Monday, February 28, 2011
I was struck by the melodic and just plain groovin' bass playing by Boz on the song "READY FOR LOVE". If anyone besides me is familiar with this song, it has a lot of open spaces in it. Boz leaves many grooving spaces, but when he does let out with a riff climbing the scale, it fits so well.
Which is not only impressive from a performance viewpoint but from a technical ability level. Boz had only been playing bass for two to three years at most when Bad Company formed around late 1972 and then later recording their inaugural disc.
The story goes that when he joined King Crimson as a singer, and he had been a singer going back in the sixties, recording some later material as BOZ backed by Richie Blackmore and several other future Deep Purple members in the studio.
Some fallout happened and the bassist left the band, which had been regrouped by the sole remaining member Robert Fripp. Fripp talked Boz into adding the bass to his singing duties and taught Boz how to play. Various websites http://www.nndb.com/people/213/000082964/ and http://www.independent.co.uk/news/obituaries/boz-burrell-417457.html say this was a stressful and frustrating endeavor, that is, learning the bass parts from Fripp. Whatever because it must have taught him a heck of a lot about bass playing in a short period of time.
I could see that. Fripp, although obviously technically masterful, was always either over my head or somehow not to my musical liking. I've had non-famous guitar playing friends who play similar to Fripp, and they could never explain their musical concepts so that anyone could really understand what they wanted to be played, so I could empathize.
Still, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, and within just a couple of years after picking up and learning to play the bass, Boz is laying down some great original riffs and licks with Bad Company. That's not just luck, that's talent.
Boz is no longer with us, having passed in 2006 at the age of 60.
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the bass I most associate with Boz, that being a mid-60's Ampeg AUB-1 fretless solid body bass with f-holes through the body and a simulated double bass scroll headstock. Long out of production, Eastwood guitars is making a very nice looking copy of the AUB-1 (fretless) and AEB-1 (fretted) basses, albeit without the heavy scroll headstock.
It's unfortunate I don't seem to have the sort of inate ability on bass that Boz had and other bassists who I think play well (like Klaus Voorman) who were rocking on bass as soon as they began playing it. Nonetheless, Mr. Burrell remains a great inspiration on the bass.
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Many Texas hunters like my dad would carry double barrel shotguns during certain parts of East Texas hunting seasons when bird and deer seasons intertwined (so they said), carrying a shotshell in one barrel and a slug in the other. The slug, for either an opportune deer or hog or perhaps very large turkey that one doesn't want riddled with birdshot.
These guys were all raised during the depression, raised when hunting for the family with single shot firearms or double barreled shotguns was the way protein got on the table in many cases. My family had a big place, and a lot of kids, and duties of hunting and gathering fell upon the kids in many cases. They hunted, they trapped and they fished for food and money for the family.
When they grew up, they went in the military then to college. He and his friends from college hunted and fished together for the rest of their lives, and most all of them hailed from similar East and Central Texas roots as my dad, all them ending up in Houston living their lives and raising their families. Brothers of different mothers, basically.
Lots of them, our family included, had weekend places in the country. Like the great song by the Marshall Tucker Band, "Walking my property line" says, my idea of a good time, is walking my property line, arming oneself with guns and fishing rods and making walks around the property are an essential part of country living with most folks I know. Some have places so large they have to traverse their property line in a vehicle, and a few have private fenceline roads so they don't have to use public roads when the fenceline and road parallel each other.
So when we'd visit each others places, or go to our own, doing some property line walking was always part of the visit. And of course, during hunting seasons, we were usually armed with the appropriate firearm for what was in season.
So again, going back to the 1930's, when people were hungry, broke and not in a position to let an opportunity for food for their family walk away on the hoof or fly away on the wing, a double barreled shotgun with a slug in one and a shotshell in the other was a way to be prepared for whatever wildlife one might scare up.
Some of my dad's friends did have combination rifle/sshotguns, and most of them were of the Savage brand. One had a Savage Camper's Companion model that broke into two pieces for easy carry, and I thought that was a neat gun. Other makers have made combination guns but I'm pretty sure no one is making a reasonably priced one at this time.
I've been on the lookout for one at used gun stores for quite a few years now. I'm not sure about all of the different calibers and combinations that these guns were offered in, but a nice .30-30 with a 12 or 20 gauge would be great. I'm just going to have to one day decide to hit one of the larger gun shows with some trade fodder and cash and see what I can find.
I'd be interested in hearing about various brands of guns and various caliber combinations from anyone with experience with these type of guns.
I've got lots and lots of musicians I like, and one that I have not heard much from the past five years has been Charlie Jones, a UK bassist who got onto my radar screen by doing some great playing with Robert Plant. In fact, he's married to a daughter of Plant.
But his familial relationship has nothing to do with the classic bass grooves that roll off of both his electric and his acoustic upright bass. Jones is one of the few players with the actual upright skills who can pull off REALLY playing an upright. Although I'll readily admit, I'm glad it was only an occasional feature during his work with Plant.
The bass I really enjoy hearing his play is the Crimson P-Bass copy, made of Perspex (more about that in a moment), that is, transparent plastic. While Ampeg and numerous other copycats made guitars and basses from lucite and other plastic materials dating back to 1969, the Crimson version has a twist because the neck and headstock on the Crimson P-bass copy are also made of perspex. On every lucite guitar I've ever seen, attached to the plastic body was a wood neck and headstock. However, as the photos above show, there apparently was either a wood neck replacement or another model of this guitar with at least a wooden fingerboard out there.
So it's a highly unusual guitar, but within the confines of live concert cd's and dvd's and their sound, it's a live sounding guitar to me that really cuts through the stage and audience mix. It's also unusual in that it has some kind of sparkly material imbedded in the molded plastic thoughtout the length of the bass, from body to headstock, and that looks cool on stage as well.
But as always, function over form with musical instruments, and the sound is great. I'm sure you could buy one of these from Crimson if you had enough money to throw at them, as I suspect they are neither cheap nor easy to build.
But as I said about his son-in-law status with Plant, so it goes with the bass he's playing. It can be a Perspex or a vintage Fender, it matters not. His playing stands on it's own.
After playing several bands, Jones begins working on Plant's solo albums in 1990, followed then by working with Plant and Page. It's all good stuff, particularly the Unledded tour, but it was in the early 2000's when he began playing with Plant's then band The Strange Sensation that I really became a big fan of his playing.
A friend of mine was getting live show cd's and some dvd's of Strange Sensation and their first tour. The early appearance of Strange Sensation on Austin City Limits was another great set of songs with Jones and his fellow virtuoso's in fine form backing Plant. At some point in time during the too-short tenure of The Strange Sensation, Jones decides to leave the band and was replaced by fellow UK bassist Billy Fuller.
Since then, Jones has been playing with a bunch of bands I've never heard of, like Goldfrapp,
with Robert Plant
1990 - Manic Nirvana
1993 - Fate of Nations
2002 - Dreamland
Compilation Albums by Plant with Jones
2004 - Sixty Six to Timbuktu
2006 - Nine Lives
with Page & Plant
1994 - No Quarter: Jimmy Page and Robert Plant Unledded
1998 - Walking Into Clarksdale
In his post-Zeppelin work, Plant has surrounded himself with a somewhat steady contingent of musicians to play his music and that of others, changing the casts every few years. In the recent past decades, he ended the 90's playing with the short lived project Priory of Brion, then moved on to The Strange Sensation, then to his work with Alison Krause and now into his current Band of Joy. Four totally different lineups and different styles in the past 12 years. Not bad for an old man like Plant, and I just wish he'd keep Jones along with him as his permanent bassist.
Friday, February 18, 2011
I'll keep the name a secret for now, but guys like Big Ed can email and I'll trust them with my secret store. It's sort of a throwback store. They have some new guns and lots of used guns. Lots of used guns. Some of the new guns are big names, like Ruger and Smith and Wesson, and they also carry some of the more reasonably priced guns, like the Chiappa .22 LR version of the 1911, Taurus and Rossi. They also sell some of the "novelty" guns you're not likely to see at the higher end gun stores or gun ranges, like the Dragonov AK pistol (very nice and very cool) or the CZ Skorpion .32 (also very cool).
They sell a variety of five or six different types of AK's, both surplus and new, and all of those seemed to be overpriced to me. They had four new Ruger Blackhawks in several calibers and barrel lengths, all of which were very nice. They had some black rifles of some sort and a variety of scoped bolt action rifles in various calibers. A few shotguns as well.
Which I like to look at, I mean the more reasonably priced guns as well as the high end guns down the street at the big time expensive store that has all kinds of high end guns with high prices to match.
At this store, prices are more reasonable. They have a huge selection of magazines and ammo and a fair selection of holsters, gun cases and reloading gear. They have a big selection of used guns, being in a neighborhood that is probably 40-50 years old, a blue collar working class neighborhood.
Their treasure trove lay in the used guns they have. The owners have told me a lot of their used guns, particularly some very nice hunting rifles, come from kids selling off their father's guns after their death. Likewise, there is always a wide variety of used handguns, and particularly revolvers to look at.
Today, they had a nice Colt Anaconda and a very nice old school Beretta .32 that caught my eye. Yes, the Beretta was the size of a Walther and far heavier than the Kel-Tec .32 that lay next to it in the counter, but I knew which one I'd want to take into a gunfight between the two of them, sight unseen.
There was an abundance of new and used .22 revolvers, mostly with 4" barrels but a few were snubnoses. None were "big" brands like Ruger or Colt or Smith, but instead were Rossi and Taurus and a High Standard that was unfortunately beat to hell. But you never know what they'll have, used revolver wise, and often their pricing on used revolvers seems to be pretty fair. I've looked at a bunch of used revolvers there, and they've all been tight and well functioning.
I wanted to walk away with the Colt Anaconda today, just because it was in great shape. I have absolutely no use for a .44 Magnum, much less than with a 4" barrel. If it had of been a 6" barrel, I could have tenuously justified it to the powers that be (the bride) by claiming it to be a "hog hunting" gun, or perhaps for deer. Though it's been a long time since I hunted deer. But just in case I get the feeling one year to go hunt deer, it'd be nice to have the pistol already purchased and scoped up and such and ready to go.
In case I ever decide to take up deer hunting again, er em.
So I resisted all temptation and walked out with no guns. The Dragonov AK pistol was tempting as well. With a laser/flashlight combo mounted to the gas tube with a rail adapter, it would be a very serious and effective home defense weapon. It felt good, not too heavy and I think it comes in at about 4 lbs unloaded.
There were two very cool rifles there. One was a Marlin lever action guide gun in .45-70 with an extended magazine and large loop. It was quite a bit lighter than I expected it to be, and felt great in my hands and fit my shoulder well. Again, as with the aforementioned Anaconda, I have no real need for a .45-70 (we have no bears where I fish in Texas) guide rifle but it really was a good feeling rifle in my hands and it pointed very well.
The other was some kind of very "old timey" Remington or Winchester bolt action with a fixed magazine that was in good shape. Unfortunately, it was in some wildcat caliber but had it been in .30-06, I would have been interested in it.
So what will be the next used gun bargain that I find? I'd like to find a .12 gauge Remington parkerized police 870 with 18" barrel and extended magazine AND wood stock. I'd like to find a bargain on a used auto .20 gauge with a 28" barrel and a Remington 1100 would be just great.
A Ruger SP101 in .357 is a great gun, but I wish Ruger would market it with a spare s9mm cylinder. Alternatively, I wouldn't mind having a 9mm version of this pistol that Ruger used to make, since 9mm is so cheap to shoot.
A Ruger Blackhawk with a 5 1/2 barrel in .357/9mm convertible would be another great dual caliber handgun to have. And after seeing all of these "kit gun" sized 9 shot .22 revolvers today by Rossi and Taurus, it kinda made me want to shot one of those as well.
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Someone posted on a previous Rory thread comment indicating that Rod played in the late 1980's in the band of then Portland, Oregon located Mick Clarke, originally from the UK and from the same circles that Rod and Rory and that whole British bunch of musicians that ran and interacted together socially and musically.
So a visit to the Mick Clarke page shows an album that Rod played on with Mick, as well as several albums that feature Rory ex-band members Lou Martin, Wilgar Campbell (another great drummer) and Mark Feltham.
Mick Clarke has been in lots of rocking bands over the past decades, but my favorites were the short-lived SALT and Killing Floor. I'd heard a lot of his stuff on the KPFT blues radio show over the decades, but never knew Rod had done some drumming time with him.
If you think old dudes can't rock, then you need to listen to someone else other than Eldersmith. The Stones are still doing it but one wishes they would do something on the order of Gimme Shelter, for crying out loud, as a end of the career piece to show all of their haters they still have it.
Here's the link to the Mick Clarke website. http://www.marshalamp.com/
This dude is working for a living. Buy some of his stuff, either old or new. I'm going shopping right now to get a few of his discs.
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
It's been awhile since I've been to Bend, Texas and the Colorado. This might be a good year to visit. The last time Billy Ray and I ventured out there, it was way past white bass season, but we hooked up with a good site on a private fishing camp nearby and had no one in our area and had a big deep pool with nice wadeable rapids above and below a huge deep pool. Our side of the river was a gentle slope into a gravel bar entry into the river, and across the river was a huge cliff providing shade for much of the afternoon. Just an ideal location.
In the intervening years, most of my white bass fishing has been done in largely small creeks that either feed into lakes or into rivers that eventually form lakes. Some of the best fishing I've done for white bass has been on smaller creek mouths, where they enter the lake or river a bit upstream. You can do this fishing from the bank or a boat, with legal access of course.
Point is, all over Texas the white bass will be running. I'd be an interesting trip to hit a couple of different spots across the state for spring break, and although sometimes in the past it's been very cold during spring break in the Hill Country where Bend is located and the season just hasn't begun yet, I'm encouraged by the news that the run is already happening to an extent on the Nueces River in South Texas. Perhaps that's a good omen for next month and a well timed spring break white bass run.
My good friend El Bar lives in East Texas and is an avid fisherman and would be up for running El Fisho Jr., Billy Ray and I around some East Texas lakes in his area in his super De-Luxe green metal flake painted bass boat. The Green Hornet. Or the Green Whore-net, as several of his friends have noticed, since the boat so damn sporty (and it is a really nice and really fast and big boat, trust me on this) that women at the boat ramp often strike up a convo with El Bar when he is *with boat*. And it's green metal flake, which normally I wouldn't think would look great but it does.
So I know that if there was any white bass fishing going on in the Eastern parts of the state, El Bar would be up for chasing it. Retired, he does a lot of fishing nowadays.
I think we could fill our plate and time with just two fishing locations. Several days with El Bar doing some river and creek fishing above big lakes, then a day for leisurely travel, stopping to see the historical sites and any museums and such and doing some good eating, and then a couple of days fishing the banks on the Mighty Colorado, and probably going back and forth to Lampassas to stay the evenings or camping if not too cold.
Monday, February 7, 2011
Recently, he ran two good columns. The first on a new lake record from Lake Austin, a 16.02 largemouth CAUGHT FROM A DOCK with a crankbait. http://www.statesman.com/sports/outdoors/lake-austin-near-top-of-the-class-for-1236172.html I know, it's easy to overlook Lake Austin as a lunker lair but the proof is here.
Last week Leggett wrote an article about how white bass fishing is already moving in South Texas and will soon be happening in Central Texas and the Hill Country. Leggett mentioned my favorite place for the last 40 years to fish for white bass, and that's in the Colorado Bend State Park area near Bend, Texas. The Colorado gets shallow there, making fly fishing for white bass a great locale.
Leggett didn't mention my other childhood white bass fishing locale. Under the dam on the Trinity River below Lake Livingston. Many a time we went fishing there from the old Dam Site Marina. We'd watch locals using jetty and pier rods to make the LONG casts out to the deepest part of the river channel, using live crawfish *crawdads* as bait on a typical double drop saltwater bottom fishing leader. It's not unusual to pull in two fish at a time. The locals called the white bass "gaspergou".
I haven't been back to the Dam below Livingston fishing in many years, but I have no doubt the white bass fishing is still excellent. I know that crawfish are an excellent bait for these fish, but they are much more fun to catch on a 6 wt. fly rod or ultralight spinning rig than on a heavy saltwater coastal rod. But I take 'em any way I can catch them, because they are good eating.
Where is your favorite Texas white bass hotspot when the run begins?
Friday, February 4, 2011
The middle image is of the Performance Center Model 67 Carry Comp from the TacticalLife.com website. The first shot is of a blued Model 15 from the Xavier Thoughts website, as seen in my blog roll. Finally, the last picture is again of the Carry Comp version of this fine gun. Sadly, I can't find a good shot of a Model 67 with wood grips to cut and paste, but I'll keep looking.
Upon getting out of the service, of one thing he was convinced: He did not trust semi-automatic pistols. He had bad experiences with both the 1911 and the M1 Carbines they were trained with. He preferred old school, the revolvers, that the Air Force was still using to train and issue to their forces.
I know my dad didn't use a Model 10, because they didn't start making those until about 1958, long after his tour of duty ended. The Model 10 soon became the standard sidearm for American police, much as the Glock has been for the past 20 years. A few years later, The Model 15, an adjustable sight version of the Model 10, was introduced and dubbed "The Combat Masterpiece".
A few years after that, a stainless steel version of the Model 15 Combat Masterpiece was introduced, named the Model 67.
That's what I have, the Model 67 with a 4" barrel. It's one of few guns whose stock wood grips work better and fit my hand better than Pachmayrs. Like the Colt Cobra, the wood grips on this square butt gun fit my hand perfectly. Sure, it shoots good with Pachmayrs on it, but I shoot dang near just as well with the original stock grips on it.
And that's unusual for me, because all of my revolvers of .38 Special or larger wear Pachmayrs of one sort or another. For the past 30 years now, I've been a Pachmayr believer, and have seen no reason to change to another grip. The difference in shooting most revolvers, particularly magnum pistols, with factory vs. Pachmayr grips is for me, astonishingly better with Pachmayrs. I know, I know, news flash.
So it is unusual that I have not clad this Model 67 in Pachmayr grips. About the only change I'd like to make to it right now is to find and buy the Cylinder and Slide rear sight module, which is somewhat like a Novak rear sight, to make the pistol a little easier to carry on those rare occasions that I carry it. I also have a dandy custom made holster that I got off of an auction site that would work just great with a low profile rear sight like the C&S K frame rear sight replacement, but doesn't work well with the standard high profile blades on the rear sight.
I've tried several times to buy a 3" barrel for this gun from Smith and Wesson, as for the past few years their Performance Center was making a dandy Model 67 with a 3" barrel and the C&S rear sight.
Thursday, February 3, 2011
I came across this knife on ebay, and got it for about $7. The shop I got it from found a cordura sheath to fit it (it comes with a plastic blade protector not a sheath). The suggested MRSP is $14.95, so even at full price it's cheap. The sheath is an aftermarket generic cordura belt sheath for a large or 5"-6" blade. It actually fits the curvy shaped MUK quite well.
It comes in handy for all sorts of chores related to fishing, but what I really intended it for when I got it was when I was using it to cut live and dead bait when surf fishing. Particularly, frozen mullet. It is stout enough of a knife to saw through frozen mullet quite deftly and quickly. I've also used it on non-frozen bait fish and it works even better.
I'll say this about the unique serrated "VEFF" edge on this knife: it rocks, plain and simple. I compare it to the edge on my high end Spyderco (which is currently in the possession of The Princess, the daughter) but with a major extra UMPH! The angle of the knife helps greatly with cutting and again, it's a stout blade. The plastic grip works well and is high-vis if you get the right color.
It's probably one of the cheaper knives for sale by CRKT, who make really good knifes. I plan to get several more, one each for the freshwater and saltwater boxes and one for the hunting/shooting bag. And keep the one I have with the bait bucket and things, because this is a blade that I don't want to be without on a fishing trip.
I like the idea of having it as a belt knife in a safe, secure sheath when around the water, for a multitude of reasons. Mainly, if a rope needed cutting on any number of emergency situations, this knife would whack it and slash it quick and good. This Veff fellow makes a cutting blade.
Here's a blurb from the CRKT website about the knife, followed by the link.
Tom Veff says, "I fish a lot, and wanted a fishing knife that was truly useful. Not a multi-tool that did an 'okay' job at a lot of things, but not a 'good' job at any one thing in the boat, on the bank, or on the cleaning table. I also wanted a one-piece fixed blade that did not require a college degree to open and operate it. And it should be a knife that you can grab with one hand and use to cut a rope in an emergency. Its handle should be brightly colored so you can find it quickly in your boat or tackle box. And it should be affordable so if it accidentally goes overboard, it won't ruin your whole day of fishing. "
So he went to work. Because Tom knows knives from his life as a meat cutter, professional knife sharpener, and designer of knives and our exclusive patented* Veff™ Serrations. He designed one of the most carefully thought-out fixed blades we have ever produced, even though it also has the lowest price of any knife in our catalog. He calls it the Marine Utility Knife (M.U.K.™).
First you notice that the M.U.K. has an offset handle angle. Tom explains that it gives you knuckle clearance when cutting bait or slicing fish on a cutting table. And it has a soft, grooved polypropylene handle with four finger choils to give you all the grip possible when your hands are cold, wet, and slippery. You choose from four handle colors for best visibility.
Second, you see the rounded-back drop point blade with a straight cutting edge in combination with a concave serrated section. Tom says the straight edge cuts cleanly against a cutting board. The oversized serrations are what Tom calls "non-stick"—there is no sharp point to snag. That makes them great for those times when you need to cut a nylon line or other tough materials. The blade's rounded back reduces the risk of cutting entrails when cleaning fish. Then there is the row of non-slip grooves along the top of the blade. These are friction grooves for your thumb, but they also work great as a fish scaler. Even in a budget knife, Tom wouldn't have anything but a full-tang blade of high-carbon stainless steel for strength. At the butt, there's a lanyard hole and a blood groove spoon.
And finally, there are a few more friction grooves at the butt top and index finger choil to enhance feel. That's quite a story for an inexpensive little knife. Probably only a serious fisherman could design it, sitting there between strikes, thinking about the perfect fishing knife.
*U.S. Patent No. D559,939
And here's the specs on this knife:
Open Overall Length 9 inches
Weight 2.9 ounces
Blade Length 4.25 inches
Thickness 0.065 inches
Style Rounded-Back Drop Point
Edge Veff Flat Top Non-Stick Serrations
Handle Material Polypropylene
Blade Guard Yes
BB and pellet guns were our constant companions on our creek fishing trips in our younger elementary school days. By junior high, we carried .22's and .410 gauges with us. Snakes, back in the 70's, were everywhere it seemed and lots of the places we fished were well off the beaten path and not often visited. Likewise, most of the creeks had gar in them and some of my friends had the Fred Bear/Zebco combination bowfishing rig.
There wasn't much point to me in messing with gar. I've seen one opened up, and it was nothing I'd want to eat. It's an interesting creature with prehistoric features, but one I just tend to ignore for the most part.
I wrote in my last post about often using shorter fishing rods to fish certain creeks. In Texas, and in some other places like Arkansas, Colorado, Missouri, Florida (somewhat similar to East Texas and Louisiana terrain and fishing) and California, I've fished creeks that were too brushy for any rod longer than 5'.
Two of my standby rods are old crappie rods bought at Kmart in the seventies. Made for jigging, they are casting rods about 3' long. They are fairly stiff, which works out well since you often get your lure caught in brush or floating weeds and the like when fishing a brushy creek. I often pair this rod with either a Daiwa or a red Abu-Matic 170 spincasting reel, sporting from 10 to 12 pound test line. Again, strong enough line to horse a fish through the floating brush or weeds or whatever in the water but still somewhat sporting in test strength.
One of my favorite lures for this rod are the soft plastic weedless frogs in green that they've been making for the past 40 years or so. Now when I say "soft plastics", I'm not one of those bass fisherman who refers to lures as "soft plastics" or "hard plastics" or the like. I don't even understand what this "soft plastics bass fisherman niche" is all about.
No, I mean this frog is made of very soft and pliable rubbery plastic with a double hook rig that points up into the body of the frog, making it quasi-weedless when dragging it over and through water obstacles.
I sometimes use the not well thought of Pocket Fisherman on creeks. Using various spinners, particularly the old school spinners that were once called "Abu spinners", which are a solid color body with black or white dots, and the body colors I've had good luck with are yellow, red and white. It comes with a silver spinner. The yellow body with black dots has caught a lot of panfish and more than a few bass with the Pocket Fisherman on creeks. It's the perfect rod for a spot with absolutely no casting room but where you know you want to fish.
I have another creek rod that is made by H&H rods that I bought at Academy about 15 years ago, and I wish I'd bought two of them because I need to repair two of the guides on this rod. It's an ultralight spinning rod about 4' long and breaks into two pieces. Although thin and willowy, I've caught numerous 3 lb bass on it and it has the backbone to bring them in. I use a tiny Shimano UL spinning reel I got for about $10 loaded up with 4 lb test on this rod, and I'm amazed at the excellent drag on this tiny cheap gold reel.
I've mentioned previously wanting to make my own "custom" creek fly fishing rod out of the tip of a very long rod and a surplus fly fishing handle I have. I do have a travel fly fishing rod, a cheap one made by Garcia/Mitchell back in the 90's and sold for something like $14 new. But it's five foot long and will cast 4 wt line somewhat decently. The grip is too short for my hands and the rod is just too thick to have the flex necessary for such a short length, hence it's lackluster casting ability.
So I'm thinking that a far more flexible and thinner rod tip, converted to a short fly rod by adding a handle to it, would handle a lighter line and cast a bit further than what I've got now for my brushy creek fly rig.
I bought a 2 wt. line off of ebay sometime back made for shorter bamboo fly rods, a WF casting line that has a shorter section of WF supposedly designed to make the most of short rods. Short roll casts and sideways casts are what I commonly end up doing when fishing brushy creeks, and I'm not so much after distance as I am some degree of accuracy with a lighter line. The lighter line makes catching smaller fish more fun.
There is a use for long rods in brushy creek fishing, I have found. There is always that deep hole or downed tree filled hole that looks perfect for a big bass or catfish to be hidden in. Sometimes, the only way to reach a great fishing spot is by using a real long rod like a jig pole. I've used multi-piece cane poles to accomplish this, but also have a 3 piece 10 foot crappie jig pole I got at a garage sale 20 years ago that is ultralight and it's great for doing that "reach" fishing to that spot you just cant seem to reach by casting.
And all this makes me want to go fishing.