Advertisement

Author Topic: Fishing Equipment Reviews  (Read 55312 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline VillainousHero

  • Elite Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 13816
  • Gender: Male
  • Villain or Hero
  • Respect: +399
    • View Profile
Re: Fishing Equipment Reviews
« Reply #120 on: June 17, 2015, 01:29:04 PM »
Ugly Stik Catfish rod

The white Ugly Stik I purchased is a medium heavy powe, seven feet rod.  I kind of wanted a Heavy power but this will just have to do.  The reel seat is designed for those large version heavyweight reels.  For now I have my old Stradic FG 4000 paired up with it.  White reel on a white rod isn't too shabby.  I have 50# Whiplash braid on it.  This braid is about the equivalent of most 40# braids.

Casting, I don't have it down yet for thus rod.  It feels awkward because it does not load up like other Ugly Stik of medium power nor does it match up to other graphite rods.  It is sort of in between, but still an Ugly Stik feel.  I have a lot of other rods to compare it to.

The hook keeper is a problem design. It is mounted perpendicular as opposed to traditional parallel mounts.  Furthermore it is on the side so there has been a few times my line fit caught up on it.  That's what happens when fishing in the night.

The bite detection for the rod tip is not as soft as I would've like.  It doesn't have that traditional Ugly Stik rod tip action.  To be fair the location of where I was fishing has pressured catfish that do not hit hard.  I was evev having trouble hooking up with a medium power Ugly Stik Pro.  The only was to hook up consistently was with a graphite rod while you hold it. 

While hooked up to nice 22-26" catfish the rod loads up nice and progressive.  It basically flexed on full load to the same as my heavy power graphite rod.  This is what this rod does very well.  I have my very old Rhino Glow tip Medium Heavy rod that has a softer tip and more backbone that I'm much more use to, that I find better.  The Ugly Stik just doesn't have the fish head turning ability but keeps a nice progressive load.

White is also very easy to see in the night as well. The Glow line guides in the top three makes it look cool.  If anyone wants a dedicated catfishing rod, this rod fits the role very well.  I just wish they have a heavy power version. At $40 its a great buy. 



Like this post: 0
The real villain is looking at you.  The last hero was just not true.  If everything works out in the end.  It's because all things make amends.

Adverstisement

Offline VillainousHero

  • Elite Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 13816
  • Gender: Male
  • Villain or Hero
  • Respect: +399
    • View Profile
Re: Fishing Equipment Reviews
« Reply #121 on: June 22, 2015, 11:53:11 AM »
Bomber Slab Spoon

This thing works great.  It's a heavy weight spoon so it cast very far.  It will reach the other side of the bank at the Stillwater power plant. It can get to the bottom with authority.  It has a great wobble and won't spin.  I'm using the 1 1/4 oz size. 

I wished I would have given these a chance years ago when they had various sizes.


« Last Edit: June 22, 2015, 03:42:56 PM by VillainousHero »

Like this post: 0
The real villain is looking at you.  The last hero was just not true.  If everything works out in the end.  It's because all things make amends.

Offline VillainousHero

  • Elite Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 13816
  • Gender: Male
  • Villain or Hero
  • Respect: +399
    • View Profile
Re: Fishing Equipment Reviews
« Reply #122 on: June 29, 2015, 06:52:44 AM »
Sufix 832 braid line.

The strange thing about this line is the Gore strand as part of the weave.  It stands out with the braid at just the right angle in direct light.  One can also feel it fingering the line.

I used the low vise green line and color fade on the first day was obvious on the last few feet of the line.  After one weekend of several hours of use, the color fade looked very pale.  I had a great green line on the spool that I did not recognized as 832 braid at all.

Being the first 8 strand line at 50# test and under the 30# to 10# braid offers significant line control and feel.  The line management was very good on both spinning and bait caster reels.  In comparison to other braids, Sufix High Performance braid at 50# equivalent basically operated at the same with 6 strands.  30# Spiderwire Ultimate braid is just 6 strands and has a slightly lighter feel while casting.  20# Fireline braid with only 4 strands may feel stiff and rough but offers a significantly lighter feel while casting and retrieving.  10# Sufix High Performance is obviously bootlace rough and noisy in comparison.  Overall it seems the Gore fiber presents a bit more weight to the 832 line.  I did not notice any significant line sinking advantage or disadvantage to surface lures.  Sufix High Performance 80# braid has a higher strands count at 9 strands.  Thus actually has a smoother feel.

Like all braids, one needs to pay attention to the line management on the spool, else wise there will be a backlash or birds nest coming off one of the subsequent cast.

I did not try this braid on any reel less than $100  nor on any fishing poles less than $150.  So I cannot attest to lower performance results from lower precision gear. 



Like this post: 0
The real villain is looking at you.  The last hero was just not true.  If everything works out in the end.  It's because all things make amends.

Offline VillainousHero

  • Elite Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 13816
  • Gender: Male
  • Villain or Hero
  • Respect: +399
    • View Profile
Re: Fishing Equipment Reviews
« Reply #123 on: July 28, 2022, 03:42:08 PM »
Perfect mismatch set up.

With the BFS segment growing in popularity and yet there is still a lack of availability.  So for a complete fobby set up, I got it going good.  I really like how my St. Croix Premier 6' Light power spinning rod performs in so many ways.  I decided that I should just put the new Curado BFS casting reel onto it.  Of course it's mismatched.  Baitcasting reel on a spinning rod is the double take look head shake of a total noob at fishing. 

At first I was afraid that without that handle trigger, that I would fling my rod.  Well it hasn't happen.  In fact without the handle trigger, the palming cradle hold on it was so much more comfortable.  In fact the palm hold and casting was very smooth and flawless.  I'm comparing this directly to my 6' Legend Elite Medium casting rod.  In fact I am reconsidering the whole mismatch set up as a perfect combo in performance. 

I am really gonna try pond trout fishing with this when next chance I get.  For now play with the baby bass and panfish.



Like this post: 0
The real villain is looking at you.  The last hero was just not true.  If everything works out in the end.  It's because all things make amends.

Offline Reporter

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 84275
  • Pey-Pey and NiNi's 1st Snow Kid.
  • Respect: +562
    • View Profile
Re: Fishing Equipment Reviews
« Reply #124 on: July 29, 2022, 03:16:51 PM »
I have a fly fishing set but I haven't used it. It's pretty awkward. I want to use my regular fishing set for trout fishing. So, this fly fishing set will  just have to sit around without being used. Years from now it will have value as an antique.



Like this post: 0
"...
The snooping eye sees everything."--Ono No Komachi, Japanese Poetess (emphasis)

Offline VillainousHero

  • Elite Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 13816
  • Gender: Male
  • Villain or Hero
  • Respect: +399
    • View Profile
Re: Fishing Equipment Reviews
« Reply #125 on: August 03, 2022, 09:27:22 PM »
Stradic FG's 1000 and 4000

So after about twenty years of usage, with the last few years not so much, because the reels start to bind up while fishing in the rain.  I guess in a way, it's official, it's time to retire the reels.  History time...

Around just past the millennia, when I was just about trying out better fishing equipment stuff.  I had still used mostly Ugly Stiks and Shakespeare reels - the Walmart stuff.   If you in MN, you know Joe's Sporting Goods.  So eventually shopped at Joe's and decided that perhaps I needed a new reel, better than the yearly Shakespeare junk that eventually get's thrown away after a year or two.  At that time reels of the cheap kind were anywhere from $15 up to $50.  Most of us buy the $20 to $30 reels.  And it seems like we do that every year.

I was reading a lot of fisherman articles and advertisements, learning which reel to get.  Heck I was still sporting my father's old Zebco 33 reels too.  Somehow I saw on the clearance rack, two Stradic 4000FG reels.  This was the reel that I had been reading articles on.  Comes with spare spools too, that means I can tie up two different types of lines.  One for bobber fishing and the other one for bottom rigs.  The clearance price was just a little over one hundred dollars.  So I snatched both of them.   I also picked up a St. Croix Premiere 6' Light power rod.  This was really the start of it.

After using the Stradic 4000FG reel on the Light power rod, there was some misgivings.  One the reels are kind of heavy for such a light rod.  It was about a month later went to Joe's and again saw two Stradic 1000FG reels on clearance too.  Bam! Snatched both of those reels.  And that's how the Shimano's and St. Croix came into my possession and that's how it all basically started the better equipment purchases.



Like this post: 0
The real villain is looking at you.  The last hero was just not true.  If everything works out in the end.  It's because all things make amends.

Offline Reporter

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 84275
  • Pey-Pey and NiNi's 1st Snow Kid.
  • Respect: +562
    • View Profile
Re: Fishing Equipment Reviews
« Reply #126 on: August 04, 2022, 09:55:57 AM »
I would have been happy with just a bamboo stick like I used to have back in Laos over the mountain streams and my father's fish pond. But the waters here are much wider. Can't reach out far enough for the big bites on mornings. So, I decided to go ahead with an American fishing rod.

I remember holding a Zebco years ago. Then I had another retractable rod of some kind.

I didn't know of the good ones till Facebook surfaced and there are fishing groups passing around ideas.

Of course, last  year was the first I cared enough to get the Stradic, etc. Love the performances of these new equipment. Not going back for anything below that.



Like this post: 0
"...
The snooping eye sees everything."--Ono No Komachi, Japanese Poetess (emphasis)

Offline VillainousHero

  • Elite Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 13816
  • Gender: Male
  • Villain or Hero
  • Respect: +399
    • View Profile
Re: Fishing Equipment Reviews
« Reply #127 on: August 05, 2022, 12:13:21 AM »
What makes a Stradic reel better than other reels below it is the gear used for the spool stroke.  On most reels, if you use a round gear to drive the spool stroke, you get the most speed while it's in the middle and the slowest speed while it's at the top or bottom.  That's just simple physics and simple gear performance.  Now there are a lot of ways how they designs reels to change that.  One is using an elliptical gear instead of a round gear.  So at the middle it will slow the spool stroke a little bit.  Two is give the reel a drive train that slows it down while the spool is in the middle of the stroke.  On the Stradic it uses a worm gear to control the drive train of the spool stroke.  It provides an even speed throughout the entire spool stroke.  In the end the line lay on the Stradic reel is very even and stays that way after repeated casting and retrieve. 

I used to not mind my older cheap Shakespeare reels or other's that I've bought before the Stradic with the line lay.  Sometimes they bulge in the middle of the spool.  Sometimes they saddle in the middle of the spool or worse stacks towards one end of the spool.  Sometimes when you look from the top of the spool, you will see how one side of the spool has more line begin to stack on it making it more off centered.  That's why with cheap spinning reels, that they blow up and launch a huge bird nest of line during the cast.  Always have to watch out for that, but with the Stradic, it reduces that greatly to almost never happening.



Like this post: 0
The real villain is looking at you.  The last hero was just not true.  If everything works out in the end.  It's because all things make amends.

Offline VillainousHero

  • Elite Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 13816
  • Gender: Male
  • Villain or Hero
  • Respect: +399
    • View Profile
Re: Fishing Equipment Reviews
« Reply #128 on: May 05, 2023, 10:19:43 AM »
Retired the Stradic 4000FG

So I went to try a few replacements.

At first I purchased an Ultegra 4000FA on a closeout.  Current model is FC, so it's been a few years since the FB version came and went away too.  Current retail is $169, so up from the old $149 when I purchased.  Anyway the reel is very smooth as should any brand new reel is.  After the first few catfishing trips and even on the first one.  I could feel the reel struggling with big fish on.  I had to pull with rod, then ease up and reel up.  In a way it sort of reminded me still of the cheap reels I use to buy and needing to put a lot of effort into with big fish on.

I finally purchased a Stradic 5000FL.  The nomenclature is STC5000XGFL.  C for refering to being  compact as it's a slightly larger spool on the same 4000 reel body.  XG for the slightly higher gear ratio of 6.2 to 1 vs the normal on at 6.0 to 1 gear ratio.  So it's been years since I had to replace the Stradics.  Going from G, H, I, J, K, to L. It's been like over 20 years or so. 

The Stradic 5000FL current retail is $239 and up $20 from when I bought mine.  So for fishing it did so much better in comparison to the Ultegra 4000.  There is more winching power on this reel for sure.  There is less noticeable flex in the reel body under load as well.  The 5000 also has a non folding handle.  It is a straight one piece. 

I also bought a Twin Power 5000FD.  Current retail is $459.99, significantly up from original price.  Like the Stradic 5000FL, it's nomenclature is TPC5000XGFD.  The Twin Power is the Japanese market equivalent for the Sustain reel in the US.  However when the Twin Power came over in to US market, it had become so much more than a Sustain reel and position itself above a Sustain.  This current FD model is the only reel that Shimano produces with a Titanium Nitride spool lip.  It was what used to be on the older Sustain models that separates it from it's duplicate Stradic. 

When hooked up with big fish, the Twin Power really lives up to it's name.  It really has so much more smoother winching power over that of the Stradic equivalent.  Both reels are rated to 24# of drag.  The Twin Power is just slightly lighter in weight at 9.2 oz vs 10.4 oz for the Stradic.  A lot of that has to do with the handle and knobs.  Probably a lighter rotor and spool on the Twin Power as well.  If I compare the Twin Power to my old Stella 4000FA, the current Twin Power 5000FD is smoother.




Like this post: 0
The real villain is looking at you.  The last hero was just not true.  If everything works out in the end.  It's because all things make amends.

Offline VillainousHero

  • Elite Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 13816
  • Gender: Male
  • Villain or Hero
  • Respect: +399
    • View Profile
Re: Fishing Equipment Reviews
« Reply #129 on: May 11, 2023, 03:16:08 PM »
I usually stick (rods/poles) to what I know or use what other people have used before.  Yes the cheapo Shakespeare Pfleuger or Zebco Quantum products.  However over the years I have been expanded into Shimano rods and St. Croix rods.  Last of all, I started trying out some Phenix rods.

At first my thoughts were they're just another rod with bling blings.  Well turns out some are very good while others are just as - just another rod.  I'm gonna talk about the ones I found to be worthy, although they are now discontiued.

Phenix Ultra MBX Classic 6'6" L casting rod
Rod debut with a lot of nice aesthetic looks as well as a multi design wooden and EVA foam handle with a rubberized custum reel seat.  Even the handle nut has a nice shiny jewel appearance etched ring design.  Rod looks more beautiful on the rack over that of fishing.  Anyway rod is much stronger than it's Light rating and performs much more like a ML.  The one misgiving is that the rod handle design is much longer than most rods of this length.  It sports a 15" handle length and the added components does give it more weight overall.  The empty rod weights in at 4.88 oz.

Phenix Ultra MBX 7' L casting rod
This rod designed replaced the older Ultra MBX Classic with a toned down handle and split grips.  Overall they lighten the weight, but the cheaper components does not justify the retail results.  They also used cheaper line guide frames as well and the tip section has flushed rings on the blank.  Not a good choice considering even cheaper rods from Phenix have some legs/stems on the line guides.  Overall the rating of this rod is better and much closer to a Light rating as it is slower in rod taper compared to the shorter 6'6" prior version.  It does achieve much better casting distance in part to being longer but also loading up better on the casting stroke.  The shortcoming is line rub on the blank.  It's like they don't fish the rods, but just built them to sell or fit into a market niche.  The empty rod weights in at 3.65 oz.

Phenix Ultra MBX Classic 7'  H casting rod
Quite a unique rod in itself.  Overlooking the bling blings on the the rod, it has a very good performance merit.  For some reason I really like how this rod casts and the overall casting motion results.  The empty rod weights in at 5.56 oz. compared to St. Croix Legend Elite 7' heavy at 4.6 oz.
 Again the multi design handle gives it weight but however it balances out very well when using weights of 1 oz.  Comparing to the St. Croix, the Phenix has a tad bit lighter tip, but a faster tip blank load.  That makes it just a tad bit more sensitive in feel over that of the St. Croix Legend Elite when imparting action as one moves the rod tip just a fraction less.

Phenix Feather 7'1" L casting rod.
Bonus talk.  The specs on this rod fulfills what I was looking for in a light power casting rod and one of the few that was actually available on the retail shelf for years.  It's still in production.  The misgiving about this rod is that it's 1" longer.  Why would they do that?  It often just gets in the way, being 1" longer.  If anything else, they should've made it 6'11" and it would be a better rod. So they just wanted to stand out a fulfill a market niche.  When the feather rods came out, there was hardly any reels available to cast such light lures, so the need for longer rods would've accomplished that.  Being a slightly cheaper rod, it does have that cheaper hollow feel in use.  As well as a continued resonance feel when given a slight finger tap to the rod blank.  Living up to it's feather light name, the empty rod weights in at 3.09 oz.  Personal opinion is that I would not buy another Feather rod.  They just don't suit me.



Like this post: 0
The real villain is looking at you.  The last hero was just not true.  If everything works out in the end.  It's because all things make amends.

Offline Reporter

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 84275
  • Pey-Pey and NiNi's 1st Snow Kid.
  • Respect: +562
    • View Profile
Re: Fishing Equipment Reviews
« Reply #130 on: July 03, 2023, 10:11:17 AM »
I've noticed that longer poles are better for fighting big fish and
shorter poles are better for small fish.

Crappies and others up to white bass, I can do with my 5'6"
fast action rod.

But bigger ones like catfish, walleyes, and even largemouth bass
and pikes or carps and buffaloes, I'll need something in the 7' to 7'2" or
so.



Like this post: 0
"...
The snooping eye sees everything."--Ono No Komachi, Japanese Poetess (emphasis)

Offline VillainousHero

  • Elite Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 13816
  • Gender: Male
  • Villain or Hero
  • Respect: +399
    • View Profile
Re: Fishing Equipment Reviews
« Reply #131 on: September 27, 2023, 10:25:47 AM »
Old reel compared to new(er) reel.

Shimano Scorpion BFS and Shimano Curado BFS casting reels.

Scorpion BFS original retails for around $350 USD compared to the released Curado BFS at $200.  In 2021 the Curado BFS was born from the Scorpion BFS that had been retired.  A lot of the Shimano reels have a retail production of about 4-6 years.  In Japan it is the SLX BFS reel. 

Anyway these reels share the same parts like 99% interchangeabl e.  The Curado BFS compared to it's prior version the Curado 70I series seems to not feel as solid.  However when given the lighter lure used for casting the BFS version most certainly get's better cast distance as well as expand the range into much lighter weights.  Although I mostly used these reels for ice fishing and that was their primary use, there is an experience to be felt for open water use.

In terms of smoothness and operational use, the older Curado 70 has better refinement.  However for ice fishing practicality, the Curado BFS functionally is better.  The larger arbor of the spool makes a lot of difference.  To also have a lighter spool weight also means that those tiny ice fishing lures are able to pull line off more freely.  I still have to manually pull line off when using light weights of like 1/32 oz or light but that is the same on spinning reels too.  This is almost like a game changer, but more so of practical refinement.  Plus have a clicking drag pull is the biggest advantage.

Thus this led to a comparison of the older Scorpion BFS reel with it's replacement Curado BFS.  In use and function, the replacement did not do a better job overall.  However, when considering the retail pricing, it is what it is.  The affordability and exposure of BFS to consumers is goal.  While the older Scorpion BFS pricing strictly only targeted purist.  In real world practicality, it is that the Scorpion BFS is superior in many subtle ways.  For sure final product representation with a better paint job sort of clues in to final assembly and performance of unit. 

In comparison the Scorpion does have a smoother feel in empty operation.  A quick check of even the star drag and thumbing down the spool to check the drag pressure operatoin is also better.  Free spool spin on empty also smoother and quieter in operation.  For ice fishing, yes it did everything that the Curado BFS reel did, and with a subtle but obvious refinement over that of the Curado BFS.  Perhaps it all has to due with the better bearings found on the Scorpion BFS.  There is also the price difference that hints towards the performance differenct.  For full sized rod casting performance, the Scorpion BFS operationally is better as well.  Further casting distance, easier to achieve distance with less effort, less line fluff during and at end of casting.

Newer is not always better.  Cheaper more affordable isn't so bad either.



Like this post: 0
The real villain is looking at you.  The last hero was just not true.  If everything works out in the end.  It's because all things make amends.

 

Advertisements