Anyone else out there have any favorite lightweight fishing gear for backcountry trips?
I'd love to get some useful tips on cutting weight for backcountry fly fishing.
My favorite fishing is typically done on week-long backpacking trips to the high country. I try to pare down the weight of my fishing and camping gear to a minimum.
Before I fished bamboo, I used to carry two rods, in case I broke one. It's a bummer to be at a beautiful high country lake full of rising trout 15 miles from the trailhead with a broken rod and no back up. (Please don't ask me how I know, as it will just put me in a really bad mood.)
Because bamboo rods come with two tips, I now typically just carry a single bamboo rod with two tips. So, even though bamboo weighs more than graphite, it all evens out. I'm looking at some light weight plastic tubing to replace the aluminum rod tubes I normally carry my rods in. A 4 foot aluminum rod tube weighs 1 pound, 8 ounces, and it looks like I could get a plastic tube of the same length for less than half the weight. I will have to be convinced that it will provide adequate protection before I use a plastic tube to haul one of my bamboo rods, however.
Petro Packaging, Plastic Tubing, Custom Extrusions, Extruded Tubes
Some of my favorite pieces of lightweight fishing gear are:
Simms Freestone Travel Waders. These are the lightest and most compact breathable waders I know of. Weight is 1 pound, 6 ounces for a size large, including the wading belt and stuff sack. They breath well, are comfortable and pack into a very small package. They are pretty durable too, considering their light weight. They have cordura nylon booties instead of neoprene, which cuts down on weight and bulk. Since my backcountry trips are typically in the summer time, I don't need the neoprene for warmth. They don't cost an arm and a leg either, which is nice.
Simms Freestone Travel Waders
William Joseph Ultralight Chest Pack. This chest pack weighs 6 and a half ounces. That weight includes two built in "zinger" retractor thingies to hold your nippers and hemostats. The pockets are large enough to easily accomodate large fly boxes, and anything else you might need on a day of fishing. It's comfortable to fish in all day.
William Joseph Ultralight Chest Pack - Save 52%
William Joseph "Wave" net. I used to leave a net behind when I fished the backcountry. However, every time I would fight to land a big, feisty fish, I would think, "I wish I'd brought a net." The Wave net is made from carbon fiber, which is light and strong. Including a magnetic quick release, my Wave net weighs only 10.5 ounces. I hang the net off of the suspenders of my waders, using the magnetic quick-release. If you use a magnetic quick release, you will want to replace the steel eye on the handle of the net with a non-magnetic brass eye. (35 cents for a brass eye-screw at the local hardware store.)
William Joseph Nets
Dr. Slick Titanium Scissor Clamps. Half the weight of steel. (and they're made from titanium, which is just cool.)
Dr. Slick Titanium Blue Scissor Clamp 5.5"
Hershey's Icebreakers Liquid Ice mints. The packages for these mints make the best split shot dispensers I've found. They are small and convenient.
You Can't Make It Up: Liquid Ice at Twice the Price