Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Dollar Store Stripping Basket

Evenin' Folks,
Trying to get the timing down.
  Up to this point everything I've written about here on The Suburban Angler has been focused on ultralight fishing.  I love small, lightweight rods and gear and the sensitivity and reaction they get while fighting a fish.  Very recently I had the opportunity to do some saltwater fly fishing, a first for me, and the kind folks at Thomas and Thomas Fine Fly Rods loaned me one of their awesome 9' 8-weight Solar rods to try out.  I'll have a report on my first excursion later and a full review on the rod after another trip next month.  While in Florida I posted some pictures of myself attempting to cast into the surf.     I really enjoyed casting the heavy weight rod and being able to launch a big, weighted fly way further than I would ever need to in the small mountain streams that I love to fish so much.  The thing I had the most trouble with was keeping an eye on my stripped line.  It was either getting pulled down the beach by the waves or it was tangling around my bare feet in the sand or just getting caught in the surf making it difficult to shoot line out.  One of the comments I got on my Instagram picture was that I needed to find myself a stripping basket.
 I used my phone to look up stripping baskets and see what something like that might cost.  I was rather surprised to see that a plastic container and a web belt cost between $30 and $80!!!  I'm sure at some point in my life, as I'm sure I'll continue to saltwater fly fish every chance I get, I'll probably purchase a commercially available stripping basket, but this was a very tight budget trip, and even tighter budget for fishing gear.  
  The next morning we stopped at a Dollar General store to get some supplies for our day on the beach.  While looking at the snacks and drinks, I remembered that dollar stores tend to sell a lot of plastic baskets and containers.  So, after grabbing some sunscreen and a few bottles of water, I strolled over to the container aisle to see if they had anything I could make work.  
My $1.85 Dollar Store Stripping Basket.
  Behold! My Dollar Store Stripping Basket!  I found a black plastic tote that seemed about the right size, had plenty of holes for drainage and seemed like the plastic was sturdy enough to stand out on my hip, but soft enough to conform to my body at the same time.
  I pretty much always wear a leather belt, so I took my pocket knife and connected two of the holes in the tote so that my belt would slip through.  When I tightened my belt on my waist the basket snugged up to my body and seemed to be just the right height to strip line into.
  Fishing with the basket seemed to really improve my casting and really did a fantastic job of keeping the line out of my toes!  I think the basket could be a little bit larger, it seemed that I stripped the line behind the basket a few too many times, but I'm afraid if it were much larger it would be too cumbersome to be useful.  Another tip from @CaptGordon on Instagram was to glue plastic Easter egg halves into the bottom of the basket to help control the line loops even more.  I'm definitely going to do that before I take it out for the next trip.  
  I was really happy with how the Dollar Store Stripping Basket worked for me.  The way I see it, I saved about $78.15 over buying one of the fancy baskets with a well known logo on it.  But, I guess if I'm honest, I only put off spending that money for a little while longer.
  I hope you're all doing well.
     Tight lines and good improvised gear,

No comments:

Post a Comment