Fly Fishing Gear photo

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We’re going to launch a regular feature on Fly Talk, called “Stuff That Works.” I’m stealing that title from my favorite Guy Clark Song (“Stuff that works… stuff that holds up… the kind of stuff you don’t hang on the wall…”).

Truth be told, when I do product reviews in the magazine, an important focus is often on high-tech, new and improved. That’s great, but it seems to me, in fly fishing, it’s also important to zero in on things that might not be quite so flashy, but are functional and stand the test of time. These are the things I wear and use; things that ride around in my truck with me. From the old “retro” vest that I get teased about (but has been fished from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego), to the sunblock I wear, I’ve learned through trial and (much) error that there are certain simple products that will not break your heart.


So let’s start with this fishing putty called “Mojo Mud,” a tungsten- based soft weight that my buddy John Perizzolo literally cooked up in his back yard. Odds are you haven’t heard of it yet, but it’s catching on, especially among guides in Colorado who make their bread and butter nymph fishing, and understand that slight weight adjustments are the trick to catching more trout.

I was a fan of the old “Shape-Weight” years ago, but most other soft weights I’ve fished aren’t all that effective. Either they’re too brittle to mold over a knot, or too malleable to hold form once they get dunked in water. Mojo Mud is the perfect consistency in this regard. It shapes and sets up well.

Three other things I like about fishing Mojo Mud: 1.) It’s tungsten- based, not lead-based, so not only is it environmentally friendly, it sinks faster and more consistently (a little dab will do ya); 2) When I nymph fish, I drag bottom and lighten up from there. That means I hang up in the rocks a lot (usually with the weight)… the soft weight gives a bit and changes form with gentle tugs, so I save flies I might otherwise break off when hung up on split shot; 3) Most importantly, weight adjustments are key to my nymphing strategy (I’ll change weight 3-5 times before I even consider switching bugs), and the Mud allows me to pinch some off (and save it), or mold a little more on in seconds, without fumbling with split shot or hemostats.

Fishing soft weight on a nymph rig takes some getting used to. I didn’t like it for a long time, but eventually the advantages became clear.

If you want to give Mojo Mud a try, your local fly shop might not carry it (they should). You can order it online for $10 at It’s available in brown or gray.