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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 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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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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