Sunday, March 27, 2011

Wilmar 2pc Camo Multitool Set Review

It'll do.
By Mark from Peoria, IL on 3/27/2011
3out of 5
Multitool has a good selection of basic tools.

Camo colored plastic keeps both multitool and knife lightweight so they don't drag down your pants, also gives them kind of a cheap feel. Would be apprehensive to use them on anything that requires alot of force.

The "wire cutter" area at the base of the pliers doesn't cut fishing line. This is a big bummer for me, kind of a pain to have to find the knife in the multitool and cut the line.

The knife has the same cheap plastic feel and is a little long for my liking (awkward in the pocket, always seems to poke out or push against your leg.) but its sharp and it cuts.

Overall a good basic multitool that will handle the day to day workings of a amateur handyman on a budget. If you feel you will need to do heavy duty work or your job depends on your multitool, you want to look elsewhere.

^That's what was posted on the CSN website^  I wanted to add a couple details for y'all. (Don't you feel special?)
If you remember a couple months back, I was approached by CSN stores to pick out an inexpensive item and review it.  I (obviously) chose the Wilmar 2pc Camo Multitool Set, including a basic multitool and knife.  
After reviewing my several blurry pictures of the multitool and knife I decided to go with of them and just use the one from CSN stores. 
I've been holding off on doing this review until I could get a few fishing trips in and put it to use.  Well a couple fishing trips in and I hadn't caught any fish so the review got postponed.  
I finally got to use it at the Hooked on Fishing fundraiser and the pliers work great for de-hooking fish but (as mentioned above) the wire cutters don't cut 6lb leader.  What the hell?  I was not pleased.  It might seem trivial but fishing was the main thing I had in mind when I picked this out.
I work in a call center and am not into the whole handyman project thing so the bottle opener got the most work out of the available tools (opens Sam Adams wonderfully.).  I think I used the screwdriver twice and the knife in the multitool a couple times. 
As far as the separate knife goes, its nice but feels like a bonus that was kind of thrown in as an afterthought.  The blade is 3", which is the largest you can carry without it being concealing a weapon in IL.  The handle is a little bit larger than the blade and makes it sit awkwardly in my front pocket, either printing and making it obvious that there's a knife in my pocket or poking me in the thigh uncomfortably.
As I said above, if you're one to need a scewdriver or saw a couple times a day, you may want to look to a Leatherman or other top shelf multitool but if you need just need one for once in awhile or are short on cash, the Wilmar will probably meet your needs.
As for CSN, doing business with them was awesome.  Although they provided the item, I basically was given an electronic gift card to pick out the item and went through the order like a regular customer.  They sent regular emails to let me know when my order was processed and shipped.  The only thing I can't honestly comment on is the shipping since they moved up my order to ship right away.  However, if they're willing to do that for an inexpensive item being reviewed on a little blog like this, I'm sure they take good care of all of their customers.  Thanks to them for the multitool and the opportunity to review it for them.  I hope to do business again with them in the future.
Disclaimer:  CSN Stores sent me the multitool set free of charge to review.  I received no other compensation and have no other business relationship with CSN Stores or Wilmar whatsoever.  All opinions expressed are my own.  Feel free to contact me here in the comments at my personal email with any questions about the item reviewed or if you would like me to give an honest review of your product.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Wanna see a grown man's heart break?

Clif finished editing the video from last saturday.  It starts with a cameo from someone you might know:

Hooked on Fly Fishing from Clif on Vimeo.

What an awesome time.  I'm pretty sure every fish in the video was caught by Brian, the guy who was killing them the second half of the day with a crawfish pattern.

Thanks to Clif for putting all of that together, makes for a good way to relive the good fishing.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

I have come here to chew bubblegum and catch trout...

... and I'm all outta bubblegum.

Had trouble sleeping last night, like a kid before Christmas.  I'd been waiting for this day for weeks now. Visions of the giant trout from last year were swimming in my head.

Got to the Hooked on fishing pond right at 10am.  There were already 4-5 guys out there whipping a fly around.  I walked over to Jonn and said hello and then got down to business.

I had a brown woolly bugger with a bead on the head tied on for most of the day.  A few casts in I got my first bite:

Not exactly what I was expecting.  Caught two of these hand sized hybrids.
I let him go and moved down to a little inlet where we were tearing them up last fall.  After a few casts, Clif got there and we watched as a guy caught a few on nymphs.

Shortly thereafter, I hooked up:
That's more like it.
A few more casts and I hooked something huge.  It took off, making my reel SCREAM.  I don't want to say too much about the fight because Clif taped it and if he uploads it and I ask nice, maybe he'll let me put the vid in here later to tell the story.

After that, something possessed me to give up my honey hole by the inlet and move down the bank.  (I shouldn't have.  The guy who moved into that spot really tore into them later in the day, hooking a couple big ones that Clif has footage of.  Oh well, I gave it up fair and square.)

After moving down the bank, I managed to hook another one.  It seemed like at least half of my fish were on when I paused my stripping for a few seconds.  (usually when distra- squirrel!)  I would strip again, feel a weight on the line and set the hook.  Maybe I need to be using an indicator next time and do less stripping?  Anyway, here's the one I hooked down the bank:

Sorry bout the finger.  I'm not the most coordinated guy when I'm just standing still, let alone fighting a fish and taking a picture at the same time.

Didn't have anybody nearby with a net so I just pulled it up to the bank, snapped a pic and set her loose.

I moved back down towards my honey hole and the guy who had moved into it (name was Brian, seemed like a nice guy) and I took turns catching fish and netting them for each other.  Not intentionally, it just seemed to work out that way.  Here's my two out of the rotation:

I believe this net starts at zero in the middle and goes out on both sides (correct me if I'm wrong Clif) so this one is 17-18".
My biggest of the day.  Can't really tell because of the goofy pose but she was THICK.   This is the only way I could get ahold of her well enough for a pic.
These were all by about 1ish.  After that, my day tapered off.  It could have been that as it warmed up they wanted bigger offerings and the biggest thing I had was the woolly bugger I had been using all day.  Brian tied on a crawfish pattern, was just tossing it out and letting it sit on the bottom and was tearing them up for awhile.  He had a couple monster fish that got off and had a run where he had bites on like 5 out of 6 casts.  I'm for sure gonna pick up some crawfish flies.  I'm sure they'll come in handy on bass in between Hooked on Fishing park events.

So that was pretty much my day.  Fishing wasn't quite as hot as it was last fall (still probably the best fishing I'll experience all year) but I was happy to make a donation to a good cause in exchange for some good fishing and I'd be happy to do it again.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

I think he's getting pissed...

Went out fishing yesterday morning.  Pond I went to was still half frozen.  Nothing was biting on the non-frozen side.

After about an hour, something caught my attention out of the corner of my eye.  It was a deer coming down to the water.  It stopped about 30 yards from me.  (Apparently either wearing a solid gray hoody or old spice deodorant makes you stick out like a sore thumb to deer.)  Soon after another deer came up behind, and another, and another.  Eventually there were seven deer staring me down.  We did this for a minute or two and the deer turned and walked off over a little hill out of sight.

Deciding this was much more interesting than not catching any fish, I packed up and tried to quietly follow after them.   I got past the little hill and found that they were keeping about 30 yards away and had clearly heard me coming.

Apparently there was one bedded down behind the hill because he (I say he but I really have no idea, they all had shed antlers already.) jumped up not 10 feet from me (scaring the bejesus out of me) and ran towards the others.  However, he stopped about 20 yards away, turned and faced directly at me.

I just stood there for a minute and then tried to slowly move closer to try to get a picture.  The deer stamped his foot.  He continued to stamp his foot every 15-20 seconds.  After a minute or two of him stamping, I picked up my foot and stamped it.

I don't think he liked that.  We stamped back and forth a few times and then he... grunted at me?  It sounded kinda like the noise a horse makes (not a "neigh" but the other one) only shortened.  Like a "hufff".

He added the huffing to our stamping back and forth and after a couple rounds I tried my best to recreate the noise back at him.  He huffed and stamped back.  I did the same.

He turned and joined the rest of the group ten yards further away and they slowly walked away from me.

It was pretty awesome.  Pretty much the coolest thing I've done outdoors.  I think he was so brave because the pond is between two gated communities and can't be hunted and its a spot that is regularly jogged and visited by families so they are probably pretty used to deer in their general vicinity.

I only had my phone, took a couple pictures but with the distance and all the trees you can't make anything out.  I'm gonna try to go back sometime in the next couple weeks and see if they regularly bed there.  I'll make sure to take my wife's camera with a decent zoom on it.  (I really need to get a good camera of my own  so I'm not either unprepared or toting around a pink one.)

On a totally unrelated note, I read a rumor that IL is on the brink of passing CCW.  Probably not a coincidence that it comes about the same week as Illinois Gun Owners Lobby Day.  I'm crossing my fingers.

Have a good week everybody!