We don’t generally do many gear posts, but we do get asked a lot about what gear we are using and why. So here’s a rundown of some of the key gear we are using this season:
Epic Fly Rods – Epic fly rods are built in New Zealand by our mate and casting guru Carl McNeil, through his business Swift Fly Fishing. We’ve been using his rods for a while now, and their versatility is a key attraction. By versatility we are talking about the way in which the rod can be used for both very short, and medium to long casts, as well as fast or slower line speeds when required. In laypersons terms, this means that the Epic’s are great for either tailing trout in close, or longer casts at cruising trout. The 590C is our go-to guiding rod, while the 3 and 4 weight modern glass rods are excellent creek rods.
Flylines – We run a mix of flylines, but the majority are either Airflo or Rio. Airflo are great for longevity, and general non-technical fishing where the flyline control and tapers aren’t as critical. If the fishing is more technical and requires more controlled presentations and high-flotation (e.g. river mayfly hatches and tailers), then the Rio Perception are hard to beat.
Waders – This season’s customer waders are predominantly Simms Tributary waders, which offer 4-layer protection in the high wear leg areas. The material is extremely light and comfortable, and they represent great value for use on the rivers. (Not recommended for gorse or barbwired fences!)
Boots – our favourite boots this season have been the Orvis Ultralight boots. They have a super-comfy sandshoe feel, and are very light even when wet. The sizing is a bit smaller than normal, so try them on before you buy. The Patagonia Ultralights are a close second for comfort and grip, but sit at a more affordable price point.
Leaders and tippets – The Stroft 4X (6.4lb) are our favourite leaders by far. With a stiff butt, tapering down to a more supple tip, these leaders are great out of the pack, and easy to add tippet to. We use the 9ft leaders on the small streams and creeks, and the 12ft versions for the bigger rivers and lakes. For tippet it is hard to go past Maxima, mainly due to the superior abrasion resistance. We carry 3lb,4lb,5lb & 6lb for each day on the water.
Flies – As always we tie our own custom patterns just for guiding. We are always happy to share some of our best patterns with customers on the water.