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  1. You can get away with a 10wt and fast sinking 450gr like the RIO striper DC lines. If you're going to get a 12wt, move up to a 550 or as heavy as the rod can handle. That will get you to 30' in the current with a weighted fly no problem. FYI that setup sucks to cast and you need to feed the line under the boat on the drift to achieve depth, but it will do what you need it to do. More like jigging than fly fishing, really. Pay attention to the sink rate when you buy the line - they are not all created equal
  2. I don't think you'll have any problem with the Leviathan lines. They were designed partly for use on NE Bluefin and are versatile lines. Please do not try it with a 30# core - it will end badly.
  3. You might want to look at the Lowrance Elite Ti series w/Total Scan + a Navionics chip. It's a stripped down version of the HDS. I switched over from separate Garmin + Furuno units last year and have been happy. I still prefer the maps on the Garmin, but it's a good compromise since the Lowrance sonar is superior IMO. It has a lot of other gizmos that I have not found to be particularly useful when actually fishing, but the mapping is fast and I really like the sonar. Also fairly easy to it ticks the boxes for me.
  4. I upgraded to a new Lowrance unit last year that has sidescan. I have not found it to be as useful as I hoped - possibly because I have a transom mounted transducer and the skeg blocks part of the signal, even when trimmed up. I do think the sonar and chirp on the new totalscan transducers is excellent however, so no complaints. I have heard sidescan is more effective with 2 through-hull transducers (not something I'm interested in).
  5. I fish all year long, but still get RSI (repetitive stress injury) on my casting wrist every spring when I start boat fishing with 10wts and sinking lines. It's usually painful at first, but goes away after a week with some Advil/ice and some light stretching. I have found a compact wrist brace cranked down tight alleviates the problem. I use the Muller Green and it works well. It takes a little getting used to, but the brace will take all of the 'wrist' out of your casting stroke and allow you to keep fishing while you heal. I have good casting form, but years and years of casting 10-14wts and hauling on fish eventually take their toll on joints and ligaments. Using the fighting butt for leverage on your arm on the backcast is good advice as well. Hope this helps.
  6. Great idea using the articulated shanks. That solves a big problem with the crease fly: hook gap. I think a barbless treble on a split ring would be just the ticket for short-hitting bluefish. I will try that this summer.
  7. I had the same problem. It's from too much play on the reel seat. When I sent it back to Bauer for a tune-up they put some very thick clear tape over the ends of the foot and the problem went away. You should contact them about it. My experience is that they are a really helpful bunch over there.
  8. If you are between 4hp and 6hp, you should compare the weights and capacities. Some 4hp are just a 6 with a restrictor so there's no weight savings. I would definitely get a 2 stroke. The small 4 strokes are very sensitive to ethanol and I had constant carb issues with my suzi.
  9. Bunks with slicks get my vote and I would never go back to rollers. If you are self-launching and loading a lot, I think the bunks are the better call. Hard to 'power-assist' load solo with rollers unless you leave the motor running while you run up to the bow and throw a line around the stanchion. Not the greatest idea for safety reasons plus you are scouring the ramp. With the bunks, I can just line her up and put it in neutral as I make contact with the trailer. Slides right up there and doesn't go anywhere. My bunk trailer did not have slicks at first and it was a pain to launch and load at shallow ramps. The $50 slicks make a HUGE difference. I would not use bunks without slicks, especially if you have bottom paint. My buddy has carpeted bunks and bottom paint and the 2 surfaces are like Velcro.
  10. I think I am in the minority here but I'm not a big believer that color is such a huge factor with Stripers. I fish flats a lot and can see how the fish are reacting. My opinion is that presentation, tide phase, and weather conditions are all much more important than the color of the fly. If anything, the size of the fly is the most important factor, especially during feeds on very big or very small bait. So when I fish, I am much more concerned with finding the right combination of tide, weather, body of fish, etc. than the color of the fly I'm using. That said, I'm a fan of pink, chartreuse and the rest of the popular colors. I'm not a fan of trying to match every single detail of a baitfish. I appreciate the tying skills that go into that but it's overkill.
  11. I fish an NRX and in my opinion it's a fairly progressive rod - not particularly stiff. I use 350 Rio striper DC on my 10wt and it's perfect (although the new RIO running lines suck). I would err on the lighter side for a 9wt, especially with Airflo lines. I have older Airflo depthfinders and while they sink fast, they 'feel' heavy and tend to hinge. A 300 would probably be perfect on the 9.
  12. Not saying it's the perfect solution, but switching over to vaping worked for me after 20+ years of 1-2 packs/day. It really wasn't that hard because I was able to keep the same habits while feeling a lot better and getting back into exercise. If vaping works for you, you can keep dialing down the nicotine level which helps with the physical addiction. Go to a vape shop and spend $50 on a decent set up. The stuff you get at the gas station is horrible and you won't stay with it. I have no interest in smoking another analog and keep a half-smoked pack laying around just to remind me how much they controlled my life for 20 years. I made the switch 2 years ago on a lark without a big-stress buildup or 'quit date'. Not saying that's the right way, but it helped reduce some of the pressure. I know that e-cigs may pose their own health risks and eventually I'll need to quit them too. I can tell you that once you get past the first month or so you'll feel a hell of a lot better and wish you had ditched analogs a long time ago. Nothing to lose by giving it a shot.
  13. I am a boat fisherman and have used all kinds of reels, many of which are light and perform well short-term. The only 2 reels I have used that can stand up to season after season of being dropped on the deck, salt spray, poor maintenance habits, etc. are Tibor and Bauer. For big-game like Tuna and amberjacks where you use heavy tippet and lock-down the drag, Tibor is the only choice for me. I have not used the Hatch reels though and hear good things about them. I should say I am a Lamson fan and love them on my steelhead reels, but have had lots of issues using them in the salt - most notably the time when the spool separated in half on a big striper and I had backing flying all over the boat, around my ankles etc. I think they would be great for the wading fisherman since they don't pick up sand, etc too. Getting back to the original question - I am not a fan of the new TIbor porting and will continue to seek out the old style if I ever need to replace my current arsenal (which I doubt I will).
  14. I was a faithful Cabela's customer for many years...mainly because they carry tall sizes in just about everything. Unfortunately, it seems the quality of their branded clothing has gone way down. More importantly, they have changed the terms of their 'legendary' guarantee. I tried to return a $300 guidewear jacket that clearly had a zipper malfunction at the Hudson store. They offered me $60 since that was the lowest advertised clearance price for that product (even though I paid $300). 10 years ago, they would have swapped out a similar item with a smile. I spoke to the store manager and she said they are now focused on their retail establishments. They are no longer trying to compete with companies like LL Bean that offer real guarantees. So now I shop at LL Bean.
  15. The Montauk parking lot at its finest. Nice vid.