The Functioning Fishaholics

May 222012
 

File this one under first impressions:

I never thought I’d be able to justify purchasing a “name brand” spinning rod.  I’ve made it almost 20 years into my fishing ‘career’ with run of the mill, average, fishing rods.  Sure I’ve spent some cash on fly rods, but when it comes to spinning rods I always had the impression that any ol’ ugly stik’ would do.

I owe it to Cabela’s for easing me into the world of name brand spinning rods…  After some customer service magic, the G. Loomis GL2 spinning rod was within my budget.

G. loomis gl2 rod arrives in a cardboard tube

Tubular

A few days after ordering my G. Loomis GL2 Jig and Worm spinning rod, I received a HUGE cardboard tube in the mail.  I purchased the 852S model, which is a one piece 7’1″ rod.  Easily the largest spinning rod I own, one piece construction means they needed an almost 8′ long shipping tube.  AWESOME.

 

G. Loomis GL2 852S JWR

G. Loomis GL2 852S JWR

A weight range of 1/8-3/8oz is the perfect range for finesse jigging, worms, and even spinners.  My favorite bait is a 3″ senko and this rod is a senko sniper rifle.

Who needs words?  Jig and worm rod pictures!

Who needs words?

Words can’t describe how cool this rod is.  Lucky for me there’s pictures!  On the butt of this rod there is a picture of a jig and worm mating.  While I’m not sure I want to see the offspring of these two baits, the image is a clever accent that also helps identify the rod.  This will come in handy when I purchase the whole line of these rods (:

slender curves on the GL2 spinning rod

Slender curves

Sir Mix-A-Lot may like em big, however the flat sides on this little butt are for comfort.  This is easily my favorite feature of the rod.  As a fat guy who carries too much gear in his fishing vest,  the extra 1″ these flat sides give me translate into pure bliss on the water.  I will be buying more rods with this feature in the future.

G. Loomis GL2 spinning rod grips

GL2 grips

While nothing over the top, the grips on the G. Loomis GL2 spinning rod are comfortable.  For some strange reason (maybe because I love this rod) I happened to sniff the rod grips while out on the water.  The cork smelled pleasant…  Like Vanilla…  Most likely unintentional, it still made me smile.

G. Loomis rod guides

Guides

The guides on this rod are a great match and seem strong.  While hard to see in my photos, the color of this rod is a dark brown.  The wraps have copper accents, and overall the earthy colors are a great fit for a subtle, yet strong instrument of surgical, fishy, destruction.

So how does it fish?

I only got a few hours with this rod in very muddy water.  The Perkiomen Creek can be hard fishing especially after  a good rain.  I managed one fish…

smallmouth bass on the G. Loomis GL2 spinning rod

Perfect

What a perfect start for my new favorite rod!  I found this piggy with the help of an inline spinner.  Being a very light (yet strong) rod I had little trouble landing this pig.

The rod’s sensitivity allows you to feel every bump on the bottom.  When this fish hit it was like a shot of lightening mixed with adrenaline. My arm is still tingling.  I’m excited to catch more fish on this rod.  Even bluegills should be a blast!

Brand new these rods will run $195.  Compared to the price of other rods by G. Loomis the GL2 series is a great mix of  value and performance.  If you are looking to get into a name brand rod give the GL2 a try!

If you are interested in buying one of these rods or learning more, please follow my Amazon link below:
G Loomis GL2 Jig & Worm Spinning Rod (7’1″ Medium / X-Fast) – GL2 852S JWR

 Have you tried out the G. Loomis GL2 rod series yet?  Let us know what you think in the comments below!

 

May 212012
 

Man eating bears stalk Perkiomen Creek!

Hunting unsuspecting fishermen?!!?   

 

Not quite… 

bear in schwenksville pa

via my fox philly

Last weekend while I was away there was a black bear running amok in my back yard!

Turns out the previously captured black bear wandered into Montgomery County and decided to take a tour of Skippack, Schwenksville, Whitpain Township, and all parts in between.

So what was the bear doing?

According to Nick, one of the readers of the Perkiomen Patch, the Bear was seen on the Perkiomen Creek behind the Schwenksville fire house.

Rumor also has it that the bear heard about the monster Smallmouth Bass I caught on the Perkiomen Thursday and decided to go fishing in Schwenksville.

No… really.

Thursday morning I spent a few hours fishing the Perkiomen Creek right where the bear was seen.  While I’m not sure of the location of the bear on Thursday, part of me wonders how close I came to meeting a bear on my home turf.

While I’m quite sure I would have needed a change of pants if I ran into this guy on the Perkie, it would have been an adventure of a lifetime!

A bear in rural Montgomery County has a pretty good chance of becoming a menace or getting shot by a local hunter.  I’m not at all surprised that one wandered into our county and quite frankly I’m surprised we don’t see more.

Thanks to the PA game commission for capturing this guy and giving him a ride to Carbon County.

If you’d like to learn more about this bear check out the links below:

Runaway Baby Bear Caught in Montco (Myfoxphilly)
Report: Baby bear caught in Whitpain(The Times Herald)
Reader: Lower Frederick Among Bear-Sighting Spots

 

Did you see the rogue bear in Montgomery County?  Was he occupying your favorite fishing spot?  Are you a bear looking for fishing tips?  Let us know in the comments below!

 

 

May 172012
 

Looking for that bile soaked post I wrote a little while back?  Ya know, the one where I didn’t get the kayak of my dreams?  Well you won’t find it here.

You see I believe in giving people and companies a chance to make things right.  Call me a sappy fool but let’s face it, this world needs more forgiveness.

A few weeks back another blogger and I attempted to purchase two Emotion Mojo Angler Kayaks from Cabela’s.  There was an amazing deal ($150 off) and we were both in the market for a sit on top kayak.

To make a long story short we waited 3 weeks, had to chase after our boats via phone, and generally had our poor little fishermen hearts broken by one of our favorite retailers.

Kirk and I wrote blog posts…  They were not pretty.

Here’s Cabela’s side:

  •  Customers bought kayaks
  • Manufacturer (lifetime products) had a manufacturing issue
  • Vendor – Manufacturer communication went to hell
  • Customers wait 3 weeks with no boat
  • angry bloggers revolt

Enter:  Sue Stokley

While I’m not 100% sure of her title, I’m pretty sure “customer service goddess” may suffice.   Ya see, Sue is part of a lost breed of customer service managers/folks who understand how to treat each customer like a VIP.

After receiving word on the posts that Kirk and I wrote about our kayak buying experience, Sue was charged with reeling in two very grumpy fishing bloggers.

Listening to her voicemail I was greeted by frantic concern.  Sue urged, “Don’t give up on us yet”.  

This wasn’t a, “we’re really sorry, here’s a cup holder” kinda customer service call.  This was someone who was generally concerned with keeping me as a customer.

While I hate being put in situations like this I gotta say, I could feel the love.

Before I was willing to talk about anything else I asked Sue,  “How do I know that what happened to me won’t happen to one of my other outdoor friends in the future?”.

It was apparent that this was a mixture of part honest mistake and part flawed internal processes.  Sue took the time to explain the breakdown in communication between Cabela’s and the manufacturer.  She understood the frustration that not having my boat on time caused and she fought to make it right.

Sue proceeded to tell me that the manufacturer of the Kayaks (Lifetime Products) has taken a step to make sure this never happens to Cabela’s customers again.  From now on they have one dedicated person to ensure that Cabela’s orders are on time.  If there is a delay that will affect drop ship delivery they will alert Cabela’s so that  customers can be notified in a timely manner.

After an hour or so on the phone I was convinced that Kirk and I had made our impression on Cabela’s.  More importantly, they had listened to their customers and worked to fix their problem.

Did I end up buying the kayak?  No.  I needed a boat sooner rather than later and another blogger buddy of mine has a used Nucanoe that should be a perfect fit.

I won’t go into the details but since Cabela’s couldn’t help me out with a boat they decided to “talk me into” buying a new rod…  But more about that later.

I’m extremely satisfied.  Cabela’s ended up making things right and they will be getting more of my business in the future.  Hopefully Sue Stokley gets a raise (or sainthood) for her hard work.

May 162012
 

Ok so I’ll admit this is a filler post of sorts…

We are in the process of cranking out some awesome gear reviews for top notch companies like Sage, St. Croix, Glacier glove, Abu Garcia, Humminbird, Nissan, and yes even Zazzy Pop.

rapala originial floater fishing lure

75 years of winning

We’re a little detail oriented with gear reviews.  We like to give the full story.  Sometimes gear gets abused, broken, or loved so much that we sleep with it at night.  That being said, each and every gear review on The Functioning Fishaholics is a  handcrafted work of art.

elk ridge hunting knife review

Elk Ridge

As we prepare to unleash more epic  fishing gear reviews, please take a moment to review some of the other great reviews that have been Published on The Functioning Fishaholics:

Elk Ridge 5″ fixed blade knife
http://funcfish.com/2012/03/a-new-fishing-knife/

 

Bill ShullJr. from Tight Lines Fly Fishing
http://funcfish.com/2012/02/a-deal-a-happy-customer-and-the-somerset-fly-fishing-show/

 

Berkley Trilene TransOptic monofilament
http://funcfish.com/2012/01/berkley-trilene-transoptic-review/

 

Sufix 832 Advanced Superline
http://funcfish.com/2011/05/sufix-832-advanced-superline-review/

 

Rapala Original Floater
http://funcfish.com/2011/03/playing-outdoor-favorites/

 

Ardent Reel Kleen Kit
http://funcfish.com/2011/02/ardent-reel-kleen-kit-review/

 

Frabill Bro Ice Fishing Combo Rod
http://funcfish.com/2011/02/frabill-bro-review/

 

Book:  Facts of Fishing 135 Secrets Fish Don’t Want You to know by Dave Mercer with Terry Battisti
http://funcfish.com/2010/12/book-review-facts-of-fishing-135-secrets-fish-don%E2%80%99t-want-you-to-know-dave-mercer-with-terry-battisti/

 

Flambeau Soft Sided Tackle Bag
http://funcfish.com/2010/08/new-tackle-boxbag/

 

Are you a manufacturer of outdoor gear?  Are you looking to have your gear abused fairly reviewed?  Readers, are you interested in seeing The Functioning Fishaholics review a specific piece of gear before you buy it?  Let us know in the comments below!

 

May 142012
 

I tied these two fly patterns up a few weeks back but never posted any pictures.  Take a look and let me know what you think of their Basstastic ability.

Articulated Perch

This fly is made of two hooks and probably leans more towards the Muskie/Pike world but I decided to put together a perch pattern with a whole lot going on.  Maribou, Flashabou, Bunny strips, hackle feathers, Deer Tail, lead eye, mono-weed guards,  this fly has it all.  The only thing it is missing is a nicely tied head…

I haven’t had the sore arm pleasure of throwing this one yet but I can’t wait to see what it looks like in the water.  Depending on the action (and wet weight) I might thin this one out a little bit next time.  Also I think the recipe can be cut back a little for simplicity.

Quick and Dirty Foam Frog

Speaking of Simplicity, this next pattern is what I like to call my quick and dirty foam frog.  While it’s a far cry from some of the high quality fly fishing poppers out there it is a quick, dirty (and need I say cheap), alternative to conventional foam poppers.

Yes I know I tied something like this before but this one is a little easier.

Quick and Dirty Foam Frog fly pattern

  1. Stack and glue craft foam squares to desired body length.
  2. Shape foam block with razor blade (these are quick and dirty foam frogs so no need to be perfect)
  3. Tie mono weed guard to hook bend
  4. Tie in some olive maribou for a tail
  5. Tie in a few hackle feathers for legs/tail
  6. Palmer in a nice bright hackle
  7. Build a little thread on the rest of the hook for body to glue to
  8. Tie off
  9. Make a hole in the foam body, glue hook and slide on.  I prefer this to slitting the body because I like to do things the hard way
  10. Tie off mono weed guard at the eye of the hook (requires starting thread again and hook eye) you may also have to slit the body a bit for the weed guard to bend around
  11. glue on plastic eyes
  12. Style with paint or permanent marker
  13. Coat body with epoxy (If you feel like it)

While it is a far cry from “pretty” popper bodies, this fly’s rough body gives it an almost organic appeal.  If you are convinced that fish aren’t that picky, give this guy a shot.  Experiment, do what seems fun.  Most Largemouth Bass are aggressive enough to bite almost anything.

Do you have a favorite fly for Largemouth Bass or Smallmouth Bass?  Muskie?  Pike?  Let us know in the comments below!

 

May 142012
 

Looking for some new ideas for organizing your fishing gear?  Check out the guest post below by our friend Jessica.

Organize Your Fishing Equipment in Three Easy Steps

The relationship between a person and his or her fishing equipment is a beautiful thing. Some might even call it sacred. However, like all relationships, this one requires a great deal of time and effort to work out problems and maintain harmony both in the boat and outside of it. One of the main problems that can interfere with this relationship is a lack of organization, which can result in tangles, damages, loss and other problems that get in the way of a relaxing day out doing what you love most. To ensure a more peaceful and successful fishing trip the next time you venture off, keep the following helpful tips in mind.

Tool Boxes are Your Best Friend

Although nothing can come in between the relationship between you and your fishing equipment, tool boxes can often act as a mediator for keeping everything organized and conveniently portable. Similar to a tackle box, a tool box features several compartmentalized areas that can be used to store hooks, lures, sinkers, swivels, bobbers, and other fishing equipment in a safe and easily accessible place. Not to mention, most tool boxes are built stronger than the average tackle box, so you can count on ideal protection for your belongings.

Store Fishing Poles with Cup Hooks

Don’t have a lot of extra space in the garage or extra money to invest in a fishing rod storage rack? Try looking up to find a convenient and safe place to store your fishing rods. By installing cup hooks on the ceiling of a more private room in your home, such as the laundry room, you can keep your fishing rods organized and out of reach of small hands. Experts recommend choosing large cup hooks and installing them at least four feet away from one another to prevent lines from becoming tangled. As an extra safety precaution, make sure there is limited tension on the line and place a Styrofoam shipping peanut over the hook to prevent injuries when retrieving your poles.

Image Source: http://capl.washjeff.edu/2/l/4794.jpg

 Designate a Separate Container for Equipment Maintenance Items

Someone who takes the time to carefully organize fishing equipment likely also has a great deal of equipment maintenance items for getting the best use out of all of fishing trip necessities. Keeping these items safe is almost as important as keeping the equipment itself safe, since both practices aid in extending the quality and overall life of your fishing tools. Plastic containers are usually a good choice for storing items such as reel grease, extra rod tips, eyes, and other items every fisher needs to maintain and repair his or her rod.

Image Source: http://capl.washjeff.edu/2/l/4793.jpg

 There’s nothing worse than preparing for a relaxing day of fishing only to spend hours untangling lines, searching for lost hooks and discovering damaged lures before you set off. The worst part about these inconveniences is that they all could have been avoided with just a few minutes devoted to organization between each trip.

Jessica is interested in traveling and being outdoors. In her free time, she enjoys fishing and blogging on behalf of Sears and other brands she trusts.

May 092012
 

Are you like this kid?

YouTube Preview Image

 

Well if you absolutely LOVE turtles here’s a little art just for you!

Not much more to say about turtles…  Did you know they are making a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie?  Me either…  Sometimes you just have to throw in a pop culture reference to keep things interesting…

 

Do you like turtles?  Do you like art?  Did you own all of the TMNT action figures when you were a kid?  Let us know in the comments below!

 

May 072012
 

Here at The Functioning Fishaholics we never do anything small.  Fishing and life in general are ALWAYS done to excess.

We are starting a savings account for a new Bass boat.  Not just your run of the mill Ranger or Tracker style bass boat mind you.  This is a fishing boat worthy of dedicated fishing aficionados like ourselves.

Ladies and gentlemen may I present the Ego (or as I like to call it the super duper, stealth, Bass recon, ninja, mobile, platform).

Eat your heart out KVD...

How amazingly sick is this boat?  You’d have to give up the shallow water game BUT being able to motor up, spot some Largemouth Bass and then cast from the huge deck above = EPIC.

What the deck??!!??

A little rain?  No problem!  Just batten down the hatch and head downstairs…  NOW YOU’RE UNDER WATER!

For those of you who aren’t completely sold on a Bass boat/submarine, may I present you with a Youtube video!

YouTube Preview Image

Have you ever driven a submarine?  Have you ever fished from one?  Let us know in the comments below!

 

May 062012
 

Last Sunday Jeff and I had what I’m going to call our best outing on Marsh Creek Lake.

picture of a largemouth bass at marsh creek lake chester county pa

One Largemouth Bass the Muskies didn't eat.

The day started off cool and slow as we worked our way around the the lake.  Water temperatures were hovering around 58* and Jeff was a little worried that the cool rain earlier in the week would make the day’s fishing difficult.

I landed the fist largemouth bass

The day's first Largemouth

The healthy bruiser above was the first catch of the day.  I landed this fish on a 3″ Senko.

Marsh Creek Lake has a healthy population of Largemouth Bass.  Contrary to popular belief, the stocked Muskie aren’t eating all of them.

In fact, most of the fishermen I saw on this trip were out looking for Muskie.  Known as the “fish of 1000 casts”, Muskie usually require a lot of effort (and lures that look like dog toys).

My theory is this:

More Muskie fishermen: Less pressure on Bass.
Hungry Muskie: Less small Bluegill and other panfish: Less little guys to eat Largemouth eggs.

marsh creek largemouth aren't being eaten by muskie

Jeff's first Largemouth of the day

As captain of our vessel, Jeff found his fair share of bass on this trip.  Jeff called two things perfectly on this trip.  His first prediction, “The bass won’t turn on until the water temperature hits 60*” was spot on.  As soon as we hit some warmer water the Largemouth Bass started getting very active

hitting structure produces bass on Marsh Creek

Like shooting fish in a barrel

Jeff’s second prediction (or pattern) for the day was pinpoint casting into shadows along the bank.  This one was easy to buy into, it was really sunny, Largemouth Bass don’t have eyelids…   Seems logical…  We fired finesse baits into the shadows like stealthy ninja snipers…

For a couple of amateurs we were throwing baits up and under heavy cover with very few hangups.  Most of the time if we hit our mark there would be a fish waiting in the shadows.

Jeff uses this pose for 90% of his hero shots...

After trying out a specific (and possibly over hyped) bait I think I came down with some kind of curse.  You can read all about it in our next post but let’s just say I lost 3 really nice fish.

A healthy Marsh Creek bucketmouth

Another healthy Marsh Creek bucketmouth

As usual, Marsh Creek Lake was a wind tunnel.  No lie, there was even some sort of sailing event in the middle of the lake.  As we puttered around with the trolling motor there were times when the wind blew so hard the boat would come to a standstill even at full power.  I think I’ll bring a sail next time…

Jeff caught the Largemouth Bass of the day

Largemouth Bass of the day

Not sure when this one came to the boat but out of all of the fish that actually made it to the boat, this was hands down the lunker of the day.

Have you been fishing lately in PA?  Are you thinking of adding a sail to your bass boat?  Let us know in the comments below!

 

 

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