The Great Re-Lining: Part Deux


Sooooooo, we left off last time right about here The Great Re-Lining. This time I thought it might be good to get into the nuts and bolts of spooling your own reels. Notice I said spool your own, that is in direct contrast to letting whatever shop monkey happens to be working that day do it. I’m not trying to be mean, as I was formerly said shop monkey, but you wouldn’t let a stranger give you an enema so why would you let one spool your reel. Bad knots, reels spooled backwards, and sloppy line distribution plague many shop spooled reels, the numbers climb exponentially when you take into account big box spooled reels. So here’s how I spool, because mama didn’t raise no fool.


For trout, panfish, both small jaw and large jaw bass, amongst many other smaller fair I use 20lb dacron. For your apex predators , and for those fish that really pull (tarpon, bonefish, big striper, etc..) I prefer a 30lb in a gel spun if at all possible. Don’t trust manufacturers recommendations on backing capacities. I have a sneaky suspicion both the backing companies and the reel companies have been conspiring together (much like a cabal) with the sole purpose of driving me bat shit crazy by having to either re-spool backing or cut a bunch out based on their ridiculous “manufacturer” recommendations. My general rule of pinkies is leave about one pinky width of space on the spool for line. If you have gigantic pinkies adjust accordingly. Go ahead and attach you backing with an arbor knot. Click here to see it animated…like a cartoon…about a knot.

Backing To Line

There’s a million ways to skin a cat and then serve it as a rabbit. Nail knots are fine, but a pain in the ass. I really prefer a loop to loop connection here for the ease of switching lines. The only acceptable way to put a loop into backing is the Bimini twist or the fabled double Bimini. Yes, on your lower line weight reels this is killing a fly with a cruise missile, but once you learn to do the twist with the ease of Fats Domino why do anything else. I move up to the double Bimini when I go up to my big game gear because I dig redundancy.

Click here for the Bimini and here for the Double.

Now  to the line. Most manufacturers have started putting loops on both ends of the line direct from the factory. I never used to trust these loops as I have seen them explode at the worst moments all too often. These days I tolerate them on my lower line weight reels as a byproduct of my laziness. In general though I am a big fan of whipping my own loops. Whipping loops also comes in handy when there’s not a loop on either end of the line to. Check out this Gink and Gasoline post on proper loop whipping technique and whip it good.

A Note On Winding It All Up

I found a shop spooling machine on ebay for a very reasonable price and it is choice. Short of that, put a nail in a wall, put the spool of line or backing on that nail and go to town. In a pinch a buddy holding the line spool with a pencil through the hole will achieve the same result.

So now you know, and knowing is half the battle. Look out for the next and final installment: Line Selection

Sail Away, Jet Boat…Sail Away

IMG_0508 This is the story of how I wound up with Steve’s Towee. Be warned, this is a sad tale of stupidity and poor trailer management. You might want to shoo the little ones out of the room. Like most times in life that I do idiotic things, this day was no different. I had just picked up the truck from the mechanic with a new fuel pump that not only cost me $600, but even more importantly cost me two days of wife/kid-free fishing plans. In a hurry and pissed off, I tried to attach the trailer to the truck so as to move the boat into the garage from the one other flat spot on the mountain where the tow truck driver had left it the day before. The only problem was there was no way for me to get the truck straight to the trailer without driving off the mountain. So I figured I would come in at angle, get the ball halfway on, pull the boat out a little, chock the wheels and straighten up to it.

Notice I never said I would put on the safety chains. Always put your safety chains on kids. Always. Everything seemed to be going smooth for about five seconds, and then the trailer came smoothly off the ball and rocketed itself down my mountain directly into a tree. I really can’t even describe the gut-wrenching feeling in my stomach as I watched my beloved sail down the mountain in my rearview mirror. The closest I can come is, it’s like the stomachache one gets when your friend just nicks your testicle while trying to nut you, deep and painful.

The aftermath was a completely broken out transom, and an entire jet boat full of self-loathing. The boat is being cannibalized as I write this to pay for my new boat, which is Steve’s old boat. The hull — now rendered useless — will be incorporated into my kid’s play set (maybe as a sand box)? The only thing I’ve learned from this incident is that I’m an idiot. A giant idiot. It’s been a month now, and as I write this, my stomach aches no less. I’m considering having a set of scarlet safety chains tattooed on my person like an “A” so I never forget again, and my shame will be on public display forever more.

~ Dave

Women Fish, Who Knew?


The other day a friend of ours, who happens to be female as well as quite a proficient fly-flinger, was told, “It’s really cool that you’re a woman and you fish.” While I’m sure that this drunken slob meant absolutely no harm by his comment, it got me thinking. Why is it so cool that a woman fishes?

Right now, the Marines are studying how effective women can be in battle. In that arena women are definitely at a disadvantage — the physics just aren’t in our female friends’ favor. A 100-pound woman carrying a 115-pound pack for miles over steep terrain leads to all kinds of physical ailments that I would certainly not be tough enough to endure. Fortunately for all of us, fly fishing is a lot easier than being a Marine. Swap the rifle for a much lighter rod, the 115-pound pack for what is basically a 5-pound purse (i.e. sling pack), and miles and miles walked on patrol to getting out of the car and stepping into the water. Seems like anybody can fly fish to me, let alone every woman I’ve ever met in my life. Let’s remember fellas, women give birth, in what seems to me a very painful process. Do we really believe as men, that fly fishing is something that only a few Navy Seal-like women can handle? That’s bullshit.

Over the many, many years of SCOF, we have had multiple women contributors, and even more approach us about contributing. My one rule has always been I don’t want a story about fly fishing as a woman. I’d much rather just see a fly fishing story written by a woman who knows what the hell she’s talking about. I think it’s time we stop transforming women who fly fish into unicorns. It’s insulting to women… and unicorns.unicorn3The sexual revolution has made it to fly fishing, boys. Accept it. Every year there are more and more manufacturers making female-specific gear. I’m pretty sure these manufacturers aren’t betting on the transgender crowd to move 5000 units of waders. The demographics don’t lie. There are more women sharing our waters than any time in history. Don’t fret though fellas — more women fishing simply means it’s time we clean up our act a little, both from a personal hygiene standpoint and our boorish views on what women can and can’t do.

So the next time you see a woman on the water or at the bar looking fishy, the line you’re looking for is, “It’s really cool that you, as a human, fly fish.” We should and can do better fellas.

– Dave

P.S. This is in no way saying that you need to take your wife/girlfriend fishing on a regular basis if she doesn’t already fish…just to be clear.


Enough Is Enough

asshole-300x207Hate mail is not something we have had to deal with a lot here at SCOF. I know, surprising right? A few emails here and there requesting that I wash my “filthy sailor mouth” out with soap (probably wouldn’t be the worst thing for me), but nothing truly hateful. That was until the other day. The comment below was left on our Just the Tips post:

Why are you sending me dumbass “tips” for “newbs”??? I hope you trip over your pant tucked socks while tying shitty weak knots around your fingers. No one cares. No more excuses, go die in a fire like a pro newb.

The only name associated with this gem was, “Dustin.” Well Dustin, welcome to my wrath. Let’s start off with the fact that I didn’t send you anything, you subscribed. It is just as easy to unsubscribe. For all of our sakes, please do so now. Now telling me to go die in a fire, well, if you said it my face I’d punch you in the mouth. Lucky for you, you’re a giant vagina (no offense to vaginas here folks), and you said it anonymously on the Internet. My email is in the contact info, I will send you my address, or you could give me yours and we could do this face to face. I know it might be hard to pry you out of your mother’s basement. But one day, if you’re gonna say shit like this, you should do it to someone’s face so they can beat you about the head and the shoulders until you cry like the little bitch that you truly are.

With that being said, why so angry Dustin? How is it that 250 words could make you so angry that you would feel the need to anonymously wish me a fiery death, and even worse, broken knots? Is it that you believe so strongly that newcomers to the sport are beneath you? Were you born with a fly rod in your hand? If so, I have some serious questions as to the size of your mother’s birth canal and how it got that way. Gaping birth canals aside, I think you might be missing the point. New people to the sport mean more people who actually give a shit about protecting the places we love. Newcomers to the sport also mean that those of us who love fishing enough to make it our careers might actually be able to eek out a respectable living at it one day. Maybe. Instead of being an asshole, which you clearly are, why not be a nice guy and introduce the sport to someone you know? It’s way better than being an asshole, trust me.

I don’t bring this up today because Dustin hurt my feelings. Quite honestly, I don’t really have “feelings.” I bring this topic up because this anonymous Internet bashing bullshit has got to stop. At least in our little fly fishing corner of the web. Most of us are not teenage girls. Posting hateful things anonymously is about as cowardly as shoving an old lady to the side when someone yells fire. If you have something to say, say it to someone’s face or at least print your full name so we can find you. Or maybe do us all a favor and keep your hate-filled swill to yourself. It’s probably the reason no one likes you in your non-Internet life, too. So to sum up here, if you can’t take a beating like a man, stay off your computer.

P.S. Dustin, I know who you are.

– David Grossman

It Lives

So I know it’s been a while, but what can I say…..sorry. Just wanted to let everyone know that while I wouldn’t expect more blog posts out of me on a regular basis, every so often it is not inconceivable that I will get a wild hair up my ass and post something random. If you don’t expect much, when I do come through it seems more grandiose….ask my wife. Enjoy some pics that I didn’t take.





– dave





Native Fish, Bikinis, Beer, And Even A Few ‘Yackers

Today’s little video comes to us via Facebook from Thomas Grimes. Summer in the Southern Highlands is not a bad place to be if you ask me , or probably if you ask Grimey for that matter (yes, that is your new nickname Thomas…thank The Simpsons for that one. Keep an eye out for our new summer issue  (Comes out Monday the 16th) to check out more radical summer fun…dude. 

– Dave

The Cobia, The Cobia’s On Fire…We Don’t Need No Water Let The Mother F’er Burn

Judging by the SCOF inbox, the Cobia in the Low Country have been blowing up the past couple of weeks. Never ones to keep all the goodness for ourselves here is a video SCOF fan Bryan Bowers sent us ,and some fantabulous (figure since same sex marriage is the new black now, I better learn the vocabulary) grip and grins from our buddy Ken’s last trip down low. Hopefully this is enough to keep you from ending it all this close to the weekend. Enjoy.

– Dave

Loose Ends

Amongst my inane blog chatter the last few months it may have not been apparent that we are actually a magazine that puts out…well a magazine. The first and ever issue of SCOF, if you don’t count the Spring issue, will hit your basement computers within two weeks of me writing this. I am probably gonna pee myself with excitement at least three times between now and then, ok maybe four. We have been feverishly writing gibberish, and taking photos of the weird, in preparation for unleashing our special Southern brand of ridiculosity upon the masses. Until that happens keep checking back in with us, I might just have a nervous breakdown right in front of your eyes.

…and just so you don’t think reading this was a complete waste of your Thursday, ponder this,

What came first the fly fisherman or his tweeds?

Think about it….


Who Turned The Lights Out In The Park…And Why Does It Smell Like Crap?

There is something rotten in the Smokies. It has not been a good week to be a Southern national park and the outlook for next week ain’t so bright either. A sewage treatment plant wall collapsed tragically killing workers at the plant, and sending 850,000 gallons of sewage (minus the solids) into the Little Pigeon River, near Gatlinburg.  If this wasn’t bad enough it looks like the park is going to be shutdown next week as a result of the impending overall government shutdown. Lucky for the folks who live in those Appalachian towns that rely on revenue from park visitors, it looks like everyone will be able to take a nice unpaid two-week vacation right as the season is really starting to crank up. Can you sense the sarcasm here folks?

Click Here For Sewage Story
Click Here For Park Closure Story

– Dave