In fly fishing, there is nothing wrong with doing things the hard way. Fly anglers sometimes revel in it. In fact, it could be argued that there is a certain virtue that only comes through patient diligence. There is also nothing wrong with fishing smarter, not harder. These days gadgets and gizmos can can create shortcuts. Little bits of tackle can help, but they also usually carry a price. For most folks, a slight convenience is not worth the expense.
Every once in a while, a product comes along that doesn’t cost much but also yields impressive results. In an industry that constantly sees innovation, the mousetraps that are rolled out are generally only slightly better than the last model. Consequently, any affordable and game-changing pieces of gear are worth serious consideration.
Two fly fishing items that fit this description are recent releases from Vedavoo and Appalachian Furled Leader Company. Both of these companies have stellar catalogs for the fly fisher, but each offers a little product at or under $25 that could potentially streamline your angling in a big way.
Read a quick review of each, below:
Rod Holster – Vedavoo
There are many, many reasons for carrying more than one rod while fishing. Having a nymph-specific rod and an all-purpose trout rod, a rod for bonefish and a rod for larger flats species, or just wanting two different rigs are all reasons for bringing multiple rods on the water. If you don’t have a boat, you’re stuck with the cumbersome chore of setting down a rod, moving it as you move, and ultimately remembering that you are carrying it.
The Rod Holster from Vedavoo is not only a good solution; it is the best solution I’ve ever tried. You run the holster through your wading belt or any waist-level strap, and then drop your rod butt into the loop. Then, the buckle allows you to secure your second rod easily and with one hand.
There is a little play in the holster, which provides the ability to cock the rod to either side. I usually have mine angled to my left. Since I cast right-handed and wear a sling, this configuration suits me well. So well, in fact, that I don’t even notice the second rod while I’m on the water. The only bit of advice I have is to disengage the second rod while moving through any woods, walking along the side of the road, or hopping over larger obstacles.
To be fair, the rod holster isn’t under $25. But for exactly $25 ($27, for some on color choices), it is a small price to pay for such an advantage. Have the good people at Vedavoo custom build your own Rod Holster here.
Big Meat Leader – Appalachian Furled Leader Company
Just because streamers don’t require the same kind of delicate presentation as dries, it doesn’t mean that you can neglect your leader when fishing meaty flies. Regardless of what weight line you are throwing, turning over a heavy or wind-resistant fly will be much easier if you are using a good leader.
The Big Meat series of furled leaders from Appalachian Furled Leader Company gives you a taper that can punch big streamers through the air. At 36 inches, the leader serves as a butt section for attaching a straight run of tippet. Simple loop-to-loop connections allow for quick changes, and a tight weave will ensure at least a good season’s use out of each leader.
I have a few Big Meat leaders in a wallet, with a handful of pre-cut and pre-tied tippet sections right alongside them. They work for trout, bass, saltwater, and any other place where bigger flies are on the menu.
Available in both fluorocarbon and monofilament, these versatile leaders are only $15 each. Head over to Appalachian Furled Leader Company to order a few.
Know about a $25 product that is worth the money and makes a big impact on your fly fishing? Let me know in the comments below.