Category Archives: Industry

Sage TXL-F Fly Rod

Gear Review: Sage TXL-F Series Fly Rod

A near perfect lightweight fly rod for delicate presentations on small technical waters.

Sage TXL-F IMageThe Sage TXL-F  is a choice rod for anglers who seek their quarry in small brooks and spring creeks. For years, this ultralight, moderate-fast action rod has been my preferred tool as the bulk of my fishing is done in the overgrown, tiny cold streams that dot the New England landscape and barely appear as a blue line on a map.

A purist in pairing gear that is appropriate to the task at hand, my Sage TXL-F  3WT is outfitted with the Sage Click Series reel and Rio Gold Weight Forward Floating line. I have found this setup to be perfect in balance, weight, and sensitivity whether I am casting through an emerald foliage tunnel or delicately presenting small flies to voracious brook trout. The rod is smoothly accurate and playing fish of all sizes is an absolute pleasure due to its high sensitivity.

While the Sage TXL-F suits my style of fly fishing, it has two primary downsides: versatility and price point. On versatility, the TXL-F is a ‘niche rod’ which is not a viable ‘all around’ option for anglers who strive to own a single rod that will perform equally in all situations (does one really exist?). Those who hit the small water with the TXL-F and attempt to mix-it up between varying sizes of nymphs, streamers, and dries will quickly become frustrated as casting can be difficult and unwieldy to say the least. Across all fly fishing applications the TXL-F generally disappoints.

I am a faithful fan of this rod and highly recommend as the top of the line rod for those whose game is throwing small flies with feather-soft presentations to eager small stream trout. Hit your local fly shop or eBay (see article) and check a new or used Sage TXL-F outfit for yourself!

For further reading on what I think is the quintessential small water outfit:

Visit the Feather and Fin blog for more great content!

Not Just Any Old Fly Line: The Scientific Anglers Mastery Textured Trout

Anglers today have a multitude of choices when it comes to choosing a fly line these days.  They are bombarded with terms like AST or 3M Microballons just to name a few. What this means for anglers is that with every passing year manufacturers are pushing the limits in fly line design. They are constantly trying to improve fly line technologies so anglers have better odds at catching more fish. In a nutshell these aren’t your grandpa’s silk fly lines any more.

I have been fishing the Scientific Anglers Mastery Textured Trout Line for a little while now and I thought it would be a good time to share my thoughts on the line. I have to say that I was initially skeptical of the addition to the textured line family based on my previous experiences with the Sharkskin. Too many times did I find myself left with scoured hands from the aggressive texturing used in the Sharkskin family of lines.

Well SA must have got the memo because they have revamped the texture design on the Mastery Textured lines. The newer lines are dimpled like a golf ball instead of having a series of triangular ridges similar to that of a shark’s fin.

In my opinion the taper of this line puts it into the category of a more “all around” trout line.  I have had the opportunity to fish this line on a Scott A4 905.4 as well as the Scott G2 884.4. Since the line has a longer, less aggressive front taper which is almost 30 feet in length it results in an extremely smooth casting fly line.

Now don’t think that this line is just for throwing dry flies to spooky rising fish by any means. Like I said this line is more of an “all around” trout line. I feel that this line excels with smaller flies ranging from 22-12 however it handles anything larger with relative ease. Paired with my A4 this line has seen many a nymph rig as well as a plethora of small streamers as well as larger dry dropper rigs. (It is no secret Utah area waters are full of terrestrial hungry trout in the summertime!)

All and all this line is worth checking out. In a nutshell this line has all the positive characteristics found within the SA Sharkskin lines. The best features of the line are superior shootability from the textured surface as well as a fly line with increased surface area which sits higher on the water which allows for an easier mend.

Pros:

  • SA/ID Feature: The guys at SA decided to code all the lines with the taper and weight of each line for easy identification
  • Replicated Texture: I can’t say this enough the texture on these lines is awesome! They float high and cast/shoot extremely well.

Cons:

  • Noise Level: Due to the texture these lines do have a slight whistle that is noticeable and it does take some getting used to. *Note that the dimpling on the lines does not damage rod guides*

 Honestly I feel that our friends over at Scientific Anglers hit a home run with the Mastery Textured Trout line but don’t take my word for it. I suggest you try it out for yourself. I have a feeling you will be impressed.

Get your hands on the Scientific Anglers Mastery Textured Trout by :  Clicking Here

Two For The Price Of One: Soulfish 1 & 2 Review

Authors Note*** I am in no way a trained, licensed, or certified entertainment critic so if there is such a program that prepares or credentials individuals to review movies, I have no knowledge of it.  But I do watch quite a few movies and most of the time, I tend to disagree with those reviews that find their way into print, so, there is the disclaimer.

We (my wife and I) had the opportunity to watch SOULFISH and SOULFISH 2 this weekend as a result of the combination of having to work and the weather being what is was made it a premier chance to stay inside and live vicariously through other peoples accomplishments.

You want to see fly fishing action of the world’s largest Salmonid in Mongolia?  These movies have it.  Dry fly action for steelhead, bucket mouths on fly rods, inshore action in both gin clear water and the stained backwaters of the marsh delta, fish with chompers that would frighten a dentist, huge bones within line of sight of populated vacation areas, these movies have them all.

Both SOULFISH and SOULFISH 2 provide incredible insight to fishing corners of the world that most people would never have the chance to see (or even able to find on a map) let alone fly fish.  This is not the made up, fantasy land of professional actors, these are fly fishers doing what their passion is, fishing pure and simple.  If you take in the sights during the movie, it can give the viewer a feeling of inner peace.  If focus on the action is the impetus of watching it, it can instill a sense of envy.   But instead, take the cues from those fortunate to be part of the videos expertise in the areas fished to provide an insight of their knowledge of the sport that must be paid for through years of fishing or hiring a professional guide(s).

On a note, SOULFISH 2 gives credence to the human spirit that obstacles are not life stoppers, but challenges, that if met head on, can increase the total fly fishing experience.  Mike is a true model of resilience.

My advice, get both SOULFISH and SOULFISH 2 from a fine retailer like Fishwest and watch them when life keeps you indoors, you shouldn’t be disappointed.

I give SOULFISH three dry flies; SOULFISH 2, three dries and a nymph.

Hydro Flask: Not Just Another Water Bottle

One of my favorite new pieces of equipment is my Hydro Flask. I, like most outdoors people, get thirsty on my adventures. I always bring plenty of water with me the problem is that when I arrive back at my vehicle it is less than refreshing having sat in the sun all day. Hydro Flask has solved this problem with a whole line of products that will keep your beverages cold all day.

I know you might be saying, it’s just another water bottle, I did myself, but when I saw the Growler Sized Hydro Flask I thought I would give it a try. The results: amazing! I have come back to my vehicle after a day of fishing to find my Hydro Flask too hot on the outside to hold but when I take a drink, whatever the beverage, it is still ice cold! Now I have several at home, in the vehicle, even at work.

The other really cool thing is that the insulated walls are much thinner than any other insulated product I have ever come across so Hydro Flask is much less bulky and will accommodate much more liquid.

The pros are simple: Superior insulation for long term cooling, variety of sizes & colors, variety of tops to suit your preferences

The cons are much harder to find. I do find that I “need” more of the bigger sizes. Having cool beverages around I am much more inclined to drink so I run out when I use the smaller Hydro Flasks

On a scale of 1-5, I would definitely give all the Hydro Flask products I own an emphatic 5!

You don’t need to take only my word for it; I have yet to find a person who owns a Hydro Flask that has anything bad to say. Most are just happy to know at the end of the days there will be something cold waiting for them before the drive home.

To check out the rest of the Hydro Flask Line Click Here

UMF80LD50MO_s

Product Review: Umpqua Ledges 500 Waist Pack

 

Ledges 500 Moss

Up until this spring I have had the same fishpond Waterdance Guide Waistpack for close to five years without a single complaint. My waist pack was the only exception to my constantly changing fly fishing gear that I use on a regular basis. So when I was told one of the Umpqua Ledges 500 packs was going to show up here at the shop for me to use, I was skeptical.

My intentions were to load the pack up and use it once to learn about and then let the other employees at the shop here use it to learn about the product.  I was less skeptical after I had emptied my much larger fishpond pack into this pack completely. After fishing the pack on the day trip that I planned to be its only trip out with me, I quickly made the decision that I was selfishly keeping this pack for myself.

I wouldn’t venture to say that the Umpqua Ledges 500 is a better product that the fishpond Waterdance, However I would say it is a better fit for me. The reason is that the Ledges 500 is a smaller pack that forces me simplify what I bring with me, but for a medium sized waist pack it holds a serious amount of gear though. It comfortably holds 4 fly boxes in the main compartment along with a sandwich and granola bar, two water bottles, and a flat pocket for leaders etc.

Likes

  • Well planned medium size
  • Internal frame for support and ventilation
  • large main compartment

Dislikes

  • Shoulder strap slides requiring frequent adjusting
  • Mesh material on bottle holders gets flies stuck in it easily

If you are on the fence about medium sized waist packs and have thought about carrying less or wanting a smaller pack the Ledges 500 is definitely worth looking at.

Click Here to learn more and shop for the Umpqua Ledges 500 Waist Pack

A night with Clear Cure Goo

Product Review: Clear Cure Goo

A night with Clear Cure GooI have used many different types of epoxies throughout my fly fishing and fly tying careers. And I agree that at the end of the day, they all do pretty much the same thing. However, after coming to Fishwest, I was introduced to Clear Cure Goo epoxies. They are relatively new in the world of fly tying epoxies, but have quickly gained popularity amongst tiers in both freshwater and saltwater realms. Their product line offers tiers a wide variety of epoxies, covering all tying situations from small nymphs for trout, to large saltwater baitfish patterns.

For the Mountain West, I have found that the Clear Cure Goo Hydro and Thin epoxies cover most of my trout fly tying needs. The Hydro is perfect for putting a hard translucent layer on chironomids bodies, and topcoats for shells on nymphs. The Thin epoxy has just enough viscosity for situations that require larger amounts such as when building heads for streamers and baitfish patterns. The Thin epoxy does cure with a slight tacky feel, so a final thin coat of Hydro is necessary for a tack-free finish. I would also recommend that if you consider yourself a slower tier, or really want to build larger heads, to purchase their Thick epoxy

No matter which Clear Cure Goo products you use, the final results are a finish as hard, clear, and smooth as glass that I have yet to find crack, chip, or yellow.

Fishwest Author Secures A Book Deal

The AuthorJust a quick note to say congratulations to Marc Payne.  He just secured his first book contract.  It will be a comprehensive look at fishing in The Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  The book is slated for release in 2014.

Marc credits Fishwest as his first “writing gig” and we couldn’t be happier for him and his achievement.

Congrats again to Marc and we are looking forward to seeing the new book!

See all of his Fishwest articles here.  You can also visit Marc’s blog, The Perfect Drift

Fishpond Slippery Rock Wading Staff

Product Review: fishpond Slippery Rock Wading Staff

Fishpond Slippery Rock Wading StaffAs winter continues I found it would be appropriate to talk about one of my most underappreciated pieces of equipment. Take it from someone who knows: having a good reliable wading staff can be the difference between enjoying a day of winter fishing or packing it in early because you took an unfortunate spill. I have had one too many a winter fishing day ended early with a nice brisk swim In Utah area waters.

I have tried all different types of wading staffs throughout my years as a fly fisherman. If you were to name the staff chances are I have used it. Crossing streams and rivers is not easy for me and it definitely isn’t the prettiest sight however, it has gotten easier with the addition of the Fishpond Slippery Rock Wading Staff.

Fishpond aka Komperdell (A brand synonymous with quality ski & trekking poles) have hit a home run with this staff. The biggest reason I choose this staff over any others out there has to be the patented “Easy Lock” system that is utilized to determine the length of the staff.

The staff has a base length of 29 inches which equates to roughly 74 centimeters. From there the bottom can be unscrewed to lengthen the wading staff. Once the proper height is reached the staff can be twisted into to the lock position. The locking mechanism on this staff is quite substantial and definitely gives me the ability to wade confidently.

Overall this staff has been a great addition to my equipment. From the telescopic “Easy Lock” system to the oversized grip are just a few things that help make this the perfect staff for this unsteady angler. Take the “plunge” (No pun intended) and give this staff a try. You won’t regret it.

Pros:

  •  Lightweight Telescopic Design – Ranges from 29in (74cm)- 57in (145cm)
  • Durable & Lightweight 3 piece aluminum construction
  • Oversized synthetic cork knob that unscrews to reveal a camera mount
  • Removable Rubber tip to reveal carbide steel tip

Cons:

  •  Just discovered today that the staff has a camera mount ( would have liked to know this earlier)
  • Removable Rubber Tip could be easily lost

 

 

paclite_gore-tex_vest

Product Review: Simms Paclite Jacket & Pants

This is a re-post from a great French blog: Peche Mouch Check it out. Please understand that the translation from French to English may be a little rough. Enjoy.

Spring arrives with showers and the opening of the fishing season. This is the time to think about clothes that protect us from freezing rain.

paclite_gore-tex_pant_minpaclite_gore-tex_vest_min

After over a year of use in extreme conditions and a little different, I propose a set jacket pants brand SIMMS you will face the elements with the greatest sérinité.

GORE-TEX ® Paclite ® JACKET $ 229.95 (€ 174)

Link seller, click on the image:

The manufacturer’s specifications:
  • 3-layer GORE-TEX ® Paclite ® Shell fabric for lightweight waterproof protection
  • Extreme provides protection in wet weather
  • With corrosion resistant YKK ® zippers in nylon
  • 100% Delrin ® zipper along the entire length making it ideal for sea fishing
  • Adjustable hood stows easily in the neck
  • Skinny that promotes overall better weather protection
  • Large chest pocket that has the passage system for an audio cable for breaks in music

In practice:

A very solid jacket fabric Gore-Tex ®. After long hours in the “bush” Lapland in July or in the woods to hunt fish in the heavy rain, the jacket does not move a bit. A super light weight which makes almost forget when the door or when you put it in the top of the backpack.

The sleeves ressèrent using scratch and the bottom of the jacket is constricted with a bungee cord. I wish neoprene parts are not inserted at the end of sleeves lorque is dipped in water arms. Nevertheless, it would be less solid jacket.

Warning: this jacket is protection against wind and rain, but no protection against the cold.It will therefore supplement it with one or two layers thermal type “SoftShell” and fitting merino wool. Avoid fleeces that load water at the slightest touch.

Now that I’m with, it makes it an ideal fishing vest and even in airplanes when traveling.

To find it, see end of article.

GORE-TEX ® Paclite ® Pant $ 199.95 (€ 151)

Link seller, click on the image:

The same GORE-TEX ® Paclite and the same fabric as the jacket. The rain pants offer the perfect complement for total waterproof protection.

The manufacturer’s specifications:

  • 3-layer GORE-TEX ® Paclite ® Shell fabric for lightweight waterproof protection
  • Extreme provides protection in wet weather
  • With articulated leg design for easy movement and make it more comfortable and have a better fit
  • 100% Delrin ® zipper along the entire length making it ideal for sea fishing
  • YKK ® front zipper closure with waterproof zip
  • Zip pockets and back pockets
  • Adjustable elastic waist, belt loops and elastic ankles

In practice:

Pants very useful for times outside the waders with incessant rain or fishing without waders.Very useful for the beginning of the season when it rains and you can not put toes in the water to protect spawning shadows.

The same strength characteristics as the jacket in the same color and protection against the weather very effective.

To an investment in the long term.

In conclusion:

Even though Christmas is over, you can buy this set without problems of reliability and efficiency for the season. If you want to complete a thermal layer, take DOWNUNDER MERINO ZIP TOP for fitting and WINDSTOPPER ® SOFTSHELL JACKET .

Prefer to purchase in the U.S. for the best price.

Where to find : In cf-1339602687 or clicking on the links below directly

Visit their blog super interesting http://www.fishwest.net/explore/

Jacket

Pants

This is a store where I buy regularly for several years without problems. Take good matching sizes U.S. / F. Adjustments to the wrists and ankles allow an accurate fit. Consider also below clothes to put on the choices of sizes.