Friday, July 25, 2014

Big Sky Rod Box - How It's Made In MT

On my last trip out to Montana earlier this year I was able to meet the fellows behind Big Sky Rod Box and after putting hands on their product, and having a couple friends who rave about their rod box that have them on their rigs, it's without a doubt a rock solid way to carry fly rods around from spot to spot.



I've been thinking for awhile that "The Sculpin" would be the perfect addition to the Honda Element to always have a few glass rods rigged and ready to go.

Check out the Big Sky Rod Box website for more information.

Leiderman Rods - Kabuto Rods 7033

It's been a bit since I last shared a build from Matt Leiderman of Leiderman Rods which doesn't mean he has been building fly rods, he just hasn't taken the time to photograph them before they have been leaving the shop. 

Matt's latest build is on a white Kabuto Rods 7' three weight blank and is very similar to a build that he did for me several years ago on the Kabuto Rods 7643 blank which is by far one of my most favorite fly rods in that line weight.  Matt's exceptional rod work continues to amaze with custom hardware, ferrule rings, and flawless wrap work.


The ventilated grip is both unusual and very comfortable in hand and both the three weight four weight fly rods in this series a very capable in every regard with a progressive action that can do just about anything you'd want a glass three or four weight to do.









Check out the Leiderman Rods website for more information and follow along on the Facebook page for the latest shop updates and photographs of Matt's stellar builds.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

KORONGO X SMITHFLY

When it comes to packing for fly fishing trips, I have a longstanding tendency to pack way to much gear that I end up lugging around all the time wishing I had gone a bit leaner on what I brought.  I am reteaching myself on this bad habit and might have found a solution.  Start with a smaller gear bag to fill and it will more or less dictate what you have have room to bring.


A week or so before a recent trip to Michigan, a package arrived from KORONGO with one of their new Submersible Pocket gear bags to bang around for a few months.  This is a solidly built dry bag but by no means is it big.

The Pocket measures 8.5 inches by 8.5 inches by 5 inches, is made from heavy duty 20 ounce polyurethane laminate and is outfitted with MOLLE webbing across the front and snap straps across the back.

I quickly figured out that the webbing on the front of the Pocket was perfect for attaching a SmithFly 2X Pouch which greatly increased the capacity of this small but capable gear bag system.  Add to this system a small Topo Design Accessory Bag to keep track of the tools and odds and ends and this is a squared away grab and go gear bag.

The submersible Pocket, when zipped closed, is fully waterproof and this is a standard that I am finding more and more important in the gear bags and packs that I use while fly fishing because I always seems to have a camera, along with an extra lens or two, with me when I am on the water.  I've dunked my Nikon DSLR twice over the years and have been scared each time that it wouldn't come back to life (burying your camera in a bag of rice works) which was lesson learned that I need to always keep my camera in a waterproof pack or gear bag to keep them dry when not in use.

The interior of the KORONGO Pocket is really clean with empty space when zipped open.  There are no dividers, zippered pockets, or pouches to get in the way.  This allows you to pack the Pocket with fly boxes and other gear that is easy to access.  The SmithFly 2X Pouch zips open wide and is roomy inside with four pockets inside of the pouch and then four pockets on the exterior of the pouch with magnetic closure flaps.  These pouch pockets are perfect for keeping track of tippet spools, fishing license, and extra leaders.   


One evening I laid out just about everything that I had in the KORONGO and SmithFly system and this photo is still minus two smaller fly boxes, a second fly reel, and the Fuji X100s camera that I was using to take the photo with.    Not to shabby at all and this is still certainly more fly gear than I needed on this trip. 

For more information on this please check out the KORONGO and SmithFly websites.  Both of these companies are building gear that is Made In The U.S.A. and built to last with durable materials, trusty zippers, and innovations that are proof that big things can come in small packages.

Michigan Mousing Twofer

It's summer and the hex hatch is all but over, which means that those that don't want to trade in their headlamps for the trico fly box are mousing the rivers of northern Michigan at night. There are two videos which I've posted before here that need to be watched again, and again, that I think perfectly capture the essence of the night game which is mousing. 





The most interesting part of this video twofer is that Matt Dunn, creator of fishbeer.com and various other awesomeness, filmed and edited both of these film shorties.  He gets the game. Completely.

Enjoy.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Birth Of A Drift Boat - Louise's Debut

What started this past December as a stack of wood is now a custom built Croff Craft drift boat named "Louise" and these images represent hundreds of hours of work in the shop for Phil Croff through the winter and into the spring to have this boat ready for it's new owners.


There are a lot of things about this drift boat that you can see but maybe not really understand until you have a chance to ride or row one of these wooden wonders.  Phil does beautiful work but his drift boats are magic on the water as well.






 If you missed the "Birth of a Drift Boat" series and would like to see how this custom built boat came together please visit these past T.F.M. posts...

BIRTH OF A DRIFT BOAT - PART 1
BIRTH OF A DRIFT BOAT - PART 2
BIRTH OF A DRIFT BOAT - PART 3
BIRTH OF A DRIFT BOAT - PART 4
BIRTH OF A DRIFT BOAT - PART 5
BIRTH OF A DRIFT BOAT - PART 6
BIRTH OF A DRIFT BOAT - PART 7
BIRTH OF A DRIFT BOAT - PART 8
BIRTH OF A DRIFT BOAT - PART 9
BIRTH OF A DRIFT BOAT - PART 10
IN THE SHOP WITH LOUISE


I want to thank Phil and Trude for taking the time to chronicle this drift boat build step by step and I hope that everyone has enjoyed it as much as I have.

Visit the Croff Craft website for more information on these beautiful and river worthy drift boats.