Las Vegas, Nevada in July the only place hotter may be your oven. It's not bad outdoors as long as you stay close to the misty sprayers (almost every casino has one). My coworker, Sam, and I were in town for ICAST, the annual unveiling of the best new fishing products. We planned to make the most of the trip. An early morning fishing trip seemed like the kind of relief we'd need after a hot day on the strip.
Like most other tourists, I never associated fishing with Vegas. I knew of Lake Mead, but wasn't aware of the its potential as a fishery. Sam convinced me to take some extra time on the back end of the trip to slam the local wiper population. His cousin lived in Boulder City and was willing to show us a good time on and off the water.
Airline travel is a pain for most anglers. One- and two-piece rods are not travel-friendly. You have the inconvenience of another piece of luggage; a hefty penalty in the era of extra baggage fees. Unfortunately, until this trip all I owned were one- and two-piece rods. I needed a travel rod competent enough to muscle large wipers and small enough to fit in my rolling duffel.
Cabela's resident rod and reel experts, Product Manager Laverne Bown and Product Specialist Ryan Wieser suggested the Salt Striker Travel series for the trip. They compared the stout action to that of a one-piece rod. Built to handle inshore species, such as redfish and snook, these rods were certain to handle any wiper I hooked into.
The Salt Striker Travel rods are available in three casting and three spinning models. Rods are 7-ft. long and come in three easy-to-handle 28" sections. Keep this in mind for luggage size. Being able to pack your rod into a check-in bag makes a huge difference. I packed my 7-ft. heavy casting model into the Extra-Large Cabela's Outback Series Drop-Bottom Wheeled Duffel with room to spare.
Early-Morning Striper Boil
After we took care of business at ICAST the first two days of our trip, it was time for some fun. No wake up call was coming that night it was going to be a Vegasathon before we headed over to Boulder City and fishing. Pick up our licenses at 3 a.m.; be on the boat by 3:30; launch at 4. No time to waste. You miss this bite and you're out of luck probably for the rest of the day. It all was well worth taking most of the next day to recover.
Only an hour's drive from Vegas, Lake Mead is an excellent diversion from the neon extravagance of the strip. During mid-July, stripers tend to boil on the surface at sunrise. The action proved intense right at sunrise like we anticipated. Every cast produced a fish. The feeding frenzy ended as quickly as it began but the damage had been done. We caught close to our limit.
My Striker controlled every striper like it was a dog on a collar. Pack that kind of power into a travel rod and you have something special. The heavy punch and fish-handling power of these rods should definitely not be limited to the salt.
The Salt Striker has earned a place in my collection with a winning combination of packable convenience, performance and power. I have no doubt it will be my choice for many of my biggest battles ahead.
Click here to purchase Cabela's Salt Striker™ Travel Spinning Rods
Click here to purchase Cabela's Salt Striker™ Travel Casting Rods