I look for two things when it come to rods for my guide service or Puget Sound in general. The ability to punch long distances through wind and the ease of doing so. The Sage SALT has exceeded this expectation in more ways then I have ever imagined. First off, with the use of Konnetic technology, I can throw a shooting head to the exact target sought after. I have never seen a rod cast a shooting head with such accuracy, amazing! What really impresses me the most is how well the rod preforms with such little power. When we think of casting long distances we usually think of double hauling the line. Yes, this can still be done, however it is not necessary. With the smooth yet quick tip recovery you can feel the load on both forward and back casts. With so little effort I can achieve the distance I want. Personally I own this rod in 6-12 weights and love every single cast I make with them. From coastal cutthroat (5-6 wt) to salmon & bonefish (7-8) to big tarpon (12 wt) there is a SALT weight that will work for you, not the other way around.
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.
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!
Hands down the best foul weather jacket I have ever owned. The Gore Tex material is tough as nails and sheds water like an umbrella. There are three main features of this jacket that appeal me. Let’s just assume you all know that Simms does a kick ass job with Gore Tex and their material. So…….
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. Ten years in the fly fishing industry, Simms Guide Ambassador and SAGE Elite Pro.
The high front zip collar keeps rain and wind off of your face
The jacket is cut just a tad longer. This is great for anglers driving boats while not wearing waders as we know what happens when your jacket does not come over your pants in the rain.
It’s like the pockets are actually designed to hold a fly box without taking up all the room in the jacket. Yes, your hands will still fit in the hand warmer pocket with a fly box in the outer pocket. Brilliant!
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.