Friday, April 28, 2006

New Stuff

One thing about working in a fly shop, it’s Christmas everyday. I love how customers looking for something for the flyfisher who as it all and comment “They’ve already got everything”. I’ve been working in this business for over twenty years now and my list is still a very very long one.

In preparation for my upcoming trip to the Keys, my first box of goodies arrived from my buddies at RIO. These guys are great! They have pioneered so many great products since their introduction into the market. I remember meeting Jim about the time I opened the shop. One of his first products was two rubber vacuum cleaner belts that you fit over your Maxima spools to keep the unmanageable material from living a life of its own. If you’re a steelhead fisherman, you know exactly what I’m referring to. Anyway, of all the products I saw that year it was the coolest.

I called Zach the other day to talk about some leader and shock tippet material to try. Zach tollerates me, don't know why, but I'm greateful for his patience. What Florida Key guides like best about Fluorocarbon is it’s small diameter. It makes tying knots, especially blood knots, for shock tippets very easy. Monofilaments generally run a little larger for the same pound strength. However, looking through their catalog I found some 60lb monofilament that was the same diameter as its counterpart in Fluoro.

The box arrived today along with some fresh 22 lb for class tippets. Since I’m not interested in World Records the larger class lets you put a little more wood to them and get your partner up on the bow a little sooner. It also is a little more forgiving. Not being near as skilled as those who do this thing on a regular basis, I need all the help I can get.

Anyway, as soon as I opened the box I started tying a fresh batch of Tarpon leaders. I use a Bimini Twist looped to attach they Class tippet to the Butt of the line. I’ll tie a number of these up, I call them cartridges, and leave the final assembly for when I’m on the water. With just a blood knot I can add the shock tippet of the size that is needed quickly. Nothing fancy, but it does the trick.

Also in my little box of goodies were several new fly lines that I ordered. For the rods I fish, I prefer the RIO Clouser line. To try this year I ordered RIO's new Quick Shooter line. I’ve fished this line in the past, but switched to the Clouser after going through a similar trial and error process as I will put the new Quick Shooter through. Zach convinced me that the new configurations for the Quick Shooter would be more to my liking.

I’m trying a new rod for the first time, the Winston BiiX in the 12. Usually I get pretty set in my ways when it comes to rods and when I glom onto one I like I stick with it. My favorite trout rod for example is 22 years old. Rod companies love me!

In the past I’ve fish several of Winston's other Boron rods, but never the 12. It’s been hard to get. Having put an hour or two into it already, I think I’m going to like it. Although I have only had a chance to cast it at night so far; don’t ask.

Last year I took Winton’s BiiX down for a permit rod and ended up laning about a 70 lb Tarpon. As light as it was I was surprised by how well it cast and handle the Tarpon. Can’t wait to put the 12 to the test. That is if conditions and Murphy’s Law don’t interfere with our opportunities. Having had several fishless trips to the Key’s in my earlier days I know the challenges that may lie ahead. In checking the weather, so far it looks good. The bad new is the fishing right now is great. Could be one of those; you should have been here last week. Regardless, it won’t matter for after all I’m going to Key West.

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