Monday, November 28, 2011

Top-5 products of the year

Had a lot of new gear on the water this year and there's been some that have been a bit dissapointing, but most of the new gear have been really, really good. Don't want to thrash around and mention the dissapointments, so I'll just keep things positive and do a top-5. I was unable to work out a exact order on the things I liked the most, so don't worry about the order that the gear are mentioned. If I wouldn't be so lazy I would do a top-10 as there was lots of cool stuff around this year to choose from.

Vision 10'11" #8 switch rod:

When I first got my hands on this rod it just instantly felt right. The handles(grips) are pretty much perfect for my taste and they suit my hands better then any other switch rod handles.

The blank looks good and the overall quality is top notch. The reel seat is nice and shiny and all my reels fit in it with no problems. It does tend to loosen up a bit while fishing so be sure to check it once in a while.

Action on this rod is pretty easy going and you can start shooting away right from the first moment. It has a flexable tip that progresses to a semi-soft middle and butt section. Most of the casting is done with the upper 2/3 of the rod with the butt kicking in nicely with every cast. It's not a "true" full flex rod - it's more like a medium-fast rod with a deep(ish) bend, what ever that means...:)

It performed really well with the recommended 29gram shooting head, but I liked it more with a 31-32gram head as it takes the action more down to the sweetly kicking butt section of the rod. It launches bombs with very little effort. For skagit casts rig it up with a 510gr Airflo skagit switch and enjoy the ride!

It was also very smooth with a fish with lots of reserve power when you need it. No problem using this rod even with the biggest river fish.

Overall this rod was an very effective fishing tool that let's you enjoy your days on the river. With the right line selection you can just sit back and let the rod do the work. Very enjoyable fishing rod that has just the right amount of, should I say "balls" in it:)

The rod is almost perfect, but not quite. With a little tweaking it could take over the top switch rod spot from the Echo SR. Really a great addition to a vibrant switch rod market. Kudos to Vision for some nice designing.

Here's a few youtube clips of the rod in casting action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63wwH4hKfiA and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LS4MUEDrKg&feature=related

Additional  info can be found here: http://www.visionflyfishing.com/page.php?page_id=33&c=55&pid=284 

Here's few pics(by I.Neva and myself).

Even the cats like this rod:)
 Putting some pressure to the fish with the Vision switch rod

Easy casting.

Echo Edge rods:

I had an opportunity to fish with the 9' #9 and 8'4 #9 Edge rods this season and they we're fantastic.

The 9' model has a nice mid-tip bend and crisp recovery on it. It was a perfect rod for Striped Bass and Bluefish on the shallows with an intermediate line and a very nice river rod for Pacific salmon. You can throw some serious line with it and it has the most fantastic feel on it when fishing.

The 8'4 model was faster and more progressive in action with lots of power in the butt. It flexed more uniformly then the 9' model. Great with big fly's and has tons of fish fighting power. Not as good in my hand as the 9' model, but my fishing pal just simply loves it. The best short rod(under 9') that I've used. Anyone intrested in Pike fishing should get one of the 8'4 models ASAP.

Only thing I would change on these rods would be to add some rubber cork or something similar to the front end of the handle(grip). As these are not 800€ rods there's always small issues with cork, so some rubber cork to the front would make these rods last a bit longer. The best sub 300€ saltwater rod that I've ever tried!

More info in english here: Edge and in finnish here: http://www.perhovavat.com/echo.html

My man Ike bending the Edge to the edge...

A decent bluefish caught with the 9' Edge

Doubled up with the Edge's
Beulah Seawolf 9' #10 rod:

The new saltwater rod from BeulahGB. I have been fishing for Striped Bass, Pike and Bluefish with this rod and it is a true master piece.

It has a marvelous mid-tip bend on it and a really fast recovery on it with absolutely no "stiff" point's on it. It's butter smooth with a very authorative feel to it. It has made me look much better on the water then I really am... I think the three piece construction has something to do with it's greatness.

The quality and components are top notch and all this for just over 300€!! Get it, now!!:)  

More info: Seawolf and in finnish: http://www.perhovavat.com/beulah.html
Giving the Seawolf a proper workout

The stupidest pose ever with the Seawolf hanging on my shoulder


Meiser S rod 13'6 #8-9:

Having had previous experience with S rods I kinda expected this rod to be good. Well, it was even better then I expected!!

As expected, the workmanship on the rod is outstanding. All the components are the best, the cork is spotless and the focus on detail is amazing. Bob and he's crew are one of a kind!

This rod has a mid-tip action on it with a sensitive butt section that let's you know exactly what going on with the line. The recovery is lightning quick. The combination of a sensitive mid-tip action and really, really quick recovery makes this rod throw amazing lazer loops.

It's kind of hard to put in to words how I feel about this rod... I think that this type of action is the future of high performance short-medium head rods. You have the great casting ability's of good shooting head rods mixed in with the "fishy" feel of the medium-fast and full flex rods.

Put an 35gram shooting head on it and feel the magic... It's also very good with short and medium spey's with head lenghts from 55' to 65'. For my style the 540gr Compact skagit was spot on for SA-casting.

If you want to treat yourself to something special and want a beutiful rod that also fishes really well, give Bob a email or phone call.

More info: S rod

The beutiful S rod

My man Ike shooting some line with the S rod
 

Echo Ion 8/10 reel:


I have to admit I was a bit skeptic of this reel when it first came out - another cheap reel that will fail me after the first few fish, I thought. Well, I was wrong! The reel did an excellent job with many big pacific salmons and performed as well as it's more expensive counter parts.

The drag is smooth and powerful, the drag adjustment is precise, the spool has a nice V-shape and the retrieve is silky. It really suits my needs very well and the ergonomics on it are really good.

I'm sure I will have many good days of fishing with this reel. The only real downside to it compared to let's say a Vision XLA or a Galvan Torgue is that it is more sensitive to dents and bumps so you need to be a bit extra careful not to drop it or anything like that.

This reel really got me thinking that what do I need my expensive reels for?

Really a nice reel for any freshwater fishing you might do.

Here's some more info on it: Ion reel

You can also use this reel as an fly tray...



I'm really looking forward for next year's new stuff. There's going to be new two hander's from Echo and a line from Airflo I'm super excited about: The Skagit intermediate. Also tons of other new and exciting stuff.

Hopefully I'll get to try out as much new gear next year as I did this year.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Season 2011 recap.

This season is almost over, so I figured this would be a good time to do some sort of recap on the whole year. It was an intresting year that gave me lots and lots of new experiences. There where ups and down, but hey, that's fishing!

Costa Rica in march

This wasn't a real fishing trip as my wife was with me... This was actually our honeymoon... Never the less I managed to sneak a few rods in to our luggage. We spend 7days in Zancudo and I had three days of fishing booked in advance of which two were inshore fishing and one day of offshore stuff. Well, the inshore fishing was a total bust!! I had only one shot at a Jack Crevalle and I actually managed to get the fish bite, but then I messed up setting the hook and the fish got away. It looked so dead(the inshore fishing) that we cancelled the second day.

On our offshore day the weather was terrible - raining sideways with high winds and big swell. The captain(John Olson) told me that it's going to be ruff but he's sure that we will find some fish. To my total suprise we did hook up with some offshore creatures!! One Dorado which I lost and three sailfish of which I got two to the boat. The second sailfish was a real cracker and it tooks 150meter of line from my reel at least three times and ending each run with a series of jumps. Even though the bait&switch fishing isn't my favorite style of fly fishing, it was an really nice experience and we had a nice time with John who was a real, proper professional. Some pics and a youtube link on  the second sailfish: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XibUqzvcJV8
My second sailfish.

A few more jumps before the boat.

A nice morning at the point.

Looking sharp!!:)
 
Cape Cod in June

This trip one of those things that me and my friend Ilkka came up with in late spring while it was reaaaally cold(-30centigrate) and we were a bit drunk...Even though there was a few problems with the arrangements, I'm really, really clad we made this trip! It was the highlight of my year and the best saltwater fishing I've ever done!!

We fished five days for Bluefish and Striped Bass in a variety of spots. There where blitzes of huge schools of bass, there where fish that we had to dredge for, there was super shy fish on the flats, etc, etc... It was a very intresting mix of easy(ish) fishing (blitzin bass would bite anything) and hard stuff on the flats and shallow water where everything had to go right to have the take. Perfect size fish(10-28lb) to fly fish for with #9 and #10 weight fly rods. Pretty much the perfect package for my taste.

We fished with some amazing people = Jeff Smith and Gil Berke. They were simply amazing, the best guides I've ever met. You can get a hold of them from these emails: flyfishsaltwaters@comcast.net for Jeff and gberke@outermostexcursions.com for Gil. You can also check Jeff's website for extra info: http://www.finaddiction.com/

If someone is looking for a great quality saltwater trip that isn't going to brake the bank, I strongly recommend Cape Cod. Contact me if you need more info.

Here's some photos and a youtube clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5f2fptkHAw
A basic 33" Bass.

Bluester.

Bluefish on!

Beer is good...

Humpies.

Capitano Jeff Smith

Il Capitano Gil Berke

Double.

Humpy.

River Reisa in July

We fished eight days on this beutiful river in north Norway. The water was really low and had been like that for a while. It turned out to be the slowest week of salmon fishing I've ever done - in total we had two fish and lost two, so it was not the kind of week we were expecting on a prime week in this river. I bit of a contrast to last year when we were there on a not prime week in july/august and managed to get 19fish and lost a few very big ones.

As if the slow fishing wasn't enough, we had some problems with our licences and the crowds on the river were at times a bit overwhelming.

Well, the scenery was stunning, we cooked really good food and drank lots of beer. So it allways beats home, if you know what I mean. Photos:
Sashimi.

Some gear.

Midnight inside the artic circle.

Catch of the day.

Ike casting.
 
Vancouver island in September

This trip was the main trip of the year and I had a bad case of salmon and steelhead fever before this trip.

Well, after a 28hour journey to the island we weren't welcomed all that well by mother nature = it had been raining for a week and all the rivers were blown! It took five days before the waters came down. But, that's fishing for you, you never know what happens.

We worked really hard and spend 9-12hour days on the water, but didn't find a lot of good fishing. We fish only for fresh and moving fish and the fish were not coming in to the rivers or cruising the beaches so we didn't hit it big. We had three good days of fishing when we got silver fish in decent numbers.  There was old Chinooks in a few rivers that we could have fished for, but those stale spawners are just so booring to fish for that we decided to skip the dredging and stick to the few fresh fish that were coming in.

There was some very positive things too = our guide Perry Wilson was terrific, the variety of species was great, the scenery was stunning and the beer excellent. You can get a hold of Perry via he's website: http://www.northlandfly.com/index.htm
....

Cohohoho.

Bowen island make excellent beer.

Aiming for the mountains.

Ike putting some pressure.

Home beach.

Having a good time, even though the river was a "bit" high.

My friend Perry.


Local stuff all year long

It was a bit of a change year for my local fishing. I didn't fish for trout all that much and mainly fished for small pike. To tell you the truth I didn't even really fish for pike all that intensly - it was more of a mix of casting practice and fishing. The great thing about lake fly fishing is that you can really relax and enjoy the solitude of nature. On the local trout streams it's a totally different thing as they tend to be really crowded. Well, maybe next year I'll get some motivation to fish for trout again. They are a better eating fish then pikes so that would keep the wife more happy:)
Local lake.

Local stream.

Meiser magic.

Pike fishing.