Jim H

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About Jim H

  • Rank
    ( Tidewaterfly)
  • Birthday 09/25/1955


  • Interests (Hobbies, favorite activities, etc.):
    Fly Tying, Lure & Tackle Making, Fly Fishing, Hunting, Gardening
  • What I do for a living:
    Owner/CEO, J Hester Fly & Tackle Co, LLC. Manning, SC

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Santee Cooper Lakes in SC

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  1. I don't make plugs, but do use epoxy a lot for such things as fly rod poppers, jigs and epoxy flies. As has been said, it's usually the mix ratio was not correct or incomplete mixing that causes tackiness. When humidity is very high, it can take an extended amount of time to completely cure. I don't have it happen often, but have when the epoxy I had was getting older, and we've had a lot of humidity, both have some affect on proper curing. I mix often with a cheap plastic bristle hobby brush, since I'm using the epoxy for coating, and will add a drop or two of alcohol which helps get a complete mix, and thins a little so helps extend the working time too. It still sets & cures OK. and although it may weaken the epoxy some, ( I don't know that it does) I've never seen it to be a problem. For bonding, where I want the full strength, I don't thin, but coatings are a different situation. I prefer to use ethyl alcohol, as it usually has the least amount of water in it, but isopropyl has also worked. The more water in the alcohol, it causes it to be a cloudy color when mixed, but it will clear up & dry clear and hard, again provided the mix ratio is correct and it is mixed thoroughly.
  2. I've used a product called "Salt-X" for many years and it works as advertised to remove salt. It's not cheap, not like buying a can of WD-40, but it goes a long ways. You can use on any gear you have, and rinse it off with water. However, you'll need to maintain your reels more often, like check them often to make sure saltwater, or the Salt-X haven't gotten inside. A wipe down with it & clean rag will remove most salt, but there's still the chance of it being in places that the rag won't get. So using it in a spray bottle is best for that. But again, it too can get inside a reel. Check it out with a search online. They have a big website. What other suggestions and advice here is all good. You can also get the silica gel packs and place them in with hardware, and lures and they will help, but any metal that salt gets on is going to have some corrosion in time if it stays on for any extended time.
  3. I think that I would still contact Cortland and see what they say. I've gotten 10 years of use out of many lines, although I didn't fish as often as you are. Maybe they had an issue with that line, and provide a solution to keep you as a customer. I've found that sometimes, if you ask the right questions and let them do the talking, they may suggest a fix that will be better for you than buying a new line!
  4. I don't have the Dr Slick hook sharpener, but they do generally make excellent products. The best tying scissors that I've ever used are from Dr Slick. I agree that a diamond type file is a good choice for these chemically sharpened hooks as well the other hooks when all you need is to touch up the point. I have a Rapala metal file that I use for larger hooks that need to be sharpened. I've used Penn grease, and there's not a thing wrong with it. There may be better grease, but likely depends on the reel & how much you use it, plus how often you re-lube. Reel oils will be a lower viscosity oil generally than motor oils, but you're also not talking about the same loads & heat with a reel. I used Quantum's Hot Sauce oil & grease in the past, and no problem as far as it's performance, but I didn't care for how it turned everything it came in contact with a red color. I now prefer Ardent's Reel Butter products for my casting reels, but for spinning reels, most any reel oil & grease is fine. I also still use Penn grease on my older Penn casting type reels, of which I have several. I've used 3 in 1 oil & petroleum jelly for spinning reels and never had any issue, but my spinning reels have never been expensive reels either. I also have a few tubes of oil sold for Zebco reels and never had a problem. IMO, the only place a grease can be critical is on a drag that needs to be greased. Cal's Drag grease is what I've used for that purpose. Grease & oil both can become issues in extreme temperatures, but likely for most folks fishing purposes, it's not ever going to become a problem as long as the reels are cleaned periodically and properly maintained. Of course if you dunk a reel, especially in saltwater, a reel should be cleaned & re-lubed. For any of the reel grease & oil brands that have been in use for a long time, you should never have a mechanical failure because of the grease or oil themselves not doing their job. Beyond that, IMO, it becomes a personal choice what you use and in some cases the price you may pay has some bearing on that choice. Some of these brands have become pricey.
  5. Ftyer, how old is the line you're using? If it's not too old, perhaps contact Cortland and see what they say about the cracks. Cortland's customer service used to be top notch. This virus thing has been causing a lot of problems with many companies, but worth a shot contacting them about the issue. Maybe they'll have a good solution.
  6. I also buy some large spools of heavy round nylon thread, 1200-1500 yards, that I use for larger jigs, and it's about $10-$15 a spool shipped. But, I may tie more smaller jigs than you do, and flies. You likely tie a lot more of the bigger jigs, over an ounce, so I can see you using a lot of thread. I've been tying more hair jigs for bass anglers this year, 1/8 oz to 3/4 oz, than anything else, and the 210 denier flat nylon thread has been what I've used most. The last bucktails that I tied, were only 1/4 oz, and I used the flat nylon on them too. I would go broke if I was tying with that gel spun thread, that's for sure.
  7. Dan, it's just one more product in a long list, that some fly tyers/fishers believe they need to have. Gel spun fly line backing has become popular too. It's strong, no stretch and a much smaller diameter than dacron of similar rated breaking strength. Of course it requires a second mortgage too to fill a large fly reel. 100 yards costs in the $20 to $25 price range. So, if you're spooling a big reel, and need 300 yards or more, it's costly. I guess it's relative to what type of fishing an angler is doing and the price tag on the rest of the gear a person uses. I stick with dacron, and never saw a need for anything else. I have to agree with you, and it is a more costly alternative to nylon threads. As I mentioned previously, I tried it at the suggestion of a fellow who was a very prominent materials supplier and tyer, and didn't care for it. That was several years ago, and at that time I think it was around $3 a spool. It's more now. A few months back, I bought a dozen spools of Danville Flat Nylon and paid $15, so $1.25 a spool. There's 100 yards on a spool and only 50 on the GSP spools. I can't justify the additional cost even if I did like tying with it, and particularly for tying jigs. But, like I said, some folks feel they have to have such things. Those are the type who will pay $80 for a fly box that can be made for around $15.
  8. Who is this reply directed to? I mentioned clumps because that's how it's cut from the tail and I do spread it around the collar. The OP never mentioned anything about selling jigs?
  9. A fellow by the name of Chris Helm recommended it to me. He passed away some years ago. You may know who he was. If not, he had a small mail order business, Whitetail Fly Tying Supplies (still in business) selling tying supplies and was a top notch tyer who was well known for his expertise with spinning deer & other similar hairs. I got a couple of spools of it from him, but as I mentioned, really didn't care for it, and was primarily because of the slipperiness issue. Chris used it a lot for his tying, with deerhair bass bugs & other similar flies. I think if you get used to tying with it, it's as good as any other thread.
  10. Flat nylon thread.
  11. GSP was recommended to me years ago, and I tried it. I couldn't get used to how slippery it is, so stayed with flat nylon or the heavier round nylon threads depending on what size jigs I'm tying. A lot of folks like it however. GSP thread is very strong and I know many like to use it. I'm not one of them, but if you decide to stick with it, try smaller amounts of hair at one time, and use some cement to keep everything in place. I'm not sure how much stretch that thread has, but I do know that nylon stretches which also helps lock down materials. I've got into the habit of brushing clear nail polish ( cement) on the butt ends of the hair, after I've got what amount I want on the jig and secure it with a few wraps of thread. I do mean secure too, so the hair cannot move. That leaves uncovered hair on the collar, so the nail polish helps keep it in place and get some added durability down into the thread wraps instead of just on the surface. It doesn't take much, and subsequent wraps works the polish into the hair. I believe I had read to do that in one of Lefty Kreh's books years ago. Some folks use super glue instead. I've tried that too, but it tends to wick up into the hair too much IMO and dries hard too quickly, so the thread wraps can't really compress everything to hold it all together. Gel type super glues is also used by some. IMO, then it's the glue that's holding the hair on & not the thread. Of course, if it works, I guess it's not wrong. The "cements" should not be what is securing the hair, but they will help keep it in place. The hair should not be pulling out once there's enough thread wraps to secure it, but I know at times I've had hair move & slip out while attempting to secure it. That's often the result of using too much hair at once. The cements can help keep the hair in place so perhaps give it a try. As for cleaning up the collar, I cut the hair after it's secured on the jig collar, with a good pair of fine point scissors. If I need to trim a few stray hairs I use a single edge razor blade. The final thread wraps cover the butt ends of the hair so my jigs usually look pretty clean. IMO, the "trick" to tying bucktails is always in the amount of hair added at one time and using a thread strong enough for the jig size. I've made the mistake of trying to use too much hair too many times, and that's when I get hair slipping. I've watched video's of jigs being tied and good size clumps of hair are being added and then the person spends a few minutes pulling loose hairs. To me, that's wasted effort & wasted material, but too each their own. If I have to add 5 smaller clumps of hair, instead of 3 larger, I'll go with the smaller every time. Time for me is always important, as I do tie commercially, but I rather be sure the end result is solid, than worry about a few extra minutes. I can tie jigs fairly quickly anyway. From my perspective, anyone who has purchased a jig I made, doesn't care how long it took to tie it, but you can bet if hair is slipping, they won't be interested in more jigs that I tied. Even when I only tied for my own use, I sure never wanted hair falling out, so best to take the extra time & effort to prevent it. GSP thread is good stuff, but is tricky to work with, so if you continue with it, take your time & try some of what I've mentioned to see if it makes a difference for you.
  12. I've never thrown a "color". The color of a fly or lure matters sometimes, as part of the overall attraction, but even with all the studies & use or various colors, I'm not convinced it's what the fish see with the color that gets bit, as much as it's the movement and perception of life that a color might add. It's often commented in color discussions, "have you ever seen a chartreuse or hot pink baitfish?" How do we know that's what the fish see? We can't know what a fish see's for certain. Light, and subsequently depth of the water changes colors as we see them, but how much that affects what the fish see, any fish, there's no way of knowing. So, color is just a part of the many possible factors that cause a positive or negative response to our flies or lures. The trouble is we are a visual oriented animal and many folks relate color as being the reason they're catching fish or not. There's more to it than that. Color is only a reference for what's working or not working, based on the type of lure or fly being used. For example, bucktail jigs, if one color doesn't seem to be producing, try another. It's still a bucktail and similar action regardless of color. But, then the question might be was the problem the color or not getting them where fish are seeing them? Many would blame the color. IMO, too often it's more likely the latter, but color is still our point of reference. So, it's only important sometimes.
  13. I'm not a guide, but have fished with various folks and much of what's been mentioned here really hits home. As I've read through the comments, I could think back to many days that I had missed opportunities for the various reasons mentioned. A Keys guide that I was supplying with flies years ago, and fished with once, told me he's had clients who never made a cast, because they stood on the front of his boat false casting, while the fish moved away too quickly. They couldn't get line out fast enough, because they were not prepared to make a long cast with only a few false cast. After fishing with that guide, which turned out was just a boat ride, I spent a good amount of time working on my casting, with heavier gear and long casts with only a few false cast. I had really needed to fish that way, but it was a good skill to have. I've seen folks that I've fished with miss with Bluefish, Stripers & Spanish Macs because they couldn't cast quickly. I call that the "trout mentality". I mentioned this in another post recently and it was said that some should adopt a trout mentality with their saltwater fishing, such as dead drifting instead of stripping a fly. I can agree with that for presentation method, as there can always be a time & place for adaptation, but most folks who are trout anglers and delve into saltwater, or even bass fishing, fail to separate all of what they do when targeting trout on a stream, from what they need to do on bigger waters when targeting larger fish that don't spend much time in one spot. That can also apply to the gear they use & fly sizes. Much of what has been said here I had to learn on my own by making many mistakes. We all will make mistakes sometimes, but for folks that I've been around, some never realize it & never learn from it and not just with fly fishing. One of the last LM bass of a really decent size that I've hooked, I lost because I got the line tangled in my Gheenoe. I don't get upset over losing fish, it's part of the game, but it haunts me that I knew better. For many years I've carried netting, like is used for hunting blinds to cover various parts of the inside of my Gheenoe & boat, to help prevent tangles, but that day I didn't spend the time utilizing it. I was fishing alone, had 3 rods rigged up and ready, sinking & floating lines & flies. I was familiar with the river, and had been paddling so a quiet approach, and had been watching the shore line activity. I did everything "correct" except, be fully prepared. For the comment about sinking lines, a lot of folks seem to believe that sink tips are enough. Again, this is a mentality, that to me doesn't provide the best advantage. I bought one sink tip many years ago, and it was the least used line I ever purchased. I missed many fishing opportunities because of only having floating lines on my reels. That was part of my learning experience. I didn't need sinking lines for most places that I fished. It was when I got out on bigger, deeper water, where there could be strong tidal currents that I found that floating lines were not getting it done. So, I added 3 full sinking lines, an intermediate, and medium sink & a fast sink. I never used them much, but had them when I needed them and for some places, I had them rigged & ready even though most fishing might be with surface flies or shallow subsurface. I've had tides change and couldn't keep a fly where it needed to be using a floating line, even in relatively small creeks.
  14. This is how I went when I wanted a longer casting rod for bass, that was suited for lighter lures. Although, the rod I have, a Lamiglass, is 8'6" long and I paired it with a first generation ABU Revo SLX . It was a smaller stream setup for me, primarily for wading. I've mostly used 1/8 to 3/8 oz. size jigs with it. Most of my casting rods are older, BPS Extremes, some are the Woo Daves series. I like the older graphite, it's a little heavy, but I've never had any breakage issues. It's been a good while since I've bought one, so no idea what they're offering now. I've been happy with them especially for the price, but I've never been a person who had to have all the latest & greatest that comes on the market. I know a good many folks who love the Dobyn's rods, but no idea if they make an 8', much less in the specs you're looking for.
  15. That's fine if you have a local shop. The closest "shop" to me is either Walmart's fishing department, which is sorely lacking, and the Ace Hardware has a hunting & fishing dept. They sell a lot of guns, and possibly have more tackle than Walmart, but very little of what I need. There are some shops on the coast, but that's a 2 hour drive each way for me, so I buy most things online. I make a lot of the flies & lures that I use, so am buying supplies for that purpose, and even if I did make the trip to the coastal shops, no guarantee, they're going to have what I need, so that puts me back to online purchases anyway. I have plenty of sources to buy from, many that I've been dealing with to some extent for many years, so the shops/sellers are not a problem, it's the shipping and transport, and very likely many shops/stores are experiencing the same types of problems right now. For me, the really frustrating thing is most things that I ship with my business, arrive within a few days. That's never a problem, but when I'm waiting on supplies that are being delayed in the same locations all the time and can't complete orders because of it, well, it's way more than annoying. After reading the other replies here I guess I'm not the only one dealing with it.