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“Sand Salt Surf and Sun” – Wicking Fishing Shirts – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Item of the day is “Sand Salt Surf and Sun” – Wicking Fishing Shirts.  Now “Sand Salt Surf and Sun” is a brand of design put out by a company called Vapor Apparel.  I happen to like my shirts with something interesting on them, but you can also get these shirts in long and short sleeve in a generic version (plain no design) for on average 10-12 bucks less per shirt if you are so inclined.  Links to all the options are at the end of this review.

Note that the “Sand Salt Surf and Sun” branded stuff and the stuff with no design are the exact same shirts, from the exact same company.  Just one has some sort of art work on it and the other is plain.

There is a lot I like about these shirts, lets start with UPF 50 as a sun protection rating.  UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) is a new standard measure for how well fabrics protect your skin from the sun.  A rating of 50 means only 1/50th of the suns UV radiation will pass though the fabric.  More importantly this is for both UVA and UVB solar radiation.  Most sun screen does a really good job on UVB radiation but is pretty poor at the UVA radiation.

Next is the wicking technology.  To put it bluntly being covered in sweat sucks and the only thing worse is a soaked in sweat shirt that just won’t dry.  It feels like wearing a fricken giant body diaper!  Nasty.  These shirts wick the sweat off you and dry quickly, they turn your sweat into fricken air conditioning.

I wear them all the time now when working in the heat and when fishing in hot weather as well.  I really enjoyed them while wade fishing in the surf recently on Sanibel Island.  Talk about wearing an air conditioner.  When I would get too hot I would just kneel down and soak the entire shirt up to my shoulders (holding the reel above the water of course).  As soon as you stood up  you could feel your core temp drop as the moisture began wicking away and evaporating.

This isn’t really how an air conditioner works, it is more like how an evaporative cooler works, it is actually exactly how they work.  These shirts are great of course for swimming too.  And unlike sunscreen they don’t wash off and don’t expose your skin to chemicals.

As to price that varies based on color, size, designs etc but basically the branded design stuff ranges from about 26-35 dollars a shirt on average.  And the more generic non design plain shirts range from 16 to 19 dollars.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

P.S. – I really like the short sleeved shirts for wearing around the house, out in the yard and even out to dinner.  They look great and are very comfortable.  But when it comes to a day in a boat or at the shore, I vastly prefer the long sleeved ones.

Few reasons.  First it covers your arms from the sun and protects them.  Next especially when fishing and getting wet it increases the cooling power of the evaporative fabric.  Lastly, I can easily push long sleeves up if I want that look or feel, but I can’t stretch short sleeves down if my arms are getting too hot or burned.

P.S.S. – There is a lot of talk that “sun screen causes cancer” and such on the web today.  While there is a vein of truth to it, it isn’t that simple and most of what is online about it is total bullshit.  The best info on the subject and the info I personally trust is from Dr. Mercola.


Camp Chef Ranger II Table Top Stove – Item of the Day


NOTE – I am bringing this around for a couple reasons.  First we are right on the edge of spring camping season.  I love a grill as much as anyone but this makes camping so much more enjoyable, especially making sides and breakfast.  Next right now this stove is on sale and is currently 10 bucks off the regular price.  Next the price on the small bottle adapter has dropped from about 25 bucks down to 17, so this is a great time to pick up this item.

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Camp Chef Ranger II Table Top Stove.  I break down the value of this stove into four distinct areas.

First if you are on electric for your stove and the power goes out you do not want to try to run your range with your generator, unless you have a huge one.  Running a coffee maker puts a hit on a small gen set let alone a stove.  So it is back up cooking for those of you with electric.

Second is for the camper that “truck camps”.  I mean this is no back packing stove but mostly when I camp now I have my truck with me.  So between this stove and my Steven Harris battery system in my truck box, I feel like I am on grid.

Third is for you folks with electric stoves even when you do have power.  Look cooking on gas is just a hell of a lot more fun then electric.  This little thing has as much power as my gas range in my kitchen.  Many home cooks would love to have a gas range but just don’t have gas service and a big propane pig is not practical.  This is the next best thing.

Fourth is what I consider life style enhancement for all of us.  Let’s say it is a beautiful morning on a non work day.  You and your family want a nice breakfast.  Well go out on the porch or the deck and cook outside.  Just set this guy up on a table and get to work.  Get yourself a nice French Press and boil some water and make coffee or hot tea to go with it.

adapterA quick note, this stove comes with a hose and is designed to run on 20 gallon grill sized propane tanks.  If you want to run small one pound cans (which is really convenient for this stove) you need to add the small bottle adapter to your order.

I can’t tell you how impressed I am with the value of the Camp Chef Ranger II Table Top Stove.  It really blows me away that you can get a portable two burner stove that cooks as nice as my 1200 dollar range in my kitchen does for under 100 bucks.  And like everything I recommend it is very highly rated on Amazon with 4.5 star with over 130 reviews.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

Aurora Fire Starter and UST Titanium BASE Case – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is my personal EDC for fire starting that I keep on my key chain.  It is a combination of the Aurora Fire Starter by Solo Scientific and the Ultimate Survival Technologies Aluminum 0.5 BASE Case.

In the photo above you can see these items on my personal key chain.  I just checked my Amazon order history and are you ready for this, I got these items and put them on my key chain on August 5th, 2012.  So yea they hold up!

First on the firestarter, I have always preferred ferrocerium rods to about any other option.  These are commonly called ferro rods probably because ferrocerium is hard to say and harder to spell.   These things just work, even wet they throw hot sparks that will light any good tinder and get you a flame.

I chose the Aurora Fire Starter by Solo Scientific because it has a screw on cover with a built in striker.  When closed on the chain it make a reasonable impact weapon as well, functioning like a small kubaton.

But you need tinder and that is were the Ultimate Survival Technologies Aluminum 0.5 BASE Case comes in.  I simply have mine stuffed with cotton balls with a dab of vaseline on the top of them.  To make a fire I fray some cotton and then put some vaseline on some as well, this gets a good fire going almost anywhere you can find decent fuel wood.

Perhaps you already have a EDC fire making solution, but unless you have one that involves a ferro rod I recommend adding one.  To me they are by far the best best for reliable fire starting in just about any situation.  The fact that I have been carrying these items for almost 5 years now says something about their durability and reliability.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

Morakniv Companion Heavy Duty Fixed Blade Knife – Item of the Day

Special Notice
– I am bringing this knife around again today for two reasons.  First it fits perfectly with today’s show about trapping.  Second, and this is a bigger deal, right now not only is this knife on sale but almost everything Morakniv makes is on sale, check the entire line up here.   This seem to do this every year the week of Christmas for obvious reasons.

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Morakniv Companion Heavy Duty Fixed Blade Knife.  This knife is one of the most popular bush crafting and outdoors knives in the world, for two reasons, it is damn good and it is stupid cheap.

I generally am of the school of thought that you can have great quality or a cheap price but not both, this knife is an exception to that well proven general rule.  There is a lot to love about this little knife but lets start with the price tag of $18.95, yep under 20 bucks.  I have talked to more than one knife maker who has said, “I can’t buy the material to make a knife that good for 20 bucks”.

Now don’t get me wrong this is not a Patrick Roehrman custom by a long shot but for 18 dollars I feel you are getting a knife that could easily sell in the 40-60 dollar price range and no one would complain.  This knife a thick, 1/8-inch (3.2mm) carbon steel blade with a slightly blunter 27 Degree edge angle for high load capacity and maximum sharpness resistance.

The Companion HD has an extra large ergonomic handle with a soft high-friction grip. The classic scandi grind combined with high quality carbon steel makes the knife easy to resharpen. Mora knives made from high carbon steel achieve high hardness, sharpen easily and are exceptionally tough.

High carbon steels are preferred in applications that demand durability and can be easily re-sharpened when needed.   The back of this bade also throws an awesome shed of sparks off a ferro rod!

This knife is basically the beefed up version of the Mora Companion MG which sells for $11.68 and while this knife is a good value as well, I definitely recommend spending 6 more bucks and stepping up to the Companion Heavy Duty.  While the two look very similar to the eye the Companion Heavy Duty is suitable for tasks like breaking bone and batoning wood where I feel you are asking to much if you do these things with the lighter version.

So check out this knife today.  I feel everyone should have a few Mora knives in their collection and this one is at the top of my list of recommended ones.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

P.S. – If you read the very few negative reviews of Mora knives including this one most involve the knife rusting.  These knives are made of CARBON STEEL and if you let it get wet without cleaning, drying and oiling it, yea it will rust.  I actually see little value in a shinny blade for a working knife so I accelerate the patina process on mine with vinegar, in today’s show segment on the item of the day I will tell you how to easily do that and why you would want to.




Igloo Hybrid Stainless and Plastic Latch and the Igloo Stainless Steel Hinges


Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Igloo Hybrid Stainless and Plastic Latch and the Igloo Stainless Steel Hinges.  Yep a two fer cause I know many of ya’ll need one or both of these.  I can see it now, that big giant white igloo cooler most of us at least one of, sitting out there with the latches broken off it.

I mean those cooler are great and affordable to boot, they hold a TON of stuff, keep ice for a few days and man you just can’t beat em.  But what always happens, the damn latches break off and though not as frequently the hinges fail.

Most people “live with it”, I mean unless it is strapped onto a cargo carrier shoved into a pintel hitch receiver, it isn’t going to just fly open right?  Well no but it will not close tight and it will tend to therefore not hold ice as well, besides that latch is there for a reason right.

The issue is clear, it should not be made of plastic, because here is the other thing many of us have done.  When we are at say Bass Pro or Academy Sports they sell these latches and hinges cheap, so we buy a set and in a season or two at most, they break again.  Seriously I haven’t been spying on you, this is just what happens to us all.

The solution is don’t use plastic and that is what you can get here.  The latches are plastic where plastic makes sense and metal where the plastic always and I mean always in time fails.  The hinges are just solid metal, which is how igloo should make these damn things in the first place.  This is an example of living like our fathers did, not only do you not just toss something out and instead fix it, but  you actually make it better than new.

I mean think about it, unless you do something really horrible to a cooler it lasts a VERY long time.  I have some that are 20 years old and still good, so why replace a broken part with something that will soon break again anyway.

So if you have igloo coolers that need new hardware check out the the Igloo Hybrid Stainless and Plastic Latch and Igloo Stainless Steel Hinges.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

PS VERY IMPORTANT THIS TIME – First and foremost the hinges come as a pair, the latch is a single unit.  The reason they do this is some coolers only have one latch OR sometimes you only want one.  So if you need two, order quantity two.

Next if you look at the negative reviews for the latches you will see claims they do not fit.  They absolutely do fit, if you install them correctly.  They are designed a bit different from the plastic ones and must be installed a bit differently.  The photos below come from a review by Moxy on Amazon but I could not figure out how to link to Moxy’s images directly so I am including them here.  They make it VERY clear what the people bitching about fit are doing wrong.



Berkley Gulp Soft Bait – Amazon Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is Berkley Gulp Soft Bait, the specific one linked looks like little maggots but you should explore other options as well and find what suits you best.  My fist experience with baits like this was when I was 4 years old, so I barely remember it.  My dad and grandfather took me to a kids “Trout Rodeo” and the old man pulled out something he called garlic bait.

I ended up winning the prize for both the 4 largest fish and the largest individual fish.  I would have also gotten “First Four Fish” but they gave it to another kid because it “wasn’t fair” for one kid to win all three!  Seems participation trophy thinking isn’t that new after all.

The bait was a putty like thing and worked fine on trout but didn’t work so well in the south for pan fish.  Then about 10 years ago I was fishing with a friend named Brad as a small lake he had found.  We were tossing baits up under the remains of a old dock and nailing big and I mean really big bluegills.  I was using small pieces of worm, and he was out fishing me 2 to 1.  Folks Brad just isn’t that good!

He tossed me a jar of little pink looking worms and said try it.  I did and soon was keeping up with him.  I looked at this jar and realized it was my grandfathers technology evolved for the 21st century.  Now here is what I really love about this stuff, sure it works but frankly I have done well on pan fish with bread balls, minnows, crickets, worms, meal worms, etc.  Some days this may do better, others not as much, fish are just finicky some days.  But this stuff will always work good enough.

And you know what it does that none of the others do?  You can make up a small fishing kit, put this in it and throw it behind your truck seat and 6 months later, it will still be good and it will still work.  You got it, this is THE BAIT for your “survival fishing kit”.  Trying not to be overly dramatic I call mine my “mini fishing kit”.

Here is the deal the easiest fish to catch are ALMOST always pan fish in small back waters, etc.  That or small wild trout and this works for both.    In a back woods situation or a let’s say it a “survival situation” you need food, so you take the easy options first.  But once you are catching pan fish, you can use them or cut parts of them to catch bigger fish if they are around.  In fact if you watch the video playlist below you will see me do just that.

In that series I took a small kit, way less than I usually carry and used flowers as bait, I then caught some small perch, I didn’t want to kill them just to prove a point so I then released them and used hot dog to simulate using them as cut bait, I was then able to catch catfish and a snapping turtle.  All this in about an hour in a small muddy creek.  Imagine if I had simply had Berkley Gulp instead.

I keep this stuff in my small kits and in my tackle bags and I never am in a situation where I don’t have any bait.  That alone makes me love this stuff.  Again their are quite a few varieties, I personally never did well with the “night crawlers” but know some that have.  The crickets seem to have good reviews but I have not tried them.  So far I have gotten the best bang for the buck out of the little maggots.  Man they sure beat forgetting a box of worms in your truck!

Anyway consider giving Berkley Gulp Soft Bait a try this coming fishing season.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

P.S. – The videos below are a four part series called “Survival Fishing with Flowers”.  While I didn’t use this product in the series, had I done so it would have been easier.  I am including it mainly to make the point, if you can catch little fish, you can work up the food chain to larger sources of food.



Okuma Avenger ABF65 Bait Feeder Reel – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Okuma Avenger ABF65 Bait Feeder Reel.  Until last fall I had never even heard of Okuma Reels.  A friend named Jeff was at our fall event and had two he bartered with on the barter blanket.  Another friend and I both acquired one of them.

These reels are amazing and for the price they are flatly fing amazing!  I have used 200 dollar reels that were no smoother than these are.   As many of you know I am a huge fan of Mitchell Reels and I highly recommend the Mitchell 300 for lighter set ups.   Frankly this reel has me pondering trying a lighter version and comparing it head to head with my beloved Mitchells.

The ABF65 is a substantial reel, designed for larger fish like small to medium sharks in the surf or really big catfish.  I have this one teamed up with an Ugly Stick Big Water Series 11100 9 foot rod, and have several trips to the shore planned with it this year.  Also if I do make good on my threat to buy a boat, I’ll be using this one to target trophy cats.

The feature I really and I mean really love on this reel is called the “bait feeder drag”.  What this allows you to do is use a second drag setting for the reel when your bait is out.  You can set this very light, your line all stays nice on the reel but when a fish takes the bait the line feeds out as it begins its run.  Simply turning the reel a half turn engages your standard drag and the fight is on.

Many bait casting reels have settings similar to this, but this is the first spin caster anyway I have seen that does this.  There may be others but I am not aware of them.   Check out the video below to see exactly how it works.

The Avenger ABF series comes in quite a few sizes, they are outlined in this table.

As mentioned above I am seriously considering ordering a lighter version of this reel and it may very well unseat Mitchell reels as my go to and my family has been using Mitchell reels for long before I was born.    I am going to check with some local stores to see if anyone stocks these.  I would kind of like to hold one rather than ordering it blind so to say.  I like to get a feel for my reels and how they will balance with a rod.

My gut is the ABF30 will be damn close to the Mitchell 300 in size and balance, if I can’t find a local store that stocks them I will just order one and I am sure it will pair nicely with one of my rods.  When I get my hands on a smaller reel I will report back and give its’ own spot as Item of the Day.

That said if you want a reel for bigger fish, this one is amazing.  It also comes with a second spool so that you can have a second one all ready to go.  So if big fish are in your future check out the ABF65 and you could do a lot worse than pairing it up with a Ugly Stick Big Water Series 1100 9 foot rod.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com