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Cardopski

Cardopski

Shenandoah Valley Virginia

Cardopski's Passions

Fly Fishing
Hiking & Camping
Snowboarding

Cardopski's Bio

Dabbled in skating and surfing growing up in a beach side city but found more to do in the mountains and valley of Virginia.

Years spent designing behind the keyboard are counterbalanced year round with outdoor fun. Springs and summers spent chasing esox and bass on the local river with some hiking thrown in. Fall and winter going after natives, browns and brookies in mountain streams and spring creeks year round. And anytime is a good time to blast some clays.

Been getting back into art marrying an affinity for fine engraved shotguns and and fish art. Great way to end a busy day out or banging the keys--scratching on some paper.


https://www.facebook.com/GravenFish

Cardopski

Cardopskiwrote a question about on January 25, 2015

I just got a lowepro all weather camera bag that has a removable padded body. What's the diameter of the opening on this Patagonia roll top? The lowepro I have isn't water proof and I'm thinking of taking that padded body (which will hold my DSLR and a couple lenses) and drop it into this 100% waterproof bag. Many thanks for the info. I already have the Patagonia Storm Front sling and am a believer in this series. But the sling pack has a zipper opening that is too small to put in the padded body and the sling doesn't stabilize well enough for snow boarding.

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Cardopski

Cardopskiwrote a review of on January 18, 2015

When you need to be invisible.
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I started using it this past summer when long and light presentations on skinny water was the norm. I'd been using Powerflex regularly but decided to pickup some 6x and 7x of Suppleflex. I was concerned about it having enough backbone while delivering a soft drop on sz18-20 dries. It did the job on quite a few number of skiddish natives. I'm a believer.

Photo: A little pat on the chin of one that fell for the Suppleflex.

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Cardopski

Cardopskiwrote a review of on January 18, 2015

Here's a tip. Use it.
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Until I was introduced to Rio I'd been using Orvis exclusively (I'm a big fan of their rods). I've found Rio to be just as strong, abrasion resistant, but exhibiting less memory than Orvis' tippet. Also Rio spools are thinner taking up less room on my tippet holder. I'm still working through my Orvis tippet and will most likely use Rio exclusively from here on out.

Doesn't hurt to buy a couple of each to keep in the garage just in case the fly shop is closed when you go out.

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Cardopski

Cardopskiwrote a review of on January 18, 2015

Always gets a rise out of 'em.
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Brookies are eager fish, but that doesn't mean the stimulator doesn't work. It's also a productive pattern for spring creek bows during terrestrial season imitating buggy big meals or a big caddis. It's my go to for brookies in spring and summer.

Photo of a VA native this past June.

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Cardopski

Cardopskiposted an image about on January 18, 2015

Lots of choices.

There are many options out there. Before 'see thru' and 'waterproof' enter your thoughts, consider the type of holding mechanism that will work best. If that fails who cares what box you're reaching for OR if it floats. Individual compartments have their benefits--they hold a lot but can be difficult to get a single fly out, you'll resort to using tweezers. Spring loaded doors can fail (cheap ones) and can even fling your flies out of the box. Foam (and now silicon is being used but it's heavy) is ubiquitous. But not all foam is created equal or the substance used to adhere the foam to the box. I've found Scientific Anglers and MFC use the similar materials and adhesive. In the heat the adhesive can soften and cause slots to deform rendering them less useful and sometimes your flies will get stuck and you end up picking off foam. The foam in CF design boxes and Wheatley boxes is similar and don't exhibit the same issues with heat as the other two. Also the latter two offer replacement foam inserts, not so for SA and MFC. For me the Wheatleys (for trout) CF Design (for bass) are the best. The CF design with foam insert system are large enough for big smallie and largemouth flies without crushing sz2 - sz 4 poppers. Just make up several different foam inserts (CF Designs offer lot so of different inserts), and drop and go. I have 2 CF Design boxes and yes, they are bulky and heavy (similar to the SA boxes) but I'm usually on a boat when fishing for bass so weight and space isn't a concern. White box for top water, black box for subsurface--no need for see thru in this case, it's color coded. The Wheatley boxes (I have six) with their individual compartments, flip foam and rippled foam give you endless options, light weight and high capacity. The MFC waterproof box, although the foam isn't the best, I've found is the cadillac of boxes for a mixed day of smallmouth/largemouth and musky during the spring.

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Cardopski

Cardopskiwrote a review of on January 18, 2015

Worked for a time.
2 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

These (I bought 5 different ones) were the first in a long line of fly boxes. In retrospect I won't buy them again. I got them because they were waterproof and were see thru. You can't take that away from them. The biggest disappointment was the foam. Over time with enough heat (think hot summers in the south) the adhesive under the foam would get soft and stick to hooks. And if you're heavy handed you can easily damage and deform the slots and their ability to hold flies goes south fast. There are cheaper, lighter options with better foam out there. Orvis' slime line of boxes are an option but the foam is the same. Angler's Image fly boxes are a bit more expensive but has the better foam (similar to foam in Richard Wheatley boxes and CF Design boxes--all 3 of which I use instead of the SA boxes). To me, for their size and weight, they didn't hold enough.

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Cardopski

Cardopskiwrote a review of on January 18, 2015

You'll buy more than one.
4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Not that that's a bad thing. I've had mine over a year now. What will stand out immediately is the weight of these coolers empty. They are solid and can take a real beating. The large amount of foam does seem to rob the interior of it's space for items. But the ability of this cooler to keep items cold more than makes up for it. We left ours in a hot car for 4 days at the beach and didn't have to put us in it until day 5. However, I sometimes leave the included basket out to increase storage space.

The 50 was adequately sized to carry drinks and lunch for 3 anglers on a fly fishing raft day trip. It made a good casting platform too from the front of the raft. It's a good size for a couple to take car camping. Not too big for one to carry when full and two can handle it if it's really weighed down with ice and bottles.

I also have a Roadie I take for solo day trips fly fishing.

Will be getting a 125 or 160 soon to leave in the back of the pickup. With those 3 coolers I don't think I'll need another size.

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Cardopski

Cardopskiwrote a review of on January 18, 2015

A bag that floats your boat.
4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

This thing has tons of storage space and is super durable. The waterproof bottom came in handy when the canoe and raft took on some water. Plenty of room for a rain shell (storms come up fast on the river in summer), sunscreen, fly boxes, flashlight, water, food and extra reels. The built in tippet spool, drop foam work bench and rain cover are key. I really dig that you can open up the top cover to access tippet spools and tools without exposing the main compartment. I use this primarily for fishing for bass from a raft or boat. Everything fits, just grab it and go.

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Cardopski

Cardopskiwrote a review of on January 18, 2015

WAS my go to bag.
3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I adopted the sling pack mid way through my fishing adventures. I tried Orvis and other fishpond chest packs, backpacs, vests and ended up getting this. It was prior to the release of the Patagonia Stormfront sling pack.

The Westwater sling did okay for a while. But I quickly outpaced it's capacity. It does fine on a short fishing trip where I don't carry an extra layer or don't risk the threat of getting caught in rain, snow or wading deep. But if you're out for hours, wading deep, or facing possible precipitation (blue bird days usually means a slow bite), I'd go for full true waterproof goodness.

That said this bag did a few things right:
- The direction you pull to tighten the strap is UP. This is the best way vs down.
- The padding on the strap and back is comfortable and light (for those hot days).
- The material and parts are durable. In 2 years of fishing 4-5x a month, not one tear, rip, hole or failed zipper.

Even tho I don't reach for it immediately anymore, I keep it in case a friend needs a bag, I lose my other one or I need a decent durable bag to carry stuff off the water.

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Cardopski

Cardopskiwrote a review of on January 17, 2015

True Penny Nyack Strip is, well, money.
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size

I replaced an aging Spyder skiing jacket and went for all Burton gloves, pants and jacket. I researched several of the Burton models and the Covert offered the best mix of room, insulation, and waterproof at a great price. This thing is warm. It's a bit much on a sunny hi 30's to mid 40's day on the slopes. I had to nix the mid layer and just wear a base layer. The pit zips DID help tho.

For me, a dude on the shorter side a XS would have been better length wise. But being a bit stout the S is what I went with. It fits in the shoulders well and is about 1" longer than the XS. Not really enough to matter (still have plenty of room to bend although the jacket sits a bit low off the hips on me now). Compared to other models, it's a longer cut, but not their longest.

I usually skip the pants to jacket attachment feature, a bit time consuming to setup. But after the fall today causing the jacket to ride up a bit, I think I'll take the time for the extra step. Glad this jacket has that feature.

I wear Burton gloves with an integrated/removeable wrist guard. This makes the glove a little bulky, but the sleeves on the jacket still fit over the glove ok. Not loose, but not so tight that it's a fight to get them over the gloves. A major problem with the old Spyder jacket.

I think this is a lot of jacket for the price.

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Cardopski

Cardopskiwrote a review of on January 17, 2015

So far so (damn) good.
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

I'm a brand loyalist. My first board was a RIDE (waaaaaaay back in 1998) when there weren't many choices like rocker, camber, rocker camber rocker, WTH? You got what you got and you made it work and that one board stuck around until 2005. I considered the Crook and Machete but felt like my riding style was better suited to the Wild Life. It's a little heavier than my wife's 5150 151cm and am assuming that's because of the SlimeWallsor maybe these Flow bindings (which I'm going to replace with Ride Capo bindings soon). Anyway the all mountain rocker shape delivers. Yep there's stability and grip and it's way easy to get to edges without over torquing the board. It's forgiving enough if you misstep or end up surprised by some uneven terrain and responsive enough to recover when that happens. I went with a 151 (a bit on the long side for me) but I have the mass/strength to really get into that board and I didn't want to sacrifice speed. I'm not much of a park person at all, but I do want to open up a bit, and while this is touted as a directional board, I can switch ride it.

As for cosmetics, well it looks great and sets itself apart from the others out there. The logo foil accent is a nice touch. There are so many levels of graphic detail on this board.

I expect to get many years use out of this board.

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Cardopski

Cardopskiwrote a review of on January 17, 2015

Boards and rods?what else?
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The design of these board/ski racks are so simple, it's not hard to find more uses for them. Yeah, they carry 2 snowboards easily, but I've used them to carry fly rods that won't fit in the Titan Vault. Kayak oars, pvc, you name it. The new universal foot attachment is genius. I was concerned about thieves cutting the rubber straps, but there is a decent band of metal in each. Also the strap design makes taking these racks of way easy. Just unlock, loosen slight and they pop right off and right back on. Love em.

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Cardopski

Cardopskiwrote a review of on January 17, 2015

One small problem to work around.
3 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

I don't hit the park or do crazy crap, just surf down the mountain with some speed. I prefer to keep the egg from cracking so I got a helmet. I really liked the bright neon orange color. Easily lets the wife and friends know where I am, also acts like a warning to others. Ha! The matte finish is silky smooth and doesn't shine/glare. I wear oakley goggles with them and they fit perfectly with no gaps. The helmet is xs (measured my head before ordering) and fits as it should so the sizing is spot on. No need to wear anything under the helmet for warmth, there is ample padding/insulation. I don't expect to wear this in the summer, but we'll see how it handles the warmer/late season.

One thing I found a little disappointing was that the piece/holder that holds the goggle strap on the back doesn't 'snap' closed like some other helmets. So, your goggle strap can tend to slip off and then your goggles drop of your helmet. This happened 2x today. The fix is to make sure the thickest part of your goggle strap (where the strap adjusts) is in the holder on the helmet. If this strap holder 'snapped' shut this would get 4 stars.

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Cardopski

Cardopskiwrote a review of on January 16, 2015

Good in a pinch.
3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size

The first one I got was holding up okay (had some threads break) and forget about the Simms logo EVER staying on (I don't know why they don't embroider it). Anyway I ripped the sleeve beyond Simms ability to repair it so they sent me a new one. Can't beat that! And I hear that's not uncommon for Simms.

The jacket doesn't have a lot of features as say a Patagonia of similar material and use (no pocket it stows into, no zippered pockets, no waist draw string). I do think it costs a bit less than a similarly functional Patagonia jacket. It does stow easily (not as well as say a down jacket); provide ample warmth for the fall in Virginia or warmish winter day on a favorite spring creek; is semi water repellent, and the bottom elastic hem does provide a good fit--not too tight and not to loose.

If I hadn't have gotten a free one from Simms, I think I would have just used my Nano puff jacket. I'll keep the Fall Run Jacket until I run it into the ground tho. But then again, I did end up getting the Fall Run Vest too. ;-)

Photo: Fall Run Vest from a recent winter trip on a favorite spring creek.

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Cardopski

Cardopskiwrote a review of on January 16, 2015

A step up.
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Yeah, it's just a stomp pad but that doesn't mean it has to be neglected. I appreciate the extra measure Dakine went to produce these. I have the gold set (hard to find) and they matched the gold foil RIDE logo on my WildLife board perfectly.

The traction they provide is just as good or better than rubber. Rubber will work of course, but the understated style of this all metal set is hard to ignore.

I'd get another set in a heartbeat if Backcountry carried the gold. I'll keep my eye out.

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Cardopski

Cardopskiwrote a review of on January 16, 2015

Almost a perfect rack!
4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I retired the subaru baja and picked up a pickup. Dumped the hard tonneau cover and went shopping for a decent truck bed rack system. Passed up the contractor grade versions (they were cheaper than the Thules) because they weren't versatile. I probably won't change the height of these much, but if I wanted to I could; you can't do that with the others out there. I wanted to be able to take off the top bars and leave the uprights. Not ideal, but better than not having that option.

These will take some time to assemble and I recommend two people (but not your wife in 30 degree temps with a stiff wind blowing). The hardest part is getting the uprights attached to the railing; it might not be a problem for your truck.

The integrated load tie downs are a nice feature. Haven't used them yet, but I'm glad I have them. I mainly got these to hold the Titan Rod Vault. But, I'm certain I'll may throw the kayak up there. I may end up getting a Diablo sup/kayak which weighs about 80lbs. I'm sure the racks can handle it but I'm a little concerned about more weight. Because...

I have these jacked all the way up to allow my Titan Vault to sit under the rack (this is to allow full use of the racks above). And I do find that they do seem a weeee bit shaky (read I notice they move a bit when I'm on rough roads) when all the way up. Needless to say I won't put the max weight on the racks in this position or give it five stars. You may not have the same issue.

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Cardopski

Cardopskiwrote a review of on January 16, 2015

The butt just too big. Did I say that?
4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Whether you're running in to grab a quick beer or leaving rods out overnight, rest assured this thing will deter thieves from snatching your goods. Truth be told, nothing is 100% secure (people break into cars, people break into hotel rooms) but this comes pretty darn close. I tried the home made route. Sure anyone can fashion a rod holder, but the security part is tough to pull off. Why risk it? The titan vault gets it done better than its competitors (last check there are 2 other options, both were either overkill or under done). One is made of plastic but opens in the rear, the other is a big black steel box that opens from the top—not convenient. The Titan Vault offers the best of both of those, quick rear entry and metal construction.

The hardest part of assembly was the several aluminum screws to put the 2 pieces together, but mostly time consuming vs difficult.

The one setback is that the rod vault won't close if a rod has a fighting butt. I was a bit peeved with that. I hear they are coming out with a model that will fit rods with fighting butts. In the meantime I'll use a pair of ski racks to carry those higher wt rods (not pictured). If they do come out with that newer one, I'm sure I'll get it. Might sell this or just keep em both.

A word of advice…don't put an unstrung rod in the vault. During hot summer months, vibrations can cause your rod to come apart at the ferules. Pull the back part of the rod/reel out and you'll leave the other parts in the vault. You'll spend your time fishing those parts out vs fishing.

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