The Fisherman

Mike Oliver's 2H Rod Aces the Big Bass Challenge

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, The Fisherman said:

I've been fishing SOL member @Mike Oliver's two-handed "Out Front" rod for about a year and a half. It's my first choice stick when I'm fishing large areas like the mouth of the Housatonic, whenever it's windy and ugly and unsheltered, and of course, out front on beaches where conditions or casting distance are a factor. I've caught hundreds of stripers with it, but nothing of any substantial size. Certainly not the rod's fault!

 

This has been my best year for bigger bass since 2018. But of all the slot and just sub-slot bass I've taken, they've come on the TiCr 5-weight or the Salmo Sax. Until last week. I'm pleased to say that Mike's rod more than earned its keep. Here are a few photos from the adventure.

 

20PoundFight.jpeg.c7c58e7f59a6e6abf67d03a8de0157b3.jpeg

Here's the situation: fishing out front on a rocky reef, fairly calm. There's a substantial current moving across the bar. You make a cast, throw a huge mend or two, gather in the slack, and let the fly swing. Naturally, I'm fishing a floating line. This particular cast was shorter than usual, about 70 feet. Normally, I'd put a fish this size on the reel, but I had a really good hook set and I wanted to see how the fish would dictate terms. As with any rod, I'm fighting the fish with its lower third. Before too long I had the bass within 30 feet, and that's when the rod got its first real test. I had to raise the tip (not pictured here) to try to lift the bass' head out of the water. The fish rejected my attempts twice with surging short runs, and the rod tip helped to cushion those blows. On my third attempt she yielded. This was the largest bass I've ever hand-stripped in.

 

SureThingVise.jpeg.dac6f41acfbdb6dd42882de3e1c4b115.jpeg

Here's the actual fly I used, Ken Abrames' R.L.S. Sure Thing, still unshaped on the vise. It's a three-feather flatwing, and I tied it about 9" long. The Sure Thing would qualify as a presentation fly -- one that shines when presented in a natural manner (not stripped). Virtually every large bass I catch comes on a presentation other than stripping.

 

SureThingBass.jpeg.5699397b44aefe7409f9f999a5764444.jpeg

That was exciting! My biggest bass 2022 (so far), and I was so stoked to land this fish on Mike's rod. I've always known the "Out Front" is a special breed of rod, and it's good to know that when you get into a decent fish you have a stick you can rely on. Well done, @Mike Oliver!  For the stats geeks, 38" and 20 lb class.

 

Steve Culton

 

 

Steve, Exellent for you. What a beauty.  So glad you caught one on my favorite rod from Mike.    I've had some good sized Stripers before but not close to yours.     Hope you catch many more and maybe you and I will have another chance some day in the near Cape.

Though having been ill this last year+ I'm still planning to build two more rods from Mike's blanks in the near future.

 

ps:  jealous :)

 

HT

 

Edited by HillTop

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Steve,

 

Good angling and a great fly. True to say we are all delighted for you and thanks for sharing your joy. I am smiling as I type this having just returned home from a six day Bass fishing trip in North Wales and drawing a blank. I guess there is a kind of balance.

 

cheers

 

mikey

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That is so f ing cool!

 

 

Here in the Ca delta you have very little chance for the slow floating line swing. Wish we did . 

 

 

 

 

 

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Nice- my wifes from CT- Miss fishing the old Remington rod/gun club. Was a blast fishing with her uncle Charlie. Sadly none of her family but for 1 Aunt in Bridgeport are still with us. Great fishing in that river. 

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Thanks all for the kind words, and thanks again Mike for building such a tremendous rod. Looking forward to the next big 'un!

 

Steve Culton

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Steve thank you. It was a labour of love. But it needs input from the Angler and skill to find and catch the fish.

 

mikly

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On 10/5/2022 at 9:30 AM, The Fisherman said:

I've been fishing SOL member @Mike Oliver's two-handed "Out Front" rod for about a year and a half. It's my first choice stick when I'm fishing large areas like the mouth of the Housatonic, whenever it's windy and ugly and unsheltered, and of course, out front on beaches where conditions or casting distance are a factor. I've caught hundreds of stripers with it, but nothing of any substantial size. Certainly not the rod's fault!

 

This has been my best year for bigger bass since 2018. But of all the slot and just sub-slot bass I've taken, they've come on the TiCr 5-weight or the Salmo Sax. Until last week. I'm pleased to say that Mike's rod more than earned its keep. Here are a few photos from the adventure.

 

20PoundFight.jpeg.c7c58e7f59a6e6abf67d03a8de0157b3.jpeg

Here's the situation: fishing out front on a rocky reef, fairly calm. There's a substantial current moving across the bar. You make a cast, throw a huge mend or two, gather in the slack, and let the fly swing. Naturally, I'm fishing a floating line. This particular cast was shorter than usual, about 70 feet. Normally, I'd put a fish this size on the reel, but I had a really good hook set and I wanted to see how the fish would dictate terms. As with any rod, I'm fighting the fish with its lower third. Before too long I had the bass within 30 feet, and that's when the rod got its first real test. I had to raise the tip (not pictured here) to try to lift the bass' head out of the water. The fish rejected my attempts twice with surging short runs, and the rod tip helped to cushion those blows. On my third attempt she yielded. This was the largest bass I've ever hand-stripped in.

 

SureThingVise.jpeg.dac6f41acfbdb6dd42882de3e1c4b115.jpeg

Here's the actual fly I used, Ken Abrames' R.L.S. Sure Thing, still unshaped on the vise. It's a three-feather flatwing, and I tied it about 9" long. The Sure Thing would qualify as a presentation fly -- one that shines when presented in a natural manner (not stripped). Virtually every large bass I catch comes on a presentation other than stripping.

 

SureThingBass.jpeg.5699397b44aefe7409f9f999a5764444.jpeg

That was exciting! My biggest bass 2022 (so far), and I was so stoked to land this fish on Mike's rod. I've always known the "Out Front" is a special breed of rod, and it's good to know that when you get into a decent fish you have a stick you can rely on. Well done, @Mike Oliver!  For the stats geeks, 38" and 20 lb class.

 

Steve Culton

 

 

Awesome fish. Just out of curiosity how many slot and subslot fish you taken this year? It's interesting that they aren't in the river mouths and the out front where u use the Oliver 2H rod. I would guess this is a seal issue. Drive the bigger fish to areas not used by seals. 

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I haven't fished a river mouth since the spring. I have over the course of the summer taken both slot and near-slot fish in estuaries and breachways. I'm not sure where "out front" is for you, but where I am (southern New England) out front has been producing quality bass at night since August and especially if you are surfcasting plugs or soft plastics. Fly casters need to work a little harder. As always, YMMV.  Hope that helps!  :-)

 

Steve Culton

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Nice catch, Steve!

 

What weight floating line do you use with Mike's TH?

 

Thanks,

 

Kib

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