Monday, March 9, 2020

Cabelas CGR 7/8 Review

Cabelas CGR 7/8 Review

It's been nearly 5 years since I purchased the CGR 7/8....and what I have found is a far cry from the "entry level" glass rod that some assume it to be.

I am hard on my warmwater gear.  Not purposefully....but retrieving 5lb clumps of pond algae, ripping bassbugs from shoreline brush, getting in and out if a float tube, etc....all lead to more abuse than my average trout rig. The end result is, cheaply made gear does not last. So I was skeptical when I read the reports of the Cabelas CGR glass rods back in 2015 and saw the prices dropping below $50.  What would I get for under $50?  Just how long will it last?

Well, here is what I found.

Initial Thoughts

I initially purchased the rod expecting much less.  On sale for $49 I planned on it being my "truck rod" for local hit and runs.  What arrived was a rod of much higher quality build than the price point suggested.  The blank was spotless, eyes were evenly wrapped and straight & the cork, while having filler seemed dense and very nicely shaped. It was not annoyingly soft, which for glass I tend to dislike in heavier line weights. The action, while still glass, was crisp and accurate in hand.  It seemed to me as more of a 7wt than 8wt, and early trips with several different lines proved that to be the case.  I eventually settled on an Orvis Hydros Warmwater 7wt and that's how things remained until this year.


On the water the rod quickly becomes an extension of your casting stroke.  The 7'6" length supports pinpoint presentations which for a tuber is essential.  Its light in hand for glass, and responsive...but make no mistake, its still glass.  It's not about to pick up and throw 40' of 8wt line with a 5" wet bunny leech into a 10mph wind.  Just saying.  But for those of us with a heart for glass, it is endearing. 

Over the years it has proven up to the task of ripping bass out of lily pads

The finesse of dropping flies into pocket water for those spring bull gills

The stamina for setting the hook on countless streaking pickerel.

And the forgiveness of glass to protect tippets and the paper-mouths of crappie.

This season marks the 5th for this little piece of glass. Yet even after all this time on the water yet another sale added to the rig.  I purchased an Orvis Clearwater WF7F line on clearance for $19.  And after 2 trips it is painfully obvious that I have found nirvana with this rod.  The line casts effortlessly, from #2 Hair bugs to #10 Crappie streamers.  Seems only fitting. 

Each season I try to talk myself into buying another warmwater rig, and sometimes do. I've cast them all, and own a few. Yet each time I head out for water, I grab this rod. Something must be wrong with me?

But back to my original comments above....after 5 seasons this $65 retail rod shows no worse for wear aside from a soiled grip.  No loose eyelets, positive spigot ferrules, no marks on the finish aside from very minor scuffs and a rock solid reel seat.  I have had rods upwards of $500 not make it that long, in that condition after being babied on trout streams.  That in itself speaks volumes in my book. 

 Well done Cabelas CGR.

Friday, March 6, 2020

Warmwater Box Refills


A handful of X-gurglers to refill the bin that was down to 2 tattered soldiers remaining.

New Buggers in my most used varieties, all #6.  Basic Black for leaches & Pumpkin Olive crayfish.

The box is about ready....come on spring!

Tuesday, March 3, 2020


Triple Sevens

With spring fast approaching and my warmwater boxes decimated from last season, it was time to restock.  Beginning with my top three patterns year-after-year.

7 of each? me superstitious. 

The #2 Gurgling Frog, The #4 Gurgling Wog and the #6 Foam-Butt Caddis.

All tied on Gamakatsu Stingers.

Next up Spiders and a few favorite Hair Bugs.

Friday, January 10, 2020


January Pickerel

1st Warmwater fish of 2020

A mild two days on the calendar seemed like a great time to chase the resident geese off the local pond and see if anything was willing to take a fly.

It took a little prospecting, but eventually the marriage was made between pickerel and the Guinness Trout streamer.  

Tying the Guinness Trout

The CGR 7/8 rang in the New Year well

Rig was Orvis Warmwater WF7F, a 6-7wt Furlgirl 5' Mono furled leader and 6lb Stren Flourocast tippett.

Hammer-handles were taking the fly retrieved slow on the decent/pause....but very slight. The afternoon brought 1/2 dozen fish to hand, with 1 big fish pushing 20" breaking me off when landing.

1st warmwater fish of the year goes to the Pickerel

See you on the water!

Monday, January 6, 2020

1st Fish 2020!

1st Fish!

Ringing in the new year

With a mild break in the weather and a few days off, it was nice to get back on the water and put a little bend in some glass.

Netting the jewel of the day

A smoky Palomino in darkened winter colors

Hopes of a great New Year to all, both on the water and at the bench.


Tuesday, November 12, 2019

A Fall Journey

A Fall Journey

Let me start by saying, this is not a fly fishing or tying post.  Nevertheless, it is about what ties me to fishing and my life in the outdoors.

I grew up with a Dad that loved bow hunting. Likewise, at the age of five having been given a small green and white 10lb fiberglass recurve bow from Bear Archery, I was forever tied to my Dads hip in front of our hay bales.  At 7 yrs old I was upgraded to a yellow 25lb Bear recurve and was shooting my Dads rebuilt cedar "shorts".  Or more definitively, my Dads broken arrows salvageable enough to allow me to still shoot them.  I would cheer whenever he broke an arrow, and to possess 3-4 matching arrows was like having my very own custom set.  I'm certain it was bittersweet for my Dad.  That little Bear recurve took many squirrels and groundhogs over the years.  They were good years.

At age 12, I went with my Dad for my birthday to Becky's Sporting Goods where he bought me a new wood Blackhawk Archery 58" 40# draw Scorpion recurve and a dozen new cedar arrows. A half dozen of which were with broadheads for hunting.  I would shoot my first deer with that bow that very same year. It was a doe and I was hunting with my Dad and Uncle on opening day 1975. Sadly, the bow was lost over the years, however the arrow I do still have, shown here in the antlers of the last archery deer I was able to share with my Dad.

My first Deer

Over the years I have been fortunate to take a good number of deer with a bow. Whitetails from a half dozen states, along with Washington State Blacktails and a couple elk.  Countless bows have come and gone, and archery and bow hunting always seemed like the most natural extension of myself in the woods.  It was a part of me.  

Why you ask, am I sharing all of this?  Well, about 15years ago, I began having trouble shooting the recurves and longbows that I loved so much.  So reluctantly I went back to a compound, which resolved most of the issue.  And then about 6 years ago I was diagnosed with Early Onset Parkinsons, which explained many things over quite some time.  The past few years have been a struggle.....and the best outlet to the outdoors I have that allows me to deal with life, was being taken away.  It had been 3 years since I had taken a deer with a bow.  Something that was an event every year of my life until then.  It was looking like I would have to hang up the bow and go to a crossbow which would allow me to remain in the archery woods. 

 Not wanting to give up yet, and not wanting to let this %$#@$!!%^&! disease win, I decided to give it one more season.  The result of that took me away from the stream and the blog for the better part of 2 months. Over that 2 month period I missed 2 opportunities at buck that nearly broke me. I came minutes away from hanging things up.  

But on November 10th......44 years after my first deer, it came together.  I was able to make a perfect 25yd shot on a quartering away doe with another Bear Archery bow, dropping her in only a few steps.  My Mom and Dad were with me in spirit and for a moment I was 12 years old again and getting a congratulatory hug from them both.  


Parkinsons....Loses for one more year.

Now.....time to check on the water.