Douglas LRS Rod Review

I had the opportunity to fish with Dave McKenna from Douglas Outdoors and try out some of their bass fishing rods for the first time. We took the day to fish in Lake Mohawk of Sparta NJ a 800 acre private lake filled with largemouth, smallmouth, pickerel and hybrid striped bass. Our strategy was to locate and find some of the bigger fall bass with football jigs. Being the air temperature had recently dropped to its lowest temp of the year we knew it could be a tough bite to locate. Not only did we have the severe temperature change we were battling 13 – 15 mph winds from the south.

Dave set me up with a 6’8 Douglas LRS C685XF medium heavy fast action casting rod and the LRS C715F medium heavy fast action casting rod. The first advantage i noticed about the rods was the sensitivity to help feel the bottom and structure. This was extremely helpful especially with the high winds and deep structure we were targeting. I credit the rod to helping land a quick hookset on a soft bite from a smaller bass while swimming the jig over a rock wall about 12ft down. The sensitive tip allowed me to determine the bite and give a quick hookset to land that specific bass. It is difficult to find a jigging rod that is sensitive, but has enough backbone for a deep hookset. The LRS X-fast rod gave me both!

As an avid bass fisherman finding quality rods at an affordable price is not always easy. One thing I always say is “maybe I do have more fishing poles than my wife has shoes but every rod as a purpose.” You need the right rod to fish a bait correctly. The Douglas rods we fished delivered the key characteristics of a top level rod at a mid level price point. The LRS series includes top grade components and reel seats that are extremely comfortable and ergonomic. I loved the detail and construction put into the guides to help keep them from bending or breaking when traveling or storing in your rod locker. Also there were significantly more guides on all their rods compared the other rods I use regularly. Their attention to detail and craftsmanship separates Douglas LRS rods from others in their class.

We also got a chance to test their spinning rods The LRS S6103F specifically to try a little drop shot action. Although the drop shot was not successful at catching fish the rod was no disappointment. The comfort and sensitivity helped control the bait and bounce it off rocks and hard bottom even though we were being pushed all over by the wind. One aspect of the spinning rod that stood out to me is the comfort of the handle.
All the rod combinations and applications used that day, the consistency of comfort, durability and sensitivity was outstanding. It is tough to find all those characteristics in a rod for under $200 but the LRS series delivers. I am looking forward to trying their DXS series rods and to see what they have to offer. When looking for a new fishing rod or multiple rods that won’t break the bank but deliver tremendous quality Douglas rods is a great choice.

Click here to check out the rods from Douglas.

Podcast Ep. 14: Native, Wild, Stocked & McDonald’s

Podcast Ep. 14: Native, Wild, Stocked & McDonald’s thumbnail

When is a fish native? When is it wild? Can it be both?

And what about stocked trout?

In this episode, I give a very quick overview of this topic. I look at the historic range of the three major American trout/char species, and talk about why knowing this information can be helpful.

Oh, and I compare trout fishers to people who eat at McDonald’s.

Listen to the episode below, or on your favorite podcast app.

Continue reading “Podcast Ep. 14: Native, Wild, Stocked & McDonald’s”

A quintessential collection of fishing essays still hooks the heart

A quintessential collection of fishing essays still hooks the heart thumbnail

Thomas McGuane’s The Longest Silence: A Life in Fishing, which is being reissued this month, is not a new book; most of it, aside from seven new essays, was first published in 1999. But twenty years is twenty years, which means thousands of otherwise literate anglers might conceivably be unaware of this masterpiece of fishing literature, might now be struggling to express streamside notions and sensations that McGuane articulated better than anyone since Roderick Haig-Brown.

LINK (via: Garden and Gun)

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New Maine Senate Bill Targets Anglers’ Gear

New Maine Senate Bill Targets Anglers’ Gear thumbnail

The new bill entitled, “An Act To Require Biodegradable Hooks and Lures for Freshwater Fishing,” has Maine anglers riled up. This bill, presented by Senator Davis of Piscataquis, lays out a plan to ban all non-biodegradable lures and hooks from use in the State’s waterways. For most of us fly anglers, this sounds like a good deal because hey, all we do is tie some combination of feathers and fur to a hook and call it a day. But therein lies the rub, we haven’t seen a biodegradable hook that will stand up to big fish or won’t rust, in fact, the only patent we could find was filed in 1996. But this isn’t set in stone yet. The bill still has a public hearing scheduled for Feb. 27th.

We will add updates to this story as it develops.

Read the legislation, here.

If you are a Maine Resident, you can contact your state representatives, here, to comment on the Bill.

Continue reading “New Maine Senate Bill Targets Anglers’ Gear”

10 Tips for Fishing with Your Kids

10 Tips for Fishing with Your Kids thumbnail

06 Jason Paez (@finsandtwins) is the father of two twin boys Kingston and Mason who are turning four years old this year. Being an avid angler based in the Rockies of Colorado, Jason has found a way to take his boys out on the water with him. Read more to learn about what Jason suggests to have a successful day on the water with your kids.  

My son bursts out “Feeeeeessshhhh over there daddy!” I spun my head around and while I did not see an actual fish, I was proud and stoked my son Kingston was into the activity of the day! Here are 10 tips that I believe will lead to a successful day on the water for you and your kids.Flylords article-071. SNACKS: The most important gear to bring is lots of snacks. Bring their favorites, pack lots, including lunch and drinks. If there is one thing that seemed to keep my boys occupied while fishing it was eating the snacks they like.Flylords article-082. BREAKS: If you have ever been in a cramped up middle airplane seat with the bonus of the seatbelt light on for multiple hours then you’d know what it might be like to sit in a backpack for a long duration. So, yeah don’t be that mom or dad who forgot about the time as they tried to catch a fish for that photo, they really wanted to post ha-ha! Give your kids breaks so the blood flow gets to their feet and they enjoy the day.DCIM101GOPROG0595052.3. IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT THE FISH: Both my kids love to talk and chatter away about stuff. While I fish or hiked with them in the carriers, I would point out everything. Planes, birds, animals, and yes fish (Even imaginary ones). I’d tell stories, explain things in nature, whatever seems to capture their attention and imagination on the river. Make it fun and then when the fish action happens get super amped. They will love it!Flylords article-114. FAMILY AND FRIENDS: Invite others along for the adventure because new people to little ones are exciting and allows a different bonding experience for them. Plus, extra hands are key when fishing with all that extra stuff and of course the weight of little humans can be shared and give you a break. Other people also increase your odds of letting the kids see fish get caught especially if you’re in a slump. The obvious reason is you can get some photos but, more I think the longer lasting reward is the bonding. Nowadays when I go fishing with Mason or Kingston and I strike out they will say things like “Dad, next time maybe my Uncle will come, he catches big fish!”

 

 

5. LOCATIONS: Earlier in the article I mentioned fishing the Blue River, well that isn’t exactly my go to spot however, there is a key element a place like the Blue near Silverthorne provides; amenities. Early on I recommend not always going the distance as kids’ moods can swing, they usually will need to go to the bathroom a lot, they might need something you forgot and if they just aren’t feeling it you could keep it fun by quickly switching up activities. While we all truly love escaping into the wild sometimes the local spots close to home are best for introducing the kids.Flylords article-096. PACKSI used the Osprey Paco carrier however, there are several options. I especially liked the sun shade the Osprey Pack has. It protects the kids from the elements and the odd bad cast. The pack also had great adjustability, pockets (for all those snacks), and support. I have seen some guys remove the Paco from its frame and attach it to their hunting packs like a Kifaru for even better support. My boys were small so, that would’ve been overkill for me. We also used the stand for giving us the shorter breaks and it was safe for them.

Flylords article-01.jpg7. FLY FISHING GEAR: Since you have a heavy kid, a large pack, and all those pockets full of snacks, water, wipes, and whatever else your wife told you not to leave without what do you do with all your fishing stuff. Keep it simple. If you have family or friends, there you can probably skip the net. If not, I would put a longer handled net like a mid-length nomad net from Fishpond into one of the side straps. DCIM101GOPROG0645090.A good chest pack and it can be small or medium size leaving room for quick access to those snacks. I’m telling you snacks are more important than any fly on these missions. Have everything right in front if you. I preferred the cerveza sidekick from Fishpond it meshed well with the pack straps and carried just enough. It kept my water or snacks close at hand with its beer holder…. Dad life!Flylords article-138. FISHING: Fish your go to rigs and flies you know move fish in most conditions because nothing will bore a kid more than watching his dad match the hatch. Save that for when they’re a little older. Ponds are a great place to start with these excursions. I first started fishing with my boys at little bass ponds where I could stand on the banks and avoid wading too much. As they got more into it, I transitioned to the rivers. I usually don’t wade too far for safety. Casting a two-handed rod can be a good way to cover water and fish streamers. I tried just about everything to expose them to different fishing.

9. BEING PREPARED: I recommend bringing everything you’d need for your kids when fishing from carrier packs. At this stage you’ll want their wipes, diapers, first-aid kit, water, snacks, change of clothes, warm layers, and so on! One might laugh but, I created my own diaper bag but to keep it cool I used an older hunting camo pack. I also then divided up the supplies between that pack in my truck and the carrier pack. I always kept it ready, packed, and handy with the rest of my fishing gear. This way I didn’t have to think about what to bring every time I went out.

10. FUN! It’s the best part! Have fun and enjoy their smiles. If they are having fun keep going and if they are done be done. Keeping it fun is what will make them amped to go again!

 


Be sure to follow along with Jason and his two boys on Instagram at @finsandtwins. Additional photos from Jon Loether

Check out these other articles about fishing with kids:

5 Tips: Getting Kids Hooked on Fly Fishing

Nonprofit Spotlight: Fish For Change

What Makes a Great Fishing Partner?