Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Next Rod Build Begins

  The start of yet another rod build is under way. This particular rod is for my first fishing mentor, my dad. Fathers day is approaching fast, and after the last rod build I had old dad drooling  over it. So I figured what better than a custom rod for my dad for fathers day. He is a big time Bass fisherman and has a ton of casting rods, why not build him a spinning rod. This particular rod is going to be very different than any other spinning rod you will find on the market today. I am setting him up with a Microwave Guide System that just came out last year I think from American Tackle. The guide system itself intrigues me on its functionality. It will reduce line slap on the rod itself, increasing casting distance and accuracy, and also increasing sensitivity. Here is a pic of the first guide or stripper guide as it would be called in the rod building world.

 The little eyelet in the center of the big one actually comes out about a quarter of an inch past the big eyelet. This is what helps keep line slap on the rod down. After this guide there is one slightly smaller than it goes down into micro guides after that, similar to what you would see on a micro guided fly rod these days. Here is a slow motion photo taken of the Microwave Guide system in action versus a conventional run of the mill type of spinning rod.

 Here is a photo of the complete guide set.

  It will be very interesting to give this rod a cast when complete. I already have a feeling it is going to phenomenal!

  As for the rest of the rod I went with an MHX blank 7' 1 piece 6-12lbs line in a medium/light action, with a split grip layout. Here is a photo of the grip mounted with the reel seat on the blank.

  When the package arrived from Mudhole, I was shorted the fore grip. I had to improvise as I am under a time restraint right now with other things I already had on the agenda. The fore grip wouldn't be here until mid to late next week and that would have set me way back behind schedule. So a couple of weeks ago I was fishing on my home lake and was snagged in the rocks and needless to say I broke my rod that I was fishing with. I was sitting in my work area wondering how in the hell I was going to complete this rod without the fore grip, and then I saw the broken rod in the corner. It hit me to use the fore grip off that rod as it was no longer a good rod to use. I pulled the old fore grip off the rod and gave it a sanding as it was tinted with dirt and fish slime. Polished it up and slipped it on the rod and it almost looked like it was meant to be.This fore grip is actually slightly longer than the one I originally ordered, and I believe it will be a little more comfortable fishing with the new/old grip.

  I will continue to post pics of the build as it progresses. I started wrapping guides last night in a dark green color, as green is dads favorite color. I will have some nice trim bands on the guide wraps, as well as some pretty cool cross wraps to go along with the rest of the rod. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Memorial Day Monster

  This Memorial day weekend was a little more memorable than most. A few exciting things happened that will leave these memories forever etched in my mind.

 First and foremost eventful thing that happened was my great friend Jordan tied the knot with his now wife Danielle. I have know Jordan for years. We have camped, fished, and hunted together for many years. When I first started getting into the blogger type realm of things I started a dot com which was Jordan was the first guy I signed up to post stories, how-to's, and many other things. I closed down the site for awhile and was work with Blake at Illinois Wisconsin fishing, and now here I am as Trail the Outdoors again, but on Blogger. Jordan I am sure will have some posts to add on here come hunting season. I look forward to them and also look forward to watch him progress in the next chapter of his life. Congrats again you two.

 After the Saturday wedding I more than needed Sunday to recoop from the many barley pops that were consumed during the reception. I saved my fishing time for Monday.

 Monday morning we had a slight drizzle on my home lake. It finally quit around 1 p.m. So I hooked the boat up, grabbed my son, and we headed to the lake in hopes of finding some fish. With all the crap weather we have been having I thought for sure we where going to get the old skunk. I was wrong. We landed one fish, but this fish was one for the memory book. If you have been following me for any certain amount of time, you would know I target Walleye quite a bit. On my home lake I finally found some sort of pattern that would produce walleyes constantly. I think my biggest to date was 22 inches. That all changed Monday afternoon. I was pitching a stand up football jig in a pumpkinseed skirt with a uncle josh's pork trailer in hopes of catching a few Largemouth Bass. To my surprise I hooked into something large and full of life as it peeled drag from my new baitcating reel. As I finally saw a flash as it got to the boat I told my son to grab the net. He hasn't had many nettings on big fish, so it took him three tries and thankfully he landed this monster for me.

  This beast was 26 1/4" and just over 6lbs. It is my biggest eye to date out of Candlewick Lake. It is a fish that will stick out in my mind for years to come. Hopefully one day I can top this one out of the old wick.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Friday Fish Porn

Here is this weeks installment of Friday Fish Porn. Have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend! Get out and FISH!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Another Rod Build Finished

  Last week I posted the latest rod build I have been working on. This rod is for my good friend Scott. I put in a lot of time on this build and also added some nice cosmetic touches. I tried my first cross wrap on this rod and I must say it came out pretty dam good. It defiantly added some extra pop to this rod. The following pics are while the rod was drying with it's second coat of finish on it. The third and final coat went on last night. Hope Scott loves the rod as much as I do. It will be his Birthday Gift for the big 60 this weekend.

 I will have some more pics of this rod to post once the drying is done and I can pull it out of the rod dryer.

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Night Bite

  Saturday night was my chance to escape and get out on the lake. I called up a good friend of mine to see if he wanted to come share the water with me. Travis replied instantly saying see you soon. Travis arrived at about 6 PM and we shot the shit for a few and headed down the street to my home lake. Candlewick Lake is a gem when it comes to night fishing. It almost seems the fish are more active at night. We fished the same area all night, and I couldn't even tell you how many fish we caught. It had to be at least 50+ ranging in all different species. We caught, Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass, Crappie, Bluegill, and Walleye.

  Last year I finally figured out a tried and true pattern to catch the eyes. It seems like the pattern continues on this year as well. Although we are hitting this spot a little earlier than last year we are already catching them. I caught a 17in. and Travis caught a 14 in. Travis threw the 14in. back before I could get a pic, but I did get a shot of the 17in.

 The yellow/ pink bodied with white tail was the hot twister for the night. It caught around 80% of our fish for the night.

 The big surprise to me for the evening was the rather large for this lake Small Mouth Bass I caught. I have only caught  2 or 3 out of the lake before with them being no larger than 8-10 inches. So when I got this one to the boat and in the net it was a big surprise.

 I didn't put it on the bump stick, but if I had to guess this one was in the 15 in. range. It was a great fight without a doubt.

  We kept a couple Crappie for Travis's fry pan along with the 17in. Walleye. Crappies that where kept where all over 10 inches. Some nice slabs for some great eating.

  It was a great evening on the water. It was good to catch up with my old friend Travis, and I will have a rod build coming up for him in the next few weeks, so watch for Travis's rod build coming up soon on here.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Friday Fish Porn

 Here is this weeks edition of Friday Fish Porn. This week I didn't really go with a theme other than some good looking lady fishers. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Start Of A New Rod Build

  Tuesday night I started another Rod Build. The rod is an 8'6" Trolling rod that I am building for a good friend of mine, Scott Perz. Scott fishes the MWC Walleye circuit, and his love and knowledge of trolling for many different species just amazes me. Scott and I fish together all the time as stated in previous posts. Well my good friend turns the big 60 next week and I wanted to get him something special. He typically uses Ugly Stiks when trolling, and this drives me nuts. They are decent rods, but why not add a little flash to the arsenal. I went with a MHX Blank 8'6" in length 2pcs. so he could break it down and put it into his rod locker. Add some flash by going with Holographic guides. I am wrapping the rod with Metallic Threads in a purple and silver. The purple and silver theme is to match the colors of his Ranger boat. So far it is looking sweet, and I can't wait to see some finish on this rod. The finish will help the thread colors pop off the blank. I also went with a nice cork handle and fore grip. Cork always seems to stand up to the abuse a lot better than EVA Grips in my opinion. I snapped a few pictures at the bench last night. Here they are, and I will continue to post more as the build goes on.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A Father Daughter Day On The Water

  Last night after worked I raced home to hook the boat up and head to the lake. The temps got a little higher than the original forecast, and it made for a great excuse to hit the water. After I got home and raced around the house, my daughter stopped and asked where I was going. I told her daddy is heading to the lake. She smiled and asked if she could join me. It was a pleasant surprise, and I couldn't refuse. She geared up in a sweatshirt, I hooked up the boat, and off to the lake we went.

  I knew from mothers day morning that the crappies where staged up where they should be, so we headed to the south end of the lake. I rigged up my daughter's Barbie pole with a small jig and her pick of a purple/pink twister tail. I dropped the trolling motor in the water, and showed my young fishing partner how to cast her rod again as it had been some time since her last outing. She casted up towards shore and instantly got a hit but missed it. She returned the cast back up to the same spot hooked into it this time. She cranked on her reel like it was a race. I realized why the first fish got off at this point. I told her to slow down and take it easy, but the sure joy of excitement had her going. She still got the first fish of the day to the boat like a champ.

  The smile on her little face says it all. I told her she did a great job, snapped a photo, and she released the fish back into the lake. She was excited jumping around the boat making me nervous that she was going to fall in. I laughed with her, and we shared the excitement of her first open water fish of the year. She soon grabbed the pink barbie rod and casted back up to shore. I was casting a 5/8oz. football jig in a pumpkinseed color tipped with an uncle josh's pork trailer. I too hooked up shortly after the first fish was landed. At first I though it was a Bass, but the fish wasn't coming toward the surface as I reeled the fish in. This seemed a little off and odd to me, and as the fish got closer to the boat I realized it wasn't a Bass on the end of my line.

  It was old Wally Eye. I was surprised as I have never caught a Walleye on a Bass rig before, but have heard of others catching them on my home lake on a similar set-up. At this point I was happy that both of us where on the board with fish. Then about three casts later I got snagged on rocks and my rod snapped unfortunately.  I was slightly upset until my daughter smiled and said don't worry lets just catch some more fish. So I grabbed my spinning rod rigged with a jig and twister tail, and got back to it.

 I caught this nice Crappie a few casts in. I must say it was nice to have my camera girl in the boat for some quality pics. Shortly after this hook up my little munchkin had another.

 Then it was my turn

Then her turn

She was concentrated.

A nice lake view to set the evening off.

  We went back and forth catching fish all night long. My daughter caught the last fish of the night, with it being a Bluegill.

  We had an amazing night on the water, shared a ton of laughs, and caught some nice size fish. Best of all, I will never forget the enormous smiles that she had on her face. We packed up the gear and headed in. My little first mate even drove the boat back to the dock for the first time. I must admit, she did a great job for her first time controlling the old Johnson tiller motor.

  I had one of the best days on the water ever last night with my new found first mate. It always pays big in the end when you take a kid fishing. I also have a feeling I will soon be out fished, and I will love every second of it.