It might just be time to hit the road with fishing gear
Be safe, of course, but here are some ways of packing the critical equipment
Special to the Daily
We are in between seasons here in the Vail area.
Locals have awaited time off and vaccinations to prepare for unaccounted travel from the past difficult year. Anglers that have placed destinations on the back burner are embarking to locations far and wide.
Protecting your gear during travel is a key component for success. Investing in fly-fishing specific travel luggage and gear insures your high-priced equipment the safest passage.
Shopping for luggage?
The average baggage handler at an airport has very little compassion for your gear. Speed and efficiency are the driving factors not careful handling and fragile touches. A few dollars spent on fly-fishing specific travel gear will protect your investment.
Duffle bags designed to carry gear and clothing make airport travel a breeze. Simms, Orvis and Fishpond are just a few of the reputable names that make outstanding travel gear for anglers.
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Go ahead and tell your wife you want to go shopping for luggage. See what kind of response you get. A day spent hitting your favorite fly shop with your wife makes for pleasant surprises for everyone involved.
Your wife might sign up for the Fishing Ladies guided event that Vail Valley Anglers schedules regularly, consisting of local, like-minded women without the intimidation males may impart. Both of you will find a whole new side of your fly shop full of clothing, sunglasses and specialties.
What goes in the bag
What you want to put in your travel bags is more location specific. Anglers, both men and women, heading to warmer environments and saltwater have specific needs to address.
Sun protection is a driving factor. Clothing to support sun protection is easily found but making sure it fits properly is key to proper coverage and comfort.
Footwear is often overlooked by anglers. Foot protection removes one little component from distracting your focus on the flats, beach or boat.
Gloves are another protective item anglers don’t give enough attention to consistently. The number of guides I know with skin issues on their hands is growing.
Sunglasses are a key component to success and provide eye protection. Gray lenses provide the best contrast for detecting objects in the ocean- rocks, grass and fish. And a light rain jacket stuffed into a small pocket can save a cold boat ride from misery.
Reels for harsh environments like the beach and saltwater should be sealed drag reels for optimum performance. Anything else allows sand, salt and grit to hinder the performance of your fly fishing gear. Eliminate the chances of reel failure by choosing sealed drag reels like those found on Ross Reels, Abel and Hatch.
And more stuff
Rods need to be four piece rods for easy travel and optimum performance. Echo, Orvis and others have multi-piece travel rods that hold together, cast when flexing and fight fish with authority.
Tools and accessories round out the necessities for the traveling angler. Line cutters of some type are needed. The hardness of some lines makes using your teeth an absolute “no-no.” Nippers, hemostat-scissor combos and pliers with line cutters all make great, functional choices just choose one and use it.
Fishpond makes a roll-top waterproof backpack that works extremely well for protecting gear and keeping valuables dry on a boat, beach or flat. Rising Nets makes a durable, metal travel net that is compact and useful for landing fish and capturing photos.
Leader material can be difficult to locate during your travels. Fly shops can be closed or just out of stock. Don’t rely on attaining necessary gear on the road. Purchase your accessories before embarking on your adventure. Hard to find spools of leader material allow anglers to construct your own leaders for a variety of angler pursuits. I carry a spool of 80, 60, 50, 40, and 30 pound monofilament with me. I also have a selection of Fluorocarbon spools for tippet or spooky fishing conditions.
Don’t let tying a knot be the reason you don’t carry the correct gear. Teach yourself a good knot and practice. Knowing how to construct your own functional leader is a necessity when traveling.
No matter where your travels take you pack a rod. Searching for someplace to stretch a fly line during my travels gives me extra purpose and drive. Choosing the appropriate travel gear to protect my equipment is a necessity. Telling my wife I want to go shopping with her for travel luggage is a surprise bonus for everyone.