How to Choose the Best Fishing Life Jackets

Accidents are inevitable! And your safety comes first.

While thinking about taking a boat and begin a fishing trip, you need to think about your well-being as well.

You might get injured under any circumstances. For example, your boat might be hit by another fishing boat that is coming up from a rare sight or a huge-hidden sharp rock under the water can damage your canoe...etc.

If any of what is mentioned above happens, you need to make sure that your team is safe and sound.

So, having fishing life jackets is important. And while you can use your swimming skills, there's the risk of losing your consciousness or getting a severe injury that hinders your ability to swim. 

In such cases, A PFD (personal flotation device) fishing life jacket can guarantee your safety. They will certainly help you float over the water.

Things to Consider While Buying a Fishing Life Jacket.
There are some things you need to consider when you decide to buy a fishing life jacket to guarantee your safety. Here is a list of some of the most important things you need to give a thought to in a fishing life jacket:


Lifesaving feature


Firstly, you need to make sure that the life jacket’s design has the capability to keep your head above the water and make you continue breathing, in case you are too weak to swim or severely injured.


Authorized and approved


Always make sure that the jacket you are buying is authorized and approved by The Coast Guard authority of the U.S. You can check the manufacturing details on the tag attached to the body of the jacket


Safety and size


There are many anglers who love to take their kids with them on the fishing trip to teach them the sport at a young age. Each kid should have a PFD jacket with an appropriate size because the adult-sized ones will not provide safety for a kid. Additionally, adults should get a suitable size for themselves too to make sure that they are comfortable wearing the jacket for a long time. So, size matters. Too big or too small cannot provide you safety. 


Rips and Leakage 


Of course, you are buying a fishing life jacket to ensure your safety. So, make sure that the jacket you are buying does not have a rip or a leak because if it does, that means that there is a possibility of waterlogging.


Design and Look


The more a fishing life jacket looks smart, the better because it will encourage you to wear it throughout the whole trip. You can find a variety of designs with many amazing colors. In the past, there were only two colors that you could find: red and blue. However, now you can find many others and choose your favorite. 


Special design features


The most essential feature that needs to be present in a life jacket is to keep you afloat at the moment of necessity. During a fishing trip, the angler can go through many imbalances that lead to falling into the water. So, some of the life jackets are designed to have special collars in the jacket to keep the angler’s head above the water. 


Life Jacket Structure


Always bear in mind that choosing a manual life jacket is much better than the automatic one. It is easier to maintain what has fewer components. Additionally, you need to check the shell and the inflation bladder. Always keep in mind while buying a life jacket that can be torn or penetrated by any sharp equipment.


Buoyancy Rate


This is the feature that helps keep your head above the water surface in high waves. Always make sure that you choose the jacket that can provide you with a buoyancy rate of 35 pounds (15.87 Kg) if you are a professional angler who is knowledgeable about the bay areas and flats, you should get a jacket with 22-26 pounds (9-11 kilograms).


Best Shimano Spinning Reels 2019 – Buyer’s Guide

To get the most out of your fishing experience using one of the world’s top-notch reels, you’ll need the best Shimano spinning reel.

Generally, there are plenty of options that suit all anglers, whether beginners or more well-versed.

Throughout this article, I'll talk about what constitutes a good Shimano reel, compare between them, and list their pros and cons.

The 5 Best Shimano Spinning Reels

1. Shimano Stradic Ci4+

Shimano Stradic Ci4+

It is quite obvious that Shimano has designed the Stradic CI4+ thoughtfully and added new features to it.

It has a G-free body and a Magnumlite rotor, where the oscillating system and worm drive are positioned closer to the stem of the reel in order to enhance the feather touch rotation and stability. 

Additionally, it comes with an advanced core-protect, water-resistant feature. It is a protective water-repellent coating placed in the roller clutch and line roller to prevent water from entering these key areas. This qualifies it to be a saltwater spinning reel.

Lastly, it has a strong and smooth Hagane cold-forged gearing.

With multiple models to choose from, you can get a reel with a 6.0:1 gear ratio, 7-pound maximum drag, and weighs 5.6 pounds.

If you're looking for a larger one, you can go for the biggest one with a 6.2:1 gear ratio, weighs 8.1 ounces, and can reel in 24-pound fish.

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Almost waterproof
  • Rapid-fire drag
  • Very smooth

Cons:

  • Pricey
  • The anti-reverse switch is pretty small

Bottom Line:

The Shimano Stradic Ci4+ is a great choice for a spinning reel that you can take out for open sea and ocean fishing. It’s lightweight, durable, and very smooth.

2. Shimano Sedona FI

Shimano Sedona FI

The G-Free body on the Sedona FI helps to shift the center of gravity towards the rod, which improves comfort for the angler and allows them to fish for extended periods of time. 

When it comes to the Hagane Gearing, it is cold-forged. It allows anglers more flexibility with the type of fish they want to catch.

You can use this rod in both small freshwater applications and saltwater fishing.

There is a new feature that has been added, which is the Propulsion Line Management System that improves casting distance and helps prevent backlash and wind knots. This enhances the reel’s performance.

Moreover, there is a Double Anodized Machine Cut Spool. It allows for more line capacity and works well with the oval oscillation gear system to protect the spool from corrosion.

The Varispeed Oscillation System helps you to have even line lay for the perfect casting and line management. 

As far as the single paddle handle is concerned, it helps lower the weight of the reel while still maintaining high performance and durability.

In addition to the enlarged power handle that provides comfort to allow the angler to handle larger fish on the larger reel models.

The Sedona FI comes in various models, with the smallest having a gear ratio of 4.9:1, a maximum drag of 7 pounds, and weighing 6.3 ounces.

On the other hand, the largest has a 5.6:1 gear ratio, a maximum drag of 24 pounds, and weighs 21.7 ounces.

Pros:

  • The Hagane gearing provides flexibility
  • Smooth performance, especially retrieval
  • Long-lasting, durable G-free body
  • Superb line management

Cons:

  • Doesn’t have a reverse direction switch

Bottom Line:

The Shimano Sedona FI is an ideal reel for those looking for a lightweight, fresh or saltwater reel. Whether you'll be doing inshore fishing or small pond fishing for panfish, it’ll suit you just fine.

3. Shimano Sahara FI

Shimano Sahara FI

The reel has a G-Free body and a Hagane Gearing to provide you with comfort, strength, flexibility, and smoothness. 

Additionally, the Sahara has X-Ship technology that makes you experience with less friction, helps in long casting distance, and enhances smoothness on the reel.

With the graphite frame, rotor, and side plate, you are guaranteed strength and durability. 

All its models have a great weight to the maximum drag ratio. The smallest is 6.9 ounces and able to reel in 6-pound fish and the largest being 10.6 ounces and able to reel in 24-pound fish.

Their gear ratio ranges from 4.7:1 to 6.2:1.

Pros:

  • Packed with useful Shimano features
  • Smooth casting with minimum friction
  • Affordable price

Cons:

  • Lacks an anti-reverse switch

Bottom Line:

The Shimano Sahara FI is very durable, smooth, and performs perfectly with high speed. If you don’t mind the lack of back reeling due to the absence of the anti-reverse switch, this reel could be a great choice for you.

4. Shimano Syncopate

Shimano Syncopate

The Shimano Syncopate comes with a Quick Fire II system that provides quick one-handed castings.

The Syncopate’s front drag uses the Varispeed technology, which controls spool speeds and makes them more consistent. On the other hand, the Dyna-Balance removes unsteady movements, which enhances sensitivity.

In addition to being equipped with the Propulsion Line Management System, which allows longer casting and less backlash.

The Syncopate Front Drag is balanced despite it having Quick Fire II, it is still smooth and balances well without wobbly movements.

It feels good, it is of high quality compared to its lower price, and it has a good drag system.

Also, the Syncopate Front Drag is easy to cast, making it a great choice for beginners or occasional fishing.

However, its anti-reverse is not instant. This can be taken as both a good and a bad thing, it depends on your own personal preference.

The Syncopate Front Drag comes in three sizes ranging from 1000 to 4000. Their gear ratio ranges from 5.2:1 to 5.1:1, and its maximum drag reaches 13 pounds with a 7-pound minimum.

It's also pretty lightweight, with the models ranging from 7.6 ounces to 12.7 ounces.

This makes it a great choice for medium-speed fishing after smaller-sized fish.

Pros:

  • Budget-friendly
  • High-quality
  • Allows one-handed casting

Cons:

  • Anti-reverse is not instant

Bottom Line:

The Syncopate Front Drag is popular for its QuickFire II system. It allows one-handed casting, and at the same time, it is not wobbly. It is balanced, smooth, and it's of high quality.

In addition, its spool speeds are controlled, and it is equipped with a Propulsion Line Management System. You just need to be aware that the anti-reverse is not instant.

5. Shimano Sienna FE

Shimano Sienna FE

Mostly known for its M-Compact Body, the Shimano Sienna FE reel is designed so that the oscillation gear is closer to the rod, causing the reel to feel more balanced.

The Sienna FE uses Super Stopper II for anti-reserve, which is a feature that prevents the reel from spinning backward. Anti-reverse is a great feature for smaller fish, which in the case of the Sienna FE, designed for freshwater fish, fits perfectly.

In addition, the Sienna FE is equipped with the Propulsion Line Management System, which allows longer casting and less backlash.

The Sienna FE is popular for its low price relative to its high quality. It feels as smooth as high-end reels do, and it is just as quiet.

It requires little maintenance of just a rinse-off every few uses to remove any dirt that may have gotten stuck, and you’re good to go.

Moreover, it’s durable, smooth, and lightweight. Despite that it is made for freshwater, it works just as well in saltwater if you rinse it well after.

However, the bail sometimes malfunctions and refuses to close properly.

The Sienna FE comes in four sizes ranging from 1000 to 4000. The smallest size having a 5.0:1 gear ratio, 8.8-pounds maximum drag, and weighs 7.4 ounces.

On the other hand, the biggest comes with a 5.2:1 gear ratio, a maximum drag of 19.8 pounds, and weighs 11.8 ounces.

Pros:

  • Budget-friendly
  • High-quality
  • Long cast

Cons:

  • Weak bail

Bottom Line:

The Sienna FE is one of the best fishing reels in its price range. It feels good, allows long casting, and is easy to maintain.

In addition, the Sienna FE uses Super Stopper II for its anti-reverse feature and Propulsion Line Management System. However, be careful when handling the bail as it may malfunction.

How to Choose a Shimano Spinning Reel?

With so many Shimano reels on the market, it could be a bit hard to decide on which one you should buy. That’s why I’ll make it a little easier for you by breaking down the features you’ll find on each reel.

Size

Each Shimano reel comes in different sizes to fit different needs. The larger a reel is, the larger its line capacity will be.

If you want something that's not too big, a 1000 to 3500 reel will do the trick.

But if you want to go big, go for a 4000 to a 5500 reel.

Spool

The spool on your reel will determine how smooth its action is. Consequently, it’ll determine your casting ability.

The best kind you’ll find is the machined aluminum spool, which Shimano integrates into the Sedona FI.

General Handling

Reel are best when they’re compact in design and easy to operate.

That depends a lot on how strong and reliable the handle of your reel is.

Gear Ratio

The gear ratio indicates how fast your reel will be. Under 5.0:1 would be a slow-action one, and around 6.0:1 or above would be fast.

Between 5.0:1 and 7.0:1 is the ideal range because it enables you to do both slow-paced reeling and quick action catches.

Final Thoughts

The Shimano spinning reels are some of the best on the market. They're well- known for their quality and performance.

But if you’re looking for the best Shimano spinning reel for the durability and strength, you should go for the Shimano Sedona FI.

For versatility and smooth performance, go for the Stradic Ci4+. However, it may be a little pricey.

If that’s the case, then you can go for the reliable yet affordable Sahara FI.

Pflueger President Review

Are you and angler who is searching for a budget-friendly spinning reel?

Then look no further because the Pflueger President spinning reel with its five different models, all with different specifications, is the answer to all your prayers.

The Pflueger President is an excellent reel that has a wide variety of features that will compel any angler to purchase it.

Throughout this article, we will further explore this reel to identify its best and worst attributes.

Different Models

The Pflueger President comes in five different models, which are the 6920, 6952, 6930, 6935, and 6940. These models differ in their monofilament capacity, braided line capacity, line Recovery, ball bearings, maximum drag pressure, and finally, their weight.

Stainless steel, Graphite, and Aluminum

This whole reel, including the rotor, is crafted from these three materials. They make the reel very durable. Moreover, the reel is very light as the lightest model only weighs 5.9 (oz.) while the heaviest model weighs 10.9 (oz.).

The handle is crafted from Aluminum. This makes it extremely durable, as it is capable of withstanding many hours of usage. It is not impacted by rainy weather or dust, as nothing will stop it from performing.

Soft Touch Ergonomic Knob

This feature makes you more comfortable when gripping the knob. The company went to great extents to make fishing as pleasant and as comfortable as possible. The knob is shaped in a dimpled knob design. It fits perfectly at your fingertips.

10-Bearing System

This is the same bearing system used in other models. It does not need to be changed as it functions perfectly. Corrosion-resistant stainless steel ball bearings are used in this system, and they provide you with an excellent and smooth retrieval. However, since this is not a sealed bearing system, you will have to wash your reel whenever you fish in salty water.

Sure-Click™ Heavy Duty Aluminum Bail

This feature is a trademark for almost all of the Pflueger reels. It generates a click sound that signals that the bail is open and ready to cast. However, it is recommended that you manually close the bail after casting to give your reel a longer life span. The bail is constructed from heavy-duty Aluminum, which will make it last longer and be stronger than any of its predecessors.

Braid Ready Spool

This is a beautiful addition to this model. The braid ready spool is made from Aluminum, which makes durable. It allows braid to be directly tied to the spool using a series of vertical rubber grommets that will enable the slippery braid to grip the spool and without needing to have mono backing.

Models

The first model is the PRESSP20X or the 6920. It has a braid capacity of 180/4, 125/6 and 100/8, a monofilament capacity of 200/2, 100/4 and 80/6, 9 ball bearings and a roller bearing, a maximum drag of 6 (lbs.), a 5:2:1 gear ratio, 20.7 line recovery and finally weighs 5.9 (oz.).

The second model is the PRESSP25X or the 6925. It has a 200/4, 140/6, and 110/8 braid capacity, a 220/2, 110/4 and 90/6 monofilament capacity, 9 ball bearings and a roller bearing, a maximum drag of 6 (lbs.), a 5:2:1 gear ratio, 22.4 line recovery and finally it weighs 7.2 (oz.).

The third model is the PRESSP30X or the 6930. It has a 275/6, 190/8, and 160/10 braid capacity, a 225/4, 145/6 and 130/8 monofilament capacity, 9 ball bearings and a roller bearing, a maximum drag of 9 (lbs.), a 5:2:1 gear ratio, 25.2 line recovery and finally it weighs 8.3 (oz.).

The fourth model is the PRESSP35X or the 6935. It has a 250/8, 220/10, and 160/14 braid capacity, a 230/6, 185/8 and 155/10 monofilament capacity, 9 ball bearings and a roller bearing, a maximum drag of 10 (lbs.), a 5:2:1 gear ratio, 27.4 line recovery and finally it weighs 9.9 (oz.).

The fifth and final model is the PRESSP40X or the 6940. It has a 320/10, 280/14, and 220/20 braid capacity, 285/8, 230/10 and 195/12 monofilament capacity, 9 ball bearings and a roller bearing, a maximum drag of 12 (lbs.), a 5:2:1 gear ratio, 30.2 line recovery and it weighs 10.9 (oz.)

Pros

  • Strong
  • Braid Ready Spool
  • Soft Touch Knob

Cons

  • The bail is not sealed

Final Thoughts

Finally, it is safe to say that this is one of the best budget-friendly spinning reels on the market. It is very cost-effective, and you will be getting a bang for your buck when you purchase it.

It is packed with amazing features that will turn your fishing trips into a fun and comfortable experience that you will never forget.

Shimano Stradic Ci4+ Review

Are you searching for a durable spinning reel?

Then look no further as the Shimano Stradic Ci4+ is the reel of your dreams. It received some significant updates from its predecessor, which further improved its attributes and features.

Throughout this article, we will further explore this model to highlight its best and worst attributes.

Shimano Stradic Ci4+ Review

The Shimano Stradic Ci4+ comes in four different models, which are 1000, 2500, 3000 and 4000. These four models differ in their line retrieve, gear ratio, monofilament line capacity, braided line capacity, maximum drag, ball bearings and finally their weight.

Its slick and compact design make it very comfortable to hold and use. Moreover, it is packed with amazing features that will compel any angler to purchase it. We will now explore these fantastic features.

Shimano's X-Ship

This fantastic addition was not available in the previous versions such as the Shimano Stradic Ci4. This technology provides the reel with a double bearing supported pinion gear. This, in turn, provides you with much more control during your retrieval process. The added control is handy, especially if you are retrieving a heavy load.

Magnumlite Rotor

This rotor is 25% lighter than any previous rotor. Thus, it has better balance, which will make it easier for you to start and stop your process of retrieval. This means that you will spend less inertia and less energy during retrievals, Moreover, it creates more balance and you will have very smooth retrievals, which Shimano reels are famous for.

G-Free Body Design

This is a design-related feature, but it is an important feature nonetheless. This feature is present in pricier models such as the Shimano Stella and the Shimano Stradic FK. It allows you to acquire a better grip and a better feel for when you strike and when you battle the fish. This occurs due to the reel's centre of gravity being moved closer to the rod.

Advanced CoreProtect Water Resistance

This feature is concerned with the product's durability. It provides you with 360-degree protection from almost anything. Therefore, you will no longer have to be worried about rain damaging your reel or if accidentally drop your reel into the water. The Coreprotect practically makes your reel invincible.

Super-light, Strong CI4+ Carbon Body

This reel is very durable, light and strong all thanks to its amazingly constructed carbon body. It was built with durability in mind. The creators went to great extents to make this model as durable and as reliable as it as can be. Therefore, you do not need to worry about it being damaged or ruined, as it will stay in its best condition for long periods.

X-Ship Pinion Gear Support System

It works by positioning the pinion gear close to the centre line of the large diameter drive gear, thus giving more power to the rotor and providing you with more efficiency. It also has minimum pinion gear twist and rotor deflection due to it being supported by two Shimano A-RB roller bearings.

We will now talk about each model and the differences between them. We will start with the 1000 or the STCI41000HGFB. This model has a 31 (in) line retrieve, a 6:0:1 gear ratio, a 2/270, 4/140 and 6/110 monofilament line capacity, a 10/95, 15/85 and 20/65 braided line capacity, a 7 (lb.) maximum drag, 6 ball bearings and a roller bearing  and weighs 5.6 (oz.).

The 2500 model or the STCI42500HGFB has a 35 (in) line retrieve, a 6:0:1 gear ratio, a 6/200, 8/140 and 10/120 monofilament line capacity, a 10/150, 15/145 and 30/100 braided line capacity, a 20 (lb.) maximum drag, 6 ball bearings and a roller bearing and weighs 6.7 (oz.).

The 3000 model or the STCI4C3000HGFB has a 35 (in) line retrieve, a 6.0:1 gear ratio, a 6/230, 8/170 and 10/140 monofilament line capacity, a 10/200,20/140 and 40/105 braided line capacity, a 20 (lb.) maximum drag, 6 ball bearings and a roller bearing and weighs 6.7 (oz.).

The 4000 model or the STCI44000XGFB has a 39 (in) line retrieve, a 6:2:1 gear ratio, an 8/240, 10/200 and 12/160 monofilament line capacity, a 15/280, 30/170 and 50/150 braided line capacity, a 24 (lb.) maximum drag, 6 ball bearings and a roller bearing and weighs 8.1 (oz.).

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Water-Resistant

Cons

  • Expensive

Final Thoughts

This is an amazing reel for both professional and amateur anglers. Despite its high price, you will be getting fantastic features that will turn your fishing experience into an unforgettable time.

KastKing Sharky III Review

Are you searching for a durable and robust spinning reel?
Then the KastKing Sharky III is the reel of your dreams. It is innovative and loaded with new features. It is a standout model in the world of spinning reels.
Throughout this article, we will explore this article to identify its features and best and worst attributes further.
This model is very different from its predecessors. It has an improved grip, is more durable and more efficient. It contains multiple new features that were not present in any of the previous models; these features will compel any angler to purchase it.


Stainless Steel Housing


This is the ultimate form of durability. This reel has a stainless steel housing, which prevents and corrosion or rust from damaging the reel. This also means that you will be able to use the reel for extended periods of time without having to worry about any damage occurring to it.


Features


This model is full of amazing features that make it one of the most durable and one of the strongest in the market. From the aluminum spool to the fiber strengthened frame and the precision manganese brass alloy inner tools. All these fantastic features work on increasing the product's efficiency, power, and durability.


Power


This reel is the ideal model to catch large and heavy fish. It comes with a powerful drag system that is capable of catching 39.5 pounds. The firm triple disc carbon fiber drag, substantial stainless steel main shaft, and more precision mesh manganese brass pinion gears provide great help and assistance during fishing through increasing your efficiency.


Corrosion Resistant Drive Gear


This is a fantastic feature that provides you with high stability during fishing. It also increases the reel's durability by preventing any corrosion or rust from building up.


Anti-Twist Line Roller


This is one of the best features of this model (if not the best and most important). It prevents your line from twisting and coiling upon itself. We all know that this can happen quite a lot, especially if your prey is too large or too strong.

This addition prevents your line from being tangled, which saves you a lot of time. It also saves you money because a tangled line needs to be replaced.


Superb Braid Ready Spool


If you end up choosing a braided line over a monofilament line, then you are in luck. This reel has a fantastic feature that is custom made for braided lines only. This feature works on preventing a braided line from slipping while reducing the backing requirement.

The smoothness of this reel is on another level. Whenever you fish, you will instantly sense the difference. This is due to the Shark Fin Braid Ready aluminum spool.


I.S.S.


This upgrade of the previous K.I.S.S feature. It has an exclusive spool, which has a water-resistant design that protects the rotor. The shield system functions by aiding the spool to drain the water from any dust or dirt particles. This ultimate protection feature will give you an extended lifetime and excellent efficiency.


Bearings


The bearings of this reel are on a different level. The items are equipped with ten plus one butter-smooth mixture bearings. This reel is also perfect for saltwater due to the presence of double-shielded stainless steel bearings.

The Mess Grass bear is an excellent addition for whenever you are catching a big fish. It will provide you with fantastic retrieval, which will ease your fishing experience.


Price


This model's value is excellent for its relatively low price (49.99$). For a price this low, you will be getting fantastic value and outstanding features.


Pros

  • Durable
  • Smooth drag
  • Value for Price


Cons

  • Bail is low enough to lay the line at the spool


Final Thoughts


Finally, it is safe to say that the KastKing Sharky III is one of the best spinning reels in the market. It is suitable for all anglers, whether professional or amateur. You can use it for fishing in lakes, ponds, seas, and even oceans. It is also strong enough to tackle larger and heavier fish while offering you excellent retrieval ability.

It has impressive features that will compel any angler to make it his go-to reel. You will also be getting a bang for your buck when you purchase this reel due to its relatively low price and fantastic features.

How to Pick a Fly Tying Vise: A Buying Guide.

When you’re deciding on a fly tying vise to buy, you should know that there are plenty of options and that none considerably outshines the others. It’s all a matter of preference.

So you should make sure that you’ve tried out as many fly tying vises as you can, rate them, and then pick the one that suits you best.

But generally, the things you should pay attention to when you’re testing the vise are as follows:

Rotary vs. Non-Rotary Vises

Vises have two variants: rotary and non-rotary vises.

Non-rotary vises are more common and affordable. They have basic functionality but lack extras such as bells and whistles that are typically found on rotary vises.

These extras make rotary vises the more favored option by seasoned anglers and professionals.

This is because they’re practical when it comes to winding the wire or when ribbing is involved.

Moreover, rotary vises give you 360-degree tying flexibility as well as the ability to inspect the fly from different angles.

Rotary vises also give you the ability to rotate the hook for more convenience and ease of use.

So it’s pretty evident that they’re a lot superior to non-rotary vises. However, they’re also a lot more expensive, so if you’re not experienced enough to use one, you might want to start with a more affordable non-rotary vise.

C-Clamp vs. Pedestal Vise

Choosing between a C-clamp and a pedestal vise depends on how you prefer tying your flies.

If you enjoy tying your flies at home before setting out on your fishing trip, then a C-clamp is the better choice for you. This is because they work best when you’re operating from a permanent and stable place.

Contrarily, if you prefer portability and a vise that works in different places, then you should go for a pedestal one.

Pedestal vises are, naturally, more compact, and easier to carry around.

Materials

Fly tying vises are usually made from aluminum, steel, or a combination of both.

Aluminum ones are lighter and have better resistance against corrosion, and that’s why they’re the better choice if you’re going for a pedestal fly tying vise that you’ll take into action.

On the other hand, steel vises are more durable, powerful, and offer a better grip.

So if you’re going for a C-clamp vise, it’s better if you get a steel one.

Being heavier and bulkier won’t be a problem as you’re going for stationary use, and you’ll enjoy the power and reliability it has to offer.

Jaws

You can go for a vise with fixed jaws or interchangeable ones. The latter is superior in that it accommodates a wider range of hooks, consequently providing you with more versatility.

And these allow you to tie tiny midge hooks as well as large saltwater ones, so they cover the entire gamut.

However, they’re more expensive, so if you’re not going to target a wide range of species, go for a fixed-jaw model.

Types of Jaws

When you’re shopping for vises, you’ll find that there are two types out there: collet and lever-type (parallel clamp) vises.

Collet Vises

Collet vises use one-piece jaws that resemble tweezers when they’re in the open position.

At the rear of the vise barrel, you'll find a lever and cam that you can use to pull and push the jaws into a ring called a collet.

Most collet vises have a sleeker profile, and because of the tremendous force exerted onto the collet, push-collet vises usually come with a substantial metal collar behind the jaws. Some anglers may face problems accessing small hooks due to this design.

Level-Type (Parallel Clamp) Vises

Lever-type jaws operate in a similar way to a wooden clothespin, as they require two-piece jaws, a fulcrum, and a mechanism to close the jaws.

On some models, a small screw near the tip of the jaws offers adjustment between hook-wire diameters.

You can use a thumbscrew or a cam level to close jaws by separating the “tails” of the jaws.

Both designs have advantages and downsides, so it depends on the performance you’re looking to get from your vise.

Types of Vise Bases

When you’re fly fishing, you’re going to target a wide array of species. And this is the main problem when it comes to bases as there’s no one-size-fits-all.

A rule of thumb is, the heavier the base is, the sturdier and more stable it will be.

Bronze Pocket Base

These are tough, well-designed, and easy to carry around.

Bronze Traditional Base

Although these are a little bulky, they act as a very stable platform.

Aluminum Pocket Base

These are small, lightweight, and affordable. However, they only work with small hooks.

The Bobbin Cradle

Not all vises come with a bobbin cradle, but the ones that do offer you more convenience allow you to rest your bobbin between tying sessions.

The good part about this component is that if you don’t have the budget to buy a vise with a bobbin cradle, you can build one yourself.

Final Thoughts

Although vises have different features, components, and finishes, buying a certain vise won’t guarantee anything if you don’t master the technique, then it won’t be effective.

You have to understand how vises work and know your control or things that hold the feather in a specific way –in other words, lots of practice.

Griffin Odyssey Spider Review

If you’re looking for a high-value yet reasonably-priced rotary vise, the Griffin Odyssey Spider would be an excellent option for you. It utilizes advanced technology that makes it quite efficient.

Its wide array of hook positions and fine-tuning adjustments won’t hold you back from any fishing endeavors.

Performance and Jaws

The Griffin Odyssey Spider comes with a C-clamp base to allow you to attach it to a table or desk. This gives you superb stability to do all your tying before you set out on your fishing trip.

The high tempered steel jaws effectively hold hooks of sizes 28 and up to 4/0, so you get a lot of versatility out of this vise.

And whether you’re a beginner or an experienced fly angler, you’ll appreciate the versatile performance as this vise can tie midges as well as more articulated hooks.

Full-Rotary Action

To provide you with convenient use, the Odyssey Spider comes with a 360-degree rotation capability that enables you to spin the fly in whatever direction that you prefer.

And to enjoy a true-rotary capability, you can adjust the height of the jaws with the included Allen wrench. The hook shank can be aligned perfectly in-line with the horizontal rotating axis of the vise.

Bobbin Cradle

Moreover, the vise comes with a bobbin holder –a feature that is often not included on more expensive vises and quite underrated. A bobbin holder or a cradle is a spool that holds your fly-tying thread in order to facilitate the process of fly tying as well as allow you to take breaks in-between flying sessions.

Dimensions and Weight

The Odyssey Spider weighs only 0.95 pounds, which is pretty light for portability. It’s also quite compact as it measures only 13 x 1 x 1 inches. However, this may not be very relative since it only comes with a C-clamp that you have to fix on a working table. This means you likely won’t actually carry it with you into fishing action.

Durability

However, the Griffin Odyssey Spider does have some downsides. For one, it comes with a few plastic fittings and knobs. Its aesthetics are also not the best, but that matters little when you consider the fact that it’s a US-built vise and comes with a lifetime guarantee.

So while it won’t feel as rock-solid and sturdy as other high-end vises such as the Regal Vise. But it still functions quite smoothly and will last for a long time thanks to the durable steel and aluminum construction.

Pros:

  • Lightweight and portable design
  • Comes with a DVD that acts as an instruction manual for set up
  • Holds a wide variety of hook sizes
  • The 360-degree full rotation feature enables users to turn the fly over without taking if off the jaws
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • Superb value for the price
  • Very easy to set up and use

Cons:

  • The bobbin cradle is a little too small
  • Jaws aren’t the most powerful
  • Plastic parts reduce its durability
  • Only has a clamp base

Can I Tie My Flies Using the Griffin Odyssey Spider While Fishing?

It’s better if you use your Odyssey Spider before the fishing trip to tie all your flies and hooks. This is because the C-clamp has to be attached to a stable work table in order for the vise to function most efficiently.

However, the dimensions and weight of this vise make it very portable and easy to carry around. So, you can take it with you to tie hooks during your fishing action, but you have to make sure that there will be a stable area available where you can attach the clamp. And it’s always better if you’re prepared with pre-ready hooks.

Final Thoughts

Although the Griffin Odyssey Spider is marketed as an entry-level vise, I think the only thing that’s entry-level about it is the price. Otherwise, it has amazing performance, an ergonomic design, and great features. And its pros definitely outweigh the cons.

What Is the Best Time of Day to Go Fishing?

Fishing or angling is the sport of trying to catch a fish with a rod, line and baited hooks. Fishing goes back thousands of years, and it appears that its techniques were already quite advanced at a very early date. What is more important than the techniques, is definitely the timing. The question should not be ‘how to’ but ‘when to.’ It is difficult to decide when is the best time to grab your fishing equipment and hit the water. 

Surely, there are so many factors that affect the way your target fish act, and honestly, there is no golden rule as for the best time to try your hand. 

Times of Fishing

Time, weather, tides are prominent factors that affect the behavior of the fish. As for the time, there are four different periods in the day and, of course, the types of fish and the techniques differ from each period of the day. 

Dawn and Early Morning

It is one of the perfect and suitable times for angling. It is when the water temperature is at its lowest in summer, spring or even early fall. It is when you find only a few people. So, you will not be dealing with loud kids and splashing swimmers. This time of the day is when the fish come up to a place where it is moderately cool before the sun’s rays warm up the surface. It is when the flying insects are active as well. So surely, any angler has a great chance of catching different kinds of fish. 

As far as early morning in winter is concerned, it is not the best at all because the temperature of the water and air is the same specifically at that time and season; so, the fish remain in the bottom inactive waiting for the sun’s light and rays to warm up the surface a little bit. 

Late Morning and Noon 

Yes, it is that difficult -sometimes, unbearable- time of the day. It is the same to the fish. Late morning and noon is when the sun gets high in the middle of the sky and heats the surface. It is when its rays at their strongest and everywhere is warm. Of course, we try as much as possible to avoid being exposed to this kind of temperature and so do the fish. They swim deep in search of colder water. As aforementioned, weather plays a very important role in the way of the behavior of the fish, so the more windy and rainy it is, the more chances you get to catch many fish because overcast weather reduces the amount of sunlight and rays to the surface, accordingly, the temperature gets low and the fish will swim towards the surface for the warm water. Late morning and noon is the best time in winter to grab your gear and go fishing because it is the only period of the day where the water gets warmed up a bit and that enables the fish to move around and feed. 

Afternoon and Dusk 

Similar to early morning, afternoon is a very rich time of the day to go fishing in summer, spring and fall because the sun is low in position and that helps the water to be cooler, and accordingly, the fish become active and feed. Noon still remains the most productive time of the day in winter, but bear in mind that it quickly come to a standstill due to the sunset. 

Evening and Midnight 

Always bear in mind that in warm weather the period between dusk and midnight is one of the fruitful and high-yielding time to go and fish. It is the unavailability of light that triggers some fish to go out and feed, especially in the first half of the night. The dim light of the moon helps your lure to be visible to the fish and that gives you lots of chances to catch so many types of fish; however, the process slows down as the night moves forward because the temperature gets lower accordingly. You still can hit the water and there is no harm to try a hand. In winter, late night fishing is not preferable because most of the fish do not feed excessively and prefer to remain inactive in the bottom.

Further Considerations

As aforementioned, it is not only time that determine when to go fishing, but there are other factors that you need to bear in mind as well. 

Tidal Conditions

Tides are the rise and fall of sea levels due to the gravitational forces by the Moon and the Sun, and the rotation of the Earth. Always bear in mind that if you are angling in saltwater, paying attention to the tides is worthy. There are two different types of tides; outgoing and incoming tides. It is said by so many anglers that incoming tides is one of the most productive times to hit the water. While the outgoing tides -or falling tides- will always carry your baits out. As the tide begins to raise the water, fish start beat-pounding in search of food. So, avoid exercising fishing in immobile saltwater. 

Atmospheric Conditions

Weather patterns is a very significant factor that shape the behavior of the fish. As previously mentioned, the more wind and rain there, the more chances of having a very productive catch and that is applied in summer; however, in late fall and winter, the fish sometimes remain inactive in the bottom. 

 Safety and Comfort

You certainly spend time thinking of which time is suitable for fishing and the times that the fish is comfortable to come out, of course considering what affects you too is important. What makes fishing or angling fun and enjoyable is not only the amount of fish you catch, but the time spent as well. So, you need to make sure that it is spent while you are safe and comfortable. 

In case you are fishing in the late morning and early noon especially in summer, spring and fall, you need to make sure to put on sunscreen and wear a hat to protect you from the harmful sun rays. However, that does not apply to early morning trips since you will not be exposed to many sun rays. Insects become so active in the late afternoon. Of course, you do not want to end up with itchy parts on your body from biting insects. So, make sure you put on bug spray or wear long sleeves and pants preferably. Speaking of bugs and biting insects, night fishing is the most challenging time regarding this aspect because mosquitoes and bugs are very active in that time. So, spray the repellent, mate! Fish can see in the dark, you cannot. So, always make sure your night fishing is accompanied with a good flashlight or lantern, and if possible, you can get one of those headlamps to give you a good sight in the dark and free your hands a bit. 

Final Thoughts

It is definitely helpful to follow the above guidelines and fish in the most fruitful time of day, season or weather conditions, but always remember that fishing is all about luck. Many anglers say that sometimes they are lucky in wrong times, and there are plenty of fish in the sea, maybe some go in search of food while you are trying a hand. Give it a shot anytime you feel like fishing, surely there will be no huge harm.

Spinning Reel vs. Bait-caster

This comparison between the two reels is to help guide you through the fishing world. Reels are the first thing you should be thinking about whether you are preparing a fishing trip or want to try out fishing for the first time. This is because it is the device that allows you to cast your bait at different distances and get you the fish you want.

However, the different types of reels can confuse you. Both the spinning reel and the bait-caster have the same job, but each of them has different qualities and characteristics. You can use both or you can pick one depending on your fishing preference and level of experience. In other words, your choice between a spinning reel and a bait-caster depends on which fish you want to catch and are you a beginner or a pro?

This can be a tricky comparison. So, here are the major differences you need to consider when choosing between them.

1. Casting Distance 

Baitcasters have a higher ability than spinning reels to make you cast further and with greater accuracy. Using a bait caster will allow you to reach the “honeypot”  while you are standing far on the shore. They also give you more accuracy over long distances.

2. Types of Hooks, Lures, and Fish

Spinning reels are more adaptable with small hooks and lighter lures. They have a sensitive drag system, allowing them to be more convenient with small and average-size fish. While baitcasters are more suitable for fishing and handling larger fish. The reel has more control with heavy weighted lures and hooks.

Another significant point; spinning reels work more efficiently with live bait than baitcasters do. 

3. The Gear Ratio

Baitcasters have a higher gear ratio than that of spinning reels. They provide faster casting and retrieval of the spool. The high-speed options of the baitcasters facilitate the fishing process especially when big sized fish are tangled on the heavy lures. 

As for the spinning reels, they have a lower gear ratio, sometimes it levels up to medium speed. Moreover, they tend to need a small manual intervention, so you might need to hold the line while you are casting the bait with your index to give it more control when casting. 

4. Backlash Risk

Spinning reels suffer fewer backlashes as they handle the wind better. They provide more stability against the wind due to the lightness of their lures. On the other side, baitcasters are more subject to backlashes. This is because they form wind knots due to the instability of their lures. 

5. The Orientation of the Spool

In baitcasters, the orientation of the spool is more of fixed control. It requires minimum effort when casting or dropping as the spool is in line with the fishing rod. So, it makes the casting of the bait smoother and quicker. 

Although the spinning reels have higher flexibility, they have less control over the spool. Their spool is perpendicular to the fishing rod. So, the line of the spinning reel is placed directly away from the rod. It takes more time to follow the line of the rod.

6. The Direction of your Hand

The spinning reels top over the baitcasters in the “swapping option”. Spinning reels allows you to use it through both sides, by swapping it to the left or to the right. 

Contrarily a baitcaster doesn’t have a “swapping option”. You can only purchase a reel of a certain design, either for left-handed or right-handed people. It is not a -on-the-run kind of reel. 

Final Thoughts

Finally, we can say that these differences may seem minor for an experienced fisher. However, for a beginner who wants something easy, flexible and doesn’t require much focus. The spinning reel is your ultimate choice. It is guaranteed that you have a fun and enjoyable fishing experience. This is because you won’t have to worry about backlashes or bad water conditions. You will cast and retrieve hoping an average fish is caught on the lure. And you get to enjoy the sound of the drag being pulled at a fast pace. It gives you an unforgettable adrenaline rush. 

If you are a pro or you want to have customized fishing experience, then go for the baitcasters, they are the real deal. They allow you to have control in most situations, seize bigger fish and gain more professional experience. 

A final piece of advice is to plan your fishing trip ahead by knowing what kind of fish you want and what kind of experience you want to have out of your trip.No one knows the type of reel that will suit you well except you. Do your research first.  

How to Clean a Baitcasting Reel at Home?

A baitcasting reel is one of the most popular reels in the fishing world. It is the easiest type for beginners and the lightest type for the pros. You can’t go fishing without it. Naturally, after a long successful fishing weekend, you may want to clean your baitcasting reel, to ensure that it stays practical, flawless and free from any dirt or tangles. 

Also, if you clean your baitcasting reel frequently it wouldn’t corrode quickly. Although you can give it to a fishing shop to clean it for you, you are better off doing this job yourself. If you clean your baitcasting reel at home, you are more likely to get it cleaned faster and with higher accuracy.

So, how do you clean a baitcasting reel?  There are 5 simple steps you should follow. Continue reading to know what you should do, the tools you should get and what details you shouldn’t miss.  

Step 1: Gather the Required Cleaning Tools 

For the efficient cleaning of your baitcasting reel, you will need the following tools:

  1. Warm water with soap or distilled water
  2. Dry towel
  3. Cotton or a toothbrush
  4. Cotton swabs or Q-tips
  5. Oil or a degreaser
  6. Rubbing alcohol
  7. Lubricants

Step 2: Double-Cleaning

The outer cover can be as dirty as the inside of the reel. So, firstly, you must clean the outer cover by brushing the dirt off with a dry towel or a toothbrush.

Secondly, you should open the reel’s cover, take the spool out, either smoothly wipe it with a cotton pad containing rubbing alcohol or tap it gently to dust out any dirt. 

Thirdly, separate the lines and spool from the reel and soak them in warm water, you may add soap with them. Leave them for a few minutes, then dry them. After the spool is dry, it is better to rub oil on its sides. This is because oil makes the spool performance easier and smoother. 

Finally, clean the inside of the reel by using cotton swabs or Q-tips. 

Step 3: Deep Cleansing 

To properly clean the internal sides of the reel, you need to deep clean it. 

Dip the cotton swabs or Q-tips into the rubbing alcohol, then move it along the internal surface to get any stuck dirt out. Repeat the process 2 or 3 times to make sure that you have reached all the places the dirt might accumulate in.

The internal sides of the reel contain “ the pinion area” and because it is a small and narrow area, you will need to use a Q-tip to reach its insides. This Q-tip must be dipped in rubbing alcohol. 

Step 4: Re-touch 

After cleaning the reel internally and externally, you have to finish with lubricating the bearings and the spool by using a lubricant gel. This process of lubrication will reduce the friction between the spool and the line and will reduce the chances of the reel’s corrosion. It will also keep the baitcasting reel working as smoothly as a new one. 

Step 5: Final Touches

Now, it’s time for the final touch before re-putting the parts of the reel back together; to clean the handles. You can clean them by removing them and soaking them into the warm water with soap or by using a Q-tip or a cotton swab with oil. You may want to polish it with oil to prevent its erosion. 

Furthermore, you have to wait for the cleaned parts to dry, then protect them from future dirt and corrosion by putting a layer of oil on them. Reet oil is the best choice. And when everything is dried up, add all the parts together. It will be as smooth, polished and cleaned as a new reel.

Final Thoughts

Cleaning a baitcasting reel can be a fulfilling job, polishing and varnishing your baitcasting reel can give you a feeling of glory as cleaning your baitcasting reel is essential for smooth and long-lasting performance without having to buy new reels or getting your reel repaired every now and again. 

So all you have to do is to make sure that your cleaning process is successful is that; while cleaning your reel, you must search for the hidden parts where the dirt can accumulate, But be careful not to mess, tangle or cut any part. 

The most favorable time to clean your baitcasting reel is after a long fishing day in saltwater. Though you don’t have to do it frequently, it is preferable to clean it when you have been using it for long hours. If you follow those steps closely, the look and glow of your reel will speak of itself.