Patagonia Announces Innovative Wading Boots For 2019

Our friends at Patagonia have just announced two of their most innovative fly fishing products to date — the new Foot Tractor Wading Boots and River Salt Wading Boots. These boots are the culmination of years of hard work and research and development in collaboration with Danner, the iconic boot maker and Vibram, maker of high performance outsoles. Patagonia’s and Danner’s quest to build the most durable and highest performing wading boots possible has led to what Patagonia contends are the best boots they have ever made and possibly the last ones anglers will ever need to buy.

To achieve their goals of maximum durability and performance in a long-lasting U.S.A.-made boot, Patagonia paired their expertise in fly fishing and product innovation with Danner’s proud tradition of quality and craftsmanship. Made by hand in Portland, Oregon, both boots are engineered for the most demanding wading and fishing. And with treated full-grain leather and stitch-down construction, they’re designed not only for durability but also to be resoled and even completely recrafted as they wear to keep them on the water and out of the landfill.

The collaboration between Patagonia and Danner began with the idea of offering the best fly fishing boots made in the U.S. For both companies, this meant creating boots that are durable, lightweight, quick drying, and comfortable. “These Danner-built boots are the ultimate fusion of performance, durability, and quality,” notes Chris Gaggia, global marketing manager at Patagonia. “We couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome of our work with Danner, and we’re proud to have a product that will surely endure.”

The durability of both the Foot Tractor Wading Boots and River Salt Wading Boots are the result of stitch-down construction of waterproof full-grain leather and tough 1000-Denier nylon. The saline treated leather is waterproof, non-shrinking, and non-cracking. With technology that prevents swelling, these boots prevent water retention and maintain their appearance. Perforated drains clear water quickly, and nylon webbing saves weight while maintaining strength and support. Nylon-coated hardware also adds an additional element of durability. The stitch-down construction consists of interlocking thread that increases the durability of the boots while also allowing the boots to be resoled and recrafted by Danner. And both boots provide comfort and stability throughout from an insole board, an internal shank for arch support, a cushioned midsole for impact absorption, a wider platform for increased ankle support, and a lace-to-toe design that allows for a more customized fit over the top of the foot.

The River Salt Wading Boots feature low profile adjustable speed lacing evolved from Danner’s Marine Corps boots, and a bi-fit board combines shank, lasting board, and PU midsole into a single piece, thereby providing a lightweight platform. Additionally, a VIBRAM® Megagrip outsole with sticky rubber delivers impressive traction in an out of the water, as well as increased durability. The River Salt Wading Boots are designed specifically for the Middle Fork Packable Waders, wet wading, and the flats. They will be available in Feather Grey for $449.

The Foot Tractor Wading Boots have an adjustable lacing system and a 5mm rubber midsole. With a VIBRAM® Idrogrip outsole for durability and performance, anglers have the choice of sticky rubber ($499), felt ($499), and aluminum bar ($549) for their preference of best traction. The Foot Tractor Wading Boots will be available in Forge Grey.

And while Patagonia and Danner built these boots to endure, the companies’ shared values also brought them together to make boots that could very well be an angler’s ultimate boot purchase. Both boots have options for recrafting at Danner’s world-class facility in Portland, from replacing outsoles and hardware to repairing stitching and reconditioning the leather. Patagonia hopes that anglers will avoid the practice of sending boots to the landfill and will keep these boots in use for many years. This revolutionary approach cuts down on production, spending, and waste and provides the longest possible lifespan for these boots.

The Foot Tractor Wading Boots and River Salt Wading Bootswill be available February, 2019.

Orvis Launches Streamlined Rod Repair

Rod repairs are no fun for anyone.  But the process can be made easier with modern technology, and Orvis has just introduced a new rod repair procedure that makes it seamless and quick for customers to return their rods for repair and track their progress. Visit Orvis online for details.

Gear Review: Cortland’s MKII Competition Series

The Fly Fusion team tested the stillwater and nymph rods in Cortland’s new MKII Competition Series.  Testers found the MKII Lake Rod (a 10ft, 6-wt) to perform very well on many different levels. The length of the rod provided a few advantages for the stillwater angling environment. It handled long leaders well and also provided extra leverage when sitting closer to the water in a pontoon boat. The rod also had enough backbone to handle the newer extra-weight stillwater lines. When battling larger stillwater trout, the extra length allowed for better control of the fish, which was critical when close to a doubled-anchored boat. The Fly Fusion team also enjoyed testing the 10’6”, 3-wt MKII Nymph Rod.  This rod excels as a nymph rod. Even with the extra length it feels light and is sensitive in all the right places. It bends deeply and loads easily. The rod also is soft enough in the tip that testers weren’t breaking off fish at the hook set. The rod has a sharp-looking down-locking reel seat and a comfortable fighting butt for proper weight distribution. These rods will find a place in the hearts of the stillwater and nymphing crowd. (USD $675)  

Gear Review: Stillwater Series by Scientific Anglers

The line designers at Scientific Anglers gave their stillwater line series a facelift this year. There are five new lines for different stillwater situations. Three of them are designed to fish the upper water column. With a sink rate of one inch-per-second, the primary purpose of the Hover is to enable an angler keep the fly in the film. The Clear Camo is a stealthy line created with a muted, mottled core covered with a supple translucent coating. This is a full intermediate (1.25ips) line effective in environments where fish receive a little extra pressure. The Clear Midge Tip features a clear five-foot tip section with a sink rate of 1.25ips. Each of these surfacesearching lines are designed a full lineweight heavy to aid in casting longer leaders and multiple flies. Along with the uppercolumn lines, Scientific Anglers also developed a couple of lines to reach fish deeper in the water column. The Seamless Density features line sections with varying sink rates allowing for consistently increasing sink rates, which in turn keeps the angler more in touch with the fly. The Parabolic Sink is created to entice trout in the lower water column. Designed to sink in a U-shape to suspend flies off the bottom, the line has a Sink 3 running line, a Sink 5 head, and a Sink 3 tip. The two deepsinking lines have 10 and 20foot hangmarkers and are created two line weights heavy. (USD $89.95) 

Gear Review: Orvis’ New Pro Wading Jacket

Over the winter months and into spring Fly Fusion tested Orvis’ Pro Wading Jacket, which is available in two colour combinations: black with ash, and grain with ash. Testers appreciated many features the coat offered. Orvis designed the coat specifically for the fly fisher who spends a lot of time on the water, and many of the features reflect this. There are anchor points for forceps on either side of the chest, making this essential tool very accessible. Below the hood, there’s a D-ring net-attachment for easy access. The waterproof jacket is also very comfortable, and has room for under-layers for those who fish in colder temperatures and need a waterproof shell. With water-resistant zippers and cuff systems, this jacket is built to withstand nasty fall, winter, and spring days. The coat has two hand-warmer pockets and two gear pockets. This coat is a great buy for anglers who spend lots of time on the water in inclement weather. (USD $349)

Gear Review: RIO DirectCore Flats Pro

RIO DirectCore Flats Pro line impressed the testers on many different levels. Simon Gawesworth and the team at RIO created this line specifically for the demanding saltwater environment. The Flats Pro rides very high in the water so it’s easy to pick up and quickly recast to fast-moving targets. The line is available in a couple of different versions, including a full-floating model and a clear “stealth tip,” which has a six-foot clear intermediate tip. If you’re planning on chasing tarpon, bonefish, or permit on the flats, you’ll want to check out the RIO Flats Pro.  Click here

Gear Review: Headgate Tippet Holder XL by fishpond

It may have been fast-food restaurants that originally figured out how to improve on perfection—simply super-size it. Fishpond capitalized on this concept with their industry-leading tippet holder. The Headgate XL is an enlarged version of the popular Headgate tippet holder and utilizes many of the features that make the regular size model such a success. Like the smaller version, the XL uses a spring-loaded hinge so it’s easy to add and remove tippet spools. The XL also includes two rubber gaskets to ensure spools stay secure. The XL can hold up to five four-inch spools (or 13 regular spools).  

Gear Reviews: Ultralite MXT by Hardy

Hardy has a rich tradition and proven track record for making outstanding fly rods and reels. The Ultralite MXT takes advantage of Hardy’s solid foundation, yet pushes forward in an innovative direction. Perhaps most notable about the reel is that the MXT is six to eight percent lighter than an all-aluminum version. Hardy designers accomplished this weight reduction by making a high modulus carbon fibre back-plate an integral part of the reel. The MXT also has a smooth, strong disc drag system that’s easily controlled by a colour-coded regulator. It’s tough not to turn heads when you create an innovative reel that’s light in the hand. Click here to check out the Ultralite MXT.

Gear Review: Wraptr Boots by Korkers

Of all gear in the fly angler’s arsenal, it’s safe to say wading boots receive the greatest amount of abuse. Anglers expect boots to support them on the crazy hike into the canyon and then keep them upright on the slick rocks once they get there. Perhaps a boot’s greatest attribute besides comfort is the ability to endure this constant abuse. Enter Korkers’ newest boot, the Wraptr. The innovative exterior construction features a one-piece, single-seam, abrasion-resistant engineered skin. Innovative and durable construction, extreme comfort, fast drying material, and internal drainage channels are the reasons the Korkers Wraptr turned the Fly Fusion testers’ heads this year.  

Gear Review: fishpond’s New Thunderhead Submersible Backpack

A few Fly Fusion staff members have been fishing with fishpond backpacks for a number of years now, so when fishpond developed a fully waterproof backpack the crew was excited to test them out. They found the pack remains comfortable even after lengthy use and also found the pack has the right fastening points in all the right places, which made essential tools (like forceps) easily accessible. The pack also has adjustable gear straps for an extra rod tube, which can be positioned on the side that makes the most sense for an individual’s casting stroke. Testers also noted that they appreciated the interior zippered pocket and the clear stash pocket to help with gear organization. Aside from the fishy elements that make this a fantastic gear bag, designers also included an adjustable hip belt to ensure the different sized anglers will feel like the pack was created for them. All that, in addition to fishpond’s commitment to environmental forward thinking, makes this pack a great buy. Click here to check them out.