Product Reviews from a Gearhead …….

I love gear. I am a gear head. Once, before my heart surgery, I would actually maintain my fly fishing gear in a neat, clean, organized manner. Not nearly so these days. I routinely ignore fly reels that would have been washed each night, fail to wipe down my rods, almost never un-spool and re-spool fly lines, rinse salty flies in freshwater and dry them with a hair dryer, wipe my waders clean, re-organize my fly boxes, and so on. Nope, not these days.

I still love my gear though, and have found a few items particularly useful. Here, in the spirit of blatant commercialism, are a few of my favorites. Is this an advertisement? A product endorsement? Do I receive compensation from these manufacturers? Common, folks, this is America. We are in an economic downturn. The only way the future will be bright is if we spend our dwindling retirement funds on fishing tackle. Seriously. These dollars provide each of us with cool fishing tackle and in turn are spent on fly shop employees, owners, children and pets of afore mentioned persons, internet consultants, wages for UPS drivers, monthly cell phone fees and service charges (read the fine print), free coffee and pastries for walk in customers, annual parties, charitable contributions to Trout Unlimited, roof repairs, electricity, water, paper towels in the restroom, garbage service, a new Koffler boat for Chris, lunch for employees, and vacuum bags. And that’s the short list.

Here are a few of the gearish items that I really really love and have come to depend on when I go fishing at Diamond lake.

Simms Bootfoot Waders. That’s right. Much of the fishing I do is from a boat rather than on the treacherous waters of the North Umpqua, where studs or cleats or felts + studs or some such thing are really nice to have on the bottom of one’s wading boots. When fishing like a gentle-person from a boat, say on a lake or at the coast fishing for shiner perch or starry flounder or what not, it is nice to be able to slide in and out of a great wader, enter and exit the boat, and pose for photos in the mud —- all without the problem of tracking crud back in the boat from felts or cutting up fly lines by stepping on them with cleats. Simms boot foot waders are a custom order, well worth the price and the Muck Boots are a comfort to wear all day long, day after day.

Simms Headwater Reel Briefcase. We got our fly reels, we gotta have a good way to lug them around. Here it is.

Spare anchor and anchor line. Try to fish the lake or ocean from a drift boat with one anchor. Not nice. Two anchors are better than one. And if you loose an anchor it is really nice to bypass that dilemma of trying to figure out how to tie a rope around a round rock to make an anchor, or buying one at the gas station for $99.99. (We have these in stock for rock bottom (ha ha) prices, so call the shop for details.)

Patagonia Great Divider This Patagonia bag is the little cousin to the Patagonia Great Divider. I choose the big bro’ or the little one based on the number of hours i plan to be out in the boat and the distance from the boat ramp. These bags really do keep the water out and the spare gear handy. I love mine, all of ’em.

Cliff’s bugger Beasts, Crab Shaks, Bugger Barns, and such. Must have flies. Must organize flies. These fly boxes come in many sizes and do the job nicely.

Yeti Roadie cooler. This is for my road trip burritos, ginger ale, and left-overs. This cooler is a fantastic to carry and cool my snacks for days, and real food sure beats energy bars.

Simms G3 Guide Jacket. Pockets, hood, wrist closures, slim and deep pockets, great fit, really does keep the water out, and i even sleep in mine if it is dry and I am cold. I have slept in my Simms Fleece Pants too. For a week. Two pair of underwear, as JH would counsel me, the Lucky pair and the Unlucky pair. All week long.

Battery Jump Starter. For the truck, the boat, or my heart, whichever needs it most on a given day. Auto Zone has these in stock – get the 99 buck model if you want to get your heart started.

Sleeping pad, as thick and cushy as possible. This comes in handy when sleeping in the Fred Meyer Parking Lot in Tillamook.

Ok, enough for now. Go buy some fly fishing gear, please. You know you need it. Your significant other will understand and support this decision. More gear posts will follow, unbiased and objective as always. Now, may I have a cup of that free coffee?


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7 Responses to Product Reviews from a Gearhead …….

  1. fred hayes says:

    thanks for absolving me of my sins!!!

    tight lines,

  2. Oregon Fly Fishing Blog says:

    Anytime I can help a fellow angler appreciate the beauty of piling the gear high in den and garage, it is a pleasure to know I am not alone. JN

  3. Jay, I agree with you totally on the boot foot waders from Simms. I love mine. Never thought I would ever own a pair but I’ve had mine for two years now and my stocking foot G3’s are collecting dust.


  4. Jim Terborg says:

    Dear Gear Guy:

    I was at Diamond Lake yesterday, July 7. Not a cloud in the sky and temperature in the 80’s. All I needed was shorts and a shirt. You sure need a lot of stuff to fish Diamond. Not that I don’t like gear. My Dad taught me that my wife will ask “Do you need another rod?” until you get several. Then, she won’t notice when one more is added to the group. She didn’t even ask when a 10’6″ switch rod appeared.

    Thanks for the product info.

  5. Oregon Fly Fishing Blog says:

    Always welcome. Lisa has given up on me. When I say that I have about everything I could ever want/need, she just smiles and says “yes honey.” JN

  6. Oregon Fly Fishing Blog says:

    Rich. Ditto for me when fishing from boat or on clean gravel or sand and especially mud. My Simms boot foot are sooooooo nice. Question to you: what do you do wading in places like lower Deschutes and North Umpqua, or slimy algae covered rocks like South Santiam, Clackamas, and similar places? Hint: you got to be wearing like, Korkers or some such gizmo, huh? JN

  7. Jay, Actually I wore my Simms boot foots which are felt soled the last 2 seasons on the North Santiam with no problems.

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