November 13, 2023
*** Now Through Cyber Monday *** Get a $20 Gift card for every $100 you spend at 239 and 828 Flies! Offer has no limit and gift cards do not expire!
(Offer excludes Stiffy Push Poles. Increments of $100 pretax value)If you've been sent this blog post, congrats, someone was thinking about you and wanted to take the guesswork and stress out of your holiday shopping...for them. Pretty damn thoughtful right!? So here's a comprehensive list of some solid gift giving options that'll be sure to make them smile... or scream... you choose your/their excitement level.
Gifts from $20ish-$75ish
So chances are this person shops and is a fan of 239 and/or 828 Flies and is a supporter of the Fuzzy Empire. Chances also are that they'd really dig a hat or tee from their favorite fly shop as to say "This is pretty much where my paychecks should get direct deposited to save on transaction fees." Our new hats are pretty sick, and so is pretty much anything we stitch, sow, or laser engrave our name in. If he/she already has a kick ass 239 hat collection, perhaps they... I don't know, get thirsty every once in a while? Some custom 239/828 Yeti products will NEVER disappoint.
Gifts From $75ish-$150ish
This gift range is a little more specific, a little deeper than your average work sponsored Secret Santa and Holiday Party gift exchange Carol is so freaking pumped about making her famous deviled eggs for. Chances are if you're spending $75+ on them, you can walk in their closet and see what size shirt they wear... or the garage to see what weight that fly rod is (its going to say "# weight" near the cork part, that's the same number fly line you'll need to order) for a nice new fly line.
Gifts From $150ish-$300ish
At this point you can add me to your secret Santa list as well. We're moving out clothes and into some goods/gifts that'll keep them occupied...like a new entry level fly tying vise, that will save your house another device from sucking up all the wifi.
So this is likely someones main event. Lets not let them down, because clearly if you're looking in this category, they have yet to let you down...good on them right?
- Nautilus Reels (call the shop to see what we've got in stock, or can get you in time. If you see "IN STOCK" in the product title, complete that purchase..its likely not going to be there tomorrow)
- Tibor Reels (same, give us a shout, or hurry us and grab that "IN STOCK"
- G Loomis IMX V2 - An outstanding rod that doesn't have a comma in the price tag. Go in the garage and see what number they don't have. Or which rod they do have that looks beat to hell.
- Turtle Box- The turtle box is simply awesome! its loud, clear, crisp sounding and is completely waterproof! I have one for my boat and it's louder and better sounding than many of my friends marine stereo systems. Highly HIGHLY recommended gift right here!
Gifts From $1K+ and for the person who has seems to have everything-ish
My full name is Nicolas F. Davis and I'd love to be in your will. Thank you for your consideration in advance.
- In stock Abel reels - Abel makes the most custom and most unique reel pieces we offer. They are truly small batch produced and our 239/828 X Bre Drake Co finished Abel reels are actually one of a kind. If your lucky gift recipient loves redfish and our fuzzy empire, you can't go wrong.
- A high performance fly rod - There's a lot to cover here, it would be best to give the shop a shout and speak with a knowledgeable member of our team. They'll love the gift, and you won't have to wonder what the difference between 8 different models are...yes there's a big difference.
- A new Rod/Reel combo - Same steps as above, but together. We'll put something together for you that'll induce some serious waterworks or loud exciting screaming sounds.
- And for the angler in your life that has everything, consider giving them a beautiful Seaholm Timepiece. They're gorgeous luxury Swiss made watches from a company based in Austin Tx. They amazing automatic watches and tailored to the fly fisherman that already has everything. I always tell people "If you're a doctor you buy a Rolex, if you're pilot your buy a brieghtling, if you're an accountant...or a secret agent/British spy, you buy an Omega...but if you're a fly fisherman, you buy a Seaholm.
November 05, 2020
Montrose Colorado is over 1700 miles from the 239, and there isn't a damn palm tree or tarpon to be seen on those snow capped mountains. However, the good folks of Ross and Abel reels have clearly been filling their tanning beds with sand and margaritas while designing their saltwater reels. It goes without saying that Abel makes arguably the finest fly reels on the market. If you've never picked one up and felt one in your hand, it's something you should experience. The quality and craftsmanship is second to none, and the finish is more akin to a Rolls Royce than a fishing reel. With their SDS (sealed drag salt) and Super Series (cork drag) reels, you have the option of new tech verse old school in the same "OMG, this thing should come with its own branded umbrella and butler" finish. Simply put, they're luxury fly reels that will become family heirlooms.
Let's talk about Abels little brother, Ross Reels. Ross has been making quality fly reels for over 45 years. Ross and Abel are now both made in the same factory where they share the same great flawless machining, drag tech, and customer service. When customers walk into our shop looking to purchase a fly reel, Im always a little shocked Ross isn't on their radar ...unless they're visiting from out west. The Drag on the Ross Evolution R Salt is the same damn drag that on the Abel SDS, the only difference between the two is frame design and lack of comma in the Ross price tag. The fit and finish of the Evo R salt is absolutely gorgeous and boast a very innovative and function drag knob. Their Animas 7/8 is a phenomenal reel for a 6 or 7 weight back water setup. Simply put, if you're looking for a fly reel thats truly the creme de la creme at a competitive sticker price, you should strongly consider taking a Ross for a test drive.
If theres any specific questions you may have, feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com or call the shop at 2399083513 to speak to a real life human fly fisherman.
March 29, 2020
Nick asked me to write a “blog”, not sure what that is, but here goes nothing! If you don’t know me and I’m sure you don’t, I’ll give you the CliffsNotes version. My name is Matt Pourbaix, 4th generation Miamian, grew up fishing the Keys, Bahamas, bla, bla, bla. I have been fishing since the old man strapped my car seat to the fly bridge of our family’s 31’ Bertram the “Gulfstream Bandit”. A few months ago, I left a schmoozy position at Bonefish and Tarpon Trust to pursue my NEED of getting out of an office and onto a skiff to guide folks to big, sneaky Bonefish in Biscayne Bay (perfect timing, I know).
But enough about all that… lets talk about me some more. In particular, my latest trip to Belize. Which, thanks to a minor global pandemic was a doozy! I’ve been traveling all over the world to work and fish for most of the last decade and have been lucky enough to be a part of Cayo Frances Farm and Fly in Belize for the last 4 years. Typically heading down 2-4 times a year for a few weeks at a time to help out as fishing director.
This trip started out different from the rest, having spent the previous week in Puerto Rico I was a bit oblivious to just how much the world had changed. After landing at BZE - having a thermometer pointed at my head, and clearing customs - I jumped on the ferry and made my way to San Pedro. Golf cart rented from Mahmoud, beers at Wayo’s, check-in with friends, Coconut Cup ball hockey pick-up game, more beers at Wayo’s, a Lobster burrito from Antonita. I’d say it was a pretty standard first day on island. All the while however, the never-ending conversation about this virus continued to hum through the sandy streets and over-water palapa bars. Nevertheless, I woke up early the next morning and went about my normal routine: loaded the golf cart and headed twenty miles up a shitty dirt road and beach trail looking for Permit. Well, bragging for a moment, I did more than look. I landed 3 that first day and lost another (basically the best day anyone could ask for chasing these over-hyped Jacks). The trip was already shaping up to be a strange one, not only was I catching fish but I seemed to be the only half-gringo left on island.
A couple days in town fishing from a cart and perhaps one wicked hangover later, I was on my way up to the camp with Jeff, the mastermind behind this mini Central American Mecca. The camp is the reason I spend as much time as I do in Belize. We call it the “camp” because calling it a lodge would group us in with all the other places we aren’t, plus there’s no A/C and mosquitos outnumber people a million to one. The camp is 100% off the grid - solar powered, rain cisterns, water makers, and its sitting on an ancient Mayan black soil mound which provides fertile land for farming on the property. We specialize in DIY fishing on Bote paddleboards and East Cape Skanu’s for the big three and much more. It’s 15 miles North of town, the only way in and out is via skiff. Immediately upon arrival you are disconnected from the real world. My idea of paradise.
With all my clients canceling trips through April, both in Biscayne Bay and Belize, due to COVID I made the choice to stay at the camp alone for the foreseeable future and see how the end times played out. So for the next week I would load a cooler, take out a 14’ Bote Rackham paddle board and explore the surrounding bush. I’ve fished close to 100 days at the camp, but never before have I felt time slip away and expectations go to zero. I was truly going out each day and just seeing what came to me, exploring creeks and ponds I’ve never entered and fishing for species I’ve always overlooked with tackle I never thought to use. Aside from the permit and thousands of bonefish up there, I was catching mutton snapper and hunting big barracudas, anchoring in the shade to take naps and paddling extreme distances to places I didn’t know existed yet. Generally, just going where the wind blew me but most of all really appreciating the quiet time and the sport that we all love without this new-found expectation we have put on it. I wasn’t wasting my time chasing permit all day. I didn’t turn my nose up at spinning gear. I TOOK MY SHIRT OFF, played with fiddler crabs and harvested a few different aquatic species for the table (I highly recommend the Barracuda Empanadas). I was all alone and for a few days pretty pleased with this little reset button the world was pushing, I was convinced and content on being there forever. Could it be that this worldwide circus was helping me slow things down, live in the moment and not take for granted what comes next?
I got the call on Saturday from Jeff, first making sure I hadn’t been eaten by Tick-Tock the local bonefish eating Croc but more importantly informing me that Belize was essentially shutting down and locking it’s borders. I now had the option of either leaving on the last plane out of country (which left in 36 hours) or staying there indefinitely - with a shutdown airport and no guarantee of boat rescue, food delivery or anything for that matter. The shit had just gotten real. No matter what you think of this virus it was changing and limiting the way we choose to live our day-to-day. I flip flopped between staying- and going- for a full day. Would I roll the dice on this off-the-grid paradise? Living off the fish I could catch and hoping the looting, machete-toting-mobs didn’t beat down the door? Or would I retreat to the safety of empty store shelves, no charter business and Netflix marathons Stateside?
In the end, the decision was made for me. On Monday, Belize confirmed it’s first case of the Corona Virus and simultaneously went bat-shit crazy. Forcing all non-nationals out of the country on what limited rides were left. I now had a morning to GTFO or risk being quarantined in what my mind had convinced me was some sort of Belizean prison-zoo. So the mad-dash began. First, a ferry off the island… the last ferry off the island. Of course it was running late, cutting the window to make my flight (also the last flight) down to about 30 minutes. Halfway through the hour and a half ferry ride we lost a motor. Everyone on that ferry with any mechanical knowledge or stake in getting somewhere on-time stood up immediately. Some how or by shear luck, most likely the latter of the two, the engine re-fired and we made it to port only a few minutes late. I got myself into a taxi and was on my way, with only 30 minutes ‘til my flight was scheduled to board we hit a military roadblock. They were questioning all vehicles and looking for travelers from San Pedro. As the man in fatigues with an AR-15 stepped up to the window he put his hand on the stock and began questioning. “Where ya comin from?”, the cab driver interrupted me and said “Caye Caulker, right!?”, “Right!” I agreed. We were let through as the taxi in front of us was ushered into a gated military parking lot. I tipped that driver a lot of paper money and ran my ass into the airport, which luckily was empty as the last stragglers left in-country had already checked-in or flown out. To my delight I had a few minutes to chug 2 brews and have a nervous hotdog at Jet’s Bar before my flight brought me safely back home. Fun fact: While at Jet’s I learned that the case of COVID was a local Belizean woman traveling from L.A. back to San Pedro - the island is now on 30 day lock down from the mainland as they track the contact she made with others. There is no boat traffic or fishing allowed, island wide.
I returned to Miami and to a world, although completely changed forever, that seemed pretty normal (except for everyone being out of work and the government closing the damn boat ramps). My first few days back have been strange, but through all of this, that feeling I had on the paddleboard in the middle of nowhere Belize continues to resonate with me. We have nothing to do and all the time in the world to do it, perhaps we should take advantage, we may never get this opportunity again. Maybe we should take this time to do what’s important to us and perhaps, do it a bit differently. Change your mindset, there’s no need to post “fish #6” on your live feed. Slow down and enjoy fish #1… and for fucks sake appreciate the ability to do it at all and all the little reasons why you love it! Wax your boat, tie experimental flies, read the Longest Silence, and call your friends on the phone. Today I spent hours searching for sketchy dirt ramps and bootleg ways to launch my boat, because I need to be out there just as much as you do. You’ll find what you’re looking for in all this, just as I did. We’ll rebound and come out better. In the mean time, I hope you’re able to get out, adventure and hit your own reset button. Hell, come on down and I’ll take you fishing, sure my truck may get stuck doing so, but what’s the damn hurry? Lets all just enjoy what we have now and check all that non-essential stuff at the dirt ramp.
March 25, 2020
I wonder how many #JustTheTippetJokes we can sneak into this very informative blog post... Fine, we'll be serious for just a second. One of the more popular questions asked inside the walls of 239 Flies, in a very quiet mumbled voice... actually you know what, back it up like a Mack truck. FIRST AND FOREMOST THERE ARE NO STUPID QUESTIONS, EVER! You are not expected to know every aspect and every detail of all things fly fishing related. It is ok to be a fly fisherman, and it is ok to not be a world class fly fisherman. You don't have to be on the cover, or be the lusty bearded centerfold of Obscure Bullshit Quarterly Magazine to ask a question in our fly shop. Its always a party, everyones invited, and we're always down the obscure-est of the bullshit. Ask it, Say it with your chest! Now to some actual information:
More times than not we'll get an angler or aspiring angler in the shop inquiring about what leader they should be fishing. This answer not so obviously varies depending on the situation. Without getting into the carbon fibers of the details and keeping things as simple as we can, we generally recommend a 9' or 10' tapered with self tied bite tippet. Wether you're new to fly fishing and not trying to muddy the waters with too much info, or you're a seasoned badass that was born with a sun faded, tarpon scale buff on (I'd love see the look on that OBGYN's face), just keep it simple. If you're retired or born hood rich and you've got the time to tie your own leaders, go right ahead. It is my opinion that tying your own leaders does not make you a better fisherman, it makes you a proficient knot tyer. Feel free to add that to your resumé underneath basket weaver and petroleum transfer technician and specialist. Tapered leaders will help with the transfer of energy from the fly line to the fly. They'll help give you that glorious loop and deliver that fly straight and not a bowl of monofilament spaghetti in wherever that bowl crashes down. We generally recommend a 16 or 20lb tapered mono leader for 6, 7, and 8 weight rods. Depending on water clarity and pressure on the fishery, I'd tell you to fish a 25lb fluoro bite tippet on the beach, or 30lb to 40lb fluoro in the back country. If your fishing for dinosaurs like depicted above, we carry specific leaders for tarpon that have a built in shock absorbing section. This is particularly handy when a 100lb + fish eats, jumps, and you lose your shit like a shit collector with amnesia! Let go of the line... you're not stopping that freight train with your non dominate hand and some string. Rather than type out every possible scenario and double batter them in sarcasm, I'll make a handy cheat sheet guide like this one:
- 6wt - 16 lb tapered w/ 25 lb bite tippet
- 7wt - 20 lb tapered w/ 30 lb bite tippet
- 8wt - 20 lb tapered w/ 30 lb bite tippet
- 9wt - 25 lb tapered w/ 40 lb bite tippet
- 10wt - 30lb tapered w/ 40 lb bite tippet or Pro Tarpon Leader
- 11wt - 40lb tapered w/ 50-60 lb bite tippet or Pro Tarpon Leader
- 12wt - 40lb tapered w/ 60-80 lb bite tippet or Pro Tarpon Leader
A small note on bite tippets, we almost always use fluorocarbon bite tippets except when throwing top water flies. Fluorocarbon sinks, mono floats, scale accordingly. If you're fishing clear water, go light on the pound test. If you're fishing cloudy or stained water, beef it up... Pics of the fish, or didn't happen bro! No ones faulting you for not landing that fish on dental floss. Also, we tagged the 9' leaders in the links above, if they're out of stock in your number you can use the 10' or a weight class up, no big deal. Salt water isn't as technical as you make it, and fish really aren't that smart.
We also carry different brands than the rio tagged above. Cortland makes a fine product too.
To keep everything neat and organized, we recommend this handy Fishpond USA saltwater tippet stack. It'll fit more than a few spools for easy reloading and attaches to your boujee fishpond boat bag. Add a zinger and a nipper and you won't have to unzip anything or do more than open a hatch.
We hope you found this helpful. If theres any other questions we can answer for you, feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 2399083513.
Thanks for reading, feel free to share!
*Angler Patrick Rhea (@livitfilms) Photo Nick Shirghio (@nickshirghiophotography)
March 18, 2020
Yeah, well, we've been busy. I feel like this has been written about 1500 times and sent as an instagram DM over the last few years. I guess global pandemics and national quarantines have a way of creating some free time for the little things you've been meaning to do for a while...
So for those of you who may not know, we do something a little special here at 239 Flies, and its not just say the F word a lot. I mean we do that... a lot, but we also offer this thing called a DIY kit. It's all the individual fly tying materials you need to tie a specific pattern in a specific color. All the ingredients, in one product if you will. We also have step by step instructions on how to tie them. Most have a video (shout out to the best in the biz LivIt films aka Patrick Rhea, my A1 since day 1) and the rest have a step by step picture series. Most kits yield 10-15 flies and its usually the eyes you'll run out of first. Kits don't include hooks, for many reasons.
So now that we're done with out awkward first date, lets talk about what you should tie. Some of these patterns are a huge pain in the ass. They look great, fish great, and you'll get mad reddit karma for sharing them, but if you're new to fly tying, stay the fuck away from redfish croutons, gangster crabs, and anything with deer hair. They're not asking 19 year old kids their first day at EMT school to perform brain surgery (Im not exaggerating, I know this first hand), so lets not do the fly tying equivalent of that by stacking and spinning fucking deer hair! Brushes are your friend, shrimp patterns are your friend, and synthetic materials will build nice flies and your confidence. I know we're all suckers for lists and efficiency, and we'd rather get to tying than read my grammar errors, so I'll start putting the list together below.
Recommended novice tyer kits:
Recommended intermediate kits:
Recommended advanced kits:
Another very popular question I wish I had nickel for every time someone slid in my Dm's with is "what did Jenny from Forrest Gump actually have?" I have no fucking idea. Forrest said she got the cancer....but he admittedly was not a smart man. Also "Im fishing for ____ in ____, what kit should I tie up?" ...to the list machine!
Recommended Kits for the beach/dock lights: (Just to name a few)
Recommended redfish flies: (Just to name a few)
Recommended Tarpon flies: (The bigger the tarpon, the bigger the hook)
There is one fly that catches everything in damn near every scenario. When in doubt, or just have no clue, you can always feed them a shrimp. Every predator on the planet eats a shrimp... tie up one of these foxy shrimp.
Hope this helps shed some light on some things for you. If you have further questions, feel free to email email@example.com or call the headquarters at 2399083513.
Thanks for reading!
November 22, 2019
"I don't know what else to say, except it's Christmas and we're all in misery."
- Ellen Griswold
Truth be told, I'm a pretty terrible gift giver. Maybe it's because my family is frick'n huge and my sister, our unofficial Davis family Christmas coordinator, refuses to buy into the idea of a secret Santa, or everyone getting assigned a family member to buy for. So we're stuck buying gifts for everyone in the Davis family compound. Luckily we actually like each other, at least prior to the start of holiday season when we're all still semi tolerable. So in the spirit of our pseudo Griswold family Christmas, I decided to type up a quick guide for you do some shopping for the fly fisherman on your list you might actually like too. With that said, you by no means have to like the person you're buying these things for, we won't ask those questions here, promise. #NoJudgment
Simple and easy gifts around $30 that just say, "Wow, this is useful and thoughtful, mom really does love me." If you're after something for a fly tyer, a new bobbin is always thoughtful. Maybe a nice one that your tyer might not buy for him or herself. A pair of nippers always comes in handy, or some sun protection so we're not giving the gift of a dermatologist referral next year. Heres some handy links to some good ideas:
🎄 Under $100 🎄
There ain't a damn thing wrong with buying someone clothes, especially technical fly fishing apparel. I think it's safe to say that most anglers won't drop $60-$80 on a shirt for themselves, but damn do they love wearing their Patagonia sun hoody or Simms bugstopper solarfelx every single time they go fishing if it's given to them. For this reason technical apparel makes a great gift. They'll enjoy their time on the water even more when their in clothing thats made to keep them cool and comfortable. A loon tying tool kit is also a nice way to say "get out of my hair sweetie and go to your room"...even if they're a grown ass man or woman. Or better, some 239 Tying kits if legos aren't really appropriate any more. If this person just has it all, then maybe grab their boujee ass a piece of Sightline Provisions swag. Everyone loves jewelry on the holidays. Here's your shopping list:
🎄 Under $250 🎄
The sugar cookie jar is wide open at this point. You can always give yourself the gift of free time if you're shopping for your significant other and literally force them into a new hobby...like fly tying. $250 gets you a great Renzetti vise that will have them off their phones, off your back and away from the TV probably for a good hour or two at a time. Seriously though, if your fly fisherman doesn't tie flies, they might just love to start. We do have plenty of instruction and help along the way on our site. Another really great idea is to get them a bag or box of some sort. Fishpond USA makes the Louis Vuitton of fly fishing bags and they make a great gift. If you're buying for a fly fisherman that mainly fishes on foot, I'd recommend the sling or lumbar pack. If they have a boat, Fishpond's boat bags are next level. Last suggestion would be a good rain jacket. Rain gear is one of those things that can really save your ass on the water. It's not the sexiest thing to spend money on in the shop so it's something that says you care and you're thoughtful.
🎄 Over $250 🎄
At this point you're looking for something in the words of cousin Eddy, "Real nice Clark." There's always rods and reels in stock and depending on your budget and angling needs of the person you're shopping for we'd be happy to give you suggestions and help you along the way. I promise you, we won't let you screw this up. If you are interested in giving a new set up, try to figure out which weight set ups they already have. If they already have a nice 8 weight set up, maybe think about getting them a 6 weight set up, or an 11. Or if they have a cheap set up and you're looking to upgrade them, relay that info to us too. We'll get you the right gift, just give us a call at 2399083513 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll make it super easy for you. For the sake of putting something here, giving a gift is a good reason to splurge. Maybe think about doing a custom Abel or Nautilus reel. Possibly a personally inscribed T&T or Scott rod. Just be sure to give us as much time as possible on custom orders. Like... lets get the ball rolling today. We do have a few custom products in stock... they won't last long.
🎄 Favorites 🎄
I was going to sneak these in above, but these are honestly my favorite items in the shop. The Fishpond road trip tying bag is simply brilliant. It holds a good amount of materials and a vise when broken down. Also, the echo MPR is the funnest toy/tool in the shop. It's also the most effective way to become a better caster in a hurry. And if you're still lost and don't know what to get, we have some pretty sweet looking gift cards. They can order what they want before lunch and we'll ship it on the 26th first thing.
- Nick Davis
November 15, 2019
So yesterday in a chain of extremely fortunate circumstances Derill, Nopes, and I met up with Austin Bacon, our G Loomis rep, to cast the new NRX+ saltwater rods. I say fortunately because none of us really planned on being there until about 12 hours prior. It was one of those "yeah, everything has gone to hell in a hand basket" type scenarios for 4 separate grown ass man during the same window. So, we had a small party complete with doughnuts... thanks Derill... it was 10:57am on a Thursday... not really sure Treaty Oak bloody Marys were appropriate...maybe they were... maybe we missed an opportunity there....
First impressions on the new G Loomis NRX+ are as follows: Holy batshit batman! If you've owned or cast the OG NRX 4 piece rods, you'll know they are some of the best fish fighting tools on the market. They'll beat a big fishes ass in a heart beat, and you can abuse the rod while doing so. However, the original NRX rods were not the most buttery to cast. They were far from clunky, but they lacked a personality that a rod of that price point should have in my opinion. THIS IS NOT THE CASE WITH THE NRX+! The new NRX+ does not feel like it should have the NRX label on it. It is a completely different feeling fly rod from the butt to tip. I can bore the hell out of you with all the new specs and techy bullshit, but I'm not. If you want that info, its on the product page. What I will tell you is that this stick has a beaming personality. It is a joy to cast. It’s lighter, faster, crisper, and overall nicer in the hand than the #OG NRX. It feels refined like a Scott, but constructed by Boeing. No doubt there’s the G Loomis power in the first two sections, but the top two feel like the main ingredient in a Paula Dean recipe (that would be butter for y'all that don't know). The atheistic's got an adult upgrade too. This rod looks like your 401K is killing it and you've got reservations for 2 at The Capital Grille. The NRX+ will recover almost instantly on a miss timed haul, and will offer a forgiveness to a novice angler that the old NRX would not. Aka, you don't have be a pro to own this rod, all skill levels will benefit from better technology. One cool new feature Austin was explaining was the new resin technology Loomis is using with this NRX+. They call it "Self Propagating Resin" and what is does is incredible and worth noting. So this stuff basically keeps stress fractures in the rods from spreading and ultimately adds incredible durability. Think of a crack on a windshield. It starts as a tiny little crack on Monday, and by Friday the thing has spread the entire span of the front of your truck. This self propagating resin basically stops the spread of this windshield crack in your new NRX+. In other words (cue the history channel meme guy)..... SCIENCE!
We did cast these NRX+ in 7 through 11 weight, and I think the general consensus was they are all more than impressive. There's not a dead spot in the line up that many rods line are known for. With that said, the 7 and the 11 were the stand out honeys of the bunch. We cast the 7wt NRX+ with the new cortland redfish taper line, and Nautilus XL max reel. This combo weights nothing in your hand and that rod/line combo is a match made in Flip Pallots version of heaven. So light and springy, incredible! The 11wt will soon be the new gold standard tarpon rod. It’s a stick that could cast 20' with touch and not "squish" while blasting 80' of 11wt cortland all purpose taper line to a potential roller.
If you're a loyal G Loomis brand follower you're going to be pleasantly surprised with the new NRX+. If you're on the fence about a new saltwater fly rod, you should swing into the shop and cast one of these things. If you're unable to swing into the shop, we'll do our best to answer your questions over the phone and give you confidence buying a fly rod remotely. We'll always take it back if you don't love it. But with these new sticks, I don't think we'll be mailing you a return label... The loop doesn't lie.
*The G Loomis NRX+ will begin shipping in late November. You can preorder here. Orders will be shipped on a first come first served bases. We'd love to serve you!
November 06, 2019
Its a totally natural feeling, don't fight the urge. Its part of the natural progression from store bought worms and zebco's as a kid to Scott Sectors and NVG's as a grown ass man or woman. Like any high school senior, you just want to graduate. Tying your own flies is probably the last step in the journey to #LevelUp to the bad ass, double hauling, skiff whipping, fish catching machine you strive to be. But lets get one thing out of the way early, YOU ARE NOT GOING TO SAVE MONEY BY TYING YOUR OWN FLIES. If you are trying to save money, I highly recommend not getting out of bed in the morning. There are ways to tie flies economically, and we'll get in to that shortly. You will however save money on your cable bill, because sitting on the couch every night watching TV will be a thing of the past. Its Spotify and Treaty Oak Bourbon from here out. Lets dive in:
Like everything in fly fishing, the buy-in hurts the pocket a little bit, but the cost goes down significantly over time. The Vise is the largest investment you'll make in this quest, and theres several good options throughout all the price points. Im going to skip the entry level $20 pieces of junk for the sake of argument. The purpose of this post is to inform those that have decided to take up this hobby. If you're on the fence about it, I assure you, a rickety piece of junk and that doesn't hold a hook or stay stable on a table is not going to pursued you to go deeper down the rabbit hole. When you're building something, theres nothing worse than fighting your equipment. The least expensive vise I would recommend purchasing is a Renzetti Traveler. Its a sturdy, high quality piece of equipment that won't won't hinder you in your attempts to learn to tie flies. I prefer Renzetti Vises for a number of reasons, but the biggest reason is the fact you can tie flies on damn near any hook size in their jaws. If you were looking to grab something that was an upgrade over "entry enthusiast level," I would point you to a Renzetti Saltwater Traveler w/ a large pedestal base. This is the best option in my opinion and definitely our best selling vise. I prefer a pedestal base to a C-clamp for several reasons, the biggest being you aren't limited to a table with lip. If you're looking for something pretty boujee and you enjoy the finer things in life, the Renzetti Presentation 4000 is a beautiful kick ass vise that could very well be the last vise you ever buy. Its 99% of the vise the Special Edition Master is, for $300 less. Neither of those are really the first vise you buy, unless you don't plan on buying one again....ever. And if thats you, pinkies up, I like your style.
Next you're going to need some tools. There 2.7 million different options for bobbins, scissors, hackle pliers, etc... When you're trying to get your foot in the door, don't over complicate it. Grab a Loon Complete Fly Tying Tool Kit or Core kit and call it a day. All of the loon tools are not cheaply made and will last you a good while. They're also not tools you'll have to upgrade from if you don't want to. Totally serviceable pieces of equipment. Yes there are other tools from other brand that are scattered about the website and we could do an entire blog post of bobbins alone. Lets learn to whip finish first, lets crawl before we walk.
Lets talk glues and adhesives, briefly. Again, theres five metric shit tons of adhesives on the market. Yes, you should put some adhesives on your flies and bullet proof them. Theres nothing worse than spending 45 minutes on a fly you're excited about throwing, then having the thing practically disintegrate in mid air while casting it. Go with a Loon UV Kit or if you're just looking for a quick band aid, Loon Hard Head. I like Loon products because they are non toxic and environmentally conscious. This is good enough to get you going. The UV kit is great because it lets you do a ton of different things and gives you flexibility with the thin, thick and flow viscosities. I know you don't know how yet, its cool, we're getting to that...
Now that your tying bench has the minimum amount of tools needed to build a mother flipping space ship, you just need the materials and inspiration. This is where fly tying can get pricey if you don't do it right. Theres a fly tying material for every star in the sky, and the last time I checked, NASA was still counting this suckers...and they started in 1958. I recommend buying materials and hooks to tie a specific fly in a specific color you want to throw, and tying a lot of them. Start out with our 239 Flies Fly Tying Kits. You'll get step by step instructions and inspiration with the videos, and you'll get enough material to tie 10+ flies with each kit. You'll have materials left over you'll get to stock pile, then when the stock pile grows you can let your new found skills and creativity take over.
In all sincerity welcome to the club! Creating your own works of art to fool fish on is next level badassery. I challenge you to find one human being that doesn't find that idea cool. Shit I thought it was so cool I practically rolled the dice on my house to share it with you. And with that said if theres any questions you might have or any way we can further help you on your fly tying journey, feel free to email us at email@example.com or pick up the phone and call the shop at (239) 908-3513.
Thanks for reading and feel free to share!
- Nick Davis
March 15, 2019
... and the questions you won't ask in a fly shop.
"Yeah gimme aaaaaaa any bonefish taper you got." - Too many people
For reasons unbeknownst to me, there seem to be certain questions about fly fishing that aspiring anglers refuse to ask in a fly shop. So lets take a minute and first say we need to end this bullshit train of thinking. Salt water fly anglers already have to battle a sustained 20 mph breeze in their face on their one day off just for the right to get an attempt to lie to a fish. And if you haven't noticed those fish are quick to sniff out the bullshit of those feathers you're trying to pass of as food. So really, we shouldn't also be battling our egos. In this little snippet, I'd like to explain, VERY SIMPLY, the difference between a bonefish taper fly line and a redfish taper fly line along with my thoughts of who and where you should be using them.
Simply put, there are two parts to a fly line. You have "The Head," which is the weighted part you cast, and you have the "The Running Line," which is attached to the head and gives you length. Now that we've covered that, lets explain the difference between a bonefish taper and a redfish taper. Your typical bonefish taper has a head length of between 45-50 feet. This means the portion of the line thats weighted, is nearly half the length of the line. So lets think about this for a second, if the part of the line thats designed to be cast is 50 feet, that would mean we have to carry 50 feet or more of it in the air. If you're new to fishing, or struggling to learn the timing of a double haul, ask yourself if you can do that in the first place. Carrying 50 plus feet of line in the air is as big ask of someone who doesn't have a lot of practice doing it. Bonefish tapers do a great job of keeping a lot of line in the air though. If you're fishing on foot or need to send bombs down range, and more importantly you can do that, then hell yeah send it. If you're fishing the trees or targets inside of 50-60 feet, or frankly your false casting until your arm is tired and getting 45 feet down wind, lets swap out that line sunshine.
So conversely, the redfish taper fly line has a head length of somewhere in the ball park of 30 feet. Meaning this sucker is front loaded. It'll allow you to make much easier and accurate short shots. If you're new to fly fishing, it would definitely be the taper we recommend you start with. Not that redfish tapers are only for novice, that's not at all what I'm saying, but they will offer much more forgiveness and reduce your amount of false casts. You'll also need to carry less line in the air to be able to feel the rod load which will in turn help develop your cast and confidence. I believe redfish tapers are also the best taper for fishing the mangroves. You slide down a shoreline at a comfortable 40 feet, recasting with ease with one haul. You can do this with no false casting with a little practice. Think of all the shoreline you can cover when you're fly is hardly out of the water.
And one final thing to add, If you're looking to dramatically improve your cast, please check out the Echo MPR. It's a practice tool that is a lot of fun to use. We screw around with them at the shop daily and they really do make you a better fly caster. The best way to enjoy fly fishing is to be fly fishing on the water...and not working on your cast.
If you have any questions on what to spool up your reel with next, please feel free to message us. We're here to help.
March 04, 2019
Without a doubt, one the most commonly asked questions that’s going down in the DM’s is “What’s the difference between the _____ fly rod and the _____ fly rod? I live on east side of planet Neptune and there’s not a fly shop for 2.7 billion miles.” Couple of things to address before we start name dropping, the first being that for the sake of this piece, we’re going to compare 11 and 12 weights, and the ones we carry at 239 Flies. Second, our team of space cadets is working on a reliable way to offer free shipping on these rods to accommodate our customers on planet Neptune. Casey is building rockets out back of the shop as we speak.
Tarpon season is all but upon us, and many of you seem to be in the market for either your first 12 weight, or to upgrade your 12 weight you bought a few years ago. When you get into the heavier sticks, you really start to feel the difference between them. Not just casting and fishing, but just holding them in your hand. For example, when you’re comparing 8 weights, the difference between the $250 rod and $750 rod is a gulf of difference. When you’re comparing 12 weights, there’s AN OCEAN of difference. Depending on existing quiver, choosing to go with an 11 or 12 weight is largely dependent on fishing style, and the need of the angler. I’ll speak for myself and echo some of the knowledge the guides at the shop have shared with our in store customers, and I’ll keep it short. If you’re tarpon fishing somewhere you’ll be making a lot of casts, ie you fish rolling tarpon, or laid up fish, think about going with an 11 weight. If you spend a lot of time waiting with your rod in hand and letting the fish come to you, go with a 12 weight. 11’s are definitely lighter and funner to cast. So let’s talk about the ones we offer at 239 Flies in greater detail.
At the bottom end of the price spectrum are the Echo Boost salts. If you’re after a utilitarian type stick that just gets you out there and able to go tarpon fishing on budget, the boost salt is a great way to go. It has titanium corrosion resistant components, and detachable fighting grip which are really nice touches for $250 rod. It’s definitely a little heavier, and little clunkier than it’s big brother the EPR, but at the price, it’s an unbeatable stick.
Moving up is the Echo EPR. I’ve fished this rod for couple of years. It’s a totally serviceable 12 weight. It’s fairly light, extremely fast action, and lots of back bone. I like to tell customers that it’s 75% of the Loomis NRX at half the price. Which it definitely is. It really throws an intermediate line well too. It’s really one the best “value rods” on the rack. And Echo has one of the best warrantees in the business too, should you get a little over zealous...or your dumb ass leaves you camera case sitting upright next to it...don’t ask.
The Scott Tidal is great way to get a value in a 12 weight rod, and still buy American made. You still get the fine details, and posh Scott brand, but at $550 you’re getting a stick that is still moderately light for a heavy stick, and it’s still a fairly fast action rod. It’s not as light, fast, and posh as it’s big brother the meridian, but it’s a very nice rod. The tip is a little softer and makes it better suited for laid up tarpon fishing, and being able to lay a heavy line down softly. There’s a lot to be said for that. Also in the $550 ball park is the G Loomis Crosscurrent Pro 1. If the rod is staying on the boat, don’t be afraid of the one piece. This is honestly the very best value in the shop. The thing is bullet proof and casts like butter. There’s a reason you see these things everywhere and every legendary fishing guide uses them. They’re unbeatable, borderline unbreakable ass kicking sticks.
We’ll touch on the Thomas & Thomas zone briefly. It’s not offered above a 10 weight, but if you’re fishing for tarpon under 100 pounds, you can throw a 10 all day. It’s also much lighter and easier to cast. The zone is a really nice rod. It’s a crowd favorite at the shop. Very light and powerful and good god is it opulent! T&T makes some luxurious rods. Damn!
💸💸💸The good shit please!💸💸💸
Yeahhhh boyyyyy, you’ve only got one life and you’re not being caught dead drinking anything that’s not off the top shelf. I could write 100 pages breaking down tarpon sticks from Loomis alone, so I’ll try to brief, and as always if you have any further questions give the shop a shout.
Let’s start with touch. If you’re after a velvety smooth rod that can really deliver a big fly with a soft touch, the Scott Meridian is what you’re after. It doesn’t punch the wind like some of the other high end sticks, but what it lacks in power (which it still has plenty of, don’t kid yourself) it makes up for in the finesse game. The little details are done very well too. The labels and serial numbers are hand inscribed, it’s got a stamped and branded reel seat, and super fine thread work. All made in the USA.
If you’re after power, speed, and something you can pull on a f*^%ng face with, then the G Loomis NRX is your stick. In my opinion, the NRX is the gold standard of tarpon rods. There fast, powerful, light, durable, and just a weapon of mass fish moral destruction. They’ll toss a line through some wind no problem. G Loomis also offers this rod in a 1 piece, and if it’s not leaving the boat, do it. If you’re traveling, or might travel, definitely go with a 4 piece. It’s not the touchiest rod on the rack, but if the Scott Meridian is the scalpel, the G Loomis NRX is the sledge hammer.
A great blend of both the meridian and the NRX, would be the Thomas & Thomas Exocett. This was the rod I chose to go with in an 11 weight. It seems like the first 3 sections of this rod belong to the nrx, and the top is off the meridian. It throws a tight loop, is very light, and absolutely stunning! When you’re spending north of $800 on a rod, it’s not enough to just be an awesome rod, the fine details have to be perfect too. And there’s no rod on the market that has the aesthetics of the T&T’s. The stamped reel seat, hand inscribed branding and serial numbers, I mean these things are gorgeous. And they’re extremely functional. You have to understand that even at the high dollar price point there’s no absolutely perfect rod. It’s what rod performs best in the category I care about most, and gets high marks in the rest. Well, there may be one perfect rod...
The G Loomis Asquith...you get what you pay for...