Raspberryfisher's Blog

notes on fishing & travel

zingers – buy once?

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Given most of the zingers used in fly fishing are not well built and function poorly, I have bought and used many, too many. I have effectively two major complaints for most zingers:

  • Durability (lack of)
  • Length of cable extension (too short), hindering function.

So this represents a classic decision > buy cheap many times or buy well once.

There are a couple of alternatives, that I do recommend, after 2+ years of extended use, including in the salt..

Gear Keeper – 2.5oz MicroKeeper

  • + My extends to 34+”
  • + Low Cost > 12.99 USD at Bearsden, versus 9 to 13 USD for a poor Dr Slick or Orvis Zinger.
  • – The retention pin is thick and can be very difficult to pierce heavy fabrics. You can buy it with other methods to secure it.


Abel Zinger

  • + Also extends to 34″ (hmm .. construction of spring and rope is very similar to Gear Keeper).
  • – Expensive at 95 USD at Bearden.
  • ~ The retention pin appears to be finer than the gear keeper and easier to push through fabric.

abel zinger_DSC5447

Note, below the Abel is a Orvis Zinger, where the pin is exposed (barely visible) and the “reel” inside to hold my “multi-tool”. Note visible in the photograph posed (as I cropped it out), but it is rusting.

As previously state, I have no interest or opportunity to gain from this post. Product has been in use for more than a year, so it reflects me and my interests only.






Written by raspberryfisher

2019/04/15 at 21:03

Posted in Bahamas, Fly-Fishing, Saltwater, Tools

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other fly-fishing glass tips

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judy bahamas 3

In continuation of my previous sunglass post, I keep with me – when on the water –

  • small spray bottle of glass cleaner (to dilute and clean off the salt spray)
  • spudz lens cleaning cloth
  • and a cheap pair of generic reading magnifiers (3x in my case).  While Judy prefers the clip magnifiers that pin onto hats, I strongly prefer the increase field of view that comes with reading glasses.




Written by raspberryfisher

2019/04/14 at 20:32

Costa Permit Green Glass Sunglasses

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costa glasses_DSC5441 2
A short blog, having experimented with multiple glasses in different colours – mainly Costa del Mar and Maui Jim – my summary is simple.

  • Solid, tight and comfortable fit is most important!
    • Make sure it can stay on your face, when you look down at your feet.
    • Comfort must include wearing a hat, hoodies, buff and sun shield.
  • Side shield is a good thing!
  • Cable retainer that is comfortable when tucked into a hoodie, sun mask, et cetera.
  • Maui Jim and Costa are good, so what is my preference ….
  • My preference for bonefishing > Costa Permit Green Mirror Glass
    • Green Mirror, but warm brown tint.
    • And for a retainer, I prefer cable retainers, as it does not absorb water, whether it is raining or soapy water at the end of the day, when I wash the glasses.

costa permit

Image taken from Costa de Mar site.

My images are intentionally taken into the winter sun, so there is some hint of the tint.  Makes for a poor production shot, but does better conveys the impact.


  • My alternative > Costa Fantail Blue Mirror Plastic.  A more neutral lens with a light blue tint glass.


And Judy, she uses the Costa Trevally GT also in the Green Mirror Glass.

And leave you a little trick, how can you identify the lens of a Costa de Mar sunglass?  Look into the top right corner of the lens.

lens identificaion_DSC5443. 2jpg.


In all my reviews and comments on equipment-products, these are personal and I nor my wife are not a representative of any company that would gain from this. No review or comment is taken from a free sample, et cetera and only taken after actually using the product.

Similarily, I am not compensate, paid, et cetera for blogging, but do this as an extension of my hobby.



Written by raspberryfisher

2019/04/13 at 19:56

Tube Bunny Shape

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In continuation of my previous tube bunny SBS  here are some supporting notes.

One > I start with a quick trim of Pro Sportfisher Flexitube to 1″ on rear and 1″ on front (or 25mm and 25mm).
The front trim is to allow simple access to secure and whip-finish (knot) the rabbit, flash and feathers to the top head. The final trim is done after the final disk or cone is in place.
The back trim represents the maximum fowling length I will support. Once the hook is placed, the rabbit hide should not reach beyond the end of the hook.



Two > I tie the trimming on the hide, in the round with a minimum of wraps, whip finish and set with Cellire varnish – two coats. I have appreciate Cellire ability to penetrate the threads and material, and as such, will take the time to set-cement the head and delay the final head assembly.

Once the head is set, I will use Zap-A-Gel to place thr final head – cone, disk one.


Three > I will trim the magnum rabbit hide to a point, to allow for a taper of the fly.
.tube bottom

Profile, illustrating the tapering of the shape of the fly.
.tube profile

From top.
.tube top

After it has been soaked and pulled under.
.tube profile wet


Another finished fly, illustrating the tapered form.

red head_DSC5401


If I go for a longer tail, I will transition to a regular zonker tail; and in the event, the fly wing exceeds 3″, then I am going to migrate to a hair.


Written by raspberryfisher

2019/03/26 at 02:21

Posted in Fly-Tying, Streamer

Veevus Thread – Thread Nerd Update

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I posted years ago my thoughts on thread, and at this time my favourite thread (recommendation) for your standard trout fly was Gudebrod 10/0 and Danville 6/0. This posting acknowledged my probable shift to the newly introduced Veevus as my supply of Gudebrod runs out (as Gudebrod was no longer made).

Later, I did some additional testing, and refine my standard selection to Veevus 14/0 and Danville 6/0, while ruling out 10/0.  Yet – not until today – I have not validate all 4 sizes available from Veevus – 10/0, 12/0, 14/0 and their finest “standard” 16/0.

My quick summary, applying reasonable tension:

  • 10/0 – too bulky – hard to break. No.
    • For the final fly, the thread did break when I did a whip finish to the head.
  • 12/0 – strong and can produce a fair head
  • 14/0 – reasonable strength and easy to produce a fine head
  • 16/0 – some care needs to be taken to prevent breakage, but head not much smaller than 14/0

So some close-ups, tying on a small BWO hook.

Veevus Test Spools and Flies
Veevus 10/0 – strong, but too bulky. To prevent thread forming up the eye, I need to leave more shank free and push the thread back.
red 10 700_DSC4724
Veevus 12/0 – reasonable, id est very strong and with minimal consideration required to create a fair head.
brown 12 700_DSC4723
Veevus 14/0 – strong and small head. Thought not in focus, note the body is relatively flat.
pink 14 700_DSC4721
Veevus 16/0 – lost of strength is noted, so come care needed, but the gain in smaller head is small relative to the 14/0. Only reason to go to 16/0 versus 14/0 is that 16/0  has a colour you need.
tan 16 700_DSC4719


Under the general operating principle – use the smallest thread possible with the fewest turns – my Veevus recommendation is 14/0 for trout dry flies and nymphs.


  • I will continue to use the last of my Gudebrod.
  • In tying the recent Mouse Series posts, where I was applying a lot of pressure to secure the deer hair, the Veevus GSP 100 performed very well. Do recommend this thread when you need to apply some heavy pressure.
  • For very small, I will also continue with a fine GSP, such as Uni 17/0.
  • For wet flies and streamers, I believe the Danville 6/0 and it ability to lay flat is the best.
  • And of course for North Country Spiders, Pearsall’s Silk.




Written by raspberryfisher

2019/02/25 at 03:33

Posted in Fly-Tying

Mouse – small – for fly fishing

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Using a Mustad C52SBLN Size 2., for a smaller mouse versus the previous tie.

small mouse side 3_DSC4699

.small mouse top_DSC4705

.34 front small mouse_DSC4696


Written by raspberryfisher

2019/02/17 at 22:46

Posted in Fly-Fishing, Streamer

Bonefish Lines for 8wt

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In continuation of my series looking at fly lines in one page, looking to Tropic Bonefish Lines.

What do I want?

Given my flies are light and small, and my preferred rod does flex well (Scott Meridian), there are two idea lines for me:

  • Windy days: Ghost Tip of 5′ (intermediate sink tip) and a short front taper (3-5′), with a total head length less than 30′.  I would a 7’+ Short Leader.
  • Default or with Guides (who do not like clear-tip lines): 9′ taper in a light sand and a total head length of  30′ with a long rear taper to support a long pickup and recast..

Other details and notes:

  • Head Length should be viewed, as the length having the mass I need to generate an effective cast into the wind, and ideally the rear taper having begun by 30′.
  • I am not looking for bullet tapers, though will use them as a general saltwater line.
  • Front colour:
    • Since I am laying the line out in front of the bonefish, I want the line to match the sand and ocean, not the sky.  And the sky is not always blue.  I prefer off-white.
    • Ghost tips must be intermediate – though a ghost tip is clear, it still refracts and if it floats, disturbs the water pattern.  Stealth is gain, when the tip slips below the surface.
  • Weight – Head weights are often stated, but rarely does the OEM to define if applies to 30′ (true weight) or a complete head.

To the survey …


Airflo, a line manufacturer I do like, but they do not have a “bonefish” line I am incline to recommend or buy (again).

airflo bonefish


Airflo Super-Dri Bonefish – List Price: 90 $US

No > Dark and short rear taper.

Airflo Clear Tip Tropical Short 12′ – List Price: 90 $US

No > I really like Airflo, and this taper is reasonable, but I am disappointed the tip floats. I have this line in my arsenal, but it is regulated now to “just in case”.

Airflo Supri-Dri Tropical Punch – List Price: 90 $US

No – but > Nice bullet line to keep for general tropical saltwater fishing.



Ballistic Pro Performance Saltwater

No > I like Ballistic lines, and this is a nice taper, but it is blue.  If you want Blue, give it a try.


Worthy of testing > I note that Ballistic sells UK Snowbee lines. A rather standard profile with a long running line. Would prefer a longer rear taper.

snowbee uk




No targeted offering.




A nice diverse selection of lines, so many, I have chosen not to show them all.

cortland salt lines

Cortland All-Purpose (Tropic Series) – List Price: 80 $US

No > Good colour, BUT  this line did not do well on earlier tests with my Meridian 8 wt. I have not returned to debug why. I am not fond of the long body.

Cortland Ghost Tip 5 – List Price: 80 $US

No > I like the profile and the tip sinks, but dislike the green.

Aside: Not a tropic line, but Caribbean conditions are often moderate (id est, <30C).

Cortland Ghost Tip 9 (Tropic Series) – List Price: 80 $US

No> Intermediate Tip, though with a long body, and with the failure with the same long body All-Purpose, I am not incline to test this.

Cortland Ghost Tip 15 (Tropic Series) – List Price: 80 $US

No > Not available in 8wt, though head is interesting. (Not illustrated)

Cortland Flats Taper (Liquid Crystal) – List Price: 90 US$

No (Taper not shown) > Blue, but the taper looks interesting.  If you wanted blue, give it a try.

Cortland Guide (Liquid Crystal) – List Price: 90 $US

No > Green.

Cortland Tropic Compact (Tropic Series) – List Price: 80 $US

No > To aggressive (bullet) and not suitable for a soft landing.

Cortland Bonefish (Tropic Series) – List Price: 100 $US

Look > Head maybe a little more aggressive than the idea line, but it is reasonable given its long back taper.




No targeted offering, but they do re-sell Airflo




Monic keeps to a traditional 1980 WF Taper, which in this case, I do not object to. There lines are fine for general deeper tropical water fishing, where a hard strike is necessary.


Monic Skyline – List Price: 80 $US

No > Insufficient detail on website.

Monic Impact Intermediate – List Price: 85 $US

No > It is green.

Monic Genesis Phantom Tip – List Price: 100 $US

No > Clear tip floats.

Monic Genesis Covert – List Price: 90 $US

No > It is a full intermediate line.




No offering, as their market focus is spey.



Phoenix WF Silk

There is no line drawing, but it is straw colour traditional WF taper with a 6′ front taper and 33′ head. Given its tight loop through the wind behavior, I am experimenting with this intermediate line with no floating treatment and a 9′ leader.

MBraid Phoenix DSC1526




No offering, as their market focus is spey-skagit.





DirectCore Bonefish – List Price 120 $US

No > Maybe there is some magic that happens, when you fish, but I cannot see it as being magic (for the premium) when walking the flats.

Bonefish QuickShooter – List Price 100 $US

No > I really like the shape, but again blue. I want stealth when the line is in the water. Though, please note it is a heavy line, and better suited for “stiffer” rods.
I do have a line in my arsenal, as I developed my skills et cetera.

Bonefish – List Price 100 $US

Look > Body is a little long.



Scientific Anglers

The tapers and colour are similar, so what differs is surface preparation. These lines are worthy of a look.

SA bonefish

Amplitude Bonefish – List Price 130 USD

Look to the Smooth (next) > As bonefishing is casting to sighted fish, the premium to shoot more line does not feel like a great investment.

Amplitude Smooth Bonefish – List Price 100 USD

Look > Ok.

Mastery Bonefish – List Price 80 USD

Look > Mastery has been a classic line that has produced some fine lines, so I am incline to the Mastery Line versus spending another 20 for unknown (real) gains with the Amplitude.




May or may not be a good fit, but manufacturer refuses to disclose details to its customers.



My selection from best to acceptable

  1. Cortland Bonefish
  2. RIO Bonefish (gets the nod, as I have had more time with this line)
  3. SA Mastery Bonefish (or Smooth Amplitude)

This listing has been updated since my last on the water testing in April 2019 using the Meridan 8wt.



Written by raspberryfisher

2019/02/04 at 04:51

Posted in Fly-Fishing, Saltwater