SJCam S6 Legend: New Action Camera from SJ

One of my favorite action camera companies that offers many affordable GoPro alternatives is SJ. They introduced me to their first el cheapo action camera, the wonderful SJ4000, which I've used in many videos since then. I've also enjoyed using their SJ Cam M20+, which offers good video stabilization, on a recent trip to Alaska. Now, SJ is back with yet another affordable action camera, this time offering a few more premier features, the S6 Legend.

The S6 Legend offers a few unique features: Mild or Heavy video stabilization, 4K video recording at 25 fps (sharp, but it's interpolated), touch screen controls, and a full-fledged camera app for smartphones (something GitUp is still lacking). Here's the run down on the S6 Legend specifications straight from SJCam:

Wild Rainbow Trout in Los Angeles, California

Southern California's wild rainbow trout represent the remnants of a species slowly vanishing from the region. Some may be distantly related to the endangered California steelhead that still roam the ocean, seeking to return to coastal rivers and streams. Others are the descendants of rainbow trout stocked during the early days of pioneer settlements in the region, bringing life and vigor to cold mountain streams previously uninhabited by sportfish.

The drought has not treated these fish kindly, yet in remote creeks a few still survive. On a recent journey after the welcome rainstorms, I journeyed to one such location, and was pleased to find these finned, glistening trophies. All were safely released back into their pools, after a quick photo or video. You may recall the Trout Box post I wrote about several years ago, and it made a re-appearance on this trip, offering a safe location for photographs with less handling. 

I've read that the drought, which has affected around 90% of California, continues to recede, now dropping to around 50%. These numbers are encouraging but show just how dry the state is. Here's to hoping and praying for more precipitation to keep these streams and their rainbow treasures alive!

Happy New Year.

Fishing the Kern River in November

I took a short fishing trip to the fabled Kern River in California. Accompanied by my friends, we explored the deep canyons and rushing waters of this river system, hoping for the chance to catch a wild rainbow trout. Despite our best efforts, we only managed one strike on a barbless fly before we had to make the long drive back to Los Angeles. I spoke with many other anglers along the trail and they all reported similarly poor fishing. Fortunately, the beautiful scenery more than made up for the fishless day on the river. 

Tight lines!

Watch out GoPro: Xiaomi Yi 2 4K Action Camera Review

Xiaomi Yi 2 4k:

Few brands have dominated a market so closely as to become synonymous with the item itself-GoPro is one such example. However, as their plunging stock price attests to (from $86 down to $10 in 2 years!), the public has finally realized that yes, there are wonderful alternatives on the market today.

Sure, many of these are considerably lower quality and don't have the amazing features like true 4k 30 FPS that the GoPro Hero 4 Black offers. But what if I told you there is a action camera from a reputable company, with not only basically the same specifications as the GoPro Hero 4, but offered additional features, and sold for only ~$225 (half the price)? That's where the Xiaomi Yi 2 4K camera steps onto the stage. Stick with me as I take a look at this amazing action camera. 

Hawkeye Firefly 7S: New Action Camera Review

The Hawkeye Firefly 7S is a brand-new action camera, with gyro stabilization, 2K resolution, and GoPro mountain compatibility. In addition, it's priced insanely low, just $80 at the time of this review. I tested the Firefly 7S courtesy of Gearbest on multiple fishing and outdoor trips, keen on determine how this camera compares to other popular action cameras, like the GitUp 2 or the M20+. Curious? Read on!

Lobster season + Backpack review

Hasn't been a lot of fishing videos lately as I've been focusing on the recently opened Spiny Lobster season here in California. These critters are a exciting challenge to go after, especially as the water temperatures cool off. Take a look at them in my latest video!

ELECAM 360: A Budget 360 Camera

I've watched several impressive 360 degree action camera videos, mostly from GoPro, and was stoked when Gearbest asked me to review the ELECAM 360 camera. It's an affordable 360 camera, made by the same folks behind the nice ELE Explorer and ELE Explorer Pro cameras.
Click below to read my full review of this new 360 camera:

Silverwood Lake Fishing Trip: First of the Year

Just got out to Silverwood Reservoir and did a little topwater fishing for striped bass. Managed to land a skinny 18" fish on a fantastic topwater strike. Check out the video here!

Hiking Gear Reviews: Fishing Monocular, Compact Hammock, and Solar Lantern

Gearbest hooked me up with several new outdoor gear items to review, and I wanted to share them with you all here. I'm a huge fan of the monocular (, it will come in handy when I'm hiking and exploring distant fishing spots. Enjoy!

Eken H8R Action Camera Review: 4K and More?

Remember the popular Eken H9 action camera I reviewed and subsequently used on many fishing videos? Eken has released another action camera, this time the upgraded Eken H8R. GearBest hooked me up with this camera and I wanted to share my thoughts on it with you all. Feeling like just watching a video instead? Check out the below sample footage and video reviews!

Yolo Bite Alarm & Yoshikawa 7Ft Pack Rod Reviews

Spent a lot of time this last weekend at the beach, not only trying out my new M20 action camera,but also a couple of fishing products. One was the YOLO Fishing Bite Alarm, and the other a Yoshikawa 7ft collapsible pack rod. The bite alarm reminded me of the old carp bite alarms I used to use, but unfortunately it didn't work as well. The Yoshikawa rod is fantastic, definitely one I'll be using in the future! These are both courtesy of Gearbest, and you can find them here:

Yoshikawa travel fishing rod:
Yolo Bite Alarm:
Other Gearbest fishing products:

SJCam M20 Action Camera Review

Ready for another action camera review? Here we go! Today the SJCam M20 ( is in the spotlight. You may recall the SJ4000 action camera I reviewed several years back (Still a very capable,but outdated camera). SJCam has been plaqued by many copy-cat cameras, but has continued to make quality action cameras, including their well-received SJ5000. The M20 is an upgraded version of the M10 model, and utilizes a totally different body design than the prior SJ4000-style models. 

Video Review

Click below to keep reading!

ZT1000 Yoshikawa Spinning Reel Review: 10 Ball Bearings, Folding Handle, for only $11

Had fun with this little ZT1000 spinning reel, courtesy of Gearbest, in the Eastern Sierra backcountry this last week. Threw spoons and dry flies/bobber combo with it to catch wild brook, brown, and rainbow trout. Such a blast! It's a smooth review with a nice folding handle for easy transportation when hiking. A little big for my backpack collapsible fishing rod, but still worked well. Check out the video review of it above. You can purchase it online here.

Lazy Bag Review: Lamzac Clone

Got to try out one of the "Lazy Bags", basically a Lamzac style camping or hiking chill out inflatable chair, courtesy of GearBest. Unroll it, toss it in the air to catch some wind, and boom, you have a ridiculous looking but super comfortable bed to chill out on. Check out this quick video of it if you are interested. It's pretty much a novelty item but perfect for the beach, light camping, etc:

Riverside Bass Fishing

It's become something of a tradition - an annual pilgrimage of sorts to a favorite fishing hole in Riverside County, Southern California, for largemouth bass each year, with float tubes. A good friend and I finally got out onto the water a little while back. The conditions were much tougher this year than other years, but we still managed to land several chunky largemouth, including one pushing 18-20". I'll let the pictures and video do the talking. 

Lower Owens Volunteer Opportunity

Lower Owens Volunteer Opportunity

The Owens River is one of California's most beloved trout fisheries, and has slowly experieinced a comeback with recent changes to water releases. The lower portion is currently choked with thick reeds and tules, making access very difficult, for anglers, birdwatchers, hikers and just about everyone else.
Fortunately, the Inyo County Water Department has just received a $500,000 grant to clean up the river and improve access. If you would like to help out, read on:

"Inyo County is a grant finalist for a $500,000 CA Natural Resources Agency grant to develop the first designated water trail for kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards, in the Western U.S.! The 6.3 mile trail near Lone Pine winds through one of the most scenic sections of the rewatered Lower Owens River--with numerous green meadows, willow trees, and spectacular views of the Alabama Hills, Mt. Whitney and the Inyo Mountains.
Resources’ grant staff will be out to appraise the project on June 21st. We want to get the Resources staff on the water to experience this amazing stretch of river, and to demonstrate that volunteer stewardship can help build and maintain the Owens River Water Trail. To accomplish these objectives, there are two work weekends to open up a sample section of trail. Trail building weekends are June 11-12 and June 18-19.
Building water trail is almost as fun as using it. It's a full-immersion, unforgettable experience. Participants can say that they were instrumental at helping to establish the first river paddle trail in California and the west. Water trail work is done in teams working in and near the water and includes scouting channel course, cutting and removing bulrush, cattails, and logs from the river channel. Come out and join us for this truly unique experience."

Contact information for project: Larry Freilich from the Inyo County Water Dept  (email at or

Special thanks to Owens Valley Committee for the news.

ELE Explorer PRO Action Camera Review

Remember the ELE Explorer action camera I reviewed a few months back (review here)? It was one of my favorites of this year so far, but had a few issues with image colors in high-contrast scenes. ELE has since released a new camera, the ELE Explorer Pro, and I just got my hands on it courtesy of GearBest. Take a look at the full video with sample footage and read the review below for this hot camera: