Some thoughts on tackle...

I was trying to copy and paste something, I tried to post a thread earlier and my computer locked up. It was long, and I didn't want to retype, so I copied it and emailed it to myself, now I cannot seem to get it to paste. Oh well, was just me sermonizing on tackle is all, likely saved you all a few mintues of your life, haha!

Gonna try this a paragraph at a time or so from my iPad, I think my laptop is heading to Belize...

Firstly, and I've said this before. ALL freshwater reels are, for the most part, overbuilt. And you really cannot build a saltwater reel tough or durable enough, particularly reels designed for big, offshore pelagic and bluewater species. Anyone who would tell a neophyte to our sport that, if pursuing freshwater species like trout and bass necessitates a machined, disc drag reel that costs over $300, well, that person is doing the newcomer a great disservice, and are possibly alienating someone who simply doesn't know any better. A trout fly reel is really nothing more than a line holder, and as long as you can prevent spool overrun, you're doing just fine. Especially as today, almost all modern reels have exposed rims, which allow one to "palm" the spool if you're fortunate enough to hook a fish capable of pulling out line; exposed rims are great, and weren't actually all that common years ago...

Now, for me, I like the fact that the majority of my reels have smooth, strong drags, even my trout reels. I like tight machining tolerances, and I like type 3 anodizing. I like having nice gear, but I do NOT feel such gear is necessary, nor do I believe it makes me a better angler. However, while I deplore snobbery of any kind, equally, reverse snobbery can be every bit ad off-putting. Anyone who looks down on owning expensive gear is as much a snob in their own way as the person who insists is is needed. As long as we all can recognize and acknowledge that $400 trout reels are silly and an affectation, well, who am I, or you, or anyone to say what one should or shouldn't buy? Again, as long as one doesn't confuse want and need, then I have no issues with such choices, no more so than the neighbor who buys a new Porsche (the guy across the street from us just parked a 911 S in the driveway last week, and I say kudos to him!)


Now, someone is bound to say, well, what about a 20lb trout from Jurassic Lake in Argentina? Obviously I am talking about the freshwater fishing that 99% of us partake in, fishing rivers and lakes and streams for small trout and bass and the like. But even in the case of the 20lb behemoth, I'm of a mind to say that any decent angler worth his salt would land as many fish on an old Hardy Princess as they would a new Abel Super 6N. The point is, of course, that much, if not most of modern gear, is aimed at catching anglers and our hard earned dollars, as opposed to strictly in aiding in catching fish. And who can be surprised by that revelation? I recall such marvelous "innovations" such as rods built with anti-vibration dampening material, used in nuclear subs and so secret it couldn't be named (I'm looking at you Orvis...) Or all the way to today, with reels built with carbon fiber/rulon/ceramic stack up drags, with MagnaLock and 4 N40 Magnets (Ross) and numerous other examples of Mad Men-like ad copy, all for gear designed to catch a 2lb trout with hooks and feathers. Huh...


Old Man

Just an Old Man
Most I ever paid for a reel was 100 smackers. Most I ever paid for a rod was 210 smackers. The rest of my gear is on the cheap side. But you know the fish don't care what I use to fish for them with. I never wanted to spend a lot on gear. So I always looked for the bargain. I enjoy using what I have and to hell with expensive stuff.
As mentioned, I am as guilty of this as anyone, and I am as likely to buy into some new technology nonsense as anyone. I like tackle, I like perusing new catalogs every spring, and I find hanging out in fly shops is better than most other ways of spending an afternoon if not on the water. While gear, and rods in particular are better today than say, from 1980, not all rod development is progressive, every new rod series is necessarily a step forward, and if everynsingle angler out there fished the rod that BEST suited their casting style and ability, there would be a far wider and varied distribution of rods in peoples hands than we currently see. Most anglers I talk to insist on fast rods, and will recite as if written in stone, you need a lightweight rod, Konic technology, nano-titanium unilateral scrim, zero torsion multi axis, blah blah blah... Yet, get anyone of these guys out in a parking lot, blindfold them, have them cast 10 different rods, and I defy them to tell me which rod is lightest, which rod costs more, which rod utilizes which technology, etc... And much like golf, skiing, or any other endeavor in which gear and equipment is a vital part of the sport, only about 5-10% of the users out there can utilize the "best" technology available. Equally, those same 5-10% are likely good enough that they can use just about anything available.

With rods, if you cannot accurately cast 50', well, what difference can it possibly make if you're using a $100 overseas Bass Pro Shops rod, or the latest and greatest $800 stick from Sage? Again, this is not meant as a demonization of quality gear. However, it is important to have a good sense or ones true ability prior to making a big purchase. I read a lot of posts asking about specific rod makers, series and models. Truthfully, you really need to cast a specific rod yourself in order to make any sort of opinion on it's worth to you. Even then, it's often only after fishing a rod for a period of time before a true opinion can be formed- what I, or any stranger may think of a rod is almost entirely immaterial to your own thoughts on it. I think it is important to recognize that, by and large, there are no really bad rods being made today, assuming we are looking at rods made by any reputable company, and that includes imports like Redington, TFO, Albright and others, all the way to Sage and Loomis and Winston. If you've spent, say, $100 on a rod from a company we've all heard of, well, you're likely doing just fine. And rod making isn't exactly Nuclear fission. Rod design I believe is where there's more differentiation, but the actual making is, to a large degree, a commoditized endeavor. While QC here in the states is where you may really help yourself when purchasing, I will admit to owning several Korean made rods I really enjoy. Then again, I'd gladly trade in my Charger for a Japanese-made Lexus LFA as well, so it is what it is. I generally buy US built whenever possible, for a multitude of reasons, but I think there's room for a wide variety of quality and price points.


Active Member
I'm with you on this Formerguide.

I do not need disk drag reels for the trout I catch locally, but I don't want to fish with click pawl reels. I hate them. I don't like the sound they make, I don't like the resistance both directions, I don't like the standard arbors, and I don't like "embracing tradition". I don't like bamboo or fiberglass rods either. Yes, 90% of the trout I catch locally could have been caught on a willow switch with my extra line coiled up in my coat pocket, but where's the fun in that? I like modern graphite rods, and reels with sexy machining and buttery smooth drags. I don't need any of that to catch fish, but that is what I enjoy using. I like to think I'm in the 5-10% that can tell the difference, but it really doesn't matter. You make a good point about snobbery and reverse snobbery. People should fish the gear that makes them happy and not place judgement on those who make different choices.

Kent Lufkin

Remember when you could remember everything?
Just thought I'd post a pic of MY new Porsche. Notice that it has disk-drag brakes on all four corners. They're incredibly powerful and will slow the car down from its top speed of over 160mph in an amazingly short distance. Of course I don't really need them since almost all of my driving is at 35-45 mph, but it's reassuring to know they're there in case I ever find myself going 160 . . .




Active Member
While you’ll find a lot of tackle items at other shops are really just glorified toys, all of the equipment we sell at Puget Sound Fly Co. is actually completely necessary and designed strictly for functionality without any attention to appearance or flair. A prime example: The hot pink nippers on our counter have a smooth cutting action and a spring loaded return, that prevents repetitive stress injuries. The hot pink anodization acts both as a corrosion protection and makes the device easier to find if dropped. Again, hot pink Abel nippers: strictly functional.
If anyone needs me to, I can sign a note (for your significant others) attesting to this.
Nautilus rims, that is bloody cool (I think...)

Where'd you find this?


Just thought I'd post a pic of MY new Porsche. Notice that it has disk-drag brakes on all four corners. They're incredibly powerful and will slow the car down from its top speed of over 160mph in an amazingly short distance. Of course I don't really need them since almost all of my driving is at 35-45 mph, but it's reassuring to know they're there in case I ever find myself going 160 . . .