was a fighter! He shot out in many directions including under the weeds which made him tougher to catch but I managed to get him in.  The skunk was gone, the first bass of the season was in the bag and the season was underway! 
A bit later buddy Jaime hooked into a fatty bluegill. This was his first fish of the year and he was pretty excited about it. Now, one thing I managed to find in Pops’ tackle box was a “crappie thunder.” I didn’t even realize I had one of these in there, but I sure did. After a cast along the edge, I noticed a bass begin to follow it. I slowed down a bit and sure enough, CHOMP!  Fish was on and a few minutes later brought him in, my second fish of the day. A bit later we went to the same spot where I caught all of the bluegill last time I was at Boss Pond. 

Sure enough there were tons of bluegills hanging around but also quite a few spawning bass. Jaime tossed his bobber into the weeds and pulled out a nice 2 lb bass.  All of the bass we caught were female and quickly released.  We continued to catch a bunch of bluegill but after a while Jaime decided to try the creek that runs next to the pond.  Since spring has sprung, the spawn is on! That includes catfish as well.  There were a bunch of catfish hanging on the sides of the creek and at one point Jaime tossed his worm and bobber in and hooked into a nice size catfish. The catfish ran, peeled some drag but finally Jaime got it to the bank.  Jaime is fairly new to fishing so he kind of made a rookie mistake.  The bank was sort of steep but instead of looking for a place to better land the fish or getting down in order to pull the fish in, he depended on the 10 lb test and the rod itself. While slowly pulling it out of the water…. SNAP… the line broke and it was back in the water. He kicked himself for it and I’m sure it left that nasty taste in his mouth that will cause him to want to fish more so I’m good with it! In all we caught 10 fish and my buddy Rigo got skunked.  Hopefully I will be able to make it back out to the pond,  take  my tackle box and bring my fly rod out! 
Total Fish: 2 Largemouth Bass + 4 Bluegills + 1 green sunfish = 7 Fish

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Imagine that!

This guy is part of one of the facebook fishing groups of which I am a member. He hooked into this monster carp a few days ago, not too sure what he used or any of that. Can you imagine the fight this thing put up? Can you imagine that fight on the fly? Man, I need to get my 8 wt already! lol


Anyway, I just thought I would share. Happy humpday!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Waiting Game



So it is official, I am officially the proud owner of my first 8 Wt Rod. I have officially ordered a Cabelas RLS+ Combo. Like I said, it is an 8 wt.  4 piece Rod and reel Combo . It has a fighting butt and everything. You might recall that I didn’t have the best experience with my last rod and reel combo from Cabelas. 

Aesthetically the rod and reel were beautiful. Cabelas makes some fantastic looking products.  I got more than a few compliments on what a nice looking combo I had. And in all actuality it handled very well. Unfortunately it didn’t have a carrying case, just one of those rod bags. I really liked my Wind River combo but at one time it started making a scraping/screeching sound every time I reeled in. I really debated on whether or not I wanted to return it. It was a great combo with what was perhaps a manufacturers defect so I never discounted the Cabelas brand.  Unfortunately I had to return it but after adding a bit more to the price I was able to purchase Excalibur; my Sage reel on a Redington CT rod. In all, I was pleased with the outcome.

Well, I have been thinking about an 8 or 9 wt rod for a while. I wanted something with some back bone to be able to withstand a fight with some big bass, stripers, carp, steelhead (if we ever get enough water in the American again) and maybe even some catfish! Hopefully that is exactly what I will get with the RLS+. Well now it’s nothing but a waiting game and I feel like a child a few weeks before Christmas!
 


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Family back down to just one!



Tragedy strikes! I am all excited about my new Redington Crosswater combo, I get it and the damn thing is broken!!  I opened it up and these were the problems with it:

  1.    There was no invoice. 
  2.    The item was not fastened into package and in fact, was not correctly placed in package. This made me believe it might have been opened before. 
  3.     All the zip ties were broken, which confirmed that the thing HAD been opened before. 
  4.     When I unzipped the case, the reel fell into my hand. When I looked at the foot of the reel I noticed it looked kind of strange and then I realized part of the foot was broken off!! When I looked at the rod, I realized that the missing part of the foot was lodged in the reel seat. 

I was pretty bummed but at the same time I was relieved because the reel itself looked super flimsy. I think it may have been a thin aluminum but the thing felt like plastic. Also, the simple fact that it was broken to begin with doesnt give me much confidence in it. The rod itself looked and felt like good quality.  Anyway, it took forever to get here and hopefully it doesn’t take forever to get back to them and for the money to go back into my account. 

With that said, I have been scoping another fly fishing outfit.  It is a Cabelas RLS+ combo and according to the reviews it is a real piece of work. I like Cabelas products and their customer service is superb.  I was actually pretty impressed with the original Wind River combo I bought from them so if this thing is still on sale when I get my refund, I think I’m going to buy this in an 8 Wt.  I will keep you guys posted.

Random Updates




Good news, I made it out of the wilderness and back into civilization! For those of you who don’t know, I was camping out at Usal Beach in Mendocino County this weekend.  I am in the process of writing a post on that entire experience including a bit on the history of this tradition. 



Another cool thing that happened was that Bryan over at the Rogue Outdoors sent me more flies! This guy is a class act, I can’t say enough about him!  I asked him about catching carp and what does he do, he sends me a bunch of carp flies! I don’t know much about tying but Bryan ties some amazing flies.  They look like amazing quality and with spring already upon us, I look forward to slaying some fish with them very soon!  Thanks again Bryan! 



And last but not least, very soon there will be an addition to the family! NO I’m not talking about a baby! Lol I’m talking about a new fly rod. Now I must admit I didn’t do a ton of research on this product… I saw the name, the weight and the price and I went for it. I have been looking for an 8-9 weight rod and reel for a bit now. I want to get into some large bass, carp, striper, steelhead, etc. so I figured I would get myself an 8 weight to toss out some heavier poppers and also have a little more backbone in case I catch the big one! Plus I wanted an extra setup in case I wanted to teach somebody else how to fly fish. Also, I just wanted a new fly rod, who am I kidding?

I saw an ad for a Redington Crosswater Outfit. Honestly I just saw Redington and jumped all over it. It was cheap and it had more positive reviews than negative ones. The negative reviews seemed to be more user mistakes than defective rods so I went for it. After researching a bit more I came to find out that this combo only has a 1 year warranty as opposed to most other Redington products which have a lifetime warranty. Also I saw a very solid review from an experienced angler that made me think I made a good choice. 

The combo is a “beginner combo,” which I kinda dislike mainly because of the label, “beginner. “ My pride tries to tell me that I’m better than a beginner because a beginner has no idea what they are doing and I do , but honestly, I am a beginner. The first time I held a fly fishing outfit was last may and it wasn’t until August that I bought my first combo. Furthermore I have never even touched anything above a 6 weight so A beginner combo is perfect for right now. Nonetheless it is a handsome combo and it comes with a carrying case so I'm excite to receive it!  I guess if anything is going to go wrong with it I should find out within a year. Plus when I outgrow it I can always sell it or gift it and buy one of those super expensive combos for “advanced” anglers. Until then It looks like Excalibur (my name for my other fly rod) is going to have a brother! Yes, I am that nut that names his fly rods. 

Anyway, that’s it for me, Usal post coming soon! Hopefully some fishing posts will come soon as I am able to get out on the water.  Thanks for reading!