15 Fly Fishing Gifts Your Dad Will Love This Fathers Day

15 Fly Fishing Gifts Your Dad Will Love This Fathers Day thumbnail

15 Fly Fishing Gifts Your Dad Will Love This Fathers Day

Well, It’s just about that time of year again where we set aside a day for the man in our lives who taught us some of the most important lessons we never knew we needed to learn. Dads around the world spend the year tirelessly dedicating themselves to bettering and caring for the next generation. Whether you plan on spending this Fathers Day alongside your old man on the water, or simply sitting down with him for a dinner at his favorite restaurant; show him your appreciation by getting a gift that goes above and beyond the typical “#1 Dad mug”.

Here is our list for the top 15 gifts to give the angler in your life this fathers day.

1. Mountain Khakis Trout Webbing Belt

photo courtesy of Mountainkhakis.com

Step aside boring wading belts, the mountain Khaki trout belt is here to make a statement. This Belt is not only 100% American made but is also quick dry and stain resistant. Available in 4 different styles (Brook, Brown, Rainbow, and Cutthroat), dad can match the hatch and represent his favorite catch anywhere he goes. Oh, did we mention the buckle doubles as a bottle opener?

Buy it here

2. Orvis Magnifier Table Lamp

fathers day fly fishing lamp
Photo courtesy of Orvis.com

Whether he’s just starting to tie flies, or already an expert, one thing is for certain: nothing is more strenuous to the eyes than squinting at tiny beads, hooks, and strings for hours on end. Tell Dad to ditch the dollar store reader glasses, and upgrade his fly tying game with a 4x zoom as well as focused 12w natural lamp light to make sure every fly tied comes out store bought quality.

Buy it here

3. Abel TR Click and Pawl Fly Reel

fathers day fly fishing reel
image courtesy of Abelreels.com

While we know Dad’s are generally stuck in their traditions, they may not realize the potential an unrusted, new reel can bring forth. Coming straight from our favorite Reel providers, the Abel Reels TR C&P is one of the most versatile, and affordable high-end reels on the market. Made in the USA, this reel utilizes a time-honored click-pawl system that protects light tippet while preventing overrun within a Quick-change spool with a threaded release cap and large-arbor design. If that’s not enough, all Abel Reel designs can be personalized to match the heart and soul of the angler you know and love.

Buy it here

4. The Angler’s Pint Glass

fathers day fly fishing cups
Photo courtesy of bearsden.com

For those looking to get dad something he’ll never lose, but don’t want to break the bank; The Angler Pint glass is a fun, and unique gift to show dad you care. With a selection of styles, this glass appreciates the most important measurement when it comes to pouring a drink, the angler’s pint. This glass is dishwasher safe and holds a generous serving of 21.5 oz for Dads favorite frothy beverage. This gift is sure to become dads favorite vessel for thirst relief, and the staple of anytime between getting off the water to football Sundays.

Buy it here

5. Costa Fantail Sunglasses

fathers day fly fishing glasses
photo courtesy of sportfish.com

The folks at Costa is notoriously known for their commitment to quality, and these sunglasses show no exception. With impact and scratch resistant lenses, these shades are backed for life and will ensure your dad is the coolest looking guy on the skiff and at the barbecue. Don’t let us forget to mention, Costa accommodates for aging eyes and can easily add prescription specifications to any pair of Costa Sunglasses.

Buy it here

6. Scientific Anglers Amplitude MPX Fly Line

fathers day fly fishing fly line
photo courtesy of sportfish.com

“The weather was terrible.” “Water was too crowded.” “They just weren’t biting today.” It seems as if every dad has an arsenal of excuses as to why they came off the water empty-handed. Don’t let tattered, sub-par fly line be one of them! Scientific Anglers is the best in the game when it comes to making fly-line, so why give your old man anything less. This fathers day bestow the gift of more fish with SA’s patented shooting texture technology found with SA Amplitude line.

Buy it here

7. Benchmade Grizzly Ridge Knife

fathers day fly fishing knife
photo courtesy of everydaycarry.com

Any outdoorsman who knows a thing or two about going out in the woods can agree on one thing, never leave camp without a knife. Whether your pop is tripping through the harsh Alaskan tundra, or just enjoys hikes 10 minutes from home, rest easy knowing the Grizzly Ridge has got his back. This knife is made of dependable steel and has a hunter orange casing to assure that no matter where it may fall, any eyes, young or old, can spot it. when it comes to carrying a knife like this in the woods/on the water, you never know when you’ll need it until you need it, and when that time comes, you better have it.

Buy it here

8. Duck Camp co. Mallard Green Trucker Hat

fathers day fly fishing hat
photo courtesy of duckcamp.com

Looking for a cheap, yet meaningful gift for this fathers day? Look no further than the adjustable Mallard Green trucker hat made by DuckCamp. Their classic, adjustable trucker fit will match any dads style and will make a great gift for anglers and hunters alike. While you’re there, check out the DuckCamps Dad’s gift guides to find the perfect pairing for his new hat

Buy it here

9. Rail Riders Cabo Cantina Shirt

fathers day fly fishing shirt
photo courtesy of Railriders.com

Not much needs to be said for this fatherly must-have. This featherweight Nylon-polyester build is sure to keep anyone comfortable whether their hanging on the beach (socks and sandals equipped) or targeting tarpon in the hot Florida sun, these shirts are not only fashionable, but they’re functional. With wrinkle-free and quick dry technology the man in charge never has to worry about changing no matter the occasion (though a wash every couple weeks or so is encouraged)

Buy it here

10. Flylords Grateful Dead Bear Teefathers day fly fishing t shirt

Hey, if we wouldn’t buy the stuff we offer, we wouldn’t sell it in the first place. We here at Flylords all have a bit of our fathers in us, and with that comes a love for those dancing bears. These butter soft tees show off our favorite bear rocking a brown trout pattern above the signature Flylords name. They come in navy and olive, and of course, are officially licensed by the Grateful Dead. This holiday, don’t sail on the ship of fools, get the gear that’s voted the Bears choice, and head over to our store before these sweet shirts are all gone.

Buy it here 

11. Seaholm Offshore Dive Watch

fathers day fly fishing watch
photo courtesy of districtangling.com

When it comes to watch companies, there are few that can rival what Seaholm does. The Offshore Dive Watch is a testament to their ingenuity and commitment to quality. When it comes to durability and longevity, no other watches match the Offshore Dive. This watch features a divers 200m designation, assuring that each piece has undergone rigorous testing to ensure it is of the utmost quality. Available in 3 colors; cool grey, offshore blue, and black, this watch comes with a stainless steel bracket, as well as an interchangeable NATO band, making it one of the most versatile watches of its time. If your dad spends time on the water, get him something that will last, and remain a valuable asset for many years to come.

Buy it here

12. Sightline 20 oz. Yeti Cuff

fathers day fly fishing yeti
photo courtesy of sightline.com

Great thinking, you got your dad a Yeti Rambler. But, there’s still something missing. Right now it’s just a cup just like all the other ones sitting on the hardware store shelf. This fathers day go above and beyond and get dad something that’ll stand out. Make his iconic rambler like no other and deck it out with the Sightline Yeti Cuff. Each cuff is made of handcrafted leather and stainless steel, bringing life to any rambler. Available in a variety of styles such as dry fly, tarpon, trout, and tectonic rush; this accessory is sure to make dads new yeti stand out from the rest.

Buy it here

13. Buff USA Aqua Gloves

fathers day fly fishing gloves
photo courtesy of buffusa.com

As we get older, our skin needs more and more protection from the harmful elements. However, this shouldn’t mean we need to spend any less time in the great outdoors. Luckily, Buff USA has got you covered (literally), providing durable, smart, and protective gear for anglers young and old. For years their trusted Aqua gloves have been the go-to when looking for a stylish and functional pair of fishing gloves. With 50+ UPF sun protection, you and dad can stay slaying fish all day worry free. Not to mention, these gloves are engineered to be durable and dependable, making certain your old man will have them around for years to come.

Buy it here

14. Casus Grill Instant Barbecue

 

fathers day fly fishing camping
photo courtesy of amazon.com        

His second office is in front of the grill, he’s been wearing the same bbq stained apron since 1994, and he never fails to cook the burgers just a little too long. Your dad IS the grill master. So, why should his grilling stop once he leaves home? Well, lucky for him now it doesn’t have to. With the innovative Casus Grill, firing up the charcoal is as easy as setting up a few pieces of cardboard and slapping some meat on the flame. The Casus is a new way to take outdoor excursions to a whole new level, and most importantly, it’s completely eco-friendly. Once your done prepping dinner, just send the little guy into the fire and enjoy your meal. This is the perfect gift for dads who are out for adventure but still want to enjoy a slice of home.

Buy it here

15. Patagonia Storm Front Hip Pack

fathers day fly fishing tackle box
photo courtesy of patagonia.com

There’s something to be said about an old faded vest accompanied by the remnants of a sheep’s wool patch that’s older than you. In fly fishing, tradition is one of the most important aspects to value and is a defining feature of the sport we know and love. However, there is always room for improvement. By upgrading dad to the gear of the future, you’re not just giving the pack itself, but you’re giving the gift of better days on the water. Patagonia’s line of hip packs are made to revolutionize the way you fish through the gear you use. The Storm Front is made to be 100% waterproof, ensuring the safe passage of the important equipment inside. Not to mention it’s adjustable low profile hip strap and padded shoulder sling optimize weight distribution for the aging joints of the user, thus ensuring a long and comfortable day on the water.

Buy it here

Product List:

Mountain Khaki Webbing Belt

Orvis Magnifier Lamp

Abel TR Click and Pawl Fly Reel

Orvis Anglers Pint

Costa Fantail Sunglasses

SA Amplitude Mpx Fly line

Grizzly Ridge Knife

Duck Camp Mallard Trucker Hat

Rail Riders Cabo Cantina Shirt

Flylords Grateful Dead Bear Tee

Seaholm Offshore Dive Watch

Sightline Yeti Cuff

Buff USA Aqua Gloves

Casus Grill Instant BBQ

Patagonia Storm Front Hip Pack

 

*feature photo courtesy of outdoorlife.com

 

Article written by Flylords Team Member Wills Donaldson 

The Best Fishing Cameras Under $1000

Product Spotlight: Abel Reels + Spyderco Native 5 Knives

 

Review: Simms Vapor Elite Jacket and Pants

Compact, lightweight rain gear for rains that come fast and hot, linger and steep

by Shane Townsend

We get two rainy seasons in Kenya each year, but we never know when they’ll come – or how long they’ll stay. Sometimes the rain blasts in hard and fast. Other times it crawls in, lingers, and leaves everything living to steep in the brew. So whether I’m fishing or walking to work, I need rain gear. Most won’t do because it’s heavy and it’s hot. Neither is acceptable.

Over the past few months, I’ve run the Simms’ Vapor Elite Jacket and Pants. I carried the kit around in my backpack for several weeks waiting for the rainy season to kickoff. Since the storms have come I’ve relied on it everyday on my 3-mile round trip walking commutes. I’ve also fished it in an equatorial deluge and in a London downpour and hailstorm. And, more than once, I’ve sported the jacket at the office – just because. Here’s what I’ve sorted out.

WHAT WORKS
It keeps the rain out
Job one of a slicker is to keep the rain away. And, the Elite pants and jacket are as waterproof as any rain gear I’ve owned. This is largely thanks to the Toray® fabric, which was developed specifically for fishing waders and does a hell of a job in this kit. The customizable hood and the adjustable cuffs on the pants and jacket pair with the waterproof zippers to make the most of the fabric’s potential.

No doubt: It’s dry.

It helps keep the sweat away
If wet from rain or wet from sweat are the options – I’ll take the clean one every time. I grew up south of Interstate 10 back when outdoor gear came from the Army-Navy surplus store; so one-man-sauna slicker suits didn’t make much sense from April to November. And that was a long time to stay wet.

Simms finally bringing wet wading boots, loads more, to market
Fortunately, Simm’s has provided a better option for hot air anglers. Thanks to the venting system and the microporous waterproof fabric, the Vapor Elite Jacket and Pants breathe better than other raingear I’ve tried. I walk a mile and a half to work every day, and I’m dry when I get there. This was a surprise on the first day. And, it’s been welcome each day since.

It packs up light and tight
A tool is only worth a damn if you can get to it when you need it. This kit is light and it packs up nice and tight. So, I’m able to keep it in my backpack each day and on every trip into the bush or to the water. This is also now my go-to raingear for domestic and international travel.

It’s slick enough for the office
On more than one occasion, I’ve stepped out of the rain and into the office, popped off the slicker pants, and rocked the jacket for the rest of the morning. Why? It’s comfortable, it looks good, and it reminds me and everyone else that we should all go back outside where we all belong.

Some other thoughtful design elements
The jacket’s two big external pockets and an internal pocket come in handy for wallets, phones, and whatever else needs to be tucked away.

As for the pants, a number of small features bring big conveniences. The gusseted crotch is roomy, so the pants are comfortable and allow a more natural range of motion when walking and climbing. The fly unsnaps and zips, which is a relief. The side zips are big enough to give easy access to the pant pockets underneath.

WHAT DOESN’T
These are not complaints, but nothing is perfect.

A cinch at the waist
The elastic waist does a good job in normal circumstances and light use, but on long walks you really need a belt. The pants also have a belt loop, which it helpful. But, if I had my druthers, the pants would incorporate a cinching mechanism to tighten the waist without a belt.

Fatter ankles please
Even though the slicker is breathable, it’s still a slicker and I only wear it when it rains. The legs are plenty fat to get over most footwear quickly, but it takes a little work to slide the pants legs over my duck boots. To be fair, only flared bell-bottoms would be able to slide over those boots without coercion – and the demand probably doesn’t warrant such a change.

FINAL WORD
This is as good a set of rain gear as I’ve owned. And, it’s the best I’ve seen for warm weather. So, if you fish warm days or hot places, the Simms’ Vapor Elite Jacket and Pants are worth a look. Likewise, if you either travel to fish or try to sneak in a little fishing on your business trips, the Vapor kit is a good, packable option. The jacket comes in at $280 and the pants at $200 – below many comps on the market.

Review: Simms Essential Gear Bag 90L

A fishing bug-out-bag that’s ready to go whenever — and wherever — you are

by Shane Townsend

Prepare for the general so you can respond to the specific. That’s the nut of emergency preparedness done right. It’s also a solid guiding principle when it comes to being ready to bug-out for a fishing trip anytime the opportunity arises.

After several months of use, I can say the Simms Essential Gear Bag is built for it.

WHAT WORKS
Utility
At the end of the day, this bag is 24″ x 14″ x 18″ of utility. And, the design elements help create a bag that would serve a skinny water flats redfish gal in Florida, a trout bum in Colorado, or a guy pulling chinquapin from Mississippi creeks or largemouth from central Texas stock tanks.

Strong Base
The zippered compartment at the bottom of the bag is designed to hold waders, belt, and boots. It keeps the wet stuff away from the dry stuff. And, the vents let air circulate and help it wet stuff dry.

Big Main Compartment
The main compartment is roomy. You can use the two optional dividers to break up the space and separate your smaller pieces of gear. Or you can keep the space big. I do the latter and put my fishing backpack – fully loaded and ready to go – into this compartment so I can just pull it out and go when I get where I’m headed.

Durable and Weather Resistant
A good bug-out bag has to keep gear together – and keep it protected. In staging, closet contents beat each other up and jam holes in one another. In transit, the bed of a pickup is a great place to get soaked, scraped up, and stained. And, in the woods or at the waterline, there’s ample opportunity for more of the same. This bag is tough and water resistant with its combination of ballistic nylon, water resistant finish, and a bottom coated for extra durability.

A Place for Rods Tubes and Nets
Where’s this net go? Right there on the back. The bag has a place to put it so you can keep a hand free. And, two bungee-and-clip rod tube holders (one on the front and another on the back) make it easy to keep the rods with your gear and again to get them where you’re going.

Nooks and Crannies
Just as there’s a time for a big open space, there’s a place for pockets. And, the Essential Gear Bag has plenty of pockets. There are pockets on top, pockets on the front and back, and more pockets on the sides. There are pockets for whatever essentials will define your trip: rain gear, reels, boxes, you name it. There’s room.

Other Thoughtful Elements
The bag has a comfortable shoulder strap and plenty of handles so you can grab it when you need and get it where it needs to go. The daisy chains on front and back are a plus when time to cinch it down, or tie something to it. And, finally, the Velcro patch is a nice touch for sticking fly drying panels, patches, boxes, or other loop field accessories.

WHAT DOESN’T
A Little Wonky When You Pop the Top
The top piece offers lots of deep storage. And, when the bag is all zipped up, the bag is sturdy. But, unzip the top of bag and everything flops and waddles a little too much for my liking. Nothing falls out of the bag mind you, but it’s just a little wonky. If they added an internal structure to sure up the bag, it would also add weight. The bag is already nearly 5 pounds and anglers aren’t in the extra ounces business. So, probably not feasible. And, for me at least, not a deal breaker.

FINAL WORD
All in all, the Simms Essential Gear Bag is a well-designed, well-executed, solid performer. I keep it full of my gear ready in the closet by the front door. Waders, boots, fly boxes, reels, rods, fishing pack, rain gear, a pullover, change of clothes, camp towel, knife, sunglasses, leader, tippet, line, tools, sunblock, snacks, LifeStraw, IFAK, kukri, net, lighter, – the whole nine. It’s in my bag. And, it’s ready. So, when my buddy calls up and says, “let’s hit it” I don’t have to waste time staggering through the house grumbling, “I know the x, y, z is around here somewhere.” If you’re looking for a bag that’ll hold it all together and stand-by ready to go, you might have a look at the Simm’s Essential Gear Bag – 90 Liter.

The Best Fishing Cameras Under $1000

The Best Fishing Cameras Under $1000 thumbnail

If you’re beginning to hit your local waters or prep for that big summer trip, you may be thinking about buying a camera to capture those moments. As a photographer/videographer, what I look for in my cameras may be completely different from someone who just wants a few pictures for bragging rights back home. However, regardless of your end goal, it is always nice to have a camera that will help you get the results you want. Here are my top 5 picks for fly fishing cameras under $1,000 that will help you capture pictures and videos that will wow everyone from the local guide shop to the family dinner table.

Disclaimer: this isn’t a complete technical review, however, I will highlight a few specific specs for each camera that I think stand out.

Sony a6400 – $999

The release of the new Sony a6400 is a great addition to an already phenomenal a6000 series line up. The a6400 is a mirrorless micro 4/3 camera that has some great features for stellar photography and videos. The camera is compact, featuring a small body with small lenses and is the living embodiment of the benefits of using a mirrorless camera, but it is not too small to where it sacrifices usability. It is weather-sealed (not waterproof) which is great for the accidental spray of water or light drizzle. The camera features photo priority modes for those who understand manual settings, but also includes an auto setting if you aren’t too keen on the technical aspects of photography. Other features like a brighter and flip up LCD screen make the camera perfect for sunny conditions and can help you frame that perfect picture of yourself and your catch on the water without trying 100 times and sacrificing the fish’s health. Overall, this is an excellent starter camera with higher-end capabilities and is perfect for fast action situations like fishing. Below I will list some video and photo features that stand out:

Photo:

  • 24 megapixel sensor
  • Takes incredible photos
  • Features sharp and quick autofocus (including a new animal eye-autofocus which if perfect for nature photography)
  • Interval mode for time-lapses
  • Fast continuous shooting at 11fps for those crispy action shots of casting or getting that fish drip

Video:

  • Good Dynamic Range
  • No crop factor in 4k at 24fps
  • Real time autofocus tracking
  • Con: no in camera stabilization (solved by purchasing lenses that have optical steady shot)


GoPro HERO 7 Black – $349

Ever since its first release, the GoPro quickly became a staple action/adventure camera, especially in the fishing world. The GoPro HERO 7 Black is no exception. Not much needs to be said about the GoPro — it is compact, high quality, waterproof, can take the brunt of a high-intensity fishing expedition, and doesn’t break the bank. Below are some features from the HERO 7 that make it a great choice:

Highlights:

  • Stabilization options — introduction of the new HyperSmooth stabilization at 60fps in 4k
  • TimeWarp or Hyperlapse feature creates smooth moving time-lapses
  • Easy to use interface
  • Live-streaming capabilities to show off your monster fish in real-time
  • SuperPhoto Mode — capture quality HDR photos

Canon 80D – $899 (Body Only)

While a few years old, Canon’s 80D full frame DSLR still holds its own in the camera world. As a DSLR, the 80D is much larger and less compact, but along with that comes superior build quality, weather-sealing and is especially better ergonomically for people with bigger hands. Don’t underestimate the ergonomics of your camera, the size of your camera can make a significant difference in your shooting experience. While the 80D is okay in the video department, it shines with photos and its fully articulating LCD screen allows you to see your screen in even the most awkward situations to ensure you get the shot. With its larger size and intuitive interface, the 80D centers around ease of use. It offers some of the best dynamic range in its price range for an APS-C camera and is a solid camera that continues to be a great choice for an introductory DSLR. Below I will list some video and photo features that stand out:

Photo:
  • 24 megapixel sensor
  • Great quality photos
  • 7 fps Continuous shooting
  • Benefit of access to Canon’s range of EF mount lenses

Video:

  • 60fps at 1080p
  • Canon color science — great for shooting in flat profiles

At a great price point, the TG-5 is a rugged camera that is waterproof and shockproof. The compact body is chock-full of features such as GPS, compass, LED light and a built-in F2-4.9 / 25-100mm equivalent lens. Its plastic body actually stands up to being dropped, dinged, scratched and dented much better than full metal bodies, and it also makes it a light and pocketable camera — perfect for family fishing vacations. While this camera does have the disadvantage of not having interchangeable lenses, don’t let this fool you into thinking this is just another point-and-shoot camera. Not only can it serve as something to get a quick shot of your personal best brook trout, but there are also some features that allow you some creative capability as well. Below I will list some video and photo features that stand out:

Photo:

  • 12 megapixel sensor
  • Great Macro capability
  • Can shoot RAW (which is hard to find at this price point and in a point-and-shoot type camera)

Video:

  • No crop factor in 4k video at 25/30fps
  • Can shoot 120fps in HD

iPhone X (or comprable smartphone)

What can’t you do with your phone at this point? While I’m specifically focusing on the iPhone, this suggestion can apply to many smartphones out there at the moment. This is a great option because you already have a great photo and video tool right in your pocket. Never underestimate the power of your phone to take great pictures. Plus, using your phone means you don’t have to spend money on a separate camera and it also means one less piece of great to worry about. Those comments aside, your iPhone is great because its waterproof, compact and easy to use. Additionally, there are so many great accessories that can help turn your phone in a photo and video machine including add-on lenses and products like the AxisGo Water Housing which we did a review on last year. Here are some general features that stand out:

Highlights:

  • 12 megapixel sensor
  • F 1.8
  • Optical stabilization
  • Good Dynamic Range
  • Excellent slow motion capabilities 60fps in 4k or 240fps in 1080p (the autofocus does suffer)
How do I choose what’s right for me?

Now I’ve just thrown these 5 options with a lot of information at you. So, you may be asking how to I choose what is right for me? Well, I hate to be that guy, but it really depends. You should definitely factor in price, how careful you are with cameras, mirrorless vs. DSLR, what your goal is (high quality content or just something to post to the bragging board), and whether you want to focus on pictures, videos or both, to list a few. However, this article should not be your only go to when it comes to making a decision. Buying a camera is a process that should take time, research and countless hours spent reading reviews. Hopefully this article acts as another tool in your search for the camera that will help you capture some epic memories out on the water this summer.

*Cover photo from FlyLords’ latest trip with Aussie Fly Fisher and Waterline Charters.

Article written by FlyLords Media Intern Matteo Moretti.

Continue reading “The Best Fishing Cameras Under $1000”

Review: Simms Bounty Hunter 100 Roller

Luggage that makes it easy to travel with all your fly fishing gear

by Shane Townsend

Americans travel for work. Many of us do anyway. Last year alone, we took some 460 million business trips. Most involved air travel. And, nearly half allowed for what the U.S. Travel Association calls “a leisure component.” That last bit is fodder for hope for my fellow anglers with the fly. It means sometimes we get to fish new water.

Even when my odds of getting out are only one in a million, I now elect the Lloyd Christmas model of optimism:

“So, you’re telling me there’s a chance?”

So, I go Spartan on packing work attire. And, while I wash my unmentionables and sundries in the sink, I pack absolutely everything I need to get on the water should the chance arise.

This wasn’t always the case, though. For a time, unless there was a guaranteed fishing trip, I wouldn’t lug around waders, boots, rods, reels, fly boxes, fishing pack, fishing clothes, and so on. But there were rarely guarantees. So, I didn’t prepare. And, the wages of my reluctance was missed opportunity and regret. There could’ve been a half hour in Rwanda. A half-day in Tanzania. And, half dozen other wasted chances.

Finally, I woke up and committed to fixing the problem. And, in recent months, the Simm’s Bounty Hunter 100 Roller bag has been part of the solution. It’s carried my gear to Virginia, London, Chicago, Indiana, and soon back to Kenya. And, it’s helped me get on the water more times than not.

So with a clear conscience, I can tell you what’s good.

WHAT WORKS
Wide-open spaces
The bag is big. It’s deep, long, and wide. It measures 30″ x 16.5″ x 14″ and 6,930 cubic inches to be exact. And, it opens with a clamshell. So, it’ll take more than you think and everything I’ve needed to carry. The utility is in its wide-open spaces, but the zip away internal dividers, compression straps and interior mesh pockets help you tuck things away as needed.

Spare the rod
Other bags I’ve had – and loved – have offered rod storage only in a zipped-up compartment at the bottom of the bag. That worked fine. But, what Simms has done here is strong work. They’ve incorporated two rod storage areas into the frame of the bag. This hides the rods. It protects the rods. And, it allows you – if you choose – to lock the rods. So, it gives me peace of mind about packing the rods for travel to locales where the gear is worth more than most people earn in months.

It’s durable
International airports eat luggage – good, bad, cheap, and overpriced – it’s what they do. So, when I find a durable piece of gear, I stick with it – especially if it’s protecting my investment in fishing equipment. The Bounty Hunter’s hardware and waterproof fabric make the piece durable enough to get my gear where I’m going.

It’s balanced and stable
One of my fishing gear travel bags looks good, feels goods, holds a fair amount of gear, has all the right components – and falls over constantly in the airport because the wheel-base is too stinking narrow to be practical. The Bounty Hunter is a hog with a fat, sturdy wheelbase that allows you to get where you’re going. It’s balanced. It’s stable. It’s good.

Other thoughtful design elements
There are a number of features that make the bag good at what it does. Here are a few. The zippers have holes so you can bind them with a luggage lock and deter would-be stealers of your gear. The seam-taped waterproof roll-top drybag (included) for keeping essentials dry or for dirty clothes is hugely helpful whether fishing or just traveling. Simms has built in a number of handles around the bag, which makes loading the gear so much easier. A daisy chain runs along the top of the bag, which provides plenty of tie-down options when the need arises. And, finally, the extendable handle adds an appreciated touch of comfort when navigating tight crowds or racing down long airport or across endless parking lots.

WHAT DOESN’T
There’s something that doesn’t work here somewhere, but I’m still looking for it. Maybe, they could throw in the rod tubes with the bag? Probably not, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.

FINAL WORD
This bag has one job: Get gear safely where you’re headed and back. And it’s damn good at what it does. At $400 the bag comes in at a price comparable to similar to high-end, fishing luggage. For anglers who travel and think Lloyd Christmas is onto something with his optimism, you might have a look at the Simm’s Bounty Hunter Roller Bag.

DOUGLAS SKY 9’ 8WT REVIEW

I have cast, fished and/or own a bunch of Douglas SKY’s from small stream trout to oceanic environs sizes. Douglas Outdoors is a New York State company that someday is going to build rods in a brand new, advanced technology rod shop but currently has them fabricated in a top quality S. Korean shop. I’ve known their rod designer, Fred Cantaoi for many years and have great respect for his designs. SKYs are built employing Nano silica particulate resin and high strain multi-modulus graphite using expert blank craftsmanship skills. The blank and anodized reel seat are finished in matte gunmetal grey and the thread wraps are black with the primaries trimmed in lighter grey, good looking, stealthy and understated. SKY’s use a great guide set with the most advanced titanium framed Fuji Torzite strippers and nickel titanium single foot Recoils, light weight and impervious to salt. They are packed in a synthetic mesh, breathable and quick drying, unique rod sleeve and an all-aluminum tube with an engraved cap. All in all, SKY is a carefully conceived, well thought out quality product.

Our recent trip to Florida in pursuit of redfish on the flats was the first time I’ve fished SKY in its 9’/#8-weight form. Usually I describe SKYs as progressive at the faster end of medium fast…think Zenith but significantly refined, improved and notably smoother. However, for this rod in its 8-weight configuration I‘m losing the medium and going with fast, fast and powerful but still with sufficient tip flex for great feedback, line feel and casting short off the tip.

We put this SKYs prowess to the test as day two of our redfishing included winds in the 20 knot class necessitating tight loops and lots of line speed. I do not think I and surly not my wife who shared this rod with me, have the arm strength to access all this rod’s lower taper, vast reserves of power but SKY got it done and its distance ability is limited only by your casting capabilities.

I frequently recommend cross-comparing SKYs when seeking a new, quick trout rod and now I’m adding this 8-weight for those seeking a potent saltwater flats rod.

Au Sabot’s Historic Pocket Knife Is on Sale

France is the gravitational center of the culinary world, so it’s fitting that the country also produces some of the finest cutlery available. The focal point of that industry is Thiers, a town in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region that’s home to roughly one hundred knife making companies as well as a museum dedicated to the art and process. Thiers blades aren’t just for chefs though; knives of every kind are created there, including Au Sabot’s Le Thiers pocket knife, which is currently 40 percent off at Huckberry.

Au Sabot’s ode to Thiers is a handsome folding knife with a 3.5-inch blade made of carbon steel that’s available with handles made of hardwoods like rosewood and olive as well as more exotic materials like the horn of African buffalo. The knife’s form was developed by the Confrerie du Couteau Le Thiers, which means “Brotherhood of the Thiers Knife,” during the nineties to pay homage to the town’s 600-year history crafting blades. Fifteen local masters worked over months to design the Le Theirs. Au Sabot makes its version by hand in its factory there and includes a fold-out corkscrew in the handle, which, as the French might say, is quite à-propos.

Gear Review: Gerber Defender Tether

WHAT IS IT?
Gerber Defender Tether

WHAT SETS IT APART?
Gerber designed its Defender Tether for control — optimizing elements so precious in tournament fishing’s time-sensitive environment. Both the large and compact versions feature a tip control carabiner with a split ring for the tool of your choice. A large finger hole at the base of the carabiner allows for easy reach and line extension, while absorbing the line tension for easy use of the tethered tool. A slip lock holds the carabiner in place when not in use.

HOW DO I USE IT?
The large size Defender Tether features a 48-inch Dyneema cable; 36 for the compact. Both are protected by an override lock-out system. A wide-body, flexible retention clip secures to belts or waders, as well as the straps of lumbar packs or backpacks. The compact model offers an additional mounting option — a threaded pin that can attach to your shirt, jacket, etc. The Defender Tether’s body is made of anodized aluminum (flat sage color). The carabiner is anodized aluminum, orange.

HOW MUCH?
$27

MORE INFORMATION:
GerberGear.com

ANGLER’S INSIGHT:
Keeping commonly used tools at close reach presents a constant challenge. If you spend even a handful of seconds reaching for those braid cutters, hook file or jig buster, you could miss a key moment. Sticking tools in pockets works, but I like how Gerber eliminated that final step of returning a tool to its home after each use. Just drop it and the line zips back into place. I’m thinking this tool is going to prevent a lot of oops moments and lake donations.

Costa Baffin Sunglasses Review

A couple of months after ICAST 2018, I was fortunate to receive a pair of sunglasses that won the “Best Eyewear Award”: The Costa Del Mar Baffin’s. The Baffin’s are just one of four models in Costa’s Untangled Collection.

These sunglasses have been an absolute pleasure to wear. Not only are the sharp-looking frames and unmatched clarity of the patent 580 lenses easily persuading; but the real story is the material used to make these fantastic frames.

Making an Impact

Costa’s Untangled Collection is a result of a unique partnership with a company called Buero. Buerro works with industry-leading companies, such as Patagonia, Costa, and Jenga to name a few. By incorporating their NetPlus materials into these companies’ supply chains, they work with fisherman along on the coasts of South America; collecting and converting discarded fishing nets into consumer products; such as sunglasses, furniture, surfboard fins, and more.

After collecting discarded fishing nets from commercial fishing ports, Buero recycles the nets down into a raw material in the form of pellets that are used to create the finished product—sunglasses.

Stylish Frame

The rubber, textured pads on the arms and nose pad of the Costa Baffin’s are exceptional at keeping the glasses in place. Photo Chris Schneider
The frame of the Costa Del Mar Baffin sunglasses is large to extra-large fit; which is perfect for those with large to average-sized heads. Made from 100% recycled fishing nets; the frames are a unique black/gray tumbled-finish, that includes detailed textures and stylish rubber grips for comfort and performance. The nose grips are made from PLUSfoam rubber and are textured, too. They do a great job of keeping these sunglasses on your face.

The washed-out black frame color is one-of-a-kind. The material won’t show scratches and scuffs like glossy frames. They are super lightweight; which is essential to any angler that spends long hours on the water. I haven’t experienced any fatigue while wearing these as I have in the past with heavier frames. They’re a pleasure to wear all day long. A small but impactful aluminum plate lies on each side of the frames, featuring the Costa logo.

Incredible Clarity

The clarity from the polarized glass (580) is nothing but incredible. The 580 lenses block out harmful yellow light while enhancing reds, blues, and greens. Even under cloudy conditions; the dark glasses allowed me to see things underwater a great distance. The lenses are available in four colors: Gray, Blue Mirror, Copper, and Green Mirror.