October 8, 2015

The LaunchPack Anti-Duffle™ Fishing Gear Bag

You might have noticed that I've been trying to liven up the blog...a few consecutive days of posts with full intentions of writing another one for Thursday.

But I'm gonna be honest, I went out to a business dinner after work tonight (Wednesday), and as I'm sitting here on the sofa passively watching TV in a "drunken" carb-induced haze from consuming far too much Italian food, thinking up something to write isn't coming too easy right now...

So wasn't I happy to find an email from Erik, co-founder of a company called LaunchPack in my Inbox tonight to provide some inspiration...(Erik, you picked a good night for a cold call!)

Introducing LaunchPack, the "Anti-Duffle"

So what is an Anti-Duffle you might ask?
In short, it's a minimalist fishing duffle with MASSIVE capacity.

"We set out to design a streamlined fishing gear bag for how we fish most often: single or partial day sessions.

We wanted easy loading and unloading, clean and dirty gear separation, and flexible capacity.  The result is our Anti-Duffle.™ 
Two giant compartments (boots and waders in one side, everything else in the other). Three internal pockets quickly accessed by one zipper. And the ability to just drop rod tubes, a camp chair, or a six-pack into the center then cinch the bag closed.

Oh, and when empty, it makes a perfect changing platform."

If you find this sort of pack appealing, (and why wouldn't you?) then head on over to the LaunchPack website HERE to learn more about the Anti-Duffle's features and benefits, and perhaps even pick one up...it'll run you $129, or 5,941 Philippine Pesos (at the time of writing) and includes a free year's membership to Trout Unlimited.

Or, if you're socially inclined, or just enjoy ogling photos of other people's gear bags, you'll find them lurking over on Instagram too; peep them HERE.

October 7, 2015

Wednesday Nibbles - Record Bass, Trophy Trout, Internet Fishing, Spycams, & RD Edition!

Hey it's Wednesday...we've made it half way through the week! No small achievement these days...so let's celebrate with some fresh Wednesday Nibbles. After all, the more time you spend reading this post, the closer you'll be to the weekend upon completion. So let's get at it...

Record Fish In The Chipola River

The folks over in the Northwest corner of Florida are catching some really big bass, in particular Shoal Bass in the Chipola River.  Toward the end of September, Stewart Mayeaux caught a 4.85 pound, 20.9 inch shoal bass, a Florida state recordbreaking the prior record which was only set back in March...in the same river!

Photo: MyFWC.com

According to the Florida Wildlife Commission, "Shoal bass thrive in the Apalachicola water system, including the Chattahoochee and Flint Rivers of Alabama and Georgia, and the Chipola River in Florida. Once thought to be redeye bass, they were determined to be a separate species in 1999."

So I've evidently got to get to the Florida "panhandle" ASAP...have tenkara rod, will travel!

Extreme Couch Fishing

For those not interested in traveling to the Chipola to go fishing...well...I'm not gonna lie, I'm not exactly sure what to say about RoboFisher, so I'll let their video and website do the talking for me...

"Robofisher is a revolutionary device, installed on the banks of a lake, in a corner of the planet, which can be controlled online, from another corner of the planet, from your computer, in order to fish real fish."

So yeah, it's like a interwebz video game...but you're catching real fish all over the world via fishing drone...and ummm....okay...yeah, I got nothing else...

Pennsylvania Trophy Trout

Some cool things going on in Pennsylvania (holla!) around their trout stocking program...

The announcement of "Keystone Select Trout Waters," an initiative by the PA Fish & Boat Commission, promises to excite anglers by stocking 8 different bodies of water with 3,200 "big" fish, ranging from 14 to 20 inches.  The waters will be overseen by Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only (DHALO) regulations, meaning fish can only be kept during certain months of the year, the rest of the time reverting to catch & release.

I know, perhaps not too exciting for my friends out West accustomed to catching big fish like that, but it's baby steps for Pennsylvania, a generally behind-the-times state in which you can't even buy beer in the supermarket.

New Wearable Camera Option

I have a GoPro. I don't really use my GoPro. If I didn't use gift cards to fund the majority of the purchase, I might feel like I wasted my money. I'm just not really into setting up shots, editing video, or any of that stuff, much less wearing a plastic-encased camera awkwardly on my chest or head or wherever.

If you're like me, perhaps the Narrative Clip 2 is for you. Far more passive than a GoPro, the Narrative Clip 2 is basically a very small, wearable camera that takes 8MP photos and 1080p HD video in a hands free fashion, automatically at a time interval of your choosing.

So essentially, you clip it wherever you want it, set it to take a photo say every 30 seconds, minute, 5 minutes, whatever, and go about your business, hiking, driving, fishing, etc...  At the end of the day, you'll have a bunch of spontaneous photos to review of your outing. Upload them to cloud storage, delete what you don't want, and you're good to go.

Honestly, I'd be curious to see what I ended up with. Hopefully not a ton of out of focus photos. The only drawback for an angler; it's not waterproof...so keep it high & dry.

Blog Love

Last but not least, time for some blog love. Because that's just what we do here at Wednesday Nibbles.

I have to say my Blogroll has become a sad state of affairs...so many blogs that I used to enjoy reading have gone dormant over the past year or so, it's slowly but surely gotten smaller and smaller (by about 2 to 3 blogs) each month.

So I figured I'd shout out to 3 of the blogs that have been in my blogroll the longest, heck, even pre-OBN days, and are still kicking out posts at least semi-regularly...because you've gotta throw some love at a good long-term Blogbuddy.

  • Northern California Trout - Good ol' Shoreman's been a bit quiet the past week, but he still cranks out posts with regularity. His tales of lakes, Powerbait, and sometimes float tubes (and bears) are always the highlight of my day. Hope he gets some snow this winter to keep the water flowing.
  • Windknots & Tangled Lines - Yeah, you all probably know Howard. Knocking out humorous posts, living life, being the man. I still owe you breakfast the next time I'm out in Colorado buddy. Check out his blog for what is typically a daily dose of irreverence.
  • The River Damsel - Holy smokes, after a long hiatus, she's back! Glad to see it too, it's tough to keep up with her exploits scattered across Facebook. I don't think I have another friend in blogdom that is more "fishy" (in a good way) than Emily. Keep doin' what you're doin' RD, you're awesome (& an inspiration)!


October 6, 2015

Tenkara Tuesday - October Tenkara Grab Bag

Welcome to Tenkara Tuesday...

Just going to take a quick run around tenkaradom...some things that have caught my eye in recent days. Some may be new, some not, but all worth mentioning, at least in my opinion.

Kickstarter - Tenkara Rod Co.

After a ridiculously successful $90K Kickstarter campaign that launched their company 2 years ago, things have been relatively quiet on the crowdfunding front from the Tenkara Rod Co., at least until now.

With a new campaign to introduce two "Mini" tenkara rod models that was funded within two days, it's clear these guys have figured out this whole pre-sell model.  As a matter of fact, at the time of writing this, they're over $70K raised (the goal was "only" $12K) and there are still 30 days to go.

Whether or not you actually see the need for a tiny "Nissin Pocket Mini-esque" rod, that's pretty astounding. Remarkable actually, congrats to them!

Wholesale Zoom Rod

Does all of that success by the Tenkara Rod Co. create the desire to become your own tenkara rod dealer? Well, first off, good luck. Second off, you need to know where to find rods, right?

While I in no way vouch for this manufacturer, I recently started receiving a lot of emails from BTI-Sports (Yangzhou Guotai Co.) offering private label rods of all sorts, graphite, fiberglass, bamboo, you name it, including this interesting tenkara zoom model.

You want to place an order for 100 units of these bad boys? They'll run you $33 a piece, plus shipping and all of that fun international stuff. Bam...instant tenkara business....or a bunch of rods collecting dust in your basement.

Tenkara Calendar Embed

So that Tenkara Calendar website I set up a few weeks ago seems to be picking up steam. People are submitting events, there seems to be a fair amount of traffic to the main URL, and it seems to work relatively smoothly.

With that said, I've added a section to the Tenkara Calendar website that allows you to copy (& paste) the calendar widget's HTML embed code wherever you'd like to put it...making it sort of an open source calendar that can live pretty much anywhere. For example, I added it to the bottom of the "Tenkara" tab of this website.

While I don't expect everyone to run out and add it to their respective websites, I'm just letting you know you can if you so choose. I figure the more places it eventually lives, the more likely people will continue to add events to it, and the more useful it becomes to everyone...so enjoy.

Tenkara Is For...

Daily affirmation courtesy East Rosebud Fly & Tackle.

Instead of Hello Kitty, which is so 2010, they could have at least utilized pictures of unicorns, panda bears, and rainbows, because at least those rumors about tenkara are true. Talk about looking a gift horse in the mouth...no wonder fly shops are losing to e-commerce. Pass the PBR bro.

Latest Installment of "Genryu Fishing"

Attempting to class up this blog entry in closing, Keiichi Okushi recently posted the 23rd installment in the "Genryu Fishing of Japan" thread over at the Tenkara-Fisher Forum. (Note: I think you need to join the forum to see the pictures)

I know, I know, forums (much like blogs) are a dying, if not dead format...I get it, but if you haven't taken in any of these genryu chronicles yet, and are into fishing, camping, friends, and nature, you're really missing out.  There are actually 18 pages of posts that should you choose to start at the beginning, you'll easily spend quite a bit of time consuming.

Believe me when I tell you, you don't need to be a Japanophile to make them well worth the read!

October 5, 2015

Wanderlust - Yosemite National Park

With the summer in the rear view and my work schedule getting far more intense, getaways will be in short supply.  As a person who suffers from a serious case of wanderlust, I can't help but put some thought toward the next escape, preferably to a place "out West" that I haven't sampled before. It pains me that I haven't experienced more of what America has to offer outside of the Eastern seaboard. 

This is the time of year when my mind starts to venture to other places...and right now it's in Yosemite...

Photo: The Desert Review

Photo: Wikipedia

Photo: YosemitePark.com

Photo: Moutaingear.com

Photo: Yosemitehikes.com

Beautiful, right?

Anybody have any experience either vacationing and/or fishing Yosemite National Park? I'd love to learn more about your experience. Should this be a family trip, or better as a "bro-based" fishing getaway? The pictures above are great, but this is somewhere I definitely want to make a point to see with my own eyes, maybe even in 2016.

September 27, 2015

Kype Fishing Magazine: Volume 6 / Issue 2 Fall 2015

The Fall 2015 issue of Kype Magazine is out.

I've been a big supporter of the magazine for a few years but am really enjoying the direction of the content since Aileen Lane took over the publishing reigns last year.

Some highlights of this issue include Fly Fishing the Flats (page 6), Fly Farming (page 24) and Small Streams & Tenkara (page 42).  Check it all out either HERE or via the embed above.

September 24, 2015

Video - Fly Fishing Father & Son Stormtroopers

This is rather excellent from Tight Lines Fly Fishing Company...
Stick with it, it gets better as it goes...

I mean who doesn't need a Jawa to assist with fly selection?

September 23, 2015

Tenkara Tuesday - Ultralight Floating Tenkara Line

Welcome to Tenkara Tuesday (on Wednesday)...

Ever since I moved to Florida, I've been seeking ways to fine tune my tenkara tackle to the abundant still-water opportunities that present themselves seemingly everywhere. While many of the same tenkara rods, lines, and flies can be used with great success, I've found that adding a good floating tenkara fly line to the arsenal has been an excellent enhancement to my gear cache. Heck, I even wrote a Tenkara Tuesday post about it back in May.

When I was approached to test out a new floating tenkara line offering from Three Rivers Tenkara, I figured the product would be very similar to some of the other lines I was using...but upon further examination, I couldn't be more wrong.

R.I.P. Llanolope popper

It became very clear while attaching the line to my rod was that it was truly "ultralight" and that wasn't just a buzzword used to sell lines. Since floating lines are made from some sort of plastic, they tend to have a little bit of bulk to them, and the models I've used in the past purposed toward tenkara rods are no different. The thing that jumped out at me was that this line feels and handles more like a light furled line, and simply does not overpower the slender tip section of the tenkara rod.

The line attaches to the rod's lillian similar to other floating or furled lines with a girth hitch. Easy on, easy off, without needing to know how to tie knots. The tippet then attaches to a tippet ring at located at the end of a short length of high vis mono. (This change was made later, my sample did not include a tippet ring and utilized a figure 8 knot stopper in the mono to serve as a tippet anchor).

Girth hitch

Wanting to really give this line a solid test drive, I hooked it up to 6 different tenkara rods that I own from several different manufacturers and did a little lawn casting to a paper plate about 25ish feet away. Tossing out about 30 or 40 casts from each rod, softer rods seemed to lay out the line a bit better than stiffer rods. Believe it or not, I found the rod that it paired with the best was the Tenkara USA Ebisu.

Taking it to the water, dry flies and kebari cast very well, a simple flick of the wrist was all that was needed to place the fly wherever I wanted, almost on demand. Small foam poppers and hoppers (my favorite flies for Florida bass & bluegill) proved to fish great on this line too, their relative bulk didn't overpower the line at all, and the line consistently floated up top, cast after cast.

I did try sizing up to a size 8 bead head woolly bugger and that was probably pushing this line's upper limits. The cast was more of a lob (the rod plays a part in that too), and some of the heavier floating tenkara lines I've used in the past have turned over weighted flies a bit better that this line.

In the end, this is really a superior product, one that I'd easily recommend to the dry fly tenkara fisherman. Pair it with a rod with a soft tip and some foam poppers or elk hair caddis, and you're going to have a ridiculously easy to cast setup that makes catching any rising fish, be it trout, bluegill, or bass an absolute joy!


The Ultralight Floating Tenkara Line featured in this product review was provided to me at no cost, but carries a suggested retail price of $20-26. Although I consider Anthony Naples a friend, I currently hold no official association with Three Rivers Tenkara and did not solicit them for the product to review. It was simply offered to test for feedback during the development process.

As with all independent gear reviews at Troutrageous! I try my best to keep my reviews honest and unbiased. If something is good, it deserves applause; if it sucks, I'll comment on the experience, but rather than write an uncomplimentary post, inform the manufacturer my opinion of their offering directly outside of this blog. (For real, you should see some of the stuff I haven't written about...) This policy pertains to items both purchased and provided at no (or reduced) cost.