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Cardopski

Cardopski

Shenandoah Valley Virginia

Cardopski's Passions

Fly Fishing
Hiking & Camping
Snowboarding
Paddling
Snowshoeing

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

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Cardopski

Cardopskiwrote a review of on December 27, 2015

Very Very Nice.
4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I had 2 yeti coolers before they ventured into double walled stainless steel drinkware, so I knew they were going to be worth it. We have LOTS of thermo mugs in our cabinets but I reach for these every time. I now have 2 Ramblers, 1 lowball, and 1 Colster. The lowball is my go to out of the bunch. It's the perfect amount of coffee for me, and while it doesn't come with a lid, the Rambler lid fits it. Fortunately I have a 'extra large' cupholder in my truck or else it wouldn't fit--that's the only drawback. It DOES keep things VERY cold and does a decent job with hot things (a lid without a hole in it would help in that regard). Does a good job with the Macallan 18 yo also--neat of course. Here 'tis on a recent musky winter hunt.

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Cardopski

Cardopskiwrote a review of on November 7, 2015

You can't go wrong with Rio.
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've been fly fishing for five years and switched from Orvis to Rio two years ago. Why? My experience has been it's more supple (Orvis Mirage fluoro was just baaaaad) and just as strong or stronger. Fluoro in general is a better choice than mono for subsurface presentations (you should know this already). It's stronger than mono and thinner. But beware, when abrasion gets bad the fluoro will get milky and will get pretty visible—check your tippet often. That said, when conditions call for near invisible and strong tippet that drops faster than mono, go with Rio. I use it for nymphs, streamers, eggs, in clear or dirty water. It's my subsurface go to.

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Cardopski

Cardopskiwrote a review of on November 7, 2015

Just look cool? Feel cool. Be cool.
4 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size
Height: 5'
Weight: 142 lbs
Size Purchased: Small

Originally purchased for hot weather use, I figured I'd give the jacket a try on an unseasonably warmer day of fall musky fishing. It's GoreTex so I had no doubt of it's waterproof abilities, and I was right. Not a drop gets through the fabric. SIMMS really 'gets' fishing and the upper body movements required of the sport. The articulation through the seams are spot on. Even with a base layer, a shirt, and a polartec jacket underneath this jacket, even a bit form fitting, moves well. The full length pit zips down to the waist pockets are genius. The feature allows the venting of a lot of hot air and breezes to blow in. The jacket won't replace my Simms G4 Pro jacket for winter (it's shorter for wading, roomier for layers and has way more fishing specific features), but I would say for warm weather or even cool temps and yes, rain, this jacket is a winner. I'll update the post when I finally get to wear it in the warmer spring and summer days on the river chasing smallies.

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Cardopski

Cardopskiposted an image about on October 26, 2015

Initial thoughts

Yeah, I own 3 of these, because they're kind of the best nets out there. I had a wooden Brodin net. Classy, but has its limitations. These carbon fiber and fiberglass nets are lighter than wood and take a real beating better. I ended up getting this one because I needed a bigger basket to net carp and soon, NY lake run browns. Get one. You won't regret it.

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Cardopski

Cardopskiposted an image about on October 26, 2015

Awesome design

I've used Patagonia Rock Grip boots with the aluminum bars, while these cleats take a bit more work since there are more to place, they're designed to fit like a puzzle piece into the treads so I expect them not to pull out like the bars did of the featureless Patagonia soles . And they won't spin like other screw in cleats do, working themselves loose.

Just some advice, get a puck of cleats (10) for each boot.

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Cardopski

Cardopskiwrote a review of on September 26, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Size Purchased: Standard (Small)

A good pair of polarized super clear shades is just as important, maybe more important, than your fly rod. Any pair can protect you from flying razor sharp hooks, but not many do it with style and with the quality of clarity and polarization of these Costas. I have a smallish sized face so the Stringers were just the ticket. The lenses aren't super big (a trend that may fade) so these will remain stylish for a long time. The rubber accents on the arms and nose definitely keep em on your noggin during hot sweaty days fishing. I fish at least 70 times a year and have 2 pairs of Costas so I never leave home without them. I need to get a pair of amber lenses, they will most likely be Stringers and 580G. Why gamble? These are a sure bet.

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Cardopskiwrote a review of on September 21, 2015

Just might be your bag...
3 5

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

First off, I'm short and stockyish. 5' and 37" chest. And I love gear bags. Truth be told I have 2 other bags (Patagonia and Simms) that are in the same price range as this Filson. Of course, the Filson is US made and if that is the reason you buy things, then this bag may satisfy you completely. If you don't care about where a bag is made and you want more features than a mere dry bag function, then you should look elsewhere. The Patagonia and Simms are roll top dry bags but with more features (better straps, better back padding, more pockets), but they are really specific to fly fishing. So it's not a fair comparison. The Filson is a decent dry bag (compared to other cheaper bags). It has strong welded seams, tough stitching, but it's a no frills solution--adequate padding, non-proprietary plastic buckles (which is a plus actually) and basic straps. YES, where the straps meet at the top the gap should be wider. However, if you wear the bag a bit off the shoulders it won't pinch you. The bag is definitely not built for the long haul (no padding for your back, basic padding on straps). For the short trip from the car to boat the load will do fine, just be sure to wrap whatever might poke you in some padding. I even rode my bike a couple miles with it on with a light to medium load. It did okay. I'd be careful of packing it heavy and riding a bike (no waist strap, just a chest strap). I have some concerns about how dry it will keep gear when it's submerged completely. There are times when you don't have to fill it completely up and I've found with other bags of this style that the lack of filling results in a less than perfect seal when rolling the top down as far as you can and cinching it. The bag just kind of unrolls itself, even with the back cinched down. I'll test this out with the Filson and will report back. For now, it does the job I need it to. I recently had to carry a sleeping pad, sleeping bag, jacket and a few other items on a boat in case we missed the take out. Carrying everything for a comfortable overnight stay it won't do, but for a quick, light, solution to stay dry from your typical boat splash it does the job.

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Cardopski

Cardopskiwrote a review of on September 19, 2015

Music to my ears
5 5

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

Ok. There are a LOT of bluetooth speakers out there. This is my second but my first boombotix. The other is bigger and definitely made for home. For the outdoors this thing shines! The soft big buttons and sound confirmation for 'on', 'off' and 'connected' are MUCH appreciated. The first thing that surprised me was its size. This thing is small. It couldn't possibly have big sound--I was wrong. Snapped it to my life vest via the SUPER strong clip, synced it to my Nano and wow! This is definitely going with me everywhere outside. It withstood splashes from rowing just fine. The GD graphics are tight, crisp and vibrant. My deadhead friend was quite impressed! I've got a LOT of plans for this thing going into musky, camping and hunting seasons. I'll definitely be testing its battery life in cold weather and will report back!

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Cardopski

Cardopskiwrote a review of on September 19, 2015

The Reel deal
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

My reel collection runs from Korean Orvis made CFO(s) ($200), even Japanese made vintage Daiwas ($15) for glass rods all the way up to Hatch 7+ ($600), Abel custom reels ($750) and Saracione ($850) -- that's a wide range indeed and there are differences in finish and performance for sure. In a lot of cases you get what you pay for. That said, the Lamson reels are a real steal. For the price and weight this was the reel to pair with my beulah 8/9 for pike/musky. It's early for esox right now, but I was heading to a mountain lake and figured the water temps might be cold enough. Didn't see one fin or toothy grin but what a day on the water. Other reels in this class tend to have larger diameters, which I don't care for. The Guru seems to get around it by having a thicker spool. Mine is spooled up with a 350gr Orvis depth charge. No complaints about this reel and spool and look forward to getting a new spool for a floating line. I also have their Speedster paired up with a superlight Orvis H2 8wt...now that's a match made in heaven! Get ya some! Made in USA to boot too!

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Cardopski

Cardopskiwrote a review of on August 18, 2015

Fish on...
4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I traded up the sit-in recreational kayak, which is a pain to fly fish from, for the Chupacabra. It's a pretty nice fishing/standing platform. Yeah there are other sit on top fishing yaks out there and people claim to be able to stand on those yaks--most of them aren't fly fisherman who highly value a clean/snag free deck. I do both (spin and fly fish) but I keep the deck clean..just a chair (Larry Chair) and a YETI Roadie in the back. I do keep a fly box under the seat with everything else in the ample hatch. If you're into accessorizing the chupacabra looks to have plenty of places to attach gear-trac rails and rod holders (I have a few attached behind the chair). The yak isn't really heavy, but the weight distribution is a bit odd for a little dude like me and it's wide (great for stability) so I can't carry it like most average height people--enter the ultralight trailer (see attached photo). Since it is wide, you sit up higher (depends on your chair choice) and you may need to paddle standing up, you will probably want a longer paddle. I normally use a 230cm, the chupacabra does better with a 250cm. I don't use a SUP specific paddle since there are time I want to sit down and paddle like a regular kayak with two blades. This yak is so stand up friendly I find myself doing THAT more than sitting. Yes you should get your practice standing on it (no hand stands--yet). I've taken it mostly on slack water/lakes going after bass, pike and musky. While I haven't landed the esox on it yet (I'm praying it's doable), it's more than ample for landing bass and even kneeling over the edge (no netting) and not tipping. Some bummers tho...stable it is, but it doesn't track very well, nor is it fast. I'm looking to do a trolling motor modification to help on windy slack water--maybe add the optional rudder. I have yet to take it on the local class I river, but plan to soon.

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Cardopskiwrote a review of on August 9, 2015

One of my favorites. So I own two.
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: Runs small
Height: 5' 0"
Weight: 140 lbs
Size Purchased: Medium

It's been 10 months since I got my first jacket (tan). If you've owned a cotton wax jacket you'd know that if you don't clean it soon the dirt kind of sets in. Cleaning it takes a bit of doing (can't machine wash or dry clean these jackets), with water and a sturdy cotton towel. Even after you reapply the oil/wax to the jacket the finish is never really the same. So, I bought a black one to try to hide the dirt better. The tan one did what I wanted it to--to be worn daily instead of my Barbour Bedale jacket which I save for nicer occasions as the tan jacket more easily shows it's wear/dirt. The soy wax guide jackets, are definitely lighter duty than the tin-cloth. I have two of the latter, one for yard work and one for hunting. I also own a shelter cloth sporting clays jacket, which is a little sturdier than the soy wax guide jacket. I did wear the soy wax guide jacket to shoot clays once, again not a roomy enough cut for me. With plenty of pockets (and even a pocket for the shotgun recoil pad) it's indispensable for daily use in mild, cool and damp weather. The interior pocket is a little different in the black version, but no big deal. Check out the photos I shared and you'll see the kind of patina you get with one of these jackets. This is after a cleaning, some of the darker 'stains' I can't get out. Sure looks great in some places, but the 'dirty' look just doesn't fly in some situations.

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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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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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