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  1. They are small just about everywhere this year. Funny watching people get in shouting matches over 2# bones.
  2. call them. I have the same machine and it has been fine a few seasons of hard use.
  3. This is the worst start I have seen in 15 years. I don't think water temp has anything to do with it. Welcome to the crash.
  4. I like the Lamsons for most FW applications and smaller stripes. Should be fine on a 7-9wt setup. I do not like them for large fish with heavy tippet/heavy drag. I had the spool of an old velocity split in half when a fish went on a long run a few years ago which ended up in a bird's nest of backing all over the deck of the boat. Tibor is a better choice for 10wt and up.
  5. I have that rod and found that it really likes the 300 grain Rio striper sink tip.
  6. Homemade double catch loops with braided 50# mono are nearly indestructible You can find instructions with pictures on the Blanton website. Cortland and Gudebrod both make braided mono.
  7. Any 20-25' center console/bay boat with reliable power should get it done. There are lots of boat manufacturers out there that make a quality product without breaking the bank. Same goes for used boats. Remember: the brand name isn't going to make the fishing any better. Look for local dealer support (especially for the motor) and be sure to leave lots of discretionary funds for maintenance, the trailer, etc. It adds up quick if you are dunking in the salt every weekend. Boats need constant maintenance no matter what brand you buy and it ain't cheap.
  8. 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
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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).
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.