Sunday, May 1, 2011

God Bless the Big Box

I made a trip up to Cabela's today to nose around and grab some popper bodies. For some reason I have it in my head to start tying poppers. I don't think I've ever fished a popper before, but I want to tie up a few for panfish and some bass. Spread my horizons and all that junk.

Well, after wandering past the clearance rack and grabbing some holographic thin skin, a couple tube streamers (tubes have been interesting me for a while now) I go to walk into the Fly Shop and have to stop at the racks. I nose around and stumble on a 10' 8wt for $110. I've been looking for a longer 8wt for some time now. A good ol' lake/high sticking rod. And $110 ain't to shabby. But I knew what would happen should the rod follow me home, no matter if I promise to feed and water and walk it every day, so I put it back in the rack.

After wandering the Shop and stopping so my 3 year old can see the bears and wolves and whatever else we have to look at every time where there, I drag her into the bargain cave. There are 3 fly rods in the racks. The same no name, no weight rod that has been there for about a year, a St Croix 9' 6 wt and..... and 11' 8wt. For $23!!!!! It's a Cablea's Traditionalist, but who cares.

Now whenever there is a rod in the Bargain Cave that really is a bargain, it'es either a) broken, b) pieces are missing, or a combination of the two.

My eyes wander up the length of the rod and note that all of the guides are there. I take it down. There's a bit of electrical tape at the first ferrule. A-ha.... I peel of the tape and nothing under it but unblemished blank. WTF..... I finally get to the tip guide and there it is. The tip guide must have come off and someone did a messy job of gluing it back on. I grab it and pull. Solid as a rock. I later found out that the reel seat ring is a little striped, but with a little care it hold the reel well enough to fish with.

So in the cart it goes, with a sock that mostly fits it for $2. I'll make a PVC tube for it but wanted the sock for a little cushion. I also managed to get a "canoe" (technically it's an inflatable boat, but saying "inflatable boat" sounds a bit gimpish. So it's a "canoe") for $50. Big bass here I come!

Now I'm all for supporting the local fly shops, and trust me those guys get enough of my money. I go to the local shop for advise, purchases that I will get a lot of use from (new set of waders, boots), and material. But when it's time for a dirt cheap bargain nothing beats the big box.


  1. Sounds like you got a couple of sweet deals. Its amazing what the bargain cave has dwelling in it. Good luck Bass fishing with the new setup.

  2. Thanks TM. My arms is starting to get sore just thinking about it.

  3. I thought a popper was what you made popcorn in. I wouldn't know a popper from a Kawasaki...but I love Cabela's.

  4. I thought you make popcorn in a microwave.......