Musings from the rodmaker

aaflyspiNot only is the weather here in Texas hot, but so are the prospects for our wonderful fall fishing about to get into full swing.

I don’t recall a summer with numbers of inshore and offshore saltwater fish of all species being caught by the few fishermen that brave the heat. I, unfortunately, am not among those that can enjoy shedding a bucket of sweat. From all that I have heard, this fall and winter should be something special. I received a video from a customer client fishing with friends out of Port Mansfield in July using Sage Xi 3 rods I built. Great video with fun music, lots of Redfish, good casting and line management technique. It will get your saltwater fly fishing juices flowing! Drop me an e-mail if you would like me to forward to you. If I can help you with guide info, drop me an email or better yet, share an experience.
This time of the year Alaskan Salmon, Trout, and Halibut fishing is more my speed … I have had reports from two of my customers that just returned from the Kenai saying how tired their arms would get from reeling in 12- to 15-pound Silvers. Personally I don’t mind consuming a beer or two on the riverbank while I rest my arms!  My eldest son Chad is leaving next week with his significant other and two other couples to meet up with a charter guide on his live aboard boat/yacht in Homer heading out to a isolated and virtually unfished river on Kodiak Island. From Homer it is a daylong boat ride. The guide fished the river last week to test it out, saying the Silvers were staging in the saltwater and the river was full of fish. Many unusually large Dolly Varden’s as well. Chad expects to bring back 200 pounds or more of Halibut, and nearly as much Salmon for his freezer. I will be accompanying my son Ryan in his Cessna P210 to Minneapolis the end of September and will make a fatherly raid on Chad’s freezer before my return!  Chad brokers Alaskan fishing trips, many from this outfitter/guide,
I am ‘Hatched’!  The hatch chili pepper’s at our local HEB are special. I don’t recall using hatch chili peppers in the past but if you haven’t tried them it is worth a trip to HEB, Central Market or wherever you do your grocery shopping. I sautéed some in butter with mushrooms and a touch of lime juice Friday night, serving them over a rare fried steak in a cast iron pan. Really good! I used hatch tortilla chips in lieu of crotons in my salad. Lunch today was Hatch Pork Sausages cut lengthwise in a Hatch flour tortilla with Hatch queso. Roasted hatch chilies on my fajitas Saturday night. I know nothing about these chili peppers but I understand they are only available for a short time. Whatever, they are good.
Fall is also a time most fishing tackle manufacturers announce their new lineup of rods and reels. This year is no exception. Sage just announced a new rod/blank to replace the popular TCX line of ultra fast fly rods calling them the ‘Method’ rods. I guess they are running out of letters and numerals and are employing a new method of identifying their products … gulp. The last new product in their lineup of rods are called the ‘One’ rods which are really fantastic — very fast-action rods extremely light in the hand with line weights matching rod weight that I would consider multi-functional. The Method rods are ultra fast action using their highly touted ‘Konnetic Technologies’ used in the One rods construction process designed for a more accurate cast and fishing in windy conditions. The rod/blank is a beautiful ‘Magma’ color (reddish cinnamon to we that have never seen real Magma). I really don’t understand how Konnetic technology works but I can attest they have a wonderfully unique feel. Sage has shipped me a Method 9 weight blank I will build for testing that I plan on sending to my son Chad. He and son Ryan are among the best fly casters in any arena.
Sage also has announced a new fly reel called the ‘Evoke’. It is a non-convertible right hand or left hand retrieve featuring a highly sophisticated drag system in recommended line sizes 7-8 and 10-12 priced at $575 to $595. Good looking reel.
St. Croix Rod Company has improved their lineup of inshore saltwater spinning and casting rods with the introduction of a new white pearl Legendxtreeme 7 footer to complement the popular sea foam blue/green Legend Inshore lineup. St. Croix also continues inshore selections with their copper brown colored Avid series. As a former Loomis dealer for nearly 20 years, I can attest St. Croix makes the best spinning and casting rods/blanks ever.
Recently I commented to an executive from Tibor Fly Reels it is a crying shame Tibor no longer makes a saltwater safe heavy duty fly reel (other than the Back Country reels) for 5/6 weight lines similar to the old Freestone’s and walla; I got an email and photo of a new Tibor Signature fly reel coming out in December for 5/6 saltwater lines. To say it is simply beautiful is an understatement just as it is to say it is only for a 5 or 6 and it is specific for saltwater. I can’t wait to get my hands on one. Lightweight and with 2 years of development, Mr. Jurasik is not about to market a new reel before its time. With the advent of lighter and lighter saltwater specific fly rods, the new Signature is right on schedule. Not cheap but as in any Tibor reels it is a ‘lifetime’ reel.  Mr. Jurasik believes any fly reel that compresses even slightly by squeezing the spool/frame is not suited for saltwater. I know my old Freestone 5/6(7) that has been abused for the past 16 years and my go to reel is as good as the day I got it from Cary Marcus when he was the rep for Tibor. God, I miss seeing Cary …