Filson Ripstop Nylon Rod Tube, ($175), Reviewed by Henry Koltz

If I told you that by the age of 44 I’d had both of my hips replaced, my shoulder rebuilt, blown up two discs in my back, and had survived a heart attack you probably wouldn’t call me “fortunate.”  I disagree, however. 

Both my job and my work for TU fortunately allow me the opportunity to travel to a bunch of places where there also happens to be great fishing.  I’m also fortunate to have the good sense to take a few hours (or days) during such trips to get a little fishing in.  So it all balances out.

The Filson Ripstop Nylon Rod Tube has become an item that accompanies every trip I take.  It’s a practical and good looking solution for traveling anglers looking for a way to easily bring several rods to accommodate multiple fishing conditions. It’s solid, and made of a hard plastic tube surrounded by padding and covered with a Cordura ripstop nylon shell.  Despite its sturdy construction, the tube is surprisingly light.   

I had no problem keeping three four piece rods inside the tube this summer, and suspect I could have fit more inside had I needed to.  It’s small enough that I suspect it would easily fit inside an airplane’s overhead compartment, and it fit neatly in the rear seat of my vehicle.  Like all Filson products, it’s stylish, distinctive, and made to last.  Mine looks as good now after a summer of travel and being packed under other bags as the day it arrived.  It’s a solid product, and one that makes the fortunate traveling angler’s life a lot easier. 

Filson Waist Pack, ($135), Reviewed by Erin Block

Tailor boafish lionfish, medaka. Collared carpetshark; slender barracudina tui chub, spadefish, goldfish longnose chimaera Billfish Billfish round herring Pacific lamprey; Rio Grande perch arrowtooth eel rudd.

Hillsound FreeSteps Crampons, ($123.45), Reviewed by Ron Gardner

Nothing can ruin a day on the stream faster than a fall.  Whether you just get soaked, or worse yet, get injured, being steady on your feet as your get in and out of the water is something you cannot afford to take for granted.

Hillsound FreeSteps6 make being sure footed a lot easier.  These ultra-light crampons are perfect for ice, mud, rocks and all types of wet mixed terrain.  They fit snuggly over any shoe (for those of you who trail run or hike) or boot, and instantly increase the amount of traction you get virtually anywhere.

While the FreeStep6s are engineered for winter activities (including having 21 stainless steel spikes and a harness made of rubber that remains elastic in sub-zero weather), I have worn them in both winter and spring conditions and found them to dramatically increase the traction I get on any terrain.  And as a small river fly fisherman who is regularly climbing in and out of the water, or standing in the middle of a river, the extra traction in such a light-weight package is a welcome addition to my gear collection. As an added bonus, they are fairly easy to slip on and off my boots, meaning I can take them off if the terrain (like the floor of my local fly shop) would be damaged by these tough, durable crampons.

Gerber Sengyo Knife, ($55), Reviewed by Henry Koltz

Covid ensured that, more often than not, camping was my form of lodging this summer.  With camping comes camp cooking, and with camp cooking comes camp cooking utensils. 

The Gerber Sengyo knife is, without a doubt, the sharpest knife I have ever used.  This Japanese inspired slicer made short work of everything I asked it to cut, and was equally at home filleting trout as it was slicing tomatoes or melons. 

Many extremely sharp knives are also extremely thin, or lack the backbone necessary to slice through large pieces of meat.  That was decidedly not the case with the Sengyo.  It’s rigid, and offered ample power to cleanly slice through streaks, chicken, fish, potatoes and corn on the cob for me this summer.  It’s ideal for the campsite setting. 

The Sengyo’s handle features a Hydrotread Grip which makes it truly easy to hold even when dealing with slippery ingredients, and which is also easy to clean.  The knife’s finish is optimized to resist corrosion, making it a natural in saltwater conditions.  It also comes with a plastic sheath, making it safely packable in any mess kit.

Like all Gerber products it looks as good as it cuts, and it’s a fine addition to any angler’s kitchen or camping kit. 

Gerber Rigor Knife, ($60), Reviewed by Beverly Smith

Any chef, big game hunter, or saltwater angler will tell you – don’t skimp on a good knife. I’ve long known the Portland, Oregon based Gerber company as having great knife options for hunting. Gerber’s online videos taught me how to quarter an elk with just one knife. And, although you may need just one knife for that job, Gerber has hundreds of custom-made knives for different needs. For those of you that enjoy saltwater fishing – from salmon fishing in Alaska to king mackerel in my homewaters off the South Carolina coast – Gerber has you covered. The Rigor knife is made for larger species of fish, both processing and steaking. The 11 inch scimitar blade is rigid and effective. The grip is designed for the moving boat, in slippery conditions – it’ll hold. And, the knife is made to withstand harsh saltwater environments – it’s not corroding anytime soon, or ever. What a treat it is to have a new, top-of-the-line knife. Remember that come holiday season for the hunter or angler in your life.

Gerber Magniplier, ($70), Reviewed by Erin Block

My favorite thing about the Gerber Magniplier is the ability to operate it one-handed. It is lightweight and ergonomically well-designed, and the locking mechanism is easy to flip open and closed with your thumb while in-hand. Even for a small-handed person like myself, these pliers are comfortable and easy to manipulate quickly and with only one hand, which is important when practicing catch and release.

The long beak-shaped jaws allow deep reach into the jaws of toothy-critters such as barracudas or musky, but also is perfect for smaller-mouthed fish such as redfish. The needlenose is ideal for releasing deeply-hooked fish un-harmed.

For the size of this tool, the Magniplier is surprisingly low-profile, even when in the holster. This is an important and often-overlooked feature, as anything bulky attached to your belt or pack is liable to get tangled up with stripping or running line. The Magniplier will not get in your way.

Other features include a line-cutter and different size holes on the ends of the handles for your lanyard of choice. Overall, this is an expertly-designed plier that will serve an angler well.

O’Pros Fly Fishing Nets, ($123.45), Reviewed by Tim Romano

More widely known for the 3rd Hand Rod Holder, O’Pros Fly Fishing, a small company comprised of 3 bearded brothers, is now launching a new line of landing nets. Made by family, fished with friends is the focus for the O’Pros Bros.  Born and raised in Wisconsin is where they fish and hand assemble the products. Inspired by their roots in hockey and love for fishing, O’Pros meshed the two and created a hockey stick handle net. The nets have a custom hockey stick handle(carbon fiber composite), aluminum net frame, a custom carrying bag that doubles as a reusable shipper, plus a lifetime warranty. These nets are lightweight, durable, and look awesome!  Get the specs on the net and watch a great video about the nets here.

Cross Current Insurance – Protect Your Passion

Cross Current – Insurance for the Fly Fishing Industry ($123.45), Reviewed by Tim Romano

Cross Current Insurance Group’s motto is Protect Your Passion and is the founding principle that our company is built on. Your job is to protect your business, your clients, your families, and your employees, and our job is to protect your assets, livelihood, and businesses, so that no matter what the world throws at you, your insurance broker has your back.

For many of us in the fishing industry, our passions and our livelihood are completely intertwined, and we offer the following types of coverage to protect you around the clock:

  • Guide/Outfitter Liability in all 50 states
  • Business Insurance
    • Retail & E-tailers
    • Lodges & Camps
    • Manufacturing
    • Non-Profits and Associations
  • Employee Benefits
  • 6-Pack Charter & Pleasure Boats

Since we opened our doors in 2018, our client list has grown to almost 100 professional guides, manufacturers, retail shops, lodges, industry associations, and charter boat captains across 32 states. We believe this growth is because of our philosophy of ‘doing well by doing good’. Each year, our clients ‘cast their vote’ for which non-profit organization will receive a portion of our revenue. We didn’t want to box ourselves in with a fixed % so that the more we grow, the more we can give back. Our staff is made up of anglers with backgrounds in manufacturing, guiding, retail, hospitality, and of course insurance, and that collective experience allows us to truly understand the risks your business or guiding operation face, and design an insurance policy around it.

If you’ve had problems with slow responses, denied claims, or unexplainable increases in your insurance premiums lately, we’d love the opportunity to protect your passion and build a partnership together in 2021 and beyond. Head to to get started.

Alert Fly Tying light , ($123.45), Reviewed by Tim Romano

Alert continues to design for fly tying with the addition of UV Curing Light.

Alert Stamping continues to manufacture specialty fly tying products for casters.

Pieces like our LED Fly Tying lights with and without magnification lens, as well as the dual tying light that fit on your vice post.

Our handy battery pack for above referenced lights and now a UV portable flashlight to instantly cure glue once the UV shines on it. This gives you time to put dubbing and hairs exactly where you want before adhesion.

Our Fly Tying light comes with two 3600mA Li-Ion batteries and a cradle charger with status indicator light. The charger can be used with our battery pack if you’re off grid in a cabin or riverside tent.

Everything comes in a presentation style carrying case that’s excellent for gift giving. UV has many other uses; minerals, forgery, urine detection…