New Gear

Retro v. Modern

New Gear



Who among us didn’t fish a Pflueger Medalist when starting out with a fly rod? OK, maybe not all of us, but some of us dug around the garage and came up with whatever we could just to get on the water. And then we moved on to sealed drags and $400 price tags. Not that we needed to; we just wanted new toys. Today old can be classified as new, because Pflueger updated its legendary Medalist reel while retaining the classic black finish and fatty handle shape. Here are some changes: The new reel is machined from a single piece of aluminum; it can be palmed to stop a big fish; and tolerances have been upgraded tremendously. If you’re going classic, this is a reel to have. $119


Tongass Waterproof Bags

You’d be foolish to think you might not need full waterproof protection during summer. (Think Class IV waves and thunderheads that build up without warning.) And consider how much most of us have invested in our techy gear—meaning those iPhones, GPS units, power banks and digital SLRs that find their way onto the water with us. If you want to protect all of that stuff and keep your extra clothes dry, try Umpqua’s line of Tongass waterproof bags and packs. We’ve carted the Tongass 650 waist pack and the Tongass 1800 backpack all over the Northwest as well as through the Northern Rockies. Rain, sleet, snow and wind-blown saltwater spray—there’s nothing that these roll-top bags can’t take. $169.99 (waist pack) and $229 (backpack)


Chromer (7126-4)

This ink-black, fast-action stick is a steelhead’s lament, as now there are few places these fish can hide, even when you are throwing heavy tips and large flies. In testing last fall the Chromer picked off three Clearwater metalheads on two November day trips—numbers any steelheader would accept. This rod should serve equally well in the summer when swinging wets just under the surface and skating Strung-Out’s on top. $399.95

Pulse (7116-4)

The Pulse is touted as a fast-action rod, but we took it to Canada in February and, loaded with Rio’s 475-grain Skagit Max Short shooting head, found it to throw like a medium-action. Even so, we were able to reach across the Yakoun River with sections of T-14 and Fish Tacos wherever we pleased, even when the river blew out and ran bank-to-bank full. Seriously cool “lichen” green color makes the rod appear as if glowing when set next to a steelhead. $650

Third Coast Custom Cut Tips

You never know what the conditions might be on a salmon or steelhead stream, so how would you know the precise tip you might need to reach fish? Scientific Anglers has taken out some of the guesswork by offering 30-foot sinking sections of tungsten T-12, T-14 and T-18, with welded loops at each end. That way you can cut 18 feet of T-18 if the water is high and roily and use the remaining 12 feet when the water falls. Basically, you can make these sections into two tips cut at whichever lengths you choose. $49

New Gear

Fenglass (765-3)

This short, three-piece stick is a blast on narrow mountain streams and tributaries of larger rivers. And, because it is relatively soft and forgiving to tippets, it excels when fishing tiny flies to large trout on spring creeks. It’s up to you to figure out a way to land the fish once they’re hooked. $219.95

Shearling Visor Holder

OK. We get it. There’s no reason not to be proud of your truck’s dashboard rug with a thousand flies stuck in it. But what if you had to borrow—don’t say it—the better half’s pimped-out Land Rover? Securely strap this classic 8″ x 4″ waxed-twill-and-sheep-shearling fly holder to the visor, and you’re good to go. No holes in the leather, no theatrics when you get home late . . . again. Matching streamer and leader wallets too. $45

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