New Knots and Konnections

    While in Australia recently I was introduced to heavy duty popping and stick bait fishing by some of the best in the business. The Japanese fishing for Giant Trevally using large spinning outfits loaded with 80 -150 lb line braid which is rated by a PE number  (PolyEthylene) it relates to line diameter not strength.  Anyway the knots used to join the mono to the braid opened my eyes a little and I am going to post what is floating around on the internet here. The PR Connection, Mid Knot and GT knot are some of the names of these Chinese trap type knots. All involve a lighter and some a bobbin! Click full story to see all the steps.

    Mid Knot

    GT Knot

    Safe-T Gaff

    At  the recent Fred Hall Show here in California we were introduced to a new product that I think is first rate. Rod Weichelt and the crew from Cutting Edge Tackle cruised into our  booth brandishing some lethal weapons. The new Safe-T Gaff as it called is a little startling at first, when the button is pushed the high grade stainless steel hook snaps into place and locks in with a clank! The guys demonstrated this "switchblade" feature to us as they have done thousands of times and once you have seen it your sold. This product has just made the deck of any serious fishing boat very much safer. Take it from me and anyone that has worked on the deck, all those sharp and pointy things we use can cause serious injuries with gaffs being in the "most likely to hurt" category The simple locking feature would have prevented me having one puncture through my own thumb many years ago. The gaff comes in a range of sizes and uses high quality marine grade aluminum and stainless steel. The non slip grip gives you the sturdy feel that your ready to take on something substantial. What Cutting Edge Tackle has also opened up is potential to carry a gaff on your person without fear of impaling oneself. For those of us whom travel and fish places where you need to carry all your tools this is an essential. Currently I have one of the larger Safe-T Gaff's but look forward to testing and reviewing a 1ft version for lip gaffing and big fish control both in skiffs and land based situations.
    From my observations the Safe-T Gaff requires little maintenance with a fresh water rinse and occasional dab of marine grease doing the job. The internal cabling is solid as is the hook head. Once we get a bit of real life torque testing in we will post a follow up review here on River and Reef but in the interim check out the details HERE.

    Handcrafted Fly Wallets

    Looking for a truly one-of-a-kind fishing accessory? Marc Crapo can craft you a custom leather fly wallet with a burned design of your choice.

    Stripping Baskets

    In response to a thread on Surf Stripping baskets and off on another tangent from the original questions Dan Blanton Basket Thread
    I decided to throw together a photo essay on Stripping Baskets. We have a few more but thought there were a few funnies in the mix already. The one below was omitted for obvious reasons!

    G'day Dan,
    Totally agree with you mate! Grant Hartman introduced me to Stans basket back when he first was getting into double handers. Having been converted we bought a couple direct from Stan and have used them successfully in a bunch of places including Puget Sound, Florida, Yellowstone, Mexico and lots of places in Australia. Have used them fishing for Trout, Steelhead, Roosters, Jacks, Ladyfish Queenfish,Golden Trevally and Striped Bass to name a few. Came in really handy on the last trip to the Coral Sea while fishing the sand cays for trevally and dart. Those coral chunks and pieces are brutal and snag fly line like no ones business.
    BTW Kate still loves her small J W Outfitters basket but that suits her fishing style. The larger one I used kinda threw the line around too much when walking or running.
    Stans Basket has been well and truly beat on and has traveled many miles in the bottom of my roller duffle and in the back of the truck where it lives now! Only recently it opened up a little down the join. I repaired that by using Loon UV Knot sense on the reef last December and that fix was still holding good while fishing yesterday.

    I have quickly put together a Stripping Basket "fashion shoot" for those whom want to see this product and a few others. We have had some fun with them!

    Strippin Basket Photo Essay



    Smooth Drag Maintenance

    A little while ago I was surfing through some of my favorite websites and came across Harro talking, or was it howling about a windy full moon phase.Harro I chirped in with 2 Bobs worth and asked a question about grease/oil for cork drags in fly reels. That is when Jack Erskines name was mentioned. Now Jack is an Aussie fishing legend and tackle guru. Many a person has asked me here in the states if I know him. Now when I say many it is a broad spectrum of folks some are legends themselves such as Lefty Kreh , Billy Pate , Lee Baker etc but I have also had others such as the taxidermist who walked into my booth at a Safari Show in Vegas and asked me about Mr Erskine. He claimed Jack had once sold him some Opals and laughed damn hard as he called him a "real character". So when Jack answered the post I stood up and took notice. Under his instruction and with his good will for getting me hooked up with the right gear for the job I now have some smoooth drags!!!! Read on if you want the links and information to service your cork drags.

    CarbonTex Drag System
    Few fly line subjects have been discussed more than which is the better taper, double taper (DT) or weight forward (WF). The answer is, neither is inherently better, but one may be better than the other for you.

    A lot of generalizations are made about these two tapers based on outdated or incorrect information. We’ve all heard that DT lines are more delicate, give better control, roll cast better, etc. In some cases some of these things are true, but not always.

    Back at Camp

    A practical guide to understanding and caring for your non-fishing gear

    Fishermen are gearheads, plain and simple. Being able to understand how your gear functions and how to properly take care of it helps to maximize your efficiency and enjoyment. There is no end of articles about caring for your rods, reels, lines, flies, and other fishing gear so I decided to share some information on a few of the other essential items the adventurous angler relies on.

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