Friday, July 15, 2011

A new Finewater writer and a do-it-yourself guide to stripping baskets

We landed a big one here at Finewater. We convinced Rob Prytula to join the Finewater staff and become a contributer to the blog. You’ve seen Rob before here and here , and he brings with him a pretty impressive resume - SE FFF Flytying Chair, erstwhile guide, frequent presenter at fly fishing shows around the country, former president of the area TU chapter, etc.  Heck, he even appears from time to time on a local radio show to provide area fishing tips and reports. Folks calling in to that show know him as “Dr. Trout”. You may be wondering why Rob would be willing to risk his sterling reputation as a noted fly fishing expert by associating with the derelicts here at Finewater. We wondered the same thing but like to think that it was his interest in contributing to this award-winning blog (Best Blog Named Finewater in 2009 and 2010, runner-up in 2008) rather than our threats to release the photos from that “business trip” to Vegas.

Anyway, Rob’s presence represents a dramatic change in direction for Finewater in that he actually knows what he’s talking about. You’re probably going to find the info in his posts useful, as opposed to the usual nonsense we throw out there. His below piece on making your own stripping basket is a good example. Really good stuff. By the way, if you’re not using a stripping basket you are missing out. Talk about making your life easier.

A Simple Stripping Basket

I have been fishing the rip-rap below the dam at Chickamauga quite frequently. I have been having luck with Skipjacks, small bass and a few stripers. The limestone rocks that line the bank are a challenge to walk down and also present a problem when it comes to line management. The flyline seems to get tangled in every possible nook and cranny of the rocks. I decided that a stripping basket was in order.

I checked the fly shop web-sites and found them to be a little pricy for my budget. I decided to see if I could make my own for less money. I thought about the components needed and decided that Wal-Mart would probably have all the materials I needed.

I found a plastic basket, a webbing belt and the other items needed to make my stripping basket. All total I spent about $13.00. The construction was very simple and took less than fifteen minutes (it would have been faster, but our cat Jack decided his help was needed on this project).

I took the basket and cut a space for the web belt to go inside the basket.

Next, I took an ice pick and punched four holes in the bottom for any water to drain out.

Finally, I took some door stops that have adhesive backing and put them in the bottom of the basket to break up the flat bottom to avoid coils and knots in the flyline. 

Here is the finished product.

If you find yourself needing a stripping basket, give this idea a try. It works well, is lightweight and inexpensive.

-Rob Prytula


Trout MaGee said...

Congrats on the new recruit. That stripping basket looks like the answer to my prayers. Weeds and snags everywhere it seems. Thanks for the great tip. Tight Lines.

Ty said...

Man, I can hardly get by without my stripping basket. Prevents a lot of headaches. I agree - pretty good tip from ol' Rob. Thanks for stopping by!

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