Fly Fishing Gear Reviews

Our fly fishing gear reviews showcase the latest and greatest fly fishing gear as we put it to the test in the field. We try it out so you know if it works and how it stands up. If there is a product you would like our opinion on, feel free to Contact Us

Simms Dry Creek Roll Top Pack Review

Cody DeGuelle turned me on to this backpack a couple years ago in Belize. drycreekrolltop_backpack_item1He had stuffed all kinds of junk in there and of course some of mine as well. I liked the functionality of the bag and was in the market for a dry bag/ backpack. I had my heart set on the Patagonia Dry Pack but had a little sticker shock when I saw the price. Thank god they were out of stock or I wouldn’t have ended up with the deal I got. A fellow angler told me he had the SImms Dry Creek for sale. Used it once and was sitting in his garage. Bingo. He sold it to me for $50.00. Honestly this was the best fifty bucks I have ever spent on fly fishing gear. This backpack travels with me everywhere. And last year I put it through the ultimate waterproofing test. Aaron O’leary and I floated the Calawah River in Forks,WA during an absolute Pacific Northwest downpour. I was sure my camera and otter contents we going to be soaked.simms dry creek rool top We got to the take out and I check to see the damage. Everything was dry as a bone. I was shocked. The bag is a perfect size for day trips. You can pack a camera and an extra lens as well as additional layering and still have room. The roll top is ideal for compressing all the air out for optimal storage. Check these backpacks out if you are in the market for a rock solid, super dry piece of equipment.

Patagonia Waders: Rio Gallegos

Well I bit the bullet and and got a new pair of waders. Screen shot 2014-02-28 at 9.29.29 AMI was up in the air on what brand I was going to try and ended up with the new Patagonia Rio Gallegos. Truthfully I was leaning towards another pair of Simms but a friend of mine gave me a great deal on the Patagonia’s. They were fresh out of the plastic when I packed them for out Steelhead Trip to Washington. The long days and constant weather change of Steelhead fishing is the perfect time to test a new product and see how it holds up. I am impressed with the New Rio Gallegos so far and believe they will get more comfortable as I continue to break them in. There are a few things I noticed that differ from the Simms waders and take some getting use to.

The adjustable straps are great for sliding the upper part of the waders down to your waist. This is great for riding in the truck or cooling off when the temps rise. The straps do not unbuckle so getting in and out of the waders takes a bit to get used to. I found that the straps have to be lowered to get in and out of the wader easily.

82225_984_FOOTThe merino wool lined booties are nice but did not keep my feet any warmer than regular neoprene, They also run a bit big in the foot making it difficult to get into wading boots quickly. Once your wading boots are on you have to adjust your foot multiple times to get comfortable. That was one strike against the waders. The booties are bulky.

The built in gravel guards are shorter than other waders I am used to. The lace grab only comes half way down your boot and tends to ride up as through out the day. Not a big deal but definitely noticeable.

The built in inner pocket is great for your cell phone. Screen shot 2014-02-28 at 9.26.25 AMIt is built with water proof membrane and allows you to operate your touch screen phone through the pocket. So you can check your emails and texts without removing your device from the pocket.

Overall I found that these waders are relatively comfortable and have been durable thus far. I am interested to see how they hold up over the next year.

Fly Fishing Nets: Rubber Baskets

Fishing nets have come a long way since the silver handle green meshing beasts of the old.fisknat There are many different brands on the market to choose from and many of the larger manufacturers make them. Personally I like the look of the wood handle nets with a big rubber basket. In my opinion no one makes them better than Fisknat. I bought my long handled boat net almost 8 years ago and still have it. Maybe I am one of the lucky ones. I did have to tape it once but fixed it when I refinished the sucker last year. It is a classy looking wooden net that I will hold on to as long as I can. The long handle is excellent for netting fish from a boat or wade fishing in deep water. I tend to do a lot of fishing from boats so If you primarily wade fish I would choose the next size down. The model I own is cumbersome to tote around while wading and just a bit big to clip on your back. The rubber basket is easy on the fish that find there way into it. Unlike mesh which tends to rub the slime off the fishes body the rubber basket is surprisingly gentle. Dropper hooks also pop easily out of the rubber netting where they used to get buried in mesh basket nets. The downside of these wooden nets is that they are a bit on the heavy side. If you use the net primarily out of a boat the weight is not a big deal but, if you are wading the weight will be noticeable. nomad_nets

Fishpond has combined the rubber basket with a durable carbon fiber/ fiberglass material that is lightweight and rugged. A lot of anglers tend to break wooden nets and fish pond responded with the Nomad Net Series. I personally have not used a Nomad but I have picked them up and they are very lightweight. If my trusty Fisknat ever fails me this will be the net I will purchase. I hope I didn’t jinx myself.

Waders: Fly Fishing Necessity

So many brands to choose from. Orvis, Simms, L.L Bean, Patagonia, Redington and so on. With all Screen shot 2014-02-07 at 4.40.04 PMthese choices what are you going to buy? And the price ranges are insane, you can spend $150.00 – $800.00 on waders. EIGHT HUNDRED DOLLARS. Wow. This is what $800.00 waders look like. ———>

Currently I am in the market for a new pair of waders and am torn between all the choices out there. I have always been a Simms guy and have put their products through the ringer. But, like all my waders these have worn out and it’s time to bite the bullet.

Here is what I like about the new wader products currently on the market-

Simms– 5 layer Gore-tex, Durable Reinforced Knees.

Patagonia – Adjustable straps, Merino Wool BootiesScreen shot 2014-02-07 at 4.46.05 PM

LL Bean– No Questions Warranty

Redington – Price, Zipper Front

Orvis – New Welded Seams

When you really boil it down. All of the above mentioned provide the same service. They keep the water out…most of the time. So it comes down to preference and sizing. My choices have been narrowed down to either the Simms G4 or the Patagonia Rio Gallegos. They are a little on the pricey side but I figure when you spend a lot of time in them you better be comfortable. I haven’t pulled the trigger yet so if you have any suggestions please chime in and let me know.

Buff: How Do You Wear It?

Buff, what a funny name. I wish I had come up with the concept. buffA piece of fabric you wrap around your neck, face and head. When they first came out they were like cell phones. Everyone had one and they were wearing it. The Buff hatch was going off. Then the fabrics were printed with wild designs on them. Scales, flies, spots, skeletons and more of the like hung around the necks of all anglers. I must say I am guilty of hopping on the Buff bandwagon and I have rocked mine at the bar after fishing.  Here are a few tips for all you Buff lovers out there.

Dunk your Buff in the river on a hot day and wrap it around your neck. This will help you cool off quickly.

Place an extra Buff in a ziplock bag then place it in your cooler. During lunch reach in your cooler and switch out Buffs. This will keep you cool and a bit cleaner.

Keeping The Mosquitos Off In AK With Mr. Buff

Pull your Buff up over the back of you hat on a windy day or when running to the fishing grounds. This will help keep your lucky lid from flying off into the water.

Got an annoying client asking you ridiculous questions? Pull the Buff up over your ears. It will help muffle questions like “how deep is the river here?”

Mosquitos Buzzing? Pull that Buff up and block those annoying, biting, disease carrying critters. If they are real bad spray your Buff with some bug dope. That will keep those biting bugs away until the breeze blows. Especially useful in areas like Alaska.

Got any tips on how to use a Buff? Please comment and let us know.