December 3, 2020

Vicuna Dubbing - Brent's Blends

 As I've been tying since the early 1970's, I've used a lot of dubbing. When I first started tying, I would harvest my own dubbing fur at the end of a shotgun, or harvest it from some unfortunate animal who lost a duel with a passing motorist. Ah, those were the days! Fortunately, I don't have to do that anymore. 

In the 1980's, along came hare's ear dubbing. It was nice to buy it in pre-processed packets, but I never really liked dubbing with hare's ear. It's a pain to work with. So, when synthetics and artisanal dubbings came along in the 1990's, I was completely onboard. Needless to say, I've gathered a lot of dubbing over the years. I've organized many of them into a dubbing book, using an old photo album. Hey, it works for me!

But I recently went to see Brent at DRAGONtail Tenkara. He asked if I'd like to try some of this new fangled dubbing that's causing quite a stir. It's called Vicuna Dubbing. Jason Klass has used it, and seemed to like it, so I thought I'd give it a try. If Jason likes it, it can't be all that bad, right?

The Vicuna Dubbing that I obtained is a group of blends that Brent has personally put together. There are two separate blend packages, labeled Brent's Soft Hackle Selection #1 and #2. The selected colors are vibrant and uniform. The hair is soft and moderately long. It adheres well without dubbing wax and is easy to spin onto the thread. It also responds well to a dubbing loop, making an excellent dubbing noodle. 

I tied a number of flies using the color selections, both thorax and whole abdomens. This is excellent dubbing! I particularly like the UV variations that sparkle. I like that the dubbing is not course or rough, making it difficult to spin. I also like the length of the hair fibers. 

I hate the term "buggy" when describing dubbing on a fly, but Vicuna Dubbing fits that description really well. It really does looks "buggy". In short, this is great stuff!

So, my conclusion is that I like this dubbing! It has a lot of positive characteristics and not any negatives. If you tie your own flies, get some of this dubbing! I know you'll be impressed!

November 29, 2020

Cold Weather Browns - November 27, 2020

 I did a little fishing the day after Thanksgiving for brown trout. It was cold outside! It seems that the winters get colder as I get older! But, the fishing was moderately good (good enough to keep me going) and it was good just to be outside! 

I used bead head flies, since the trout were right on the bottom. I started with a bead head purple Psycho Prince, then changed to a grey Mop Fly, and ended with a black bead head Ishigaki kebari. They all took fish. 

November 25, 2020

Cold fingers? Try Rock Fish Thermo Gloves!

 I've got all sorts of winter fishing gloves. I've got cheap ones, expensive ones, neoprene ones, Gortex ones, thin ones and thick ones, on and on and on. They all seem to have their own upsides and thier downsides. But because I fish all winter long, I'm always on the hunt for a better glove. 

Recently, I bought a pair of Cordova Rock Fish, Fish Wrangler Thermo gloves. I had seen advertisements for these gloves, that they're warm and waterproof, but I was most impressed that they were inexpensive. They retail for $15! Some of the features include: 

  • Non-Slip Latex Grip
  • Fully Coated & Waterproof
  • Warm, Double Thermal Lining
  • Salt & Fresh-Water Fishing
  • Size: M-XL

I bought my pair (for $10) from Sun State Industrial Supply and I've been wearing them during my outings this winter. 

Here's what I've found. They seem true to size. I wear a size XL glove, and these fit perfectly without binding or bagging. They keep my hands warm, without sweating. The inner lining doesn't stick to my fingers, and when I take the glove off, the inner fleece lining doesn't pull out. The grip on the fish is quite impressive; not slippery at all (unlike some of my neoprene gloves). Finally, they keep my hands dry, as long as I don't submerge my hands in above my wrists. 

Dexterity with these gloves is actually pretty good, not like bare hands, but pretty good. The other day, I actually tied #14 kebari onto my tippet without removing the gloves. I did this not only once, but each time I change flies (I was catching too many fish. I had to find a fly that wouldn't work). 

There is one potential downside, though. I have a contact latex allergy. I developed this after decades of wearing latex gloves for surgery. Rock Fish Thermo gloves have a latex, not nitrile, coating. But since that coating doesn't contact my skin, I've not have any issues. 

What do I think? I like them! They are warm, dry, not slippery, and inexpensive. I think I'll be using them most of the time this winter! 

November 9, 2020

Need a BIG Power Tenkara rod? Shimano BG Tenkara 48 NV!

 Shimano is releasing a new rod that some of you might be interested in. It's 4.8 meters in length, and is designed for big water and big fish. 

Here is a link to Shimano's information page. BG Tenkara 48 NV 

Looks interesting! But at 4.8 meters it might just need two hands! It looks like Dr. Ishigaki and Shimano are ready to break the "Japanese tenkara is for small fish" mold!