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Old 08-23-2012, 01:16 PM
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Default Noob question?

I need a waist pack, gel floatant, forceps, and line clippers. I see that there is a buttload of manufacturers and models for each. Do you folks have a favorite based on experience? Thanks...
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Old 08-23-2012, 03:53 PM
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Default Re: Noob question?

As far as forceps and line clippers, I would go with Dr. Slick mitten scissor clamps, a bit pricey but I am very happy with them. Cabela's: Dr. Slick Mitten Scissor Clamps

I've tried several gel floatants and the best I have used by far is Loon Aquel. It doesn't make a mess everywhere and doesn't turn hard when it gets cold out. Cabela's: Loon Outdoors Aquel Premium Floatant

Not sure about a waist pack, but I'm sure someone here will chime in with a good recommendation.

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Old 08-23-2012, 04:05 PM
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Default Re: Noob question?

Hi Gary,

You're going to get a variety of responses here but before I mention specifics, if you have a good local fly shop near where you are, I'd encourage you to make a visit. A good relationship with your local shop is worth its weight in gold.

You can't go wrong with Dr. Slick forceps---just pick a model that suits you best. Nippers for the most part are nippers. You might even consider a pair of forceps that has scissors built into them which could mean one less piece of equipment to carry. Get a couple of the cheapie nippers and be done with it.

By far, my favorite floatant is DryMagic. Best stuff I've ever used and the only floatant I carry these days. Umpqua Tiemco Dry Magic: Sports & Outdoors Umpqua Tiemco Dry Magic: Sports & Outdoors

Waist packs are a little more personal in that there are features you may or may not like. One thing that I find mandatory is a bottle holder. I need to carry beverages with me. Usually coffee and either water or gatoraid. There is a discussion a few posts down that is worth your time reading as it may help you.

Need to find a new pack

While not a waist pack, this sling pack has peaked my interest and might be something for you to consider as well. Again, it is worth a read for perspective.

Patagonia Stealth Atom Sling

Happy shopping.
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Old 08-23-2012, 06:55 PM
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Default Re: Noob question?

Ditto the Loon Aquel, its what I usually use. I also have used Gink with fine results but I do like the Loon better.

As far as nips and forceps and the like I have always used whatever cheap full set I can find. There is a full set on Amazon from Scientific Angler for like $13 with nippers, forceps, leader straightener and retractor. The one I currently have looks very similar but is Cortland branded.

The pack is your choice. Hip packs are generally for light packing. A small hip pack I would want room for a small fly box, tippet spool, extra leader, couple granola bars and a bottle of water. But like I said, that is me. Just think of everything you want to carry and make sure it will fit comfortably and add a bit of fudge factor. Whatever you get make sure it has comfortable straps.

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Old 08-23-2012, 07:06 PM
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Default Re: Noob question?

Yes you will get a lot of input on this one—here's my two cents, well maybe four cents:

waist pack - I use fishpond and Orvis. I settled on the waterdance model—it's big. Had arroyo model (too small). I now use a sling pack (Orvis) mostly. Got tired of all that gear around the waist, and it all got wet when I waded too deep. The Orvis sling pack (not the big one they have out now) is a perfect size. It's my go-to for most trips.

Somethings to consider in waist/sling pack:

(1) One thing I don't like about some packs is that they have TOO many pockets/zippers/loops/straps that end up snagging a leader/tippet/or line. Of late the design of orvis bags (safe passage line) has been pretty minimal on the exterior. I used to think that looked too simple, but then again, having too much gear on the outside can get messy when you're tying on tippet or stripping line in.

(2) I like when I can attach a velcro backed foam fly patch to the outside. Nothing huge, just big enough to put a few flies to dry out. Orvis sling pack had this...fishpond did not.

(3) Strong zippers with pull ties. Makes opening with gloves easy. Orvis sling pack has colored them orange...helps in low light. Fishpond had ties but they are colored the same or close the the color of the bag making them hard to see for these aging eyes.

(4) Water bottle holder...Orvis sling did not have it, but I put a slim profile rollup water bottle inside. If I need a full size water bottle...I'd be going on a bigger trip and I'd switch to the larger fishpond waterdance pack.

(5) Versatility...the sling pack is just and only that. The waterdance is large enough to warrant a removable neck strap to convert it from waist to chest pack. But, if you don't want to carry the kitchen sink, just use it as a waist pack.

(6) Lots of small pockets on the inside is helpful for those little things.

(7) I'm iffy on the cost of waterproof packs. I figure whatever you don't want to get wet should already be waterproofed. A zip lock back is cheap and works well too.

Like others have said a pack is a personal choice. Be prepared to go through a few models/designs. As for brands, the premium brands put a lot of thought into design and materials. You'll put more into it than them and will go through more material finding the right one (or two or three) brands/models. The good thing is it will only take 2-3 trips for you to realize the pack is lacking something.

gel floatant - I use only gunk. A little goes a long way. It can be messy tho.

forceps - Orvis. I carry two pairs. Micro pair with serrated edge line cutter. Long pair with hook eye cleaner. I keep the small one near my flies/tippet so it's there when I sling the pack around to change/freshen the setup. I keep the long pair on the pack strap so it's in front for quick access when releasing fish. I'm sure Dr. Slick are just as good...I use that brand of tools for fly tying. Definitely want stainless steel. I've heard the best metal/pairs come from India. I've seen a lot of flat black models on the market. I would have a hard time finding them if mine were black. If I had to go with one pair, I'd go with the larger one that has the ability to cut line just in case I lost my nippers and a hook eye cleaner.

line clippers - I've had fishpond....these were designed very well. Lightweight aluminum and had hook eye cleaner. Except they did not have replaceable blades. Gave it to my brother. I now use an Abel nipper...which has replaceable blades. I feel it's way overpriced and if I lost it, I'd get another fishpond.

Definitely shop around online and checkout youtube for reviews. Some reviews are horrible but they at least offer a different view (pun intended) than the manufacturer's sales pitch.

I think of all the things you need don't skimp on the waist/sling pack. Heck nose grease has worked to help float a leader. And I still see a lot of guys using regular finger nail clippers on the water to cut line.

Good luck to you!

Last edited by shotgunfly; 08-23-2012 at 07:08 PM. Reason: I can't spell and well the first version was too long! ;-)
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