The Fly Fusion team tested the Rogue Mitten Scissor Clamps through the summer in various trouty situations. The Rogues performed extremely well through the entire test period. Testers specifically noted how much they appreciated the way the Rogue felt in their hands. The handles have a textured padded coating that keeps them from slipping when removing hooks or cutting tippet. The team gave high marks for the tool’s versatility and found it to excel at every task they were designed to accomplish. Loon is an environmentally conscientious company. Their goal is to create safe products for fish, fisheries, and anglers. Loon’s Rogue Mitten Scissor Clamps are just that. Click here
Through the summer, Fly Fusion staff tested out the Orvis Waterproof Sling Pack and had an overwhelmingly positive experience with the gear bag. Waterproof zippers have the potential to be stiff and sticky. However, because of the system Orvis uses, the zipper is relatively smooth for a watertight system. It’s a double-layered zipper with the slider pulling together a conventional zipper the lies underneath a waterproof, rubber-like sealed zipper. To add to the functionality of the bag, the shoulder strap has a sheath-like compartment to house or clamp mitten scissors, the front of the bag has a place to attach a tippet holder, and the side of the bag contains a compartment to hold a water bottle. The team also found the bag extremely comfortable with sufficient padding on the shoulder strap and foam-like embossed back panel for ventilation. Aside from the bag’s functionality and comfort, testers also gave high grades for aesthetics. Waterproof gear often has a very plasticy look, but Orvis’s waterproof series has a sharp-looking textured finish. And most importantly, the bag keeps gear and valuables dry during an unexpected dunk or a deep wade. Check it out here.
It’s safe to say most fly anglers consider sunglasses a necessity on a few different levels—fish spotting and protection from wayward flies. The first and likely the most important test is whether or not the frames remain comfortable over an entire day of fishing. And without a doubt this was the case with the Costa frames. They’re lightweight so they don’t create pressure points after multiple hours of use. Costa attributes their lightweight feel to the fact they manufacture their frames from an earth-friendly bio-resin. Testers give company high marks for creating an environmentally responsible product (part of their Kick Plastic initiative). Along with their comfortable all-day feel, the glasses provide superior fish-spotting capability with Costa’s new Sunrise Silver Mirror lens. The lens is ideal for low-light conditions, which makes them extremely useful for any sight-casting applications. The lens is also versatile in changing light conditions. The Silver Mirrors are available in eight different frames. Check them out here.
The Castaway Roll Top has lots in common with other boat bags: easy access compartments for whatever gear is needed for a long float, outward attachment areas for forceps and rod tubes, and handles and straps for easy movement. This waterproof boat bag has a few other added features that impressed the Fly Fusion team. Fishpond designed the bag so it travels easily. So whether you’re heading to a saltwater flat to fish for bonefish, or you’re on your way to British Columbia for the dry-fly float trip of a lifetime, this bag can travel with you. The inner compartments are fixed into place with velcro, so they can be removed and both the interior and exterior can be flattened and placed in the bottom of a suitcase or a duffle. Aside from this functional design element, the staff also gives the boat bag high scores because it’s constructed from recycled nylon fabric. The Castaway is an environmentally responsible purchase you can pack with you wherever you go, and it’s going to keep your valuables dry. Check it out here.
The Fly Fusion team likes testing out fishy products and spreading the word about them, but every once in a while we also like to test out products that are a little more on the fly-fishing fringe.
Throughout the summer team members have enjoyed using the Picture Keeper. After a few trips, it’s super easy to load up the smartphone with images of highlights. Over time, ten photos becomes 400 photos and the phone can go from feeling like a lighting quick, fast action rod to a lethargic fibreglass rod as the storage gets more and more crammed.
The Memory Keeper is an easy and effective way to store memories of your fly-fishing trip while alleviating the storage issues. Testers found the device easy to use (even for the less tech savvy individuals). In a few simple steps, the iPhone dumps photos directly onto the Memory Keeper and then asks whether you’d like to keep the photos on the phone or delete them from the phone. Even if you choose the later of the two, it’s super simple to add any photos back onto the phone from the Memory Keeper should you choose. This is a great devise for any angler who takes a lot of shots but likes the phone to still function at normal speeds. Check them out here.
There’s a lot that the Fly Fusion staff likes about this new rod from Redington. At the top of the list is the fact that the company consistently finds areas of need and provides a solution at a reasonable cost to the consumer. The Hydrogen Trout Spey is designed to cover a lot of water with minimal angler effort. Each model features a medium- fast action, and the Zirconia stripping guides reduce guide and line-freeze in cold conditions. The down-locking, skeleton reel seat offers superior in-hand balance to create the lightest rod in its class. If you enjoy spending the day on the water, but feel the strain of overhand casting all day, or if you just want to cover more trout water with greater efficiency, make sure you check out the new offering from Redington.
Staff fished with the smaller Native Nomad net for the last couple of seasons and appreciated the fact the net fit perfectly into the net slot on fishpond backpacks. The Emerger Net has all the assets of the Native Nomad, but with a little bit of added length. The Emerger has a longer opening (18.8”) than the Native but is still slender enough (9.8” wide) to fit comfortably into the backpack. With the hoop shape and size, the net is the perfect for the angler who does a lot of walk-and-wade trips on rivers where larger trout reside. Because fishpond designed the net to fit the pack, an angler does not have to dedicate a free hand to the net when moving from one location to the other. Staff also appreciated the net’s non-slip handle and the fact net mesh is designed to be very gentle on trout. This is the perfect mid-sized net. It’ll handle larger fish but it’s not overly cumbersome. With the mid-sized handle the net is also perfect to use in Water Masters and pontoon boats. click here
Testers had lots of positive comments regarding the Stormfront Waterproof Pack. At the top of the list were simplicity and functionality. A few of the testers fish with backpacks almost exclusively, so they were excited to get their hands on Patagonia’s new pack. This is a dream gear bag for the fly fisher who wants to comfortably carry a few extras for their trip like a camera or other devises that shouldn’t get wet. For any angler who does a lot of walk-and-wade trips, especially in coastal climates where rainy days are the norm, this pack is ideal. It keeps all the gear dry. No more smudged fishing licenses or soaked dry flies. Aside from being fully waterproof, the pack also has all the basic necessities. The shoulder straps have an area to place forceps and there are movable (and adjustable) straps specifically for holding a rod tube. The pack also has an easy-access pocket for any necessities an angler might not want to dig for. click here
With so many different species fly anglers can target nowadays, the amount a person can spend on species specific gear adds up quickly. So I suspect that more and more companies will design tools, gear and gadgets that, where possible, will be useful across a broader species spectrum. Orvis is a prime example. They produced nippers a trout angler can use on his home trout stream and also on the saltwater holiday he’s taking to the Seychelles. The body of the tool is machined from aluminum with a Type III anodizing, the same kind of corrosion resistance found on high-wear aerospace parts and the finest fly reels. The replaceable cutters are designed in a cutter-and-anvil design, which ensures a cleaner cut. According to Orvis fly-fishing guru, Tom Rosenbauer, who’s tested the nippers on species from trout to tarpon, “…not only does the shape allow the snips to cut through 80-pound shock tippet, it also makes it easier to cut fine tippet like 7X because it ensures the jaws close cleanly over the fine stuff.” click here