Tag Archives: product reviews

Simms Taco Bag - Closed

Product Review: Simms Taco Bag

The Simms Taco Bag can really be described in one word. Simplicity.  The bag can be unzipped and laid on the ground in a large circle (a proverbial wader bag  tortilla) to provide an excellent place to stand when getting in your waders at the beginning of the day. When the time has come to call it quits the design of the taco bag keeps your wet boots and waders from dripping into the interior of your car.

Pros:

  • The mesh vents at the top of the bag help to prevent mold and mildew buildup.
  • The 40”x 20” dimensions are large enough to hold at least two sets of waders and boots
  • Price: At 29.95 this bag is an affordable solution for anglers looking for inexpensive wader storage.

Cons:

  • Since the bag has no sections it is hard to keep dry gear separated from wet gear.
  • Once zipped up the inside of the bag tends to get quite dirty from the waders themselves. However if you are diligent in cleaning your gear this does not really make a difference.

Overall this bag cannot be beat for anglers who are looking for a simple and practical way for storing waders and other wet gear.  This is just another example of why Simms is considered one of the best when it comes to fly fishing equipment.

Product Review: Griffin Odyssey Spider Fly Tying Vise

If you are looking for a fairly in expensive fly tying vise than the Griffin Odyssey Spider Vise is the one to get. This vise has a nice smooth rotary feature to get your wraps uniformed. The clamp is nice and snug and I have tied hooks anywhere from size #4-22.

I have been tying on this vise for about 2 years now and have not come across a problem with it yet. Its functionality is perfect for what I need to tie flies. I am no pro but wouldn’t call myself a beginner either.  The Griffin Odyssey Spider  Vise has a long stem and comes with a C clamp to attach your vise to the table. It’s all very easy to use and very easy to adjust the tension of the rotary on the vise. One of the best things about this vise is that the hooks don’t pop out of the vise while you are tying like some cheaper vises do.

Pros:

  • The price, simplicity, rotary, the secure feature for holding the hooks in place.

Cons:

I would recommend this vise to anyone that has found they like tying more than they thought they would and have grown out of the beginner tying kit vise and don’t want to break the bank.

This vise is adaptable to a pedestal base also and I would recommend one if you like to travel with your vise from trip to trip. But that’s another review in itself. Go out and try it for yourself. You won’t be disappointed. Trust me.

Umpqua Magnum Midge Fly Box

Product Review: Umpqua Magnum Midge Fly Box

The Umpqua Magnum Midge Fly Box is one of my new favorite fly boxes to own. Its slim design is nice so you can stuff more boxes in your pack. This box has so many slits in the foam it’s hard to fill the box up with all your small dries. This box has 2 large magnet spots to through your old flies or really small flies that you can’t pick up out of the foam.

The pros to this box is simple. Thin, see through sides,  Zerust strips, water proof, magnets, and its fly capacity.

The cons to this box is I don’t own more of them. I haven’t found any cons to this box yet, other than if I get another one I would like to buy it in other colors to tell the two apart from just looking in my pack.

I would give this box a 5 out of 5 because for a small dry fly box, or very small nymphs, and emergers. This is the box to own.

Once you own this box look into the other great Umpqua boxes they have to offer for every combination you can think of.

Product Review : Simms Guide Waders

A Simms classic has been reborn in the form of the reintroduced Simms Guide Wader.  For anglers looking for frills and luxuries (aka front zippers, hand warmer pockets and built in retractors) these may not be your cup of tea. However what these waders lack in gadgets they make up for in pure angling function.

These waders feature a 3 layer GORE-TEX fabric from the legs down and when the temperatures drop staying warm is paramount.  My favorite feature on the Simms Guide Wader has to be the front stitched seams. In my extremely humble opinion that is huge because they do not experience as much wear as traditional seams. That is where a majority of anglers experience leaks within their waders due to constant friction from hiking and wading.  Overall these waders are an excellent value for anglers who don’t want to break the bank when looking for new waders.

Pros:

  • 3 Layer GORE-TEX fabric which makes these waders highly breathable and leaves the angler feeling comfortable and dry.
  • Built in gravel guards to provide extra protection while wading
  • Front seam construction increases longevity of waders.

Cons:

  • In my experience these waders can be quite hot as temperatures rise during the summertime.  That can be attributed to the quality materials used to keep the angler dry.

These waders have served me quite well over the year and a half I have been using them. I have heard  that it is not uncommon for an angler to get 5-10 years out of a pair of these Simms waders.  These waders are not cheap but if you fish 70+ days a year or just want to be as comfortable as possible spending that little bit extra will pay off in the long run.

Product Review : The Simms Guide Wading Boot

As many anglers know Simms Fishing Products makes a wide variety of high quality products. The Simms Guide Wading Boot is no exception.  As a person that has a difficult time walking as it is wading can be a challenge for me. Having a boot that can give me the optimal mix of support, traction and comfort is paramount.

The Guide Boot is an excellent boot for anglers looking for a little bit more support while wading.  The Guides utilize a full Nubuck leather upper that makes them extremely tough and durable. For me one of the most important features of this boot is the molded rubber toe cap. It provides excellent protection from rocks and all other obstacles faced while wading.

Pros:

  • Full Length EVA Midsole for added cushioning
  • Molded rubber toe cap for added protection in the toughest of wading conditions
  • Molded rubber heel cup design provides excellent ankle support
  • Felt and Vibram Streamtread Rubber Soles to meet the needs of any angler

Cons:

  • The Nubuck leather makes these boots on the heavier side weighing in at over 4lbs
  • Brass hardware utilized within the lacing system will, over time, wear out laces
  • Leather within the boot does not dry quickly. These boots will stay wet longer than other boots.

This boot has become a favorite of not only me but a majority of the staff here at Fishwest. This boot provides just the right amount of support, cushioning and traction. Overall these boots have so far withstood the test of time for this unsteady angler.

 

Product Review: Simms Dry Creek Tech Pouch

The Simms Dry Creek Tech Pouch is simply a glorified zip-lock bag…or is it???  This little bag is made of durable waterproof material and includes features like a zip-lock AND roll-top closure to insure that the belongings inside stay dry.   The cord allows it to be worn around your neck or tethered to a larger bag (or boat, etc).

The nature of the sport we love is that we are around water.   It doesn’t matter where you fish…high elevation trout, Pacific Northwest steelhead or tropical saltwater destinations.  You can and will get wet.  We also carry expensive electronics, ie- smart phones, GPS units, etc.  The Simms Dry Creek Tech Pouch is a simple and cost-effective way to protect these items while still being able to keep them with you while you fish.

When traveling abroad, I keep three things with me at all times; my money clip, my cell phone and my passport.  These are not items that I am going to be leaving in my hotel room or anywhere else.  On a recent bonefishing trip, we had an incredible amount of rain.  It rained almost every day.  Using the Tech Pouch, I was able to take those items out on the flats and not once have to worry about them getting wet.  The items in the pouch may be the only things that weren’t wet at the end of the day!

Pros:

  • Very light and travels well.
  • Clear screen allows you to see whats inside.
  • Touch screen on phones will work through the clear screen.

Cons:

  • Neck strap provides little to no padding, but it isn’t too heavy anyway.

The Simms Dry Creek Tech Pouch is a seemingly simple product, but is packed with features and functionality…making it worth its weight in gold.

 

Sol Sunguard Bluewater Sunscreen

If you are like me, you hate putting sunscreen on your face.  Mostly for the fact that by early afternoon, fishing hard in the hot sun, you sweat and start getting it in your eyes.  They burn, they water and become pretty much intolerable.  I may have found the solution..

For years while attending different outdoor retailer shows, I have seen this crazy sales guy putting sunscreen in his eyes during demos.  I always just shook my head and kept moving.  Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago, while packing for a bonefishing trip I was buying sunscreen and saw the Sol products.  I thought, “what the hell, I’ll give it a try.”  It turns out it works!  I fished six days in the hot Bahamian sun, putting the Sol Bluewater Sunscreen on my face every morning, and not once did I have any irritation from sunscreen in my eyes.  So, now I am a believer.  This isn’t even a product that we sell yet, but trust me…we will.

Product Description (from the Sol website):

Specifically created for those whose love of the water runs deep. In fact, Sol BlueWater has been all-day tested in tropical waters, just like the people who wear it. Sol BlueWater’s ultra low chemical-active formula uses Z-Cote, a powerful, microfine zinc oxide that offers transparent and total protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Its unique fragrance-free, emulsion-loc technology means the sunscreen stays on your skin and out of your eyes. Skin protecting emollients protect your skin from drying, chapping and irritation. Get some sun, but first get some Sol. Extra gentle, formulated for water-sports.

Have any of you used this product?  Have you found anything else that doesn’t irritate your eyes?

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Clear Cure Goo Products Rundown

While epoxy is a well known fly tying material, it has been scarcely used because it was a real pain in the you-know-what.  It was like trying to juggle within a time limit.  You have to mix it, hope you got the proportions right, then hurry and get it in place all the while keeping the fly spinning so that gravity didn’t mess up the application.  Even if all that went right, often times the epoxy would yellow.  No wonder we avoided it.

Enter Clear Cure Goo (CCG).  It is hard to sit down at the vice and not use some form of it over the course of a tying session, whether it is filling gaps in a head, making a fly more durable or simply finishing a fly to have a nice clean look.  This product is everything that you love about epoxy without everything that you hate about epoxy.   There is no time limit, simply apply the product and get it into place, then when you are ready…hit it with the UV light and you are done.  The epoxy is cured within seconds and you are free to keep tying!

Here is a quick rundown of all the CCG products:

Clear Cure Goo Thick – One of the original CCG products, the Thick is awesome for building up heads, filling in gaps or any other time you need the epoxy to take up space.  While it is thick, it will still lay down nicely to create very clean finishes.  The original CCG Thick will have a slight tack to it, even after it is cured making it great for applying eyes, etc.  Once the fly is done, a quick coat of Hard as Nails will make it complete.

Clear Cure Goo Thin – The perfect complement to CCG Thick, the Thin flows and spreads better than Thick.  It is great for coverage (like big saltwater heads, poppers, etc.).  I personally have used the thick to fill a gap on a big bucktail streamer head and then used the thin to complete the entire head.  CCG can take a bad head and make it look great.

Clear Cure Goo Brushable – Similar in consistency to the Thin, the Brushable applicator brush makes it great for coverage situations, like Crease flies and other big poppers.  It is also amazingly useful for epoxy back nymphs, etc.

Clear Cure Goo Flex – This is something that epoxy could never do!  Apply CCG Flex anywhere you want, cure it and you now have a flexible shape that wants to return back to its original cured shape.  Think about all the soft plastic applications with this one.  Another amazing use I have found for it is making a foul guard on long materials.  Simply apply CCG flex to the material from the bend of the hook to about and inch beyond and it will still move without fouling when cast.

Clear Cure Goo Curing Light – The piece that brings it all together.  Simply work your CCG material of choice into place, then BAM, hit it with the light for a few seconds and you are done.  The material will not move and you can go on with your life not stressing about your epoxy curing.

Clear Cure Goo Tips – Seems like such a minor thing, but these tips make a major difference.  They help with finer applications and can also be used to move and smooth the epoxy into place.  The tips are sold in sets with 2 straight, 2 standard curved and 2 fine curved.

Clear Cure Goo Kit – A great starting place for anyone looking to start using CCG.  The kit includes the Curing Light, 2 Tips and Covers, 1 tube of Thick and 1 tube of Thin.

Clear Cure Goo Thin Squeeze -  The great feature of CCG Thin in a hand squeeze applicator bottle.

Clear Cure Goo Tack Free Thin – All the same great features as the CCG Thin, but cures tack free!

Clear Cure Goo Tack Free Brush – Brushable CCG that lays down and cures tack free.

Clear Cure Goo Tack Free Flex – Flexible and tack free.

Clear Cure Goo Tack Free Hydro – Hydro has the same consistency of head cement, so it is a great material for securing the base of a large clump of materials (bucktail, etc.) or for giving your perfect head a nice clean coat for durability and presentation.

Clear Cure Goo Fleck – Now we are talking…want to give your flies a little more flash and sparkle?  CCG Fleck has flecks of gold, silver, green and blue pearlescent glitter.  All that and all the features of CCG.  Awesome.

Clear Cure Eyes – The newest product.  These look awesome and will likely cause a few more fish to fall prey to our streamers.  Available very, very soon.

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Any products that are not linked will be available in the next few weeks!