Friday, January 2, 2015

2015 - Fixed Lenses And Click & Pawls

Each New Year brings new resolutions that likely get broken within hours the first day but this year I'm committing to two things regarding fly fishing.  Fixed camera lenses and click and pawl fly reels.  Here's a few reasons why...

This past summer while on Beaver Island I had a realization that I was essentially taking the same damn photographs over and over with my wide angle and fisheye lenses with maybe the guide and angler being the only difference from trips past.  I went through the past several years of photographs and it was a lot of the same.  I think can do better than this.

When I look at the photographs that I enjoy most that I've shot or that get the most positive reactions through social media, it's typically the images that were shot with a shallow depth of field on a fixed lens.  These images are more interesting to look at and aren't the result of the "spray and pray" mentality that I typically work of of that if you take a lot of images at least a few will turn out.

The idea started with a plan to only shoot with my 50mm lens but I ended up getting further inspired last night and ordered a Nikon 35mm 1.8/f lens.  I also have a Nikon 60mm macro lens that will get some work and I need to learn the ins and outs of the Fuji X100S with a fixed 23mm lens that I purchased from a friend last year.  This is looking like a lot of fixed lens fun for me.

I need to do something to kick start my photography to a different place and a year of shooting with only fixed lenses should be a good study.

When dove headfirst into this fiberglass fly rod obsession almost ten years ago, I flushed all my disc drag fly reels and started a couple of collections that centered mostly on J.W. Young and Martin click and pawl fly reels of all sorts.  These are all very dependable fly reels and I got a real kick searching out, bidding, and collecting these fly reels, especially if they had never been used.   

Over the years I bought quite a few disc drag fly reels, maybe more for looks than anything else.  I really don't think there is much that I fish for that really needs a disc drag and this year we'll find out if I miss them at all.

More recently I've bought contemporary click and pawl fly reels and there are quite a few solid choices to consider.  A few favorites are from The Spey Company, the new Orvis C.F.O., Abel TR series, Bozeman Reel Co. SC series, and of course the classics offered by Hardy. 

This year I'll fish click and pawl fly reels from two weight to ten weight to two hander switch and spey rods.  I'm hoping to make some click and pawls scream as that noise can be addicting.

Here's to 2015 and learning new things.  What are your fly fishing resolutions?


Unknown said...

My first resolution is to make The Fly Fishing Show this year and wipe out last year from my mind. Other than that, I didn't know they still made those old fashion disc drag reels!

Unknown said...

You definitely should make some trips to south florida this year.

Unknown said...
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The Sasquatch said...

Click pawls and glass just go together, dude. I use the exclusively. Tuna cans, Medalists, Ocean City, Heddons, English made Cortlands, just to name a few. I love the look and the sound.

Fly fishing resolutions are the only resolutions I make on New Year's (because lets be honest, the only difference between Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 is that I have to buy a new fishing license), so I really have two main goals this year. The first is to fish with my dad more. It was a hard year on my family. We lost my brother unexpectedly in April (a fine man of God, a father, husband, and a tremendous fisherman). I realize the time we have together on the streams is limited, and I want to enjoy what time we may have left this side of eternity. The 2nd is to get a Maryland non-residential license and explore some of the streams down there. The distance driven is about as far as I'd drive for day trips in my own state of PA, so I'm excited to explore new areas.

Lotech Joe said...

This year's resolution is to sell enough furled leaders that I can afford the gas to go fishing more.

Ben Carmichael said...

A great resolution on the lenses. I've been shooting with prime lenses only -- a Canon 50mm 1.4 -- that yields beautiful shots. It's forced me to learn more, and be a better photographer. On the river bank, in the absence of a zoom, it does mean you have to move around a bit -- so best to make sure you have a good strap, or a floating strap, on the camera, plus some insurance!

Ben Carmichael
Founder & Editor
New England on the Fly

Fleyefish said...

I exclusively fish click pawls and so far my favorites are the STH made Orvis Presentations. Engineering beauty.

Best to everyone in 2015. I too lost a brother and escaping with family, friends and solo is all that matters. Live each day and surround yourself with loved ones.

Anonymous said...

In 2015, I'm getting rid of all my Canon 5D3 and zoom lenses. I'm replacing with the Fuji X-T1 and three primes. Once that is accomplished, then I'll start my adventure into the world of fiberglass rods and pawl click reels.

Unknown said...

Quality glass equals quality light. Quality light equals quality photography.
Primes have less glass and generally better glass than zooms for the same money. This makes for clearer images, less chromatic aberration and workable low light raw images.
Primes fit a minimalist mind set. A click and pawl reel lashed to glass goodness seems to fit the bill as well. Creativity gets full reign by default and that's always a good thing.
Good luck this year.