Mike Oliver

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About Mike Oliver

  • Rank
    Way too many!

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  • Interests (Hobbies, favorite activities, etc.):
    Angling
  • What I do for a living:
    Fired/Retired.
  1. Cary, If we take Sage hard to see how they could reduce the component cost, Even on their flagship rods like the Ignitor they do not use a high grade guide like a Fuji Torzite for the stripper. They use routinely snake guides. Even from the best makers these prehistoric bits of twisted wire are incredibly cheap. Reel seats in OEM volumes are not expensive which leaves the cork handle. These are almost certainly pre formed and brought in. Maybe a few dollars could be shaved off here. It is interesting that Sage and I really rate and thank them for this can roll you a new blank section for a very old classic rod. Now pre preg does not have a long shelf life. This kinda leads me to think that these pre pregs continue to be used today on production models. No problem with that. IM6 has been around a long time. But it’s qualities are by now very well understood and very good rods are still being built with it alongside IM8. I had a soft spot for the Z Axis in the 9’ 6” 7 wt. A very strong rod but it is heavy compared to my Daiwa rod same length and line wight. But for your steelhead that’s is my rod of choice. Weight is not everything. My 25 year I old RSP are relevant today. Great light fast rods. The XP a great range and the SL is a classic and great SeaTrout rod for night fishing. Not too quick. The Xi3 great range of salt water rods a definite step up from the Xi2. I just could not keep up after the Xi3 and changed over to CTS blanks for my 9 and 10 wts. If the Ignitor in the 9 and 10 are in the same vein as the 6 wt I would love to find a way to afford them as blanks. Snakes on a salt water rod no thanks. Having spent the last year taking lessons from and casting with a Master Instructor it is clear to me that very high line speeds can be achieved with both sinking and floating lines. It is 100% about the caster. What I often see on the beach are guys struggling to put sinking lines into the air and then have a poor stroke to get them moving. Cause bad casting and very often the rod is silly over lined. There should be no more stress on a given fly rod that is cast properly with either a floater or a sinker of the same mass. For guys who do manage to over power a sinker then they have drift to take the bounce out on the back cast. Or use an elliptical casting stroke. For a maker to say their rod is not up to a sinking line is pretty preposterous. Herb makes a good point that loose fitting ferrules can be a cause of breakage. Not necessarily a poor fit in terms of manufacture but when a joint works loose by dint of casting. Rod makers can’t control what happens to them once they have left their factory. If three rods broke at the same point then one would rightly think they would want to find out why and work with the Angler. Anyway it’s time I took my pills. cheers Mike
  2. Cpalms, Dam it I can totally see where you are coming from much as it pains me and my personal beliefs. I have a huge problem with some of my Brit friends who do not pay the proper gratuities to waiters in restaurants. I get into arguments with them. I think this is a bigger problem to resolve and whilst it exists I am going to ensure the person serving us is properly rewarded. They would have to be very average not to receive 20% and if exceptional and made our night what’s wrong with 25% . It is not just about the food that can make us feel good. This is of course at odds with my view on tipping guides. Owner Operators have no justification for expecting a tip. Why not state in your terms of business what your day rate is and that every thing is included. Where Guides are employed and are known to be badly paid then in spite of my beliefs you are obligated to play the game. I could never go against local etiquette and custom. I avoid the conflict by not taking guided trips. My hope is that the Guides get organised yes Unionised even and fight for better pay. It can be a very tough gig being a Guide and they deserve to be remunerated properly. Again it is paradoxical but where tipping is the norm to be a bad one is pretty darned shameful. One day I hope it will not be necessary. Mike
  3. Guess I sit pretty firmly in Paul Ardens camp. From a business perspective it certainly makes a lot of sense to build very safe rods and build in extra reliability if you are offering these stupid fault free long term warranties. Consequence can be loss of real development and real improvements. But we as Anglers are denied the opportunity and pleasure of casting and fishing rods that are built right on the edge of the envelope. I am just amazed how so many make a decision to buy a rod on the basis of its warrenty They expect to get a new rod irrespective of how the rod got damaged. It seems totally ingrained now in our sport. No responsibility rests with the user. Warranties are now changing. They are more restrictive and it’s about time to. Whats wrong with a one year warranty against poor materials or workmanship. Fishing rods are often badly abused by Fishers why should they get rewarded with a new rod when they break one. Why is that the makers fault. I use a lot of CTS blanks. Warrenty is one year. Does not stop me buying them as they are very fine products. The owner gets it. Sage is a company I have a huge respect for. Aside from their past warranties which we’re crazy generous what I really love them for is that they will provide blanks for models many years old. Not many companies do that. Some of us appreciate that great that maybe 20 years old does not mean it’s necessarily lost that greatness twenty years on. I value that commitment to product and customer support way more than any warranty out there. Even with the advances in technology Anglers never kept pace. If we use as a parameter distance for salt water Anglers no matter what rod is in their hands the majority of us are unable to cast 90 feet in the very best of conditions. Mike
  4. Cpalms They can expect but they need to change in my opinion. If they are low paid and don’t like it get out. No one is forcing them to be a Guide. Sorry but I see it as demeaning and all but begging. Does this mean Guides have no pride. They need to forge change in the industry that they work in. Why should they be a special case. Should I ever take a guided trip and the Guide decided he wanted to go over the time then I would insist if he would let me to pay for the extra hours and plus some for overtime. Why can’t this business be transparent and have the correct fee out front and no tip. I dislike this practice so much that guess what I will never take a guided trip. I wonder how many more guys feel the same. We lose sure but the Guides lose hard money. I don’t wish to spend a day with another who had at the forefront of his mind a 20% tip. We are not going to gell. I hear you, I can’t argue with a fact. But I and others who dont like it have a choice. I made mine a long time ago. To give and to receive gratuities is demeaning. It belongs if it ever did in feudal times. Dont wish to cause anyone offence with my beliefs cemented in the industrial heartlands where injustices still exist between employer and worker. Mike
  5. Hook You know what my reply would be. LoL. I dislike tipping any almost any situation. It is demeaning. It is a way for certain bussiness like restaurants and general hospitality to pay very low hourly rates to certain staff. Those staff members don’t know for sure what their daily income will be. Surely this must cause some stress and worry as most of us either pay rent or a mortgage. To me it’s feudal and probably biggest in the US. Mike
  6. I can’t figure this at all. Why not just roll over and open your wallet to these Guides who appear to have semi god status. $500 to $850 a day is serious coin to most of us. Ok I believe that Guides who are owner operators and my view about them is that they should not accept a tip even if one is proffered.. Are they bussiness men or beggars. The Guide who is paid by an Outfitter should be paid a proper living wage which should come out of the quoted price for the days guiding. He or she should not depend on a tip. How would you feel about being tipped. To some of us it is extremely demeaning. I don t go on the theory that a system which includes tipping will ensure a better service, This should be a given. It should be in everyone’s DNA to do a good job. Dont forget this is not a one way ticket. The Guide or Outfitter needs your business. The fear of not being given a place in a boat should not even be up for consideration based on how a customer tips or not. I can’t believe that every guide and boat is booked for every day throughout the USA. This whole tipping issues can be resolved quite simply by having a fixed price for the day. That covers everything and especially a fair and decent wage for the Guide. Dont know about you but my working day was a minimum of 8 hours. Would we give free lunch, free beer and a nice 20% on top of gear price to our local Bait and Tackle shop. Never heard of that. This issue won’t go way until employee guides are paid a proper wage if that is in fact an issue. Questions like how much should I tip would not be necessary. It obviously causes some stress to some Fishers. On their day out that’s really not great. Things won’t change unless we challenge the status quo. Guides don’t have to do this job if the money is low. Everyone has a choice. Mike
  7. Can we mark this down. Someone agrees with me. Mind the XP was a classic rod. Lots of guys over this side of the pond have a big soft spot for them. We don’t mind that they come in two pieces. I like them that way. mike
  8. Unless there is a huge demand for this rod $500 is pretty outrageous. Too many guys over value secondhand gear. Mike
  9. A fly rod casts a line that has mass. It cares not if the line floats or sinks. So now we have to buy specific rods for floating lines and sinkers. If Scott said the above then the only reasonably reply I can think of is BS. That applies to rods of all line weights. Strange that a rod has broken three times at the lower end. The most likely reason for this apart from poor materials or workmanship is a loose joint. The fracture is most likely then to be section three rather than the butt itself. That is generally user error. Looks like rod warranties are going through change and not before time. In the past and it’s only my opinion they were stupidly way too generous. I do not know of any other consumer product where there this a long time fault free warranty. Mike
  10. As an adder to my post. Lessons are key and you will need a fair few of them. I teach and am also being taught. No one got good with a few lessons. I have been at this a year now and the difference to my own cast is considerable. Apart from performance increase there is the pleasure in how much better the cast feels. Too many of us will hide behind an average cast with the plea that distance is not important. Yet often same guys will invest in very high end kit which kinda baffles me unless they just like high end gear, If we can throw technically well we can cast way better to a head wind. The discussion has been raging for donkeys years. Guys who can cast long can also cast short. You will never hear from a good caster that all or most of his/ her fish came at short range. They have the ability to put the fly where the fish are within the limitations of fly gear. It just happens that their limitations are less. It took me too many years in this game to see the light but it was very welcome none the less when I finally opened my eyes. LOL. Mikey o
  11. gonfishin, I appreciate your honesty. You laid it out there. ok in the interest of following your openness I hope you will alow me to be direct and it is not personal. Not one inch. Gear has practically no impact on how far we can cast. Rod and line matching is nice but is also very subjective. A good Caster can cast a 9 wt rod with a 6 wt line and still put the fly beyond 90 feet. Rod loading is hugely over rated. A caster can feel a rod bend but that does not necessarily mean a good cast will ensue. A loaded rod and a fly line under tension even adds very little to the distance we cast. A cast of thirty feet if it is your best cast distance wise has to mean that your cast is a long way from being correct. If your casting mechanics were good it would be easy to exceed this. It is pretty usual for recommendations to learn on Trout tackle. Problem with that is light tackle does not so easily show indifferent form. It reinforces it. Your post has elicited the usual responses. Some helpful in my view others not so. The very best way to become a good fly caster is to take lessons from a qualified casting instructor and preferably one who fishes in salt water as well as fresh. Some people have learned to cast very well by dint of you tube but I would suggest they are not many. The issues are.that we cannot observe easily what we are doing when we cast. Also we often don’t understand what it is we should actually be doing and why. This is because of a lack of acquired knowledge which is freely available in various forms The evidence of what I am trying to say can be seen all over. I agree with Oakman on this. The majority of guys casting a fly rod are not very good. Its a choice thing. It is not that difficult to become very good if anyone puts their mind to it. Why anyone would not want to do this beats me. If you take the steps to get help and do a bit of book reading and Borgers book is excellent for one you can become pretty darned useful in a short time. You will become a serious threat to the fish you wish to target. I have this feeling you want to travel this route. I wish you all the best. Mike
  12. Thanks
  13. Please who are the Flanks and Charlie’s. Mikey .0.
  14. Heh slip n slide. I like your grip design. mike
  15. Puppet, Totally agree. The video is a game changer. I did not know about the reverse currents in a fast flow. The Trout is an amazing fish. Hats off to the guy that did all this work. It is priceless. Mike