June 28, 2013

Gear Review: Greenerways Organic Bug Spray

I know, I've been doing a lot of whining complaining about the mosquitoes in Florida.  They're big, they're bad, and they're mean.  But what should I expect for literally living in a swamp?

I was contacted by JD from Greenerways back in February about testing an Organic bug spray. Organic...really?  If a bug spray doesn't melt your fly line, how good can it be?  But I agreed anyway.

Unfortunately, being February and freezing in Philadelphia at the time, bug spray testing would have to wait.  Lucky for me, with the perfect combination of the summer and a recent move South, everything fell into place for the long awaited testing opportunity...

First the details of the Greenerways Organic Bug Spray, directly from their marketing materials...

The first 100% certi fied organic insect repellent available in the United States.
Provides peace of mind for safe use with young children, adults, pets, and around the home. 
Made from a DEET-free, non-toxic blend of organic plant-based essential oils, including citronella, lemongrass and cedar oil that are known for their natural bug repelling properties and safe use. 
Contains no added chemicals, alcohols, scents, plant surfactants, soaps or glycerin, making it gentle and safe for even the most delicate skin and especially those who are chemically-sensitive. 
Available in convenient, portable, easy-to-use 2 oz. & 4 oz. sprays.

In terms of application, it comes in a pump spray bottle that dispenses a very fine mist that smells like citronella candles.  The odor, in my opinion, isn't good, nor is it bad, it's just there.  It applies pretty easily and evenly with a few pumps, although make sure you steer clear of your face, as there's a warning label that says to keep out of your eyes, etc...

I've tested it twice so far - while doing yard work...and going fishing, and honestly had somewhat different experiences each time.

For hanging around the backyard, the stuff works great.  I could see it as the perfect bug spray to keep away mosquitoes if you're BBQing, playing with the kids, or just relaxing in a lawn chair drinking a beer. Basically anything you do where you won't work up an excessive sweat.

I used it doing some light yard work - busting out the electric weed whacker and trimming around my fence.  No bug bites.  No nothing.  And there are plenty of bugs in my backyard.  I have the battle scars from venturing out back unprotected.  While I'm not a "crunchy" guy, I do like that it's "organic;" so I'd have no issues spraying down Lilly with this stuff the next time she wants to play in the backyard.

See...perfect for frolicking in the yard...in white...waving hankies?

However, for fishing, or at least Florida fishing in a swampy environment, the results were mixed. Applying liberally to my legs, arms, and neck, I started out fine, really no bugs bothered me except those flying around my face.

But after an hour or so of fishing (and sweating) in the heat, I'm not going to lie, I did get bit.  Not all over, but I think they found the spots that didn't have the best coverage or wore down due to sweat - like down by my ankles, and on my neck near my chin.  Don't get me wrong, it didn't fail, because I feel like I got bit A LOT less than I would have otherwise, but in comparison to the times I've used that napalm called DEET, it came up a touch short.

This fish ate a bug...not too many bugs ate me....

So would I recommend this stuff?  For about 90% of your outdoor activities, absolutely.  It works fine for hanging out in the yard and enjoying a beautiful summer day.  For extreme conditions where you know you're going to be all sweaty, or doing activities in an environment with a ton of bugs, maybe not.  It will keep them at bay, but perhaps not without excessive applications.

But I really think the key to whether or not to consider purchasing this product is if you're looking for a more natural solution than something containing really heavy chemicals.  There are a lot of people out there where that is an important consideration, possibly the most.  I consider myself one.  If it is for you, the trade-off might just be worth it too.  As such, I will continue to keep Greenerways Organic Bug Spray at the ready.

The Greenerways Organic Bug Spray tested in this product review was provided to me at no cost, but carries a retail price of $7.99. I currently hold no association whatsoever with Greenerways or JD, but understand they're based in Yardley, PA which is a hop, skip, and a jump away from where I used to live in Philly.  Holla.

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 probably not write a post and tell the manufacturer my opinion of their hot mess directly outside of this blog. It ain't in my interest to steer you wrong, so why waste the time writing a post doing so?

June 27, 2013

Oh...I Almost Forgot...I Went Fishing Last Week...

Yeah, I actually did some fishing last week and really didn't write about it here.

As you might imagine, I really haven't found much time to get out and go fishing yet since I landed in Florida. Work to go to, boxes to unpack, errands to run, St. Augustine grass to mow, oh, and of course rain...all that fun stuff has kept me pretty much off the water.

That said, I guess it was last Thursday...so a week ago, I thought I'd go out and explore one of the larger (reclaimed water) ponds in and around our community after work.  

Oh, and since it wasn't really that far from my house, I *gasp* even broke out my 10 year old lead-weight P.O.S. mountain bike (that I've probably rode a dozen times total) and biked oh, all of 10 or 15 minutes to the spot.  Yea for physical fitness!

Mongoose...much cooler in BMX flavor

When I got there, the fishing was really slow to start.  The water was much shallower than I thought and I wasn't really seeing many signs of life.  But then the sun started to go down...and then the fish got active....

Bluegill, bass, bluegill, bass, bluegill...it went on like that for about 20 or 30 minutes, every other cast, until the mosquitoes figured out I was there, after I had sweated off the bug spray that had been protecting me to that point.

It was all downhill from there, and not liking "insect kisses," extremely prudent to pack it in and pedal my butt back to safety.  

Those freakin' mosquitoes can bite me...  Well...maybe that's the wrong insult to send their way...but you know what I mean...

June 25, 2013

Gear Review: Dorcy 134 Lumen Spot Beam Headlight

Headlights, headlamps, frickin' laser beams attached to our heads, whatever you want to call them...you know what I'm talkin about, one of these:

I was contacted back in February (yes it was that long ago) to do a review for a new headlamp from Dorcy. That was before my life got turned upside down and I had to worry about packing, moving, and all that fun stuff...  Anyway, I've been able to spend some quality time with the Dorcy 41-2097 134 Lumen Headlight, and I figured it was probably an appropriate time to post a review of this little bugger.

But first, the specs, provided by the Dorcy website...
The new 41-2097 lightweight headlight is loaded with features and brightness. The small headlight produces 134 lumen of light output in a spot beam. With 12 hours of run time and 3 brightness modes makes this headlight the perfect light. Weighing in at only 2.9 ounces with batteries this light will not feel heavy after wearing it for hours. 3 brightness modes. Full power, half power and strobe mode this light will meet all of your needs.

Sounds awesome, right?  But I know, I know, you're saying "Shut up Dumbo, get to the point - how does it work???"

So here's the deal...this little thing is great.  I mean it's a headlamp, just like a lot of others, but it's really bright, and the controls are laid out well.  There's a nice sized rubberized button on the top that allows you to turn it on easily, and cycle through the settings - high beam, low beam, strobe beam (for when you're clubbin' yo!), and off.  Just like this...

The light also tilts down in 4 different positions, each denoted by a distinctive "click."  I like this part a lot.  I'm told it's a 50 degree adjustment, just like moving from Philadelphia to Florida.

There's a comfortable adjustable headstrap, nothing fancy, the kind you'd find on a pair of sports goggles or something with the large plastic sliding buckle for a secure, custom fit.  Bigheads fear not, I'm pretty sure it will fit your watermelon-sized noggins.

As far as batteries go, that might be the only negative.  It takes 3 AAA batteries (included)....what!?!  I'd imagine that might add to the size and weight of the unit a bit.  I've used other headlights in the past that used those quarter-sized (albeit harder to find) batteries.

Also, the sliding battery door is a little bit on the cheap plastic side.  Actually the whole gadget is made out of plastic, but all feels solid, except the door.  Whatever. I'm nitpicking.

While I had hoped to use this headlamp to go night (or early morning) fishing, it never really happened.  Instead, I've found myself using it around the house more than anything.

For example, when I first moved to Jacksonville, it was night time, and lighting in my new backyard is poor.  I drove down with my dog and well...he had to do his business.  Not wanting to leave unwanted parcels in the grass, I utilized the bright, focused, spot beam to you know, do my picking up.

Going forward I plan on keeping the headlamp in my fishing pack at all times.  It's rumored to be weather resistant, so unless I dunk it, I figure we should be all good, even if one of those freakishly sporadic Florida rain showers descend on my assault upon the suburban ponds of Longleaf Pine Parkway.

At $24.00, don't be cheap, get one (or even two) HERE.  Toss it in your fishing bag, glove compartment, or store with your dog's leash.  Or just do what I do and wear it around the house turned on constant strobe mode and annoy your wife.  It'll come in handy one of these days (when she kicks you out in the middle of the night), I promise you...

The Dorcy 41-2097 134 Lumen Spot Beam Headlight tested in this product review was provided to me at no cost, but carries a retail price of $24.00. I currently hold no association whatsoever with Dorcy or Mark, the gentleman who contacted me for the review and probably would have never sent me these things if he knew it would have taken 4 months to post this lame review.

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 probably not write a post and tell the manufacturer my opinion of their hot mess directly outside of this blog. It ain't in my interest to steer you wrong, so why waste the time writing a post doing so?

June 22, 2013

The New VEDAVOO Shoulder Pack

It's here...it's finally here!

The Vedavoo Shoulder Pack

Today, Vedavoo unveiled their new Shoulder Pack, a bag I've eagerly looked forward to for some time.  Why do I like this bag so much?

First off, it's a shoulder bag, a fishing "man purse" if you will.  It's not a chest pack and it's not a backpack or slingpack...it rests comfortable along your side or small of your back...which I've always liked, especially when fishing light, like with tenkara gear.

Second, and what might be more fun, is that Scott Hunter from Vedavoo actually asked me for some input on the design.  Crazy, right?

A look into the mad scientist brain of Scott

Some things I suggested adding (although Scott is the sewing & design genius, not me) were the loops to horizontally store a tenkara rod (or tube), some buckle & daisy chain placements, and probably most importantly, the big ass pocket in the back...which in original design, all of that prime real estate was going to go to waste!

From Vedavoo Website:
Designed with support from Troutrageous!, the Shoulder Pack is designed to wear over one shoulder and at your side, pushed to the back, or pulled to the front. Designed for ambidextrous use, and built for use with our Interchange Pouches to maximize versatility.

Check it out when you get a chance.  At $99, it's not gonna break the bank, and if you don't like it, blame me, not Vedavoo.  They make quality, durable products in the USA that withstand the rigors of all you can throw at them!

June 15, 2013


Motherfu*cker hacked me and didn't even have the decency to send out a link to porn...

Yeah, I haven't been on a computer in the Seychelles lately.

So I apologize if you received an email from me around 11:30ish this morning with an odd looking link.  And if you did, don't click it.

Although I did find it funny that the hacker sent SPAM to the Blogger "autopublish" email address...which created a (since deleted) blog post, Facebook post, Tweet, etc....  Oh how my social media life is so intertwined...

June 11, 2013

Tenkara Fest 2013 - Yukata & Sugegasa Optional?

I wonder if the Japanese wear "traditional" American Cowboy hats & Wrangler blue jeans (or whatever the heck Brits wear) when they teach Fly Fishing...  Something tells me no.

Courtesy the TFO Blog.

June 7, 2013

My Apologies...OK, Not Really...

Sorry I haven't posted in a while.  Have been totally consumed by this move...it's pretty much "go time."  I hate cardboard boxes, and I can't say I'm looking forward to the 13 hour drive down with the dog next Thursday, but I digress...

The Jacksonville Estate was officially purchased last Tuesday.  Yay!

While I haven't been fishing, I've been lining up some fishy things...so here are some posts to look forward to (?) in what I'd like to say upcoming days, but more likely upcoming weeks once the family gets settled in Jacksonville.

1)  I ordered some crap from TenkaraBum the other day.  Chris Stewart is a good dude, if you haven't visited his site, do yourself a favor.  Anyway, going to give the whole eyeless Tenkara fly thing a try.  Will probably make a video of the experiment.  Also might as well tie up something with that blue yarn he threw in the envelope and go catch me a redfish with it or something.

2)  Redington is sending me one of their new 8-weight Vapen rods to test out when I get down to Florida.  Now I'm no expert on 8-weights, but I just want to check out the fancy red synthetic grip.  Is the grip just a marketing gimmick?  Beats me, but you know I won't bullshit you.

Redington Vapen

3)  When I was last in Jacksonville, I stopped by Black Fly Outfitters to see what was what.  I'm pretty psyched to take their "Learn to Fly Fish in Northeast Florida" class with Captain Randy Lanier...because to be honest, I'm going to be sooooooooooo lost...

Anyway, that's it for now.  Will probably be quiet for another week or so, especially once my internet service is cancelled in Pennsylvania.  In the meantime, maybe we'll cross paths on a social network or somewhere easily accessible by smartphone.  In any event, talk to you all in a bit...