Spool-Minder the answer to lost leader

It’s one of fishing’s mysteries. Wind leader nice and tight on each of those spools in your spool container. Stick the container in your bag and leave it there undisturbed for a week. Then return to find that leader has not only worked itself loose on each spool but has somehow seeped out of the spool bag, leaving the latter looking like it’s been immersed in a spider’s web.

By that stage, the first two feet of leader on each spool are so kinked and coiled as to be good only for early retirement.

This home-made gizmo, while employed on tying thread in this demo, looks like it could be easily adapted to bring that leader nightmare to a close…

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Knives review cuts through my ignorance

KnifeAt the risk of being Stumbled by all kinds of inappropriate inner-city teen sites (make love, not war, guys. And please stay away from the suburbs: it’s really dull out here and we own nothing of any value) I must pay homage to Field & Stream‘s 20 Best Knives review, which makes rather short shrift of my previous opinion that you’ve seen one knife, you’ve seen ’em all.

Once you’ve got past the sensual curves of the Russell Canadian Belt Knife and the Randall Model 3, or the sheer strangeness of the Ulu (a terrific chopper, scraper, and skinner”) and the Woodsman’s Pal, there are the names to deal with: charming, almost sentimental labels – Busse Battle Mistress, Leatherman Wave, The Loveless Drop Point – that seem wholly wasted on implements of death.

Clearly, there is far more going on in the knife world than I realised. Not all of it unsavoury.

Rod weight, fly size, AFTM: finally, it all adds up

If, like me, you still tend to rate your rods as ‘broom handle’, ‘wispy’ or something in between, Orvis has come to our rescue with this handy chart that allows you to marry up the numbers regarding line, species and fly size…

“draw a line straight down from the middle of the size range for your species (green bar) to where it intersects the middle of the fly line size ranges (yellow bar). This will not only give you the best all-around fly rod for that species, it will also give you an idea of what other kinds of fish you can chase with the same fly rod”

Where to fish? One-stop answer to an age old question

flyfishmap_site+logoEarly days but already FLYFISHMAP.COM is showing promise. The  new interactive flyfishing website aims to help any flyfisherman decide where to fish in his neck of the woods or beyond, using Google Maps technology.

The creation of angler and publishing consultant Ed Burgass, the site offers information such as fisheries, fishing guides, tackle shops, instructors, accommodation, events, property for sale and conservation issues.

Users can add photos and YouTube videos of specific locations to the site, while writers can add fly fishing stories and articles to the site by using the ‘blog’ and ‘article’ markers. Fishing businesses, meanwhile, can create links back to their own site by adding clickable ‘markers’ to their area on the map.

Personally, I like the ‘Recently added’ panel just below the main map, allowing you to see instantly what’s been added and also the fact that you can customise the markers so that only those that you’re interested in (eg ‘accomodation’ or ‘where to fish’) are shown.

It will be interesting to see just how big Ed has to make his map if this idea really takes off but it is nevertheless a concept that deserves to do well. While there’s not much happening over the Indian subcontinent at present (and there’s a line you don’t read often) the video showing fishing in the rivers of northern India is well worth four minutes of your life – a teasing hint of the fishing awaiting us if only the wider region in that part of the world could sort its political problems out.

Two fly fishing tools that can only get better

You’ll have to watch them grow and be nurtured before they can be harvested in earnest but kudos nevertheless to those behind flyfishing’s very own corner of Wikipedia and Orvis Fly Fishing Reports and Conditions, although we should point out that our view of the latter isn’t entirely shared by an in-no-way worried Fly Fishing Community

You Limeys, meanwhile, can avail yourselves of my lord and masters’ site at Go Fishing.