Ben Zander

Ben is a manager of Pacific Fly Fishers and the owner of Sound Fly Fishing, a Puget Sound saltwater guide service. Most of his time is spent focusing on saltwater flies, tying material and equipment for Puget Sound and the Gulf of Mexico. Every once in a while you will see him trout fishing on local streams and lakes. Ben has been with Pacific Fly Fishers since 2005, is a Simms Guide Ambassador and SAGE Elite Pro.

Sage SALT HD Rods

For years I have been telling everyone the Sage SALT has been “the best rod I’ve ever cast”. Things change and Sage is always innovating and the new SALT HD is an improvement. The second section has been stiffened to make a crisper and faster recovering action. The rod still loads deep and has the “feel” of the older SALT. The 690-4 (6 weight) is my go to stick for Puget Sound. It will handle cutthroat, pink and coho salmon with ease. My SALT HD quiver is strong and includes the 6wt thru 12wt, minus the 9. But, if you're in need of a 9 weight, the Sage X 9wt is also money! 

Galvan Torque Reels

Galvan Torque Reels

I have been around this industry for 13+ years. The Galvan Torque has been around just as long. This is a time-proven reel that will work harder than you can. In the shop, I have seen two Torque reels come back due to malfunction. That is an incredible track record. The best in the business as far as I’m concerned. Sleek and appealing aesthetics make the Torque pair perfectly with any rod. The large arbor makes for fast retrieving and the drag, although not sealed, does not fail. Fresh or salt, the Torque will be with you for a lifetime.

RIO Coastal Quickshooter

RIO Coastal QuickShooter

The RIO Coastal Quickshooter is my go-to line for cutthroat and salmon either off the beach or from a boat. With its compact, overloaded, front taper to the slightly longer back taper, anglers now hove the advantage of easy distance and line control. The Coastal Quickshooter is a full sinking intermediate line. It will remain uniform in the water column even with pesky waves crashing at your feet. To read more about the development of the Coastal Quick shooter check out our blog.

Gamakatsu Sc-15 Hook

Gamakatsu SC15 Hooks Setting the hook is one of the more important things we do in fishing. So, the hook is a pretty darn important piece of equipment. I tie lots and lots of coastal cutthroat flies and fully switched to the SC-15. This hook still has the short shank we are use to in saltwater fishing but in the smaller sizes the wire in much smaller in diameter. Therefore, penetration is greater due to the more needle like nature of this hook. The SC-15 is light and will not add much weight to your fly (let the line do the sinking). I have also used this hook for tarpon flies and it worked very well.

Hareline Dubbing Baitfish Emulator

Baitfish Emulator Sometimes you want super creative baitfish patterns and sometimes you want a fast and easy tie. The Baitfish Emulator is a material that will fit both criteria. The long synthetic shiny fibers move in a flowing “baitfishey” manner. This material, if you will, is a baitfish hackle. Simply tie in at the head of your fly and do a few turns. The result is a ready to go baitfish. The possibilities are endless with this stuff. One of my most productive flies incorporates the use of this material. The olive is dead on for chum salmon smolt. Love it!

Simms Stone Cold Shirt

Simms Stone Cold Shirt As a fly shop guy and guide for the last 10 years I have more fishing shirts from Simms then I would care to admit. The Stone cold shirt fits like a well tailored tuxedo (I have worn one recently). The extended sun cuff on the sleeve is just long enough to protect the tops of your hands while not getting in the way or looking silly like thumb holes. The fabric is the best feature, as it pretty much remains the same temperature regardless of how hot it gets outside. Simms says there is something like recycled crushed jade in it, I call it stone cold awesomeness. Next time its hot out in Seattle or more likely next time you’re going somewhere tropical snag one and try it. Pretty sure you will be amazed. Very nice colors to choose from as well.