If you’d rather be on the river than reading this blog, you’re just our type. Alas, everyone needs a little time away from the river. Besides, geeking out on new gear can be a nice way to keep your mind off those spreadsheets the boss wants by Friday. And a little research can always keep you at the top of your trout-slaying game.
Without further ado, here’s a few of our favorite flyfishing must-haves for 2022. Whether you’re starting out, ready for an upgrade or just window shopping, there’s something fun for everyone in our 2022 gear guide.
No surprise here. And not only because this is an Edge blog. But when you’re on the river, the last thing you want to think about is your glasses–or your eye safety. The Defiance comes available with glare-cheating polarized lenses and an ANSI-approved impact rating. In short, the Defiance serves up big protection at a small price.
Sorry, but unless you’re a guide, or a trout bum living in a van under a bridge, it’s not likely that you’re going to spend enough days on the water to warrant spending $600 + on a pair of waders. And the fact is, the $349 Patagonia Middle Fork Packable Waders “pack” a lot of punch. Made of a fabric that’s as waterproof as it is breathable and lightweight, these trout bibs can handle anything from the Bighorn to the San Juan and everything in-between.
Laces are so 2020. The Korkers Devil’s Canyon features the quick-to-fasten Boa® M2 Fit system, so you can beat your buddies to the best hole. And is there any better feeling than outfishing your friends? We think not. And for those unfamiliar with Korkers, all its fishing boots come with interchangeable outsoles, which makes it easy to adapt your boots to different conditions (or local regulations). With the Boa® fastening system, interchangeable soles, realistic price point and comfort-focused fit, the Devil’s Canyon is a nice upgrade, or a great first boot.
If you’re new to flyfishing, there’s one thing you should know: You’re going to collect a lot of flies, but even more fly-carrying devices. Hip packs. Sling packs. Backpacks. Chest packs. Wader packs. Vests. Lanyards with little strips of foam. Homemade contraptions. The list will go on. But the thing is, each type of pack will excel in different conditions. So, it’s difficult to suggest “the best pack for 2022.” It depends on your objective for the day, how much gear you need to take and whether or not you need to pack a lunch. Vedavoo makes a superior, made in the USA version of virtually any pack you may need. Most of the brand’s packs are water repellant, customizable and all are packed with common-sense features.
First of all, rod recommendations is a touchy subject in flyfishing. There’s really great rod builders, and there are great rod builders. And brand loyalty runs deep among anglers. Realistically, 90% of rods on the market will get the job done, and done well. Our recommendation for the Scott G Series rods comes from the line’s long-held and hard-earned reputation as a reliable, medium action, smooth flexing freshwater companion. And Scott G rods come in weights from two to six, and in lengths from 7’ 7” to 9’. In short, there’s a Scott G series rod to fit, and excel at, virtually every trout-hunting need.
Same thing here as rod recommendations. There are really great reels, and great reels. Much of the decision comes down to personal preference, budget and even what rod you are using (after all, a reel and line combo acts as a counterbalance for that big stick). But, for the money, it’s hard to beat Lamson’s Remix 3-Pack reel and spool combo. For less than $300, you get a reel, two spare spools and a nice carrying case. Load up the extra spools with sinking line for stillwater days, streamer line for hucking-and-ducking or just a different weight floating line to over- or under-compensate your rod. Plus, the Remix will dress up any rod nicely.
Flycraft makes drool-worthy inflatable fishing boats. And its Stealth X 2- or 3-man inflatable boat tops our list of things we don’t necessarily need, but if we get a good enough tax return . . . . The beauty of Flycraft’s boats is that they’re easier to transport than the drift boat typically used for river travel. There’s even a video of one fitting in the trunk of a car. And Flycraft boats can float through more shallow water than other rivercraft, which means you can access otherwise inaccessible holes. Plus, its light weight means you can launch it from virtually anywhere.