Notable Fly Fishing Products: Spring 2013
The Abel Nipper is the best nipper on the market, and as is typical of many Abel products, it’s also the most expensive. I can understand how a man might weep openly after dropping his rod and reel overboard, but weeping is a real possibility with the Abel nipper as well. They retail for $50.00. The painted versions are $100.00.
The Abel nipper will nip anything, 7X or 50 lb. test. I know a saltwater angler who became lost in the jungle, and in lieu of a machete he was able to nip his way out of the jungle and back to civilization. Okay, so I made that up. But I think it’s possible.
You can replace the jaws on an Abel Nipper, although you’ll probably never need to. You can also buy an adjustable nipper lanyard for $25. The lanyard comes with machined aluminum hardware, parachute cord, and Sampo ball bearing swivel attachment.
The big question that arises is this: with a nipper this nice, how can you make the nipping experience last longer. Maybe some of my readers have ideas.
Simms Coldweather Shirt
The Simms Coldweather Shirt is a high-tech version of the old flannel-lined shirt that outdoorsmen have been wearing for years. The Simms model is lined with microfleece and is much warmer than the old classic. It is also 100% synthetic and therefore will stay warm when wet, or you could ring it out if need be. The groovy Simms fish logo is on the left front pocket. Out west, we’ve long since forgotten about Polo—it’s all about Simms. Comes in two colors. I wish this shirt had been available when I guided in Alaska.
Rio Gallegos Zippered Waders
I really like Rio Gallegos waders. The quality is amazing and they have some cool features. The Merino wool-lined booties keep your feet warm. There is a waterproof pocket in the chest for your camera or cell phone, removable neoprene knee pads, and a nice utility keeper to hang your nippers and tools off of. And of course, the zipper feature is great for a variety of reasons, and the quality of the zipper is top notch. Rio Gallegos Waders have proven to be very durable, maybe the best of all the high-end waders I’ve seen. They are more amply sized than comparable Simms.
C & F Design Light Weight Fly Case
C & F Design has made the best fly boxes for years. The Light Weight series is exactly that—light, really light. If you put one in your chest pocket, you barely know it’s there. I swear this box is filled with helium, so put a few bead heads in it so it doesn’t float off. Model CFLW-SSF is a personal favorite. It has a swing leaf in it and it holds a lot of flies. Absolutely perfect for backpackers, or for the minimalist who wants to avoid wearing a vest or fanny pack. Load up the box and put it in your shirt pocket along with a leader, some tippet, and nippers. Kind of pricey ($36.95), but worth the money.
Galvan Brookie Fly Reel
Another product for the minimalist. The Galvan Brookie is a featherweight large-arbor reel. I don’t think you can machine any more metal off of this reel and still maintain three-dimensionality. The drag comes from the factory preset to a certain tension. You can increase the spool tension with the included 1/16th allen wrench, but this reel is similar to a click drag in that the drag basically prevents the reel from overrunning. As much as we all love our overbuilt disc drags, most fish won’t test them much at all. Consider the fact that a number of anglers use click drags for steelhead. Anyway, this is a nice, super-lightweight, large-arbor reel.