Rambling Review – Work Sharp Guided Sharpening System


Rambling Review: Work Sharp Guided Sharpening System

Work Sharp Guided Sharpening System
Work Sharp Guided Sharpening System


I’ve always struggled to get a hair popping edge on a blade, and I have run through several different  sharpening systems.  The Work Sharp Guided Sharpening System is the real deal and has taken my edge sharpening to the next level.

Work Sharp Guided Sharpening System
Work Sharp Guided Sharpening System – Pivot-Response Technology

First impressions:

What’s included – 

  • 6” coarse (320 grit) and fine (600 grit) Diamond Sharpening Plates
  • 17° and 20° Angle Guides
  • Coarse and Fine Ceramic Hone with built-in Angle Guides
  • 3 sizes of ceramic rods to sharpen serrations
  • Pivot-Response technology
  • Removable diamond plate holder for sharpening tools

– 42 year warranty –  The Work Sharp Guided Sharpening System comes with a 42 year warranty. Why 42 years? According to Work Sharp “that’s how long we’ve been serving our customers, and we’re looking forward to another 42.”

Work Sharp Guided Sharpening System
Work Sharp Guided Sharpening System – Ceramic Hone

Field Use:

I have always had trouble getting a good edge on my knives and broadheads, but the Work Sharp Guided Sharpening System is the perfect tool for a novice like myself. One of the most important aspects of the Guided Sharpening System is the fact that it is guided. The 17 and 20 allows for a consistent starting angle for each swipe of the blade.

The one feature that makes the Work Sharp Guided Sharpening System stand out is the Pivot-Response technology. Different blade profiles require different sharpening techniques. With the Pivot-Response System, the stone surface is allowed to rotate down when sharpening a curved blade. The Pivot-Response system is able to be locked out for straight blade sharpening as well.

Work Sharp Guided Sharpening System - Upgrade Kit
Work Sharp Guided Sharpening System – Upgrade Kit

I usually dread having to sharpen my broadheads and knives, because I spend so much time trying to get it right. The Work Sharp Guided Sharpening System certainly cuts down the learning curve and gives me confidence when putting an edge on a blade. One thing I did find helpful was the The Guided Sharpening System Upgrade Kit which includes:

  • Extra-Coarse Diamond Plate (220 Grit)
  • Extra-Fine Diamond Plate (800 Grit)
  • Leather Stropping Plate
  • 25° Stropping Angle Guides (2)
  • 0.5 Micron Honing Compound


Work Sharp Guided Sharpening System
Work Sharp Guided Sharpening System – Hook Sharepener


Perfect for beginner or someone more experienced

Straightforward ease of use

Angle guides

Pivot-Response System

Multiple interchangeable diamond plates and ceramic rods

42 year warranty


Warranty applies to only non-consumable parts – in other words, everything except the abrasives (diamond plates and ceramic rods).

Upgrade Kit not included – This upgrade kit really completes the package 

Work Sharp Guided Sharpening System
Work Sharp Guided Sharpening System – Pivot-Response System Locked Out for straight blade

Prognosis:  If you’re like me and need a little extra help getting your knives razor sharp, definitely check out the Work Sharp Guided Sharpening System.


* Disclaimer:

The reviews at Arizona Wanderings are my honest opinion. Arizona Wanderings is not sponsored by or associated with any of the stated companies and is accepting no compensation, monetary or otherwise, in exchange for this review.  My independent status may change in the future but, as of the date of publication, no relationship other than described above has been pursued or established.

Arizona Fly Fishing: Lees Ferry


Lees Ferry
Fly Fishing Lees Ferry

My cousin is a fantastic runner and currently runs on the Navy Cross Country team. Their team has been doing some altitude training in Flagstaff, and we started talking about getting out and doing some fishing here in AZ. On Saturday, he and I, along with 5 other members of the team ran up to the walk in portion of Lees Ferry to see if we could tempt the rainbow trout that reside there.

Long story short, the fishing was pretty slow, but I had a good time showing the guys the water and trying to teach them what little I know about fishing big water like the Colorado River. Lees Ferry is a very striking location and I never get sick of spending time up in that part of the state.


Lees Ferry Rainbow Trout
Lees Ferry Rainbow
Lees Ferry
Lees Ferry Walk In Area
Lees Ferry
My cousin, Sam, working a riffle at the Walk In
Lees Ferry
Flogging water
Lees Ferry
Lees Ferry Fly Fishing
Lees Ferry
Lees Ferry
Lees Ferry
Lees Ferry

Rambling Review: Stanley Adventure Cooler


Rambling Review –Stanley Adventure Cooler – 16 Qt.

Stanley Adventure Cooler 16 quart
Stanley Adventure Cooler


Where I live, normal temps in the summer can reach 115 degrees. In Arizona, coolers are not optional; they are a necessity. Enter the 16 Quart Stanley Adventure Cooler.

Stanley Adventure Cooler 16 quart
Stanley Adventure Cooler


First impressions:

The Lifetime Warranty – Pretty self-explanatory. I love warranties.

Dimensions – The Stanley Adventure Cooler exterior measures 16.6″ x 12.1″ x 11.3″ while the interior measures 12.7″ x 9″ x 8.3″ inches. The cooler weighs in at 8 lbs. 4 oz. and has a 16 quart capacity.

Integrated Adjustable Bungee System – One of the most noticeable features of the Stanley Adventure Cooler is the adjustable tie-down bungee system that is perfect for holding plates, cups, or even a thermos.

Stanley Adventure Cooler 16 quart
Stanley Adventure Cooler with integrated bungee system

Field Use:

The Stanley Adventure Cooler is constructed with a high-density polyethylene shell foam-insulated body and lid. The two latches on the front make sure the top stays  closed when the Stanley is bouncing around in the back of the truck. The overall construction of the cooler is pretty rock solid and I can see how this little cooler could stand up to some serious abuse. Through my short use of it so far, I was a little concerned about the movement in the handle, but knowing that a lifetime warranty covers the Stanley Adventure Cooler, quickly puts my mind at ease.

Stanley Adventure Cooler 16 quart
Stanley Adventure Cooler

Built with a heavy duty leak resistant gasket, the Stanley cooler is rated for 36 hours of ice retention. That 36 hour number was pretty interesting to me, so I decided to do my own, extremly unscientific test to see how well the cooler would work on a typical day out hunting quail. So I filled the cooler up with beverages, ice, and a couple frozen water bottles and put it out in the backyard for 8 hours in direct sun on a 112 degree Phoenix, Arizona day. When I picked up the handle and felt the body of the cooler it was hot to the touch. But inside I still had some ice as well as the frozen water bottles.  For a $65 cooler, I was impressed.

Stanley Adventure Cooler 16 quart
Stanley Adventure Cooler

This beefy 16 quart cooler can hold up to 21 cans and will also fit a regular 32 oz Nalgene bottle standing up. I was a little bummed when I went to put a case of bottled brew in the cooler and realized that the top would not close while the bottles were standing straight up.


– Lifetime Warranty


– Leak-resistant construction

– Adjustable tie-down bungees secure

– Rugged polyethylene exterior with foam-insulated body and lid


– Cooler is not tall enough to fit a regular 12oz bottle standing up

– Handle 


Prognosis:  If you are in the market for a new the Stanley Adventure Cooler should absolutely be on your radar. A great cooler with an even greater warranty.


Stanley Adventure Cooler 16 quart
Stanley Adventure Cooler 16 quart


* Disclaimer:

The reviews at Arizona Wanderings are my honest opinion.   The Stanley Brand products were provided for the purpose of this review and the links in the article help to pay the bills here on Arizona Wanderings. As always, I always strive to be up front and honest about gear and my relationships with gear companies. Thanks for looking.


Arizona Fly Fishing: Summertime


Agua Fria Alchemy

With the temperatures rising all over the state, we made a quick trip to a high elevation stream in the White Mountains. The cicadas are singing in the trees and the fish were looking up, eager to take big bugs. Anything that splats on the water seemed to illicit a response.

Have I told you how much I like this new bamboo rod?

Cicada Shuck
Arizona Brown Trout
Brown Trout

Book Report: Shotguns and Shooting by Michael McIntosh


Book Report: Shotguns and Shooting by Michael McIntosh

Shotguns and Shooting by Michael McIntosh
Shotguns and Shooting by Michael McIntosh

My good buddy DJ, shoved this book into my hand and told me quite sternly that I had to read it. The thought of reading a book on shooting didn’t really appeal to me, as I thought it would be a bit too academic and rigid for my taste. I was wrong.

Shotguns and Shooting is divided into two different sections. In the first section,Michael McIntosh takes the reader through a flowing historical description of the art gunmaking and the milestone achievements of shotgun history. The book then moves into the second section and focuses on the art and discipline of shotgun shooting. By the time I finished the 280 page book, there was no doubt in my mind that Michael McIntosh knows what he’s talking about and I truly enjoyed the flow of the book. Bottom line, this book is a great read, and if you’re jonesing for shotguns and quail season, it’ll will help a little bit.

Shotguns and Shooting by Michael McIntosh
Shotguns and Shooting by Michael McIntosh

Back East


Orvis Encounter
My kid brother getting it done

We made the journey back east to Grandma’s house a few weeks back. As you might imagine, it was action packed with an 18 month old. We visited all the usual haunts and enjoyed the company of those we love so much, but only see a couple times a year. I fixed my brothers up with a set of the Orvis Encounter Combos, and we made the sunfish at the cottage pay for it. We ate enough icecream and sweets to make us swear off sugar for a couple of weeks. All in all, there is no better way to spend vacation.

My girls love their icecream
18 months and on top of the world
Summertime swinging
No place like Grandma’s
The Ranch
When in PA…
Boat rides
Joel Fishing
Brother one
Nick Fishing
Brother two
Mama and babies
Mama and her babies
Making Pizzas
Helping Grandma make pizzas
Getting after it
Rainjacket. Something we don’t often need in Arizona
Walk down dirt road
Long walks on dirt roads
New friends
New best friends
The gang

Arizona Bar Fly


Bar Fly
The First Arizona Bar Fly

This past Friday was the inaugural Bar Fly here in Phoenix, Arizona. The kind folks over at Boulders on Broadway were decent enough to let us crash their place and scatter vises and fly tying material all around. There was a pretty good turnout for such short notice, and the hope is to plan an event for every couple of months. The food was fantastic and the dollar off beer special was extremely generous. Desert Sportsman even donated some fantastic merchandise for giveaways. Make sure you’re at the next one.

Fly Tying
Tying Flies and Telling Lies
Next Generation
The next generation of fly tiers
Big thanks to Desert Sportsman for donating prizes
Bar Fly 2
Passing it on


Arizona Fly Fishing: Christmas Tree Lake


Christmas Tree Lake
Christmas Tree Lake

On a recent trip home from Pyramid Lake, the conversation in the truck turned to fishing in Arizona. We started scheming and pretty soon we had made a makeshift plan to fish Christmas Tree Lake. Christmas Tree Lake on the White Mountain Apache Reservation is arguably the prettiest lake in Arizona, and the Apache Trout that live in it’s waters are always fun to catch.

We rolled into our camp spot at Hawley Lake in the afternoon and made short work of setting up camp and prepping our pontoons for the next day. Aside from the resident Hawley Lake cows making several appearances in the middle of the night, we had an uneventful evening and woke early to break camp. We were the first ones on Christmas Tree Lake and aside from a flock of turkeys, we had the whole place to ourselves for several hours before the first truck showed up.

Fishing was sporadic and the heavy gusty winds made spotting fish a bit tough, but we managed to all take multiple fish throughout the day.  Ants and hoppers did well as did chironomids and leeches underneath the water’s surface. We left the lake satisfied, happy, and scheming about the next trip.

Camp Life
Apache Trout
Apache Trout
Cataract Oars
Cataract Oars
Apache Trout
Apache Trout
Alex Landeen
Landeen wrangling a fish to the net
Christmas Tree Lake, AZ
A view up the lake