Sunday, December 14, 2008

Gift Guide 2008: The Editor's Picks

It's time for our elusive and well camouflaged Editor to make his gear picks for 2008.

This year, for my holiday gear picks, I have selected a few items that have stood out / survived this year's field testing. Field testing for 2008 included fishing trips to Alaska, Colorado, and the North and South Carolina coast, as well as misadventures somewhat closer to home.

First of all lets get to the one piece of gear no fly fisher can do without, the fly rod. My pick goes to the world's lightest fly rod, the Orvis Helios. The Helios that has become my trout rod of choice is a four piece, 9 foot, 5 weight, tip flex. During the past year, this rod has proven itself on large trout and even survived a hook up with a massive carp (my leader was not so lucky). The Helios is made from space age materials so the entire rod only weighs 2 and 3/8ths Oz. It can cast small nymphs and dries like a dream, yet still has enough back bone to punch a big streamer on a windy day. The rod is made in the USA and comes complete with a carbon fiber rod tube and a 25 year warranty. MSRP $755.00

For the gadget minded angler on your list you can't get much more "gadgety" than the Origo Guide Pro Series, Fishing Pro watch. This stainless steel watch keeps up with the best fishing times, moon phase, and tides, has an altimeter, thermometer, barometer, compass and even forecasts the weather. The fact that it tells time (in several time zones at once) might seem like overkill but when we got our hands on one of these for an extended field test we found ourselves relying on it's useful functions more and more. MSRP $240

Being a bald fly fisher, keeping my noggin sufficiently warm during winter fishing trips is a priority for me. The Windproof Beanie from Glacier Outdoors is long enough to cover the ears and form fitting enough not to get in the way under a low profile ball cap. It is breathable yet blocks gusty breezes that can make a day on the water less enjoyable. MSRP $12.99

Another cold weather item that I am not sure I could get along without, is the Polar Buff from Buff USA. The original Buff headgear has been a warm weather favorite of the staff here at for some time. The Polar Buff, which combines a traditional lightweight Buff with a collar of Polar Fleece, keeps you warmer with the same convertible functionality as a traditional Buff. See this Youtube Video for more information, MSRP $26.95.

The Editorial Trophy Wife weighs in to this year's gift guide with this pick of travel pants for the ladies. Sahale Pants from REI impressed her during her recent trip to Alaska. In addition to their being available in tall sizes (she is a tall drink of water,) she says they were comfortable, worked well both in the airport and under a set of fishing waders, and are one of the few items she has found in outdoor stores that are cut to accommodate a woman's curves. She recommends them for the lady on your list. MSRP $58.00

Finally, to top off your next fly fishing excursion may we suggest the Dominican Trifecta sampler from Thompson Cigar. The sampler contains some of excellent cigars including five each Cohiba, Bolivar, and one of our personal favorites, La Gloria Cubano. Trifecta Sampler, Set (Contains: 5 COHIBA LONS GRND - 5;5 BOLIVAR LONS - 5;5 LA GLOR - 5) MSRP $65

We hope you have enjoyed the 2008 edition of the Holiday Gift Guide. Feel free to post your own suggestions via the comments. Stay tuned as FlyfishMagazine goes International later this week.

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