Ultralight Fishing Kit…

Years ago, I was doing ultralight backpacking and thought it would be wise to incorporate an ultralight fishing kit into my setup. I found out about Zimmerbuilt through a friend of mine so I purchased a Zimmerbuilt Tenkara Strap Pack. This was designed for Tenkara fishing but I thought it would work really well for what I had in mind. It stays in my vehicle since I tend to stop at ponds and creeks a lot so I wanted something small yet handy.

This Strap Pack has quite a few mounting options. It was obviously intended to be worn on a backpack of some sort, but I just use the lanyard it came with and just sling it over my shoulder. It works perfectly for my intended purpose and is highly functional.

Here is a link to his site: (no affiliation)

https://www.zimmerbuilt.com/store/p20/Tenkara_Strap_Pack.html

MEIHO Tackle Boxes Fr0m Japan…

I stumbled across a guy on YouTube who has a channel named TSURINAN; and that is where he introduced his viewers to these boxes. I immediately decided to track these boxes down as I really liked the compact layout and functionality. I also shamelessly copied his idea to put magnet tape in each compartment to secure the contents from accidental opening of the box. The tape is a great idea from the standpoint of an angler standing in a stream and not having to worry about dropping things into the water.

The bigger box is a MEIHO VERSUS VS-388SD. If I had a chance to get another one, I would opt for the clear lids instead of the smoked lids. The smaller box is the MEIHO VERSUS VS-355SS with clear lids. Both have a clam-shell design and a beefy hinge to keep them closed. I am very impressed with MEIHO boxes and haven’t found one I didn’t like.

For those interested, I found them on Amazon.jp

Shipping was reasonable (I bought several items) and they arrived in 6 days. And did I mention that they were A LOT cheaper than using Amazon in the US!

Abu Garcia One Shoulder Waterproof Bag

The wife and I have been looking for a mid-size pack for the types of fishing we do. We currently use Patagonia Stormfront Sling Packs (20L)as well as the Yeti Panga (28L) for our all-day or multi-day outings. The Patagonia and Yeti packs are submersible whereas this pack is not, since the main zipper isn’t a true waterproof zipper like the TiZip.

Since I have been interested in JDM gear lately, I looked around to see what was available for that market. That’s where we ran across these Abu Garcia One Shoulder Bags. For some reason these aren’t available to the US market which I find rather odd. I think they would be really popular for anyone fishing a stream.

The specs show that it is 7L but it seems bigger than that. It has one, 2-way zippered, main compartment as well as an outside zippered pocket that is the width of the bag. There are no internal dividers or key fob thingies. It does have external lash points, a rod holder sleeve, a Daisy-chain strip with D-rings and a web strip to hold a net and another to hold a pair of pliers (velcro keeper seen on the right of the pic.)

The material is thinner than a Sealine Dry Bag, but for no bigger than it is, it should hold up well. Also, it is for LEFT shoulder carry only, if that might be an issue. My only concern is the shoulder strap. It is not padded at all but does have a 2 inch quick release buckle to secure it around your person. We will see if it chafes the neck or not.

For those interested in purchasing this bag…we found them on Amazon.jp which had the cheapest price we could find. It took 5 days to get here so that was a plus! The color selections were: Grey, White or Black.

I’m really looking forward to testing this bag out. It fills a niche in our quest to lighten our gear for 2021….

My Wading Belt…

I usually wear this belt when I’m actually wearing a set of waders, but occasionally I wear it when I’m bank fishing for catfish because I tend to walk the sandy shoreline.

It consists of a nylon webbing belt with a “cobra buckle.” On it I carry a carabiner, a pair of aluminum pliers, my homemade belt pouch prototype as well a Leatherman Wave multi-tool.

I try to stick with utilitarian items that I use frequently and prefer to have them readily accessible. The last thing I want is unnecessary weight or to look like Batman!

My Wet Wading Footwear…

This is my wet wading footwear setup for stream fishing. I have tried everything from sandals to water shoes before settling on this system.

At the core, it consists of a pair of 2019 Simms Flats Sneakers. 2021 will be their third season and so far, after approximately 200 miles on them, they have held up well.

Coupled with the boots are a pair of Simms 2.5mm Neoprene socks and a set of gravel guards that velcro around the sock/boot. The guards really help by keeping the micro gravel out of my boot.

The Flats Sneakers are very comfortable, especially after walking over rocks, boulders and gravel all day. Not having any metal components helps alleviate any worries about rusting hardware.

The wife opted for the same boot but she went with the Simms Guide Guard sock (3.5mm Neoprene) because of the built-in gravel guards.

To date: this is the best footwear system for us. All day comfort and support! Before, we would stop about every half hour to empty painful debris from our water shoes.

My Package From Digitaka Arrived!

A week ago I placed an order with Digitaka because I wanted to try some different styles of jig heads as well as a couple of spoons.

Left to Right:

-Decoy JIG HEAD SV-52 ROUND MAGIC 2.5 grams- #6 hook

-Owner Cultiva JIG HEAD JH-83 MEBARU DAMA 2.0 grams- #6 hook

-Owner Cultiva JIG HEAD JH-84 AJI DAMA 2.3 grams- #5 hook

-Owner Cultiva JIG HEAD JH-85 NAGARE DAMA 2.2 grams- #7 hook

-ODZ JIG HEAD RUSH HEAD 2.0 grams- L#2 hook

Also, I picked up 2 spoons and a few packages of #00 Quick Snaps.

Left to Right:

-Timon Trout Spoon T-GROVEL in 3.4 grams Color# 138 KGP MATSUBA

-Timon Trout Spoon APEED 3.3 grams Colo# 145 KAMI SILVER

-Owner Cultiva SILENT Quick Snaps Size# 00/8.9kg P-15

I am especially interested in trying the Cultiva JH-85 as well as the JH-84 and ODZ Rush Heads. Nothing ventured…nothing gained!

JDM Spinners…

And finally, a look at JDM in-line spinners.

-Palms SpinWalk Clevis 3 gram Spinner in Yellow, Green, Gold and Black

-Daiwa Silver Creek Spinner 4 gram in Silver and Gold

Both of these brands are made in China. From what I can tell, in-line spinners are not popular in Japan because they are considered to be too easy to catch fish with. If you look close, you can see that these come with a swivel built into the wire frame. I haven’t run across that before but its a nice addition. The off-center body is interesting and I’m guessing it acts somewhat like a keel to keep these running straighter and hopefully prevent line twist.

I opted for the heavier gram weight versions because I’ll be fishing some current and also because it’s always windy here in Oklahoma.

The spoons and spinners were purchased from Chris Stewart at http://www.finesse-fishing.com. Chris is an awesome guy and is definitely an asset to the USA based JDM enthusiast. Very knowledgeable and helpful with any questions you may have.

Until next time…stay safe and stay warm!

JDM Spoons…

And here is a quick shot of a few of the Spoons I plan on throwing for the 2021 season.

From left to right:

  • Smith D-S Line Spoon 4 gram in Yamame Silver
  • Forest MIU Spoon 3.5 gram in Abalone
  • Daiwa Crusader 4 gram in Super Hot Blue Pink Tail
  • Daiwa Crusader 4 gram in Super Hot Rainbow Black

Spoons are huge in Japan for trout in both “Area” and “Native/Stream” fishing. Again, everything is specialized…Rod, reel, line, lure etc. and is geared to a specific fish species or style.

It’s a “DEEP RABBIT HOLE” to go down so be forewarned if your interest is piqued.

JDM Jerkbaits…

Here a few of the Jerkbaits I plan on using for 2021.

I replaced all of the treble hooks with Cultiva SBL-55M hooks in either size 6 or size 8. The only oddball was the Great Hunting 50F Flat Side which required Cultiva S-21 size 8 hooks.

If you ever get the chance to view any of the various Japanese company’s tackle catalogs, you will be amazed at the selection and specialization that you will find. Truly incredible.

From Top Left to Right and Bottom Left to Right:

-Great Hunting Heavy Duty 55S Sinking

-DUO Spearhead Ryuki 60S Sinking

-DUO Spearhead Ryuki 70S Sinking

-Daiwa Silver Creek Minnow 45S Sinking

-Lucky Craft Humpback Minnow 45SP Suspending

-Great Hunting Flat Side 50F Floating

As far as manufacturers go, I know the DUO Spearhead Ryuki 60S and 70S are made in Japan. The Lucky Craft Humpback Minnow Suspending is also made in Japan. The Great Hunting GH50 Flat Sides are made in Vietnam.

Just because it says “JDM” does not mean its made in Japan, rather it’s for the Japan Domestic Market. JDM purists generally do a lot of research before purchasing as they ONLY want “Made in Japan.”

I don’t see myself going down that road, but one never knows.

How I Fish Most of the Time.

This is how I fish 80% of the time. I fish on foot and carry everything I need for a day or two. Some of the gear choices change due to the season or other conditions. As I said in previous posts, I do a lot of research on gear to find exactly what I need to accomplish the objective. There is always a cost-benefit analysis that occurs to prevent wasted expenditures. The wife and I bounce ideas off of each other and weigh the “Pro’s and Con’s”. Believe me, I’ve bought cheap stuff before and it didn’t hold up for very long. These days I dig into the specifications of products in depth as I’d rather “buy once, cry once.”

The backpack I’m wearing in the picture is the Yeti Panga 28L. Overpriced? Absolutely! Over-built? Absolutely! And it is 100% WATERPROOF which is what I need. ALL of the features I needed were present in this pack. EVERY SINGLE ONE. Was I happy spending $300…NOPE! But I will say that it was a great investment and I’m VERY happy with it.

What you can’t see is that the Panga is holding a silnylon tarp, Klymit air mattress, a poncho liner, a Katadyn Hiker Pro water filter, an isobutane stove and fuel canister inside a titanium mug, food for a day or two, NiteCore NU25 headlamp, filet knife, spare shirt, the yellow MagPul DAKA pouch, a ThermaRest Z fold sit pad, GoPro stuff and miscellaneous fishing tackle. Oh, and a shortwave radio. Don’t ask!

So the big WHY that people ask and want an answer to is simple…it’s waterproof and it floats! I can (and have) put it on my front and lay on it as I kick and swim across deep pools or any body of water that’s too deep to wade. It helps float me where I want to get to. Boats can’t get to where I want to fish. Food for thought…

A Quick Look ay my Homemade Pouch Part Five.

I think the finished project turned out rather well. The Juki sewing machine did not like that material and sewing the corners was a nightmare for me but we got it done. All seams have a double row of stitching for durability. It does indeed hold all of my soft plastics and jigheads so that’s a plus. All in all, I’m happy with it and will probably just use the prototype for now until I fully test it and see if there are any modifications that might need to be made. As far as size goes, I wouldn’t want it any bigger.

And yes… I ended up sewing one for the wife as well!