Orvis Pro Waders
I’ve just ticked over 100km wearing the Orvis Pro Waders (which i bought with cold hard cash). For me, toughness is the most important thing. In the past Gore-Tex waders haven’t been tough enough to prevent early leakage from blackberries, gorse and scoparia, which led us to the Patagonia Rio Gallegos featuring more puncture resistent materials. Unfortunately the latter models of these waders became notorious for seam-leaks, which led us on to the Orvis Pro Waders, which are made from 4 / 5 layer Cordura fabric and polyurethane membrane. After more than 100km’s of use over the past five months, here’s my verdict:
Toughness: The best i’ve had, with no apparent pinholes, and no seam leaks to date despite plenty of gorse and blackberry this season
Design: The handwarmer pockets are perfect, and the zips are great at keeping the water out when you wade too deep. The flip out gear stash pocket is the best i’ve had, fitting a few spools of tippet and nippers without any trouble. Slighlty shorter leg lengths than other brands are also welcomed (1 inch shorter from memory), with a better athletic cut for movement. The built in gravel guards are the best on the market, showing no wear, are comfortable to use, and they don’t catch too many grass seeds. On the flipside the shoulder straps are too short to comfortably use as a waist strap when the waders are rolled down, and the waders in general start to get quite hot as the temperature climbs.
Breathability: Pretty poor compared to other waders and associated materials – but at this stage, it is a welcome tradeoff for durability.
All in all i’me very happy with these new waders, and have no plans to change to any of the current models on the market.
EPIC Fastglass II 476 fly rod.
For the past two seasons myself and customers have been using my EPIC 476 Fastglass II as my go-to rod on the small creeks. It’s proved tough as nails (surviving the odd tree-whack), but most importantly, excels at very short to medium casting lengths. Our most common casts are between 10 and 30 feet, which this rod absolutely nails. A medium action, the 476 can be cast with a fast or slow tempo, though a slow tempo, soft-grip cast result in the optimum performance. I’ve paired it with a 4 weigh RIO Selective Trout flyline, and an ultralight reel (my vintage Sage Click), and haven’t looked back. After fishing with another half-dozen big name carbon rods designed for creeks this season, the EPIC 476 remains my favourite, and has joined my Sage XP 586 and Garrison taper 580 cane rod in my longterm personal rod collection! If you are keen, you can check the EPIC fly rods out here