Sunday, November 14, 2010

First day back...

Here is a short clip of my first venture back into flowing water in over 3 weeks. Been down with a disc issue in my lower back. Casting was a bit rusty, but I did manage to break in my new 2010 Taupo Perfect, which isn't as loud as my originals but she'll work just fine. I just need more time on the water with it so she gets that lovely patina of an old hard used reel overflowing with soul and purpose. I was also late on the hook set but as you can see it didn't matter in the end. Watch as my rod bobs 3 times before I set. Oh well, thankfully the fish hooked himself.

Gear Set-up:
2010 Hardy Taupo Perfect
11'7" 5/6/7 Meiser MKS (custom built) 400-600 grain window
425 Rio Skagit Flight (really weighs 441 grains)
10 ft T-14
10lb Maxima tippet material

Saturday, November 13, 2010

My Beloved Taupo

The above photo shows the change in check system. On the left is the modern, convertible LHW to RHW check mechanism. While on the right you will see the original MKII check in the 1958-62 Taupos, which are RHW only. You can also see in this photo the difference in bearings between the two reels as well.

A shot of the exterior changes from the original Taupos to the modern version. The picture above shows a modern Taupo sandwiched between two originals. Note the lineguide version on the right. You can see the leading they now use is also a bit different.

I gotta start by saying I am a gear junkie, specifically Hardy Perfects. They are, well, perfect. Nothing beats the sound of a fish pulling line on a loud Perfect. Click and pawl reels also require more interaction by the angler. Some people will say "Yeah but they have no drag". It's true that click and pawl style reels have just enough resistance to prevent spool overrun. HOWEVER, when an angler knows how to use a palming reel, you can go to full lockdown. Meaning when you palm the back of the spool, you can hold it as tight or loose as you wish. You can actually apply more "drag" than the best disc drag system on the market and this system requires very little attention. A little grease on the pawl, gear, and spring once every 6 months of hard use and you're good to go.

Now onto the Taupo Perfect! The Taupo was originally made by Hardy from 1958-1962 only. They were built for the large rainbows and browns in Lake Taupo New Zealand, which required a larger reel than the standard 3 7/8 trout Perfect. The Taupo is wider than the narrow trout Perfects, yet not as wide as the wide drum Salmon Perfects. The originals had an optional lineguide. The Taupo is sweet on two handers from 11' up to 12'6". They will hold 120 yards of 30lb dacron and a mid belly line, 150 yds of 30 lb plus 125 ft of mono shooting line and the skagit or scandi line of your choice. They are Right Hand Wind only.

Hardy recently released a modern version of the reel. It has the same specs, 3 7/8" diameter with a 1" spool width. They did change some things however. Now they are convertible LHW or RHW, the new Taupos also have a ivorine type handle, smaller bearing race, and a screw on the back of the spool like the old salmon reels. They are also about an ounce lighter than the originals.

Once you fish with a click and pawl reel, I can assure you that you will rapidly ditch the modern disc drag reels that offer barely a whisper of inspiration while hooked into a fresh Steelhead cartwheeling and screaming down stream!

Friday, November 5, 2010

The International Fly Tying Symposium

It's that time of the of the year when the Fly Fishing Show's start, the first one is The International Fly Tying Symposium in Somerset NJ. This is the Worlds largest show for fly tying, if you are looking for hard to find feather's, tool's, hook's this is the place to find them.  Plus watch some of the best fly tiers in the world,  take a class & plenty of programs to watch.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Since the Flood last month we have had great flows in the river.  The river has been running at 750cfs with another 200cfs of run-off in the system, this has made for good flows for the wading angler as well as the drift boats.  So lets get out there and chase some Steelhead with two hands before Ole' man Winter really sets in..