Gear, Gear and More Gear

  • By: Dave Karczynski
  • and Zach Matthews
  • and Ted Leeson
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There’s no getting around it: We love stuff. The following are items that have recently caught the eyes of our roving tackle junkies. Look for full tests in the future, in the pages of Fly Rod & Reel or here on www.flyrodreel.com

Field Test

  • By: Ted Leeson
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Fishing in winter conditions, you need the right gear to give yourself a snowball’s chance.

Premium Cooler Throwdown

  • By: Zach Matthews
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Muck it up, Gear Hounds

  • By: Fly Rod and Reel
  • Photography by: Fly Rod and Reel

19 Killer products that came across our bows this year

photograph by adam tavender

Lose the Ego. Grab a Staff

  • By: Jim Bean
Wading Staff

There are plenty of fly fishers who plunge boldly into swift and treacherous rivers without the aid of a wading staff. Indeed, there is a widespread sentiment that only a weenie or an overly cautious old fart uses one. I may fit both categories. It’s true that I have less to lose at this age, but I am also more loath than ever to lose it.

Investment Options

  • By: Ted Leeson
Cabela's Packrat Fly Vest

Time has a way of muddling cause and effect. It’s difficult to know if the fly-fishing vest evolved because anglers needed something to hold all their gear, or if fly anglers carry so much stuff simply because someone invented a place to put it. Either way, it was love at first sight, and the vest now stands as the iconic representation of fly-fishing even among non-anglers. Although chest packs and fanny packs have emerged as alternatives, they seem most popular for less gear-intensive forms of angling—steelheading or the flats, for instance—where such packs are enormously useful. But for day-in/day-out trout fishing, far fewer anglers seem to have made the change. For them, a vest remains the most congenial approach.

2012 Kudo Awards

  • By: Greg Thomas
  • , Darrel Martin
  • , Buzz Bryson
  • and Zach Matthews
2012 Kudo Awards

In my opinion, the late Jack Charlton’s legacy is that he designed and built the two best fly reels ever made. Ever. We could debate that over a single malt, and I acknowledge there are exceptional fly reels other than the Mako—and its predecessor, the namesake Charlton reels—but I don’t know anyone who thinks he can trade up from a Charlton.

Don't Let the Snow Blow You Away

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5 Tips for Staying Warm on the Water During Winter

There’s nothing worse than knowing that fish are rising to Baetis or midges, or whatever else might hatch during winter, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Why? Because you’re freezing your gluts right off, not to mention that your fingers don’t work, your feet feel like wood planks, and you can’t even speak because your lips are nearly frozen shut. So you sit in the truck, watch those fish, and wonder how that dude who’s out there railing them can stand the cold.

New Sales Methods, New Markets

  • By: Kirk Deeter
Angling Trade fade

We’re hearing a lot about the new products fly companies will unveil in 2012 (and rest assured, FR&R and Angling Trade will detail the hot newcomers before they even hit the racks of your favorite fly shop). Here are a few hints: Patagonia is coming out with a wading boot that uses mountaineering technology to dramatically improve traction. Sage shelved its Z-Axis in favor of a rod line called “One”; by early accounts, it is indeed something special. Orvis, Hardy and others are introducing new products across wide price ranges that should have consumers chomping at the bit to try (and buy). Overall, I expect 2012 to be a solid new product year—one of the best in a decade.

Korkers Fisherman's Mocs

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These 'aint your mamma's fluffy pinks
Maybe this isn't the best time of year to review what is, basically, a slipper. But, we've been getting close to frost each night in Missoula and the elk are bugeling, not that I would know personally, as I've been roped to this desk like a steer. Each day, as that knot ties around my ankles I look down and see Korkers Fisherman's Moc's attached to my feet. Why? Because these things are about as comfortable a shoe/slipper/sandal as I've ever worn