Back in Black: Abel Reels Releases New AC/DC Collaboration

Back in Black: Abel Reels Releases New AC/DC Collaboration thumbnail

From Abel Reels:

The custom Abel x AC/DC reel features the iconic AC/DC logo in a hand-painted and hand-anodized finish. A proprietary process also adds background smoke, completing a one-of-a-kind design that fans will aspire to add to their collection. These limited editions are available in the Super Series model in two sizes; 5/6 and 7/8. Each reel is individually serialized 1 through 300 in an AC/DC style font that aficionados are sure to recognize.


  • Limited Edition run, individually serialized 1 to 300
  • Hand-polished and hand-anodized finish featuring a proprietary satin smoke effect, and the iconic AC/DC logo
  • Spool is finished in Abel’s Satin Black with a machined aluminum handle, custom anodized in a unique finish that mirrors the AC/DC logo
  • Reel frame, spool, drag knob and foot made of 6061-T651 cold-finished aerospace grade aluminum
  • Constructed with the patented “smooth as silk” cork drag system
  • Double pawl system on all sizes
  • Quick change spool
  • 100% Made in USA

Each reel MSRP’s for $1355 and is available for sale now on Abel’s website!

Continue reading “Back in Black: Abel Reels Releases New AC/DC Collaboration”

Review: Orvis Clearwater fly rod and reel

Orvis’ new entry-level rod and reel outfit is a clear winner
by Spencer Durrant

The 9’5wt Orvis Clearwater deserves an article’s worth of accolades, but if nothing else this rod proves a surprising truth:

Orvis has, for the moment, lept to the front of the pack in the arms race that is manufacturing fly fishing tackle. Top to bottom, Orvis’ offerings outdo or match even the fiercest competition, and the updated Orvis Clearwater is perhaps the best example of this resurgence.

The rod retails for $198; if you get the Clearwater reel and line with it, you’re looking at $311 for an outfit that’s ready-to-fish straight out of the box. It’s a fantastic all-around rod, but really excels in that 25-50 foot casting range. Of course, at its price range, it’s not built in the US. The Clearwater does, however, come with the standard Orvis 25-year guarantee.

But what specifically makes the Clearwater such a standout piece of gear? Let’s look.

All-around performance
Fly rods are tools. The top-of-the-line Orvis, Sage, Winston, Thomas & Thomas, and Scott rods are the Milwaukee or DeWalt of fly fishing, while picking up an entry-level rod is akin to taking the Harbor Freight gamble. Often, a Harbor Freight special gets the job done, but not as well – or as enjoyably – as something more expensive. Rarely, though, you’ll luck into one hell of a great tool.

The 9’5wt Clearwater outfit is that tool. You’ll never mistake it for a Milwaukee or DeWalt, but it comes closer than anything else the industry offers. The Clearwater isn’t terribly light, but it feels good in the hand. It’s a medium-fast rod that’s more crisp than relaxed, with a forgiving action new and novice casters will appreciate. The tip is softer than I expected, and does an admirable job in tippet protection. A buddy and I took turns fishing some size 14 parachute BWOs on 6x tippet in a snowstorm, and the tippet never broke on either of us.

Delicate-enough presentation
Orvis sends the Clearwater outfit with a matching Clearwater II reel and WF line. The reel is phenomenal, but I do appreciate that Orvis didn’t overweight the line too much. That allows the rod to load well at medium distances, but still maintain enough delicacy to lay down smaller dries to wary trout.

Now, don’t mistake the Clearwater as a specialist dry-fly rod. It’s not. But it handles smaller flies just delicately enough to make those moments of finesse possible.

Build Quality
Bear in mind this is all relative since the Clearwater is a $198 rod, but its build quality is impressive. Orvis opted to give it an H3-themed sticker above the cork, alongside dark gray thread wraps holding chrome snake guides in place. The cork isn’t top-drawer stuff by any means, but it’s better than what I’ve seen on most budget-friendly rods of late.

The black chrome blank is nice, looks great in the sun, and so far doesn’t seem to absorb scratches like the finish on other entry-level rods.

Clearwater II Reel
I’m not sure if I’m more impressed with the Clearwater rod or reel. Orvis packs a Rulon disc drag into a die-cast large-arbor affair that’s damn near bombproof. The reel has surprisingly smooth pickup, easily adjusts mid-fight, and is above and beyond the value I’d expect from a combo kit reel.

In-close performance
The Clearwater does just about everything well, but it’s not a great rod for fishing inside of 25 feet. The rod is stiff enough that it really needs at least 25 feet of line out to properly load it. That’s the tradeoff made, though, for stellar performance at other distances, while keeping the rod in I-don’t-have-to-hide-this-purchase-from-my-significant-other territory.

Full wells grip
The cork grip on the Clearwater is a slightly modified version of a standard full wells. It’s normally a grip style I like, and it’s one most production rods seem to be gravitating towards of late. It feels a bit overkill, though, on the Clearwater. This is a standard do-it-all 5wt, make no mistake – but it’s no H3. A reverse full wells grip would suit the rod much better and increase the connection between the angler and the rod.

No hook keep
This is my only knock against the H3 line of rods, and when the Recon gets its update as the Clearwater did, I assume this feature will disappear as well. Tom Rosenbauer, marketing director and fly fishing guru for Orvis, told me he thinks hook keeps are “archaic.”

I personally like them, and it drives me nuts when I reach for the hook keep and it’s not there. Rosenbauer says anglers are split fairly evenly on wanting a hook keep on their trout rods, which is why Orvis opted to remove it from the H3 and the updated Clearwater. I’m not sure if adding one on your own voids the warranty, though I suppose that’s always an option.

The 9’5wt Clearwater outfit is hands-down the best entry-level, bargain-buy fly rod on the market. I didn’t think I’d find a $200 rod that I liked better than the Fenwick Aetos, but Orvis put together another fantastic product here. It’s a fast enough rod that novice casters will like it, but the Clearwater has a soft tip to protect lighter tippet. It handles dry flies well, throws streamers just fine, and does its job as a nymph stick. The build quality is better than what I’d expect on an entry-level rod.

Even with the cork grip, lack of a hook keep, and its less-than-stellar performance in close, the Clearwater is a clear winner in the entry-level rod market. Add the stellar Clearwater II reel and line, and I don’t see a better outfit available for less than $350. The Clearwater is a fun, affordable, blue-collar fly rod that has its place in the quiver of new and old anglers alike.

5 Popular Ways to Protect Travel Fishing Rods

Learn how to pack and protect your travel fishing rods while taking trips to the world’s wildest destinations and fisheries.

A Review of Rod Sleeves, Socks, Tubes, and Cases

From filling up the truck to flying with your favorite fishing rods, this blog aims to cover the different methods of protection that ensure your travel rod makes the trip intact.

***Keep in mind, you should always consult the rules and regulations of your airline prior to bringing any fishing rod or equipment along for the trip.***

Whether you’re a traveling angler or a fisherman looking to getaway, use the following advice to choose the best protection plan to bring your fishing rods along with you.

1. MHX Spinning and Casting Rod Sleeves

Storage made stylish, the MHX Spinning Rod Sleeve and MHX Casting Rod Sleeve protect your rods from damage and look darn good doing it. Each sleeve is designed to protect the blank, the line guides, and the tip of the rod during storage and transportation.

Not only can you easily store and shield your MHX rods, these sleeves are also engineered with a unique material that will neither mold nor mildew. Plus, the rubberized coating on the bell end is virtually impervious to hook penetration and greatly reduces tangles during transport.

Available in lengths for 6’6″ to 7’6″ rods, the MHX rod sleeves fit a wide range of fishing rods and come in two cool color combinations, black and gold or black and green.

Pick up your MHX Rod Sleeves right here!

2. Clear Creek Cloth Rod Sock

Designed for simplicity, organization, and value, the Clear Creek Rod Sock is a popular protection method for traveling with fly rods or even spinning and casting rods.

Starting with the material, each clear creek rod sock is made of an ultra-soft microfiber suede that keeps nicks and scratches away from your travel rods. Plus, with multiple compartments perfect for securing rods from 1-piece all the way to 4-pieces, these rod socks can hold just about any travel rod you own.

Each sock also features a flap and tie closure for added protection that can be used on its own or within a rod tube, but we’ll cover more of the rod tube method in number 5 below.

Check out the Clear Creek Cloth Rod Socks now!

*Since there are so many options to fit individual customer’s needs, these rod socks are special delivery items, so please allow for extra time on shipping.*

3. St. Croix Cloth Rod Sacks

The St. Croix Cloth Rod Sack combines a super soft cloth and separate sewn in compartments for a design that makes rods easier to pack up and more importantly, protects rods from damage.

This particular rod sack is made to fit most freshwater rods as well as many saltwater rods, excluding some surf rods.

The St. Croix rod sacks provide an extra layer of protection whether you’re traveling or storing your fishing rods.

See the St. Croix Cloth Rod Sacks for yourself.

4. Travel Fishing Rod Cases and Rod Tubes

As many anglers know, there is a bit of a difference between packing up your gear for a quick outing on the local lake, and preparing your gear to travel thousands of miles to reach your fishing destination.

So the question becomes, what works better in each circumstance, a rod case or a rod tube?

The St. Croix Traveler Rod Case

The St. Croix Traveler Rod Cases feature a durable 1000 denier nylon-covered P.V.C. with foam padded ends for rod tip protection and reinforced support for the handle.

The Traveler Rod Case also features divided nylon liners to separate and protect each section of your travel rod without having to add a rod sack.

There are two options for rod cases, either the Traveler Rod Case that fits the rod alone, or the Traveler Rod and Reel Case that includes a strategically designed pocket for the reel. The rod and reel case allows you to leave the reel in place on the rod and keep everything together in the same place.

The Clear Creek Rod Tube

Compact and durable, the Clear Creek Rod Tubes are perfect for protecting your individual rods whether you’re traveling locally or across the globe.

These rod tubes include divided interior liners that prevent scratching during transportation and reinforced seams that handle any rough-and-tough action along the way. With a crush-proof core, extra padding, and scuff resistant cap, each rod tube shields your travel rod while the rugged 1000 denier nylon water-repellent outer material keeps it nice and dry.

One key difference that makes the rod tube slightly better for flights and extensive traveling is that the tube’s flip top includes lockable zipper pulls. So while rod tubes and rod cases both work to protect travel rods from damage, rod tubes go above and beyond to keep rods safely concealed.

Clear Creek Rod Tubes are available in three colors; green, navy, and burgundy, as well as multiple size variations to ensure the best fit for your travel rod.

5. Combine Travel Rod Socks with Rod Tubes

If your fishing trip is taking you the extra mile, take the same precautions with your travel fishing rods.

In this case, the extra mile means beginning with a cloth rod sock, and then sliding your travel rod and the sock together into the rod tube.

Sure this may seem extra, but when it comes to protecting the rods you love, is there such a thing as too far?

This extra layer of protection is well worth it for extensive traveling or for trips where you don’t see who’s handling your gear or more importantly, how they’re handling it to begin with.

You can find all the rod storage and protection products above exclusively at Mud Hole!

Build Your Own Destination Travel Fishing Rod

With MHX Travel Rod Kits, you can build the same high-performance quality expected from MHX, but in the multi-piece construction that makes traveling much more convenient.

After all, what good is a travel rod, if the travel rod ain’t any good in the first place?

Learn more about building travel rods in our blog: Top 3 Destination Travel Rods

The MHX Travel Series allows you to build a packable travel rod without sacrificing its superior performance once you reach the water.

Gear Review: Simms Fast Action Pants

Simms Fast Action Pants

Simms conceived the Fast Action Pants with a key objective: to give anglers a high-quality garment with a wide range of motion. Made with 4-way stretch material (91 percent nylon, 9 percent spandex) these pants won’t hinder your movement, no matter if you’re up and down from the console on a busy run-and-gun day or frequently kneeling and reaching to boat the big ones. No tightening around the thighs, no bunching around the knees; the Fast Action Pants were designed with the active angler in mind.

Designed in a more fitted style with a fixed waist, the Simms Fast Action Pants still offer many storage options. Two slash hand pockets and two deep back pockets will hold your keys, wallet and other essentials with ease, and the pants also feature an additional phone/tool pocket, so your phone or pliers are always close at hand. The quick-drying Fast Action Pants also include a DWR water-resistant finish and UPF50.



Finding a good pair of fishing pants; now that can be a task tougher than selecting the right crankbait color. Fact is, it seems you often end up choosing comfort or functionality. Do you wear something that promotes a full range of motion, something with light but durable material, or something with well-placed pockets? Simms eases the deliberation by designing a pair of pants that hits all three categories. I particularly like the ample pocket space, including a dedicated Smartphone pocket.

0-Weight: The Sage DART

Like many fly fishers, I started chasing trout with a 5-weight. This versatile size worked well enough for  most circumstances. As I fished more, and found myself  spending a lot of my time on smaller streams, I learned how shorter and lighter rods could be more efficient and effective. And, most importantly, more fun.

Back then, switching from a 5-weight to a 3-weight felt like a big transition. I couldn’t imagine what the 2- and 1-weights I saw in catalogs felt like. And I also saw that Sage made a 0-weight. Zero. As in none. For a young fly fisher, the lack of a real numerical designation added to the mystique and intrigue. I never fished that rod, or any of the “ought-weights” that other manufacturers have built in the years since,

But nearly twenty years later, I’ve been fishing the newest Sage 0-weight, the DART, for a few months.

The rod is light. At less than two ounces it will hardly move the scale. You’ll feel fish. You’ll feel small fish. But if you’re looking for a rod that feels lighter than air, the DART might not be your best choice. There are rods, generally custom models, designed to be as insubstantial as possible. The DART is a real fly rod. It isn’t a wispy, gimmicky piece of gear fashioned  only to feel light. Technology has come to a place where even in the bottom line weights you’ll get a balanced, fishable, real fly rod.

Continue reading “0-Weight: The Sage DART”

Product Spotlight: Abel Reels + Spyderco Native 5 Knives

Flylords caught up with Craig Baker, the Vice President of Business Development at Mayfly Outdoors/Abel Reels, to discuss the all-new Abel Reels + Spyderco Native 5 Knives. Check out the interview below to learn more about what goes into these machined knives.

Photo Courtesy of Trouts Fly Fishing

Flylords: Tell us when and how this collaboration came to light?

Craig: We’ve had a knife collab idea up our sleeve for a few years now. Abel used to make a pretty nice knife, but we know there were better knife manufacturers than we’ll ever be.  In fact, we looked at multiple partners for the deal, and Spyderco was certainly the best fit; and they’re a neighboring Colorado company. We met with their owners and left them a tricked out Abel reel to keep. They put the reel on their desk for the next couple of months, and according to them, everyone touched the reel and asked about its incredible finish. They knew they needed to do the collab with us. So we spent the next 9 months dialing in the shapes of the aluminum scales, the exact materials that would take our dyes correctly, and the blade steel. We love how they turned out. And they’re all made in Golden, Colorado, and anodized in our Camarillo, California art studio/anodize shop. 

Photo Courtesy of Trouts Fly Fishing
Flylords: Why did you choose Brown Trout Rainbow Trout and Tarpon Designs?
Craig: We wanted to start simple, with few SKUs. So we chose our two most popular freshwater patterns (Native Brown Trout, Native Rainbow Trout), and our most popular saltwater pattern (Bonefish), to appeal to the broadest audience. We have many more ideas, but we’ll see how these go. 
Photo Courtesy of Trouts Fly Fishing
Flylords: What made you decide to work with Spyderco on the collab?
Craig: We work very well together and really were impressed with their commitment to quality. Abel’s partner could only be top notch. It doesn’t hurt that they make these knives all in Golden, CO!
Photo Courtesy of Trouts Fly Fishing
Flylords: These knives seem to be on the pricey side of things… Could you tell us about how much time goes into each knife?
Craig: Most people have no idea how much hand labor goes into the knife and don’t really have a sense for how much that costs. In addition to the costs of the high-end materials, machining, and labor from Spyderco, we spend more than 4.5 hours of human labor polishing and hand dying the anodized graphics into the handle scales. THIS IS NOT PAINT. We do use paint brushes to control the dyes, but the graphics are 100% embedded into the actual pore structure of the aluminum by our artists–kind of like giving the metal a tattoo. That being said, this is more of a passion project for us than a huge money maker. Profit margins are tight, but we think it’s worth introducing our unique artwork to a much larger audience. These knives aren’t for everyone, but the discerning customer will appreciate and cherish these beauties for a lifetime. 
Flylords: Who paints the knives?
Craig: The knives aren’t “painted,” as described previously, but our Camarillo team of artists hand-applies anodize chemical dyes via paintbrush, q-tip, sponges, and dipping in tanks of permanent dyes. We like to call it “alchemy.” If you make a mistake, you basically start over with a new part, so we have to be extremely careful. Our artists are amazingly talented folks that can create astonishing effects in metal like no one else in the world. 
Photo Courtesy of Trouts Fly Fishing
Flylords: Can you tell us about the manufacturing and design behind the knives? Is this done in the Abel factory or in the Spyderco factory?
Craig: The design’s starting point was the already-great Spyderco Native 5®, but our engineering teams collaborated on some enhanced ergonomics and material selections. From there all knives are manufactured by the Spyderco team in Golden, CO. The anodize is all completed in California by Abel, then shipped back to Colorado for Spyderco assembly. 
Photo Courtesy of Trouts Fly Fishing
Flylords: Where is the best place for people to purchase a knife from?
Craig: The knives are exclusively available via authorized Abel Reels dealers around the world and at
Photo Courtesy of Trouts Fly Fishing
Flylords: Any other cool product collabs coming up for this year?
Craig: Stay tuned… 😉
Craig Baker is the Vice President of Business Development at Abel Reels. Be sure to check out Abel Reels on Instagram at @abelreels. Photos courtesy of Ivan Orsic of Trouts Fly Fishing. Trouts is an authorized Abel dealer, to get your hands on one of these knives check out Trout’s full selection online here

“The Euro-Nymph X Factor”

by James Garrettson

Over the last month I’ve gotten to spend some serious time with the Echo Shadow X 3106. As a huge fan of the Shadow II for both personal fishing and guiding, I anxiously awaited the Shadow X’s release. In short, I have a new favorite rod. Recently I had the pleasure of fishing with Norm Maktima, 2018 National Fly Fishing Championship winner, recently retired Team USA member, and the mastermind behind the Shadow X.

Norm and I both live and work in New Mexico, and spent a day on the Rio Grande with both the 3106 and 3110 Shadow X. We talked hip hop, fishing, Nic Cage, and the thought process that went into what will become a much loved addition to your quiver.

What improvements did you want to see come out of the Shadow X compared to the Shadow 2?

Norm Maktima: Major improvements that I was wanting to see in the Shadow X were a down locking reel seat, lighter in hand (less swing weight), higher modulus graphite (faster recovery), interchangeable fighting butt or no fighting butt with washer weights for balance and not relying on additional extension (comp kit) to get that 10’6″ configuration. Slightly softer tip for added tippet protection and reduced fish bounce.

How has New Mexico shaped you as a guide/competitive angler?

NM: Fly fishing in New Mexico has had considerable influence on my competition game as we do not have much water available in the area. So if conditions change or become unfavorable, I cannot just hop in the ride and drive to another river without wasting the day driving. I have to adapt and try to make it happen in tough conditions if I want to fish or get some practice. At the same time, when conditions are great, I have opportunity to focus on parameters that I would come across during competition, such as pressured water, less desired water types, varying water conditions…basically tough fishing conditions. However, I can find those sections with awesome, less pressured fishing to focus on criteria to maintain higher hook up to landing ratios.

What I learned from competition feeds into the guiding realm as I have to analyze and be able to convey info to my teammates in order for our team to do well. Breaking down the situation and overall observance of the session is key to success. I find that is the same in getting clients to be productive, learning and enjoying the sport of fly fishing more. I pass along as much info that I have learned that clients can absorb. As a result, being a fly fishing guide in New Mexico sometimes requires me to dig deep into the competition vaults of knowledge to make a day productive for clients. This environment and waters challenge me and keep me sharp as an angler, competitor & guide.

Are there any charities or nonprofits that you work with or are close to your heart?

NM: I have always been willing to work with our local Trout Unlimited Truchas Chapter, New Mexico Trout and Project Healing Waters. I have been honored to be involved in an indigenous Pueblo based group that is working on river / cultural restoration. I am currently working on building the Native fly fishing community in the area. What I have been able to experience as a Pueblo Native from San Felipe, Laguna & Hopi Pueblos has been amazing and I want others to have the opportunity to experience that too.

Favorite Nic Cage movie?

NM:…Con Air!

Any new patterns to look out for?

NM: The new Maktima fly design coming out through Umpqua Feather Merchants is the PerdiChingon! This fly will be out by spring 2021. But keep an eye out for other Maktima fly patterns like the HDA Fav Variant, ICU Midge, and Low Water Baetis at your local fly shops.

Norm’s insight and improvements upon the Shadow II make the Shadow X a dream to fish. You’ll immediately notice how well the rod balances in hand (swing weight) and how quick the blank returns to a neutral position (fast recovery). The recovery is significant, I’ve been able to pick up a lot more fish on the drop, and the faster recovery is very noticeable keeping contact if you jig your nymphs or streamers mid drift. I was really blown away on how accurate the Shadow X is and its ability to turn over long leaders if you fish dries. I love the 3106 as an all-arounder for Northern New Mexico and Colorado, although the 3110 is equally at home. Having fished other 11ft 3 weights in the past, I was never a fan because of how clunky and unwieldy they were. This isn’t the case with the X, and after having a chance to test drive one, its a rod I will be adding to the arsenal in the near future. I really appreciated the extra reach and line control in the high water conditions we fished in, and if I lived in an area with larger rivers it would be my first choice.

You know the feeling when your weird college roommate comes by for a surprise visit and drinks all your beer and eats all your bacon? The Shadow X is the total opposite of that.

Product Review: REI Co-Op Spring Camp Gear

Product Review: REI Co-Op Spring Camp Gear thumbnail

This spring REI is offering it’s members an exclusive incentive of 20% off one full-priced item and an extra 20% off on an REI Outlet item if you are an REI Co-Op member. As big REI fans we were asked to pick out a few new products to test on a fishing/sailing trip down to the Florida Keys. Sleeping on a sailboat, the first product we asked for was the new Magma Trail Quilt 30.

If you are spending 4 nights on a sailboat in the Keys, it’s important to have a comfortable sleeping situation, and the Magma Trail Quilt did just that. What we enjoyed most about this product was its ability to breathe in warmer conditions on the boat – since it’s a quilt style bag I was able to adjust the bag to the different temperatures throughout each night.

The quilt features an 850-fill power goose down shell with a water repellent finish – perfect for adventures when you might get a little wet.

On this trip, we spent our mornings on a flats boat working with the Bonefish Tarpon Trust crew on fish sampling and tagging and in the afternoons we would hike around local flats in search of tailing bonefish and hungry barracuda. We looked for a backpack that could fit a bunch of our gear, would work well on longer hikes, and could also breathe well in warmer conditions. When talking with REI they told us about their new Flash – 45 backpack, they said this would be the perfect, lightweight backpack for the trip we were taking.

Our first impressions of the bag were it’s appealing look – we asked for the pumpkin orange color bag and it came out awesome in photos with the blue and green backgrounds of the Florida Keys. REI sent us the Medium bag which is a 45 Liter bag, and it fit all of our gear perfectly with extra space if we were spending additional days off the boat. The bag is simple with one large deep pocket that holds most of your gear, but it’s also very well equipped with ample side pockets for water bottles, extra rods, rain shells, and smaller items like wallets and keys… The 3D contoured hip belt and ventilated back panel were perfect for the sunny afternoon hikes – and the quick pull drawstring on the bag allowed for quick access to contents in the pack – This was especially helpful when we needed to change flies last minute.

Overall we were really impressed with the backpack. There were definitely times where having a fully waterproof bag on this trip would have been helpful, but other waterproof options are twice the weight and half the comfort. We are excited to bring this bag out west – where it will definitely come in handy on longer hikes into high mountain streams.

During our evenings in the keys, we would take the Canoe to a hidden beach and grill up some local seafood. In the bottom of our backpack, we were carrying around the new Flexlite Air Char, weighing in at a mere 1 pound, we didn’t even remember we had the chair in our backpack, but when it was time to have a few beers by the campfire the chair definitely came in handy. Easy set-up and very comfortable, especially considering its size and packability!

We had a blast testing out these new REI Co-Op products, and it’s clear they invested a lot of time and resources into designing these products, not only are they innovative, but they look great and were extremely functional for this recent trip down to the keys. Head to REI and take advantage of their Member Exclusive event valid through April 8th.

Seriously, Fly Fishing Socks

Seriously, Fly Fishing Socks thumbnail

What if I told you that, for $34.95, you could have a top of the line  piece of fly fishing gear?

It isn’t a fly box. It isn’t a small tool. It certainly isn’t a rod or reel. It is something that is significantly less prestigious, but absolutely necessary. It is a good pair of good socks.

(And, to be clear, you don’t need to spend $34.95 on a pair to get socks that will literally change the way you fish. That was just the most expensive pair of wading socks I could find from major  retailers.)

Why should you care about socks? How can the punchline of gift giving be worth serious consideration? With all of the engineering that goes into fly rods and the sheer volume of entomological knowledge necessary to match the hatch, why should the lowly sock demand any of your busy brain’s energy?

Simple: comfort.

Comfort transcends “it feels good on my feet.” Comfort entails cushion over a long day on your feet, proper circulation, moisture management, and warmth. It doesn’t make much sense to spend hundreds of dollars on waders with ergonomic  booties and nearly as much money on wading boots if you’re wearing just any socks.

Moreover, comfort means you can spend longer periods of time on your feet on the water with greater focus. Good socks, or any other piece of gear, aren’t going to keep you fishing into your later years. The cumulative effect of lots of wise choices, however, can.

Here are four things to consider when it comes to socks for under your waders:

Continue reading “Seriously, Fly Fishing Socks”

The Patagonia Boots We All Have Been Waiting For, Have Arrived…

Patagonia just released their newest line of wading boots in partnership with Danner Boots. Each pair is manufactured by Danner Boots in Portland, Oregon. These boots have been in the field being meticulously tested by Patagonia’s team of Ambassadors and are finally available to the public.

There are 2 versions of the new Danner-built boots, the River Salt Wading Boot and the Foot Tractor Wading Boot. The River Salt is a lightweight model designed to be used where ever you are fishing and feature more flexible materials making them perfect for long hikes to the river or day-long wades on the flats. The Foot Tractor Boot features a stiffer and more stiff and durable upper and comes with options for Felt and rubber soles, as well as an option featuring Patagonia’s classic aluminum bars for grip in any wading situation.

Discover how each boot is handmade in this video from Danner Boots:


Discover all about the new boots on Patagonia’s website, here.

Continue reading “The Patagonia Boots We All Have Been Waiting For, Have Arrived…”