Friday, May 29, 2009

Wow, One Year of Fishin' With Dave

Yes, today marks the first year for Fishin' With Dave. Thanks everyone for checking in now and then and as always I appreciate the comments. Time certainly flies when your having fun and I look forward to the next year of adventures and memories. With the old Ranger in the shop recovering from its temporary insanity I will have the opportunity to reflect on some posts that are long past due.

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sometimes I Should Have Just Stayed in Bed!

I spent most of Sunday night getting the boat ready for the big trip on Monday. An old friend Lory Brasel just moved back into the neighborhood from a 8 year hiatus and I decided to see if he wanted to join Tom and I on the Big Pond. The chart on the left is known as a Beaufort Scale. When my friend Dale Stenseth began his around the world Freighter Cruise one of the first things he asked me to look up was the Beaufort Scale. This is developed in 1806 by Admiral Sir Francis Beaufort, and officer in the British Royal Navy, to standardize wind and wave conditions. The chart uses numbers from 0 - 12 to describe an ever increasing wind/wave combinations using simple observations. Based on what it felt like on Mille Lacs, I would have sworn it was a 9. Ok, so I might be exaggerating but my body says different. With the wind coming from the SE we decided to launch out of Cove, on the SW side of the lake. Rounding the point we headed to Sloppy Joe's with the whitecaps clearly in our sights. Stopping first at Kings Reef, it became clear that drifting at 2 mph and rocks make a poor combination so we continued. Two drifts and not one fish marked on the Genetron, we headed straight into the wind, deciding to stop and see Bill at his new digs located in Izaty's. Gathering our thoughts and assessing the wind, we headed for the Banana Reef, hopefully to offer some relief as well as take advantage of what should have been a great bobber wind. The plan was simple, anchor in 18 feet of water and let enough line out to have the back end of the boat in 12 feet. Throwing out my new "this will hold anything" Richter Anchor with a 4 foot chain and 100 feet of line, it should have been a no brainer. Famous last words. I have fished Halibut in Alaska where the tide is so strong the anchor simply slowed our drift. Deja Vu! Although I thought the anchor held, I became concerned when our bobbers started moving the opposite way. We must have drifted about 100 yards before the anchor finally found something to hang on to. What I find fascinating was the appearance of a pontoon that circled us a couple of times, not realizing we were at the mercy of the wind, his reference was based on our "anchor position". He decided to anchor right next to us, dab in the middle of the reef where no one in there right mind would be. Of course by the time they got settled, we had already left him heading down wind! I see this all the time, he sees 3 guys in a Ranger, conditions only paying customers would endure, and the only ones there, must be where the guides are catching fish. We decided to give him the whole reef and pulled anchor, wondering if he ever did figure out our secret technique.

This is when the fun really started. For whatever reason my 115 Suzuki (Suzy) decided to try and commit suicide. The minute I started the motor to leave for some reason it decided to begin trimming up all on its own and I could not get it to stop. The next emotion was panic thinking one of my guest had inadvertently stepped on one of my trim buttons (or worse, it was me) however it was not the case. Trying everything known to me I failed to stop the upward movement until 10 seconds later it had literally snapped the tiller handle off the engine, punched a hole in my cowling and it proceed to snap off the shift lever. Uffda!!! I am not sure what I did but it finally quit. Too late, we were 8 miles from the landing and 2 miles off shore, the motor was completely out of the water, and the wind was pushing us into the abyss. This is when I practice the fine art of CUSS (Calm Under Severe Stress). My first order was to try and get the motor trimmed back down into the water. It took about a minute but finally got it to start moving. Now the damage could be assessed. The tiller handle was parallel to my transom and completely worthless. I had shut the engine off and figured we had better get it going or face arriving in Garrison soon. A turn of the key produced nothing. My shift lever is located on the tiller handle and it fell off the second I touched it. Knowing I had to get the motor in neutral to start it, I took the hood off but the shift area was inaccessible. This forced me to tear apart the tiller handle and my Leatherman provided the means. Getting it out of gear, a turn of the key, and the Suzy came back to life. I got it in gear however it became obvious that if I wanted to go anywhere I'd have to put the handle minimally back together again. After a few attempts, we were on our way. The strategy was to head directly into the wind until we got to calmer water before we would try anything fancy. I called Bill Lundeen who suggested we motor to a closer resort and he would meet us there. About half way I was getting daring and accidentally shut the motor off which meant taking the handle apart again, another 10 minutes wasted. Our top speed was a whooping 6 mph and simply staying on course was challenging. It was incredibly difficult to turn the motor and I am glad we were not any further out. I have brought the boat to my dealer, called the insurance agency, and hope to be back in business next weekend. As state before, 10 years ago this would have tied me in knots. I have learned that most things are beyond my control so just accept it and plan your revenge on the fish!

Friday, May 22, 2009

What's The Deal With Fillet Knives?

Located close to home, I like to stop at Cabela every two weeks or so to see whats new in the bargain bin. One thing that caught my eye was a french fry cutter that I had used the weekend before at Leech Lake. Calling my friend Mark who originally bought it there, he had returned it and they put it in the bargain bin, less the bolt that was stripped out in the first place. I told the guy in the store my story and he thought it was pretty funny. Walking around the counter a fillet knife caught my eye. It was a Cabela's brand 6 inch knife with a riveted laminated handle (feature top left). Checking the price it was only $8.99, almost 65% off. The salesman pulled it out to give a look, it was pretty interesting, a nice knife, well constructed, just the right flexibility and shape. There was a guy standing next to me eyeing up my prize and waiting for me to give it back. Although I needed another knife like I needed the swine flu, it was too much of a bargain to pass up. Driving home gave me time to think of the collection of fillet knives I have so I decided it would be a good post.

I suspect that everyone has the standard birch handled Rapala Fillet knife (upper left). I have at least 3, 1 - 4" blade and 2 - 6" blades. I also have a couple of their black handled
Rubber handled knives again in a 4" and 6" blades. These knives are the workhorses for filleting fish. I love the 4 inch blade for taking the fillet off, even for larger fish as it is easy to control when cutting around the ribs. The 6" blades are the best for taking the skin off. Although the original Birch handle is a classic, I am liking the rubber handled ones as they grip better. Both blades seem equal in ability to hold an edge. My most expensive knife is the red handled Leech Lake Knife on the left. I bought this at the Northwest Sportshow about 10 years ago. It has a laminated handle, 7" blade, and is the sharpest knife I own. Don Canney knows how to make a knife. Although a beautiful knife, the design is such that both sides of the blade are sharpened. The theory is that what dulls a fillet knife are the fish scales. With this knife you cut through the scales with the chisel top of the point, cut the entire fillet off the fish through the rib bones, cut the rib bones out as a separate process, then remove the skin. Having perfected the method that cuts around the rib bones as part of the fillet process (except for Alaskan fish), it is hard to change your habits. I love the knife and use it occasionally as it is a sharp as ever. Being sharp on both sides can cause problems however. I keep forgetting to bring it back to the show for a touch up, which he will do at no charge. The next picture on the right is a Chicago Cutlery folding Traveler Fillet Knife. Again I have a 4" and 6" models. These knives were given to me by my good friends Pat and Linda Holmes (Dugar). The knives are a typical Chicago Cutlery brittle but mild steel with a black walnut riveted handle in a matching leather sheath. I have cleaned many a walleye with these. They are no longer made and have become collectors items so I have put them away for now. The next knife on the left is a special knife that was given to me by a friend Chuck Teasley. Chuck lived in the same apartment some 30 years ago and we have been friends since. Charlie has move south but comes up every year and we try to get out fishing. Often he surprises me with a special gift and one year he brought a fillet knife with my name engraved on it. It has a 6" blade and is excellent for skinning the fillet.

The next 4 knives are my Alaskan Butchering Kit. These knives are indespensible for cleaning your catch in Alaska from 100 lb halibut, 17 pound silvers, 12 pound reds, and assorted rockfish, lingcod, or pinks. Starting on the right (orange handle) I use a standard 5 inch butchers boning knife for cleaning halibut. Halibut are a very unique fish that have few bones and once you see how they are cleaned it's a piece of cake. The initial cuts are seldom more than 2 inches deep and the shorter blade helps you to cut the fillet from the rather flat skelton. It reminds me of butchering a deer! The next knife on the left (brown and black handle) is a 9 inch Browning Featherweight Fillet Knife. The blade has a serated edge near the back of the blade which makes cutting through the rather thick rib bones much easier. I also like to this knife for skinning the halibut fillets. Most fish packers like to leave the skin on as the do not have to spend additional labor and they charge by the pound. Removing the skin makes the fish last much longer in the freezer. The knife below it with the black handle and sheath is made by Knives of Alaska and is their Coho Fillet model. It has an 8 1/2 inch blade and is serated at the tip of the blade. My brother Steve and I tag team the salmon, I cut off the fillets and he takes the ribs out. The Coho knive really excells for carving those rib boned out using the serated tip, it cuts those pin bones like butter. It has one of the best steels of my knives however it does stain easily, especially if you leave blood on it for any time. The last knife on the left is my special salmon cleaning knife, a 12 inch Cimeter Knife. This knife is traditionally used for cutting large steaks from beef and is significantly larger than a standard butcher knife. We fish out of Stewarts Landing, Jeff King's place just down river on the Kenai from Soldotna. He has a cleaning table at the river and we where just bringing our fish when I noticed a guide with a huge knife. This guy could clean a 15 pound salmon in 45 seconds using this butcher knife. He simply cut out the bottom fin ahead of the vent, using the curved edge opened the fish cavity then turned the knife around and completely removed the fillet, ribs and all in one fell swoop. He turned the fish around and removed the opposite fillet. Using the curved tip he quickly extracted the rib bones and he was done. I had to have one and it works fantastic for silvers, reds, and pinks. I will not go to Alaska without it. 4 years ago Steve, his son Kevin and I went red fishing. In 1 1/2 hour we managed to keep 18 red and silver salmon. Returning to the Marlow's we started cleaning, I on the big knife and Steve using the Coho knife we were quickly going through the fish. Our guide walked over calling out, I be right there to help. One look and he exclaimed "I guess you guys got this down, never mind!" Although not as proficient as the Kenai guide, we can completely fillet out a salmon in around 1 1/2 minutes.
The last thing I use is a Rapala pliers with the split ring end. My good friend Ryan Sterle showed me this trick of grabbing the end of the fillet skin with the pliers, holding it in place while you finish the skinning job. It really works great as the tip has the split ring tooth which digs in and grips the skin. Some people swear by using an electric fillet knife and the guys at Brindley's are masters at it. For me they work fine yet my old habits of cutting around the ribs drive me back to my good old standby's. Oh well. I am planning to hit Mille Lacs on Monday for my annual first boat trip to the big lake with my neighbor Tom. He usually brings good luck and here hoping the trend continues.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Catch Chart for 2009 Leech Lake Opener

As part of our fishing tournament we keep track of each fish caught along with the size. Ron puts the numbers together on a graph and presents the data. The numbers show the following:

101 fish 12" - 15"
140 fish 15" - 17"
27 fish 17" - 19"
38 fish 19" - 21"
23 fish 21" - 23"
50 fish over 23"

This really bodes well for the future and Team Walleye!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Walleye Opener 2009, Leech Lake

2009 turned out to be the year Leech Lake came back to life. The speculation that the fabulous winter fishing would carry into the open water season was answered with a resounding YES! Picking up our minnows at Lundeens, finally arrived at Brindley's around 5:00 that afternoon. A quick acknowledgment to our hosts Tim and Greg, we unloaded the boat and took our place in the assigned slip. Years ago we stored our bait in a homemade screened cage next to the dock however suspecting our minnows were escaping, Team Walleye bought a 30 and a 10 gallon portable Bait Tamer bags from Lindy. They were a great investment keeping our bait fresh through the weekend. After getting settled in every one finally arrived, a total of 18 guys, 15 regulars and 3 rookies. Having dealt with a few Leines, midnight showed itself and I headed to the harbor to cast a Shad Rap off the point. This is a fairly shallow area dropping to 5 feet. Here walleyes, especially smaller males hang in the harbor entrance. This can be a hit or miss situation but for me it gives and indication of the walleye activity. Buy 12:30 I had landed over 20 walleyes, not big but walleyes never the less. Time for bed and get some rest and save my energy for the start of the tourney.

Saturday brought a brisk northwest wind, overcast and rainy morning. Perfect! The walleyes were hitting immediately with reports of 25" fish already vying for the Big Fish trophy. Although it was cold, we ended the day with 40 walleyes over 12 inches caught and 8 in the box. Leech has a protective slot limit where all fish 18 inches or longer and 26 inches or shorter must be released. The limit is 4 and it became obvious that it would not take too long to fill up. We only count walleyes 12 inches or longer and generally keep them between 14 - 18 inches. At this rate we could fill up in a few hours so all in my boat agreed to tighten our keepers to 16 - 18 inches. A total of 57 walleyes for cabin 14 for the first day forced a decision to fry fish for breakfast on Sunday. Not being scheduled for breakfast duty, never the less I arose at 6:00 and fired up my new Fish Fryer. I was pleasantly surprised at how well it worked, cooking up about 30 fillets in just a few minutes. As the old beer commercial once exclaimed "It doesn't get any better than this!" Sunday saw the same northwesterly winds that died down to nothing around 11:00 AM. Adapting to the newly found calmness, we were forced to start back trolling. The strategy did not change the bite, which continued in earnest. At 8:30PM we motored to a popular island and continued catching fish by trolling #5 shad raps until 10:00. We stayed out long enough to enjoy a spectacular moon rise. Sunday supper was Team Anderson's official KP duty and the menu included bone on rib eye's, onions and mushrooms, home made french fries, and salad. Mark Mayerich handles all the food planning and Sunday's meal was exceptional (Of course, the cooks have a lot to do with this). Monday brought calm winds again forcing us to back troll with the electric motor. As before, the fish still had the feedbag on. About noon we headed to Ottertail Point looking for a possible big fish winner over 26 inches. Although the action was not fast, we did get 3 very nice walleyes jigging the 12 foot rocks. There must have been an outdoor show taping a segment as we saw 2 boats with camera men sitting back filming a few fish being caught. Rumor had suggested it was Kent Herbek's Outdoors but there were no big guys in the boat so I'm skeptical. Arriving back at the resort by 3:30 we decided to run into Walker and check out Reeds and look for a cooking oil pump. Finding the pump as well as a suggestion on Gulp we headed back just in time for supper. Back out by 6:00 my goal was to catch a fish on the Gulp which looked promising. After 6 fish were netted and none were mine, I had no choice to switch back to shiners. It was the right move as I quickly evened the score. Around 8:15 the urge to run over to Stoney Point and troll shad raps was to difficult to ignore. Having suggested to my fishing partners they reel in, we headed for what I hoped would be the big fish honey hole. In the next hour trolling #5's again the fish were committing suicide. Often having 3 on at once, we ended the night with 12 more fish for the scorecard and at least 20 too small to count, not bad for and hour of trolling. Heading back we proceeded to make room in the coolers for our fish and sung karaoke till 2:30. There is nothing that sounds better than finishing off the night with 6 guys doing a rendition of The Righteous Brothers You've Got That Loving Feeling at 2:30. Team Walleye is definitely a talented bunch!

As stated our Team Walleye totals were 389 fish over 12 inches. Tom Paulson, a Team Anderson member scored the highest points total (I still caught more fish) of 200, which is likely to stand for a long time. Both Tom and my brother Steve fished with me again this year. Together in 2008 we also won the Team Award with a score of 54 fish boated. The total this year was over double at 118 fish. I attribute this to my insistence that both needed to significantly upgrade their gear if they wanted to continue fishing in my boat. Obediently they arrived with new sensitive graphite rods and light high performance open face spinning reels by Pfueger which paid handsome dividends. Mark Mayerich took the Big Fish honors with a 26 incher, with Ron Edberg nailing both 2nd and third place with 25+ inch fish. The DCS (Didn't Catch $hit) award went to Ronnie D with 56 points. Ron Edberg actually had less points but his 2nd and 3rd place fish disqualified him from this honor. Fishing was insane for sure.

As always Brindley's Harbor is the best. Our hosts Jean, Paris, Tim and Greg Campbell put out the red carpet. Aside from being a wonderful place to stay the resort is clean, has a great harbor for the boats, and will clean and freeze your fish like professionals. They will even clean your northerns removing all the Y bones creating the perfect table fare. I recommend heading to Leech and Brindley's Harbor if your looking for incredible walleye fishing.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Stuck In Chicago

Assuming that I would have internet service over the weekend was a stretch. Upon arriving home I immediately went to the airport for my flight to Chicago. A number of my friends have e-mailed me and asked...................Where's the report? Well, it will have to wait as I am still at the conference, however I can say that by far we had the best year in 36 years! 17 guys, 3 days, 7 boats caught 389 walleyes over 12 inches and I estimate released another 200 under 12 (which was where we drew the line for our tourney). Team Anderson won the top boat award with 118 fish landed for the weekend. This is pretty impressive and I will give a full update by Friday.
Fishing season has begun!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

So, Who's Team Walleye Anyway?

The boat is cleaned and reorganized, the warm clothes are packed, and the beer/Bloody Mary mix are readily accessable for my depurture Friday noon for Leech Lake. Brother Steve and his friend Tom will pull me out of work at noon and we are off. Once the boat is snug to the hitch we head to pick up Mark Taylor before stopping at Lundeen's Tackle Castle for minnows. This year I ordered 3 gallons of spottail shiners and a gallon of fatheads and we expect to use every one of them. Our ETA should be around 4:00, maybe enough time to get some crappie fishing in. By then most of the members of Team Walleye should be there. So, who's Team Walleye anyway?

Team Walleye started in 1973 with 4 of my friends, Ron Edberg, Mark Mayerich, Gary Ullom, and Mark Taylor. While these guys were up fishing on Leech I was getting ready to graduate from Eleva-Strum High School. Walleye fishing was not even in my vocabulary yet! The next couple of years were spent going to school, graduating, and taking the first job that came around, winding transformers in Minneapolis. I was pretty naive coming from a small town in Wisconsin to the big city but that's a story for another day. Mark Taylor was working in the building next to ours and we became friends. Starting in 1982 I began to fish Mille Lacs on opener, first with a number of my friends from Eleva and gradually struggling to find someone to go. In the meantime Mark kept pressuring me to come to Leech with them and in 1990 I agreed. Team Walleye had grown from 4 to 13 guys and moved to Brindley's Harbor a number of years back. I arrived with my Lund Nisswa to the most organized event I had ever seen.

Team Walleye is the brain child of Ron Edberg. Ron is an accomplished graphics artist specializing in industrial and commercial design. Leaving from Gary Ullom's place Friday morning, we we all given commemorative hats (those high mesh back hats so popular back then), a magnetic sign for your pull vehicle, and a look at the traveling Big Fish Trophy which had documented the biggest fish every year since 1976. Once at the resort the duty roster was posted, broken down into teams, everyone got a breakfast and an evening meal assuring each person did their fair share of the work. On Monday we would have the big fish ceremony, presentation of the trophy and winnings, pack up and leave. This year Team Walleye will celebrate its 36th Annual Leech Lake Walleye Opener and Tournament. We have grown from 13 to 20 guys this year, take up 4 cabins, stay till Tuesday, and have substantially improved the menu which will include rib eyes on Saturday night and ribs on Sunday. With 20 guys, one will only have kitchen duty once, assuring at least 3 mornings to sleep in.

I have been promoted to Tournament Director position, managing the trophy presentation, providing guidance during the weekend, and signing the award certificates for the various places. In addition to the big fish we have a points competition as well. This gives those that might not have the opportunity to compete a chance to win big. We break the tourney down into 6 sessions, one in the morning and one after dinner for each day, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Everyone gets 2 points for each fish they catch, 1 point for each fish the boat landed, and a bonus 2 points if they caught the largest fish for the session. Although I missed the big fish trophy by 1/4 inch, I did nail the points total as well the top gun boat with 54 walleyes for the 3 days. Here is a picture of our group from last year. Brindley's Harbor is a first class place to be on opener. Last year we had substantial ice on the lake as many resorts were not able to launch boats. Although it was cold, we had the best fishing ever. Let's hope the trend continues! Hopefully I can report sometime this weekend on how it's going. Good luck.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

So, What's a Blog Anyway and Fishing Line

When I give my blog address to my friends, I often get this look like......What's a Blog? Blog is a the contraction of the word Weblog shortened to blog, and is a website usually controlled by an individual providing a means to post thoughts, pictures, and other things relating to a subject, person, or event ( I originally wanted to create my own website about fishing however after seeing a few blogs created by my friends it seemed like a better way to present my ideas. Google's site was a great place to start. The easy part was getting registered and setting up the URL. Once the layout, colors, and other personal preferences were picked, I was ready to go, an official blogger. There are a lot of options available, however they take time to learn. The best places to learn are from other bloggers. Booking my December fishing trip in Jacksonville with Captain Dave, I noticed his fishing reports were published via a blog and he had some really interesting stuff on the side. You might have noticed that on the left side of my posts is a section called a side bar. There one can set up a bunch of "gadgets" like the weather, links, pictures, clocks, play lists, videos, counters, and many countless additions. Capt Dave's blog really got me thinking about how to make the Fishin' With Dave more interesting. The play list for instance took about a week to figure out. One sets up a play list online at then link that list to your blog. I did a search on songs about fishing then created what you hear today. Ok, the last two songs are not fishing songs but I have included them for the benefit of my cousin Greg and I did add some spaghetti western music as well for Pete. Searching for a popular Wisconsin web cam, I ran across Neenahpetes blog. Being a blogger one learns to appreciate the different venues and layouts that other bloggers are doing. Neenahpete's Blog is quite interesting, has some really cool graphics and has very frequent posts as opposed to my once a week rambling. Besides being a fellow blogger, he is from Wisconsin, shares the same viewpoints in life, and is a fun read. His blog is an indication of the amount of time he spends. On the other end is What's Dewey Doin", another friend who's simple goal is to post occasionally keeping his friends up to date on his doings up north. One of my friends started Dale's Freighter Cruise which chronicled his around the world cruise on a ocean going freighter. Through his satellite phone, he would post every day and I would add pictures and keep it updated. The blog was a fabulous diary of a personal adventure that we lived through his posts. You can check these blogs out by clicking on the links located to the left, down the page a bit.

Blogs are meant to be an interactive site. If you look at the end of each post you will see comments and can be from 0 to the current count. These are for YOU and are meant to allow the reader to comment back to the blogger (in this case me!). Unfortunately few people comment. I have my comments set up so you can respond anonymously or if you have a google account, it can identify you. Please feel free to add your comments as I am always interested in hearing from you. Also you will see on the left a section called followers. Here you can follow my blog and it works very well if you have a google account. Feel free to join.

Next week I'll be relaxing at Brindley's on Leech Lake planning my strategy to regain the Team Walleye Trophy. Success on the water can depend on the proper preparation on shore. One of the most important things you can do to assure this success is to simply change the line on your reels. Lines come in 3 basic types; monofilament, braided super lines, and fluorocarbons. Mono's have been around for years and tend to be the most popular. They have moderate diameters, come in many different formula's, colors, and sizes. They have a tendency to stretch which can be a desired trait when fishing hard hitting species or when crankbaiting. Braided lines have been around for a while and are known for for their lack of stretch. Popular for muskie fishing, the new formulations like Spiderwire have become much more mainstream. Sharp zebra mussel shells in the Mississippi River have forced many of my friends to switch to braided lines avoiding cut offs while trolling. The third type are fluorocarbons. These lines are virtually disappear under water and make great leader material, especially when using braided lines. Fluorocarbons have really improved over the last few years with new formulations making them much more durable than the past. I have been a loyal Trilene XL user with 8 pound green being standard equipment on my reels. A couple of my rods have Spiderwire however it's performance has been less than stellar. The lack of stretch tends to rip the lures right out of the fish when I troll. Even in Alaska fishing silver salmon on the Kenai, they strike with such vengeance that I feel the lack of stretch is a negative. Casting for salmon, the fluorocarbon lines have a better hookup ratio. The braids do guarantee more snagged humpy's as the lack of stretch is excellent for driving home hooks into their hump. I also like braids for fishing red salmon, which requires a quick hard hook set. For walleye fishing, Stren MagnaThin had my attention for the last couple of years as it has a very thin diameter for the test weight. Last year while watching Bill Lundeen tie his world famous Mille Lacs Spinner Rigs I noticed how thin and supple his choice of line. He threw me the spool of 10# Triple Fish X Rated line. I was so impressed I had him order a spool of both 8 and 10#. This line is about 20% less diameter than Trilene XL and is much more supple without sacrificing strength. What's amazing about this line is you can buy it off their website ( in a 4000 yard spool of 10# is less than $23.00. Stren MagnaThin is $9.99 for a 330 yard spool, almost 5 times the cost. If your reel count is close to mine, this can be a tremendous savings each year, for line that I feel is superior to the name brands in the market. I'll leave you with a picture from last years Leech Lake Opener, and the hope that this year will repeat itself.