Have you ever wanted to take a trip doing something new? If it’s your first time doing something you are often inclined to buy cheap gear as you have no certainty on how many times you will use it. In the fishing world this can end in sheer disaster. You may end up being a walking version of an epic toyota recall, a ticking time bomb. The drag blows up on your reel, rod snaps, wader seams break leaving you in utter chaos. If you want to stay in the river fishing and go light on your pocket book check out some of this gear.
Gone are the days fly fisherman walked around with gaudy vests. They went out of style when Blues Traveler front man John Popper started using them for his harmonicas in the 90’s. People prefer small packs for trout these days. For the stuff we do in BC I really like using plastic utility boxes. Our flies can be large, and with tube flies there is no great way to store bulk amounts. I have gone to the Flambeau Ultimate Tuff Tainer. It has very strong corners that won't break and being water proof is a huge plus. Soaking wet flies will ruin your life in the rainforest.
If you are mostly a fresh water guy but hit the ocean once in a while in your jet boat, forget about some high end chart plotter. Just toss your ipdad in a life proof case and use Navionics. Works awesome without cel service and saves you a bundle.
With reels these days your money goes a long way. Technological advances have made some amazing reels at great prices. The best one I have seen lately is the 3tand. A lot of my friends in the Keys are throwing them on for tarpon and for good reason. The tolerances are extremely tight and the drag is smooth and strong on the upper end. This thing is what you want with a charging king salmon fresh from the salt. The big spey reel drag is a stack of six carbon washers. The clutch/drag assembly is completely sealed. It was started by Rob Koelewyn who also started Van Staal.
For a spey rod there are so many good options these days that I won't bother recommending one. Instead I will mention what we the public want from a couple companies. Although I love the action of Beulah rods they break far to easy. This wasn't such an issue in the past but now with repair prices getting so high it is a HUGE issue. I also use a lot of redington product however they need to make us a fast action spey rod less than 13 feet in a 7 and 8 weight. So a shout out to Redington, we love the Vapen, why don’t you give us one in a spey (minus the red handle please).
Anyone who spends a lot of time in freshwater can quickly see how fast redington waders are growing. I will be the first to admit they don't fit quite as well as Simms, and they don’t look quite as good either but the price is so good its worth the sacrifice. Grab a pair and try them as your back up at least. They have amazing customer service, they will send you a new pair without concern. More and more guides are turning to them and rightly so. Simms is like that kid who left your small town to go to Harvard, and when he comes to visit he has all new friends and no time for you anymore.
Give these products a try and let us know what you think.