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  • October 8, 2012

    Best Gear for Camping on a Fishing Trip

    By John Merwin

    Camping plus hunting or fishing go together like peanut butter and jelly, or so I thought, this morning as we camped on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. It rained last night. This morning the campground looked like a FEMA forest of blue tarps as campers sought refuge under cheap plastic.

    Except for us, of course, as we had a better way. There are lots of better ways when it comes to camping. Everybody, it seems, has their favorite gear and the tricks for using it. The above photo shows our set-up this morning. From within that, here are a few--to us, anyway--essential highlights.

  • October 17, 2011

    Review: 5 New Flashlights For Anglers

    By John Merwin

    Flashlights. Everybody needs at least one and--most often--more than one, each light suited to a particular task. In my case, that includes tying on a fly or lure after dark, finding my way through the alder tangles back to my truck, and illuminating the area around a camp stove so I can have dinner.

    I recently had the chance to test five new-for-2012 flashlights, a couple of which are truly outstanding. Fortunately, my neighbors didn’t call the cops despite seeing all the odd-looking activity in my yard after dark. I am thus still free to report the following.

    1. The PolyTac 90 LED is a small (4.1 ounces, 5.22 inches high) right-angled light that puts out a whopping 170 lumens at its highest setting with 3 hours and 45 minutes run time. On the lowest-output setting, the two 3-volt lithium batteries are said to last for 30 hours. An attached belt clip plus a hanging carabiner give various attachment options. At $85, it’s nice, but pricey. From

  • December 8, 2009

    Cermele: Why Your Wife Will Go to Bass Pro This Christmas

    By Joe Cermele

    Thanksgiving is over. I know this because every commercial on TV is now Christmas-related. I don’t generally pay attention to these rants about sales and holiday cheer, but I noticed something interesting this year. Bass Pro Shops is running loads of commercials, and I’m not talking about just on Versus and the Outdoor Channel. I’m talking Bravo and Lifetime. Why? Because these commercials are targeted at wives who don't fish. Here’s why they’re genius.

  • December 7, 2009

    Fishing Shirts: Why Polyester Is Better Than Wool

    By John Merwin

    This is an unabashed plug for a fishing shirt. I pay retail for these things--no free samples, darn it--and do so happily. They are just that good.