Saturday, June 16, 2018

TROUT SEASON - LAST CALL

Take ten minutes this weekend and check out the latest mix of words, photos and film from Sage with Trout Season - Last Call which  highlights the Yellowstone River, a family connection, community, the angling and future threats to a special place.



Someone needs to keep Miles Nolte and RC Cone locked up in wild places and have them continue telling stories through good writing and film. 

Visit the Sage website for the Trout Season microsite.

MONTANA FLY FISHING MAGAZINE - Spring 2018

The latest issue of Montana Fly Fishing Magazine is live and ready for a flip through on your weekend.


CHECK IT.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Introducing... ETHOS Fly Rods

I only know him as Mclean and have enjoyed following ETHOS Fly Rods on Instagram to keep up with his latest builds that seem to be flowing out of the shop on a very regular basis.  I like that each of his builds are completely different than his last and that there is no lack of creativity in every fly rod completed.

I know that I have railed on "Forget About the Damn Blank Color" before but fiberglass fly rod blanks sure make an interesting canvas of sorts to build off of.

ETHOS Fly Rods has been added to the Fiberglass Rod Shops page and I asked Mclean if he'd provide a few images of recent builds along with some background of why his does what he does.


Mclean wrote...  "I predominantly build on blanks I get factory direct from overseas; unfortunately they are not "Made in USA" blanks.  But I also build on whatever the customer requests.  I do not roll glass blanks though I wish I did.  I also build graphite rods and those blanks are the ones I have began to design.  I have a saltwater blank design that I'm in the processing of fine tuning which I'm excited to release to market."


















Visit the ETHOS Fly Rods for more info and follow along on Instagram for the latest shop news.

MAYFLY ADVENTURE

Here's your two minutes of bluesy trout sipping mayflies Zen to kick start your day.  Enjoy.



Here's hoping that Creek Chasers keeps uploading videos like this on their Vimeo page.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

2018 T.F.M. Father's Day Gift Gear Guide

If you're scratching your head on what to get that special father in your life, here's ten (additional links as well) solid gear suggestions to help you along. Maybe not all of these things can get to your doorstep by Sunday, but letting dad know it's on the way will sure to bring a smile and anticipation.

Here we go...

PAKMULE HITCH BASKET
If I've learned anything in traveling with our family of four over the year, it's that we quickly run out of space when packing for a trip.  It seems like every cubic interior inch of our vehicle is stashed with gear and the recent addition of the Pakmule hitch basket is giving us newfound space to ensure everything for the trip makes it along.


The Pakmule is made of 100% aluminum, no problem for one person to place on and off the hitch and is absolutely rock solid with zero wobble.  The tubular design of the basket makes it easy to lash or lock down coolers, gear and containers for the long haul.  The Pakmule sets a new standard in hitch baskets.

P.S. #1 Don't forget the MULEstraps which are U.S.A. made, sold in pairs and offered in 4', 8' and 12' lengths.

P.S. #2 Order Dad a couple OTTOLOCK Cinch Locks too as they work best in keeping items of value attached to the Pakmule.  Check out the T.F.M. review if you haven't already.

CAMP STOVES
When I finally gave up on my aging and malfunctioning dual fuel camp stove, I started messing around with three different stoves which all continue to be excellent in their own ways.

The Camp Chef Everest Camp Stove is the perfect camp two burner and I purchased the Mountain Series Aluminum Griddle which works great with it as well.  Follow up with the T.F.M. review for the full write up.

Of the three camp stoves mentioned in this review, Camp Chef has the longest list of offerings in their Mountain Series to choose from.  The Deluxe Outdoor Oven is on my own wish list for taking camp meals to the next level.


Over the last year the Eureka Spire XL has gotten a lot of T.F.M. love for a couple reasons.  First, it's a big stove and easily handles a ten inch cast iron pan and/or a large square griddle and second, the ability to add the Jetboil Luna Satellite Burner just makes this camp stove win in so many ways.  Follow reviews on the Spire XL as part of "10 For Spring" and the "T.F.M. Holiday Gift Guide".

Now through Father's Day Eureka is offering 25% off everything on their website along with free shipping.  Doing the math, you can get the Spire XL (or the smaller Spire) with the Luna Satellite Burner for the price of either stove not on sale.

The Primus Kinjia Stove is the smallest camp stove in this line up but continues to be a favorite for it's simplicity and well thought out design.  This stove features excellent heat control of it's 7,000 BTU/h burners, removable griddle and angled stainless steel drip tray make after meal clean up easy.  More on the Kinjia Stove as part of "10 For Fall" from a few seasons ago. 

Now through Father's Day, enter PRIMUSDAD20 at checkout for 20% off your order and free shipping.

P.S.  Looking for the perfect cast iron skillet for both camp and home?  Check out the Smithey Ironware.  Use code "DAD" for a free Chain Mail Scrubber with purchase of any skillet.  Past T.F.M. reviews and mentions HERE, HERE and HERE.

MAVEN BINOCULARS
I am working on full length gear reviews of the custom B.1 binoculars that I purchased this spring and C.1 binoculars that I have been demoing lately but the short of it is that whether you're looking at size, the ability to build your own custom or stock binoculars, Maven has you covered. 


As over the top excited as I am about the custom B.1's that I had built, the C.1 binoculars are a solid choice and a great size.  Not too big and yet not a small pair of binoculars either.  The C.1 series are offered in three magnifications of 8X42, 10X42 and 12X42 and priced at from $325 to 375.

Now through Sunday, use code FATHERSDAY-2018 for $50 off the C.1 binoculars and if you order by June 13, Maven will make sure they are at your doorstep by Father's Day at no extra shipping charge.

More on Maven binoculars in the "10 For Spring" from a couple years ago.

FILSON - EVERY FATHER NEEDS SOME IN THEIR LIFE
I've been into Filson for years (actually a couple decades) before Filson was hipster cool.  As a early twenty-something I walked into a fly shop in Grayling, Michigan and bought a Tin Cloth Packer Hat which I wore until it just got too funky from years of sweat and abuse.  I replaced it with another (one size larger) that is still a favorite and wear on cool wet weather days.     


The Filson offerings are ever expanding and the many briefcases (circle back for a future review) and luggage choices always have my attention.  The Heritage Sportsman Bag is a long time favorite which doubles as a toss in everything gear bag or quick pack overnight carry bag.   The mix of Twill and Wax Tin Cloth with Bridle Leather mean this one will be forever lasting.

The Ballistic Nylon Bags are a more recent offering from Filson and feature a lightweight yet highly durable woven nylon which they are using to build everything from briefcases to rolling luggage.  The Duffle Pack (paired with the Travel Pack) is the perfect multi-night carry option for travel and  the ability to carry over the shoulder or with tuck away backpack straps give great choices.  This is the go anywhere and do everything duffle pack that dad needs.

The Ballistic Nylon Field Pack is a new piece that we've been using this spring and Finn has already called it for his school backpack next year.  It's not showing up on the Filson website any longer but you can still find it at your local dealer or online.  

FIREDISC COOKERS
When the FireDisc Deep 36-Inch Tall Portable Cooker arrived, I wasn't sure what we'd try making first.  Fast forward a few months and we've done everything from kettle fries, cut fries, bluegill fillets, rice dishes, saute meats and even camp funnel cakes.  It does it all and has become a favorite outdoor cooker with our family and church youth group on camp outs.


The FireDisc Cookers are offered in either skillet or deep and in two heights.  I like the deep, especially when working with oil, and the tall height so I'm closer to what I am cooking.  The benefit to this cook system is that is breaks down into three parts for ease of packing and travel.  The angled bowl keeps oil and grease in the center while three heat zones allow for several cooking areas of different temperatures from the middle to edges of the 22" inch cooking surface.  Over time a seasoning effect takes place creating a non-stick and added flavor to foods much like your favorite cast iron pan. 

FireDisc Cookers is always running giveaways and specials and it's a good idea to sign up for updates on their website along with following them on Facebook.  Already have one?  Consider joining the FireDisc Cookers Owners Group.

I travel a fair bit and packing my clothes and gear for a week (or longer) for an airplane trip somewhere that may require an over the water transfer has had me thinking that waterproof luggage is the answer.  Heck, I had my entire suitcase drenched from a downpour in a luggage cart sitting on the tarmac a couple years ago so  you don't have been going someplace exotic to end up soaked.  It's not a great way to start a trip and lately have been using the Fishpond Thunderhead Duffel and Backpack with great satisfaction.    


When the Thunderhead Submersible Duffel arrived I wasn't so sure of the size.  At first glance it fell into not being that small but wasn't so sure that it was large enough for most trips.  After a seven day trip to Louisiana and a five day trip to Belize, I'm more than impressed by the capacity for it to hold clothing and gear with some room to spare.  It's deceptively large and waterproof as they come.  It's so far held up great to the abuse of baggage handlers, conveyor belts and checked baggage carousels.  It's gained some "character marks" but still as water tight as ever.

I've only done one trip so far with the Thunderhead Submersible Backpack but it hits all the high points for being rock solid built, completely waterproof with a TIZIP zipper, cavernous cargo space, well thought interior pockets, comfortable pack straps and (serious high points here) removable hip belt.

The Thunderhead Duffel and Backpack are my new one-two punch when traveling home and abroad. 

 Several years ago I started a small knife collection and came across Woody Handmade Knives early in my search.  I liked his story, that he was just upstate from where I live and the quality of his work is excellent.  I'm a big fan of the Drury Fillet Knife (see previous posts HERE, HERE and HERE) and last year Frank Bridwell sent a knife that he described as a kind of do all knife perfect for everything from oysters to outside chores. 


Woody Handmade Knives is a neat story (check out the video on how his knives are made) and any father should find a knife of their liking on his website.  There are also options for custom work as well.

I am a big fan of YETI products, along with what they do for and with the fly fishing industry, and have used and covered the Hopper (HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE) soft coolers extensively through the years.  Nothing against the hard coolers, the Hoppers just tend to get used more around here. 


My new favorite (previously the Hopper Flip 12) is the Hopper Flip 18 since it's the perfect size for family day trips or multi-day solo trips and it has the added benefit of being just the right size for stacking a couple hot plate casseroles for church potluck keeping them ready to serve for hours after they came out of the oven. 

A new addition to the YETI line up is the Sidekick Dry which a waterproof gear pocket and the perfect addition to any Hopper soft cooler.  Wallet, mobile phone and anything else is completely safe in this water tight pack. 

I've got a good friend that over the last several years has completely nerded out on leather gear of all sorts and I've been fortunate to be gifted two items from the Saddleback Leather Co. that I use every day with first being a small Notebook Holder and then last Christmas, the Valet Tray.


The small Notebook Holder is perfect for work as I'm able to keep a 5"X8" note pad inside with a few other essential placed in the interior pockets.  Offered in four leather color choices, the Notebook Holder features a single piece of leather on the outside and both riveted and sewn for strength and durability.  I've been carrying mine for several years now and the only change in it is that the leather has taken on a darker shade.

The Valet Tray is that one thing that I didn't know that I needed until I had it as it holds my nightly pocket dump keeping everything all in one place.  Also available in four leather color choices with riveted corners, I expect that this will be a piece that will last several forevers.  

No gear guide is complete without a reminder that the "Gift of Glass" is an excellent choice for dad.  Almost ten years ago I started typing on this blog and at that point there was maybe a dozen choices for fiberglass fly rods.  Fast forward to the present and the number is pushing one hundred with everything from pro hobby builders to small shop magicians to most of your favorite fly rod companies all offering something in fiberglass.  It's a grand time to be a fiberglass flyrodder.


Spend some time on the Fiberglass Rod Shops page and if you have any questions, or need suggestions, please feel free to send me an email at thefiberglassmanifesto@gmail.com.

Okay, that's a wrap with ten solid suggestions for Father's Day.  What's dad getting this Sunday?

GRAYWOLF RODS - Kabuto Rods 703

Shane Gray of Graywolf Rods builds a heck of a lot of premium fly rods each year and when he calls and says "Did you see that Kabuto three weight that I just finished?", I knew he was proud of it.  Once I was able to see the photographs, I understood why as this is just beautiful work through and through.

The Kabuto Rods 703 is one of my personal fiberglass favorites in this line weight as it's one of those go anywhere and do anything type fly rods.  Delicate dry flies?  No problem?  Nymphing?  It'll do it.  Hopper and dropper?  Bring it on.  Tucking small streamers under banks?  It'll do that too.

If you're in need a do it all awesomely well three weight, then this Kabuto Rods 703 build is it.  Fortunately for you, it's for sale.


Shane wrote...  " I've been holding this yellow Kabuto Rods seven foot three weight blank for a few months along with the agate guide since I was waiting for the bamboo that Mr. Kabuto sent me for the reel seat to dry.  Once ready, it was time to cut and stack to make the stacked bamboo insert to blend all the parts, including the thread, together.  I think this rod is superb. 

The Kabuto Rods blanks are outstanding in quality, feel and flex.  I've been building the Kabuto Rods blanks for the last seven or eight years and I hope to continue for many years to come."










Visit the Graywolf Rods website for more information and follow the latest shop news on Facebook and Instagram.

Monday, June 11, 2018

V-STICK CUSTOM FLYRODS - Shop Visit with Renato Vitalini

RTR recently stopped in for a visit with rod builder Renato Vitalini of V-Stick Custom Flyrods and even if you're not able to catch all the words, this is a great inside look of Renato at work building some mind blowing fiberglass fly rods on tapers of his own design as well as blanks of other makers.


Visit the V-Stick Custom Flyrods website for more information and be sure to follow along on Facebook and Instagram for the latest shop offerings.