Raspberryfisher's Blog

notes on fishing & travel

Wilson’s Pesto

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Many pesto recipes and after some experimentation, this is what I have settle on.

  • In food processor, lightly shred 2 cups of packed fresh basil leaves
  • Mix in 1/4 cup of lightly roasted pine nut (3 minutes in the oven at 350F)
  • Continue with light shred and mix basil and pine nuts.
  • Mix in 1/2 cup of Reggiano Cheese
  • Then add in 5 cloves of roasted garlic
  • Once fine crumble, stir in 1/4 teaspoon of Maddon’s Smoke Salt
  • Add up to 1/2 cup of your preferred Olive Oil (I prefer one that is not piccante)
  • Mix just until it is uniform.

I believe what is key to my preference is:

  • I am not looking for bold or sharp, I want the basil to come out, so my use of roasted garlic and a softer olive oil is my preference. I do not know what it i like in the rest of the world, but the mass market virgin olive oil in Canada tends to being piccante.
    My preferred brand is Le Chateau d’Estoublon, from Salonenque. It is not cheap as it is about 4x more expensive than the mass market oil in th super market, but I have not found a provides for subtle olive oil flavour I have learnt.
    I have included a market image of the bottle, and when I get my own images uploaded. I will replace it.
  • Roasted garlic




Written by raspberryfisher

2021/07/14 at 01:39

Posted in Weekend Cooking

Trout Spey Rods

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I do not know how many years I have been fishing with Trout Spey Rods, but it is a lot more popular and often in forums, I am answering similar questions, so here are my consolidated notes, about what I am using, going from light to heavy.

When I talk about the matching reel, a primary component is the weight, so as the fly is out and on the dangle, the natural balance point is near the top.

ACR 1173 – 11’7″, 240 grains- fun

Use this rod for smaller rivers and lighter flies, such as spiders and size 10 muddlers. I am not using this rod to throw chickens or baby chickens, but use this on smaller rivers (sections), et cetera. I like to think of this as for far and fine.

I am have settle on the Hardy St Aiden as my reel, and the original line supplied is perfect – Scandi Short, 240 grain at 24’. I experimented with OPST (nope, took the joy out of the light cast) and the Airflo Scandi Compact (240 grain), which felt clunky but acceptable.  Lets not forget there are preferences and operator limits, so I have keep the Airflo on a spare spool and may try another day.

There is 20lb 3M Green Backing and I used the Airflo Miracle braid as a backing.

And I only use this rod with handmade leaders.

Meiser 1264S – 12’6”, 324 grains – goto

Big and small, does it all for trout and with a smile. I am going to use this rod for big rivers or when I want to throw some weight, including bigger muddlers, small mouse and wet “tube bunnies” to the opposing bank.  It was provided with a SGS 324gr at 31.1′ line and a set of 10’ RIO Versileaders (Tip Wallet ID: m4). This was my first Meiser rod, and still remains my favourite.

My supporting reel is an old Nautilus CF10, with an Orange 30lb ELF backing and 30lb Orange 3M backing.

Meiser 1305S – 13’0″, 420 grains – travel

This rod I acquired for airline trave, but also well suited for throwing big flies or going deep.

I am using a NextCast Winter-Authority 35 at 420 grain, with the RIO Replacement Tips 7wt 10′ 75 grains (Wallet ID: 7 10′ 75 grains) (which appears to be the closest match to what NextCast provides (10′, and 70grains)). I will also use bring with me, Wallet ID: 6 15′ 84g (RIO Replacement Tips 6wt 15′ 84 grains).

I have acquired a few other Scandi 3D lines (example: Guideline 3D+ 78 – 417grain at 34.5’), but have not had them in the water much, and thinking I have too many lines.

For more information on the other lines, look below for Shooting Head Wallets, 420.

I am using a Danielsson L5W 8twelve with RIO Connect Core 0.37 and 30lb Blue Backing.  I have found the blue backing to dark, and hinders tracking and fishing; so someday, I will change to my current default 30lb backing to SA Pink and would like to change my running line to a Airflo Miracle Braid * to increase my backing.

It appears the new owner of Airflo has discontinued Miracle Braid. sigh!

The three rods on the wall rack
The three rods
ACR 1173 with a Hardy St Aiden and 240 RIO Scandi Compact
Meiser 1264-S with a Nautilus 10 and SGS 324 grain line
Meiser 1305-S 5pc 420+ grain with a Danielsson L5W holding a NextCast WA35


Other notes, I do covet a Meiser 15’6″ 5wt.


Post release update – 2021-07-11+

My expectation for a supporting setup for traditional spey trout would be:

  • Minimum of 70m of backing, 20lb backing
  • Minimum of 20m of shooting line, if there is a shooting head


  • The opportunity to land the fish typically becomes un-realistic at 100m (or before), as structure and river current is likely to break your fly off. Maybe in the large rivers in Montana and Alberta (the Bow), you may longer runs with less structure, but you are fighting the river then (and not the fish).
  • I am not able to shot 20m of the line, so 20m is more than enough.

And if the reel is to support Steelhead, then the backing increases to 120m of 30lb.


Single Hand Spey Capable Rods

  • James Green 1007 with Loop-Danielsson 3W Reel with Airflo Spey Switch with integrated running line 360 grain and 20lb Green Backing.

    Sadly with Airflo’s change in ownership, their commitment to spey has diminished (Airflo USA office also moved to Colorado). Though I really did like Airflo and Mr Rajeff was a good person (who appears to be gone), given this acquisition; I will likely jump ship > the RIO Inland Spey is what I would change to.

    Interesting to see that Airflo USA offices shifted from the US West Coast to Colorado.

    Recognizing this lost, I have bought some end stock from Andrew Moy of Tightlines in NJ, and waiting for delivery. (Oh yes, I do recommend Tightlines as a retail store).

    As far as the tip is concerns, I guess I can use Airflo polyleaders, but I really like the OPST Commando Micro Tips.
  • Scott ARC 1007 with Loop-Danielsson 2W Reel with an old Airflo 7wt MultiTip (7 12′ 80g) with 30lb 3M Orange Backing.
  • Scott ARC 9069 with Loop-Danielsson 2W Reel with a RIO 9wt MultipTip with 30lb 3M Orange Backing.

The Scott’s was my original summer-winter steelhead setup. As noted in other posts, early in my pursuit (before 2000), winter steelhead “school’d” me on retrieve rate and icing. After this, I went to large arbor reels and avoid drags that can ice up.

I do note that the Scott 1007, needs some repair to a guide that almost broke off, with the last Atlantic Salmon I landed.

20210717 Update – Steelhead (large trout) Spey Rods

Burkheimer 7134, 470+ grains – steelhead

I have been using a heaviest reel in my line-up, a Nautilus 12S with orange 30lb SA Dacron backing and a orange 30lb SRO ELF running line, using RIO Replacement Tips 8wt 15′ 109grains, Wallet ID: 8 15′ 109g .

Is the Nautilus 12S too heavy? yes it is. The one reason I blog, as it forces me to examine and clearly articulate my experiences, excluding my bad spelling. In a practice cast session, I found the Nautilus 12S heavy, but the 12DD just a little light, so I am thinking the ideal weight for me, would be a reel with an empty line weight of ~11 ounces or 310 grams. Possible candidates would be …

  • Abel Reels SDS 11/12 – light at 10.0 ounces
  • Danielsson HD 11fourteen – light at 272 grams
  • Einarsson Invictus 10-12 – close at 11.5 ounces
  • Nautilus NV Monster – again too light at 9.9 ounces

As I have a spare 12DD spool, I have just move a shooting head (Gaelforce Equalizer 8 with 10′ Polyleaders) to this spare, and I really like it! Eventually, I am likely to replace the 30lb RIO Connect Core an SA Blue Dacron Backing to a 30lb Shooting Line and my Pink 30lb backing.

I have found this rod works in a wide grain window, but reflecting my style is still developing, I have not selected the line. I have liked this rod with lines from 470 to 550 grains.

I also have a Airflo Delta Spey 7/8 (530 grain available to play with) on a Nautilus 12S.

I will often carry the 470 and 520 shooting head wallets with me; more information is below.

Meiser 13668CX-6 13’6″ 550 grains – travel

For this 6 piece Steelhead and Salmon travel rod, I am using a Nautilus 12DD with an orange 30lb 3M Dacron backing and a 30lb RIO Power Flex 0.35 running line.

I found the original supplied line to be light, and after a discussion with Bob, I did get a NextCast line that was ~ 40 grains heavier, which was the charm for me. Hence, I prefer the Nextcast Steelhead Finder FF 30′ 550 grain and using the RIO Replacement Tip 8wt 15′ 109 grains (Wallet ID: 8 15′ 109g)

or Beulah Tonic 550 grain at 26′ using either MOW Medium Tips (or even the 8wt 15′ RIO Tips, as above).

I will often carry the 520 and 570 shooting head wallets.

Other lines – Shooting Head Wallets

I like 3D Scandi lines, and add the element of experimentation, I have a collection of shooting heads in Mangrove Shooting Head Wallets. I have also referenced which Tips I use for each line, using my Wallet ID.

420 Wallet – Associated with the Meiser 1305

  • SA UST – Orange to Green – 400 grains at 36′ – FHI (Poly 5)
  • SA UST – Orange to Black – 400 grains at 35′ – FHS3 (Poly 5)
  • Guideline 78 Power Taper – Orange to Blue – 417 grains at 34.5 – FHS1 (Poly 5)
  • Guideline 78 Power Taper – Orange to Teal to Black – 417 grains at 34.5 – IS1S2 (Poly 5)
  • Guideline 3D+ 78 – Green to Black – 448 grains at 35′ – FHS2 (Poly 5)

Currently spooled (as of this update) for the Meiser is a NextCast Winter Authority 35

  • NextCast Winter Authority 2 WA35 – Green – 420 grains at 34′ – MultiTip (7 10′ 75g)(6 15′ 84g)

470 Wallet- Associated with the Burkheimer 7134

  • Guideline 89 Power Taper – Orange to Blue – 478 grains at 35.4′ – FHSI – Awesome (Poly 5)
  • Guideline 89 Power Taper – Orange to Blue Black – 478 grains at 35.4′ – IS3S4 (Poly 5)
  • Guideline 89 Power Taper – Orange to Dark Brown – 478 grains at 35.4′ – IS5S6 (Poly 5)

Currently spooled (as of this update) from the 470 Wallet for the Berkheimer 7134

  • Ballistic Express – Blue – 470 grains at 38′ – MultiTip (8 15′ 109g) (on Nautilus 12S)
  • Gaelforce Equalizer Head 8 – Green – 462 grains at 37′ – Floating (Poly 10) (on 12DD)

520 Wallet – Burkheimer 7134 and Meiser 13668

  • The original Meiser SGS Line (Olive) – 502 grains at 35.7′
  • Guideline 3D+ 89 – Yellow to Grey – 510 grains at 36′ – FHI (Poly 5)
  • Guideline 3D+ 89 – Blue to Dark Grey – 510 grains at 36′ – FHS3 (Poly 5)
  • NextCast WA2 Winter Authority 55 67 – 520 grains at 46.4′ – MultiTip (8 15′ 109g) (MOW m)

    The NC supplied tip was 15′ 135 grains, which similar to RIO Replacement Tip – 9wt – 129 grains, which I do not have.

Currently spooled (as of this update) on the Meiser13668 is the NextCast Steelhead Finder.

  • NextCast Steelhead Finder FF – Green – 550 grains at 30.2′ – MultiTip (8′ 15′ 109g) (MOWm)
    • As I have no space in the 570 Wallet, this line is kept in the 520.

570 Wallet – Meiser 13668

  • Beulah Tonic – Pink-Peach – 550 grains at 26′ – use MOW Medium Tips (MOWm)
  • Guideline 3D+ 910 – Yellow to Grey – 570 grains at 38′ – FHI – Awesome (Poly 5)
  • Guideline 3D+ 910 – Light Blue to Dark Grey – 570 grains at 38′ – FHS4 (Poly 5)
  • NextCast Salar Finder 78 – Green to Sand – 550 grains at 35.7′ – FHI (Poly 5)
  • NextCast Salar Finder 89 – Green to Tan – 590 grains at 37.7′ – FHI (Poly 5)


I will be updating pictures soon.

20210720 Update – Tips

I have collect several tips, too many, but I have organized and named them. The replacement tips are head in wallets, using the naming convention, reflecting nominal weight, length and weight in grains. The wallet names are in bold.

  • OPST – Micro Skagit – for use with the lighter rods, when I want to extend the leader, like the James Green 7wt.

    I am not so fond of the Commando Heads, but really do like their trout floating tips, and I do not have a wallet for them. I just keep them with my leaders.
  • Poly 5 – Used with the deeper Scandi 3D, when I need/want a longer line for the fish/cast. Thought these Polys are available, I prefer to keep the tippet short with just mono, so as I am not detracting from the advantage of a sinktip 3D Scandi.
  • Poly 10 (aka 4 10′ 50g) – For long floating-intermediate lines, like the Gaelforce ESH 8, if I am not using a hand-tied leader, then I am using a Airflo Polyleader.
    410 – Though Polyleaders are not a constant weight tip, but based on my measurements, I consider them a 4 weight 10′ 50 grain tip, so Iif I named them, it would be “4 10′ 50g”.
  • The core of these lines are 0.0155″ in diameter, so a good final tippet is anything from Maxima 12 to Seaguar Blue 8
  • m4 – with RIO 10′ Versileaders for the Meiser 1264.
  • 6 15′ 84g – formerly 684 – RIO replacement Tips – 6wt 15′ – 84 grain tips
  • 7 10′ 75g – formerly m7 – RIO Replacement Tips – 7wt 10′ – 75 grains tips
  • 7 12′ 80g – formerly t7 – Airflo Delta Multi-Tip for 6-7 Spey – 12′ 75-85 grain tips
  • 8 15′ 109 – formerlt 7sc – RIO Replacement Tips – 8wt 15′ 109 grain tips
  • MW li – MOW light – RIO MOW/iMOW tips – Base on T-8, approximately 10′ 90 grains
  • MOW m – MOW medium – RIO MOW/iMOW tips – Base on T-11, approximately 10′ 120 grains

Salmon Fishing

Yes, I have a Salmon Rod, a Loomis GLX 15′ 910. It does not come our much as Salmon means an extended trip, Judy does not care for Salmon fishing or Two-Handed Casting (unless it is for Trout).

Maybe after when I retire, it will see more water, but for now, this rod and the associated Nautilus 12SS is generally keep in storage.


20210722 Update – Summary Tables


ACR 1173Hardy PrincessRIO Scandi Short
Meiser 1264SNautilus CF10 (m4)324 SGS 31.1′Versitips
Meiser 1305S-5Danielsson L5W 8twelve (m5)420NC WA2 357wt 10′ 75 grains
Burkheimer 7134Nautilus 12DD470Galeforce Equalizer 8Polyleaders 10′
Meiser 136668CX-6Nautilus 12DD550NC Steelhead Finder FF8wt 15′ 109 grains
James Green 1007Danielsson 3W360Airflo StreamerOPST micro
Scott ARC 1007Danielsson 2WAirflo 7wt MultiTip
Scott Arc 9699Danielsson 2WRIO 9wt MultiTip
Trout Spey Rods with default setup.



Line Wallets

420 – Meiser 1305
Nextcast Winter Authority WA2 35MultiTipGreen42034′6wt 15′ 84 grains
Scientific Angler UST FHIOrange to Green40036′Polyleaders 5
Scientific Angler UST FHS3Orange to Black40035′Polyleaders 5
Guideline 78 Power TaperFHS1Orange to Blue41734.5′Polyleaders 5
Guideline 78 Power Taper IS1S2Orange to Teal to Black41734.5′Polyleaders 5
Guideline 3D+ 78 FHS2Green to Black44835′Polyleaders 5
470 – Burkheimer 7134
Gaelforce Equalizer Head ESH 8FloatingGreen46237′Polyleaders 10
SRO Ballistic ExpressMultiTipBlue47038′8wt 15′ 109 grains
Guideline 89 Power TaperFHS1Orange to Blue 47835.4′Polyleaders 5
Guideline 89 Power TaperIS3S4Orange to Blue Black47835.4′Polyleaders 5
Guideline 89 Power TaperIS5S6Orange to Dark Brown47834/5Polyleaders 5
520 – Burkheimer 7134 / Meiser 13668
NextCast Steelhead Finder FFMultiTipGreen55030.2′8wt 15′ 109 grains
Guideline 3D+ 89 FHIYellow to Gray51036′Polyleaders 5
Guideline 3D+ 89 FHS3Blue to Dark Grey51036′Polyleaders 5
Nextcast Winter Authority WA2 55MutliTipGreen52046.4′8wt 15′ 109grains
570 – Meiser 13668
Beulah Tonic for MOWMutliTipPink Peach55026′MOW Medium
Guideline 3D+ 89 FHI570Yellow to Gray 57038′Polyleaders 5
Guideline 3D+ 89 FHS4Light Blue to Dark Grey57038′Polyleaders 5
NextCast Sala Finder 78FHIGreen to Sand55035.7′Polyleaders 5
NextCast Sala Finder 89FHIGreen to Tan55037.7′Polyleaders 5
Line wallets



Tips Wallets

NameDescriptionPrimary Link
OPSTMicro SkagitsJames Green 1007
Poly 5Airflo Polyleader 5′any 3D line
Poly 10Airflo Polyleaders 10′any floating line
m4RIO Versileader 10′Meiser 1264
6 15′ 84g (684)RIO Replacement Tips 6wt 15′ 84 grainsMT -520 grains
7 10′ 75g (m7)RIO Replacement Tips 7wt 10′ 75 grains MT -520 grains
7 12′ 80g (t7)Airflo Tips 7wt 12′ 80 grains, original tips with the Airflo 7wt lineMT -520 grains
8 15′ 109g (7sc)RIO Replacement Tips 6wt 15′ 84 grains MT 520+ grain
MW liRIO MOW / iMOW Light (T8) – 10′ 90 grainsMT -470 grains
MOW mRIO MOW / iMOW Medium (T11) 10′ 120 grainsMT 520-570
Supporting Tips



Written by raspberryfisher

2021/07/11 at 02:03

Posted in Fly-Fishing, Spey

Tagged with , ,

Milvus 50mm vs Nikkor 55mm Close-Up

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Using this morning’s present from Boots (one of our cats), I thought I would do a comparison of my old manual focus Nikkor 55mm Micro and my newer Milvus 50mm Micro.

Things of note:

  1. Milvus allows aperture control from the D600 control, otherwise the Nikkor requires use of the lens aperture. I notice on one occasion, the aperture setting of the Nikkor did not display correctly, but it was logged properly in the metafile.
  2. Process related, the EXIF Metadata from the Camera for the Milvus comes in, so you can apply any lens correction with a pull-down versus a manual correction, though it appears this the Nikkor is very true. If you want to add this data, you need an external tool, such as Exiftool.
  3. The Nikkor 55mm gets in closer, than the 50mm. (of course).
  4. There is a colour shift, for reasons unknown,.

The camera and setup – Nikon D600 on a tripod, set at ISO 100 photograph under LED lighting at 5100K on old white Arches watercolour paper set. Tripod mount was not changed between lens change, and I compared at f4, f5.6 and f16.

Observe the focus point (accidently) was a little further away on the Nikkor.

I did crop into the image and increase highlighting in Lightroom (+0.11), but otherwise applied no other post editing or correctio..

Conclusion: Both lens are great, at f5.6 I found the Milvus to be slightly sharper, but at f16 the Nikkor was sharper. As the mid-tones came cleaner through on the Milvus, my nod goes to the Milvus.

The Micro-Nikkor AiS 55mm 1:2.8 Serial Number 735937, at f5.6

The Zeiss Milvus ZF2 50mm f2 Serial Number 51602622 at f5.6


Nikkor 55mm at f16

Milvus 50mm at f16

Previous experience indicates, though the Milvus is sharp, there is no ill effect on the bokeh (f9)


Last – we (I) have save birds, mice, et cetera. Over 2020-2021 fall and winter, saved 6 mice (3 into a dry well, and 3 into a bucket used for seed (it was empty)). Yet, we live in the country, where mice squeeze in and chipmunks dig under structue. If we can, we trap them and release them unharmed, but we appreciate the cats keeping the house clean.

Mice are beautiful and not a scourge or a pest, but part of the ecosystem. I am sure the owl living nearby also appreciates them, but for different reasons.

Those that follow my blog know I use fur, feathers et cetera in our pursuit of fish, and thought a close up of the fur would be a good actual comparison.

An exotic – Chukar Partridge – that shelter at our Kitchen Window this last March. Milvus 50 at f4 and ISO 250 (it was a dark afternoon), but it did let me get close.


Written by raspberryfisher

2021/05/13 at 23:03

Posted in Photography

E A Berg 1″ Chisel, restored

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As previously noted, I do like the old Berg chisels that went out of production many decades ago. You can watch and buy them at old tool shops or at the big auction site in the web. What is available varies substantially in quality and price, and I selectively buy a good value, when I believe I can restore to a good usable shape. I practice patience and I am not looking for museum pieces.

In this recent acquisition, the tarnished chisel looked flat and substantial metal remaining. But the handle did not fit well (a previous owner had tried to use epoxy to hold it together), and it had abuse with an metal hammer (blade near handle) and the handle butt.

What actions were taken?

Handle, in order of actions taken:

  • Chip away the epoxy.
  • On a lathe, lightly cleaned the pin with 180 Mirka sandpaper.
  • On a lathe, lightly cleaned the handle round with steel wool.
  • On the round, apply 6 coats of shellac.
  • On the round, then apply 3 coats of Formby’s Tung Oil Finish.
  • On the butt, apply 2 applications of warmed Town Talk Orange Wax.

Happy with all materials and the steps taken,

Part of my 1″ collection of chisels

For the blade, the steps taken:

  • Use a hand brass brush, remove the tarnish, keeping the brush away from the backside towards the edge.
  • Using the Mirka and polishing pads from 2000 to 6000, removed the tarnish around the socket and blade tops.
  • Clean the socket, removed the epoxy (awl) and use dremel to remove tarnish, epoxy along the walls.
  • Then use dremel to rough up the walls. (could have create a simple wood jig with sandpaper to)
  • Final clean with alcohol.
  • Flatten the back and sides – removing the deformed edges – using 100 micro 3M micro-finishing film on glass.
    • I highly recommend this film for major clean (versus a stone)
  • Made the decision to make this a fine pairing chisel for soft hardwoods, like cherry.
  • Create the primary at 22.5 degrees using the 3M film (using Lie-Nielsen jig).
  • Then continue with the usual sharpening regime – starting on the back going from
    • Sigma 1000x stone
    • Sigma 3000x stone
    • Sigma 10000x stone
    • Remove bur as you go along.
  • Place in LN Jig for 22.5 jig (again) and go through the same stones, as above.
  • Adjust jig to 25 and create microbevel on 10000x stone.
  • The strop, and yes, I can shave hair now with this.
The bevel is finely flatten, so it is bright, but I am not looking to make it a mirror.
Edge sharpened to a fine 22.5 (25 micro-bevel). Yes, the front edge has a mirror finish.
Illustrating what remains from the abuse with the metal hammer, can be seen at edge.

Another fine tool.

There is one lesson learnt. When looking at this chisel, I did not notice under the tarnish how the side edges were NOT crisp, possible from poor previous sharpening before. As a result, the cutting edge corners are not a perfect corner. For this reason, I would not use it to clean out corners or edges in dovetail, but I am more likely to reach for a 1/2″ chisel or small for this anyway.


Written by raspberryfisher

2021/03/14 at 21:25

Posted in Tools

Veverka’s Gardiner from 1992

with 2 comments

Honouring Bob, a picture of my one and only original Bob Veverka Dee Wing fly.


Written by raspberryfisher

2021/01/18 at 06:30

Posted in Fly-Tying, Spey

Fishing Hooks – Tubeflies +

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Apologize for this image, all efforts to make the image look sharp and crisp are failing when I import into WordPress, but the content is there. I would argue the current editor is fighting changes, savings, et cetera.

If have read this blog, you know I like to chase fish with streamers. Top of my list of streamers are Sculpzilla, round flies built with arctic fox and many tube bunnies.

Small Sculpzilla with a Gamakatsu Octopus Red 8 – Up Turned Eye. The hook is fine and barb is easy to clean up. The point is long with a small offset and bend, providing a positive hold.

With a long unweighted fly, I prefer a light hook trailing begin, such as the Gamakatsu Octopus.

For tube bunnies, I like a moderate weight straight eye hook, so my preference goes to the Gamakatsu CS14S.

What about barbless – There are many good barbless hooks in my boxes, but I have not positively selected and tested one with these streamers. I will crush the barb and file on the water the hook, such that there remains a bump. As previously stated, I believe the best tool to file the hook is a Japanese Feather Saw file.

Alternatives to the Gamakatsu C14S with Straight Eyes (SE) or Small Up-Tile Eyes) that has passed muster with me in order of preference, and have no issue recommending:

  • Raven Specialist – small tilt on eye (SmE) with hook offset. It is a little heavier and longer than a Gamakatsu CS14S, and some days I prefer this hooks (because I do).
  • Owner Mosquito (8 5177-031) – SE and fine. A great choice on small trout streamers.
  • Daiichi X510 – Straight Eye (SE)and Stout. A heavier alternative to Gamakatsu CS14S. It is a pass, but I am more likely to sell off my stock in the future.

Rant: I do not know if it is packaging or labelling errors, but I have Gamakatsu 2407 with the same part number but different sizes. I have since separate them, and listed one group as size 6 and another size 8. The hooks are good, but it would be nice to really know what it is.

Alternatives to the fine Gamakatsu Octopus with Up Turned Eyes (UTE) (and hook offset) that good for passing line and around the shank that has passed muster with me in order of preference, and have no issue recommending:

  • Gamakatsu Octopus 02306 – Red – UPE fine wire with offset hook.
  • Gamakatsu 02405 size 10 – UPT fine wire with offset shank.
  • Gamakatsu 02406 size 8 – UPT fine wire with offset shank.
  • Gamakatsu 02407 size 6 – UPT fine wire with offset hook.
  • Gamakatsu 02307 size 6 – Red – UPT fine wire with offset shank.
  • Mustad 92568 BLN – SmE with a medium to heavy weight with a nice offset bend. It is a really nice hook.
  • Owner SSW – UPE with heavy wire and hook offset available in red.


Written by raspberryfisher

2021/01/17 at 20:29

Upgrades and Tips for the Bosch 1617

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So far, I am happy with the Bosch 1617, but there were some upgrades that have been made, and here are some pointers to help others. I am excluding the power cable change, I previously posted.

Why is this worthy of posting? As there are no real no standards and commonality across routers, I was going to provide some pointers. If you happen upon this posting, I hope it saves you some time searching.

  1. Bosch 1/4″ Collet > 2610906283

    I am not impress that I get a near complete router kit with the 1617 – standard base, plunge base, router, et cetera, but * not * a collet for the common 1/4″ router bits. Google “Bosch 2610906283” and order from your favourite shop this necessity.
  2. Plexiglas Base for Templates – Infinity

    The Bosch 1617 is an excellent mid-size router, but the large black opaque base does restrict visibility. And the visibility is reduce to zero when you add Bosch’s template guide (which has had quality issues). Given this, I order Infinity Tools 115-030 (Almost) Universal 7.5″ Router Base Plate that is compatible with the Bosch 1617 Standard Base.

    Hint, There is no Universal Template, and make sure the template will support your router and base. My gift here, I state and illustrate this plate does fit the 1617 standard base.

    You can make your own base, but I bought this CNC made base as it already made the standard 1 3/16″ Porter Cable insert cutout for templates in-place.

    Hint, when you mount this, you will need Qty 3 10×24 screws (pan-head or cap-screws (best)), and it will not mount to the same holes that the Bosch base plate. See pictures to locate.

    And yes, I would buy this again, but it does not score a 5/5, because …

    * There are so many holes to make this almost universal, it is hard to locate the right holes. There is no manual, guide or support, et cetera. The Bosch Plate uses both Metric (M4) and 10-24, so time-experimentation (even with the alignment kit) was required to get it right. So my next gift to anybody who may find this, here is the missing guide from Infinity for the Bosch 1716.

    * It is not “perfectively” centered, so it either the plexiglass blank slipped 6 “thou” (needs to be remeasured) during build or the design-router is a little off. Centering with the current pan-heads is difficult as there is effectively no freedom to adjust and thus why I recommending the cap screws.

    I will probably add build more on this topic on a later post, when I feel I have the definitive proven solution or rebuff my measurement;.
  3. Lee-Valley 1 3/16″ Brass Template Product 46J9117 with Ring-Nut 46J9111.

    Yes, I could have bought with Infinity Tools a kit and another plastic case; but as I did not need them all and did not want another plastic case, I decided to go local and buy a Porter-Cable compatible template from LV as I need it.
With the Infinity Base
and with Lee Valley 1 3/16″ 3/4″ Template Guide
Guide to locating mounting point.

Start by locating the correct hole by the handle. Notice, by the handle there is a large outer through-hole with a smaller screw hole closer to the center.

and use 10×24.


Written by raspberryfisher

2021/01/17 at 03:14

Posted in Tools

Tagged with ,

Making a mistake better?

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Ouch, I cut up my power cord for the Bosch Router, but upon reflection I decided I could make an improvement, as I fixed this mistake, by adding an IEC 320 termination <30cm from the router.

Now when it is under the router table, I have a short power cord and when it is on top and across a bench, I have this visible 12+’ power cable working with me. And when I need to be safe, a power disconnect – not just a switch – is quickly accessible.

I am using Schurter IEC 320 15A UL parts – 4782 and 4735.

Does the connector get in the way? Answer, no more than the cable did before I accidently cut it up. Oh yes, I will be moving over to a plexiglas base in the near future to improve visibility.


Written by raspberryfisher

2021/01/09 at 06:51

Posted in Tools

Overview of my chisels

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As previously stated before – maybe too many times – I avoid developing allegiance to brand, and thus will collet a diversity of products. I believe this makes me a better user of tools, but I admit I am likely with experience, develop preferences and will tend to one brand. But this grant of “favouritism” is not indefinite, due to changes with me or more likely the manufacturer.

So lets look at my collection of ‘standard’ chisels, and how I have rated them, and may you benefit from my limited experience.

My diverse collection from smallest to largest

The Ratings

Two Cherries2 mm27.5B+AB-
Two Cherries4.125B+AB-
Blue Spruce9.532.5AB-A
E A Berg9.822.5AB+A
Marples (np)12.630BAB
E A Berg12.922.5AB+A
E A Berg (short) (np)15.625AB-A
Marples (np)18.530BAB
E A Berg (np)2522.5ABA
Marples (np)2530BAB

Table and Ratings Discussion-Comments

  • OEM – With the exception of the E A Berg Eskilstuna all chisels were bought new through retailers or direct from the manufacturer.
    • np – As Chiesel was added to this table, after the initial publication, there is no picture (np) or additional commentary
  • Width of cutting measure in millimeters (mm), using a Mitutoyo Calipers.
  • Angle of Primary Bevel in degrees, using a Kell Bevel Gauge.
  • M – Judgement on Metal and Machining
    • A: Fine and edge flat bevel that allows for good cleaning in the corners and edges
    • B: Fine.
    • C: Edges are thick, suitable for heavy hits, but I would not use this in a tight spot, like a dovetail.
  • H – Judgement on handle for comfort and alignment.
    • A: Holds well and provides for inline registration.
    • B: Holds well, but circular cross section.
    • D: Uncomfortable.
  • P – How “easy” it was to get the blade to fine edge and maintain it.
    • A: Only a quick home is required.
    • B: Some sharpening and flattening is required.
    • C: Extensive sharpening is required, and often I need to take the tool to a power sharpener. This is a sign a tool is buffed to get a beautiful mirror finish (and thus harming the edges).

Recommendations anybody?

With the exception of the Hirsch, all of these chisels I would recommend. Though, I do caution, if you are buying a Two Cherries, get an unsharpened model. What would be my order of preference:

  1. Lie-Nielsen or maybe a vintage E A Berg.
  2. Ashley Iles, but I would buy the blade and make the handle (English Pattern)
  3. Blue Spruce
  4. Vintage Marples

what about the Japanese Chisel, if I was needing a paring chisel, yes, I would consider a traditional chisel with an una at or near the top of my list.

and the details, in order of acquisition – oldest to newest – my run down of my chisels:


Yes, I use a mallet, but my hits are rarely, if ever, hard enough to damage the handle, so I am always surprised when refinishing a vintage chisel to see the butts damaged.

I use several different mallets – dead-blow head, wood and the brass head mallet in the picture, but never use a steel hammer.

I suspect maintaining a sharp edge and refusal to use a metal hammer, my chisel butts are never smashed (unless they are a vintage chisel already damaged).

Vintage Marples Blue Chisel – Sheffield

I bought two sets about 30 years ago from Lee Valley, and they have served me (us (wife and I)) well. I have learnt with them, including trying different sharpening methods, angles, et cetera. As result of some experimentation, a few chisels look worst for wear.

It does not help, my wife – the mechanical engineer – “ses chisels as a substitute for screwdrivers and paint can openers with no respect for the edge. This is why we have 2 sets – hers and mine. Though, she is unlikely to abuse a tool now and we still remain happily married.

They are easy to sharpen to a fine edge, and I notice when looking between different chisels that the bevel edge sides (depth) are not consistent from model to model. Some bevel edges are tending to fine and others to be heavy, so I have seen some inconsistency in machining, but all chisel were fine.

The handle is large, comfortable and with the flats, allow you register the flat.

My belief is that they are a little soft, so they are best with a steeper primary bevel, and my default is 30 degrees, and then apply a small micro-bevel. Fine on cherry, but if I am working on hard maple it would not be my first choice, if I have a choice.

I understand the new Marples, after being bought out by Irwin are not worthy of any recommendation. Never-the-less, I believe these vintage chisels are good to own and use.

Japanese Chisel

I bought this Japanese as my first premium chisel many years ago. Can be very sharp, but its short blade does reduce options for handling and sharpening.

If I bought a paring chisel, I would seriously consider a Japanese Chisel, but otherwise I would look to a traditional western style.

Iles Chisels

Very good with two small blemish – the rounds handle and final flattening. On the former, as I inspect and prepare the blades, I see evidence of the blade springing back into shape after it being clamp. As such, it takes longer to flatten (comparable to a Lie-Neilsen) and the low side edge are fine.

I do recommend these chisels, but I would buy them as a blade only and make an english pattern handle.


The one chisel in this group that I would not recommend. The handle is fine, but the bevel edge is too big and the excess application of polish.

If you need a chisel with a large edge, locate a vintage firmer.

Two Cherries

If you do buy, search for an unpolish version – not as shiny, but its edges have not been rolled over. I really do like handling their 2 and 4mm chisels.

Vintage E A Berg

I like the steel – how it sharpens and cuts. It more durable than the Marples and I always watch for a good buy. You can find some awesome sets and chisels, but they can be expensive. The handle is a round version of an english pattern, and is comfortable.

The chisel on the left is not in group picture at the start, and I received the chisel without a handle. The handle I turned out of birch (to reflect its Swedish heritage), but it is a little larger as I generally prefer a larger grip.


Round handle, but comfortable. It is ship flat and almost ready to go. It cuts well, easy to hone, maintain, et cetera. For a chisel in production, this is my recommendation.

From left to right > Lie Neilsen, Marples and Hirsch. Note size of side bevel.

Blue Spruce

Though the handle is very similat to the Lie-Neilsen, it is just smaller and not as comfortable. It is well made and a very good tools, but I would rather buy a Lien-Neilson or restore a used Berg.

Its very fine (small) side bevel makes this an excellent tool, if you need to get into tight corners, such as blind dovetails. Below are two comparative images of the Blue Spruce against an vintage Berg (with some red paint on it).


Written by raspberryfisher

2021/01/08 at 06:07

Posted in Tools

Biscotti – Orange and Fruit

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I do really enjoy sourdough bread and congratulate all of those Covid bakers working on their starter and baking, but one of my other “flour” love is biscotti. As such my 2020 baking project has been simple fruit biscotti for my morning coffee.


Assemble – Dry Goods

For Food Processor – using my plastic beater

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1½ cup granulated sugar
  • Orange (zest)

Mix into Large Mixing Bowl

  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • 1 cup dried fruit

Assemble – Wet Goods

  • 115 grams cold unsalted butter cut into 8 or more pieces
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

the Process

  1. Preheat Oven to 350F
  2. Prepare baking pan (I use a heavy pan with a silicon mat (Silpat))
  3. In Large Mixing Bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. Using the plastic mixer blade in my old food processor, put in sugar.
  5. Add butter on-top.
  6. Mix butter and sugar to a fine consistent paste.
  7. For the first 3 eggs, mix in one egg at a time to butter and sugar.
  8. Add fourth eggs and vanilla extract. Lightly mix and then .
  9. Zest the orange into the batter.
  10. Mix and ensure battery is uniform.
  11. Combined the batter with the flour mixture.
  12. Mix in bowl.
  13. Form by hand on lightly flour marble slab.
  14. Once well “doughed”, add in fruit and mix again.
  15. Divide in thirds.
  16. Create three flat loaves.
  17. Bake for 25+ minutes (for me, often it is 30).
  18. Loaf should be lightly golden, firm with some spring.
  19. Cool for 30 minutes.
  20. Slice the loaf on the diagonal into fingers. I use a thin Nakiri (Japanese Vegetable) knife.
  21. Lay each finger separately onto pan – on its side.
  22. Bake for another 12+ minutes until firm. I will flip the cookies at ~6 minutes.
Saturday January 23 – noon, -16C outside.

Another recipe and good tutorial (not by me) on youtube > https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrYYers4GV4



Written by raspberryfisher

2020/12/27 at 22:42

Posted in Weekend Cooking