Thursday, August 4

Gifts that aren't payola, The Summer of Shit becomes the Fall of For Fuck's Sake, and the Further Adventures of a Medalist Junky (ie, actual fishin' crap!)

See that video o'er there? That's the first thing I ever got for this nonsense I've been writing.

Well, sort of. It wasn't like in the payola sense (I'm looking your way, Thinkfish!), but, needless to say, it was sent to me and in a turn-about-is-fairplay way, I feel compelled to tell you about it.

You know, PAFlyFish.com does that spring get together, and this year, while observing the greybeards under the pavillion, I was next to a well bearded young lad. And he and I were talking, and it turns out he reads this nonsense, and went on to talk about Minor Threat (IIRC) because I made a random post about Ian Mackaye, and we started talking music. So, this gentle mannered, well bearded lad, he sez to me, "I'm in a band, if you want I'll send you some CDs" and I just sort of figured he was being nice, so I said, yeah and... that was that. He gets my address and then one day in the mail, bam! Free records! Not only that, but free good records! Fuckin' eh, I won't argue with that one bit. Turns out the soft spoken guy with the massive beard and an affection for slow rods and brookie fishing also happens to be the guitarist for a really tight metal hardcore metalcore (is that what the kids call it?) act. So you know what,  I'm gonna turn around and offer up the littlest thing I can, which is web traffic back to Hero Destroyed's FB page and Myspace page, respectively. Now, go buy Throes or the self-titled album. Or both. They'd like that, I bet.

Seriously, though. If you like the metal hardcore metalcore thing, try it out. Would I lie to you? No, the proof is in the damned video up there. Its hard, and incase that lingo no longer applies, that's good, not bad. Kind of like bad was good, or sick was even better than bad, I guess, and now, now the kids say "savvy." Which seems highly stupid when some teenager walks up to and says, "you're the savviest looking dude" (I think he said dude, who the fuck knows?) "I've seen." All because you're wearin' an eyepatch and smoking a pipe. No, seriously. Explain that shit. You can't! Just like you can't explain your sudden desire to listen to more Hero Destroyed. Go ahead, asshole, make with the click.

Now then, shall we continue to actual fishing things?  'Bout time, eh?

(I apologize for shitty photos ahead of time, i wanted to just actually make a post about the topic of note, and not my whining for once, not that I didn't whine like a bitch at the end, anyways.. its what I do)
Yes, another post about
Pflueger Medalists.
Despite the fact that I've been crippled by disease for the entire summer (and no signs of it abating), this'll mark my third annual extravagance in paying for an actual guided trip for schoolie stripers in Cape May, in mid-August. When, you know, fishing sucks. Fuck it, though. Its when I got the chance to go, and it livens up my family vacation with several hours of all about me, which isn't really different since its always all about me (I am the Father of the Year, doncha know!).

Since I've made it my goal to use a Pflueger Medalist in all pursuits, forever, it was time I took 'em along for this trip, too. I knew I'd take the trusty modified 1495 along, but I wanted something that could hold the bigger lines I was going to use both on a TFO Teeny 8wt (normally overlined with 10wt line, because fast rods aren't much fun my casting sucks ass) and the 10wt Caberla's XST I absolutely hate (that's a story in and of itself, for another post). Well, the 1495 wasn't big enough for that, and my 1496 is from 1938 and shall not be meeting the salt, leaving me with the big boy of the 1400 series, a classic model from the early '60s. I was willing to introduce him  to the rigors of saltwater, but wasn't willing to cut the frame up like the 1495, so I opted for a different braking system, accomplished with a leather patch to a rear frame pillar and I could press it down onto the line as it was pulled out in lieu of my thumb.

Thumb brake, non-dremel edition.
That was enough to make me happy, but I only had two spools, for the 10WFF and 10 striper taper line. I do take a 8WFF GPX line along, and I wanted to be able to use heavy poly leaders, so I needed another spool. Unfortuantly, the 1498 is no longer produced, superceded by the even heavier rim control 1598 model. Turns out, FAOL, home of the best swap forums (and not much else) was to the rescue, with a complete 1498 shipped to my door for about what a 1598 spool cost.

A 1498CJ. A Japanese model. One that doesn't carry the same cachet as the American models (especially my older series 1498). Like my 1495, this meant I felt no shame in introducing it to my Dremel Craftsman Rotory Tool.

I could write epics about the awesome utility of having a dremel (notice how its a lowercase D, like xerox versus Xerox, dig?) around the house. I'm not a handy sort of guy. I'm actually a tool idiot, but man, the shit I can do with a dremel, is awesome. If you do not have one, get one. The go cut some shit.

Two-toned is cool, right?!?
Anyways, following the same basic method as the last one, I quickly cut out the space for four fat fingers, polished it up and cut out and tied in a leather finger pad. I've now got two Medalists gussied up in the oldschool salter way, both of which I anxiously look forward to exposing to whatever the hell I can find in the briny deep. 

Well, mostly. To complete the ensemble, the reel needs a counterweight. The old style was to use a Hardy counterweight, or just epoxy a nut opposite the handle. For my prior 1495, I used a little charm bracelet skull-and-bones I backfilled with lead and epoxied down for the first version, and the second version used a pyramidal leather stud filled with shot and epoxied in place. I'll probably do the latter for this one, although I'm not sure how much I really care, although it does complete the look.

Yes, I'm that vain. I even think this blog is about me, about me.

Since I'm basically an idiot amateur idiot saltwater fisherman, I'll share the few tips I've learned in the last two years of trying this on another day. I certainly don't profess to be good at it, and considering I only get one week a year in the middle of fucking eight billion degree August, my results aren't very good, but if you've never tried it, I suggest you take along a fly rod on your next summer vacation. Its not as easy as spinning your way through vacation (I take a big old surf rod for the beach when we, as a family, visit it for fun in the sand), even if you don't catch a damn thing (I barely do), its still fun to huck massive streamers through the air and wonder just what the hell you might end up with at the end of the line (sea robins). 


1498 in the hand.
1495 and 1498. Size matters.
Oh, and as for the Summer of Shit? Well, the good news is I've got two working eye lids! Depth perception is a wonderous thing! I also tried fishing once more since then, and managed to last two hours before I became over whelmingly tired and just went home.  The daily antibiotic injections have really made me feel remarkably better, although my face is still messed up, and I think the medicos are really laying ground work for permanent issues, now. Still that's not the worst. Turns out the Lyme just helped spot other probelems which will probably keep me out of the water 'til sometime in the fall, depending. I ain't sayin' it, mostly because I'm fucking completely fed up with my self-powered pity party and talking about it, but the astute might notice the clue. Oh, and fuck you, I'll delete those comments. Move on!

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