May 13

Orvis + Ross + SA

Well, I didn’t see this coming.  It was announced that Orvis has bought Ross and Scientific Angler from 3M.

My first reaction was “Didn’t 3M just buy Ross? Why would they then turn around and sell it?”

Hearing that the Ross and SA lines would not be absorbed into the Orivis brand made me think that this might actually be a pretty savvy move by Orvis.

Orvis has a perception problem. For reasons probably related to there being such things as Orvis pleated khaki’s, Orvis has an image in the fly fishing world as being stodgy and elitist. Now, personally I think the reputation is off-base here and I think they have some really fantastic gear at price points equal to, or even less than, some of the other top brands in the business.

Ross, on the other hand, is a working man’s brand. It has none of the brand baggage that Orvis seems to carry. If you combine the brands, you lose the cool factor of the Ross brand… that Made in the USA, solid-at-a-solid-price perception.

While you don’t see many Orvis stickers on the Yeti coolers, you do see Ross stickers, and that’s why the deal, as it stands, makse sense to me.

The Trout Underground has some theories of his own.

The F1 by Ross

The F1 by Ross

Aug 12

From the Show – Ross, SA and Cheeky

It is hard not to feel like a “kid in a candy store” at the show. All the gear is there for you to drool over. It doesn’t suck. I tried to get some of the gear makers to let me help them out when they packed up by taking some of the gear home, but, alas, that didn’t come to pass.

I got around to talk to folks and here is a little of what I saw.


Ross, at the show.

As you probably know, Ross got a bit bigger in the last year as they were acquired by 3M. 3M owns the Scientific Angler brand and most of the news was coming from SA.  Ross has taken a step back and is re-engineering a lot of their reels to bring them more in line with the F1 series, meaning sealed drags. I’m really curious to see what they come up with.

One interesting thing is that the SA System 4 reel has seen some big changes. It looks a LOT like the Ross CLA (I own one) and is now made in the USA (good on ya 3M).

System 4 – Made in the USA

Another product coming out of the SA side of thing is a new tippet holder with a build in cutter. They have really put some thought into tippet, coming up with a color coding system that will make it easy for you to figure out what you have your hand on. Interesting stuff. I got a couple spools, both for my fresh and saltwater fishing and I’m looking forward to trying it out.

There is a little razor blade to cut your line sans nippers. Interesting.


3M is a pretty large company and at the other end of the spectrum are newcomers Cheeky. I’ve covered Cheeky because I like the little guys. This was the first time I’ve actually held one of the reels in my hand. The styling is something you either like or you don’t. I liked it. They now have a full lineup that will handle the 4 wt. to the 14 wt..

They had me at the sign.

I’m sure that fish was taken right from the water and wasn’t exposed to the air for too long.

Kind of crappy cell phone camera, but you get the point. Sealed drag, btw.

There’s even more and I’ll eventually get that up for y’all.



Aug 11

Rio Bonefish Line – Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

So, I did a poll a couple weeks back asking what line folks used.  The overwhelming winner was the Rio Bonefish line.  Rio, as a company/brand did very well.  27% of anglers reported using the Rio Bonefish line.

I don’t think I have actually fished the Rio Bonefish, but I threw the Rio Tropical Clouser in Andros and kind of loved the line.

Well done Rio. Keep putting the good stuff out.

I’m starting to sound old when I say things like “$80 for a fly line??” Sadly, that is true for the Rio Bonefish line and not really out of line with other offerings from many of the big players.

The SA Bonefish line was second with 15% of the vote and comes in at $70.  I’ve actually fished the SA and it feels a little light to me, but that could be me with the crack smoking again.

One thing is clear… there are a lot of options for the angler today and the lines come at a variety of price points.  One thing to keep in mind when you are selecting a line is how you plan to fish.  Fishing from a flats boat often means longer casts (since you see the fish from further away).  For those trips, a line that is weighted closer to the weight of the rod is usually best.

If you are primarily wading, you may want to have a line that is a little over so your rod can load at short distances (the Rio Redfish is a little heavier than the Bonefish line and is prefered by some for that application).

So… go forth and select a line.  Just do me a favor… get it wet.


Dec 09

Getting Geared Up

My Bahamas trip is coming up… well, in a month, but still, I’m gathering the gear I need.  I’ve decided what rods and reels I’ll be sporting.  Here’s the deets:

Rod #1

  • 8 wt. TFO Clouser 8’9″ 4 pc. – My local fly shop (Off the Hook) is making me a deal on this rod and from the folks I’ve talked to it seems like a really sweet stick.  It is intended to throw big bugs and heavy lines, so we’ll see how it does with the Rio Bonefish line I have coming for it. I’ve read that the folks who have used it have not missed those missing 3 inches.
  • TFO Large Arbor – A sweet, sweet looking reel.
  • Rio Bonefish Line Bruce Chard Bonefish Line by Teeny– 8 wt – Have not cast this line yet.  I was going to fish the Rio line but talked to a guy who had his Rio line basically fall apart on him down in Belize.  So, I switched to the Bruce Chard line.

The reel is in the mail

Rod #2

  • 8/9 wt. Albright GP 9′ 4 pc. – I cast this rod a little down in Vallarta, but never with the line/flies that I’d be using on the flats.
  • Ross CLA 5 – I used this last trip on my 10′ 9wt. Good, solid reel capable of hanging in there with a dream-size bonefish.
  • Scientific Angler Bonefish Line – 9 wt. – Used this line last year.  It feels a little heavy for shallow water situations, but part of that may have been the rod.  We’ll see.


Now, I would have also brought my St. Croix Legend Ultra, but  it was stolen in Mexico… so… well, that makes it impossible to do that see.  I guess I could invent a time machine, but I’m kind of busy raising my daughter and tying flies.