Cardopski

Cardopski

Virginia

Cardopski's Passions

Fly Fishing
Hiking & Camping

Cardopski's Bio

Virginia born and raised. Enjoying life on the fly. Art directing the rest of the time.

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Cardopski

Cardopski wrote a review of on October 2, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Maybe, but I don't know how.

I have two (5wt and 7wt) ZG Helios rods (the predecessor and rumored unbeatable award winner from Orvis). I was skeptical that they could do better. I now have two Helios 2 rods also (6wt and 8wt and eyeing a 4wt). I've fished the 6wt for over a year now and the 8wt for about 4 months. While there are differences between the ZG Helios and H2 rods, it's all for the better. Lighter in hand, and stronger (well, I did break my 6wt two times but Orvis fixed them in a jiff), the "upgrade" was worth it. These rods can pickup a lot of line and get it right back out quickly. Both my rods are tip flex (to throw big streamers for trout and big wind resistance flies for bass), and while a little 'soft' compared to the ZG Helios rods, they have a lot of muscle and can accurately bomb out the big flies. I regret in no way the money paid for any of the high end Orvis rods--strong, light and warranted for 25 years, what's there to regret?

When you're pounding the banks with articulated streamers (peanut envys, game changer, sex dungeons) and big bass flies (CK baitfish, CK claw dads, Pat Cohen bugs) you appreciate the fact you're using one of the lightest and strongest rods in the world.

I have other rods (Beulah 8/9wt, CF Burkheimer 5wt, two custom fiberglass rods and a Orvis SuperfineTouch), but I consider the H2 rods my go to.

I fish year round on Virginia spring creeks and mountain streams and lakes for trout and fresh warm water species. If you fish a lot, get the best you can.

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Cardopski

Cardopski wrote a review of on October 1, 2014

Warm and worthy.
4 5

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

This is my go to insulation layer to wear under my Simms G4Pro jacket when fly fishing. No other jacket I own (Simms Fall Run Jacket, Patagonia Nanopuff) offers a higher warmth to weight ratio. The only down side (pun intended) is that after it gets wet it doesn't dry fast or insulate well. But as long as I'm careful (rolling the sleeves up under my shell) before dipping the hands/arms in the water, I stay happy. That said, I wear this whenever it's gonna be bitter cold. It provides some wind relief without a shell. It stuffs down to nearly nothing for easy pack along to anywhere or shed it when the sun comes up and stuff it in a pack. Like all light fabric jackets it does not like thorns or fire.

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Cardopski

Cardopski posted an image about on October 1, 2014

Fully loaded for fun.

It fits lots and more all comfortably for a sling pack. I hardly use the secondary strap. All of this still leaves a lot of room for a light vest, couple of Clif bars, headlamp, snakebite kit….the list goes on. I've even used it as a camera bag when shooting shots on the river. It comfortably holds a canon 7d and 2 prime lenses with room to spare.

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Cardopski

Cardopski wrote a review of on October 1, 2014

Prada-gonia
5 5

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

This is luxury fly fishing. The luxury of ample room to carry nearly anything you might need on a day of fishing, the luxury of real waterproof protection, luxury of quick access and luxury of a floating safety device (don't quote me on that). It's a cadillac. The list of bags I went through totaled 7 before I got to this one. Fishpond, Orvis, Simms I tried them in sling packs, vests, 1/2 day packs, full packs, waist packs, etc. Even if I'm heading out to a well known spring creek and just take one box of flies I take this with me because it just carries a lot of other things easily. I don't always fish sketchy waters when the CFS is up, but I feel a little better knowing this thing will keep me afloat should I take a spill long enough to get my footing. The main zipper closes quickly (the pull strap is placed perfectly to provide the right leverage)—just keep it lubed. The inside pocket/zippers are ample for small things. In the main pocket I carry 4-5 wheatly boxes, bottle of water, light rain jacket, headlamp, knife, bug spray…the list goes on. It's withstood rocks, mud, water and snow. I do have some suggestions for Patagonia…reverse the direction to tighten down the strap, pull up vs pull down. Consider a brighter color—I'd hate to lose this on the river. For users, open it up and dry it out every once and a while if you end up putting wet stuff in there.

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Cardopski

Cardopski wrote a review of on October 1, 2014

Needs something more.
3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've worn these for 2 years now, primarily for late fall, winter and early spring. These are just too heavy/hot for summer. I switch to lighter soles with studs/screws then. These boots are protective nearly to the point of being clunky. Protective with thick materials offering ample ankle support and protection from rocks. Protective in that they do provide great traction. BUT, get these things parallel on a slick surface or get a branch between the bars and you'll lose your footing. My solution is to add studs/screws (SIMMS are better than PATAGONIA's) between the bars. I've worn down the first bars and am getting a replacement set now. The laces have broke on these and patagonia did not sell replacements—no big deal. The metal clasps/hooks, in my opinion are too 'sharp' and are placed so if your'e not careful you'll miss one. I wear a size 6, but sized up to a 7 to wear these with the Patagonia RioG waders bootie. I will say that these boots do lack a real heel pocket so if make sure they fit or you'll have a some blisters on your heels.

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Cardopski

Cardopski wrote a review of on October 1, 2014

Got this one right. So I got two.
4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size

I'm on the shorter stockier side and while other patagonia shirts fit a bit snug, this one was perfect. I loved it so much I got two. I wear these primarily in the muggy, summer fishing days of the east. It's cut a little long so I wear it tucked. The material is FANTASTIC. The slight elasticity helps when casting in sticky weather, the button up sleeves help when you're drenched and other shirt sleeves quit and roll down. While not a true athletic cut it does create a clean profile. The chest pockets are ample enough for a wheatly fly box but nothing much bigger. I would love to see this same material and cut with pearl snaps.

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Cardopski

Cardopski wrote a review of on October 1, 2014

Love em?2x.
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: Runs large

This is my second pair of RioGs. I had the first generation and wore the inner thighs out. That's because I'm on the shorter stockier side and no pair of waders fits me perfect leaving extra material to stack up and cause friction. Patagonia warns against this so I don't knock them for that. That said the RioG's scored very high in the latest wader shootouts in comparison to Simms. The materials are pretty darn tough. The kneepads are indispensable for kneeling in freestone waters, the reinforced inner leg prevents premature wear out by boot scraps. They DO tend to run roomy which I don't mind because I layer up. The convertible (drop front) suspension system does come in handy and I'm glad they kept it in the 2nd generation. The addition of the zippered and tricot lined chest pockets were the biggest complaint I had in the 1st generation of these waders. I did send the first pair back after 1 year (that was after 50+ trips on rivers and spring creeks, through brambles, scrambling down and up scree) and Patagonia did an awesome repair. I bought the new generation soon after, figured if you're gonna have a great pair, why not have 2? I wear these nearly all year long. Even after dropping the chest section down to the waist they (like all higher end heavier duty waders) are too hot for temperatures in the 80's. I switch to wearing lighter wading pants when fishing spring creeks in the late spring and through summer.

One odd thing is after synching the top you end up with an long drawstring that you have to just tuck down in the waders?hasn't happened yet but I can see that getting in the way.

I have yet to wear a pair of Simms waders. I find the fit and features in the RioGs (for a short stocky guy) fine for me and no reason to move on.

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Cardopski

Cardopski wrote a review of on October 1, 2014

Not bad.
3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Let's put this into perspective. You can buy the Abel $50 made in the USA nippers (and I have), the $20 fishpond nippers (not USA made, got those too) or a pair of $2 nail clippers. Given that I think the purchase of the Simms nippers (made in the USA) was not a bad one. I did not have any major issues with them except that the jaw/spring opening mechanism did get stuck a few times. Probably from dirt. But a few pinches and it opens up. The hook eye point is placed in the FRONT below the jaws, where it makes sense. On the Fishponds the point is inside of a hole and on the Abel it's actually inside the behind the cutting jaws—hard to get to. The Abel and Fishpond blades are just as prone to dulling (any 440c stainless metal will dull when slammed against itself). If you know about knife metal you'd know that 440c sharpens easily, has decent corrosion resistance but its performance for edge retention is lower than the other two characteristics. Even so, it's great they offer replaceable blades (Abel does, Fishpond does not). In the end, any pair of cutters (even cheap nail clippers) will dull and require a bit more user strength. So I don't knock them for that. They score high in my opinion being USA made, have a good weight to them (less than Abel, more than fishpond) won't rust like cheap stainless steel nail clippers and have a hook eye clearing point.

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Cardopski

Cardopski wrote a review of on October 1, 2014

Thick and juicy, throw one on.
3 5

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

I picked this up for early spring days fishing, but it's worked its way into a lot of uses. Perfect for throwing over a base layer short sleeve on cool mornings and evenings, when you don't want to bother with a zipper. Not sure if they intended this, but the collar opening is a bit large and while some may complain I like the extra room it gives a collared fly fishing shirt. I do like that it has a roomy cut through the midsection and the cuff seam remains tight enough to prevent the sleeve from rolling down your arm. I do not know how it holds up when in a dryer, as I hang dry it. But it does dry super fast. The down side is that it doesn't pack down so well.

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Cardopski

Cardopski wrote a review of on October 1, 2014

The best for cold beastly weather.
4 5

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

I have a Simms G4 Pro jacket (shell) but wanted something that was really warm and has a decent durable exterior. This jacket delivers and is even a bit water resistant (read, wear a shell if you're going to be in rain for a long time). It does so well at insulating you can literally wear a base layer under it. It's like wearing a sleeping bag. The materials and fill make the jacket a bit stiffer than your average polyester down/primaloft filled coat. I do think it could benefit from a zipper with larger teeth as it would be easier to zip up quickly. The 2 part hood functions perfectly, allowing for coverage up to the chin (and over your nose if needed) and a hood that holds it shape with ample room for a beanie or hat. The drawstring hood makes cinching the hood down a breeze. I wear this jacket on dry cold days. This jacket has kept me comfortable standing in 40 degree water and air temps in the 20's. It also dries fast should water get in your waders. It's cut a little long in the body for a size small. It has a drop tail hem in the back for that extra padding in the seat when sitting on a bank or rock? I typically wear it all under my waders or cinch the waist to keep it from getting wet when I wear wading pants.

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Cardopski

Cardopski wrote a review of on October 1, 2014

If you need another net, it'll be this.
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I used a Brodin wooden hand net with rubber bag for a few years before getting this one. For less money and less weight you get so much more with the Fishpond. Full disclosure, I got my Fishpond net from the original company that Fishpond bought (Nomad). The nets are the same except Fishpond added some fish prints. I got this mid-length net because I wanted a bit more reach and a larger basket/opening. The net has seen a lot of fishing, I get out 4-8x a month for trout and it has held up extremely well. It even floats a bit which is nice since I don't use a tether…just lodge it between my back and sling pack. I haven't had a need to replace the net (I've had a couple breaks in the net) but I'm sure it'd be easy. I love it so much, I bought a Fishpond-Nomad net in a shorter length for those trips where a shorter net is needed (think tight fishing on small creeks for brookies). You don't always need a net for brookies, but just in case you run into a random big one it's good for both of us.

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Cardopski

Cardopski wrote a review of on October 1, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

This is my 3rd Filson bag. I have a field bag and briefcase and decided a carry on would be handy to have. While not touted as a carry on I've found it near the perfect size to carry anything you might need within reason for a long flight. It held 2 pairs of noise canceling headphones, magazines, iPad, canon 7d, 2 prime lenses, bottles of water, snacks, and 2 hoodies with a little room to spare. The large full length zippered side pockets were perfect for iPad in case and magazines. Main pocket fit everything else. The nearly hidden inner side pockets were handy for quick grab items like a travel wallet or snacks. And it all fit nicely underneath the seat in front of me. The bag has the same bomb proof thick cotton twill used in it's field bags and brief cases. And the leather straps are hard to break. Be forewarned though, it can carry a lot which can make carrying it through the airport tiresome. When it's not being used as a carryon, it gets used as a go to weekend bag.

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Cardopski

Cardopski wrote a review of on October 1, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size

I own 2 other Filson coats (Tin Cloth jacket and Tin Cloth Field coat). Those are both thicker and more roomy--perfect for brambles, blood, shot shells, layering, dirt and rain. This Guide Jacket has all the styling of a work/field coat with nearly the same pockets and configuration of my Field Coat,but it's lighter material, unlined pockets and tighter fit tell me perfect for the urban scene. I bought it for that reason; to give the Barbour jacket a rest.

Soy wax is typically used on lighter materials so that should clue you in to this jacket's use. The Seattle fit creates a cleaner leaner profile than the Alaskan fit. This jacket is lined so it does well with a long sleeve shirt in cooler temperatures. For me a light sweater gets a little tight in the mid and lower arm. The shoulders are gusseted so it remains a little roomy in that area.

I have yet to use it in the rain, but I also have a filson soy wax vest and know that it will repel water fine.

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