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Monday, January 14, 2013

Review: Cabela's Cahill Combo (5wt)

As posted last week, I recently picked up a pair of "entry" level Cabela's Cahill combo's (5wt & 8wt) specifically for fishing some the local rivers and streams.  The late week warm up allowed me to take the 5 wt out for a test drive and I decided to post a quick review as I didn't find any extensive Cahill combo  reviews outside of the Cabela's site.  So let's start with the finish.  Not a bad looking rod, the coating was even, no drips, waves, exposed blanks or sharp edges at the base of any guides. The corks felt solid, no residual dust.  Once locked in, I worked the rod for about an hour and when I returned home, the reel was still locked in the seat.  So all in all, I would have to say the rod looked and felt like a rod that cost significantly more than $40.00.

The reel was surprisingly better than I expected.  It had an adjustable disc drag, not a click and prawl, but quite honestly I wasn't expecting much as this will be a warm water/panfish rod and I prefer palming most anything that pulls significant drag.  Again, better than expected.

The reel is sold ready to fish: spooled with backing, WF-5 floating line and a leader attached.  Out of the box, no practice the, rod did not cast well, but after laying the line on water a few times it began to perform flawlessly.  In all fairness this rod was literally out of the box.  I unboxed/wrapped it in the parking lot and headed out the water!  So, I suspect the initial difficulties were due to casting an unconditioned (cleaned/lubed) line and partly to my rust as well.  That being said, I was able to cast size 6/8 beadhead buggers, clousers and nymphs.  After I warmed up I tried a few double hauls and the rod performed well.  Cabelas refers to the rod as "mid flex" but I would say it is more mid-tip flex (moderate-fast).  I am also going to try overlining with a 6 wt Clouser line.  I have a feeling that it was slightly underlined out of the box.  That being said, this combo exceeded my expectations for a $40.00 outift!  I would definitely reccomend it.  In fact I can pretty much guarantee this rod will see more action than my fast action rod which are more suited to long casts ......... Even at the regular price of $59.00, I am going to grab a pair to teach my sons.   One con:  It does not come with a rod sock or storage tube.  But really, would you complain at this price?


In January?!?!?

On a very unseasonably warm Sunday (74F in Raleigh, NC!!!!), I intended to meet up with Feather Chucker for some winter fishing and try out a new 5 wt Cabela's Cahill combo that arrived last week. Unfortunately, a long "honey-do" list and three children left me about 30 minutes late and I couldn't find him.  I decided I'd better fish the next good spot then head home to walk the dog and help another friend retreive a tree stand, before dark. I practiced casting, presenting and worked out my my new rod for a review to be posted. Just before leaving the water, I asked a lady riding by if she would take a series of pictures for my rod review.

She did, but as she left she jumped and had a startled look (I have that effect on people!) before riding off. A moment later, I exited the water where she stood and I ciaught a very brief glance of what appeared to be the tail of a fleeing Kingsnake. A quick flash of a black and yellow so I wasn't 100% sure of what I saw and being JANUARY, I probably had the same kind of startled look trying to make sense of what I thought I saw. About 2 miles or so from the parking lot, I see a couple with a dog pointing at something on the bike trail. I glance as I pass and it's this:

Yes!!!!!!! In the middle of January I am staring at a 2-2.5' specimen of Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen, the infamous northern copperhead sometimes referred to as a moccasin or upland moccasin. I am guessing this is a northern based upon the spots in the cross bands, but many specimens between central Va and central NC are intergrades with Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix, the southern copperhead to some extent so it is hard to discern in the field. Regardless, a copperhead in early January has to make for an unbelievable observation and what a way to start the season?!?!


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Look what came today........

Quick post about a little something that came via UPS today………

Just after Christmas, I found an offer I could not refuse and with the incredibly warm temps we are expecting, this package arrived just in time!!! I’m really excited about this……………….

Cabela’s had their Cahill Fly-Fishing outfits (4pc. 9’ graphite rod, reel, line and backing) on sale for just under $40. I could not resist. I ordered a five weight outfit for pan fish and an eight weight for largemouth, smallmouth and striped bass. So why am I so excited about these “low-end” beginner’s outfits?  It’s all about the action and purpose.

These are probably the bottom of the Cabelas’ line.  However, I really like their mid-flex action for warm water fishing. Unlike saltwater fishing where super stiff extra fast rods enable you to fling 60 feet of line into the wind with a single haul, fishing medium sized rivers,  small streams and ponds generally involves short casts.  Accuracy and placement are paramount.  The moderate action allows for very precise placement and the stiff butt provides power for casting large terrestrials, bass bugs, streamers, weighted nymphs, and Clouser’s.  Those are flies typically for largemouth smallmouth bass and panfish. More importantly unlike the higher in rods they really take a beating in the brush, trunk, closet and if you lose one… you won't miss it as much as a $600.00 Sage. So, that is why I'm really excited about what came in the mail today and hopefully a warm Monday through Friday will make for an exciting mid-winter excursion Saturday.