Sunday, November 11, 2012

My Favorite Reels

TFO red 375                                                                                              TFO gold 425
drag area of 425
      My favorite reels are TFO  375 and 425 from Temple Fork Outfitters . These large arbor reels are of bullet proof design with plenty of backing . These reels are machined from 6061 aluminum and have a draw bar carbon fiber disk drag . They are rated for salt or fresh water usage and are exception easy to clean . Simply untighten the spool by backing off spool cap assembly till the spool disengages and then remove your spool it that easy . The backing capacity is 250 yds. of 20 pound on the 375 and 275 yds. of 30 pound on the 425 which is alot when you consider spooling one of these babies up . For a little fun I took a dial caliper just to see how large the drag area was . The drag area measured in at 1.938 only .062 thousands short of 2 inches on both the 375 and 425 reels . With both reels having the same drag surface but two different sizes one might say to themselves quality manufacturing . I think so myself after measuring the area . Right now I am using the 375 on a 7 wight switch rod and the 425 on a nine weight rod for Michigan's king salmon . You can see that these reels come in some awesome colors too . So don't be afraid to dress up that rod . I hear that the hottest color for the 375 is red right now . "Chuckling to myself " Seems every time I try to order an extra spool in red it's always back ordered .                                                                          
        On a side note did we the flyfishing community ever screw up , because of lacking sales Temple Fork Outfitters has discontinued two models of reels in this line-up the 310 for six weight fly rods and the 340 for seven weight fly rods . I wish that when I had the chance to get my hands on those models I had done so . For more info on Temple Fork Outfitters check out there products at .

Monday, October 22, 2012

Winter Steelhead / Cold Hands

It's starting to get cold out there my fellow fishing friends . With thoughts of steelhead running through my mind as these colder temps come through Northern Michigan . Knowing I will be out in this cold weather I took a chance on a product from a old company . Yes old in the fact that its made by Zippo . The makers of Zippo brand liters has a hand warmer out for us outdoor lover's . With a suggested retail price of  $19.95  I know this will take take the chill off my finger tip's when retieing on flies during my steelhead months in the cold .  You may say Lovells Fly Tyer are you nut's ; You spent that type of money on that thing . Well I have to ask have you ever bought those little hand warmer packs ?  How much did those cost you ?  Are you hand warmer packs reusable ?  What do you do with you packs when they run out of operating life ?  With the Zippo hand warmer one can simply just add Zippo lighter fluid for up to 12 hours of heat with the provided fill cup . Once filled and lit place in the provide fleece bag and your set . or

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Dedicated Vise for Tube Flies

This past winter found me taking a fly tying class on tube flies.Yes after my start of commercial tying in 1994 I was taking a class again.Having a new found excitement for tube flies for swinging.While in class I was using a Eumer tube fly adapter for my vise.Yes Eumer is a good company but there is always better.Being one who Tye's with thread control it seemed that when cranking down with thread on the tube the tube would spin on the mandrel.It really didn't set well with me.
Well after that class I was in search of a dedicated vise for tying tube flies.After a very short search of the internet I found what I was looking for.A product from Bob's tube fly vise has some features that any tyer will like.First off the head of the vise moves out away from your tying table for relaxing while tying,sitting in an office chair.Like some other vises the head rotates 360 degress horizontaly but one thing unique is that it rotates 360 degress veritcally.This feature allows the tyer to melt tube liner to tubes with out having to hold the fly.
Another feature of Bob's vice is the jaws' strength. The jaws will take and hold micro tube liner. I mean really hold the liner. I inserted micro tube liner into the jaws and was able to take and pick up the vice and shake it like a puppy with a new toy. Not quite as fierce, but hopefully you get the idea of how strong this vice is. I also got a tapered mandrel from Bob. So far I have not had any problems with this vice, and have been greatly satisfied with this Michigan made product. I feel that you will also be satisfied with this vice.For more info visit Bob Braendle's website http://www.offthehooktube.

Monday, March 28, 2011

My Fit of the Month

Sorry folks for not blogging as much as I should be.I have been really busy as of lately.But I would like to tell you a little bit about a couple of companies I've been dealing with.First of we'll start will "don't care a-gonia". A couple of years ago while working in a fly shop I purchased a great divide boat bag.Thought it would be great for in the boat.It looked water proof until one night when it rained and was left in the boat.I had three inches of water in the boat and Three inches in the bag that was zipped up.Hmmmm not right I thought to myself.So I contacted the company and they said to return it but right now they were out of stock.So I wait because I am in the middle of fishing season to return this bag.Please bear in mind I keep all my flies,tippet,leaders,etc. in this bag.It's like a brief case for a guide when in the boat. So I ship the product back to "don't care a-gonia" in December.Well to day I call them up and find out That I will not be getting a replacement bag until Mid-May that's right Mid-May.My thoughts are like what the &^%$.So I asked if I could get a refund And because I didn't have the receipt for it I could only get a gift card for their products.Now this leaves me with two problems one I don't like gear all over in my boat boxes.Second is that general trout season opens in less than a month and I need to be organized.
So here's where company two comes to play.After ranting my honest opinion to company one I call company two "Simms" I ask for the cost of a large boat bag and they give me the price and also say their in stock.I ask how long it will take to arrive to my home in Michigan.The customer rep. tells me you should have it with in a week.Bet right now you can hear what I said to them.That's right ship it!Now here's another story about company two.I had a guide buddy who returned a pair of Simms waders he had.They were leaking badly after several years of use and Simms rebuilt his waders.Now that's customer service my fellow fishers.

Monday, February 28, 2011

End of February

Ah the last day of February;Thank God.Its been a long month around Northern Michigan.Been working with the Mason Grifith Chapter of Trout Unlimited with fly tying classes.which has been a fun thing to do by giving back something to the sport of fly fishing.I was also demonstrating/teaching at the Miller/Van Winkle chapter of Trout Unlimited in Petosky.I did more traveling this month than what I should have been doing.
I did get to go for driftboat parts to Tracey's boats in Newaygo one day.Figured the driftboat needs some tender loving care this year.It will soon be set up with a pedestal seat up front.Figured why not while I am at it add a second seat to the bench seat in front for those days that we have a family outing with the kids.
I look forward to this summer with Hendrickson's and Black Caddis dry fly action on the Au Sable.Its only 2 months away and I can't wait!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Finally I got a 1/2 day of Fishing

Well Folks I finally got a 1/2 day of fishing in on the Big Man. It wasn't my best day out on the river,but fun in everyway.The game plan for the day was to chase after steelhead looking in deep holes and runs.With the recent warm up that we,ve had here in Michiganthoughts of steelhead were in my mind.When we arrived at the put in spot I quickly set up the boat and rods.Motoring up stream I noticed nobody were in the favorite holes on the streach we were fishing which made me fell lucky to be out for the day.During this trip we would be hitting the holes using the chuck and duck method and indicator fishing.Our first hole produce no strikes from any fish on this cloudy dizzly day.Knowing the next two hles should produce a fish we motored the boat to a hole that has produced fish.There we ran into our first strke of the day.Using the chuck and duck method might be because of the long down time from fishing that my partner has had this winter.Thinking to myself this should be the mother of all days to be steelheading and hooking fish we motored up into the next hole.With the weather getting what felt like colder and the drizzle turning into more like rain my guest finally hooked into a frist fish on the day.This fiesty brown took a green caddis.It was a much need warm up for both me and Peter and a nice way to end the day as we had to leave so that Peter could be at a Trout unlimited board meeting.It won't belong and I will be heading back to chase Steel again and I will be looking forward from taking a break from the tying bench and fishing again with friends and clients.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

It's not a bobber;Its a strike indicator

It's not a bobber;It's a strike indicator is what Steve Vorkapich tells me when i see him.I met Steve a few years back while I was working at the Fly Factory in Grayling,Michigan.Steve is the owner of Float Master Products and trust me this is a product that works.I was never a really big fan of indicators until recently.Yes I've used the old pinch on type.I've tried Loon outdoors Bio Strike which always seemed to me to leave a sticky residue on my leader.There are others like fish pimp and thill which I had problems with because of using hand tied leaders and not being able to get a blood knot through the hole.But after seeing Steve's product I found these to be my liking.Steve's indicators have a large enough hole so blood knot will go through and are simple to use and adjust.

The type I like best is his Tear Drop which comes in 3/8 to 1 inch size with different color schemes.He also has a round version which I have yet to try.Using this product is as simple as pie.Double your leader up,moisten the latex tube and insert it in the loop of your doubled leader,pull down on leader till you get about 1/4 inch of tubing sticking up and your set.Resetting is just pulling out the tubing and adjusting your leader.

For more info on Floatmaster products go to there you can find all color schemes and styles of Steve products or you can E-mail him at