Get It Before Labor Day Weekend—Order With Free 2-Day* by 5pm MT 9/2/15
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

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.

(1)

 

0 Comments

0 Comments

Cardopski

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.

(1)

 

0 Comments

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.

(0)

 

0 Comments

0 Comments

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.

(1)

 

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.

(0)

 

0 Comments

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.

(2)

 

0 Comments

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.

(1)

 

0 Comments

0 Comments

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.

(2)

 

0 Comments

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.

(1)

 

0 Comments

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.

(1)

 

0 Comments

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.

(0)

 

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.

(1)

 

0 Comments

0 Comments