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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 balanced year round with outdoor fun—chasing fin on the fly , hitting the snowboard 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. Great way to end a busy day out or banging the keys.


https://www.facebook.com/GravenFish

Cardopski

Cardopskiwrote a review of on June 22, 2015

Light, fast and heavy on quality.
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I'm no pro. And for the most part, a reel just holds fly line. Right? While I'm not in situations that always test the best drags in the world, it's nice to know I have a few better than average reels ready when I do get that opportunity. But I do get to fish quite a bit. More than most. So I like to invest in good gear when I can. And I like some, consider fly reels more than holders of line, some are just works of art. While the Speedster is no Ari Hart, it is unique looking. And as far as doing its job, it does fine. My stable runs a gamut of various price points ($15 - $850, sealed drags, click and paw, cork, rulon, Japanese, Korean, US, limited edition, mass produced) so I have a little experience with different reels. <br /><br />I have no complaints about my Speedster 3.5. It balances well with my light Orvis H2 8wt. That was one of the main reasons I bought it, to balance a light rod. But the fast pickup rate is also appreciated. The drag is plenty for our local smallies and while I don't plan to use it in salt (I'll use a completely sealed Hatch 7+ for that) I've known others who use Lamsons in salt and are sure to wash them afterward. <br /><br />I'm very happy with the Speedster and plan to pickup some extra spools. Right now the reel is sporting a Orvis HD Bankshot 8wt. For the price you get a lot of reel. It's light, great for throwing big flies in the upper weights all day long, has a smooth drag, balances well on light reels, and is US made.

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Cardopski

Cardopskiwrote a review of on June 22, 2015

For reel?
3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Ugh. I had high hopes for this reel. But that said, it's a fly reel, it does hold the fly line. Eventually the little noise the reel makes when you wind in line just disappeared. Yep, it's silent now. There's nothing wrong with the drag, still works great. These reels are kind of heavy and I eventually ended up selling one of the two I had (before the reel pooped out). I kept the 'silent' one. I ended up landing a nice bass on it today that made a few good runs. See shared photo. Alas, I won't be buying another one. I'm converting over to Lamson reels for my 8 and 9 wts.

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Cardopski

Cardopskiwrote a review of on June 22, 2015

Daddy's got a brand new (boat) bag!
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

In a SxS comparison with the Orvis boat bag, the SIMMS won. I have the large Simms boat bag. Both hold nearly the same amount (even tho Orvis is wider/longer, the Simms is taller). While the dividers attach via velcro making for easy very customizable sections, they are not as sturdy as Orvis' slot and drop dividers. I preferred more customizable over sturdy. Also the Simms dividers (2) each had a pocket (1 expandable and 1 zippered) for the little things vs small zippered pockets in the lid like the Orvis. I like the one big zippered pocket on the lid, perfect for holding long needle nose pliers and small bolt cutters (I use this bag for river floats for musky, carp, smallies and large mouth). Nothing beats being able to just pick this thing up (sturdy handle on lid--Orvis doesn't have one). What is KEY is the magnetic knob that just LOCKS into place making it easy to close it and pick it up without having to zipper it. That's where the Orvis really lost out. I'd been using waterproof sling packs and backpacks and a couple of Filson totes to get all my gear on the raft. Now it's just this boat bag, fly box and go! I DID have one issue with the strap connection points. I attached a zinger to it and the heat + the constant pulling did cause the adhered strap ring to come loose. Just some crazy glue and BAM it was good as new. Now I attach the zinger to the lid handle and all is well. Highly recommend this boat bag. Don't do a lot of trout float trips here in Virginia, but I'm sure this would do fine. Don't get me wrong I love Orvis rods (2 H2s in the photo), but this boat bag was just the one.

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Cardopski

Cardopskiwrote a review of on April 26, 2015

ICE HOT? Not so much.
4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I've used the rambler every day for both hot and cold for a month now. I have 2 YETI Coolers and have been impressed with their ability to keep things cold. This Rambler excels in that area, not so much in keeping things hot. Initially, sure, but with a hole in the lid, well the heat DOES escape. I tested this against a THERMOS double walled mug, but the THERMOS has a lid that closes. No surprise, the thermos kept the coffee warmer longer. As for cold things, the YETI did well if not better. Anyway, if it weren't for its cold keeping ability, this thing would have gotten 3 stars. I think if YETI made a new lid for it that actually closed, it would greatly improve this mug. Still, I do enjoy taking it out whenever I hit the spring creek or mountain lake in the morning then rinsing out the coffee, then filling it with cold stuff on the way home.

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Cardopski

Cardopskiwrote a review of on March 8, 2015

No more tears, just tears of joy.
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Yes I've used it to repair a puncture in my patagonia rio gallageos waders. But it offers many more uses. Pictured is my patagonia down sweater which suffered a 90 degree rip in the shoulder. It was just under a .25 inch but it was bleeding down every time I wore it. I figured why not try the loon wader repair? Squeeze on a bead larger than needed, use a piece of clear plastic to flatten it out, hit it with the Loon mag lite and in less than 10sec it's hardened enough to remove the plastic. Then take a pair of very sharp (fly tying scissors work well) and cut down the flattened circle…I've found the wider the circle is the more prone to peeling. I'm not sure if the loon wader repair, boat repair, knot sense, clear fly finish are all the same product but they are all UV curing. I have a mix of about 15 bottles around, and keep some in the glove box and of course in the fly fishing bag.

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Cardopski

Cardopskiwrote a review of on March 1, 2015

Easier the next time (hopefully).
3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I waited almost 2 years before changing the bars. I wrestled with some mangled screw heads but all of them were filled with cemented dirt. Most screws backed out of the inserts but more than I'd wanted didn't. Patagonia did plan for situations where screws don't come out of their inserts--the claw end of a hammer. Genius! Since all inserts MUST come out of the sole I don't know why they didn't suggest using the hammer to remove bar/insert/screw completely using the delicate prying action. UNLESS that action would render holes too large to securely hold the new inserts. BINGO! Some of the new inserts spin in the old holes and don't really bite into the sole. Fortunately, you'd have to spin clockwise to back them out but I'm a bit skeptical about how well they'd hold up. My guess it would take a freak accident and a lot of torque to rip a bar off the sole by pulling out the inserts. We'll see. All in all the entire process takes too long because there are a lot of screws to TRY and take out only to result to pulling the bars off with inserts attached. And the inserts that you were able to get the screws out of need to be backed out (using an allen wrench or needle nose pliers?all told you need screwdriver, hammer, allen wrench and/or needle nose pliers). THEN you have put all of the new inserts in and then all of the screws in (after adding a bit of locktite). The boots have weathered nearly 120 days of fishing well (no major material failures) and despite the long process of removing and putting on new bars, I'll get a few more kits and see how long these will last. Full disclosure: I'm getting a pair of SIMMS G4 Boa boots that use simple studs (no inserts or bars) to alternate so I can prolong the next time I have to go through this.

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Cardopski

Cardopskiwrote a review of on February 5, 2015

Perception changed? Mind changed.
4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I go between Orvis and Rio on a regular basis. Until I got the Perception line I was using an Orvis 3gen line on my 6wt. I was going to get a Rio Gold line (not a bad line at all) but the Perception had come out so I decided to try it out. WOW, yeah, there was a difference. Higher floating head and yeah, I could tell, a slightly better detection of subtle strikes. Granted, I use this on a streamer rod and this isn't a streamer specific line, but it turns over the big articulated stuff just fine. When faced with getting a new line I was going to get a Gold. But now that I've tried the Perception I'll grab one of these. Mind--changed.

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Cardopski

Cardopskiwrote a review of on February 5, 2015

It's Gold.
4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Between Orvis and Rio all of my reels get their fill of line. I put the WF5 on in 2013 and it's been hanging in there pretty good. The head seems to have a texture on it but that doesn't seem to impede cast ability or float. I've found the version of the Gold more supple and resists memory and stays flexible in colder temperatures.

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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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