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View Full Version : Floods... floods... floods... FLEA!



Lalz
10-01-2012, 03:02 PM
So when I moved to England I was told that Newcastle was the least rainy city in the country. And I believed it. These days: not so much. We've had so many floods in the past months that these days I almost never leave the house without a king-size umbrella and a change of knee-high wellies in a carrier bag. Just in case I need to cross a river again on my way home.

I got really fed up with not being able to take ukes out of the house in fear of water damage (I do have great heady-duty hard cases for my ukes but even they have their limits - which I do not intend to test). So I ordered a Flea from the good folks at Southern Ukulele Store (basic model in black, because ROBUST) and it arrived today! Just on time to grab it and jump on the metro to a jazz improv workshop series I had missed last week because flooded, only to find out the next session was actually next week and that today was a baroque music concert (which was absolutely brilliant btw, but I digress). And just on time for its first test drive through another one of those heavy rain storms. Verdict: it survived brilliantly! I am so pleased!

The denim bag, not so much. Wasn't destroyed but it's currently drying next to a heater. I need to get a waterproof one (any tips?). Other than that it is PERFECT: lightweight yet solid like a tank (WHOOHOO!!), friction tuners are totally fine, plastic fretboard is surprising at first but very comfortable and has perfect intonation, no problem seeing the frets, neck has a nice profile (although I would have preferred a smoother neck in order to move my left hand quicker behind the fretboard), built quality and finish is impeccable, sound is loud and rich (not quite as good as my other sopranos but will probably get very close once I toss the stock strings and put South Coast Soft Medium strings on it, which are already on their way). Almost best of all: it looks gorgeous standing straight just next to my ceramic boxes on top of my tea pots cabinet. Aren't I a girl ;) It blends so well that my bf didn't even notice it was there for a good 15 minutes! Totally best of all: I didn't feel stressed at all about carrying a uke with me through the weather. Aah, what a relief. It felt like a bit of sunshine in this grime climate :)

Super-sturdy weatherproof travel uke: check! Lalou = happy! Just wanted to share with you guys!

And for once, I will end this "new uke" post of mine without the words "and this will be my last uke in a long long time". Because who am I kidding? ;) I have a very special baritone coming up soon that I'm very excited about. More on that another time!

GinnyT11
10-01-2012, 03:27 PM
Poor, damp Lalou! Sorry about the relentless rain, but we do not feel sorry for you because you just acquired the perfect uke for your situation. Any uke that makes you that happy is a winner in uke stable. Congratulations!

Lalz
10-01-2012, 03:34 PM
Thank you thank you! :)

v30
10-01-2012, 03:59 PM
The flea doubles as a boat paddle if you get stuck in noahs ark type rain. :D
Congrats !

kvehe
10-01-2012, 04:04 PM
Yippee for the Flea! It sounds like a perfect match has been made.

fitncrafty
10-01-2012, 04:31 PM
If yout knit, there is a fantastic pattern on knitty.com for a felted knit bag. It's called hana hou. I believe it would be easy to adapt to the flea shape. It's knit with wool and wool is amazingly water resistant especially when felted/fulled.. just a thought if you knit or know a knitter...

connor013
10-01-2012, 04:38 PM
Some very interesting and practical suggestions here, to be sure. Of course, you could just go nuts: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mono-Case-M80-Concert-Soprano-Ukulele-Uke-Gig-Bag-Case-Black-/130688642858?forcev4exp=true&forceRpt=true#ht_2122wt_1065

Sorry -- couldn't resist.

Newportlocal
10-01-2012, 04:38 PM
Great story! A dry bag for kayaking or camping would take care of any water problems.

connor013
10-01-2012, 04:46 PM
Great story! A dry bag for kayaking or camping would take care of any water problems.

Actually, this is great advice!

I have a cheapo gig bag for my Bruko, which I bring on the water all summer. I put it in a kayaking dry bag, and it's survived wonderfully. The dinghy's been swamped once, and we've weathered a squall or two, but the Bruko is no worse for the experience.

Disregard my earlier post; this is my vote.

Lalz
10-02-2012, 12:34 AM
Thanks everyone! :)
Dry bag: great idea! I'm going to look for the nylon flea bag for a bit first since it's already the right size and all, but if I can't get a hold of one I'll defo look for a dry bag. To be fair, the denim bag did a great job protecting the uke as the inside is nylon and padded, it's just that the denim itself got quite wet.

Here's a first picture of the flea hiding among tea boxes.

43636

Love :love:

Wongo
10-02-2012, 01:50 AM
Congrats on the fluke. I've been looking at those lately. Might have to invest

Tootler
10-02-2012, 04:44 AM
Good choice the Flea. I live 40 miles south of you in Middlesbrough and you are on the drier side of Britain, but it's all relative and we have had a particularly wet summer.

I wasn't keen on the denim bag for the Flea and I now keep mine in a Fusion bag. More padding, feels as if it might be waterproof but it has not had a serious tryout and also useful pockets for bits and pieces. If I just take one uke with me, the Flea is the one I take and so I keep a tuner, pub prop and capo in it. Mine came with Aquila strings - if you got yours from Southern Ukulele store yours probably did too - but I changed them for Ken Middleton's living water strings. Made a difference - gave it a more mellow sound and it is my favourite for singing with (Except for Whiskey in the Jar and the Wild Rover where I like something brighter)

Newportlocal
10-02-2012, 04:53 AM
Thanks everyone! :)
Dry bag: great idea! I'm going to look for the nylon flea bag for a bit first since it's already the right size and all, but if I can't get a hold of one I'll defo look for a dry bag. To be fair, the denim bag did a great job protecting the uke as the inside is nylon and padded, it's just that the denim itself got quite wet.

Here's a first picture of the flea hiding among tea boxes.

43636

Love :love:


I had a tiki soprano flea years ago with the nylon bag, and currently have a denim backpack style bag for my tenor pineapple flea. Neither bag would be waterproof in the conditions you described. The flea can take it even the fluorocarbon strings( also used in fishing.) The electronic tuner, sheet music, etc. might not be so happy.

Lalz
10-02-2012, 05:12 AM
Well, I usually pack my hard cases with tuners, microfiber cloths, screwdriver etc but I figured for this one I want to keep it simple and have the plainest, smallest bag for it as possible so I can easily tuck it into my hand luggage when travelling. Not even carry a tuner in it, just use my phone for tuning, so I wouldn't need pockets. The stock bag in itself is perfectly fine and just the right size, it's just the denim that's the problem. It protected the uke very well because of its padded nylon insides, but the outside part just took a bit of time to dry when I got home.
I agree that nylon is usually not enough on its own when it's really pouring, but it's the easiest fabric to waterproof-spray and then it become super efficient (I tend to waterproof-spray/wax e-ve-ry-thing, hehe)

(Tootler, I've noticed before that we're almost neighbours! We're bound to bump into each other some day :) )

Lalz
10-04-2012, 06:49 AM
Hurray! I found the nylon bag I was looking for. Now I just have to waterproof-spray it when I get it and put new strings on the Flea and I'm all set :)

Newportlocal
10-04-2012, 07:49 AM
Hurray! I found the nylon bag I was looking for. Now I just have to waterproof-spray it when I get it and put new strings on the Flea and I'm all set :)

If you have fluorocarbon strings they are impervious to water. I use fluorocarbon fishing line all the time.

Lalz
10-04-2012, 09:52 AM
I have a mini shipment of Southcoast strings on its way :)