Thursday, June 18, 2015

10 For Spring

Ah...spring.  It's a time of switching fly fishing gears.  For me it means warmwater and saltwater instead of coldwater pursuits.  Done are the fly boxes filled with midges and nymphs and big boxes are brought out full of poppers, crayfish, crabs, and shrimp patterns.  The kayaks are dusted off and so much water is suddenly in play.  The tough part is finding time to get at it. 

I know that I am running right up to the doorstep of summer on this seasonal gear review but things have been busy and everything listed here works great no matter what the season.

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Here's what's in the gear mix for spring...

When my contact at Cabela's told me that they were working on a series of one piece fiberglass fly rods, I really didn't know what to think.  Was anyone asking for a one piece glass rod?  Maybe we weren't but we are now as these fly rods have been in and out of stock since they were released earlier this year.

The Prime series is built off much the same flex and tapers of the Cabela's CGR fly rod series and these one piece fly rods lose just a little bit of weight while adding some strength with no ferrules to worry about.  In the end they are just a lot of fun to use on the water.

The 7'3" five weight, that I have overlined with a six weight fly line, has been my go to on the pond this spring and it's perfect for casting small to medium sized warmwater flies.

There are four fly rods in the Prime series from a 6' three weight to the 7'3" five weight and if you are looking for a solid performing fly rod that you can always have lined up and ready to go, then the Prime should be considered.

This book arrived on my doorstep a few days ago and I have spent evenings taking in the knowledge of Joe Cermele of Hook Shots (follow along on Facebook too) fame and his band of editors from Field & Stream.  The short take?  This is a great book. 

It would be easy to just say that this is the perfect book for beginners who are interested in learning more about fly fishing, but the over 300 tips are even more applicable for the seasoned angler that has some experience but should be looking at angling situations from different angles.  This book does that and then some.

The Total Fly Fishing Manual is 240 pages of easy to read tips that are laid out in a well designed format complete paired with excellent photography.  Add this one to your fly fishing library and read it a few times to make sure you're tracking on the knowledge.  You'll be a better angler if you follow the tips.

Longtime readers of T.F.M. know that I am a big fan of the bamboo/poly offerings from Free Fly Apparel and they stepped their game up for spring with several new offerings including a long sleeve camo shirt and sun mask.

There are a lot of camo patterns out there but Free Fly Apparel's take on it is very well done.   

The bamboo/poly blend makes for a fabric that is lightweight, cool in the heat but insulates in the cold, and the shirt or the sun mask will easily become one of your favorites.

One of the plus sides of spring is that I can usually roll up the waders and put them away until it starts to cool down again and happily wet wade the warm months away.  Wading boots work but my preference is a wading shoe and Korkers has put all the pieces of the puzzle together with the BoxCar.  I had been wearing the Korkers Hyjack wading shoe, which is the previous generation to the BoxCar, and in comparison the BoxCar has some serious improvements to the design.

The BoxCar takes advantage of the Korkers OmniTrax interchangeable shoe system but even more importantly this wading shoe is made to be beat up with rubberized reinforcements throughout and especially on top of the foot and toe area to keep your feet from getting pinched.

Consider the BoxCar your choice for wet wading, kayaking, boating, and any other time you need a water shoe that will keep your feet fully supported and protected.

I am always making notes, whether it's putting together gear lists for the next trip, blog post ideas, or the grocery list, and a handy tablet is always nearby.  Early in the year I was sent a few tablets and the Fly Fishing Journal from and been impressed with the quality of these items.  There are choices for whatever your needs from note books to bound books to tablets of several shapes and sizes.

The Fly Fishing Journal is 4X6 inches and the perfect way to chronicle trips with all the particulars with a few notes from your time on the water.  This journal is small enough to fit in a gear bag or vest and should be one of your essentials.

Something that is often overlooked is good fly fishing tools and fingernail clippers are often asked to do work cutting mono, braid, and flourocarbon and the .99 cent variety just don't cut it.  Literally.  You deserve a good set of nippers in your life.

The Simms Nipper are "Made In U.S.A.", available in five color choices, and are made of CNC aircraft grade aluminum with 440C stainless steel replaceable jaw blades at a cost of $30 which is almost half the price of other premium nipper choices.

I'm giving Smith Creek a double shout out in this post with the Middle Fork Fly Patch and Trash Fish, which both have permanent places on my lanyard and in my gear bag.

I reviewed the Middle Fork Fly Patch in a T.F.M. review months ago but wanted to mention it again as it's just the perfect choice to keep your most needed flies close at hand and also have a place to stab flies into the slit foam that need to dry out before making it back into the fly box.

The Trash Fish is made of lightweight anodized marine grade aluminum and the design makes it easy to roll up strands of tippet or discarded leaders to be stowed for proper disposal when off the water.

Consider these both as essentials for your kit.

It's really neat to see a heritage company, such as Stanley, who have a handful of products that function as well today as they did decades ago, go back to the drawing board to create new products that also impress.  The Adventure Cooler with Vacuum Bottle is one of those things.

The Adventure Cooler with Vacuum Bottle is the perfect match to cover your needs for a days worth of food to keep cool and a thermos, that attaches to the cooler top, that can be filled with coffee or hot soup.  I have a small cooler ice pack that I use with this cooler and it keeps lunches cold for hours and the vacuum bottle keeps hot things hot for up to fifteen hours. 

Be it to work, to water, or on the road, the Adventure Cooler and Vacuum Bottle are a great pair to have handy.  These items can also be purchased separately.

Okay...I know that everyone seems be talking about "Tacky this" and "Tacky that" and honestly, it's for good reason.  Simply put, these are very cool slim fly boxes that are well made of polycarbonate with magnetic latches and these sleek fly boxes feature slit silicone which holds flies securely and that should far outlast foam over time.

The Tacky Fly Fishing fly boxes are available in two sizes, The Original and The Day Pack to meet your fly storage needs.  Fingers crossed for a larger box that isn't quite as slim for bigger flies is in the works. 

This is a young company within the fly fishing industry and it will be interesting to see what their future holds.

There are a lot of choices in lanyards and I am really keen of Western Visions Fly Fishing Lanyards for their hand crafted and one of a kind creations that source beads, cane, and top quality components in their construction.

The Western Visions lanyards are full of well thought out features and each is built one at a time so that almost no two are the same.

Western Vision Fly Fishing Lanyards are priced at $45 and this is a small price to pay for craftsmen quality and something that you'll use and wear for years to come.

Well, that's my "10 For Spring".  What's your springtime essentials?

DISCLAIMER - Items for this post were either purchased at full retail price, on an industry discount, or provided free of charge to demo and review by the respective company.  It should be known that any product that is reviewed on this website is one that I have used and would recommend for others to use as well.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

How would you compare the Prime rod to a Fenwick FF 756 or FF806 as far as action and fun? Thank you