August 22, 2018

Cadence Fishing CS10 Spinning Reel Review

Over the past two months, I have been fishing some rods and reels from a company named Cadence Fishing. I had never heard of them until that point. When we think of fishing reels we usually think of the big names and those that have been around for years and years. A new company has some work to do to break into the market (and stay there) and after fishing some of their stuff...I think they just may do it.

I'm going to post several reviews in the future but wanted to start right at the top with their CS10 Spinning Reel which is their current highest priced reel that retails for $119. One of the biggest things about this brand is that they are affordable. Their direct to consumer approach leaves some room to lower costs and still be profitable and the result is better gear for you at a lower price.

Here are a few of the specs before I dig into my thoughts and performance of the reel.

  • 10 ball bearings + 1 instant anti-reverse bearing 
  • Magnesium frame 
  • Carbon composite rotor and side plate 
  • Carbon Fiber Drag 
  • Machined Aluminum Spool
If you look at those you will see they are premium features that a lot of other brands include in reels that are double the cost. Having fished many of those reels and this one, I can say that the performance is nearly identical with a much lower cost.

The reel that I own is the CS10-3000, a 3000 size reel that I have used for a variety of finesse presentations. The 3000, or 30, size works well for light braid like I use and the bigger spool is something I really like for its versatility compared to smaller models.

Fishing the reel has proven that the drag can handle bigger fish and I have been pleased with the results for both the drag, smoothness and how it has held up so far. It has only been two months, but so far so good on the durability.

Another few things I have liked about the reel is the carbon fiber handle. This looks cool but also helps to keep the reel fairly light. It weighs in at 7.3 ounces which is definitely on the lighter side for any spinning reel and much lighter than most of the other reels I checked out in this price range.

Having fished it pretty regularly since June, I haven't found anything I don't like about it. It has a nice comfortable knob on the handle and casting distance is in line with all of my other reels. Time will tell how it holds up after a few years of hardcore fishing, but so far it is been a solid reel for me.

Like I mentioned earlier they retail for $119.99, but they have frequent sales on the reel so make sure to check this link to see if you can snag one for a lower cost. At the time of this post, it is selling for $95.99.

Here are some of my thoughts on all of the rods and reels I have used from Cadence.

June 16, 2018

The Best Way to Buy and Sell Fishing Gear

If you are like me, you probably have tons of fishing gear. Some that you use and some that you could probably get rid of and use the money to buy more. I buy, sell, and trade tons of gear on Facebook groups and also on eBay. It can be annoying weeding through all of the useless things people are selling and trying to figure out all of the fees on eBay.

When selling on eBay you often have listing fees as well as fees on the total of the items you sold. Then after that, you have a fee for PayPal and they will even charge you a fee on the shipping amount. When all is said and done you easily lose 10% or more. I have had enough of it honestly. 

There is a solution and it is a similar site to eBay except it is ONLY for outdoor gear. It's called The best part is that the fee is only 7.5%, which you only pay once your gear sells. You can ship your items worldwide via their prepaid labels you can print from the website or mobile apps. That makes it much easier to swallow when you are selling something and leaves some more money when you go to buy more gear.

It is a new site and this is a great chance to be part of it as it grows. The site already has tons of listings for things like fishing reels, waders, line, and more. I think this is going to be the next big thing for outdoor enthusiasts. Download the ReelTrail app for free in the App Store and Google Play Store, and you can also visit them at!

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December 5, 2017

Anglr Tracker Review

This review is long overdue since I have been using the Anglr Tracker most of the year. That has given me some time to explore it in depth, use it in multiple situations and really get a good feel for what this little device can do.

If you are not familiar with it, it is a small tracker that attaches to your rod to give you all kinds of data. Originally, my impression was that it was like a FitBit. It tracks your casts and lets you know how many fish you have caught that day. It does do that (which is really cool), but it captures so much more valuable data that can really help your fishing. It basically eliminates the need for a written log book since it tracks exactly when and where you caught a fish as well as more info which I will talk about in a bit.

The whole thing works with their mobile app and the Tracker "talks" to your phone and app via Bluetooth. It's pretty common for devices nowadays so chances are you have hooked something up via Bluetooth. It is really easy to get going and doesn't take away a bunch of fishing time (which is a huge plus) since it only takes getting set up initially and then it connects right away on your next trips.

Before I forget, the app itself is free (App Store and Google Play) and you can even use it without even purchasing the Tracker. The app allows you to manually enter details of each fish catch, mark waypoints and get weather info. The app is cool by itself, but with the Tracker it is even better.

The Tracker lets you push a button to record catches and mark waypoints without ever having to use your phone. I like to keep my phone in the glovebox so I don't drop it over so this makes sense for me. I also liked how it tracks how many fish you caught compared to how many casts you made. Take this shot, for example, I made about a cast per minute for just over an hour and caught five fish. Pretty cool info. I also took a few selfies of fish I caught and added more detail about how I caught them.

You can see it also marked each fish catch and pin I dropped along this area when I got a bite. I would like to see some additional mapping like Navionics included and hope that is coming soon.

Each time I caught one I had all of the weather info right there. It was cool to see and with enough data you could really put together a nice pattern for certain conditions. The app allows you to mark lures, rods, etc. to further help. I liked how it had more info than just simply temperature and wind or something. It had all kinds of weather-related info and I didn't have to enter any of it, it just included it automatically.

The Tracker connects to your rod with a simple mount that attaches to your rod. It is easy to pop in and out, but I would say this is one drawback to the system. When I fish, I typically have tons of rods on the deck and sometimes make a cast or two and then switch. It comes with two mounts and if you have two solid patterns going it will really help you gain valuable info for fishing those techniques as it wouldn't be hard to go back and forth between two rods.

It is not cheap, but not expensive either. I just saw it on Amazon for $89 instead of the $129 retail and that is a great price for something that can give you so much data. Here is a list of all of their retailers.

Overall, I was impressed with how easy it was to get so much information about your fishing trips. I am a "numbers guy" and this kind of stuff really appeals to me, so for someone like myself, it is a great tool. If you are like me, I would definitely recommend checking it out.

November 29, 2017

Rapala BX Brat Squarebill Review

This fall I have been playing around with a new squarebill from Rapala,  the Balsa Xtreme BX Brat Squarebill Crankbait. Even though fall is not my normal time to throw them, it has worked well and I have come away impressed with these little baits.

One of the first things that caught my attention when I received them was how small they are compared to other squarebill crankbaits. Not that that is a bad thing, it was actually pretty impressive that they can get down to 4 and 6-feet deep depending on the model. They are compact yet get down quickly thanks to the bill angle. This will allow me to fish a little deeper and still get that squarebill action.

Speaking of the action, both of the baits have a nice, tight wobble. It is fairly "aggressive", but not too much. I think this is why I was able to catch a few with it this fall when the water was starting to get chilly.

Another key to these baits is the durability. I fished it over the course of a few days and have had no issues. Squarebills are meant to bang and bump into everything so they need to be built to last. These are part of the Rapala Balsa Xtreme series, so they have the great action of balsa with a protective copolymer coating surrounding them.

The one thing I would say is a negative to the bait is the price.The bait retails for $9.99 and while that isn't outrageous, many of the squarebills I use are sub $6 baits because I lose more than my fair share. 

Overall though, the bait is solid, catches fish and comes in plenty of good colors. I would give it my approval as it does the job and if it is as durable as they claim it will make up for the cost.

They are available at and many other retailers.

November 13, 2017

Favorite Fishing Jack Hammer Review

I’ll start this off by saying that I am a finesse-fishing addict. I ALWAYS have a few spinning rods on my deck and I cannot count how many giant fish or checks I have cashed in tournaments using spinning rods. With that being said, I know what I want from spinning tackle and know a good finesse setup when I see one. That is why when I had the chance to choose a rod and reel from Favorite Fishing for a review, I chose the Jack Hammer 7’ medium spinning rod and Jack Hammer reel in the 2500 size.

First Impressions
When the rod and reel arrived I was immediately impressed with the fact that it came with a rod sock and neoprene case for the reel. I don’t know why more companies don’t do this; it is not that expensive and goes a long way in protecting your equipment.

The reel felt smooth right out of the box and matched the rod perfectly. I also liked the styling and just overall how the combo felt in my hand.

One thing I did notice was that the rod felt much lighter than a typical medium spinning rod I am used to, but that is a good thing for how I fish and is what I said in the video below that explains my first impressions.

On the Water
Like I mentioned in the video, it is crucial to get out on the water and use the rod to really get a good feel for it. Luckily, this was prime time for fall finesse fishing and I took it out on several trips before sitting down to write this review. The rod and reel performed flawlessly for a drop-shot and Ned Rig but was a little light for other techniques.

The Rod
Fishing it was great. The rod was very sensitive and I could feel bites with ease.  It is also very light! Their website lists it at 3.5 ounces, which is less than an 8” Huddleston swimbait.

One thing I noticed right away was that it has a single guide foot instead of two like most spinning rods have. This is by design and is a new type of guide from Fuji called the Titanium single stick guides. These help to reduce weight and the guides also help increase sensitivity.

One thing that I see as a drawback after fishing it was the placement of the hook keeper. Initially, I thought it was a good spot (halfway between the reel and first guide), but realized my braided line would get caught there from time to time.

Here are a few more specifications of the rod I used:

•    Model #: JHM-701 M
•    Length: 7'0"
•    Lure Weight: 1/8-5/8
•    Line Weight: 6-12
•    Power: Medium
•    Action: Moderate Fast

The rod retails for $289.99, which puts it at a high level for today’s bass rods. It definitely has the style, components, and sensitivity you would expect for a rod that costs this amount.

The Reel
The reel was also a very pleasant surprise. I had heard of their rods before but the reels were somewhat new to me. It was smooth, casts well and I had zero issues with the drag even while connected to some big smallmouth. The drag is probably the most important part of any spinning reel and the Favorite Fishing Jack Hammer passed the test.

Here a few specs for the reel that retails for $149.99:

•    Lightweight carbon composite body and side cover
•    Titanium nitride covered anti-twist line roller and spool lip
•    10 stainless steel ball bearings

Overall, the Jack Hammer rod and reel surprised me with how light and sensitive it was. I was impressed with how it performed with light tackle, and even though the name Jack Hammer may be misleading for a finesse setup, it had enough power to put a few nice fish in the boat. My first impression of Favorite Fishing was a good one and I think they have a winner with the Jack Hammer.