Soft Goods

New Gear

  • By: Ted Leeson
  • , Zach Matthews
  • and Buzz Bryson
Hardy Fortuna X Reel

Why on earth do we need a fly reel that pulls over 30 pounds of drag? That was the question when Hardy unveiled its new Fortuna X fly reel at the recent International Fly Tackle Dealer Show, in New Orleans. Jim Murphy, President of Hardy North America, and Andy Mill, renowned tarpon angler and author who helped develop the product, said it’s all about big fish. They explained: If you’re fishing IGFA class tippet, you are limited to a maximum10kg breaking strength, so you don’t need that much drag. If you’re going for big billfish, tuna, shark or the like, however, and aren’t concerned about records, this reel allows an angler to really put pressure on a fish. That said, if you’ve never fished an outfit with 20-plus pounds of drag, especially on a longer rod giving more leverage to the fish, you’ll quickly find out why people use fighting harnesses.

New Gear

  • By: Darrel Martin
  • and Buzz Bryson
Korkers Chrome Wading Boot

Years ago Dave Whitlock, a doyen of American fly-fishing, trudged toward the beaver ponds on Montana’s Big Hole River. The glorious day promised tight tippets. As he clambered through thick brush, Dave’s elastic-tethered net snagged. He did what we all do: He kept walking, waiting for the net to pull free. It did not. He turned around just in time to receive the net between his eyes. After regaining consciousness, he gathered his spiteful net and continued on his way with two black eyes.

Angling Duffels

  • By: David Hughes
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Once you’ve booked that trip of a lifetime, you almost immediately bump into the twin set of questions: “What do I take?” and, “What’s the best thing to take it in?”

Trips rarely get ruined by any absence of gear; don’t worry about that, unless you have size 14 feet and forget your size 14 wading boots. If that happens your anatomical predisposition may prove troublesome; for most of us, lodges carry anything you may have left at home, within the range of averages for fitting and gear. Size 14 boots don’t fit the average.

New Gear

  • By: Ted Leeson
  • , Jim Butler
  • and Darrel Martin
Ross Evolution LT Reel

Fly Rod & Reel reviews the Ross RX reels and Evolution rods, Patagonia Nano Puff pullover, Abel's nipper and Nautilus FWX reels.

An ounce of Protection

  • By: Ted Leeson
  • Photography by: Barry Beck
  • and Cathy Beck
Protective Clothing

Whether it’s a winter escape to the tropics or a trip farther north in high summer, you can’t say enough about warm-weather angling—packs of bonefish “Hoovering” the flats, lolling tarpon, trout dimpling under sapphire skies, peckish bluegills on a farm pond, shirtsleeves and shorts, sandals and shades. On warm, sun-soaked days and mild, congenial evenings, everything conduces to a larger and fuller fishing life.