Thursday, July 24, 2014

ICAST \ IFTD Gear Review | Semper Fli Silk 12/0 Thread

I spent a lot of time at the Cascade Crest Tools booth at IFTD last week. I was too busy playing with their stuff and talking to get a podcast interview. Those working the booth were very generous in giving me some sample tying materials to play with. One of those materials was Semper Fli12/0 Thread.

A spool of pink thread was on display.  I picked it up and was told to try and break it with my hands. If  you follow my Youtube videos you  know I mainly tie with Danville flat waxed 210 Denier. I can break that manually fairly easily. When I wrapped the 12/0 thread around my fingers and hand to pull it apart it was a different story. I was more worried about the thread cutting into my fingers before it broke.

This stuff is no joke. Its very strong. I've already started to tie with it and am very impressed. Folks, I might have a new thread to tie with. It is major thin. How thin you ask? While holding the spool at IFTD the thread was wispy enough to remain floating in the air like spider silk. Gravity didn't have any effect on it. Its that light.

Not only is this thread strong and light,  it is very thin. You can wrap and wrap as much as you want and it barely takes up an any space. Use it on bass bugs (I'm tying redfish flies) or nymphs.

Of course you should put it in your RiteBobbin. If you pick up a spool I'd be interested to see what you tie. Send me an e-mail and let me know your creations.

Stay tuned for more gear reviews from ICAST \

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

ICAST & IFTD Gear Review | Yeti Rambler

I've had a dedicated beverage cup for about a decade now, my Tervis tumbler. I may have to replace that now.

During ICAST \ IFTD last week I waited in line for a Yeti 20oz Rambler, "keeps your drinks as COLD as science allows."

I didn't drink out of this cup until I got home (I had to stuff business cards and other stuff in it on the way home to save space.

Upon returning home I filled this cup at 4pm on Friday with ice cubes and some Trader Joes lemonade with green tea. The cup did not get cold to the touch. I sipped this beverage through the clear top. It was quite the refreshing moment I had hoped for after a long day of travel.

As I type this I am drinking some coffee (I like Duncan with Bailey's Irish Cream creamer). I made the java at 0730 and it stayed piping hot until 0830 when I had to leave to take the pixie to camp.

Just got  home at 1000 and its still warm. Not hot, but a nice, soothing warmth. Its 90 outside with 96% humidity so a piping hot cup is not what I want now.

Back to the ice tea/lemonade. Upon waking early Saturday morning I went to refill my cold beverage. Ice had not melted. Tea mix was frigid.

My Mercury outboard was ready to pick up so I headed out to Harbin Marine and then to Bull Run Marina to run up the run and back down. The trip took all of 3.5 hours. I topped off my ice tea and headed out with last night's ice.

I got back to my solar oven of a car to find the ice was just about done after nearly 14 hours.

This cup sells itself. Don't let the price confuse you. I now have to purchase another one as the wife wants to use this on. I'll update on how a rum runner fairs in this after our trip to Charleston.

I called Yeti and the cups are already sold out. If you need one now find  your nearest Yeti dealer or get on the waiting list. Trust. Get it for hot cider and rum as fall is near and the craft stores already have their Halloween decorations up.


Monday, July 21, 2014

IFTD & ICAST 2014 Pictures

We're working on the podcast. Until then, enjoy the pictures. Please follow these companies on social media (links provided) and buy their products.

 Leaving DC during a huge thunderstorm. Not atypical.
 Landed in Orlando without a hitch. My flight attendant was my cousin Caprice.
 View from my room. I can see out to what I think is Epcot Center. Major fireworks after dark.
 Lizards. I miss chasing them as I did as a kid in Palm Beach and Deerfield Beach at my grandparents. I managed to grab a few in my childhood only to have their tails come off in my hand.
 Breakfast at MacDonalds. I have eaten at the golden arches maybe three times in a decade. I used to eat there regularly. I do miss the breakfast.
 A short walk back up the street let me to the Convention Center. I arrived just as the doors were opening to get badges. I bumped into Babe Winkleman outside and chatted with him for a while. He turns up on the podcast later in the day.
 As soon as I got my badge I was on my way in.
 Its been a long time since I've seen a tarpon. These juveniles were in a tank.
 My first podcast interview was at Buff. Lots of great colors and patterns with their ever expanding line of soft goods for sun protection. New this year were these gloves, stripping guards, and laser cut breathing holes on the face masks.
 I met the most interesting man in the world.
 Hank Parker was in attendance.
 This new Fireline has two colors in a single strand. This is ideal for steelhead fly tiers who tie their intruder hook on with this material. You get black and chartreuse in one product, no need to buy two spools. The stuff isn't cheap.
 Its hard for me to find Vicious line in 30lb for my butt sections on my leaders. I was able to see different colors and weights. As always, I had hoped for a sample. Some booths were more generous than others.
 This man from Bologne, Italy makes some nearly indestructible hard cases. This one is used for a travel fly tying kit.
 Titan Rod Vaults were impressive.
 Shopping around the weedless frog lures for 8wt rods. Spros are one of my favorites.
 This is the new tail on their floating rats.
 With the dead rats in the Tidal Basin recently, this thing would for sure work.
 T-Reign had a nice booth. I was impressed with their pliers. One of the main items I wanted to check out at the show was pliers. If I had the money, Hatch would be the ones. Lots of others out there.
 New and very sharp hooks by Gamakatsu.
 If you tie weed guards on  your flies you have probably come across the name Mason Hard Mono. I wasn't sure what the guys on Youtube were saying so I had to Google the name a while back. I've never seen the product in stores but finally had it in my hand. Now to orders ome.
 Pat Cohen using Copic markers and brushes to color flies and lures. I am sold on the system. They gave out samples too which is a huge bonus. I'm going to start to color my bass fly tails purple as I don't have any in purple. I have plenty in white. The possibilities are endless with these.

 Look at all of those colors. Use your smartphone Michael's app to get one %50 off.
 As I walked by this booth I was distracted by the lights in the cooler. Lit Coolers have a novelty aspect to them and are grizzly proof (my new reality show will be based on this)
 I put my head in it for no reason at all.
 More weedlesss frogs.
 These ones have interchangeable tails.
 I liked this tiny one with the lip. They looked at me like I was crazy when I said I use them on fly rods.

 I tie most of my bass flies on these.
 J Son flies.
 Didn't manage to get a follow up with Wapsi.

 Put my name in the Cheeky bin for a raffle. Always great to catch up with the lads.
 Spirit River had these on display. Note, they were NOT candy.
 Fly Vines. Finally got the story behind these and some samples for me and the wife. About to swap out a bunch of lines and will send them there. Your old lines are up-cycled into all sorts of crafty gear.
 New flies for Orvis for 2015. You'll note our friend Miles has his spoon fly in there. Major congrats to Miles.
FREE BEER. This was the remedy to my knee pain.

 What is this? More free beer. This lady was BEHIND the show where people were casting fly rods. One can at a time.
The free beer path lead me to the Mountain Khakis booth. I can't say enough about them. If they were to give me an entire wardrobe and asked me to toss my current threads I'd do it in a heartbeat. I picked up some very nice threads from them to wear on my upcoming trip to Charleston.

 Flip Pallot. Enough said.
 I got in line early for the Yeti give away. This year it was a full beer AND their new 20oz Rambler. I will blog on this new cup. While in line I met up with David and Rachel of Flyin' The Flats. David is starting a low country themed fly fishing apparel company. He's from Charleston. We're going to get together, fish, podcast, drink, and drink some more in a few weeks. The site is not up as of today.  You'll hear about it soon enough from me when its live. Shaw Grigsby was pourin pints for us.
 Peter and Alessia from 'Bass 2 Billfish'

 Alessia Andrade -
 Babe Winkleman
 I had another long talk with Larry Dahlberg. This was a 26" smallmouth bass from last week. People don't get nicer than Larry. He has so many amazing stories.
 Then it was off to one of the many effing Rosen buildings in Orlando. My first Drake Film Festival awards.

 Loads of people. Great to meet new friends and catch up with old ones. Free beer too.

 I accepted the award for best saltwater movie.
 Brian and Colby won Movie Of The Year
 Following the film fest Donger needed food. Scott from Morrison Creative and I walked to the Pub for some grub and a pint. I had the Sheppard pie and an Old Speckled Hen draft.
 The only fish I came into contact with in Florida was this monster. It was a largie of about 8lbs. It floated in the fountain pond in front of the convention center. If this is what is in a ditch, what is in the rest of the bodies of water? Not what I wanted to smell after a night of beer consumption.
 My caterpillar buddy on the way to the golden arches.
 Zamia sp

Back into the show.
 These would be worth their weight in plutonium for snakehead snaggers.
 I stopped by the Scum Frog booth. Free samples! I have been a fan of these since last year when the sample fairy visited me. Truly weedless. These can be thrown on an 8wt and the hooks are samurai sharp. Look for them, buy them, throw them.

 Tiny Toads are what we throw.
 Eagle Claw had fish skins.
 Trockar frog hooks.
 I was impressed with the Eagle Claw fly reels. Great colors, solid drag.
 Eagle Claw rods had a thumb depression.
 Adipose had one of the best oar lock systems ever.
 Eric Estrada's art AND hot sauce.
 I spent too much time talking at the Cascade Crest Tool booth I never got around to recording a podcast. Some fantastic synthetic materials. I picked up some articulated shanks, gossamer thread that would have cut my hand before it would have broken during a pull test, and some shrimp bodies.
 I'll tie up some of these shirmps for my trip down south.
 Korongo bags are pretty  nuts.
 Some great stuff from Superfly.
 A long and informative interview with Umpqua.

 OSM needs to be on all my clothing. I'm a messy eater. The floating shirt and the guy walking out of a pool with dry clothes were playing during my interview, very distracting.

 I WANT these "flies". Ima DaBeat frogs. Very soft, very light. Weedless.
 New Orvis Recon rods. I want the 7'll" bass rod NOW. I spent a lot of time talking to Jess, "Diddy", and Shawn.
 Iron Tier event sponsored by Spirit River. A. I can't use this vise, and B. I like my own tools. I sat next to Frank Smethurst.
 My wormie intruder creation.

 As things settled down the music started and the beer began to flow, and the Jack Daniels, and the salsa (condiment,  not dance).
 IFTD awards. By now I had a serious case of the cankles and needed to get off my feet. My ankles were the size of my knees. Next year I'm wearing compression socks with sandles.
 Shimano had burgers, quesadillas, fruit, veg, and more. I sat down and ate this in one bite.

 Vedavoo. So many great products.

 Spirit River.
 I had to get out of there and elevate my cankles. 

On my way out these guys were playing with a dollar bill. Thankfully not a poo dollar. I didn't have time to find out if someone fell for it.
 Pitchfork snips. I swear by this product. It will cut just about anything needed. YOU NEED THESE.

 Walking back to the hotel to rest before the Costa party.
 The bass was being destroyed by maggots.
 Look at all those branches. So sub-tropical.
 I needed a rum drink. Turned out I was too tired to enjoy.

 Cilantro. Yuck.
 Cuba Libre hosted a great party. I need to visit the DC location.
 I ordered something 'fruity with rum' and it was good. I needed a real fancy drink and ordered a Rum Runner.
 The bartender did not disappoint. Hey look, Rachel! Best Rum Runner I've ever had.
 If you pass around CHOCOLATE cigars to a bunch of drunk anglers you will get some bad looks. One woman was sauced and tried to light hers.
 At 11:50 PM after returning my Drake award and a brilliant podcast with Eamon from ReBaits Donger needed food. I decided on avocado rolls and miso soup. I housed 3 orders of sushi and zonked out at 12:30am.
 They care so much about fishing in Florida that they have CCA commercials.
 Our special ICAST/IFTD room keys.
 One walk back to the convention center and some pics of epiphytes.
 I had to get these photographed. I have been wearing their shirt all day. LunkerHunt frogs are badass.

 Some life like lures.
LOOOOOONG walking this week.
 I got an Uber to the airport. Look at that fish water below the tram. Look at those snazzy Mountain Khaki pants.
 I needed this.
 Even the ponds on the airport had fish. Anahingas all over.