Thursday, February 24, 2011

Some cool stuff

I've recently found a couple of webshops selling some cool stuff for tying pike flies. The problem here in Finland is, that it's hard to find a shop with a decent selection of pike fly materials. And when you find one, they mostly have some basic stuff regarding pike flies, as their main concern is trout fishing.

These following shops mostly sell synthetic fibers, which I also prefer over most of the natural materials. Ok, good bucktail, rabbit strips and other soft fur, saddle hackle etc. are unbeatable when it comes to liveliness and action, but the availability of good quality bucktail is poor and those soft furs have a tendency to carry a lot of water.

Also, the synthetic flies usually last very long, I've never had to replace any synthetic flies because they were bit to pieces, although many of my flies have caught dozens of fish. Main reason for me to dump a fly is because the hook has gone out of shape due to some serious rock contact.

But those natural materials are the best way to go, if the fishing seems to be difficult and the synthetic flies don't work. That's when you most probably will score with the traditional stuff.

So about the shops:

The Fly Tyers Dungeon has all kinds of synthetic fibers and dubbings for sale at a great price. The most interesting stuff for a pike fisherman are probable the products Kongo Hair and Water Silk.

Kongo Hair is a nice polypropylene fiber that does not absorb water and has some nice colors. It's great for tying a bit smaller baitfish imitations or EP-baitfish-style patterns. I like it best when applied on the surface of slinky-bodied baitfish patterns. It can create nice, smooth profiles and a has lot of cool colors. Very inexpensive as one package has a lot of this stuff.

Some darker Kongo Hair
Some brighter Kongo Hair
Water Silk is a lot finer synthetic fiber, with a nice shining surface and even brighter colors than Kongo Hair. Great for doing some very contrasting gills and backs for baitfish patterns. Very inexpensive.
Water Silk
And another great site that I found a while ago, most of you have probably heard of it before: PikeTrek

Pike Trek has all kinds of cool stuff for pike fly fishermen. They have nice 3D eyes in big enough sizes for pike flies and they are a lot cheaper than those you can usually find in a 20pcs sheet.

They have many nice products that give you a different approach to fly tying, but my favourite is abolutely their Body Fibre. It seems to be 100% the same stuff as the H2O's branded "Slinky Fibre", but their fibers are a lot longer, the package has about two times the amount of material and it is still a lot cheaper. But there is one thing that makes this superior; The colors are something totally different than those dull, translucent colors of H2O. They are bright as hell and also have a lot of natural colors!

What is a bit confusing, they are also selling some "Slinky" fiber, which is totally different from the slinky we have used to. So if you like to buy that real slinky-like stuff, buy the Body Fibre.
Red body Fibre

Yellowish Chartreuse 

Friday, February 11, 2011

Something new, something old

This winter has been the worst ever in terms of  fly fishing lunacy. Now, as the sun has started to shine more regularly and the days are longer, I REALLY would like to go outside, testing some newly bought stuff, but those freezing temperatures are a no-no for casting fly rods and lines. Don't wanna break them on the first go!

As I earlier wrote about a Colton Torrent fly reel, I actually liked it so much that I had to get myself another one, with a spare spool of course. While the Colton Fly company had a holiday sale, I also HAD to get myself a new rod. I ended up purchasing a 9' 9wt Colton Tradewinds, a blue color version which has its blank made of some funky carbon fiber. And did I mention, it was a bargain....

Colton Tradewinds in UD Blue
Although I haven't really cast it yet, I have to say that this stick is a beast. Yeah, it is a saltwater rod, but it still has a surprisingly strong punch and some serious backbone for a 9wt. I'd say that this rod could easily cast 11wt lines. It doesn't feel like a particularly fast or a tip-action rod when feeling it by hand but oh boy, when you start bending it...  This bugger will be my weapon of choice for the fast sinking lines, which are always a bit tricky to pick up. I will give my review about this rod as soon as there is open waters!

But now I need to get a nice line for the rod. I'm waiting to get my hands on Vision's new Big Daddy line in Sink3. Hopefully I can try it out somewhere before buying, but I'm pretty confident that they know their stuff. Just need to find the correct grain window for the rod, as it feels underclassed.