blackdogfish

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About blackdogfish

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  • About Me:
    Grew up in RI (LC), been in VT since '88
  • Interests (Hobbies, favorite activities, etc.):
    Blues guitar, harp, photo, surf fishing, carpentry, cooking, painting, metal fish art
  • What I do for a living:
    Architectural designer

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    Vermont Rhode Island

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  1. Also, that checklist Gellfex posted is good to keep in mind. The PFD has been discussed. I am a big fan of the inflatable ones. Lighter and very comfortable. You'll forget you have it on. Don't forget to not put a jacket on OVER it. A section of 1" PVC conduit can serve as a flagpole. Get an orange flag. Tie it to the flagpole. Use it. Every advantage you can get out there is worth it. Lot of dudes half drunk in power boats, poor visibility, darkness setting in.... whatever.... anything you can do as a 12 inch high vessel to be seen better is GOOD. Get a light of some sort into the top of the flagpole for those situations where you're coming home and it's darker than you thought it was going to be. A small air horn is a cheap and effective way of being heard when you need.... either to warn off an approaching power boat or for rescue purposes or fog situations. If you are on saltwater, a handheld waterproof VHF radio is a very wise purchase. Learn to use the features and keep a waterproof cheat-sheet with channels to monitor and what the basic protocol is for rescue terminology and procedures. Lastly, get your name, address and your wife's phone number on a waterproof card and attach it to the kayak permanently. If you are ever lost at sea or become separated from your boat, it will be very useful for reacue authorities or just to help identify your boat and get it back to you should it go adrift or be stolen by kids or something.
  2. Yup...right on target. I've been very happy with my WS Tarpon 120 "beginner" kayak. Tracks well, good storage and affordable. The new generation came out this year I believe so the previous generation will be value-priced. Even brand new they are under $1000. I got mine a year old for $580. 65 pounds. I can lift and carry it for quite a distance and put it on top of my RAV4. No j-racks....just flat on the standard factory crossbars. Don't fall instantly for the hype on Hobie. Although they are great for fishing without a doubt, there's serious drawbacks. ....They are HEAVY. You will need a cart, and maybe a trailer or a $600 Thule Hullivator if you need to cartop it. An outback, stock, is what, 95 pou ds? No way I'm carrying that. .....They are EXPENSIVE .....The hulls are known to crack ......The mirage-drive, as cool as it is ...is one more thing to break and it can get clogged with seaweed and milfoil. Keep it simple. There's enormous advantage in being light and mobile...no cart, no trailer....easy in and out. Gellfex has a nice Eddyline Carribean. Beautiful boat. Faster hull and more expensive but need more care around rocks than a cheaper roto-molded hull. The Ocean Kayak, Trident and Prowler boats are awesome roto-molded boats as well...and they do a better job with storage design than WS in my opinion. Free advice bonus. Save a couple hundred bucks and get yourself a carbon fiber paddle. You think...."oh, aluminium is lightweight and really inexpensive- I'll be fine with that". Trust me...a day with some high wind, and you trying to get home into the wind, and you will see that an aluminum paddle starts to feel like steel rebar. The paddles from AquaBound...the Stingray carbon fiber...are fantastic value. They will get you close to the $300-400 Werners and Bending Branches without taking out a home equity loan. SO much more pleasant to paddle with a carbon fiber. Don't wait until you hurt some muscles or tendons to get one.
  3. Oh God... another boot-foot vs stocking-foot thread! Noooooooooo!
  4. Ribb. Stainless. Smaller size. Done. You will begin to feel the difference between rocks and the glorious quahog. This is my second favorite thing to do on planet Earth. The weight is not a bad thing. With lightweight rakes, like the cheaper steel ones, they don't have enough weight of their own to get the times to dig in... especially if it's bony bottom. You have to apply a lot of downward force which gets very tiring. I have actually lashed a flat rock to a steel basket to alleviate this issue. A lightweight T-handle would be a real asset....like the commercial bullrakes. It allows you to use your muscles in a much more natural, less strained, way. Especially as the water gets deeper as the tide comes in. Obviously we are talking about ONLY quahogging here. Steamer clams are destroyed by raking...and are much easier to get via "sight-fishing" or other methods.
  5. Right. On the one hand we do have a global economy...and we're all in the game. But the Chinese are really really bad about stealing intellectual property. This seems like something that the CIA should be tackling surreptitiously. Trade wars don't work...they just hurt us and the actual Chinese workers who are basically slaves. And diplomacy doesn't work. Somewhat unrelated: I remember an episode of TV show The Americans where the Russian spies infiltrated a Navy warehouse where submarine parts were, and stole the design for a new huge submarine propeller. Sent the stolen info back to Moscow. Next year, a Soviet sub rips apart and sinks killing all aboard. Seems that they made one if the propellers using the stolen design and it wobbled and tore the boat apart. Americans planted a design that had fatal flaws knowing Russians would steal it. And in the show, the Russians were PISSED that the Americans could be so brutal and kill their sailors! The Russians weren't smart enough to design a quiet propeller themselves so they stole it. Serves them right. Maybe next time they might just try to do their own work.
  6. Victorinox SAK. The Explorer..older model which is called Explorer Plus I think... something like that. It has a better housing for the magnifying glass and a little ball point pen. Philips head screwdriver comes out the end. I don't know why this is so unusual for Victorinox SAKs, but there's nothing more useless than a screwdriver that comes out the side! There's a company that's making little ferrocerium rods (fire-starting) that go in the toothpick slot. Google Firefly ferrocerium Swiss army knife.
  7. I understand your sentiment but the world economy is highly interconnected. You can't just pull out 100%. These trade agreements are for this purpose. "You stop buying anything from China? We stop buying anything from USA.". So now seafood, apples, oranges....a whole MESS of products that US farmers and manufacturers produce don't have a market and they go bankrupt. This is super super complicated stuff. You can't just simply say "buy everything USA" because we depend on foreign trade. This country is not set up at all for mass manufacturing. We phased out of that decades ago . And just because you got a new gadget that's USA made, there's no magic law that says it can't be crappier than anything from China or Indonesia.
  8. Another good example. I play electric guitar. New, Made in USA Fender Stratocaster might be $1600 or so depending on details. Made in Mexico might be $1100. Made in Indonesia might be $400. There are also a lot of Chinese guitars in the market and it's incredible the level of accuracy and quality they achieve in many of these instruments. Will I take $1600 and plunk it in the counter just so I know it's made in USA? That's a lot of money to me. Or $400 for Made In Indonesia that plays and sounds just as good? Or if I wanted to get a guitar for my kid. No way I'm spending $1600 but I would certainly spend $400. When I was a kid, the cheaper guitar that may parents got me was in no way even close to the quality level of the real Fender guitar. Now we have that option. Is it good? Is it bad? I can tell you, playing that cheap guitar was not easy. I would DEFINITELY have wanted the $400 MII Strat.
  9. That is a vastly overly simplistic approach. Read the entire thread.
  10. WhatThis is capitalism folks. A few people may decide to not buy Chinese or whatever....but the entire capitalistic world economy is based on price. If you're serious about being nationalistic in your purchases, your costs for products in your life is probably going to go up a lot. It will be more expensive for everything from shoes to dinner plates and silverware to shovels and weed whacker and almost everything. At some point the average person can't sustain that in the current economic framework. Really, you're talking "anti-walmart" where price is the ONLY consideration. Just today I had a frustrating experience. I have bought ally carpentry tools for the last 40 years based on durability. Some of these are USA produced. I have a Black and Decker Super Sawcat from about 1985 that is absolutely awesome in design and production quality. It's still going strong. My tool repair guy says it's one of the best saws ever made and I should hold onto it. No kidding. Interestingly, this was made after Black and Decker sold it's good name and became consumer-grade crap in the 70s. I'm sure most of us older guys remember the crap they made. Avocado green plastic POS tools with a six inch orange power cord. They realized by the end of the 70s that they had shot themselves in the foot. They "rebought" the company and started designing and manufacturing good professional tools again. Their skilssaws we're especially good. So...to my experience today. I bought a Porter Cable oilless compressor in about 1998. It has been great for 22 years. It just started flipping the breaker and seems to have aot of resistance to running. I brought it to my tool repair guy. He says ...I don't know it I can help you. Porter Cable stopped manufacturing and stocking parts for these. They were good tools, made by DeVilbiss. So...yeah, 22 years is good.... but there's no reason I should be throw this in the landfill and spend another $500 of my money. It infuriates me. On the other hand, my Milwaukee Sawzall has been working perfectly since 1985 with only minor normal repairs. Fantastic value. Works great, durable as hell and parts still available. Same thing for my Porter Cable 126 Versa-Plane. AWESOME tool, die-cast magnesium body, stainless steel sole, there's nothing plastic on the entire thing! Spiral cutter cuts so well and leaves a glass-like finish. So there's Porter Cable at it's best and at it's worse. I would gladly pay $600 or $750 for the new compressor if I KNEW it was going to last 50 years. But I am a SMALL percentage of the market. And even if the engineering and marketing department of Porter Cable decides that the new 2020 compressor will be a workhorse, a new CEO and company ethos in ten years could mean they stop carrying parts completely. Now I have another $750 compressor with no parts available. Final point being: there's nothing magic about "made in America". It doesn't necessarily mean you are getting good value and it doesn't necessarily mean that someone here, a worker, is making a decent living because of that. Working in an assembly line making tools and reels is not exactly a highly desirable job. That person working on the line is NOT going to be making good money with all benefits.
  11. It's a really really challenging topic. What if manufacturing comes back to USA? So we're used to going to Ace Hardware and getting a decent shovel for $19.99. If it's manufactured in USA, it's going to be more like $49.99. especially when the manufacturer is only making 500,000 units a year instead of 5 million. So the economic pressure is on. Now the manufacturer has to reduce costs. Buy Chinese steel, eliminate health care and vacation for workers, hire lawyers to help them avoid paying US and state taxes.....now the manufacturer is contributing to worsening conditions for US workers and shortchanging all of us by avoiding taxes. If nobody had "Walmart mindset"...it would at least be feasible to consider more USA product. The other thing is quality. Detroit cars are less costly than Toyota, Honda and Subaru, but by and large they are not as durable as the big three imports. US workers would have to develop very different work ethics ...the Chinese and Japanese work models are entirely uncomfortable to Americans.
  12. This is capitalism folks. A few people may decide to not buy Chinese or whatever....but the entire capitalistic world economy is based on price. If you're serious about being nationalistic in your purchases, your costs for products in your life is probably going to go up a lot. It will be more expensive for everything from shoes to dinner plates and silverware to shovels and weed whacker and almost everything. At some point the average person can't sustain that in the current economic framework. Really, you're talking "anti-walmart" where price is the ONLY consideration.
  13. Yeah...we do that too. But I think..."no way does this prepare me for going in in cold water and wind with waders and boots,,,with all the fishing rods and anchor line floating and drifting and caught-up everywhere.
  14. Absolutely! I was at my local bass lake a week ago. the ice had only left a few days before. I had my thermometer, and in 12" of water at the shore it as 45 degrees! Probably closer to 40 out in the middle 5 foot down. I was only there "scouting" and didn't even have my kayak. Here comes a couple with their Dick's kayaks. No PFDs, no protective gear at all. No waders, wetsuits, drysuits...nothing. I said something like "you're either brave or crazy. if you fall in you're dead" He laughed and said "Oh we don't plan on falling in" Damn idiot. this is the kind of people your see on the six o clock news. "Couple drown in local lake in minutes" Or worse, you survive but your wife dies. Man, if you go into 40 degree water, you have just about zero chance of surviving. How do you watch someone do that and not scream at them?
  15. You probably don't know this since you're a beginner, but the neoprene are good in winter...steelhead fishing. They are NOT good for summer/fall. I speak from using a pair of cabellas neoprene for many years. the condensation will soak your clothes sometimes even worse than a leak. Especially if you have to walk distances...the neoprene are not fun. PVC will get condensation inside too. The breathable waders eliminate this. I regret that it took me so long to figure this out. Don't worry...even in the winter they are fine...just layer up with some non-cotton gear underneath.