Category Archives: product

Think like the fatted calf

Armani StormtrooperI take my Armani clad shock troops out of the financial district; lock and load with laptops, cell phones, personal digital assistants, dry erase markers and ample frappachino, then plunk them into a “World Class Trout Experience” – hoping they will learn to “Think Like a Fish?”

I ‘ve been attempting to think like a fish for a couple of decades – finally decided that fish think rather poorly. I assume that this experience will teach your executives to mill aimlessly in circles when out of their comfort zone, to snap at brightly colored foreign objects, to flee at the hint of movement in your industry, and be gutted mercilessly when your company is acquired?

I think I would be a lot more comfortable with some form of predator metaphor.

“Together we put on competitive ‘waders’ and literally put your management team in the ‘water’ near the customer ‘stream.’ “

So they can flail around ineffectually, learn brand loyalty by changing flies constantly, expose them to superstitious ritual, go in over their head at the first careless step, and blame the weather for their failure to execute.

Nice. On day two you’ll have to teach them the difference between “watering hole” and fishing hole ..

Reproduction is overrated

muskol_prod_img.gifThe last couple of years I haven’t been able to find the Muskol liquid repellant and was beginning to fear that it was no longer made. Replacing it on store shelves was an assortment of products, flavored with Mango, Licorice, or Vanilla.

I read the dermatologist testimonials that framed each package, but failed to pull the trigger, opting instead to go with my last bottle of “the good stuff.” One vendor assured me the product was no longer made, and that 100% DEET had caused its demise.

I looked up DEET on the Web, curious what I had been basting myself with for the last decade. Not to worry, as prolonged exposure merely  mutates your chromosomes until reproduction is futile. I did giggle at the excerpt from the EPA:

” Sunscreen products are intended for frequent generous use, and DEET products are intended for spare infrequent use. “

It’s obvious the above author doesn’t fish, as most anglers slather themselves mightily prior to leaving the parking lot. I had always hoped that Muskol was introducing both a shampoo and a body wash, myself.

Fear not, Muskol is alive and well. It no longer boasts of “100% DEET” like the old concoction, now it is a 70% DEET, 30% Active Toluamides. DEET is a toluamide, so they may just be wordsmithing the container to make reproduction still seem possible.

This ain’t high fashion

I felt terrible, 20 years of hard fishing displayed proudly on my vest; assorted tears, imbedded flies, stains from Muskol and fly floatants, tattered wool patch minus the wool, and the reek of perishables left in pockets forgotten.

It was the perfect vest, the kind that your girlfriend holds with two fingers at arm’sgross_universe.jpg length; shoulders sunbleached from olive to indescribable, pockets tattered, stitching non existant… I felt like I was telling the vet to put the needle to Old Yeller.

I needed a new vest.

I have always been partial to “shorties” – and now that exposed midriff is fashionable again, am even more so. The short vest allows a gear fiend to load what’s required, and keeps fly boxes, cameras, and sandwiches above the water line – safe from harm.

Researching what was available affirmed that gear had come a long way. Instead of a single “D” ring for the landing net, there were attachments and retractable devices aplenty. Pockets had multiplied by at least a dozen, linings were available, colors were rampant, but shorties were still in short supply.

Requirement: Neutral Color

I love the new colors available, but I would rather blend with my environment. Red or Burnt Orange vests are very dapper, but I would as soon sneak up on you undetected.

Requirement: Repairable

The stitching and lining must be accessible so that I can restitch or repair the vest when needed. The down side of dangling items is heavy brush – as I am defending my rod, the vest will recieve the brunt of limbs and thorns. You will tear attachments from your vest, you’ll snag open pockets as well – make sure you select a vest that can be repaired easily. Tippet material and a bare fish hook can be used to quickly repair a torn pocket, it’ll hold until you get back to town.

Requirement: Unlined or mesh

I am going to wade stupid repeatedly, and the bigger the fish – the more likely I will wade agressively. I will get wet, I need the vest to drain quickly. Extra lining means additional drying time…no issue in August, but a big issue in January.

Requirement: Loose fitting

I may need to shuck out of this straight-jacket in a hurry, and I might have to do it underwater. This ain’t high fashion.

Requirement: Comfortable Neck enclosure

If you insist on loading your vest with everything you own, you will feel it on the neck and shoulder area. Your neck will be sunburnt, and even the slightest chafing will be painful. Get soft material near the neckline if possible.

vertmaster.jpgI bought a Simm’s Vertical Master – not quite a shorty, but short enough to keep dry flies above water, mesh lined for a fast drain, and has a soft collar to ease the chafing.

This is season one with the new togs, it has performed as advertised, holding 2 to 3 times more gear than my old Columbia shorty. It appears that Columbia has moved onto mainstream gear, as I could find no vests in their product catalog.

What is not replacable is the patina acquired by the old rags…it gave all of my fish stories instant credibility, inspiring fear in fellow anglers, and revulsion from their womenfolk.

Rod Physics Redux

orvis_logo.jpgTo market fly fishing tackle is to “suspend disbelief” akin to the theatre. Orvis has debuted their “Zero G” line of fly rods and their marketing department must’ve taken the gentlemanly path through college as Sociology or Psych majors…

I may have slept through the same lecture, but wouldn’t the force applied to the rod cause the angler to go backwards into the brambles? Think Zero G and force has an an equal and opposite reaction, no?

While it may be possible to remain relatively motionless if you cast at light speed, any silicon based life forms that inhabit the dead rivers of Mars, are safe as hell.

 “…so you feel your cast and know where your fly line is at all times. “

If we are going to do the “space thing” can we skip to the Force part?

Prospective owners should be aware that boron filaments are part of the weight reduction. Boron rods were introduced in the 80’s as the successor to graphite and never seemed to catch on,  important to remember that Boron is a metal filament, so shelve this in a lightning storm.

The Perfect gift for the Angler

97lb_weakling.jpgThe story is that this inventive fellow took his family fishing and was teased unmercifully at his ineptitude. You be the judge of the result…

For the “bobber-cator” crowd, this little device may be indispensable, no more long casts with waterlogged glo-bug yarn and multiple split shot, as technology has risen to challenge with the advent of the Vilco SR ProwlerCat .

In the event of in-stream hostilities or ridicule from a fellow angler, you can easily secure a small proximity torpedo kit to the ProwlerCat, allowing you effortlessly silence your critic(s) and secure the best water for yourself.

Rocket Rod devotees now can exercise pinpoint control over lure placement.  Despite its effectiveness at removing clothing from sunbathers, the Vilco Corporation does not sanction the lure for this use.

I would wait for a favorable exchange rate for this little honey, $889 US, is a tad more than I want to leave hung in a tree.

Sage “Z Plane” warps Space-Time Continuum

sagelogo.jpgGranted that I only completed college, but I’ve seen every Star Trek episode twice, so I know physics.

Sage Rod Company has introduced the “Z Plane” series of graphite rods, and a quick perusal of their site brings thoughts unbidden; the X axis is horizontal, the Y axis is vertical, therefore the Z axis has to be the wobble induced by an unbalanced body in orbit near your head.

So I went to the Internet for confirmation and “Google’d” a surprising confirmation; a scholarly work entitled, “A General Definition of Ring Puckering Coordinates.” Not all of this tome lends itself to layman’s translation but an abridged version suggests – an unstable sharp object in subsonic flight, enhanced by a “wobble” in the Z-Axis, would cause my “ring” to pucker uncontrollably.

Methinks the advertising geniuses at Sage have to learn from the Cocaine energy drink flap, they can expect a call from both WalMart and Ralph Nader.