Ben F

Trout bum. Fly Fishing fanatic. Business guru. Gear junkie

  1. Skagit vs Scandi Grain Weight

    Skagit vs Scandi Grain Weight
    One of the questions we’ve gotten most often about our recent Trout Spey Shootout has been in regards to our line recommendations. More specifically, why our recommendations for Scandi lines are much heavier than one might expect, relative to our Skagit recommendations. This has been particularly true for Pacific NW anglers who have been indoctrinated into thinking that Scandi is ALWAYS lighter than Skagit, no matter what. Read on to find out why we recommended the lines we did in our Trout Spey Shootout.
  2. Trout Spey Lines and Tips

    Trout Spey Lines and Tips
    One of the most confusing aspects of Spey casting is lines (and tips). Unfortunately, this has carried over to Trout Spey as well. This article is meant to accompany our Trout Spey Shootout and not to provide an in-depth analysis, review or explanation of every [trout] Spey line on the market.
  3. 2019 Trout Spey Shootout

    2019 Trout Spey Shootout
    Have you ever wondered which Trout Spey rod is the very best? Well, the wait is over. We've ranked the industry's top 3wt Trout Spey rods based on a comprehensive criterion. Which rod took home the title as 'Best Trout Spey Rod on the Market'? Read on to find out. Plus the Best Buy and fly line recommendations for every rod. Don't buy a Trout Spey rod without reading this shootout.
  4. Mystic JXP Fly Rod Review

    Mystic JXP Fly Rod Review
    Remember the Mystic Reaper? It was our best-selling budget rod for a long time. About a year ago, Mystic discontinued it, much to our dismay. But they had something brewing… Mystic has quietly introduced their newest flagship rod, the JXP. While I’m not a huge fan of the name, I’m definitely a fan of the rod.
  5. Sage Igniter Fly Rod Review

    Sage Igniter Fly Rod Review
    Sage has somewhat predictably replaced the second to last remaining Konnetic rod with their new KonneticHD blank technology. The Sage Method has become the all new Sage Igniter fly rod. They’re very similar. Both very fast and both designed to make seriously long casts.
  6. 2018 8-Weight Fly Reel Shootout and Review: What's the best saltwater fly reel?

    2018 8-Weight Fly Reel Shootout and Review: What's the best saltwater fly reel?
    Hey, remember back when we released our first 8-weight reel shootout in 2013? Yeah, we barely remember it ourselves. So, it was high time we redid it. In fact there is no reel that's in production that was in our original shootout. This year we've upped our game big time. We tested 37 reels across 13 categories - including 3 all new categories! We even had 5 new brands participating in what we believe is the largest and most comprehensive apples-to-apples reel test that's ever been done. It involved 100s of hours of work to not only test everything, but review each and every reel. We hope you enjoy it.
  7. Nautilus CCF X2 Fly Reel Review

    Nautilus CCF X2 Fly Reel Review
    After much ado, it’s time to announce the winner of our 2018 8-weight Reel Shootout: The Nautilus CCF X2 8/10. The CCF-X2 replaces the old CCF as Nautilus’ mid-priced big game reel. Usually, mid-price comes with mediocre performance. Not so this time. The CCF absolutely crushes its big brother the NV-G, and takes the top spot in our shootout. Here’s why we love this reel so much.
  8. Orvis Hydros SL Fly Reel Review

    Orvis Hydros SL Fly Reel Review
    Back in our 2015 5-weight shootout, we noted that the Hydros LA was a solid reel, but it didn’t really fit into the Orvis line up well. It was a little too expensive and didn’t offer any real advantages over the Access Mid-Arbor. Orvis took that feedback to heart and came out with the Orvis Hydros SL a few years later. Since they had essentially fixed all of our complaints, we’ve been selling tons of these and they’ve been one of our top sellers. Until today, however, we haven’t had a chance to do a proper review of this reel. I can tell you, it does NOT disappoint.
  9. Orvis Mirage USA Fly Reel Review

    Orvis Mirage USA Fly Reel Review
    Orvis is no stranger to our shootouts. In fact they’ve either won an award or placed in the top 5 in every single shootout we’ve done. That’s a pretty good track record of making great products. The latest from the evil geniuses at Orvis is the Mirage USA. It sits on top of the Orvis lineup as their high performance and high-end reel. What’s new is that this reel is made right here in the US of A. We think that’s a stellar upgrade.
  10. Hatch Gen 2 Finatic Fly Reel Review

    Hatch Gen 2 Finatic Fly Reel Review
    Hello, old friend. The Hatch Finatic was the winner of our last 8-weight shootout and it’s been one of our best performing and best-selling reels ever since. To me, Hatch has always set the bar for what a great saltwater reel should be. This year they changed things up a bit by introducing the “new” Gen 2 Finatic. It’s got the same (more or less) exterior, but a totally new interior. Is that enough to fend off the competition for another 5 years? Find out.

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