Major Craft Finetail Stream Stage FSG-B462UL Rod…

I have been watching the development of this rod for awhile and finally was able to pre-order one. It arrived last week but due to the heatwave I haven’t fished with it yet. I like the action of the Anglo&Co. fiberglass rods such as the G411, but I wasn’t willing to pay $800+ for it. Then along came this FSG-B462UL and I jumped on it.

This is a full fiberglass rod and I really like the action on it for casting jerkbaits and light lures.

The specs.
The angled grip does make a difference.
Paired with a 2017 Shimano Scorpion BFS reel.
Nice bending curve yet still has some backbone.
Trying something different here. Adding a video of the action.

So the video snippet above wasn’t the greatest because we were preoccupied with a visitor.

It showed no fear of us at all.
Black Rat Snake. They have a huge diversity of coloration. And since I’m not a huge fan of snakes, this wasn’t easy for me to do. He did his best Rattlesnake imitation by shaking his tail rapidly against some leaves while assuming a defensive posture, but the round eye shape gave him away.
No worries! We see them as beneficial snakes that help keep the rodent population in check. I relocated him shortly after this pic was taken. Although we do have chickens, we have only found one in the coop so far. This particular snake has been relocated twice so far. Never a dull moment in the country.

As soon as the temperatures drop below 100F I plan on trying this rod out. We’ve already seen 111F here and we might have some relief coming next week. Today will reach 105F. As I’ve said in the past, Major Craft gives you a lot of rod for the money and I think this one will become one of my favorites since it has the characteristics I prefer.

P.S. THANK YOU Mr. Wilson for the hats. Love em.

TenRyu Rayz Spectra RZS51LL Spinning Rod…

This was the rod I was testing out yesterday. With the stream flow being quite low, this rod was ideal for the current conditions and excelled when throwing 3-5 gram lures.

Comes in a ballistic nylon case.
Paired with the Daiwa Presso 1025 reel.
This rod is 94% Carbon and 6% Glass Fiber
Fit and finish was excellent.
Built-in folding hook keeper.
Fuji titanium guides and Torzite inserts.

I had a lot of fun casting this rod and catching fish. The tip action makes throwing light lures easy and the rod has enough backbone to handle fish in mild current. TenRyu makes really good rods and this one is a winner.

Fishing Trip 9 JULY 2022…

We had a cold front come through last night with the forecast calling for a high of 97F on Saturday. After a week of 100F+ temperatures we were happy and decided to go fishing. The alarm went off at 0345 and we were on the road by 0425.

We arrived just as the sun was coming up and the temp was 74F, but very humid. We couldn’t wait to get in the river and start wading, hoping it would cool us down.

Zip was constantly racing back and forth between the two of us.

Zip is really coming along and his confidence grows with each outing. He has started swimming on his own and crossing the river on his own as well. I think after the Cossatot River trip he figured out that swimming in the river was a good way to cool off.

He doesn’t mind getting wet anymore.
He’s smart enough to stop in the shade!

We ended up catching 20 fish in the 4 hours that we were there. Only one was decent but we didn’t bother taking pictures of them. We each were wearing our old Simms Flats Sneakers to see how my glue job on the sole worked out. Short story: it didn’t work so these might get retired. It’s sad really, since the uppers are in great shape but the soles are SUB-PAR for sure.

I waded in to cool off and I guess Zip thought I was drowning so he came to “the rescue!”

And now for what is probably the dumbest decision I have made while fishing.

Apparently someone had a pop-up awning set up on the river bank. I noticed 4 mounds of rocks and dug into them to find dumbells that were used to anchor it down. As anyone who has read my blog knows…I can’t stand seeing trash in my rivers. So yes, I loaded them in my pack to haul them out. My wife took a 10 pounder while I took a 10 and a 20 pounder. For the math majors out there…4 corners and 3 dumbells= the fourth mound had a big rock as an anchor.

The Yeti Panga 28 hauled the load with no problems. Not ideal nor comfortable but we made the 3 mile hike back. I need the exercise and I could use some dumbells for the house. Unfortunately, my decision to haul them out pretty much ended the trip. Neither one of us felt like continuing downstream then hiking back up in the full sun and heat. Plus, we had a group behind us and I wanted the weights.

The spoils!

I did get to test a new rod on this trip and thoroughly enjoyed using it. I also tried out a Shimano Scorpion BFS reel and REALLY liked that one. I will probably do a post on both soon. We are still having internet issues. The technician was out 4 times last week and ran a bunch of new wire and all sorts of other stuff to no avail. Last we heard, they would be back out on Monday. We currently have 11Mbps available to us and it is difficult to get blog posts out. Hopefully we will have more posts soon…Take care.

Gomexus Reel Stands…

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.

R6 Foldable on LEFT, R1 Fixed on RIGHT.

Since we store our reels in padded cases or neoprene covers, the foldable design has been really nice.

R6 Foldable stand
R6 Foldable Stand screwed down and locked

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.

Gomexus R1 fixed on a 2019 Shimano Stradic FL 1000S. No more worries about scratched reels or damaged bails.

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.

http://www.gomexus.jp

Or you can find them on Amazon.

Tailwalk Keison Runsback spec * N 56ML Spinning Rod…

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.

Comes in a zippered neoprene sleeve.
Length: 5’6′ -Max Lure: 12g -Max Line: PE 0.8 and 99% carbon/ 1% glass.
“Uniting Various Waters”
Nice hardware. Double down-locking reel seat. Cork is decent.
Accents are nicely done.
Reinforced joint.
Balances well with a 2000 size reel.

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.

Palms Pinwheel PFGS-69UL+ Spinning Rod…

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…

UPDATE: Simms Flyweight Access Boots…

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.

Previous setup.

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.

Experimental setup.

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.

Sand and Microgravel

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.

Nice Velox!

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!

Fishing Baker Creek for the First Time…

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.

Just downstream from the Baker Creek Bridge

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.

Cossatot River Trip…What Worked.

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.

Dometic 11L water jug
Pumping water straight into the jug
Taking turns.

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!

Return to the Cossatot River…

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.

Our gear in the back of the Subaru

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.

SetPower RV45S Single Zone Fridge
Two 50 watt panels charged the battery during the day

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.

The 2022 Shimano Soare XR 500SPG Spinning Reel…

It finally arrived! The wife has been wanting one of these for over 6 months. Last Thursday when I got to work, there was an email that popped up on my phone from Digitaka stating that the Soare XR 500’s were in stock. This was at 0504. By 0505 I was on their site ready to purchase two reels but it already stated that it was THE LAST ONE. I bought it instantly and by 0506 I had confirmation of the order. These reels went fast!!!

Rear View of 2022 Shimano Soare XR 500SPG
2022 Shimano Soare XR 500SPG Handle
L: 2022 spool and R: 2017 spool
L: 2022 Soare XR 500SPG and R: 2017 Soare CI4+ 500S
2017 Shimano Soare CI4+ 500S
Rear View of 2017 Shimano Soare CI4+ 500S
2017 Shimano Soare CI4+ 500S Handle

Before I list the specs, I will say that the 2022 Soare XR is smoother than the 2017 Soare CI4+. I definitely like the color scheme on the 2022 better but that is just my preference. The handle fits better and has a bit more accents. The handle knob was changed and I’m not sure if it’s for the better or not. Gear ratio was decreased. Line capacity was increased a little bit as well. Maybe she’ll let me try it out.

2022 Shimano Soare XR 500SPG

-WEIGHT: 135 grams

-GEAR RATIO: 4.7:1

-DRAG: 3 kg MAX

-RETRIEVE: 58 cm

BEARINGS: 8/1

-CAPACITY: MONO 2#-115m, 2.5#-100m and FLUOROCARBON 3#-70m

2017 Shimano Soare CI4+ 500S

-WEIGHT: 140 grams

-GEAR RATIO: 5.6:1

-DRAG: 3 kg MAX

-RETRIEVE: 69 cm

-BEARINGS: 8/1

-CAPACITY: MONO 2#-90 m, 2.5#-80m and FLUOROCARBON 3#-70m

For Perch and small streams, these will be perfect and we can’t wait to test hers out. Stay tuned for that.

Our JDM Rods…

I have debated on whether to post this or not. I’m sure I will catch flack for the number of rods we have, but we use them all and they all serve a purpose. This has nothing to do with bragging because I am not that kind of person. Nor am I suggesting that you buy any of these.

I have mentioned on previous blog posts as to why we bought JDM(Japanese Domestic Market) rods. And I still stand behind that after 4 years. For us, it took our angling to the next level for the type of fish that we go after.

First up is our pack rods.

The one on the left is my heavier rod for White Bass, Hybrids or Stripers. I drive a Subaru so I needed a multi-piece rod. The others, we use for when we have to walk in quite a ways to reach a river so we don’t have to deal with full length rods when moving through brush. They fit inside our Yeti Panga backpacks.

Next up is our general purpose rods.

There are several duplicate rods as some are hers and some are mine. They cover the spectrum from Medium-Light to Ultralight and we select them for target species, size of rivers, current flows etc. Some are baitcast rods as well.

There really isn’t a bad rod in the bunch. As long as you stay within the rods specifications and intended use, you shouldn’t have any issues. And yet again, I will warn against lifting a fish or high-sticking, ask me how I know!

I have done blog posts on each of these rods in the past, but this is the first time we have taken a group photo. Most of these rods are designed for either Area Fishing or Stream Fishing on Japanese waters but they work extremely well for chasing Velox (Neosho-strain Smallmouth Bass.) Adapt and improvise!

Thanks for reading.