Archive for the ‘gear review’ Category

StealthCraft 16 ATB- First Launch

Friday, October 4th, 2013

I mentioned back in August that I had a new boat under construction. I picked up the StealthCraft 16 ATB (All Terrain Boat) about a month ago and my family and I put it in the water for a test row.

The boat looks sharp with a cool woven pattern that is covered with spatters in other colors. I like not having a solid colored boat because it hides the inevitable dirt and scratches.

Working with the guys at StealthCraft I was able to customize the interior layout and get everything just as I wanted. I think this personal customizing is a huge advantage, versus getting a boat fit out as the manufacturer wants. The end result, I now have a boat exactly the way I need it.

Now the part I’ve been unsure of, this boat is really big, I’m guessing 30 to 40 percent larger than my last boat. The ATB is also a hi-bred, designed to plane with a motor but still row. As everyone knows, when you try to make a tool do two jobs it usually does both poorly.

While the boat was lightly weighted with my 9 year old and wife, it rowed well, though I still needed to see how it handles a couple big guys.

Since this first launching, the boat has been used full time and I’ll follow up soon with a full report.

New boat heading my way.

Friday, August 23rd, 2013

Last week I headed over to see Mike at StealthCraft Boats to go over final details on my new river boat. Last year I borrowed a 16′ SuperFly and was impressed. When compared to the 14′ boat I’ve been using for way too many years, the StealthCraft had more room, floated higher and rowed much better.

I meet with Mike in the spring to work out the details for my new SuperFly and getting the final touches in his finish shop was a 16′ ATB (I think that stands for All Terrain Boat). The ATB is the style of boat you might know as a power drifter, kind of a cross between a drifter and sled.

I’ve spent so many years wallowing down the river whenever I had big guys, which was more days than not, that I couldn’t pass up the bigger boat. The ATB looks like it could comfortably carry an offensive football line and still have room for several cheerleaders.

I’m really excited about this boat and will have a full review after it hits the water.

River Traditions custom bamboo fly box

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

At a recent show our friend Dave from River Traditions tossed us one of his new bamboo fly boxes.  We’ve bought tons of Dave’s customized gear over the years and have been very happy with it.  It always looks sharp and is very affordable.  If your having an outing or other event, something from River Traditions can make a perfect customized gift.

Fly fishing gear.

Patagonia Rock Grip Wading Boot Review

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

My wading boots get sun-tortured in the summer. They’re always lying in the skiff somewhere, just in case I need them. No boots I’ve owned have gone into summer and survived to see fall. The sun just rots them away.

About a year ago I slipped on my brand new pair of Patagonia Rock Grip Wading Boots. I wore them today and they still look good — even like they might be around to see next summer.

The last several pair of wading boots I’ve owned felt heavy and solid, like work boots. The Rock Grips are very light and comfortable, but still rugged — a big improvement.

Though the wading I do is mild, I do run into a few slippery rocks, especially when I’m sneaking around on one of Beaver’s boulder gardens. The standard rubber-soled Rock Grips makes climbing over those slippery rocks feel secure, not like felt or cleats but good enough.

They do have a drawback that was initially a positive. They came with a slippery liner on the inside of the boots which made putting them on very easy. But my liner tore apart quickly and was completely gone after a month or two. The boots don’t slip on and off like they used to, but the material underneath works fine, so it isn’t that big of a deal.

After a year of steady use, I give the Rock Grips an A. I would recommend them to anyone. Comfortable and durable, they’re an excellent pair of wading boots.

Fly fishing gear