Yesterday I got out with Ricard and his father down south in the Bradenton Fl. area. It was much winder than we had expected but I had my rain gear ready. That’s one good thing about living out of your car at times, you have all your junk there from the last trip. It’s almost Christmas and it will be in the 80′s that day so the jacket was not staying on that long. Instead of 5mph as expected it was more like 15mph from the north blowing all the water out of the bay.
Since there was no water the strategy was to work pot holes and edges of the flats. Richard polled us around while we worked DOA Gold Rush jerk baits and paddle tails. ( Yes the good old Gold Rush makes it return this winter. )I was almost immediately rewarded with a trout. This was a not surprise this time of year. Cooler water seems to bring the trout shallower where we normally fish for red fish. Several trout later we were ready to catch a red fish but the water was still too low. We were hoping to have a nice incoming tide and to see the red fish tail on the shallow bar. I brought along my fly rod just in case we see some.
I tried some topwater but they had no interest so I went back to the jerk bait. A couple more trout and I finally got a nice thump and pulled in a nice redfish. Richard’s dad followed suit a bit later but none the less we all got our redfish. We stayed around the bar polling waiting for those tails to pop up but they never did. I took the idle time to shoot some more product photos for Marsh-works lures.
I also tested out the Loop Push pole by Carbon Marine. I’ve seen them at shows, I’ve picked them up but really didn’t pay much attention to them as I already had a couple of Stiffy Hybrid which I was totally happy with. I’ve owned cheap fiberglass poles, Moonlighters carbon and Biscayne pushpoles and I’ve always liked the Stiffy best. Besides, the Loop push pole was multi piece pole. Multi piece is great as you can ship them easily making the cost to consumer cheaper and easy for dealers to carry. (Usually if you buy a Stiffy, since its so long the shipping cost alone is $100. )In most cases though multi piece means less stiff and usually heavier. I was assuming this was the case with Loop.
I was on the poling platfrom giving it a good test in 15mph winds upwind downwind and spinning the boat for about 30minutes. It was also a 24′ push pole so I’m expecting more flex than my Stiffy. I was very impressed on how light and stiff the Loop/Carbon Marine push pole was. I mean there are Stiffy push poles that runs $1500.00 that are lighter but for about $600 for a 24′ push pole it was awesome deal. It’s actually cheaper than the retail on my 22′ Stiffy Hybrid and lighter. The texture is not quite as defined as the Stiffy but it’s also not as smooth as the Biscayne and Moonlighter. I liked the texture feel but I’m sure this just comes down to personal preferences.
Since I’m doing more and more fly fishing and push poling lately I might have to upgrade my push pole. In a perfect world, my 1st choice would be the Stiffy Extreme at almost $1500.00 after shipping etc. I will have to do one more test on the Loop Push pole, but so far I’m pretty impressed. Especially when I can get a 24′ real carbon no shipping cost push pole for about $600.00.