Autumn New Gear

Autumn New Gear

  • By: Fly Rod and Reel

Great Bay
Evolution Force Rods

I stood at the stern of the charter boat bobbing in the Atlantic as a group of anglers ceded me backcast room while they jigged bait rigs for mackerel. I was the novelty angler in the group, catching nothing but happy to be casting a Clouser—and testing the new Evolution Force Rod from The Great Bay Rod Company. I had the EVO903MV/2, which is rated for 260 to 300 grains—the EVO rods are grain-weighted, not rated for specific weight-forward fly lines—and it was fast enough to carry the 300-grain line yet flexible enough through the midsection that casting was not a chore. In fact, I cast for about three hours and never felt strained. About the grain-weighting system: The rod-builders at Great Bay encourage anglers to try different lines and grains to accommodate specific casting styles. It’s an interesting personal approach. The Force/MV1 is rated at 190 to 220 grains and the Force/MV3 at 350 to 400 grains. The rods feature an angled-forward stripping guide (to aid in shooting line), a handsome triangular reel seat and a super-aggressive rod taper—though we’re not talking the action of a lacrosse stick, here. And at an attractive price: $399; www.greatbayrods.comJoe Healy

Tailwaters Jacket

Figures, when I pack all the appropriate rain gear in my already overstuffed travel bag…it doesn’t rain. We were bone-dry for the first three days during a recent trip to Ireland; but on the fourth day, as a gale brought intermittent showers, I unrolled my Orvis Tailwaters jacket and barely took it off again that week. The waterproof, breathable fabric repels rain and seals you off from the wind while it keeps breathing. There are two large breast pockets, within which are bellowed fly-box-holders, and slash side pockets lined with hand-warming material that’s not as bulky as fleece but is cottony and warms nicely. The magnetic closures on front pockets are a tremendously welcome idea: I stuck flies on the magnets when it was time to change patterns. The adjustable Dolphin Skin Cuff (a risky name for a garment material?) keeps out water and the full-coverage hood rolls up out of the way when you don’t need it. Sizes range from XS to XXXL; $229; www.orvis.comJoe Healy

Sports Wallet

The first impression is, This thing’s bulletproof. Which isn’t far off, because this “wallet” could possibly save your life. The TMT Sports Wallet from Toner Manufacturing is not stitched from canvas or leather—it’s machined from hard Delrin plastic. The mastermind behind this portable-personal-effects device—I’m sorry, “wallet” just seems too wimpy a word; and PPE Device does have a nice Special Ops ring to it, in line with the military-issue feel of the product—is Jim Toner. “Our wallets are fast becoming well-known for their many features, durability and for being o-ring-sealed and waterproof,” he says. Each has two removable stainless-steel money and credit-card clips that are polished and can be sharpened and honed to a knife edge, as well as two interior compartments for storing medication, flies, I-Pods or other items; and a compass, ink pen, tweezers, toothpick, carbide glass-breaker, reflector and self defense striking edge. (I kid you not—it could save you!) Carry it in a pants or vest pocket (I keep it in my fishing vest), or attach it to a lanyard—anyway, if you drop it in the drink, it floats. This will redefine how you stash the things you carry; $85; www.tmtwallets.comJoe Healy

MP Bobbin

Those who know Marc Petitjean know his remarkable “innovative inventiveness.” His new MP Bobbin does what no other bobbin can do. Marc claims that you can thread his bobbin without looking. And that is true. In fact, once the spool is attached, threading takes about three seconds. The bobbin comes with pictures that illustrate the threading and dubbing-loop procedures. With modest practice, threading is simple and fast. There is neither sucking the thread through the tube nor need for wire loops to pull the thread. The open channel also eliminates the bugaboo of wax build-up. Spool replacement is quickly accomplished, so the tier is apt to wrap with several different threads with only one bobbin, quickly changing the thread type as needed. We lack truly unique fly-tying tools. This attractive and innovative stainless-steel bobbin is one of the few; $49.95; or www.petitjean.comDarrel Martin

Skagit MOW Tips

I got into this Spey-rod gig a few years ago and I’ve been overwhelmed by the amount of information seemingly required to cast efficiently, let alone catch a damned fish. Enter RIO’s new MOW tips, which take some of the guesswork out of the Spey-fishing equation and allow anglers to probe different depths without going back to college for graduate science courses. Specifically designed for the Northwest’s Skagit style casting, these tips are available in three densities—T-14 to get deep; T-11 for medium depths; and T-8 for probing shallower runs, pockets or slow-moving water. Each set contains six tips, consisting of a 10-foot floating tip; a tip with 7.5 feet of floating line connected to 2.5 feet of sink-tip; a tip with five feet of floating line/five feet of sink-tip; a tip with 2.5 feet of floating line/7.5 feet of sink-tip; a 10-foot level sink-tip; and a 12.5-foot level sink-tip. Basically, that six-pack allows anglers to reach a variety of depths without losing the ability to cast a balanced line pleasantly. And being able to easily switch from, say, a 2.5-foot section of sink-tip to a 12.5-foot section of level sink-tip means you’ll be able to fish from just under the surface for those super-aggressive “in on the tides fish,” to deep down in those heavy-duty runs where, typically, the biggest steelhead, king salmon and silvers are found. These tips can be purchased as a six-pack ($149.95) or individually ($19.95); www.rioproducts.comGreg Thomas

NRX Fly Rods

G.Loomis’ new NRX fly rods are offered in 16 four-piece models, in weights and designs for trout, salmon/steelhead, saltwater and two-hand/Spey. The rods took “Best of Show” at the 2010 ICAST Show (the leading fishing-industry trade show) New Product Showcase competition. Chief rod designer Steve Rajeff says anglers “will uncover a series of rods that are at least 15-percent lighter than equivalent power GLX rods, plus we’re able to offer a durability feature to make them up to 20-percent stronger and more impact resistant.” The company is using a stiffer, lighter and higher-density carbon married with Nano Silica resin systems. The rods are lighter, yet more durable, extremely sensitive and yet stiffer. NRX rods were released in stores in mid-August. Check them out; www.gloomis.comThe Editors