Who Doesn’t Need A Fiberglass Rod Tube?

The newly released light blue fiberglass rod tube by Blue Halo is a real winner. Definitely unique and stands out when carrying an awesome Blue Halo rod around. Check them out at the link below and for $50 you really can’t go wrong owning one.

https://bluehalogear.com/produ…/rod-tube-4-piece-fiberglass…

Fall Gear Review Trip To Southern Colorado

First fall review trip coming up in two weeks from today. Heading out to Southern Colorado to the Trinidad/Weston area. We will be fishing the Purgatorie River, Blue Lake, Bear Lake and any small streams we can find. We are still compiling all the gear we will be taking to review so I’ll post closer to the time we leave.

This review trip will be my first time to use the Hipcamp app for booking a place to camp. It’s a great website / app if you haven’t checked it out yet. You can also look at my post about Hipcamp last week. Hipcamp provides a way for people to find private land owners that invite campers to use their land for a very small fee. We have picked out Steve C’s El Casa Allegre in the beautiful High Country of Southern Colorado. Steve has been over the top helpful with booking and giving advice on fishing locations. Steve is also reaching out to land owners on the Purgatorie River for permission for us to fish since we are doing reviews.

Steve and his wife describe on their Hipcamp post, we have 35+ acres of beautiful pine trees and large rock outcroppings and also open meadows to camp in. We have a common open kitchen area and also a common bathhouse. Come enjoy the clean air of 8,000’ and enjoy some fishing, hiking, riding or just plain relaxing.

Sounds like a great place to me and only $20 per tent site per night and that’s for 2 people. Additional people are an extra $5 per night.

More gear information prior to leaving and reviews and pictures once we are on the water.

The Cool World Of Hipcamp. An Alternative To The Public Campgrounds.

A lot of you have probably heard about Hipcamp but more than likely a lot haven’t.. In a world of vacation homes for rent littered all over sites like AirBNB, VRBO, HomeAway and others there really hasn’t been a place for people dedicated to camping. Until Hipcamp.. With a vision to change the way people camp, founder Alyssa Ravasio went about mapping all the public lands in the United States. Ummm. That in itself sounds like an amazingly difficult undertaking but she and Co-founder Eric Bach did it. Then it moved to private lands and this is what grabbed my attention when I ran across Hipcamp a few weeks ago.

From the Hipcamp website:

Hipcamp is everywhere you want to camp. Discover unique experiences on ranches, nature preserves, farms, vineyards, and public campgrounds across the U.S. Book tent camping, treehouses, cabins, yurts, primitive backcountry sites, car camping, airstreams, tiny houses, RV camping, glamping tents and more.

Camping is somewhat challenging when trying to book public campsites. You don’t know what you are really going to get or who you are going to be around. It doesn’t really feel like camping when you set up camp and an hour later Axl Rose and his band drop anchor 15 feet from you and start the night of partying. That’s not the kind of camping I want to do. I like dark, quiet places where you can sit back, relax and look at the stars and just enjoy being somewhere dead silent. So when I started searching Hipcamp and found numerous private land owners willing to open their land for near nothing in payment it caught my attention. Not only would there be a land owner nearby in most cases but the thought of being on private land adds a small level of safety that you don’t get at a public campground. At this point I was sold….

For a few days I spent a lot of time searching Hipcamp for locations I wanted to be testing gear over the next 6 months. I signed up for a free account and started saving my favorites. Then I ran into someone I knew and was telling them about my new awesome discovery. They asked if I had heard of Tentrr? I said no and thought to myself… Crap.. what is Tentrr and how could I have spent all this time and there might be something better than Hipcamp. I started my research and quickly realized Hipcamp is far better. Instead of asking you to believe me here are a few numbers to back up my opinion. Looking at the Tentrr site they list 3 states on their sites main page. New York, Maine and California. I decided to search all three states on both platforms since those must be their go to states with the most campsites.

New York
Tentrr – 273
Hipcamp – 600+

Maine
Tentrr – 86
Hipcamp – 100+

California
Tentrr – 42
Hipcamp – 300+

Then I looked up my home state Oklahoma
Tentrr – 1 (seriously just 1 ????)
Hipcamp – 83

At this point my research and comparison was done. Waste of time. So back to researching my upcoming gear review trips was back on at Hipcamp. I’m happy to say I have my spots picked out and will get them booked closer to the dates.

So, if you love to camp and love the outdoors, do yourself a favor and sign up for Hipcamp. Download the app or use the website. Whatever your preference just do it and you won’t be sorry. And shhhhh… dont tell the Hipcamp people I used their logo on my post!!

Now quit reading and get outdoors !!

A Light Inside A Hydration Bladder? – The Hydrolight 2L Back Country Lantern.

Hydrolight Outdoor Gear – 2L Backcountry Lantern – $45

Over the weekend I tested out the newly released 2L Backcountry Lantern by Hydrolight Outdoor Gear and I have to say I was overly impressed. You might be thinking… oh it’s just another hydration bladder but it really isn’t. The premise behind it is a hydration bladder with a small zippered waterproof pocket in the back so you can insert a headlamp, small flashlight or anything that lights up. When filled with water and the light turned on it diffuses the light and will really light up a small space like a tent.

After using multiple hydration packs in the past the Hydrolight holds its own in build quality. They are produced with great components and you can tell the minute you open the packaging. Highly impressed and at $45 it seems like a pretty good deal.

Round one I used water and it worked perfectly.

Round two I could probably be considered an idiot and put 7 cans of carbonated drink into the pack. Fast forward 10 minutes bouncing around in a boat and it expanded like a balloon. But… it held it’s own and never had a problem. Released the air and back to normal.

Overall it’s a great hydration pack and doubles as a lantern. Well worth the $45 in my opinion. All the people I was with thought it was a really cool product and asked where to pick one up. If I had one piece of advice for the people at Hydrolight Outdoor Gear it would be to offer some type of backpack type holder for the bladder like other manufacturers. I say this because I used it during the day as well when a light wasn’t needed and to be able to throw it on your back would be great. I’m sure this is in the works but that is honestly the only thing I would add or change.

Like I said this is a fairly new company so check them out and know if you pick one up you are getting a high quality product.

www.hydrolightoutdoorgear.com

Guest Review Of The Tenkara Rod Co. – The Sawtooth.

Today we have our first guest reviewer with a look at the Tenkara Rod Co. Sawtooth Rod. Having fished with Chris in the past I value his opinion and know he will tell it the way it is. Thanks Chris McIntire for taking the Sawtooth with you on your last trip to Colorado and we appreciate your review!

The Sawtooth Package retails on the website for $179.00 and comes with the Sawtooth 12’ rod, rod sock and tube, line, spool, 3 hand tied flies and some 5x tippet. Everything you need to get fishing.

Chris McIntire – Tenkara Rod Co – Sawtooth Rod Review

I’ve been excited to try Tenkara fishing for some time. If you’re like me, it’s hard to pick a rod over my favorites. I hate missing a fish because I’m not familiar with the gear! But this Sawtooth rod from Tenkara Rod Co. was simple to set up and get into action.

First thing: Incredible portability – easier to transport than ANY other rod I’ve owned or used. I backpacked this in it’s tube and the small satchel that holds the line and bugs.

Second: Easy set up. From opening the tube to first cast was only minutes. Rod expands quickly, tied leader into rod tip with simply loop, Tippet (included) tied with clinch knot on tippet ring and then the bug tied on too….casting in minutes.

Elegance is simple effectiveness and the Sawtooth accomplishes that in minutes.

I landed this beautiful trout on my second cast so what else is there to say? It simply works!

As I was casting I had a few thoughts. I would want at least two of these rods at different lengths for different types of water. With this sort of pricing, that’s easy to afford. The 12 foot length gives a great reach and I would want to have a shorter one to complement this one and pop them out as needed. (the set up is so fast, it would take NO time…)

I used the included tippet and found it to be a bit brittle when I tied the bug on and test tugged the line – no problem, I just grabbed my own spool and was catching fish in minutes.

I also caught this fish on the included dry fly to be able to give an “honest” review – so you can know if you get this Sawtooth Rod from Tenkara Rod Co. – you have everything you need to catch trout.

Obviously the entire world of flies is open to use but this kit is ready to roll and certified dangerous on the water as is! Thank you Bryan Pearson for introducing me to Tenkara and thank you Tenkara Rod Co. for the use of the rod! I highly recommend! ~Chris McIntire

The HELLbender Tenkara Rod by DRAGONtail Tenkara.

Quick trip to the lake this past weekend and tried out my new DRAGONtail HELLbender Tenkara Rod.. I didn’t have a lot of time to throw the line but was incredibly pleased with how it performed… but anything DRAGONtail Tenkara puts out is a winner! If you haven’t fished Tenkara before – Pick up a DRAGONtail Tenkara rod soon and give it a try… if you do fish Tenkara but haven’t fished a DRAGONtail rod head over to their website and and check them out. And lastly.. if you already own a DRAGONtail rod pick up another one. You know you need another Tenkara rod!! I’m going to be fishing the HELLbender a couple more times in the next week or so and will do a more in-depth review.

Also.. DRAGONtail is part of Moonlit Fly Fishing and from what I saw on Moonlit’s FB page they are getting ready to get a big batch of their Lunar S-GLASS Fly Rods. Website shows the regular price is $224.99 but they are currently on sale for pre-order for only $159.99. I would imagine that type of discount won’t last long so head over quick to take advantage of it. The glass rods look to come in 2wt-8wt. I will probably be picking up an 8wt once I nail down my trip to Argentina to fish for Golden Dorado!

Moonlit Fly Fishing website – www.moonlitflyfishing.com

Drop Brent a line and from my experience he will be happy to answer any questions you may have about both DRAGONtail and Moonlit products. Great guy with a great line of fly fishing gear.

Check back in a couple weeks for a full review of the HELLbender!

The DRAGONtail ShadowFire 365 Tenkara Rod

Review of the DRAGONtail ShadowFire 365. Tenkara Fishing is new to me and not what I have done in regards to fly fishing for the past 20 years. The things that gets me is the no reel aspect of Tenkara but the simplicity of it is fantastic. I decided to jump into it and reached out to Brent at DRAGONtail Tenkara for some information and guidance. If you are looking for someone that is incredibly knowledgeable and willing to answer loads and loads of questions Brent is your guy to get in touch with. I couldn’t be happier.

The fishing we were doing was incredibly difficult in tiny streams with sometimes massive amounts of grass growing waist high and hanging over the stream itself. See the pictures of the stream I’m talking about and you will understand. When looking at the stream I knew there was absolutely no chance using a traditional casting technique but rather drop and drift. This is where the Tenkara excelled.

So backing up… when the Tenkara arrived it was nicely packaged and came with a great rod sock, rod tube and everything I needed to give Tenkara a shot. What I love about the Rod is that it collapses into itself and makes transport much easier than a traditional rod. You tie on a leader – furled was my choice and then some tippet. Once you are done fishing hook the fly into the small spool and start wrapping the tippet and then leader around. Once wrapped up slide the spoil down the rod and you are ready to go. Nothing to it.

When fishing this tiny stream (pictured) the strategy I used was utilize the 12’ length of the Shadowfire rod. The fish were very spooky and you needed to stay away from the edge of the stream and hidden. I was crawling in my knees and then when still far enough away I would use the 12’ rod to hold it above the water and gently lower the fly, tippet and leader gently into the stream. The current of the stream would take the fly the length of the leader and tippet and then once at the end I would lift and place again. Working with any other Rod wouldn’t have worked as I would have been too close to the water. The Shadowfire worked perfectly and I couldn’t be happier.

Back to the rod itself.. for a $99 rod setup it can’t be beat and especially for someone new to Tenkara fishing. How can you go wrong with a $99 investment into something totally new but still in the area of something you love – Fly Fishing. So with that being said. I can’t recommend Brent and DRAGONtail Tenkara enough. Great company, great products and great customer support from Brent. Guarantee you will be pleased with your purchase. Drop Brent a line and I’m sure he will be happy to answer any questions you have.

Also… Brent also is part of Moonlit Fly Fishing and happens to make some of the greatest Furled Leaders around. I have written a review of his furled leaders a week ago so check that review out as well.

Next up.. I need to pick up a 13’ DRAGONtail HELLbender Zoom Rod for those lake and pond fishing days chasing big large mouth bass !!

Bright Red Blue Halo 8′ 5wt By Terry’s Custom Rods

Next up – an absolutely beautiful Blue Halo 8’ 5wt Fiberglass Fly Rod by Terry’s Custom Rods.. What can I say except wow.. it’s an amazing Fly Rod and the bright red color is stunning to say the least. The slow to moderate action of this fiberglass rod makes you slow your casting down and allowed for great accuracy and being able to lay down a small hopper exactly where I wanted it to some incredibly spooky browns. While in New Mexico on our review trip the water we were fishing was narrow and tight with over hanging grass so I didn’t really have the opportunity to really put the rod to a full long casting test but the type of fishing I did do it performed perfectly. Once I got back I threw an Abel reel on the rod and took it out and got an opportunity to see what it could do with distance. Once again it didn’t disappoint. Like I said previously it is a slow to moderate Rod so you really have to be patient and slow the cast down but it’s buttery smooth and it’s definitely a keeper. I’m definitely going to take it out in 2-3 weeks again to throw some big poppers at some large mouth and see how it performs giving it a true workout. So… all in all it’s a fantastic rod and if you are in the market for a fiberglass rod give Terry a shout and get him to put one together for you. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed in the rod or your interaction with Terry. He’s a class act and does great work. Check out @Terry’s Custom Rods on FB…

Grizzly Coolers – Review of the Kenai 65

It’s cooler review time. The coolers arrived after we returned from our fly fishing and outdoor product review trip so we didn’t get an opportunity to review while on the trip but this past weekend we tested the KENAI 65 in a much harsher area than we would have had in New Mexico… the test took place at Lake Tenkiller in Eastern Oklahoma. We left the house on Friday afternoon and loaded down the KENAI 65 with lots of cans and bottles of drinks and ready for a weekend in the water. What makes the test more extreme is that New Mexico was a nighttime low of 55 degrees and the highs during the day were low to mid 80’s.. the KENAI didn’t get that type of mild weather in Oklahoma. The low was hot and the high was scorching hot – 101 on Saturday.

Like I said we pulled out with a loaded KENAI 65 around 2:00 PM on Friday and dropped two bags of ice in the cooler and drinks. The cooler was inside of an SUV and we arrived at the lake 2.5 hours later with a full cooler of ice. I would hope this would be the case. We dropped the cooler off on the dock in the 95+ degree temps and as the sun started going down it was directly hitting the cooler for hours. I thought for sure this would melt the ice.

The cooler was opened and closed and opened and closed over and over again during the day and evening. End of Friday and really only a half day – Cooler still full of ice and no need to add any. We left the cooler on the dock all night where the temperatures never dropped below 85 degrees.

Saturday morning… got to the dock and opened the cooler – full of ice.. as the day went on and on the cooler was opened and closed numerous times. Full day in the 100 degree temps with no relief from the heat. The cooler was a trooper! Last half of the day the cooler was once again bombarded by direct sunlight and the heat. End of the cooler we definitely should be adding ice – opened the cooler and NOPE.. the ice was starting to melt but it had plenty.

Left the cooler on the dock again Saturday night in the heat.

Sunday morning – opened the cooler and still had ice.. although it was starting to get down to ice and water it was still amazingly cold and easily keeping the drinks cold. All day Sunday the cooler was opened and closed as usual numerous times.. by Sunday afternoon the cooler was again in the direct sunlight and amazing heat. Car showed 103 degrees. At 3:00 PM it was time to bring the test to an end and see what we had left. Shockingly 48 over hours later we still had some ice left and everything was still cold.

50 hours and 2 bags of ice and everything was still cold. Truly amazing.

The KENAI 65 easily surpassed my expectations and this cooler is definitely priced much lower than coolers that are equal or lesser coolers. Currently the website shows a retail price of $299.99 but on sale now for $249.99. You won’t find a better cooler at that price point.

So… get over to the Kenai website and pick up a cooler. You won’t be disappointed. Link to the different coolers below. The Kenai line is manufactured by Grizzly Coolers.

Next up – Review of the giant Grizzly 165 Cooler !! Check back in a week for the results!

https://www.grizzlycoolers.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=Kenai

Great coolers Grizzly !!!

Grizzly 165 and Kenai 65 Coolers – Built Like A Battleship

In the mail yesterday came a couple coolers from Grizzly.. pics are of the first cooler and the largest one I picked up – the Grizzly 165 retailing for $499.99 on their website. They come in the pictured tan that I got and white is the other option available. After unboxing I noticed these coolers are solid, heavy and well built. The closures are easy to use and seem to be manufactured to last a while. The sides are equipped with very sturdy rubber handles.

The second cooler is Grizzly’s other line – Kenai. I picked up a Kenai 65 cooler in tan as well. Website shows full retail as $299.99 with a sale price as of the time of the post of $229.99. This cooler comes in far more colors than the larger Grizzly 165 which is expected. Colors are: Grey, Lime Green, Deep Green, Orange, Red, Sandstone type color, Mint Green, Tan, Aqua and White.. great color selection. The Kenai 65 is built just about like the Grizzly – they seem to be nice high quality coolers. Impressed so far.

I haven’t tested them yet but will this weekend and will post a full write up. So far I’m impressed with the build quality but as we all know it comes down to the ice.. I’ll post the results on Sunday evening.

You can check out the coolers on the Grizzly Coolers Website of:

www.grizzlycoolers.com

For Kenai Coolers do a search on the Grizzly website and they will come up. Check back Sunday evening for a full review.