In case you missed them, here’s a round-up of recent Salad Bar gear we think is worth a gander:
PATAGONIA – MIDDLE FORK PACKABLE WADERS
For when you’re going on a trip and you’re not sure what fishing is available. For when it’s between seasons and you’re not sure if you should be wet wading or packing waders. For when there’s the tiniest space available in your bag. For all that – Patagonia’s new Middle Fork Packable Waders are begging to be picked. The lightest, most technically advanced waders Patagonia have ever made, the only way these essentials are heavy, is in features. From Patagonia’s seamless booty technology, to single seam construction for easy movement and comfort, recycled materials, easily adjustable suspenders and wading belt, heavy duty scuff guards, an interior waterproof pocket for your phone and, at 26 ounces (737gms), weighing almost nothing, it’s hard to think of a reason not to stuff these in your bag. www.patagonia.com
ABEL – NEW SUPER SERIES REELS
Customization is the name of the game with the new Abel Super Series fly reels. Expect the same hardcore fish stopping power, but with even more choice on the style front. Working from Abel’s signature high gloss black coral as a base, you can select from either 15 solid colour finishes, OR detailed fish patterns OR the hand-painted designs of Jon Osiris, Derek DeYoung and Andrea Larko, pimping to your heart’s content (and maybe your wallet’s lament as the more detailed the design, the higher the price). Abel, if you’re listening, the solid style Osiris Tribal Grizzly finish and walnut handle speaks to us. abelreels.com, www.frontierflyfishing.co.za
THOMAS & THOMAS – CONTACT 10’2” 2-WEIGHT
Both in and out of the mainstream channels the guys at T&T seem to be specializing and catering for every kind of angler, no matter the niche. Fibreglass fiend? There’s the Lotic range. Bamboo for big salt species? There’s the Sextant. Now, for the extreme nymphomaniacs comes a new addition to the Contact series, the 10’2” 2-weight (to go with the 10’8” 3- weight, the 10’8” 4-weight, and the 11’3” 3-weight). We asked Joe Goodspeed of T&T about what lines he would pair with this rod and to say he nerded out would be putting it lightly.
“Having the right line makes a big difference with specialty products like the Contact nymph rod. There are a number of thin line options designed for European style nymphing, made with both braid and with monofilament cores. Lines made with a thin braid core are very supple, and allow for an angler to cast lightweight flies. These lines have a “drape” effect between rod guides due to the supple nature of the braid, creating little sagging areas between all the guides that must be pulled tight before the angler can feel anything happen on the terminal end. These lines are effective for nymping techniques where a strike indicator or sighter visually indicates the bites, but prevent the angler from feeling very much. In contrast, nymphing lines built with a thin mono core have a little more stiffness, sag less between the guides, and transmit subtle bites by feel much more effectively than braid lines. On a nymph rod with a quick recovering tip and good sensitivity like the Contact series, I suggest the use of a mono core nymph line like Cortland’s Mono Core nymphing line. In addition to being designed to fish Euro style by feel, the Contact rods are also effective for covering rivers with long roll casts and mends to fish, swing nymphs or to cast and mend line with a suspension indicator rig.” All Contact rods are available with either uplocking or downlocking style reel seats. $795, thomasandthomas.com
KORKERS – DARKHORSE & BUCKSKIN
Remember Buffalos? Those platform boots beloved of e-popping ravers in the late 80s, early 90s? The Darkhorse Korkers remind us of those, minus the drugs and…in a good way. They look like the kind of boots Blade Runner would wear if he waded streams. However, with their nifty BOA® M2 lacing system for quick on/off and custom fit, plus Korkers’ OmniTrax® Interchangeable Sole System which adapts your traction to any fishing condition, the Darkhorse is no doof-doof one trick pony. Throw in a hydrophobic upper material with ultra abrasion resistance and tonal camo pattern, a molded TPU Toe Cap for durability and toe protection plus smart internal drainage and you have a boot for both the present and the future.
More of a traditionalist? Xplorer are not only bringing Korkers’ Darkhorse into Africa, but also the more traditional-looking Buckskin boot. Sporting most of the same features, but eschewing the futuristic lacing system and the modern look for good old fashioned shoe laces and more of a hiking boot look, two outsoles are included in every purchase. www.korkers.com, www.xplorerflyfishing.co.za
FISHPOND – THUNDERHEAD SUBMERSIBLE BACKPACK
We like water, but we’ve lost enough phones, camera equipment and car keys to the drink to know that we also hate the stuff when it goes to the wrong place, like the inside of a supposedly waterproof bag. This is Fishpond’s solution, a fully submersible backpack. Constructed with Armageddon-proof 1680d TPU coated recycled “Cyclepond” nylon, the Thunderhead Submersible Backpack sports a waterproof TIZIP closure and a sturdy harness system for a more comfortable carry. Wade to those far-off rocks or swim up that mountain kloof to a section of river that never gets fished and know (KNOW), that if you zipped it shut properly, your stuff will be fine. www.fishpondusa.com, www.frontierflyfishing.co.za
ORVIS – HELIOS 3D 5-WEIGHT
Helios is the sun-god and if he fished, this, the 5-weight in Orvis’s new Helios 3 range, would have been his stick. When it comes to casting, Orvis cannot account for certain variables (how crap you are, the trees behind you, the wind etc). However, with this rod, they reckon that regardless of what’s going on behind you (e.g. Bigfoot humping a grizzly), the energy of your forward cast is “crisply released through a tight window created by the most significant reduction in horizontal and vertical tip frequency ever conceived.” They also call it “a rifle in a world of muskets.” Translation: incredible accuracy and all the power you could ever need. Sun’s out, guns out! www.orvis.com, www.flyfishing.co.za