Tag Archives: product reviews

Fishwest 5wt “Showdown” – Part 1: The Sage Method


We have been getting a few requests to give our opinions towards some of the more talked about rods. Last Saturday turned out to be quite the nice day at the shop so we decided to string up a few 9ft 5 weights and put them to the “test”. Morgan and I decided to test the following rods:  The Scott Radian, The Sage One & Method as well as the Winston Boron IIIx.
RI30GOLD_lg_800x800

In order to maintain all fairness and accuracy within the test itself we utilized the same reel and line setups on each one of the rods. All the rods in question were outfitted with the Orvis Encounter series fly reel and the Rio Gold fly line.

To gain a complete feel for each of the rods targets were placed at intervals of 30, 50, and 70 feet respectively to simulate a variety of fishing situations out on the hunt for trout in the Rocky Mtn west. Please know that Morgan and I are basing this article solely on our opinions of the rod performance. No consideration was taken on objective factors such as looks, warranty, or price ect.

The Sage Method kicked things off for us:


This rod is newest member of the Sage family of fly rods.  This rod falls into the “Super Fast” category of Sage Rods. This category started off with the introduction of the TCR series which was later replaced by the TCX line of rods.

IMG_1899_FotorAt first glance you will notice two things about this rod.  It is extremely lightweight and quite stiff. The stiff feel is to be expected with the “super fast” action profile of this rod.

JC At 30 feet I feel that this rod struggled mightily.  Paired with this line, this rod had zero feel at thirty feet and made the rod hard to cast because it would not load properly. Also presentation was compromised at 30 feet due to the stiffness of the rod, the casts tended to lie down a little bit on the harsher side.

Within the 50 foot range this rod began to excel and casting was a breeze. The overall presentation of the fly landed quite softly which was nice.  The accuracy on this rod was also exceptional at this distance and beyond.

This rod could easily touch the 70+ foot mark with accuracy and distance with no questions asked. The rod still had plenty of power to spare. Paired with the right line, possibly a 6wt GPX or Rio Grand this rod could easily cast 100 feet and more

Overall this rod despite its shortcomings has some practical advantages in my opinion.  If this rod was overloaded with a 6wt fly line it would perform much better. This rod would excel being used in a variety of situations (big nymph rigs, articulated streamers, large dries). The stiff action of this rod would stand up extremely well to the windiest of conditions.

___

Morgan: Although I was pleasantly surprised with the performance of this rod, it still seems like this is a rod for more experienced casters or those with a specific purpose in mind for this rod (salt, streamers, or heavy nymph rigs).

I personally don’t enjoy faster action fly rods for throwing dry flies, in most cases they are lacking in presentation. Even though this rod lacks in presentation it thrives throwing long casts, streamers, and big nymph rigs.

IMG_1897At 30 ft, this rod is a broomstick, plain and simple. There was almost no chance of feeling the rod load at such a short distance. With that being said, it still made the cast.  Albeit, not the lightest presentation out of the bunch but definitely still fishable. Like JC had mentioned, I too would have liked this rod even more with an over-weighted line such as the Rio GrandScientific Anglers GPX or Airflo’s Super Dri Exceed. I have even heard of guys over-lining this rod by two line weights.

Casting this rod at 50ft was a breeze. This is where this rod really started to shine. We start to get a feel for when/where this rod loads up in the forward and back casts at 50ft. My casts were cleaner and had a much lighter presentation at this distance. It easily picks up 40 or 50ft of line and set’s you up to lay it right back down without more than a couple false casts to clean up your cast or change directions.

My casting abilities became very apparent when I started making 70ft attempts but this rod, compared to others, did help make up for my inexperience at longer distances. These long distance casts seemed, to me, to be what this rod was made for. Being able to pick up 40 or 50ft of line, make a couple false casts and shoot the line out to 70ft distances was a breeze. Although the line we’re using is a typical trout taper, the line shot very well and could have only shot better with a line with a heavier head.

This rod is not an all around Rocky Mountain trout rod in my opinion. This is a great rod for heavy flies and long casts, but can still make due throwing dries in a one rod situation. The Method would be great on our larger western rivers or on the salt.IMG_1895_Fotor

We hope that you have enjoyed the first installment in our four part series where Morgan and I review various 5 weight rods. Next up is the highly anticipated Radian from Scott Fly RodsStay tuned, for in depth information on the Sage Method and more, visit the place for All Things Fly Fishing Fishwest.com

The Return of a Classic: The Ross Reels Heritage Series

I have to say I was quite intrigued when I heard that Ross Reels decided to bring back the Gunnison as part of the new Heritage Series of reels. I remember learning to fly fish with  these reels as a kid on all my dads gear. Some of my greatest early fishing memories are associated with those reels. He continues to use those same reels to this day. He swears that those are the “best reels ever made” and trust me he was very quick to tell me Ross “knows what good is” when they decided to bring them back.

That’s enough reminiscing from me about the Ross Gunnison for the time being. For all those who didn’t know that these reels were coming back check out the info below! These will be available mid June 14′

rossusa_logoREINTRODUCING THE GUNNISON:

RRF25GUNRBK1_lg_250x250The Ross Reels Gunnison is one of the most famous fly reels ever produced and 28 years after its debut, many still see daily service in the hands of guides, lodges, and individual fly-fishers everywhere. The Gunnison offered form, fit, function and durability combined into a package that still comes to mind whenever anyone thinks of “Ross Reels.” Having tamed both freshwater and the salt, the Gunnison is back and available once again as this year’s featured Heritage Series product.

The Ross Reels Heritage Series is about getting back to our Colorado roots – specifically those products that made us the premier fly reel manufacturer in the world. The Ross commitment to manufacturing USA made quality fly fishing products has not wavered since we began crafting fly reels over four decades ago. To honor this legacy we are reintroducing the Heritage Series, showcasing our famous products that have been and still are the favorite on-water tools of fly fishers across the country and around the world.

RRF25GUNRBK_lg_250x250First in that line is the timeless Gunnison; a true workhorse reel made available to an always adventurous public, it gained its reputation for indestructibility and reliability on water ranging from the salt flats of Christmas Island to the remote wilderness rivers of Alaska. One of the first reels available with an advanced composite drag system, in 2014 Ross has taken the design one step further and re-engineered the bearing housing to improve performance; all while allowing post-1998 frames to fit on the 2014 edition. The Gunnison has once again set the standard for what a fly reel should be – smooth, powerful, lightweight and durable.

ross-reels-heritage-series-blackThe Heritage Series Gunnison will be available in sizes G1 , G2, and G3, individually numbered from 1 to 500, 1 to 1000, and 1 to 500 respectively, and laser engraved with the Colorado state flag. Not just a collector’s piece, these are fly fishing tools, designed for years of productive service out on the water. Place your order today, and own a piece of fly fishing history.

Check them Out by clicking HERE

An Inside View: The Orvis Mirage Reel

Many of us here at Fishwest are excited about the Orvis family of Reels. The Mirage is a machined beauty with enough stopping power to work in a variety of Saltwater and Freshwater applications.  Check out the Mirage family of reels by clicking HERE.

The Original Multifunctional Headwear: Buff Headwear Anthem

In all reality a Buff is one of the most underrated pieces of sun protection that you can possibly have.  This simple tube of fabric can be used so many different ways. A Buff is a staple in my fishing pack and can be used in all situations from high temps on the flats to the snowy conditions at altitude. For those who have never seen or heard of this product I would urge you to check them out, your face and neck will thank you later! For more information click HERE.

The World’s First Triple-Textured Fly Line: Introducing Scientific Anglers Sharkwave Fly Lines

SWPicture

***The Scientific Anglers rep for Fishwest , Greg Pearson dropped off a few of these lines for us to put to the test. We now have the 5wt GPX and 8wt Saltwater taper to fish. Scoot will have the pleasure introducing the Sharkwave Saltwater to Andros Bonefish starting Sunday. That 5wt GPX will be visiting Utah waters ASAP. After we have a chance to try these lines out we will share our thoughts and reactions. In the meantime check out what SA has to say about this innovative fly line***

The Development of the SharkWave –
When we introduced the Sharkskin(TM) family of lines in 2007, they weren’t simply the latest in a long line of high-quality innovations. The Sharkskin created an entirely new category of product: textured fly lines. These lines, developed and manufactured at the Scientific Anglers facility in Midland, Michigan, represented one of the most interesting and groundbreaking evolutions in the history of fly line technology.

The benefits of the textured lines were numerous: increased surface area allowed the lines to sit higher in the water, offering less drag, easier mending, less water spray, and easier pick-ups; the micro-textured surface trapped air to provide increases in both shootability and flotation—all while decreasing friction; and the microreplicated pattern increased the durability of the lines, allowing them to last up to twice as long.Sharkwave Coil

The accolades mounted. But we knew we could do better.
Using what we learned while developing the Sharkskin, we developed the Mastery Textured series. These lines took the high points of the Sharkskin technology and combined them with the easy feel of traditional, smooth fly lines, resulting in a textured line that performs like the Sharkskin, but feels smoother to the touch.

Then something struck us: Let’s take the best parts of the Sharkskin, combine it with the Mastery Textured series, and see what happens.

The result? Meet the SharkWave, the world’s first Triple-Textured and Triple-Colored fly line. Featuring Sharkskin texture on the tip section, Mastery Textured divots for the belly and running line, a smooth Tactile Reference Point at the AFTMA 30-foot mark, SA•ID line identification, AST dry slick technology, Improved Dry Tip technology, and Streamlined Loops, the SharkWave is unlike any fly line we’ve ever produced.

It’s fishing. Friction-free.

The Scientific Anglers Sharkwave will be available in March. For more details check out the line by clicking HERE

 

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.

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.