First.. Yes I know the title is long but it is what it is! I have been asked multiple times in the past few weeks how I do reviews and why I think I am different. So here goes.
First.. Do I review the gear for what it is only.. It’s actually pretty simple for me. I write reviews about how I I like a particular piece of gear whether it be a fly rod, sleeping bag, pair of hiking boots or a tent. I also give my thoughts about the company that produces the gear as well. What kind of company are they, do they produce a great piece of gear and harm the environment at the same time, are they doing their part to preserve… I think you get the point. And lastly I give my thoughts about the people I have dealt with inside of those companies. I tend to tell it like it is and if a company has great products but the people aren’t friendly it gets included in my write-up. For me it’s a package deal. If you have a good product but the person I email or talk to is arrogant or off putting it’s going to get included and I don’t purchase from those kind of companies. It’s how I am. You may disagree but that’s your opinion.
Second.. I am asked all the time to be a part of company affiliate programs. Are they great programs.. usually so.. Do I participate in them? No! You ask why? Affiliate programs are great for people that do reviews and want to make money at the same time. Would I like extra money in my pocket while doing reviews and would allow me to purchase more gear to review? Absolutely. So why not… Well.. In my opinion, if I am a part of an affiliate program if makes things a little grey.. Am I reviewing the gear for what it is or is my ability to make money sending you to buy that particular item clouding my judgement to a degree. Also.. what is the perception of those that are reading my reviews. Does the reader take what I say with a grain of salt and question if the product I give a glowing review for is truly that great because I am a part of their affiliate program? As you can see this is a little sticky to say the least. Hence the reason I kindly decline offers to be a part of affiliate programs and keep doing what I do without getting paid to sell something.
That’s it.. Short but sweet explanation of what I do, how I do it and how I can sleep at night knowing I am giving an honest review of a product. As always thanks for your support by reading and sending all your great messages and keep watching for more reviews.
I have Tenkara rods from a couple different companies and I have to say they are a joy to fish. Are tenkara rods for everyone… maybe not. But if you haven’t tried tenkara fishing you really should give it a shot.
So today we bring you a great option for backpackers or people that just don’t have space when they are trekking out to a stream. Introducing the Tenkara Rod Co. and their new rod – The Beartooth !
Hold up captain… so what is Tenkara fishing? Well if you are a fly fisherman and have been living under a rock let me give you what Tenkara Rod Co. quickly describes as tenkara fishing. – Tenkara is a simplified method of fly fishing that comes from Japan. With Tenkara, you use rod, line and fly. There is no reel. This is a fixed line style of fishing where you rely solely on the length of rod and line to reach your casting zone.
That should explain it and I have to say it’s fun and incredibly simplistic.
Now back to The Beartooth Tenkara Rod…
Background story of how the Tenkara Rod Co. started. Stolen from their website – Sorry Drew!! Lol
The founders of Tenkara Rod Co. are Drew and Tuna. Drew spent 6 years of his life in Japan and has always had an affinity for Japanese culture, and Tuna had been an avid fly fisherman since he first discovered it. When the two friends came together with this idea for a company built around the Japanese method of fly fishing it just made so much sense.
Tenkara Rod Co. was born on Kickstarter 7 years ago with our first project for the Teton and Sawtooth rods. Since then, we have done multiple other kickstarter projects and shipped tens of thousands of Tenkara rods all over the world. We definitely love to fish, but we also really enjoy helping other people to get outside and enjoy nature through Tenkara fishing.
As you can see Drew and Tuna like the Kickstarter path and the new Beartooth rod heads down the same path. This is now their 5th Kickstarter so they know what they are doing and as with most Kickstarters this is an opportunity to get an awesome product earlier than it hits the shelves.
From the Tenkara Site again….
Five years ago we released the Mini Sawtooth and Mini Teton rods. They were our original pocket rods. At 8ft and 12ft people always asked us what the difference was. In an effort to make things less confusing we took elements from each of those rods and combined them into The Beartooth. At 10ft. in length, The Beartooth is a perfect balance of our older rods, and is now our go to mini rod.
This is our fifth Kickstarter campaign. So by now we have experiences all of the challenges that come with running a kickstarter project and how to overcome them. We have been manufacturing Tenkara rods for 7 years now and we are confident that we can deliver a quality product on time. We have been testing and using this rod for over a year now and we are definitely ready to bring this to market.
Let’s look at the package options for The Beartooth…
The link to the Kickstarter is below and by looking at the page.. For a goal of $10,000 and pledged to date of $42,256 that should tell you something. PEOPLE LOVE THE TENKARA ROD CO!! And.. They want the new Beartooth rod!! So get over to Kickstarter and reserve yours today. I am!!
Video about the Beartooth Tenkara Rod below.. Give it a watch and click the K in the top left corner to direct you to the Kickstarter website dedicated to The Beartooth.
I am a huge fan of Drew and his company so give them a shot.. You won’t be disappointed.
Good afternoon and I hope everyone is getting through this amazingly stressful time. In an effort to keep busy I have been reaching out to some amazing people that produce some amazing gear and as we all know their business depends on people and most of those people are stuck inside their homes. For the most part we can’t get out doing what we love… fly fishing, backpacking, camping, etc.. but we can still support them. Over the next week or so I am going to be bringing you one or more quick write-up about these people so make sure you check in each day to see who has been spotlighted.
This is also a great time to go through all your gear, donate the items you don’t use anymore and support these companies and individuals by buying some cool new gear you will be using in the near future.
I will get this started tomorrow and some of the names are:
Everyone needs sunglasses.. Not sure people that fish but EVERYONE!! When I’m looking for glasses I have a few things I have to check on my list to fit my needs.
Are they polarized
Do they have a decent amount of style to them
Do they block the sun from burning my retinas!!
and lastly… DO THEY FLOAT ??
When I first started talking to Rheos I was skeptical if a pair of sunglasses that were $55 would meet my needs and have any quality at all. And.. floating is a huge must for me being not only a fisherman but also an every weekend lake person.
Order was placed for a couple pair of Rheos glasses and I chose to go with the Bahias model. They fit the look I wanted and were at a great price point – $55.
The two pair of glasses arrived and came in a cool package.. At the end of the day this isn’t a must for me. I opened the box and inside were both pair of glasses and in a standard bag.
After getting the glasses out of their bag I looked them over and they are truly a good quality pair of glasses. Especially at a price point barely north of $50. The next test.. Do they actually float? THEY ABSOLUTELY DO!!
Let’s back up.. Yes floating glasses are nice but there is a backstory why floating is a must.. As I said earlier I am an every weekend lake person. I am on docks, boats and in the water constantly and in the sun where sunglasses are a must. three years ago I was floating in the water with a large group, wearing my Oakley prescription sunglasses.. Someone decided it was a great idea to push my head under in their stupid drunken state and what happened? Yes my glasses were ripped from my face and before I knew it at the bottom of the lake. Now you know why floating in a must have in a pair of glasses I own.
I couldn’t be happier with my Rheos glasses as they definitely check every box on my needs list.
Enough of my stories.. Let’s go over some information about Rheos glasses and in particular the Bahias (Sport) I own. As usual when I do a review I steal content from the actual website of the product and this review is no different. Why would I try to describe the features of a product when the company has done a good job themselves… So here we go and thanks to Lejend and the Rheos team!!
About The Bahias
Polarized Floating Sunglasses – Bahias
The Bahias frame is dedicated to one of the best kitesurfing locations in the western hemisphere, Bahia Salinas in Costa Rica (though we may be a little bias because that is where our team first learned to kitesurf so many years ago). The mini sport-style frame is perfect if you are looking for a smaller fit of an athletic style, complete with full-wrap for wind protection.
Nylon is the biggest innovation in eyewear since polarization. The science behind our new Nylon Optics collection means every fisher, boater, surfer and mermaid-in-disguise will have clear vision on the water without any optical distortion. And unlike heavy, bulky shades, our lightweight floating frames will never sink.
Beginning in 2020, all Rheos shades will be outfitted with the latest innovation in sunglass technology: Nylon Optics. These lenses are clearer than glass and light enough to be the most comfortable sunglasses you’ve ever worn. This technology allows us to develop optics of the highest quality and class at an accessible price point like no one else in the world.
How Do They Float?
The basic principles of buoyancy apply: when an object displaces water, the heavier of the two sink. Meaning, if 2 oz. of water is displaced and the water weighs just barely more than the object, then the water sinks and the object floats. With that in mind, our frames are made of the highly durable and ultra-lightweight specialty Nylon material. These frames weigh approximately 30% less than similar sunglasses moulded in polycarbonate, all while maintaining a hyper-durable structure to ensure comfort for long-term wear and floating capability. Because our shades weigh less and displace the same amount of water as standard frames, ours float while theirs sink.
How Do Polarized Lenses Work?
Light is made up of waves traveling in different directions. Vertical light is useful to the human eye; it helps us see. But when light strikes a flat surface, such as a lake, snow, or even your car or boat windshield, it changes to horizontal light and creates a glare. Polarized sunglasses block horizontal light, so you don’t see the glare. And nobody likes glare. It’s just about that simple.
And.. there is a lot more information on the Rheos website.. Below is a link to check out and better understand how they make their glasses and explaining the features. I have to admit.. I actually learned things about sunglasses that I didn’t know just from reading this page. Truly great information!
+ Sport frame shades for men and women + Polarized NYLON lenses as clear as glass + 100% UV protection and polarization + Long-lasting comfort with featherlight frames + Floatable design for life on the water + Outstanding impact and scratch resistance + Backed by our Saltwater Promise Designed with love in Charleston, South Carolina.
Did you know? A portion of your purchase will go directly to nonprofit organizations that defend our coastlines and waterways.
**NOTE** It should’t have to be said but I will say it anyway.. I picked up the Bahias as they filled what I needed in a pair of sunglasses. Obviously Rheos has far more models than the Bahias.. Below is a link to the page of different models they offer.
And.. Not only do they offer sunglasses for adults they have a kids line as well! AWESOME!!
Lastly let’s give you a little background on Rheos Nautical Eyewear. From the Rheos website (again!)
Our story is the same as yours – We love life on the water.
The Rheos Story
Like you, we feel most at home when surfing, fishing, kayaking, you name it. If there is a body of water nearby, we’re there! But we want to be protected while we play.
Sun damage is up to four times more harmful when reflected off water’s surface, yet only half of Americans wear sunglasses when near a body of water. Why? Fear of damage, sinking or loss. We believe your sunglasses should protect you and not the other way around.
That’s why we designed the best sunglasses for the water. No more sinking, no more breakage. Just adventure.Since launching in 2016, we’ve grown a strong community of fishers, paddlers, surfers and mermaids-in-disguise.
Who We Are
We are paddlers, fishers, surfers, and mermaids-in-disguise. We didn’t just make floating sunglasses. We made the best sunglasses in the world… and then we made them float.
Our team is small but mighty. Based out of the coastal city of Charleston, SC, we need water to breathe.
The Rheos River
“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” – Heraclitus. Rheos is the Greek word for river current. Just like our brand philosophy, a river is constantly flowing, constantly changing, and most importantly, it carves its own path.
As a member of 1% for the Planet, we promise to give back at least 1% of our annual revenue to nonprofits that support environmental causes.
We partner with local groups to advocate for our waterways, and as a team we regularly volunteer to keep our beaches and marshes clean.
I know that was a lot of information but after using the Rheos sunglasses I am passionate about what they are all about and the products they are putting out there… Give them a try and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!
Now I just need to get my hands on a few more pair! Next Up.. Maybe a pair of Coopers (Square) in Gunmetal Thermal and Waders in Gunmetal Gunmetal… As you can see there are a lot of options and I need more!!
In a short six days I’ll be driving to the airport with my lovely wife and will begin the long trek to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Leg one gets us to Dallas and then the long 11 hour overnight flight to Buenos Aires. Over the 10 days in Argentina there will be lots of steak and wine with fly fishing and a trip to the Polo Club. Should be a memorable time.
Check back for a few posts while we are down there. There will be a few fishing posts but we might sprinkle in a few posts about Buenos Aires in general to give people an idea of what can be seen and done in this cool city. So.. Let’s go over some of the details of the trip…
Lodging… Since we will be there for 10 days we have decided to split our time between two different hotels.
The Lodging– Two Amazing Places
Nights 1-4 we will be staying at the Fours Seasons Buenos Aires. Who wouldn’t want to stay at a cool place like that.
Nights 5-8 we will be at the Melia Recoleta Plaza. Another great looking hotel. We opted not to go for the rustic lodge feel this time around.
The Food – Meat, Meat and More Meatand Then Some Wine
The national dish of Argentina is Asados which is a variety of barbecued meats and then wash it down with a bottle or two of Malbec. One night we will be giving Las Nazarenas a try. From the many recommendations I have received this is the place to be. Mark it down!!
The Guide – The Man / The Myth / The Legend – Alejandro Pozzi
When traveling to a foreign country there is always a slight level of unknown you are dealing with and when fly fishing the need to find a great guide is incredibly important. So when I started my research of the best fly fishing guides in the Buenos Aires area everything kept coming back to Alejandro Pozzi… Initially I reached out to Alejandro and laid out what my plan was for the trip and that I would be doing gear reviews and he was 100% on board. I’ve never dealt with a guide that was more accommodating and willing to share information than Alejandro. The guy is absolutely solid in my books and I can’t wait to fish with him.
The Gear – Bring On The 8 Weights
As with any time you are on the water there are numerous pieces of gear you take and use but we are going to start with a quick look at the two fly rod/fly reel combos we are taking.
Combo 1 – Scott Tidal Fly Rod – 9′ 8 weight / Redington Behemoth 7/8 Reel / Rio Summer Redfish WF8F Fly Line
Combo 2 – Moonlit Lunar S-Glass 8’6″ 8wt Fiberglass Fly Rod / Big Y Fly Company – The General 7/8 Reel / Rio InTouch Big Nasty WF8F Fly Line
So we are taking a graphite rod and a fiberglass rods with two fairly similar reel types but different lines on each reel. Two totally different rod and reel setups and I would image will fish different as well.
Check back in a week for another post after we arrive in Buenos Aires, Argentina!!
If you have ever used a cooler for any length of time you know that the time is coming during the day that you are going to have melted ice/water in your cooler. And.. If you have food in the cooler you now might have soggy food. Why?? Because dumping ice into a cooler is a great idea until it starts to melt. The days of soggy food, drinks floating in melted ice water are over!
The Neatice bag is fairly simple and easy to use. Fill the bag with ice, secure the zip top closure, roll the top down and secure the first velcro strip then secure the second velcro strip.. And now you have a totally enclosed ice bag. Brilliant!!
So.. fast forward to the next day.. Now you have a bag full of water… Simply insert the included drain tube into the valve at the bottom of the bag and drain the water… Fill it back up and you are good to go again. Oh.. and just a reminder.. NOTHING IS WET IN YOUR COOLER!! It’s simply fill and drain and fill and drain.
Now let’s go over the length of time it stays cold.. Well.. that is going to depend on your cooler. I tested this in a Grizzly 165 quart cooler.. No it doesn’t fill the entire cooler. I am going to pick up a couple more just to be able to do a full cooler of the Neatice bags and review but so far I have to tell you I am truly sold on this ice bag. Back to length of time the bag holds ice… In all actuality it depends on the cooler you are using. Are you using a $500 Yeti or a cheap $25 Coleman. Yes it makes a difference. You aren’t going to buy these bags and throw them in your cheap cooler and extend your ice time for hours more. Nope.. these bags are going to extend your ice time a little but the real winner is you aren’t going to have sloshing water all over the place that got your food soggy.. These do exactly what they are supposed to.. KEEP THINGS DRY!
So.. you might be asking yourself.. Why don’t I just use large gallon size ziploc bags? Well you could do that but they will pop open and you are back where you started. I know personally this isn’t a great option. Regular Ziploc bags just don’t work like the Neatice bag..
Here’s a quick look at what is listed on the Neatice page.
Zipper: TPU(Thermoplastic Polyurethane) -BPA free, potable water safe, microbial resistant
Drain Hose: 10″ Silicone – BPA free, potable water safe, durable and flexible with on/off valve
Weight (with drain hose, empty) : 5.6 ounces
Dimensions (when full) : 15in x 9in x 6in
Capacity: up to 10 pounds of cubed ice
There are a couple of options to purchase.. You can pick them up on the Neatice website or on Amazon. Currently they are (1) $39.99, (2) $74.99 or (3) $99.99. If you have a large cooler pick up three of these bags and you won’t be sorry.
If you have any questions drop Scott a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.. Or you can give him a shout at 518-796-4817. Don’t worry.. He has that number listed on the website so I’m not giving out something he doesn’t want made public. The contact I have had with Scott has been exceptional.. He is incredibly responsive and open to answer any questions you have. He’s a solid dude…
I am going to stray for a second from my normal way of writing reviews because I want to give you some info on the two inventors/owners/outdoors folk at Neatice… There are times you run into a product and wonder who the heck came up with this brilliant thing so here you go.
We spend every moment of our free time in the outdoors and strive to maximize the enjoyment of that time. NeatIce was envisioned to save food, save water, and maximize the fun while eliminating the hassle of the common messy cooler problem.
Scott Kraeger is the inventor and designer of NeatIce and has been playing in the outdoors ever since he was knee high to a grasshopper. He grew up in the snow belt of Upstate New York and spent over 20 years as a forester in the Adirondack Mountains. He and his wife, Emily, and dog Moxie moved to Colorado in 2015 to enjoy all that the Rocky Mountains have to offer. He worked in the bicycle and outdoor sports industry for a few years before chasing his ultimate dream of developing a product in the outdoor sporting goods world that would truly solve a problem and add to outdoor enthusiasts overall good times.
Emily is the co-creator of NeatIce, a science professor and an enthusiastic outdoorswoman. Her training in the science of ecology has inspired and informed the role of NeatIce in conserving water and reducing food waste. She loves to cook creatively in the camp kitchen and develop delicious cocktails for apres adventures.
Moxie also enjoys all things in the natural world. Her favorite pastimes include playing ball, swimming, chewing sticks and chasing squirrels. When not playing in the great outdoors, Moxie can be found either barking at the mailman or holding down the couch at NeatIce HQ.
So jump on their website and pick up a product that will say goodbye to soggy food and floating drinks. You won’t be disappointed!!
After a few weeks off for planning and communicating with our gear partners. We have compiled a list of some really cool items we are going to start writing about. So be watching the site…
In addition to awesome outdoor gear reviews we will be heading out on our annual gear review trips. The calendar of trips is coming together with our first in three weeks. We will be heading to beautiful Argentina to chase big Golden Dorado. Stay Tuned!
Also… we are working on a podcast concept that we think is very unique and a far cry from most of the boring monotone podcasts out there. It’s still in the beginning planning stage but we hope to have it ready to go sooner than later.
Thanks as always for following us and if you have an idea about a review or know of an outdoor piece of gear you think would make for a good review drop us a line. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org