Gear Reviews

Ninja Suit

My first encounter with the Ninja Suit was at a Denver based ski and board store. They proudly had this grown man/woman size onesie displayed on a manikin and to be honest, my first reaction was one of laughing out loud. But my curiosity got the better of me and I was intrigued by the sign saying something to the effect of “the best base layer you’ll ever own”. I picked up the box and read about the design and material and decided that this might be a very cool onesie, despite my initial thoughts of it being funny. When I came across their fish patterned merino wool suit I knew I needed to get one to bring to the TrueFly audience as a review, thinking these just might be really kick ass under waders as well.    I got in touch with the guys at Airbalster, who make the Ninja Suit, and they were happy to get one in our hands- they even sent the fish print merino wool edition! I couldn’t wait to try it on. So, with almost a foot of snow on the ground and my trusty dog Ivy along for the adventure I took it outside and this grown man did karate in my new onesie! It was surprisingly warm for how lightweight it was for a full body suit with a hood and being 16 degrees out.     When I buy a base layer I look for perks like comfort and how easily I’ll be able to move in it. When I’m outdoors I’m pretty active and the last thing I want is my base layer binding me up and restricting my movements. I also want a base layer that has good moisture wicking attributes. I sweat when I’m acti...

Redington Butterstick and Grande Reel

Okay so for those of you that know me, I am all about fishing "silly rods." I say silly not as an insult but as a compliment for a unique experience and this rod delivers just that. A very unique experience. In a day and age where modern fast to ultra-fast action graphite rods are king, fiberglass rods offer something that feels just as foreign as the day you first picked up a fly rod. Now for those of you that fish slow action rods, this treads familiar territory for you. For those of you that don't, I would recommend checking out this rod if only for an afternoon of laughter as you rework your cast to accommodate a rod that keeps you on your toes with every haul. With modern fast action rods, the cast is one that commands that the angler be extremely precise and confident through the motions of presenting the fly in exactly the right spot. Fiberglass could not be more polar opposite. That said though the experience that you get from a fiberglass rod is not a negative one. It actually becomes a truly enjoyable experience. There is a zen that comes with the slower casting methods as well as a certain gratification wondering where your fly is going to land on the water. So this is the 2nd rendition of the Butter Stick. The one thing that I do miss, from the 1st generation is the bright goldenrod color. The original color reminded me of delicious butterscotch candy as it glistened in the sun of some Rocky Mountain river bank. That said though, I am also really on board with...

Mountainsmith K-9 Pack

Up for review this week is a pack for your four-legged adventure companion.  Here’s a simple fact: outdoorsmen are gear junkies!  We like to have all sorts of tools, food, rope, fishing gear, hunting gear, camping gear, and any other gear that strikes our fancy.  We then need to find bags and packs to store and carry all of that gear in.  Another thing outdoorsmen are known for: our dogs.  Most of us (but not all) have adventure dogs that go everywhere with us.  My adventure dog is a yellow lab named Ivy.  She fishes on the river with me loves family hikes and loves to go camping.  But what most people don’t realize is that a dog will need more water than you (from my personal experience) and like you, she’ll need food and snacks during any physical activity as well. So when I came across this Mountainsmith K-9 pack I thought it looked super cool and would help me pack all that gear we love around, with the help of Ivy.  I mean, imagine all the stuff I could put on my dog’s back and turn her into a pack mule!  Of course, this isn’t what I did. Even though Ivy is a tough 70-pound lab I don’t want to do anything that will cause injury to her and dogs aren’t built to carry heavy loads on their backs. Diving into the pack, getting it on Ivy, and my thoughts before using it.  This pack is designed to carry your dog’s essentials like collapsible lightweight water bowl, food, snacks and possibly light bedding if going for an overnight.  It has big pockets which is nice and getti...

DrinkTanks: Take your micro brew To-Go

If stereotypes have any truth to them, then I know fly fishermen and beer go together like peas and carrots. This is why I want to tell you about one of my new favorite pieces of gear I use to tote my favorite craft brew to the river. DrinkTanks makes one bad a** piece of gear. Currently I have the 64oz growler version but plan on expanding that to their 128oz version very soon. Each tank is insulated ensuring that your beer stays frosty cold for over 24 hours. So when your favorite micro brew doesn’t distribute, then fill ‘er up on the way to camp. The way the lid locks on to the top with the dual clamp system prevents any leaks and I mean ANY leaks.   Which brings me to my next point. If you spend the extra few pennies, you can get their Keg Cap kit. I mean sure you could just take the lid off of your Drink Tank, but why not get the complete experience. What makes the Keg Cap so cool, is you get a little CO2 injector that allows you to add CO2 to the empty space in your tank. Not only does this keep your beer from going flat, but it also pressurizes the tank allowing you to utilize the pour spout. Not to mention it adds a level of panache that you just can’t get with other drink management systems. One point that I would like to make, is MAKE SURE YOU POUR YOURSELF AT LEAST 1 BEER BEFORE YOU USE THE CO2 INJECTOR. I never thought I would ever have to write this but failure to do so will result in explaining to your family why you have to clean beer off the ceiling. Now...

Orvis Waterproof Hip Pack: No More Soggy Crackers

There are two things I love in this world more than anything else, wet wading and sitting on the side of the river with a gourmet combination of whole wheat crackers and peanut butter. The problem with that is, crackers and water don't mix. At least until I found this pack. So for anyone that knows me, I've tried fishing vests, sling packs, backpacks, hip packs, you name it. I've found that for my usage, hip packs tend to be the most comfortable while on the water.  So far the only issue I really have is I tend to wade through some deep water and well... get all of the contents of my pack soaked. Including my crackers.  Well I have that problem no longer. I have been using the Orvis waterproof hip pack for some time and I can tell you with the upmost confidence that it is in fact waterproof. Literally to the extent that I even keep my dslr camera in it which alone has saved it from numerous watery graves. Which brings me to my first point. This pack is roomy for a hip pack. Straight away when moving over from my Ledges 650 which has a few dividers in the main cavity of the backpack, the Orvis pack has one big area for you to store all of your gear. This is insanely beneficial to me as sometimes I want to carry extra spools to swap between the day if I am fishing salt flats or streamers on the river.  Inside the main pocket however, there are a few mesh pockets for smaller items like spare leaders and strike indicators. Theres even a larger zippered pocket for your cell pho...

Ty-rite, The Pen is mightier than... lost flies?

Almost everyone I have fished with has at one point struggled to tie a fly on, it’s not an age thing or being able to see well thing, it’s just a thing that happens to everyone at some point. Even I sometimes struggle to tie on small flies it could be the size of the hook like a 20 or smaller or the wind and lack of finger dexterity due to cold weather whatever the case is, it happens to us all. Well we got a product in our hands that seems to have the solution to this problem, and it’s called the Ty-rite. The Ty-rite is a great little tool that hangs on a lanyard or pack or will clip on a shirt pocket.  This little device is a small spring-operated assistant for holding and tying on small flies. Well, any shape and size flies really. The Ty-rite at first looks like a stubby a ballpoint pen. But looks are deceiving this is nothing like a ballpoint pen. Instead of hosting ink at its end it has a little hook that extends when the button on the other end is depressed. This hook on the Ty-rite goes around the bend of the hook on your fly and holds it tightly against the tool so you can tie it on the line without struggling. I found it easy to use, and when tying the clinch knot, it was very easy to spin the Ty-Rite 4-5 times and then slip the tag end through the loop to tighten the knot.  Pros: Small and light, easy to store and access Made in the USA Seems like it will last Solves a problem for everyone, but especially our more seasoned fishing buddies. Cons: Looks like a ...