Gadgets We Want Now: October 2022 | Hatch magazine

Fly anglers are overwhelmed with gear choices – rods, reels, boots, waders, lines, packs, bags, cases, vests, clothing and more. It seems increasingly difficult to know what is worth coveting and what is worth ignoring. Gear reviews are a great way to explore in-depth what might be right for you, but not every piece of gear lends itself to a full review, and even if it did, there’s simply too much of it. achieved. With that in mind, we periodically feature what’s working for us right now, to hopefully provide more useful reviews of gear worth a second look.

All equipment is welcome here: new, old, cheap, expensive, and so on. The goal is to provide useful feedback on devices that work – not to help drive marketing for new products. Sometimes, great gear has just hit the market, other times it’s been here doing good work all along. And, as always, our reviews come with a promise: Unlike many magazines that publish gear reviews of products they’ve never so much as seen in person, let alone put to work, we actually HAVE used and field tested every piece of equipment we write about.

Redington RUN flywheel

Redington RUN fly reel (photo: Johnny Carrol Sain).

Redington RUN flywheel

The Run is a modestly cast version of Redington’s Rise, which you can fish alongside the Rise or any other smooth rigged heads up unit. Easy on the eyes, arms and wallet, Redington’s Run is all most of us need for 95 percent of fly fishing.

For starters, it’s a nice wrap with airy cutouts that give it a modern, confident look. These cuts also weigh the Run down significantly as it weighs just 4.7 ounces – considerably lighter than its competitors in the affordable reel division. By taking advantage of this fantastic segue into bang for the buck, with an MSRP under $120, you can pair a Run with your favorite rod and be left with cash for line, leader, tippets and flies.

But in addition to looks, weight and value, the Run also offers quality you might not expect. Its carbon fiber drag is unleashed with the amazingly smooth, almost effortless drag you’d expect from reels costing five times as much. And when you combine that drag with a large arbor, soft-touch handle, and easy push-button disassembly, you’ve got a lot of reel for just a little money.

– Johnny Carroll I got it


RIO Creek Fly Line

RIO’s Creek Line (photo: Johnny Carrol Sain).

RIO Creek Line

While bombarding the banks with loads of bass probably wasn’t what RIO had in mind for their sleek yet bold Creek Line, they can now add it to the resume. Designed for short, fast rods (especially the Sage Dart) and small stream trout fishing, the Creek Line proved exceptional at casting surprisingly large smallmouth flies on 9-foot medium/fast rods. 5-weight.

The secret to this skinny line’s wild performance is its short, aggressive cut. It also helps that the Creek Line is built a heavy semi. All this means that the line loads quickly and with a surprisingly short lag. Barely any room between the willows and willows is all you need for the Creek Line, paired with a medium/fast action rod, to navigate a big flounder or flounder with authority. It can also set smaller flies with finesse and floats high and strong thanks to Rio’s AgentX layers. Despite its cold water core, the Creek Line served us well even on 90+ degree days in the Ozarks.

RIO’s Creek Line comes with a ring on both ends, casts with dreamy agility (thanks to the Slickcast coating), and its 75-foot green and cream length spins nicely on smaller reels. Both in the tight quarters and across the creek, the Creek Line consistently delivered every fly we tied with precision. Overall, it’s another stellar line from Rio that comes in sizes 0-5 weight.

– Johnny Carroll I got it


Sage Dart 1 weight fly rod

It had been a while since I took my Sage Dart—a freaking 1-weight streamer with a big stance—out of its protective tube, and I knew the moment I strapped it on, I was going to love it. Again.

At seven and a half meters long, it is ideal for small water and, of course, smaller fish. But don’t let that be your barometer – I’ve hooked a larger than expected trout on my little Dart and it’s a performer. First, it’s fast for such a light rod (hence the stance). Second, it’s more forgiving than a typical low-water noodle. I think this is a product of its tight construction.

I recently fished a favorite cutthroat trout stream in the Caribou National Forest and the Dart was kind of a last minute decision. As I rummaged through my bar safe, there it was, and I remember thinking, “Well, hello! I have not fished you after!”

It was a good call. I had a blast “creeking” my way upstream, putting size 10 Chubbies over deep water and enjoying purposeful lifts from respectable creek mouths. When I dropped the rod after the day got a little too hot for fishing, I decided to put the top of the stack on – it will also be my first choice on my next trip.

– Chris Hunt


Simms Dry Creek Z Backpack

I had the OG Dry Creek backpack, and while I greeted its arrival with a skeptical eye at first, it has become my go-to travel backpack, airplane carry-on, and, when necessary, pack that I can wear on the path. or in the river.

Since the first launch, it has gone through several significant iterations. First, in the original version, storage outside the pack was extremely limited – a narrow zippered pocket and a mesh sleeve. This is. The newer version (pictured at top) has a wider outer pocket and has two stretch pockets for water bottles.

When I first got it, the waterproof zipper (called TRU-Zip by Simms) was great. In fact, on a short puddle jump from Nassau to Long Island in the Bahamas, the chain lived up to its waterproof boast—I kept it on my feet on the plane and, because the cabins on those small planes don’t are pressurized, the air in the bag expanded and turned my backpack into an airtight balloon.

I will say this though, the chain – which is kind of a heavy duty chain system – needs to be clean of any debris to work well. When clean, it runs and runs well.

But perhaps the best thing about the Dry Creek pack is its durability. Its nylon ripstop construction is virtually bulletproof. I’ve had it in torrential downpours, drowned it in deep water, and unknowingly sat it in a few inches of water in the bottom of a boat – and it never leaked.

– Chris Hunt


Arcturus military wool blanket

Arcturus Military Fleece Blanket (photo: Chris Hunt).

Arcturus military wool blanket

A good fleece blanket makes a good camping trip great. But it is more than that. Where we often camp, overnight temperatures can drop into the low 30s, sometimes even below freezing. In the summer, I despise my propane-powered camping stove—it’s literally like setting money on fire. So I’ve always been the one to throw another blanket on the bed.

But finding the right blanket has always been a challenge. If it’s too heavy, I’m too hot. Not heavy enough and I’m shaking. Call me Goldilocks, but it is what it is.

The Arturus Military Wool Blanket is now my go-to bedspread – it’s 80 percent wool, but it’s also machine washable and great. It’s not too heavy, but solidly built for durability. It’s great for spreading over the bed, over some sleeping bags, or even for sharing around the campfire.

Don’t have a fleece blanket in your camping bag? Take one and consider Arcturus. You can thank me later.

– Chris Hunt


Swiftwick Pursuit Hike Lightweight Socks

Swiftwick Socks Pursuit Hike Lightweight (photo: Johnny Carrol Sain),

Swiftwick Pursuit Hike Lightweight Socks

You can only go so far and as long as your feet will allow and backed by this truth, I would argue that one of the most important pieces of outdoor gear for any person going out is sold by the pair. I’m not talking about boots. I mean socks. The prettiest boots in the world are worthless if moisture-wicking, blister-preventing, temperature-regulating, and comfortable socks aren’t on your feet before you lace anything up.

Merino wool is the gold standard for three of these four requirements and does a good job of wicking away moisture as well. But with the addition of the wonderful Olefin knitting fiber, Swiftwick has created what may be the best sock for hiking, hunting and even hiking.

I’ve been trying to wear out a pair of Swiftwicks Pursuit Hikes for several months now with forest excursions, half-day wade fishing excursions and a brutal afternoon or two in tree-hung stands in preparation for fall deer hunting. Pursuit Hikes handled them all with no problems and they don’t even smell bad. With this excellent performance, we’ve put them on the short list of must-haves for almost all outdoor activities that require boots of any kind.

– Johnny Carroll I got it


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