SUB: Can you give us a little introduction?
FRS: What’s up! I am Alfredo Saldivar, AKA ‘RHYYNO.’ I am 28 years old, and I reside in Northern California in a city called Tracy. My backyard water is the CA Delta, which is what I primarily fish as well as a lot of the run off sloughs like Tom Paine Slough, and channels that feed my cities agricultural fields. I grew up fishing with my father who was a bait fisherman and would always take me down to the California Aquaducts or down the street from where my uncle lived on a farm and the water was right there. I remember my dad would always break out with the clams and chicken livers and slay catfish and the occasional keeper stripers that would bite not even 5 minutes later with our lines being out in the water and our bell attachments firing off. It was amazing, aS a child to be catching fish with my dad, forever had a major impact on who I am, and my passion for fishing today.
"as a child to be catching fish with my dad, forever had a major impact on who I am, and my passion for fishing today."
SUB: Your style and gear leans a lot more on the big bait approach vs. traditional tackle. What fuels the desire to fish heavy gear and swimbaits?
FRS: That’s a funny question to be super honest with you because I knew absolutely NOTHING about throwing giant swimbaits much less that they even existed back when my dad and I were into the bait & wait game, growing up and having to be working and the whole adulating thing caused me to shy away from fishing for a bit after high school and having a beautiful daughter back in 2005 also was a big factor in causing a lapse in fishing for me. I met an amazing girl back in November 2010 who is now my wife and her mom’s boyfriend was a huge angler and she would show me pictures of him catching monster bass on giant 10” Manns Worms and that sparked my interest all over again. She got me back into fishing, so we went out to Bass Pro Shops and bought the Ugly Stiks and did the whole bait & wait game all over again, and I did that again for about a year before I would see guys around my uncles area catching bass on lures. I would approach them asking how to catch bass and they would show me their setups and bait casters which I had zero idea on how to use, so I told my girlfriend back at that time that I wanted to learn and around Christmas of 2011 my amazing aunt bought me my first Abu Garcia rod and Revo SX reel. It was game over from there. I started researching bait casters and YouTubed everything fishing and was so ambitious to learn and catch monster bass and would search for how to catch them and then I came across Low Down Custom Rods and saw the art that Ben was putting out, so shorty after catching bass for about a year and learning I wanted to drop the standard and went full throttle on a LDC and Calcutta TE. I started buying expensive baits and would put in the hours on learning and adapting to the surroundings that would hold bass. So my desire for the heavy gear is the same for every big bait angler which is to catch that monster of a life time or set a lake/world record.
SUB: What’s currently your go-to gear from a rod, reel, and bait standpoint?
FRS: My current “go-to” all rounder is always a Low Down Custom Rod by Ben D. I own 4 LDC rods and when I go out I am taking a custom 3 Piece 7’9” Heavy Action rod paired with a Shimano Conquest 301 with #25 P-Line PF and an Upgraded DRT VARIAL handle. I carry a backpack and a box filled with various baits that are my trustys. What I use right off the bat to cover water fast is a Black Dog Baits OG WAKE Shellcracker in Pearl White or Bluegill. And if I’m not getting bit on that profile waking it or cranking it down, I’ll then switch over to a 6” Whit Curry OD RAT painted in NatRat colorway by Rich “RBTEK1” Baldonado and give that profile a go. I also carry baits by 22nd Century, Huddleston, Rago Baits & DRT among others.
SUB: You’ve been picking up on the fly game as of late which is pretty rad. Could you tell us more about how you got influenced to pick up a fly rod and what you’re target species has been?
FRS: Now that’s a fantastic question! So it is my belief that a true well-rounded angler can catch any and every species on all styles of fishing. With me throwing big baits for so long I got somewhat numb to catching the common 2-5lb. bass on top, subsurface and with bottom bouncing baits and it somewhat in my opinion became easy to catch bass and after a while, doing it so long, I just knew how to catch and wanted a challenge, and so I ventured off to see what else I was capable of getting into. I was introduced into fly fishing by Rich Baldonado (who was a swimbaiter), Matus Sobolic, and Bobby Harrison. 3 amazing dudes who I am super grateful for in my life for being passionate as well as patient with me to take their time to educate as well as teach me the ways. My target species on the fly is the Common Carp. Those fish I have massive respect for and their sheer power and fight!
SUB: We first met in the summer of 2014, could you tell us what progression, if any, have you noticed in the communities of bass fishing?
FRS: I am 50/50 with this question but will answer it to the best of my ability! For progression, I definitely see a lot of new manufacturers with baits, new technology with reels and rods come out that are cutting edge. I’m seeing new baits that are soft plastic yet have an extremely durable mesh hinge system vs. your standard eye & pin system. That is new to me. Also there is always new things that come out during the Fred Hall Show and iCast, its hard to keep up with everything as things change in mere seconds!
To be completely honest and transparent in regards to the bass fishing “community” I tend to see a lot more segregation due to people choosing what brands, companies, style, and overall egos within it. It’s not just about the overall passion of fishing and catching, but who catches more, what and how and with what rod, reel and crew/brand they are affiliated with. I mean c’mon, it’s about fishing not what person sponsors you or who you are best friends with, we all share one thing and that main thing is we LOVE TO FISH!
SUB: In the past 5 years or so, who do you feel has made a significant impact in the urban angling culture?
FRS: I would have to say Bassers United out of Japan has the best aesthetics and urban angling profile down. I love their style, gear and sense of direction they are going with their attitudes and willingness to bring their community of fishing together by hosing events and tournaments such as their SABATOGE EVENT. I’d have to say hands down that they have made a huge impact in fishing as well as being diverse and hype.
SUB: Outside of fishing, what are your other interests and/or hobbies?
FRS: Outside of fishing, I love spending time with my family and daughter. My wife has been super supportive of me fishing, so I put the rods and reels down and we like to get lost in San Francisco or find ourselves going to concerts and just being lazy on most weekends when the weather is too fucking hot. Haha. But aside from the norm, I love to ride and work on my Harley Davidson bike, play darts/bumper pool, or sit down and get clutch on a video game from time to time. Pretty much anything to stay free and clear out of trouble. I’m a pretty boring person in my opinion outside of the fishing world.
"Deep down I would love to see everyone set all the bullshit aside and collaborate together and just fish."
Where do you see the culture of fishing heading to in the next 5-10 years?
FRS: This is a hard questions because so many people have so many opinions and wants, that it’s hard to pinpoint really where it’s going. Deep down I would love to see everyone set all the bullshit aside and collaborate together and just fish, I mean after all that’s what it’s really all about. Fishing and nothing more than catching and sharing experiences together and going after that lifetime catch. 5-10 years is a really long time filled with many uncertainties, but all I know is that change starts from within and goes one day at a time.
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Founder/Creator of SBSRFC & Bass Brigade