Raspberryfisher's Blog

notes on fishing & travel

Home Hardware ~ shrinkflation

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In the 80s, when Judy and I lived in the Annex (Toronto), we used the Home Hardware store on Bloor. It was small and amazing what they had in there. The tools we bought then are still in use today, as quality tools.

But with time, as Home Hardware chased the Walmart model of “rollback the price”, we have seen and experience rollback the quality. Though this is a trend that we all have seen appliances, et cetera, it is a trend I try not to get sucked into.  So, we learnt to not buy tape, hand-tools and now screws at Home Hardware, and hence, we infrequently go there.

I keep a stock of Robertson #8 and #10 Wood Screws at hand in bins (from 3/4″ to 3″), and buy in bulk (100+). Here are two screws bought at Home Hardware recently (on the left) and a decade ago (on the right).

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The two threads on the recent screws – what is important to hold your work together – are poorly formed, misshapen and the second thread is nearly non-existent. Seriously, is this any better than a spiral nail?

Oh yes, it is smaller and with less metal. If you put it on a fine scale, you will find the new “wood” screw is 12% lighter (less – shrinkflation)!

So, a cautionary tale – beware of companies passing on poor materials, as they chase Walmart – versus differentiating themselves as a supplier of good materials.
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Written by raspberryfisher

2018/06/02 at 21:11

Posted in Life in the back

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Guideline RSi 11wt Review

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I posted earlier my admiration for the Scott Meridan, but included a picture of a newer Guideline RSi 11wt (which was funded by frequent flyer miles). I deferred any comment, until such time I got some real-time fishing, and now I believe this rod has seen enough water for me to make some valid comments.

In summary:

  • A good 10wt rod that lets you feel well into the cast (bends) with a fast recovery that enables you to hold tight loops as you cast into the saltwater wind.
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  • I can quickly load the rod – within 2 false casts from the deck of a boat – shoot the line and consistently hit my target at 70′.
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  • I will keep it available for throwing large flies for pike or use it on the salt as a 10wt tarpon rod, (<40lbs), permit rod, et cetera ….
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  • I will keep available the following 10wt lines, using a Dianelsson L5W 8twelve reel, with
    • RIO Coldwater QuickShooter with Intermediate Tip
    • Guideline 3D Pike Taper – FHI
    • Cortland Tarpon 10wt

Supporting notes:

The rod is light and it *BENDS*, but this does not mean it is slow. It has a very nice quick recovery, but I found the 3 11wt lines too much weight with a strong cast (double-haul) into the wind, as I was constantly “hitting” the butt on the backcast (id est, over-extending the rod), and thus losing energy and accuracy in the cast.

I have tried multiple 11 wt lines from Monic, Airflo Tropic Punch and RIO Tarpon and all felt heavy, unless you kept the casts short. After which, I put on the 10wt lines – Guideline Pike and RIO CostalShooter XP.

Beyond design decisions, such as making lines heavy, there are always variances in production – rods and lines – I am not surprised or disappointed. Thus, I note spend the additional effort to ensure I have a good match.

With cork applied being lower grade, requiring filler was the one disappointment on the cosmetics, but otherwise the build quality and component selection is fine.

I did like the mesh bag, as it allows the rod to dry and consumes little space in multi-rod carrier.

Value:

As of today – May 7, 2018

  • Guideline RSi from Rheal Pitre – 650 CDN
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  • Scott Meridan from Bears Den – 865USD or 1115 CDN
  • Scott Tidal from Bears Den – 495 USD or 638 CDN
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  • Sage Motive from Bears Den – 499 USD or 643 CDN
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  • G Loomis – Asquith – L’Ami Du Moucheur – 1550 CDN
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  • Temple Fork BVK – – L’Ami Du Moucheur – 393 CDN

It is light and fast and makes a good 10wt rod, properly priced.

Will I keep the rod at hand?  Absolutely yes!

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Written by raspberryfisher

2018/05/08 at 04:35

Posted in Fly-Fishing, Saltwater

Albums please

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Okay, I earlier announced my migration from iTunes to albums given the complexity-inconsistency of the application of digital-rights as time moves on. In the past week, I have found another reason – I like listening to albums, as I walk-run.

So I finally getting back to a balance life and getting to spend time doing some long-distance walk with limited running.  My cardio is hanging in, but my leg muscles need some work. So after my 7th consecutive day, I am finding I prefer to take my 60+ minutes pushing my body listening to an album that is well-strung together, such as

  • Chris de Burgh – Spanish Train or Crusader
  • Alan Parson Project – Eve, I Robot

I still think (suspect) great albums are being made, but as the focus has shifted to tunes, I am not sure the same focus is on a theme for many album, but a collection of pop songs.

So I need to rethink-return to Album listening and build a new library, that appreciates well crafted albums.

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Todays’ work-out in Johannesburg.

Oh yes, I really enjoy listening to many classical pieces, especially some of the more modern interpretative work – think Quiet City by Aaron Copland – but it is not music for me to walk-run hard to.

Same for Oscar Peterson, enjoying listening to it, but not when pushing myself.

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Written by raspberryfisher

2018/04/24 at 23:15

Snowdrops and Raindrops

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Raindrop_DSC1901.

Written by raspberryfisher

2018/04/09 at 16:51

Posted in Uncategorized

Buy CDs > my disenchanted with music downloads

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 After several years, actually more than a decade, of using iTunes, I have returned to return to buying CDs, and ignore the iTunes store as if it does not exist. Fortunately for classical music, Arkiv Music remains.

For popular music, I will rely upon second-hand stores or buy direct from the artist.

Hint, I recommend Danny Michel’s Khlebnikov.

Danny Michel IMG_1439

With 400+ CDs, and playlists that span hours, I am not looking to buy *much* more music, as such I am far from making a dent in lost revenue.

So what are my experiences that has me walked away? The changing digital rights and application policies, were any playlist or music that I select may or may not be available, when I am in a plane or out in the plains of Africa. The model is US centric, assumes we all have access to high speed internet and will use the same device for 5 decades.  Heck – I am near a major high-tech center and I am thank you when the medium speed internet is up and Apple only supports their devices for 3-4 years.

It can be what I downloaded ten years ago is no longer transferrable, as I exceed the limited number of transfer rights, after replacing yet another cell-phone.  So yes, I have now had to buy the song twice. This was compounded by the having change my email address, as my mail server from ten years is no longer online.  So yes, I have had to buy songs twice.

Or sometimes it just does not play, and then for some unknown reason later it will! (I have s3 Erik Satie piano pieces that are available less than 1/2 time I want to hear them, so there is a useless 3$ investment).  So why is it available less than 1/2 time I am want to hear it?  Does it re-authenticate my rights? Is it dependent on my last check is within a time period, or I must have an active connection and be logged into Apple. I do not know and I do not want to spend my time trying to debug the limits being imposed.

In short, I will buy the music – on media, so I can listen to it, without the hassle imposed by any company. I am not wanting to sell it, or give it away, I just want to be able to listen to it, for my interest, when I want to.

Goodbye iTunes and goodbye digital new right policies, as this experiment is dead.

Hallelujah!

CD IMG_1437

I will continue with PodCasts, which have not impose the restrictions.

I will continue using my small iPod, so I can listen to the radio, podcasts or music when I fishing, in a plane or relaxing after a journey.

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Written by raspberryfisher

2018/04/04 at 23:38

DIY – Bonefish Exumas

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One of the flies that got a lot of attention, our Polar Gotcha.

polar gotcha IMG_1328

Some do it yourself, hints and ideas for bonefishing in the Exumas.

Guides – Recommendation – Garth Thompson

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One of the two doubles that Garth got us into, and I believe this was Judy’s best fish of the trip.

I still believe in guides, to help you understand the fish, water, how to see, the water, et cetera. So with this, I can highly recommend Garth Thompson whose instructions are well timed, his directions clear and his sight is amazing.

Guides – NOT – Stevie

Stevie (bonefishstevie) – In a display of territorial aggression Stevie charged me in his boat at speed, I was on my feet on the flats so I was at a significant disadvantage. Once the unfriendly encounter was done, he roared out, ensuring our spot was ruined for the day.

Judy’s note, “he is probably a good guide, but just not a good person”.  See TripAdvisor, but, please note Bahamas regulations limit the number of people on a guide’s boat to 2.

stevie review

Enough said, but I dislike negative reviews, but several indicated it was worth noting on this occasion.

Next time when I see a boat charging me, get the camera out, video tape and post it on YouTube.

Kayak or SUP

Yes, a kayak will substantially improve your access, as often there is a deep channel at the shore, before it opens up the cays and flats. In our case, the channel in front of our stay in the middle of the Airport Flats is walkable, though deep.

In the past, I have found kayak’s painful – literally – and this was no exception. Next time, I am bringing an iSUP.

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The view from our front step, as the sun rises at high tide.

Logistics – Car – a necessity

Simple: Berlies Car Rentals and if you are looking for a larger car to move kayaks, consider a Jeep and bring your own ropes.

Berlies is located just outside the airport, they will pickup you as you exit the small airport and drop you off.

Logistics – Flights

The Exumas is an out-island, so the infrastructure is downsized. Daily flights from southern Florida or Nassau are present, but otherwise few long-haul flights are available.

In our case, we flew in by Air Canada from Toronto (that comes in-out on every Saturday) to George Town on a small jet. To make the early morning flight out easy with reduce risk (de-icing, weather), we arrive the night before and stay in Toronto (at the Airport Alt Hotel).

Logistics – Food and Alcohol

Yes, we are on an out-island, where the food comes in by ship on Tuesday or Wednesday, so if you land on a Sunday (Air Canada), expect limited food availability.

We stayed at a very nice cottage on the Airport Flats, booked through VRBO, with a small but complete kitchen, so what were the essentials we brought or should have brought:

  • Cliff’s Oatmeal Bars – withstand the heat well, when you are fishing!
  • Ground Coffee and UHT Milk – we even bring our steel French press.
  • Asian Noodles – Breakfast with Poached Eggs (bought at the convenience) . Alternatively, any canned-dry goods you want for 2 days if you arrive on the weekend – Peanut Butter, Granola, et cetera

And when the week comes, you can go to Prime Island Meats north of George Town, and then swing back through George Town to Exuma Market to pick up anything else. When stocked, you will fine better greens and fruits at the Exuma Market, but the Chicken and Crab salad at Prime Island makes great sandwiches.

Kalik is a great beer. I would note for Canadian’s – Beer is more expensive, but alcohol is cheaper than what I can buy in Ontario. Like Ontario, Alcohol sales is controlled and there are limited retailers, we acquire ours south of George Town at the turn off to the old airport (before Cheaters)

For restaurants, definitely recommend ….

    • Santana’s (get the Grouper), also stop next door into Mama’s Bakery on Little Exuma
    • Shirley’s north of Georgetown (get the side dish of fried plantain)

shirleys IMG_1322

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Oh yes, my preference was to stay have dinner at the cottage, letting us fish the flats to sunset.

Logistic – Maps

Google Earth is better than Google Maps, as Google Earth Satellite shows the unmarked roads!

Best interactive map of key locations around the Exuma is courtesy of a unknown person who created > https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1rWCO5UyeQGR4OLZ1VVdpjI6YQJg&ll=23.438098271246115%2C-75.60763117177737&z=13

Cameras – GoPro 5

Just before the trip, Judy’s GoPro 4 died and we bought a replacement GoPro 5. The images from this camera is amazing and I hope to post some of her videos soon.

If there is any negative we found with the camera, is that the GoPro 5’s audio does not work well with Gimbals.

Fishing the Airport Flats – Leaders

Go with long leaders – 10-12′ – with a 8 lb or 10lb fluorocarbon.

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Judy was using a traditional Bonefish Line with a 10+’ leader and did well. I was trying a clear tip line with an intermediate poly-leader. I do not believe there was any benefit with the clear tip (it still have mass), but the setup still work.

Having dealt with good and bad fluorocarbon, I now only use Seaguar Blue.

Yes, there is wind, but with a 8wt rod, we were fine.

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Fishing the Airport Flats – Tides

The tides are about 90-120 minutes behind those reported at Steveston and George Town.

Fishing the Flats – Walking

The flats are mostly sand, so you can walk barefoot; and when the bottom is more mud than sand, it is better to walk barefoot as the feedback help you to respond so much better to the changing conditions.

My SIMMs booties with neoprene socks continue to serve we well.

As noted last year, Judy as a smaller women can not find a boot from the traditional fly-fishing OEMs that will fit her. Last years Ski-Doo boots died within 3 days, but this year she found some Akona boots at a Dive Shop that worked.

Please remember to cover your feet when you are out in the open (out of the water), as burn feet are not fun.

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Fishing the Exuma Flats – Flies

Light colour flies, as most of the sand is white with a grey tinge, I would suggest white to a light ecru.

Images of flies in a water, with sand from the flats under.

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Judy’s last fish of the trip.

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Written by raspberryfisher

2018/03/31 at 22:52

Posted in Bahamas, Saltwater, Vacation

Keeled Jerk – Farrar Blend Variant

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In continuation of my last post, here are my variants using Farrar Blend dressed long for Pike, that are about 8″ long.
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Chartreuse to the Greens
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The classic Pike Red and White
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amd a fly to suggest Perch ..
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and the original experiment in Blue, with the white deer hair center that seperates the base from the top. I have since migrate to using the SF Fibers for the centre.
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Written by raspberryfisher

2018/02/05 at 02:31