Way back in May I wrote about 8 pieces of gear that I was really enjoying and that I thought worked extremely well. These aren’t necessarily all straight-up fishing products, but run the gamut from sleeping bags to phone cases and fiberglass rod kits. After a full sumer of playing with a bunch of new gear in the fishing and outdoor realm, I have some new favorites. Here they are…
I’m a sucker for little rods and reels. I mean insanely little… The Stone Creek 3wt, 5’ rod and reel is just that. It’s perfect for the overgrown micro-creeks I have a stones throw from my house. It’s the shortest rod I have in my arsenal and easily the smallest diameter reel at 2 inches. I know, I know you have to reel five times more than something larger and it’s hard to mend with a 5-foot rod. You know what – I couldn’t care less. It’s fun as hell and if you’re really concerned about the revolutions of your reel for 7-inch fish I’d recommend finding another hobby. If you find small short rods that get the job done even with bigger fish, dig tight fishing situations, and are in love with tiny reels, this little combo is the ticket. The best part? It’s priced at just over $200.
I’m not much of a bobber watcher, but when you’re in need of a fish – you’re in need of a fish and indicator fishing is sometimes the way you have to go. Strike Foundry’s new In-Line Suspender Indicators are easy to see, cast brilliantly, and can be rigged up in-line, looped over like many other bobbers, or at a right angle for all you techie nymphing ninjas, oh and the sensitivity is absurd. They come in four color combos and cost $7 for a four pack.
This incredible little product was developed to help people around the world in post-natural disaster situations with a renewable, affordable, easy to use light source when nothing else was available. It was conceived after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. While the mission at large for the company is primarily for this purpose I’ve found it to be an excellent companion out in the wild while fishing. It’s super compact when folded up, emits a very soft pleasant and fairly wide circle of light when inflated, and needs no batteries as it’s solar powered. I used it this summer to mark the location of our camp on a remote late we were rowing around catching smallies and to mark the location of a stringer of fish that we knew we’d never find in the dark at the end of the day. You can also use it as a backup flashlight for home or wilderness emergency kits, and it’s amazing for a “lantern” in a tent. It’s fairly inexpensive at $19.95 and for an extra $8 you can donate one to a person in need.
This 140 lumen camo colored headlamp from my favorite headlamp company is specifically designed for hunting and fishing. It has four lighting modes that include red, green, blue and white. This lets you creep around your favorite fishing hole in stealth mode while preserving your night vision at the same time. The headlamp comes standard with what Petzal calls “Constant Lighting” technology which does not gradually decrease the brightness as the batteries are drained. I’ve been using mine all summer at the bass lake and can honestly say the red LED has definitely allowed me to pull the sneak on shoreside bass when walking the banks. MSRP: $59.95
BUFF makes a great product and if you can’t keep sunscreen on your hands from releasing too many fish (he, he) or are constantly dunking your hands in the water, these gloves are for you. They are also amazing for rowing long distances giving you both sun and blister protection. They are very lightweight and tough. I’ve been using a pair for over a year now and would recommend them in all climes. MSRP: $27
Simply put, no one makes a waterproof backpack like Patagonia. Yeah, they’re expensive – but worth ever penny in my opinion. For the last decade I’ve been toting around thousands of dollars in camera and fishing gear in their zippered version. It’s been my go-to piece of gear when I need absolute waterproof protection in the elements. It’s never failed me. Now Patagonia is offering a “roll-top” version that’s slightly larger. I was honestly skeptical at first, but after a summer of abuse I’m sold. It’s just as good if not better than the original and quite a bit cheaper. If you need the ultimate in waterproofness this is the backpack you need to buy. MSRP: $149
Yeah, we’re talking about a cup here. A simple drinking cup. It IS however a cup that will keep your drinks cold or hot for a LONG LONG time. All you southern folk should know what a Tervis Tumbler is. Right? It’s been the standard “double-walled insulated drinkware” for quite a while, and it works incredibly well. It insulates, keeps your drinks condensation free and never breaks. The thing is, the Yeti Rambler works quite a bit better, at least in my tests. I’ve had ice in my cup, on my nightstand – for two full days. Actually over 48 hours… No kidding. Just think what that could do for you on a three day float on the Deschutes, Gunnison, or a texas dove hunt. Oh and it keeps coffee, tongue-burning hot too. MSRP: $29.99