“Five to ten miles per hour….my butt!” Once again the weatherman had grossly missed yet another weather forecast and not only were we bouncing from wave to wave, but we were a warm jacket or two short as well.

Even at that, those were pretty strong words that had escaped the lips of a man of the cloth. “That statement was uttered out of frustration,” he quickly added. “It was in no way meant to dis the weatherman and I will pray for him tonight.”

It was quite obvious that the good reverend fishes very little. If he did, he would have known that even the best weathermen get the wind right only about 20 percent of the time The wind had howled the day before, but was forecast to lay down over night. It didn’t.

We surfed our way through several sets of birds that just wouldn’t hold in the white caps before striking gold under two pelicans and a hand full of terns. Everyone in the boat hooked up on a redfish and amazingly enough we were able to land all four fish.

The birds had moved on and we had surfed at least fifty yards by the time we boxed all four fish and re-tied. I ran back to where we had started and we immediately caught two more fish before they disappeared. For the remainder of the morning we fought the same miserable program hoping for a keeper trout or red at each stop.

Once again, the lure that made the difference for us was a Maniac Mullet. We caught far more fish on Flats Minnows and Trout Killers, but the larger fish ate the Mullet fished as slowly as we could possibly fish it. Any time we slowed down with a tail the sand trout crashed the party.

The best news of late, aside from the redfish bite, is that we are starting to catch more trout in the 19 to 24 inch class. When the lake is reasonably calm and you can make more than one cast to a given spot, both 5-inch tails and the Mullet have worked well.

I have been fishing braid for several years now and I still cuss the wind knots and backlashes that instantly snap your leader and launch your lure out of sight, but it is invaluable when fishing in rough water or a strong current. The zero-stretch factor compensates for any slack line and strikes that would go undetected with monofilament are resoundingly transmitted back to the rod tip.

I fished with a sixteen year old youngster last week that was thoroughly frustrated prior to switching to a reel filled with Power Pro braid. He said that he never got the first strike until he switched to the braid, but that was not the case at all. He just wasn’t feeling the bites. Before the day was over he was not only a braid convert, but won all of the family bets waged over breakfast.

While on the subject of fishing tackle, I finally have a definitive answer as to the status of Laguna Rods. Chris Williamson and Sarge Upchurch were the two most prominent faces associated with the popular custom rods prior to the widely discussed financial and service problems that led to a re-structuring of sorts.

When all was said and done, Sarge started his own company, Sarge Customs, and is in the process of building a very sound business from the ground up. He is based out of Pt. Arthur and has already expanded the number of actions and models he and Chris originally offered at Laguna.

Chris took over the reins at Laguna and is also in full production mode once again with the same models that made them so popular. “Rather than expand our line-up at this point,” says Williams, “we are sticking with our top sellers, upgrading components, and regaining the confidence of our customers.

I personally elected to stay with Laguna, but the bottom line is that several of the more popular models of both companies are the exact same rods. They are expensive rods, but they will make a difference in your catching. They are phenomenally light, durable and built to your personal specifications including the color of the wraps, style of eyes and grips.

You cannot go wrong with either company. Sarge Upchurch will be more than happy to talk with you via the phone and while the model names of his rods are different and more extensive with the exception of the Latis Stick, he also has a match for those in the Laguna line up.

Once convinced that I could get the same quality rod through either company I chose to stay with Laguna only because I have known Chris for so long. I don’t think that you can go wrong with either rod company or either owner as they are both committed to building you the best rod you ever used and standing behind their product!