We have been using Gomexus reel stands for about 2 years now. It is a cheap and effective way to protect your spinning reels. Since we fish rivers and streams a lot, and there are rocks everywhere, these tend to keep the reels off of the rocks when we set our rods down.
We generally use the Gomexus R1 42mm fixed stand but when they released the Gomexus R6 48mm foldable stand, we wanted to try those.
Since we store our reels in padded cases or neoprene covers, the foldable design has been really nice.
At first I was hesitant about using any reel stand. I thought it was a gimmick and that they would be unwieldy of even unbalance the rod and reel. But the more I used them the more I liked them.
To me, it’s a cheap way to keep your reels from being scratched and beat up on rocks or gravel. The Gomexus R1 costs $10 USD. If I’m using a $150 reel, then $10 isn’t much to add a level of protection. The Gomexus R6 costs $12 USD and it’s worth it for the foldable feature.
I have no affiliation with Gomexus, or anybody else for that matter. I’m just showing a few of their products that we use. They also make knobs and reel handles for both baitcast and spinning reels. Most of their items are produced in a range of colors as well. If you’re interested, check them out.
After using a Tailwalk Troutia 55L for quite awhile, I decided to see what else this brand offered. Perusing the rod listings, I ran across this rod. I enjoy using Light and Medium-Light rods when fishing streams and rivers because the added backbone helps fight fish in current as well as getting them into the net faster.
I’m looking forward to testing this rod out too. I’ll either get up really early to fish or just suffer through the heat. Time will tell.
First off, I apologize for not posting anything for awhile. We have been having internet issues and it seems that dial-up is faster than the service we pay for.
With that out of the way…I’d like to showcase a new rod I recently bought. The Palms Pinwheel PFGS-69 UL+ spinning rod. I like how Palms shoots a video explaining their rods in detail. I wish all of the manufacturers did that.
I knew this was a saltwater ultralight rod which was designed for shore jigging. What I didn’t expect was how stiff this rod is. I would compare it to a Light-Medium Bass rod to be honest. In fact, I ended up putting a Shimano Twin Power C3000 reel on just to get it to balance. And that’s fine with me. I fish farm ponds as well so this will be a good choice when I target largemouth bass since this can handle them well. Fit and finish was excellent and I like the aesthetics of this rod.
I’m looking forward to trying this rod out. Prospects are somewhat questionable since it appears that summer has truly arrived. Starting on Monday the weather forecast is calling for 100F+/38C+ every day for as far out as the forecast shows. We’ll see how it goes…
In the previous blog post, I mentioned an issue I had with these boots. How sand and microgravel were getting into these boots in such a way that I would have to take them off to empty them out. Both footbeds would be quite covered and/or the detritus would pile up under my forefoot, heel and toes.
In the picture above, I had been using the Simms Guide Guard 3.5mm Neoprene Socks with these boots. With the Flyweight Access boots being a lower cut, I feel that the Guide Guard Sock does not extend far enough down or the elastic is not strong enough to provide a good seal to prevent sand and microgravel from entering the boot.
I decided to try the Simms 2.5mm Neoprene Wading Sock coupled with the Simms Gravel Guards that velcro around the boot. This allowed me to set them much lower and also to roll the top of the sock down over the top of the gravel guard. Not perfect, but functional. I still want to play around with this setup to see if I can improve upon it.
The end result of the experiment was a major reduction in the ingress of sand/microgravel.
Some might think that I’m “splitting hairs here” but I do not like wading with a boot where the footbed is filled with sand or microgravel. It is uncomfortable as well as damaging to your neoprene wading socks.
The photo above shows what I pulled out of both boots after the 5 hour wading experiment. I can live with that and am happy with the outcome. I can fish all day without stopping to empty my boots out.
And of course, while I was fiddling with my gear and trying to sort things out…she caught the biggest fish! She’s on a roll for 2022!
I had high hopes for these boots but ran into a major issue-at least for me.
First the GOOD- they fit like a tennis shoe and the traction was far superior to the Simms Free Salt Boot. And they definitely felt less clunky and bulky. I felt more nimble while traversing across rocks and boulders. They are light as the name implies and I could’ve worn them all day.
Now for the BAD- no matter what I tried, I couldn’t keep sand and microgravel from getting into the boot. It got to the point where enough got inside that it was uncomfortable wearing them. I know that I have skinny ankles and as such I expect some sand/microgravel to enter in through the top of the Simms Guide sock but there was a lot inside the boot. Way more than what was inside the sock.
As you can see from the photo the Simms Free Salt is quite a bit taller which gives the Guide Sock more surface area to prevent ingress of sand/microgravel. The tongue design and height of the boot might be the culprit.
I plan to try my Simms standard wading socks and separate velcro gravel guards to see if I can get a better seal to prevent this issue. As of now, I’d rate them at a 5 out of 10 on a sliding scale. I’m not ready to give up on them, but as is, I shouldn’t have to stop and empty the boot out just to keep fishing-that doesn’t work for me.
I gave the Loop Opti K2 9ft 4wt fly rod a good workout. This is a very easy and forgiving rod to cast and was a pleasure to fish with.
Last time we were here we were stopped by a deep pool that prevented us from going further upstream. This time I found a way across and continued up about another half mile. The fishing was good and if we return, I’d like to push up and see more of the river.
We both caught a lot of fish until the sun and heat drove us off the river. We headed back to camp for lunch and a cold one and to set up the solar panels to charge the battery pack.
We noticed on our map that there was a Creek that flowed into the Cossatot River about 5 miles down from our camp. Early one morning we decided to give it a go. Upon arrival we noticed it was covered in weeds along the creek bank and we were a little hesitant to venture in. I’m not a fan of snakes and this sure looked liked a good place to encounter one.
I ended up going in first while keeping my eyes peeled for Copperheads or Water Moccasins. I didn’t want Zip running wild through the weeds since he’s never seen a snake and I’m not sure how he’d react and we didn’t want him to get bitten.
We fished the Creek for about an hour and a half until it narrowed to a trickle. Our fears were unfounded as we never encountered any snakes. We caught several Longeared Sunfish and lots of Smallmouth. Several of each were decent sized considering how narrow this creek was.
The humidity was really high that morning and we were both drenched in sweat when we returned to the vehicle. We explored the area a little more before returning to camp. We ended up swimming in the river for about an hour to cool off.
My Subaru Forester Sport worked great on the trip and we encountered zero issues with it while driving all over the forest via logging roads. The Thule Cargo Box was a last minute addition and worked as expected. It held our Gazelle tent, folding chairs and our rod tubes.
The Dometic 11L/3gal water jug ended up being ideal for our camping setup. It was easy to carry down to the river and refilling with our Katadyn Hiker Pro water filter. The quick connect fitting was a nice feature and eliminated any hassles. A 3 gallon jug is a lot easier for us to manage.
The SetPower RV45S refrigerator was a nice addition. It was easily powered by the vehicle in transit as well as by the battery while in camp. The battery can power this fridge for about 2.5 days but anytime we had sun in the afternoon, we charged it up. You never know when cloudy weather will set in for a few days. And it was great to have a cold beer at the end of the day!
We left camp at 0600 and drove the 5 miles over to the Ed Banks Access point. After a quick scout around we noticed that the far end of the river crossing had been repaired and that we could continue up-river to the Ed Banks Site #2.
We had never been to this campsite and it was nice to be able to fish a new area. It is the most remote campsite in the park with only a picnic table and tent pad available. Few people camp here.
At that time of the morning we had the river to ourselves and the temperature was in the low-70’sF.
We each managed to catch our Personal Best Smallmouth on the Cossatot River at this access point. Both fish fought hard and were worthy of respect. They were released back to where they belong.
The first full day of our trip turned out to be the best as far as fishing went.
This year we opted to fish the Cossatot River again. This was our first longer trip with Zip and we weren’t sure what to expect. It seemed easier to pick a place we were familiar with until we knew how the dog would get on with week long camping.
After a four and a half hour drive, we turned onto the forest road and stopped to air down the tires.
This was also our first time out with a 12 volt refrigerator. I did a previous post on the LiFePO4 battery build that I did to power the fridge.
We got up early every morning to fish and returned to camp around noon and deployed the solar panels to keep the battery charged up. It worked out well since it allowed us to escape the worst of the heat and we could relax in camp a bit. We could also use that time to dry out our gear and re-rig if necessary.
Upon arrival, we noticed that the river was up quite a bit due to all of the recent rainfall. We were worried about wading certain sections but that proved to be irrelevant since it was dropping fast.
We also timed our arrival for Sunday afternoon hoping that the weekend campers would be gone. It wasn’t to be as there were other like-minded campers spending the week in the camping area. The first day was also the hottest as the temperature hit 96F and it was difficult to stay cool. We ended up putting a fan on Zip to help him cope with the heat.
We made several trips down to the river to get Zip wet and he thoroughly enjoyed that. Coupled with the fan, he was good to go.
It was definitely good to be back on the Cossatot River and we had high hopes that the fishing would be good.