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5 Ways to Simplify Your Fishing Gear

Posted on January 29 2013

Calm by Louis Cahill Photography
Breathe deep. Simplify. Photo: Louis Cahill

If you’re a fly fishing gearhead like us, you know that no matter what you’re fishing for, you can make your gear just about as complicated as you like.

Sometimes playing with gear is fun and adds to the experience.  Other times, it’s nice to simplify.

We’ll just throw out a few ideas – we’d love to hear yours as well.

5 Ways to Simplify Your Fishing Gear

  1. Fish a straight leader.  Yes, as in a single piece of monofilament like Maxima Ultrageen.  No, not if you’re presenting baetis patterns to finicky trout – but an awful lot of salmon, steelhead, tarpon, bonefish, bass and more have been caught by very good anglers on straight pieces of mono.
  2. Stick a waterproof, shockproof point and shoot camera in your pocket.  If you’re looking for cover shots you need an SLR, but 99% of the time you’re going to get a perfectly great picture with today’s point and shoots.  It’s really really nice not to worry about wrecking your camera.  Serenity!
  3. Wear a softshell.  In many parts of the world for much of the year you can replace your hardshell and maybe some insulation with a softshell.  We’re constantly amazed by the range of temperatures in which a quality softshell works great.  NOTE: this does not apply to winter in the Pacific Northwest.
  4. Make your sinktips when you get there.  Instead of trying to anticipate every possible type of water condition on a steelhead or salmon trip, just bring along a few lengths of sinktip material and make the tips that you’re actually going to use once you see what the river looks like.
  5. Use the mothership fly box approach.  Instead of having 2 or 3 or 15 different medium-sized fly boxes, all loaded with dozens of flies, put all your flies in very big boxes that are organized by type of fly.  When you’re headed out for the day, grab the couple handfuls of flies that you might actually use that day and stick them in a small box that fits in your shirt pocket.  Return them to the mothership at the end of the day.  Spend the time that you would have spent organizing your fly boxes telling stories at the bar.

We know there are a bunch of minimalists out there, and we want to hear from you.  What tips do you have on simplifying your fishing gear?  Leave us a comment and let us know!

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