James Rickard

still lost in, West Virginia, UNITED STATES

Joined May 25th 2007

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Sometimes the best part of fishing is when you don’t catch anything but get a chance to see a sailboat silhouetted against a blue sky, listen to a bird’s song, or watch the beauty of a dragonfly as it skims across the water's surface.


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Recent Posts

Simple rod repairs

November 18th 2014 20:51

I was doing a rod repair project the other day and thought I should share with you.

One of the first things things you can do is clean the rod. This doesn't have to be a big project and you don't want to use anything like brushes or steel wool. Just take a cloth or paper towel with a little cleaner and wipe up and down the rod. If the rod has been around for very many years, it may end up being a shade or two lighter in color and those yellow rods may really be white!

Next up is checking the line guides. Run a cotton swab around the inside of the guides. If there is any resistance, there's probably a nick or groove in the guide and it should be replaced.

A problem you get into these days, especially with some of the lesser priced rods, is the fact that the guide wrapping is incorporated into the finish of the rod. It's almost impossible to tell where one ends and the other begins.

Rather than take a knife and begin cutting the guides free, for me, it's a little neater to use a rotary tool and skim off just enough to free up the guide. After a little hand filing to neaten things up, you can set the new guide right over where you worked and the mend is hardly noticeable.

The whole process of wrapping is not really that hard but is time consuming. Rather than rehash material already covered, you can get instructions here.

fishing rod tip
Replacing a rod tip is another easy-to-do task..
Another easy yet pain in the neck repair is replacing a rod tip. The problem is the ease. Many companies sell rod tip replacement kits with instructions, adhesive, and a few rod tips to handle most common sizes. The problem with these kits is that you end up with a couple tips you'll never need and probably lose. My advice is to skip the kits and take the rod to a repair center to get an estimate. It may cost the same as getting the kit and you'll save yourself some aggravation. You can get some instructions by following this link.

Repairing an old cork handle can make old rods look pretty good.
Here's a handle that has seen better days.
Simply wash the handle with soap and water or maybe a cleaner if you run into a tough stain. If you're not happy with the outcome, you may want to go over the handle with a very fine grade of sandpaper. This should be done slowly and lightly because cork is a very delicate substance. AND do not try and speed things along by using power tools. As stated, cork is very fragile and you may end up damaging the design or get a flat surface.

Put a little elbow grease behind a rod you picked up on the cheap and you may be the envy of all the guys at the fishing hole.

Remember to take the hooks outta yer pocket before ya sit down!


A half assed autopsy

November 13th 2014 15:20
tiger shark caught in Hawaii
Even though it's nearly 40 years old, you have to admit the movie JAWS has some pretty memorable scenes.

One of the scenes I like is the exchange between researcher Hooper and the Mayor when Hooper says, "Let's cut the shark open and see what's in its digestive system." To which the mayor replies, "I'm not gonna let you perform some half-assed autopsy and have that little Kitner boy spill out all over the dock!"

It turns out that exchange is now truer than we thought because some fishermen in the Philippines landed a Tiger Shark with a human head inside!

I kid you not dear Readers, and nothing I say is going to top that revelation. Without further ado, you can read about it here.

Remember to take the hooks outta yer pocket before ya sit down!


What's old is new

November 5th 2014 20:20
Just a few years ago, graphite fishing rods were all the rage. Gone were the days of fiberglass and its weight.

Guess what? Fiberglass is making a BIG comeback.

Purchasing a good quality rod is never an easy task. You can click here to get a little information before putting yourself at the mercy of some unscrupulous salesman.

One of the first things you will notice when comparing fiberglass and graphite rods is the weight. Inch for inch, fiberglass is usually heavier and bulkier. However, on a well balanced rod, weight isnít really an issue. A poorly balanced rod is gong to be "heavy" at the front or back. Either way, although it's only a few ounces, your forearm and wrist will know there's something out of whack. One way to balance old rods is to take the end cap off of the handle and insert a coin or two before replacing it. A few years ago I went so far as to order a cork end cap for this purpose and it ended up looking better than the factory configuration.

When it comes to sensitivity, graphite is going to win hands down. Sometimes this is a big advantage. Other times, the sensitivity can be a downfall. Tournament anglers have complained that graphite can make you react too fast and lose fish because you can feel the slightest nibble. If this is your problem, fiberglass may be just the thing you need. Graphite wonít lose any fish yet, it still provides sensitivity so you donít feel like you're fishing blindly.

Another plus for fiberglass is the price. You can easily find fiberglass rods for under $20. Better still, you can probably find an old fiberglass rod at a yard sale for even less.

A final point in fiberglass's favor is its durability. I've probably seen three or four broken graphite rods for every broken fiberglass rod. Some people may be extra-careful or extra lucky or maybe I'm just super clumsy.

A big question is when will a fiberglass rod really shine? Naturally, if you have only one rod, it's going to fish anything but, fiberglass rods are primarily recommended for crankbaits, spinnerbaits or suspending jerkbaits.

Remember to take the hooks outta yer pocket before ya sit down!


Let's revisit glass minnow tubes

October 21st 2014 02:33
Back in the day, lures were pretty simple. Colors, if there was more than one, were highly contrasting and patterns were fairly simple when compared with today's machine designed and painted fish getters.

minnow tube
This is a fairly typical design. Note the size.
However, one of the most unique fishing lures from yester-year had NO color. As fragile as glass my be, back in the 1890's someone got the idea to give it a whirl as a fishing lure and started selling glass minnow tubes.

[ Click here to read more ]

Saving the Eagle

October 15th 2014 16:43
Sometimes the best part of fishing is just being outside and communing with nature.

Even if you don't fish, you've probably seen a big bird diving at the water's surface and coming up with a fresh fish.

[ Click here to read more ]

Great shark image, by luck

October 8th 2014 22:38
Since I don't live around any shark waters, I'm always drawn to shark reports. And while I'm no longer Pixel Pete when it comes to photography, I know an F-stop from a bus stop so, if two of my passions come together like they did this week, I try to keep up on the story.

Amanda Brewer, who teaches art to elementary school students in New Jersey, was able to capture a National Geographic worthy shot of a great white shark during a recent trip to South Africa.

[ Click here to read more ]

Shark vs. shark

October 2nd 2014 13:34
Here's something I thought was pretty cool--raw footage of a shark attacking another shark.

This is a great white going after another great white with none of the CGI or re-enactmenst like you often see on Animal Planet or Discovery.

[ Click here to read more ]

Gators in Da 'Burgh

September 25th 2014 14:51
It's not that uncommon to hear about a bull shark heading up a river to be found in unusual places. On the other hand, it's not every day you hear about alligators being out of their usual habitat. That is, until now.

Here's a link my daughter sent me reporting a very possible gator sighting near Pittsburgh, PA.

[ Click here to read more ]

A break from fishing

September 19th 2014 14:12
I'm going to take a break from fishing and congratulate my Aussie friends for thwarting terrorism Down Under!

[ Click here to read more ]

Another good link

September 18th 2014 01:44
Here's a link some of you may appreciate. It's for an outfit called Angling International which is based in the UK.

Angling International
I've been reading the online version about six months and I'm not going to lie and say I read every word but, it's sort of interesting and you get a taste of how they catch fish in other countries. Along those lines, you find brands such as Zebco or VMC that are internationally known. The inverse is true as well, and you may learn a thing or two and read about companies you never knew existed.

[ Click here to read more ]


Recent Comments

Comment by James Rickard
on A half assed autopsy

November 16th 2014 20:04
I wish any of the other movies in that series was HALF as good as the first. I still like it but, I wonder how many more times I'll watch it.

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Comment by James Rickard
on We are still locked out of our Orble Blogs

November 14th 2014 15:28
CRAP!!! I just clicked on the link in your post and it didn't even work!!

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Comment by James Rickard
on We are still locked out of our Orble Blogs

November 14th 2014 15:26
I have a similar situation that goes along with this. I started a post the other day and now cannot modify it--that means finish it. (So, at the end of November when you see a video with no explanation, you'll know why.) I contacted Orble a week ago and have yet to hear anything--although I realy don't expect a reply.

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Comment by James Rickard
on Best photography of the day!

November 13th 2014 15:17
I saw the news report on this but, it was a little confusing. I THINK the workers were 68 stories up. The building is the NEW World Trade center so, I'd imagine it's taller than that. At any rate, they cut through the windows and saved the guys. All during the report, I was thinking, "How thick is the glass?"

Scary no matter what!!!!

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Comment by James Rickard
on Saving the Eagle

October 17th 2014 00:35
Symbol of the country and all of that sort of thing. People always say I'm some kind of pinko because I like to point out the founding fathers originally thought about using a turkey instead! True story!!!

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Comment by James Rickard
on Great composition and alignment in photography

October 15th 2014 17:17
I just realized something as I was looking at this and seeing what could be done differently. I still like photography but what good is composition and all that with all the photo shopping and manipulation you can do with digital images?

I still like the shot, though! *L*

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Comment by James Rickard
on Great shark image, by luck

October 10th 2014 00:53
20??? Not a lot of difference between that and a few cents.

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Comment by James Rickard
on Cop asks woman he stopped, has she found Jesus

October 8th 2014 22:48
I live in a VERY small town and everyone thinks I'm going to Hell for my belief. They think it would perfectly okay to begin the day with the Lord's prayer but, " the liberals" (their words) took prayer out of school. Needless to say, these same people are AGAINST separation of church and state but, these same people would be the first to complain if a (God Forbid) JEW was hired and mentioned Hebrew beliefs! What would happen if it was a Muslim? It's a slippery slope!

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Comment by James Rickard
on Cop asks woman he stopped, has she found Jesus

October 8th 2014 22:40
Here's another example of why the Church must be kept out of this sort of organization.

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Comment by James Rickard
on Shark vs. shark

October 8th 2014 22:24
I never though of it until you mentioned it, with all the talk of shark sightings the past year or two, Australia has been pretty quiet!

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