CaryGreene

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Everything posted by CaryGreene

  1. I wanted to do this "spectacular" last season, but I felt it was more important to cover Albies & Bonito from soup to nuts. Now we're going to drill into fall fishing. Is it possible to cover any and all situations with one simple bag of Charlie Graves Tins? No. But, we can absolutely cover most bases. Here's how...
  2. Yes Corlay & those in this thread have proven to be very wonderful! We are lucky to be amonth them!
  3. You are quite welcome for the content Finneus. C.S. Lewis fan?
  4. Hi Mikey, I can only speak from my own experience teaching fly fishing schools for both Orvis and Cabela's in the past. I've done a couple hundred schools where we put out all sorts of demo rods. A very large percentage of the new to the sport people, groups including men women teenagers and even younger kids are always drawn to the softer feeling rod because they are easier to cast. If you move forward too soon the rod simply bends more while the line straightens out and then it zings forward. If I put a 6 1/2 bamboo rod in a beginner's hands they would fall in love with it. Not only are shorter rods way easier to control but softer rods are much smoother to cast with, especially at beginner type distances. Beginners almost always have crazy timing and their rod tip is stopping all over the place and inconsistently. It seems like many of them also forget to even look behind them and this is because they're not standing off at a slight side angle a cast. I always remind them that it's not illegal to take a glance behind them and watch the line and in order to do that you have to be in a comfortable position. I never taught 12 to 2 type casting as I learned to cast in the Catskills. My ifirst mentor was Walt Dette and when I was 11 or 12 years old George Harvey helped me out numerous times. Keep in mind if you are experiencing what a delight the faster rod is to cast on it's not like you are a fledgling. You have to put yourself in the shoes of a beginner and it's really not for you or I to say what rod they're going to like either. People choose what they're comfortable with and I can certainly tell you that based on sales to beginners, the slower rods are hands down better sellers and it's not even close. A universal example of this can be found within the Temple Fork Outfitters various rod series that Lefty Kreh popularized and endorsed. His Professional Series rods were designed as entry level fly rods that would appeal to beginner casters. Lefty wanted a medium action rod that would accept numerous different casting strokes and styles. Clearly he believed that a faster rod would not do this. He then developed his Signature Series, which were even smoother and slower. At distances of 0 to 50 feet, slower rods are far easier to control and are tremendously more accurate as well. These two rod series sold like hotcakes for almost a decade. Most fly fishing schools that I have taught involved casting at shorter ranges and faster rods don't even load half the time unless they have thinner tips but even then, a beginner caster wouldn't really know how to cast off the tip of a rod. Imagine running a fly shop that does a million dollars a month in sales? I've done it for a long periods of my life and many more customers than not will take a number of rods outside and begin to cast them, usually obviously with one of the staff present and giving pointers. Rods with more moderate flexes crush faster rods in terms of sales as most customers walk up to the register with the rod they are most comfortable with and it's almost always a more moderate flex. Saltwater fishing is a specialty. Saltwater fly fishing sales are dwarfed by freshwater sales. Even so, most saltwater sales follow the same suit. The customer usually wants a more moderate rod. An example of this could be found in the Orvis lineup back in the day where they classified certain rods as mid-flex rods and other rods as tip-flex rods. In the saltwater sizes the mid flex rod was dominant to the point where many smaller dealers only carry hip flex rods in a couple of sizes, usually 8wt. When you think about a retailer who carries almost every brand, like Cabela's used to back before they went public and were soon thereafter defeated by & bought by Bass Pro Shops, it was the same story repeating itself yet again. Sticking with the TFO example, the primary rod was the TICR, which is classified as a faster action rod but is much more moderate than other rods that TFO put out at the time. An example of this would be the TICR-X. The TICR series outsold the X by a mile for the company and we're talking about Coast to Coast sales. I could dig into any rod manufacturer and this concept holds true. So Mikey, well you may be delighted casting what is one of the fastest rods ever made and learning on it with your new instructor, you'll have to trust me when I tell you that fisherman of all levels prefer slower to moderate rods. This is not to say that they won't eventually purchase a faster rod because some of them might. Marketing departments for most companies push faster rods these days and the line manufacturing companies now create lines that are heavier than standard AFTMA standard in order to match up with these rods and make them bend. This means that there is a trend in the industry that is moving the pendulum more towards faster rods and I don't deny that this trend exists. The trend also makes sense because numbers are way down in terms of beginners joining the sport. All the trend means to me is that several people who used to be beginners have gotten a little more into the sport and in some cases they might want a faster rod, mostly for chucking heavy nymph rigs and for weighted streamers. I think rods of all flexes and actions still have and will always have a place in the sport. I use many fast rods myself for saltwater or for when I'm fishing at distance in freshwater applications. Marketing has taken over the sport. A huge percentage of the people who work in stores that sell fly fishing tackle don't really have any expertise to speak of in the sport either so in turn they're pushing whatever the poster or advertisement says. That's why my advice to people who are new to the sport is to go to a local, specialty fly-fishing retailer and talk to an expert who understands how to get them into the sport. The time tested method is to put a bunch of rods and somebody's hands and let them make up their own decision while they cast them. The job of the expert is to answer questions and give a few pointers if asked to provide some basic knowledge on casting. Otherwise, they help the customer find a rod they like. Many outstanding local shops even have indoor casting space for off-season and sometimes they have outdoor space with water present so people can experience water load. (This also saves on demo lines which get ruined quickly on grass or pavement). Medium to medium fast action is what sells Mikey. Don't hate on the messenger! Them's the facts.
  5. Rinsing after daily use is all you really need to do. The head of the fly line is in the water the most and if you can get some room temperature or even cold freshwater on it it will rinse off anything that might have stuck to it if you had not done this. Salt will stick to line once it dries and then it begins to penetrate. Apparently the Anadro no longer has the saltwater jacket..I checked Sci A's website and it's not even listed as a saltwater line. To me that means just be careful and clean the line regularly, maybe even take some extra care and dump it into a wash sink or a bathtub every once in awhile and just clean it with a wet sponge. If it starts to feel the slightest bit non-slick than just treat it with Agent X. If you keep up on your maintenance you should be good. At one time they listed the Anadro as a crossover line and it was indeed suitable for saltwater. This may just be a marketing issue which they somehow missed or it could indeed be that the fly line does not have the proper Jacket for saltwater applications.. It could just be a 19-year-old kid fresh out of college in the marketing department who has no idea what he's doing and maybe this one slip through the cracks but better safe than sorry. I thought the taper on the Anadro was amazing when it first came out and I think the same thing to this day. They have a saltwater camo intermediate that has a similar taper and if you're looking for a line you can hold in the air and launch from a beach, there's nothing better than this line. I used to do lion reviews regularly but it's been about 5 years since I put one out.
  6. The older Anadro lines had a Saltwater Jacket. I think a change Sci A may have made with their new lineup is to reclassify tthe Anadro as a nymping line. I have an older Anadro line & I too have fished it in saltwater and it's held up nicely - but I'm meticulous with cleaning lines & re-coating them even if needed. A trick you can use is, if your saltwater line needs a little help with slickness, apply Rio Agent X, which like everything is getting expensive! However, when you consider the cost of fly line, Agent X is awesome. I use Agent X on all makes of saltwater lines and it even works equally well on freshwater lines that are in need of help. Normally, I clean my fly lines simply with luke warm freshwater and a soft sponge - that's all they need usually. As a line ages however, the coating eventually starts to strip off. That's when Agent X comes into play.
  7. This is interesting but not surprising to read. I see a lot of people pick these three different rods up off the rod racks, shake them and draw these conclusions. This is because the original NRX and the NRX+ have nearly identical Swing Weights, where as the Asquith is much lower. The original NRX has a swing weight of 10.5, the NRX+ is 10.4 and the Asquith is 9.7 so that may make the Asquith "feel "softer, but it is actually virtually the same under load as the NRX+. I own an NRX+ 10wt, an Asquith 10wt and an original NRX 10wt and I fish them a ton from the boat and off the Jet ski (almost daily). Under load, which we call "Deflection" (when casting the exact same weight) the Original NRX is absoltuely a touch faster then either the NRX+ or the Asquith. When you compare the Asquith to the NRX+, they are nearly identical in terms of deflection. The NRX+ is imperceptibly faster, by such a small degree I would classify it as not noticeable. If you blindfolded me and gave me my Asquith and told me it was the NRX+, I would belive you & this is after hundreds of hours of casting and fishing both rods will all sorts of lines. There is and always will be a tremendous difference between rod weights and tapers also, something that I've always found to be consistently true of ever single rod manufacturer out there. However, when we move from 8wt to 9wt to 10wt to 11wt to 12 wt, I draw the same conclusion as I've explaied within each blank weight.
  8. True Mike and I get your point, but in the case of the NRX+, it's more forgiving in the sense that it will accept a greater variety of lines and still work really well. This is becuase it has more bend in the upper third of the blank, opposed to say, the original NRX which has almost no bend anywhere but in the tip. In order for me to throw comfortably with the Original NRX, I had to spend a great deal of time lining it. The NRX+ doesn't suffer from that issue in the least, so it's "acoomodating." To your point, any rod that bends more deeply will actually allow more casting mistakes to be made. Here's why: There are many types of mistakes. Timing is a huge one for beginner and intermedite casters. Rods that bend more deeply simply absorb timing related mistakes. Also, rods that have minimal tip wobble, defined as the departure the tip makes from the rods natural track (which is a straight line, optimally directly away from and directly towards the target) will help with tailing loops. Lastly, a very fast rod that doesn't have a lot of bend will be harder to cast in general, because if the caster's timing is off, they will get unsatisfactory resutls, especially as they try to cast further.
  9. As usual, HH framed the conversation really well - as did all who have responded to this question I might add. They say, you'll know when you're retrieving slow enough because you will cease to have any fun at all. I'd add to HH, if you can see the lure, it should barely be making a wake, if at all. I'd also add, different lures like different retrieve speeds. Generally, lures that are designed to be retrieved slow will suddenly "work" at catching fish. That's the measure upon which you'll know if certain lures like slower retrieves. Lures that have some natural buoyancy lend themselves to very slow retrieves - though there are often lures that can be retrieved multiple different ways. Needle plugs are an example of plugs that generally like slow retrieves. Darters can be another, as can heavily dressed Bucktails with larger #70 rinds and of course, unweighted soft plastic can crawl back and still look alive. A sinking Little Neck can also swim very slowly. I'm sure there are many others that can as well.
  10. I love this line from a taper standpoint, unfortunately, Sci A doesn't list this line as having a saltwater jacket so durability would be a real problem if fished in salt. You may want to be religious about keeping this line clean or you may experience cracking issues.
  11. Fly line coatings actually have nothing what so ever to do with a fly line's abilty to turn over a big fly. The Head taper is actually responsible for this. Big fly tapers are front loaded.
  12. The SCI A SST has a 47' head, which weighs 383.8 grains (8wt). This is a specialty line for throwing big flies and it's massively heavy. The loops aren't fantastic with this line, but it will absolutely carry a payload and land in a pile at very good distance. Presentation wise, I hate this line but it does it's job with big flies, of that there is no doubt. I find it to be so heavy I have to drop down a full line size and I still hate the loops it throws.
  13. The Wulff Bermuda Triangle Taper is a quick loading fly line with a reasonable 35' head. There will always be fans of this type of fly line because its easy to hold shorter heads in the air & then just let go. When people make comments like, "easy casting" the line they are talking about almost always has a compact head of 35' or under. The other element that works hand in hand with "easy casting" is line weight. Slightly heavier lines may be perceived as easier to cast because they help a caster load a rod. The better the caster, the more they begin to realize that its their casting stroke that really loads a rod and then, they start wanting to know more about Grain Weight because they begin to know how different rods they own respond to different weight lines. BTT lines weigh 271.8 grains (8wt) so they're going to cast pretty easily and be good for most fishing out to distances of 80' or so. Defenitely not a distance casting line but nice and smooth. You might want to try a Scientific Anglers Amplitude Grand Slam line, comes in smooth or textured, I like the smooth. AGS has a head length of 42' and weighs 296.8 grans (8wt). I would wager you'd like the AGS a lot more but based on the rod you'll be using, you'll eventually find a line that loads it well and performs for you. If I were to compare the loops and the performance between both of these lines, The AGS will cast further (easily) and it will throw stronger loops at greater distances. Beginners and Intermediate fly fishermen have a very easy time with AGS due to how powerful it is and more advanced casters, who can hold more line in the air, would defenitely appreciate it.
  14. Tangling is usually a result of both Water and Air Temps. The Water temperature side of this is pretty straighfroward, but the Air Temp piece of the puzzle can be confusing. All fly lines are stored. All fly lines experience a period of time in transit and then the fishing starts. A line that sits in temperatures it's not suited for will tangle when the fishing starts. Some lines are prone to tangling despite temps and it's usually a result of the core of the line and or the diameter of the running line. As far as Rio goes, I agree with you that some of their lines do tangle even when temperatures were within optimal ranges. An example of this "phenomenon" are the Outbound lines. The running line is exceptionally thin and highly prone to tangling. They make other lines with heavier diameter running lines that don't tangle, but I can't stand those Outbound lines.
  15. Lines can be, or maybe I should say, ARE confusing. What you are describing has happened to me often so the first question you have to ask yourself is - What were the water and the air temperatures on the day you experienced what you describe? The Airflo Striper Ridge Line is a coldwater line, advertised to handle 23 to 78 degree water temps. However, if air temps were 80 degrees or warmer, you may have been using the wrong fly line in the wrong envioronment, depending on how long and where the line sat before actual fishing occurred. Keep in mind, on a 70 degree day, if a fly line sat in a car for even a half hour before fishing, it could heat well above 80 degrees and that creates the problem you describe. The deck of a boat can do the same thing. I find that if a coldwater line sits on my reel long enough on a super hot day, in a hot environment like a car or on the deck of a boat, it tends to get sticky and it catches on itself when casting, which sounds like what you experienced? Dunno. One of my tricks is to leave the coldwater line in the refreigerator in the garage throughout the summer months. That way it's cool when I take it out in 90 degree heat and head off to go fishing. The theory is, if the line is mostly in the water, which is between 23 and 78 degrees, you'll experience no issues. Today for example, September 7th, water temps today accross the New England and Tri State region range from 69 to 76 with air temps will range from 60 to 80, from first light to sunset. Kind of a normal September day I suppose. The Ridge Cold Striper line will perform decently as long as I don't super heat it in transit. When I take a break for lunch its usually over 70-75 degrees, rather than leave the line in direct sunlight I ether get it in the shade or I might even toss it the cooler opposed to leaving it in the car if I'm eating inside some place. If a coldwater line was left in a car for a a few hours, where temps can be ridiculously hot and which tends to cook a cold water fly line, then taken out to fish, the results wouldn't be great. The line would be sticky to the touch and it would stick when shooting and then tangle. One way to avoid all this is to use a Tropical line in the summertime. I've always done this, living in New England & it sounds like you're coming to the same conclusion. Tropical lines tend tangle in the Spring and Fall though so there is a drawback to them in this region of the country. f you like more of a tropical coating (assuming you meant a tropical core), you may want to look at the Airflo Bonefish line, it's got a 41' head that weighs 326 grains (8wt) and 351 grains (9wt). Airflo also makes a Gulf Redfish line that features a 34.5" Head that weights 240 grains (8wt) and 280 grains (9wt) for those that want a bit shorter of a head. If want even an even shorter head, Airflo also makes a Sniper 4 Season Floating line that works optimally between 40 and 86 degrees. I'm not a huge fan of short head floating lines but they have their place, unfortunately the head length is "only" 30 feet on the sniper lines. They do work well with larger flies and they do load fast so for example, for Albie fishing from a boat they'd be great. Lastly, a really popular line is the Airflo Tropical Punch. It's a big, beefy line that features a 40.2" Head that weighs 300 grains (8wt), 345 grains (9wt) and 400 grains (10wt). This would be a line for those that want a shooting head type feel for longer casting. I actually have a Tropical Punch on my 10wt which I use for larger flies and windy days.
  16. Looks like the 8wt line is 271.8 grams for the entire 35' head, which would make this a good short to medium distances, out to 75 or 80 feet, line but not one for makig longer casts?
  17. Any idea what the grain weight.on.the 8wt & 9wt BT lines are?
  18. surfrat, to your question on the Asquith and in comparisson to the NRX+, I'll start by saying these are the two best all around saltwater fly rods I've ever fished with. I'd frame that because I'm talking about all around applicaitons so that means, they're highly versatile and they accept all sorts of lines as they are applied to countless applicaitons. Here's my take, for what it's worth - Both the NRX+ and the Asquith are awesome distance casting rods that are quite forgiving for having such a huge reservior of extra oomph! The NRX costs some $200 less and if it breaks, you're only paying $50 opposed to $250 if the Asquith breaks. I don't feel either is any better than other either so I don't see a reason to go with the Asquith. I suppose the Asquith tracks a touch better, meaning you can feel the line and perhaps get a touch better accuracy out of it. They're both marvelous rods in my opionion, clearly the best out there presently. As far as lining them, they each accept an awesome range of grain weights and head lengths. Within reason, I've yet to find a line either rod doesn't like really. I tested rods and lines extensively this early spring, going through 4 to 6wts and then moving into 8 to 11 wts, though this is the first I've found time to detail even a snippet of my findings. When I test a rod, I usually bring out a few rods of the same weight that I know and love and have fished a lot with. Then, I start with what I know, to get a feel and then next, I move to the new batch of rods and put them through their paces, always casting on water. This year I tested on some calm days and I tested on some windy days so I got to really see which rods did what. What I notices with the both the Asquith and the NRX+ is that as I dumped heavy, short head lines quickly, with one back cast usually, or sometimes two, I felt they both felt very nice from 25 to 40 feet. Each have extremely nice tips that allow a caster to throw off them and feel the line. When I moved to middle distances with these lines, they pretty much sizzled. Then I went to longer distances with longer belly lines and as I moved further out, from 85 to 110 feet, they separated themselves from all other rods I tested and it wasn't all that close. Both put the line where I wanted it and both had a ton of noticeable extra power. The ability to feel the line, like I said, was a touch better with the Asquith so that's where maybe the Asquith separates itself from the NRX+. There is something to be said for being able to feel the line because it makes casting more enjoyable and it also greatly reduces the occasional tailing loop which can occur as you increase distance on your back-cast prior to shooting line. When you feel the line, you know where it is at all times. Certain rods have been awesome at this over the years, while most aren't. To a saltwater fisherman that's a good thing, when you have a rod that helps you feel the line. Saltwater rods often huck heavy, full sinking lines around the potential of a rod not being really designed for that is quite real. I've seen many rods snap near the tip or near the upper ferrule due to the load that high line speeds can generate. The strength of both the Asquith and the NRX+ is very clear and it's more of the same because G.Loomis rods have blown the doors off most other rods in this department for years. It was fun testing all the new lines this spring also and I've been doing a fair amount of fishing with them season to date. I don't really pick rods that can't throw the lines I intend to throw during a season so that's why testing the rods, with a variety of lines is a very good idea. When you read a rod shootout it's always with one baseline floating line, which doesn't really make much of a statement. In fact, I don't know how these people that do shootouts can even make an evaluation with one darn fly line. I fish primarily sub tropics, tropics and norheast so obviously there were lot of lines to study and look at and then test. That process involves careful examination prior to establishing the test group. Speaking only about the Northeast here, both the Asquith and NRX+ handled the lines I strongly prefer. For daily fishing, I use WF Floating, WF Intermediate (longer belly), WF Intermediate (shorter head) and WF Full Sinking Head lines. I was able to pick which lines in each class that I felt were far and away the best casting lines and I have found both rods accept them with ease, which was a bit surprising given what a fussy rod the original NRX was. With the original NRX, if I was off by 25 grains or more, the performance was noticeably worse. Of course, if I was in the right sweet spot, the original NRX drops bombs consistently. My choices on lines came down to head lengths, ability to handle colder to medium temperatures (35-ish degrees up to 70-ish degrees), line tapers and full head grain weights. That's how I evaluate lines. I have zero desire to know that AFTMA standard. That's merely gibberish at this point in history. I only need to know the full head length, the taper of the head and the full grain weight of the head. I can very easily match any rod I own if I know this information. For my northeastern lines, for the WF Floating I chose the Airflo Ridge Cold Striper line, which handles 23 to 78 degree waters with ease and has a smooth casting, perfectly tapered 40' Head that has a total Grain Weight of 290 grains in 8wt. The 9 wt line is 340 grains and the 10 wt line is 400 grains. Both rods made these lines scream. For the WF Intermediate Line with the longer belly, I chose two lines that I have fished with a lot ever since. The first was the Ridge Cold Striper Intermediate, which also handles 23 to 78 degree waters and also has a 40' head and the results and Grain Weights are coincidentally the same. I also spooled a Scientific Anglers Sonar Camo Intermediate line that also handles about the same temperature range and I found both rods had no issues with hanging the longer head length straight as a rope on the back casts. the Camo Intermediate line is for when you have room for longer back casts and you want to cast maximum distance. The head length of this line in the 8wt is 49 feet and the grain weight is 330 grains, most of which is forward weighted. It's a delight to cast but it's a lot of weight for an 8wt and not all 8 wt rods are going to be able to handle it. That said, both the Asquith and the NRX+ threw ropes with this line, right out to 100', so they were totally fine being pushed. For the full sinking line, I chose an Airflo Depthfinder Big Game line which absolutely smoked all other lines in this class. First, I love that its 150' feet long, which is outstanding for dumping into a rip and swinging from a fixed position (such as a Jetty or a rock or a boat with the trolling motor set on maintain position), but Big Game's sink rate blows away all other pretenders and when I want to toss line into the currents of Long Island Sound or the Cape, or Rhode Island, I need that extra weight. Currents are moving fast and most lines can barely get down as they swing. The 8-9-10wt Big game sinks at 7.5 IPS and comes in at 300 grains for the full head length. This is a total go to line from the boat. The 10-11 bumps up to 400 grains and sinks at 8.5 ips, how cool as that? Both rods fling this heavyweight line around like the champs they are. I often fish off a jet ski with only this line and it handles all sorts of rips and fast water. Lastly, I've been using some of the more compact, shooting head lines where I have a need for them, mostly off the jet ski and now they're coming into play for Albies & Bonita. I wanted a Clear Intermedaite Tip line that I could cast quickly and after testing what was out there this spring, I settled on the Rio Coastal Quickshooter and the Coastal Quickshooter XP lines. The regualr Quickshooter has a more delicate taper and I've been presenting small flies in back bays, on salt ponds and on sand flats. Sometimes I'm actually sight fishing. I'm fishing from the skiff or the jet ski and this quick loading line gets my fly where I need to be in skinnier water very nicely. I really like the way it casts for what it is. The Regular Quickshooter 8wt has a 35' Clear Head and weighs 250 grains which is almost pefect for a fast loading but more delicate taper line. Meanwhile, the Quickshooter XP is perfect for Albie fishing and it's got a little more punch as the 8wt has a 32' head and weighs a whopping 330 grains. The 9wt has a 33' head and weighs 375 grains and the 10wt has a 33' head that weights 425 grains. I've used the 425 grain line a few times on the NRX+ 10wt and they worked in total synergy. I hit a blitz in June where I had 8' Bunker all over the place along an outer jetty wall. Decent Bluefish had them pinned to the wall and I was able to get below them and touch a few Stripers here and there with this line. As I followed the action I needed to load & arealize quickly and since my fly was 8" long, I needed enough punch to turn the fly over, all while I was standing on the Jet Ski so I really didn't want to be making 5 or 6 backcasts. The Asquith 9wt also loved these fast loading lines and I've already had Bonito on the XP line so I got a great feel for what this line and rod could do together. Super smooth, easy casting and great fish fighting power. Pretty close to perfect for the type of fishing I've been doing this season in saltwater. For me, the NRX+ is the rod I'd be comfortable punishing, since the warranty is so sweet and the replacement cost is so low. I don't hesitate to recommend this rod. I have a few rods from the last several years that are still in the mix because they too are amazing and there's no other rods out there that I'd want to replace them with, but this is more related to the type of applications I'm relying on these rods for. For example, there are times when I want a crackling fast 8wt that can throw long, floating lines and that can handle some headwind. I use a Sage Method 8wt for this and it's my primary Bonefishing rod. It's finicky and I have to line it right, but IMO, it's the best distance casting rod that Sage has been able to make. I tried the Igniter and had high hopes for it, but it left me less than dazzled. It bends deeper into the blank and doesn't load as fast so due to that, I have no use for it as I just prefer the fussy Method. I also use a Sage Salt+ as an all around rod and it's pretty good for throwing full sinking lines. It has a thicker tip than many rods and it has a pretty deep bend so it kind of sling shots the heavier lines. It's also got pretty good feel. A few of the Sage Salts are also on the boat and they are still every bit the versitile, do it all rods that can be depended on. I took the time to get some original NRX rods set up right and for big game, when I need max horse power & lifting, they are still my favorites - mainly because I already tested a bunch of lines and them and have them all set up.
  19. The NRX+ rods are very good for saltwater applications, in my opinion they are the #1 all around saltwater rod currently ant they carry the best G.Loomis warranty also. What stands out about the NRX+ is its ability to launch a cast at distances of 70 to 100 plus feet well also feeling very nice at medium and even shorter distances. They aren't nearly as fussy as the original NRX blanks, meaning they seem to work a little better with a wider variety of total grain weights. Many line manufacturers are only listing AFTMA grain weight standards, assuming most fly fisherman are too novice to care about what the full mass of their castable portion of fly line weighs. This causes a ton of problems when you try to line a rod in order to get an optimal feel that you as an individual kind of prefer. More accommodating rods plenty of reserve power are excellent for saltwater applications and they tend to work in the hands of many individuals many of whom are applying them differently. The original NRX, once paired with the right line, throws bombs. They also have a ton of backbone for landing big fish and that's when these types of rods really shine. The NRX+ shares these characteristics. They also throw bombs and they have tremendous lifting power and tremendous tensile strength, yet they also perform nicely at all distances. If you're fishing in the tropics many of the fly lines have a little bit longer heads and the weight range of these heads is all over the board. An NRX+ would be about the best ride you could purchase for that application and an 8wt would indeed be perfect and it will be a lot more versatile in the Northeast not to mention you could Redfish with it and even Salmon fish. Hands down I would go for an 8wt. Your Xi3 is also a smooth casting, accommodating rod that can cast well at medium to longer distances, but you'll definitely notice more reserve power in the NRX+. Bonefishing often requires casting longer distances. 8wt lines propel larger or heavier flies also. Given your stated application, Bonefish and Stripers, an 8wt NRX+ would be an outstanding pick up. Coincidentally, for All purpose saltwater fishing which means Stripers, Redfish, Albies, Bonito, Bluefish, Snook, Bonefish and Permit, an 8wt is 100% where you want to be. Then, if you want to Fish by boat and get into larger species or if you want to check heavier sinking fly lines around it's a good idea to bump to a 10 wt. You could then round out your collection by adding a 12 wt for big Tarpon..etc. If a person was buying only one fly rod and wanted to fish only in the Northeast we'd obviously recommend a 9wt. That guy might want to bump up to an 11wt at some point. The reason I mention this is that usually when you own only one fly rod, the next one you buy usually involves skipping a line size. Therefore maybe you should consider that piece of the puzzle as well and also consider how you're really going to use this rod and where you use it the most. If you're taking one trip to Christmas Island every year, but you're going to fish most of the Year locally, then maybe an 8wt isn't quite optimal. In that case you might want a 9wt and you could pack both your current 7wt and the 9 wt for the trip. On the other hand, if you really want the perfect bonefishing rod that you will absolutely be able to fish all season long in the Northeast and you go with the 8wt, knowing your next fly rod will probably be a 10 wt
  20. Try fishing that on a small circle hook with a corkscrew slid over the hook point. Use a tiny bead and super glue the bead in place to prevent the corkscrew from slipping off. Then all you have to do is corkscrew the bait on and you get a lot more wobble and wiggle. The drawback to this type of bait though is that on a windy day in the surf you're not going to get very good casting distance. But on a clear day if you have fish in close, small plastics can be very good in the fall. With cocktail blues around though I would go more towards a metal because you'll go through a package of those little guys in about an hour.
  21. It's that time of year. I'm working on a piece in the Tins & Metals thread which will be up this week, but what you experienced is a common occurrence because Rain Bait is think this time of year and Surf Casters have had to deal with this since they became able to throw lures from the beach! Since the mid to late 40's lures came about to help us handle this type of situation.. You don't really need to know for sure if the bait was tiny Peanuts or if it was Bay Anchovies, but the way the bait behaved should give you an easy answer. If the bait was leaping right out of the water in giant waves then you obviously had Bay Anchovies present. If you saw a lot of shimmering and flashing but no evidence of entire schools of bait fish leaping right out of the water then you probably have micro Peanut Bunker present. Predators love to get slightly under this type of bait and kind of surround it. They will chase the bait from one end of a beach to another, they'll pin it against side structure and they'll pin it against the surface even out in open water.. if the water is fairly clear and calm, the predators will be able to see micro bait pretty clearly so the difficulty level can go up a little bit, but there are things you can do to tilt the odds in your favor. In the fall I will add a few Tins to my standard Tins rotation. A Charlie Graves 1-W made of Pure Tin is often the perfect answer for the tiny micro Peanut Bunker. You might also try a Root beer or a Pink Fish Snax Peanut jig. Another lure that can be extremely productive to cover the Peanuts is a 1/2 oz Crippled Herring. I generally start with the 1-W. If after 10 minutes I don't hook up, I might switch to a Charlie Graves J-5 or J-3. Generally that's all it takes. Problem solved. The smaller J-Series Tins cover the Bay Anchovies really well. There will be times when you accidentally snag both Bay Anchovies and tiny Peanut Bunker but this generally only happens when you are using a smaller lure and the reason is because both species will school up and follow your artificial lure. Then what happens is the predators crash into the pod and the pod scatters leaving only your lure swimming along. The Charlie Graves Tins have teasers that are about the same size as each Tin. This creates the illusion of one fish following another fish. The predator will see the Tin glowing and wobbling on your slow retrieve and it will come up and smash the teaser and you'll have a hookup. Also try the other lures I mentioned. The Tins and Metals thread has a whole write up on the most effective baits for the fall and there is a lot of information in there to read over. Look for my update later in the week, I'm going to go in depth on this very subject among others. I will have pictures of all the lures and strategies with how to fish them.
  22. Hi iwantmypie, hope this response finds you enjoying a marvelous Sunday! My reply below is no doubt going to be absurd. I just wanted to brace you. Remember, I only have an IQ equivalent to a Striper. I am no smarter or wiser than they are. Therefore, in order to figure out the answer, I have to be a Striper. I'm 6'3 265, so let me be a big Sriper for this answer okay? If I'm swimming slowly along the bottom of the shore line, in and around the rocks, vegetation and sand bars, I'm consuming calories opportunistically. I'm letting the substrate block current but I need to be near current so I don't have to work too hard to forage. Certain items on the menu behave certain ways. For example, a crab moves sideways. If I saw a crab moving forwards and backwards, I'd immediately veer off because it just didn't look quiet right. I may have been caught in the past also, making me a little bit less apt to get caught again. There are bait-fish and different kinds of eels around, there are small fluke and other crustrations. I've been eating these things all my life, not as a stocked fish who raised in a tank would eat food pellets, but as a completely wild fish who has been foraging all it's life. I have habits. I'm used to seeing certain things. I'm bigger and faster than smaller fish. If I see an easy, maximum calorie meal, I might swim faster to catch it because the reward is worth it, but otherwise, I'm absolutely not busting my arse when I can get plenty of calories delivered to me easily. Plugs can represent baits in the eel family and they can also represent bait-fish. Some bait-fish's entire body wiggles as they swim - a Herring is an example of this. Some bait-fish have a wiggle starting somewhere in the middle of their bodies, like Buker and still other species of bait-fish have nominal body wiggle, such as Mackerel. Plug Builders know all this and the best designed plugs swim exactly like the Baits they mimic. So the answer to the question is as complex as it is simple. The tail of the plug should simply be an appendage of the plug, one that functions in much the same way as the naturals do. If we're imitating forage in the eel family, the tail needs to slither. If we're imitating a Tinker Mackerel, the Tail needs to kick like mad as the Tinker Mackerel's head and body knife through current as they are clrealry driven by their powerful tails and they don't really use their body as part of their propulsion mechanism. Feathers, in my opinion, are a superior tail material for certain applications. They slither and undulate if tied long, they pulse and kick if tied short and full. Are they better than Bucktail Fibers? I think it depends on how you use them. When tying on a Siawash hook, a feather needs some bucktail under it to support it and prevent it from easily fouling around the shank of the hook. However, when tying on a Flag Stub, fouling isn't an issue. Also, if Feathers are tied on the sides a shorter shank Siawash and are layered, they will be less apt to foul. As a general rule of thumb, when tying on a Siawash, the feathers should be as long as the hook shank, or, they should have Bucktail fibers layered in to support them, That's why awesome feather tails, tied on a Saiwash, always feature longer feathers protruding from the axis of the hook shank and they are generally a third or longer than the Bucktail fibers that they are tied with. The Bucktail fibers also accept varous sythetic flash materials and they marry extremely well with both these synthetics and the feathers. You bring up an interesting subject iwantmypie, one that is very worth exploring and experimenting with and don't start thinking that I actually am smarter than a Striper because when I'm fishing for them, I'm clearly not. Obvioulsy, with feathers its a lot harder to blend some synthetic flash with, but then, most bait-fish don't have shimmering, light bouncing tails. Instead, tails are always muted grey/olive/brown tones because nature ensures that the most visible part of the baitfish is dull and hard to find. Bait-fish tails are always kicking and if they shimmered, the species would be unable to defend against predation as they'd bee too easy to locate. Well, Feathers don't shimmer and since they can be tied long or full and short, they present some cool options. I think a feather Flag Tail is a great idea. You can get fancy and match the color of the dorsal line on the plug, thereby committing to more of a natural tail color concept which would look more natural, or you can just roll with white which seems to work quite well also, perhaps making the plug slightly easier to see. As a Striper nears a plug, eyesight comes into play but they tend to find the plug due to it's location and due to contrast against the sky. All bait-fish have a given mass and reflecting light helps them survive, otherwise they'd block it out and therefore stand out. That's why nature gives them light bouncing scales and also makes some of the species translucent. These are evolutionary defense mechanisms. Perhaps when considering a tail, the main thing is, can it move and flutter easily. Can the mass of the Plug throw the tail around? One potential advantage of Bucktail Flags is that they undulate a bit but they also kick side to side very easily. They are connected by a single hinge point. If the plug goes one direction, they go the other and they bounce around. Meanwhile, feathers have a lot more drag and they're less likely to bounce if tied too long - they undulate and wiggle on their own, almost independent of what the plug is doing. Or, they can be tied short and full and you'll get a similar effect that Bucktail Flags provide. As we noted, tails are merely appendages, as are the fins of the fish. Fish take in water and gills exhale it. Along with the fins fluttering and producing motion and also vibration, the tail propels the bait-fish. With a plug, my goal has always been to give a plug a propulsionary Tail and I actually like the Bucktail Flag for that reason. It basically kicks all over the place and does the oposite of what the Body is doing. Bucktail fibers also accept synthetic fibers subtly camoflauged or blended/burried within them. My theory is always to match the Dorsal color of the plug. I'm not hot on tails that have dark over light contrast. Real baitfish tails don't look at all like that. I also like mixing in a little subtle flash so I treat a tail a bit like a teaser. I want the fish to find the plug and I want the tail to also look very natural. With the feather tail, it's also possible to ge the illusion of one fish following another fish. That's why Charlie Graves Tins have Feather Tails, which are in no way meant to be the kicking tail of a larger fish (referring to the mass and silhouette of the Tin). The School of bait follows the Tin and when the predator crashes into the school, the school scatters. The Tin is left fluttering and the tail is also fluttering almost inependently. Hence, the illusion of two fish, one following the other, is present. Therefore, my take with a feather tail is that if you're going to use one, also try making them a bit longer and closer in length to the body of the plug. Also, plugs that don't wobble a lot love feather tails. When a Feather tail is pulled through the water, it does flutter a lot better than a a tail constructed of straight Bucktail fibers does. On plugs like a Needlefish for example, which can represent a Sand Eel, an American Eel, a Needlefish or even a Half-Beak, you have to consider the nauturals that are present. The eel family of baits swim with a tremendous body slither. Therefore, the Feather Tail would be awesome. However, the actual Needlefish and Half-Beak family of bait-fish have tails that flap back and forth and body's that barely wilggle at all, in which case it would seem that the Bucktail fiber tail would be more appropriate. Considering the plug you have pictured, the SS Darter in Yum-Yum Yellow over White, this is a plug with a slow, gentle, wider wobble. A feather tail will wiggle independently of this plug and give an illusion of a slithering bait. Meanwhile, a Bucktail Flag will work at the same speed as the body, giving the illusion of a tail that is providing propulsion from side to side, more pronounced wiggle so I think you'd be better off either tying the solid Yellow Feather Flag Stub fuller and short or, you could use Bucktail fibers blended with a subtle pinch of yellow flash, if you elect to use flash at all. Again, remember that Baitfish don't have flashy tails. The SS Little Neck swims slowly though, and if you love to swim it slowly, then Feathers are awesome. I think the bottom line is that a tail is often better than no tail.
  23. I discovered this flag tail on one of my Metal Lip Bunker Plugs and I really like the action on this plug and the way the tail flutters. Does anybody recognize what this flag is tied on? It isn't a piece of wire it seems like it's a lower building item of some sort perhaps what they make spinner blades on? I've heard of guys using the brass through wire that you would normally use when you make a cannonball sinker. But this very thin piece of metal is very straight and stiff and has almost no weight to it, which accounts for the way it flutters all over the place when you retrieve the plug. I have to tie a bunch of flags this weekend & and wondering how experienced plug builders our flag tyers approach flag tail making.
  24. Unfortunately Tungsten is expensive. The main reason for the higher price on Tungsten is the availability, not every jig start-up brand can make it. It burns at 6,192°F. So it takes a warehouse, equipment, and a team to pour jigs. With the lead, you can pour them in your garage and any small company can produce quickly. Tube weights are made from soft plastics & they inject them with Tungsten Powder. I think you could find the powdered Tungsten in bulk but shipping that stuff is expensive. If you could find a local commercial supplier, picking it up in person would save money. Buffalo Tungsten, located in Depew, NY would be who to call. They manufacture the powder.
  25. This plug's body proportions are amazing. I hate to drill into it but I might have to. The explostions this plug makes are like bombs going off. I would love to find out if it could swim also. May need to hot glue some lead discs to it and put it in the current tank to see if it wobbles.