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Fishing Gear

  • August 27, 2013

    The Honest Truth About Boa Laces: Are They Right For You?


    By Kirk Deeter

    One of the gear questions I get asked most often is whether or not a person should opt for the Boa closure system on their new wading boots. Boa laces are wire and they crank tight by turning a knob at the top of the boot. Pull the knob, the wire loosens, and you step right out of the boot. The idea had been successfully applied to ski boots, and Korkers was the first to get a license to use Boa on wading boots a few years ago. In recent years, many other boot manufacturers have fallen in line, not wanting to give up market share by not offering this feature. The effect on price really isn't significant. It usually comes down to a matter of personal preference. I know people who swear by Boa, and some who hate it. [ Read Full Post ]

  • August 23, 2013

    Check Out Abel's "Steal Your Face" Grateful Dead Fly Reel

    By Kirk Deeter

    Sometimes you see a piece of gear, and know you were meant to fish it. That "match made in heaven" phenomenon happened to me recently when I got wind of the new series of Abel limited edition reels, which are individually hand-painted with the Grateful Dead's iconic "Steal Your Face" logo. Abel has an agreement with Warner Music Group which allows them to produce 250 of these on its Super Series and Classic Series model reels. The Grateful Dead reels are available for a premium of $300 over standard pricing, but these things will stand out on the water, and maintain their value down the road. [ Read Full Post ]

  • August 8, 2013

    First Look: Cool Gear From Outdoor Retailer


    By Slaton L. White

    When you first peer down the long aisles of the Outdoor Retailer summer show in Salt Lake City, you instantly know you’re not at the SHOT Show. Camo? Nope. Bolt-actions? Nah. Treestands? Nada. [ Read Full Post ]

  • August 1, 2013

    Quick Look: Switch Sunglasses Magnetic Interchange Lens System


    By Kirk Deeter

    Tim Romano and I are cruising around the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market trade show in Salt Lake City at the moment. This show is unreal—everything "outdoors" is under one roof, from hiking boots to stand-up paddle boards to backpacks to fishing gear.  We, of course, are locked on fly-fishing products, and there is definitely more fly-fishing flavor at this year's event than there has been before. I'm trying to uncover some products that may be a bit out of the mainstream fly shop but no less worthy for the typical angler/consumer. My first contender comes in the form of an eyeglass company called Switch. [ Read Full Post ]

  • July 26, 2013

    Use a Float Tube to Sneak Up on Fish


    By Kirk Deeter

    A float tube or a kick boat offers great stealth advantages when you’re fishing lakes for pike, bass, panfish, or trout. No motor vibration. No clunking around. And because you’re sitting closer to the surface, your lower profile allows you to sneak in tight without casting shadows over the fish.

    These advantages are negated, however, by too much splashing and kicking, or when your casts miss the zone because of a sloppy presentation. The trick is to plan a route of attack, move into position, and then let natural elements like currents, wind, and the sun work for you. Just like this. [ Read Full Post ]

  • July 23, 2013

    Gear Review: Is the New Scott Radian the Best Fly Rod Ever?


    By Kirk Deeter

    I have a Will Rogers attitude when it comes to fly rods: I haven't met one that I do not like.  

    Sure, I prefer some above others. I think some are overhyped, overpriced, and overrated. I think three quarters of the marketing-techno speak that promotes fly rods is sheer hogwash. But if you put any rod in my hand, it's hard for me to hate it, and on rare occasions, I will fall head-over-heels in love.

    Such is the case with the new "Radian" fly rod from Scott, which deservedly won "Best in Show" in the New Product Showcase of the recent International Fly Tackle Dealer trade expo. [ Read Full Post ]

  • July 22, 2013

    Gear Review: The GameSaver Silver Vacuum Sealing System


    By David Draper

    Last fall I replaced my Cabela’s CG-15 vacuum sealer with a new model from FoodSaver—the GameSaver Silver (GS-500), which is marketed toward sportsmen. I had originally picked up the CG-15 as a refurbished unit in Cabela’s Bargain Cave, but after probably a decade of hard use that included several elk, a couple dozen deer, a few bear and antelope, and several seasons worth of geese and ducks, it was starting to show some wear and tear. When the folks at FoodSaver reached out offering a test model of their GameSaver Silver, I was happy to take them up on it. If nothing else, I wouldn’t have to cart that beast of vacuum sealer that was the CG-15 up and down my stairs anymore. [ Read Full Post ]

  • July 19, 2013

    Why You Should Put Hockey Skate Laces On Your Wading Boots


    By Kirk Deeter

    A lot of ink and attention has been paid to wading boots recently. Rightly so. Many people are wondering about tread options in a day and age when felt is being frowned upon, if not altogether banned.

    Regardless of where you stand on the felt situation, one of the biggest issues I have with any wading boot I buy is the absolutely lousy laces that come with them. (Granted, BOA wire laces are in their own league, but it's up to the angler as to whether the wire binds are worth the extra cost or not.)

    I'll be totally honest: I can't see how any company can market $200 wading boots and accompany them with laces that break after being soaked in a river four or five times. That, to me, is plain cheap and stupid.   [ Read Full Post ]

  • July 18, 2013

    Good Gear Quick Look: Grate Chef Grill Wipes


    By Slaton L. White

    Here’s a simple, yet very effective, grilling tool that can help keep your elk burgers or salmon fillets from sticking to the grill.

    All you do is pull a disposable wipe from the re-sealable package, set the grill heat to low, and slap the patch on. Place a grill brush over the patch and begin. As you scour away the burned residue, you’re also leaving behind a non-stick coating (similar to high-temperature commercial cooking oil). [ Read Full Post ]

  • July 3, 2013

    What a $1,500 Cooler Looks Like

    By David Draper

    For the past couple years I’ve been scratching my head with wonder as the market for premium coolers has exploded. Every time I open a catalog or step into an outdoor store it seems like yet another brand of cooler costing $300 or more has appeared, all with apex-predator names. There are Grizzly coolers, and Orcas and, or course, the Yeti. (Yetis are apex predators aren’t they?) I just keep asking myself and friends in the industry, who are the people spending upwards of $500 bucks on a cooler? No one seems to know. [ Read Full Post ]

  • June 26, 2013

    The Blades of Maine Knifesmith Lamont Coombs

    By David E. Petzal

    So I needed a knife reground, and I asked Chris Kravitt, the sheathmaking swami of Waltham, Maine, who might do such a job. “Lamont Coombs,” said Mr. Kravitt, “he’s as good as any knifemaker in the United States.” So I went to see Lamont Coombs, who lives in the town of Bucksport, and damned if he isn’t just that.

    Coombs, who is 43, got his start as a machinist, turned to knifemaking as a hobby in 1988, and began as a full-time smith a decade later. He has been busy. In the quarter-century since he made his first knife, more than 3,000 have emerged from his shop. [ Read Full Post ]

  • June 21, 2013

    Redington Borrows from Golf Club Grips for New Fly Rod Handle

    By Kirk Deeter

    I am starting to see the new batch of 2014 rods, and if what I have tested so far is any indication of things to come, this is going to be the best all-around new model year in at least a decade.

    One of the rods that jumps right out at me is the Vapen from Redington (MSRP: $350). You can already see why. The "Red" model features a synthetic grip, called PowerGrip, that was created in collaboration with the golf club grip manufacturer Winn Grips. It slips less when wet (I fished it on a hot, sweaty day recently and found that to be true). It's also comfortable. [ Read Full Post ]

  • June 20, 2013

    Hook, Line, And Memory Card: Use Cheap, Submersible Video Cameras to Fish Better


    By Joe Cermele

    Small video cameras designed to mount onto just about anything have flooded the market in the past few years. None of these cameras is more popular than the GoPro (starting at $200), and the fishing industry has responded by making angler-specific accessories available at tackle shops. Underwater videos of fish being released and angler-point-of-view fish fights are routine on YouTube, as the inexpensive, waterproof cameras are easy to use. But I’ve produced a lot of fishing videos, and I can say that strapping a camera to your head and hitting the Record button will not create a quality video. Also, with a little creative thinking, you can use the camera that documents your trophy catch to help you catch more trophies. [ Read Full Post ]

  • June 5, 2013

    2013 Father's Day Gift Guide


    Father's Day is almost here. Is your pops one of those guys that has everything, or when you ask him what he wants, you get, "Ah, I don't need anything," or a similiar response? This list will definitely help. We have shooting gloves, a cooler, a grill, boots, and lots more—from the affordable to the extravagant. They're all sure to make the old man crack a smile. Scroll through and get some ideas. [ Read Full Post ]