Something For Everyone

Something For Everyone

Tibor Reels, Albright Shirts and the Reel Creel

  • By: Paul Guernsey
  • and Buzz Bryson
Albright Tackle 3XDRY Shirt

Jim Murphy is known to most as a rod designer, but he apparently is also a fair hand with a thread and needle-or at least with the concepts of what ought to be stitched together and how to produce quality fishing clothes. In other words, with his Albright fly rods gaining broad acceptance, Murphy has turned his attention to clothing. Combining his penchant for high technology with proven (and comfortable) clothing materials, he has brought together the durability and comfort of cotton with the 3XDRY finishing treatment to give us a new fishing shirt that repels moisture, transports moisture from the inside to the outside and dries quickly.

In addition to the water repellency, moisture transport and quick-drying features, the treatment helps make the shirts less susceptible to soiling and, hey, keeps them looking good.

Speaking of good-looking, the 100-percent cotton poplin fabric is quite handsome. It features accessible bellows pockets, a button-down collar, full back vent and a generous full cut to facilitate casting. Fully functional on the stream or boat, it is not too radical to prevent it from doing double duty out on the town. We anglers are the winners when manufacturers provide us with such "gear."

The shirts are available in sizes M, L, XL and XXL, and in solid and plaid colors. $59.

Tibor QuickChange Series Fly Reels

I've always been a fan of Tibor reels. Introduced in 1995, they are tough, having evolved from the long-proven Billy Pate reels (themselves introduced in 1976). The large-arbor design cranks in line considerably faster than a standard arbor, maintains a more consistent drag as line is peeled off, and is sized right to hold plenty of backing. About the only legitimate knock against the Tibors is that changing spools is a time-consuming, keeping-up-with-small-parts, potentially messy pain in the rear. Most anglers simply chose to buy an extra reel, rather than bother with changing spools.

However, the new Tibor QuickChange Series of reels makes changing spools a quick and clean affair. Simply loosen the spool's threaded end cap (it doesn't come completely off), slide the spool off, slide on another spool, tighten the end cap, and you're ready to fish. The drag mechanism, exposed upon removal of the spool in the original Tibor, is completely sealed in the new series. No exposed grease, no messy hands. Such modifications to an existing product often are cosmetically unattractive, practically shouting "afterthought!" That's not the case with the new Tibors. The QuickChange Series is quite attractive and distinctive, incorporating new porting in the spool.

The new QuickChange Series reels are priced from $675-$790, with extra spools from $330-$390. Certainly not cheap-but the ability to change spools quickly makes the new system a realistic and attractive alternative to buying two heavy-duty reels.

Reel Creel

Remember those "Walker's Cay Chronicles" shots of Flip Pallot, silently poling his skiff, a spinning or bait-casting rod tucked into his belt, ready to fire a cast at a fish spotted outside the reach of the angler in front? I always thought that carrying a fly rod that way would never work and I often wondered whether Flip ever had a rod slip out and fall into the drink.

Apparently, this problem was on the minds of the folks at Hightide, Inc. when they designed the Reel Creel. At first glance, the Reel Creel looks like a cross between a typical reel pouch and a pistol holster. It's made of tough nylon, padded and lined. A closer look reveals the obvious features: There's a nylon web belt, with a quick-release buckle to hold it securely around your waist. The top opens wide, but holds securely through the use of both double zippers and hook-and-loop material. The Reel Creel's cover is heavy-duty vinyl, to add a bit of stiffness and help keep the rod upright. The reason for all this security becomes apparent when you realize this is not simply a reel pouch, but a rigged-rod transport system, designed for, and certainly capable of, carrying a fully rigged rod upright in the small of your back-like carrying your catch in a creel, so to speak.

The system works well. The belt allows the angler to swivel the creel around his waist to quickly store a rod or switch from one rod to another. For the surf-fly-slingers, there is also a "sand spike" made of a lightweight but stiff plastic-like tube. Simply jab the spike into the sand, and the other end slips easily into a small pocket in the creel, keeping the outfit high, dry and free of sand.

The Reel Creel is a well conceived, well-constructed accessory and will likely find favor among a number of anglers. It's available in two sizes, for reels under or over 3.5 inches in diameter, so pretty much any reel from a small trout to a saltwater large arbor can be accommodated. Suggested retail is $59.95.