Fly Fishing Gear that works
Here are a few fly fishing products that our staff likes especially well. This gear has been extensively tested and approved by fly fishing professionals, or at least the folks here at the shop.
Patagonia Rock Grip Wading Boots
The soft aluminum bars on this boot make you feel like Spider Man when you’re wading. I’m not talking about having a sort of gay sounding voice or demeanor like Tobey Maguire, I’m referring to having the ability to walk up slick surfaces and cling to algae-covered rocks. It is simply amazing how well these work. Why didn’t somebody figure this out before? What else can be done with aluminum bars?
There are a few trade offs: Because of the sheer amount of metal on your feet, don’t expect a lot of lateral flexibility in the wading boots. I probably wouldn’t go on a five-mile hike in them. And people will hear you “clinking” over the gravel bars as you make your way to your secret fishing hole. Then again, if somebody contests your favorite hole, and it becomes a physical confrontation, one roundhouse kick from these bad boys …
Burkheimer rods are a personal favorite. I’ve always had a thing for really beautiful rods that cast beautifully. Burkheimer rods are made in Washougal, Washington by people who know all about the science and craftsmanship of rod building. They don’t spend a lot of money on advertising; mainly they just rely on gear heads like myself to spread the word. Seems to be working though, since they’re selling as many as they can make.
Clic Magnetic Glasses
These are those cool reading glasses that split apart in the middle and reconnect with magnets. If you’ve ever watched “CSI New York,” Dr. Sid Hammerback has a pair of these, and he snaps them onto his face when he wants to take a closer look at some victim who has had his face removed with a belt sander. I use them for more mundane things, like tying flies, knots, or reading small print on wader tags. It’s nice to be able to keep them around your neck, then snap them on when you need them. It really impresses people, and they get really jealous. I help them deal with their jealousy by selling them a pair. They come in different strengths, colors and models. They even have an extended length style for people with melon-sized heads.
Sage One rods
This rod is light and powerful. Plus, it’s made with a cool, high-tech process called “Konnetic Technology Construction.” To quote Sage, “Konnetic technology incorporates a new composite material that was developed using an optimized ratio of Sage’s proprietary resin to high modulus carbon fiber. Our Advanced Modulus Positioning System [can I get rid of my Garmin?] is a process that places the carbon materials to exacting tolerances for the greatest blank strength and efficient energy transfer throughout the shaft. Using our High Compression Molding process, the blank’s carbon fibers are compacted for optimum density and precise alignment, simultaneously fusing the 50% lighter all-carbon fiber inner core.”
I don’t know what all of that means, but this rod performs superbly. I especially like it in the 6 wt. and 7 wt. models.
Trout Hunter Fluorocarbon Tippet
If you haven’t read the latest “tippet shootout” article in Flyfisherman Magazine, I’ll save you some time. Trout Hunter Flurocarbon tippet came out numero uno. It also comes in transparent spools that allow you to see when you’re running on empty. Why did it take us so long to figure this out? Years ago when I was guiding in Alaska, after having been dropped off from the float plane minutes earlier at Moraine Creek, and with the nearest fly shop 250 miles away, I pulled the last six inches off of my 2X tippet spool. Please don’t think I am irresponsible—I had extra tippet, only it was back at the lodge. Anyway, I made do with a different tippet size that day, but a transparent spool would have been handy.
Also, Trout Hunter has those cool tippet tender bands on their spool (like Rio), so you don’t have to worry about unspooling issues.
Fly Duster powder
Most of you know that dry fly powders work well on any dry fly, and are essential for using CDC flies. Make sure you buy the powders that come with a little brush in the bottle in order to work the powder into the CDC fibers. Frog’s Fanny is a brand that has worked well for years, and it still comes highly recommended, but Fly Duster powder, sold by Yellowstone Fly Goods, is just as good, and it’s less expensive. And they make a larger size bottle that will really save you some money if you’re a high-volume user.
Buffs are just a tube of cloth made out of a polyester fabric that you pull over your neck or face in order protect yourself from the sun. People with more Nordic complexions often cover themselves to the extent that they look like they’re about to knock off a convenience store. But in this era of global warming and the damaged ozone layer, this is probably good. Buff, Inc., inveterate capitalists that they are, know how to cash in on a good thing, and in addition to the Original Buff, they now offer the following styles: Insect Shield UV Buff, UV Buff, UV Half Buff, Seamless Headband Buff, Headband Buff, Infinity Lyocell Buff, National Geographic Buff, Women’s Slim Fit Buff, Dog Buff, Junior Buff, Wool Buff, Polar Buff, Polish Buff (just kidding), Reversible Polar Buff, and Cyclone Buff.
I recommend buying one of each.