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  1. #1

    Default Lightweight gear for backcountry fishing

    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

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    South Texas
    Posts
    4,313

    Default Re: Lightweight gear for backcountry fishing

    Or one could start riding a road bike 3x/week. I've dropped about 30 lbs since I started doing so, and I'm sure my next uphill backcountry hike will be a little more enjoyable too.

    Not trying to hijack the thread, but I "wear" more extra weight than I can cull from my fishing rigging.
    http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-..._1276302_n.jpg

    I'd rather hunt fish than bait deer any day.

  3. Default Re: Lightweight gear for backcountry fishing

    i kno a tip i use for week long expiditions is to just use a 3 day pack not a full out back pack. it saves weight and if you buy the right ones they have plenty of room for extra undies, and all of your gear like sleeping bag fly rods and what not can usually be secured to the outside via the loop holes they include. plus their easier to walk with and stop you from packing anything unessicary.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Central Florida
    Posts
    5,392

    Default Re: Lightweight gear for backcountry fishing

    Hi Kai,

    You seem to have a good system but here are a couple of ideas. A 4' rod case tells me you are using a 3 or 2 piece rod. You should consider a 4 piece graphite rod. A 7' 8" or 8' rod would get you down to a 24" carry tube. There are graphite rods available with two tips. I don't think I would want to use one of my bamboo rods for back packing.

    Instead of a net maybe one of these would be a better choice. It would be lighter.

    Landing Hand


    When I back packed I didn't use waders but maybe you need them where you are at. You didn't say what you were using for wader boots. I assure you are not using your hiking boots. If you eliminate the waders and boots that would be a savings for you.

    Instead of carrying two large fly boxes I would go with small ones or at least mid-sized.

    Frank

  5. #5

    Default Re: Lightweight gear for backcountry fishing

    Have you used the landing hand thing? How well does it work?

    My rods are mostly 2 piece bamboo. I've got several different 4, 5, and 7 piece travel rods, but I've become addicted to the casting action of bamboo.

    I have not yet settled on a lighweight wading shoe/boot solution.

    I've been experimenting with various wading boots. I currently use the L2 from Simms (pretty heavy.) I've recently ordered some lightweight wading boots with integrated gravel guards from Bite

    Bite Fishing | Portage | 2695a

    The Bite shoes should be here this week. I will see how they work.

    I've also been interested in the 8x wading boot by Cloudveil. They are 1 pound 1 ounce each in my size, compared with 1 pound 7 ounces each for the Simms.

    Cloudveil :: 8x Wading Boot

    Orvis makes a travel boot that also looks interesting:
    http://www.orvis.com/store/product_c...subcat_id=6047


    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Whiton View Post
    Hi Kai,

    You seem to have a good system but here are a couple of ideas. A 4' rod case tells me you are using a 3 or 2 piece rod. You should consider a 4 piece graphite rod. A 7' 8" or 8' rod would get you down to a 24" carry tube. There are graphite rods available with two tips. I don't think I would want to use one of my bamboo rods for back packing.

    Instead of a net maybe one of these would be a better choice. It would be lighter.

    Landing Hand


    When I back packed I didn't use waders but maybe you need them where you are at. You didn't say what you were using for wader boots. I assure you are not using your hiking boots. If you eliminate the waders and boots that would be a savings for you.

    Instead of carrying two large fly boxes I would go with small ones or at least mid-sized.

    Frank

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Central Florida
    Posts
    5,392

    Default Re: Lightweight gear for backcountry fishing

    Hi Kai,

    No, I have not used the landing hand. I just thought it might be a good idea for someone trying to keep the weight down.

    Frank

  7. #7

    Default Re: Lightweight gear for backcountry fishing

    An update on wading shoes:

    I just tried out a new pair of shoes this past week. They are made by a company called "Bite" and the model is the "Portage." I bought them from Amazon.com on sale for $39.89

    Weight is just under one pound per shoe (size 11) That's not bad, considering that they include a built in gravel guard. (They sell a similar shoe without the gravel guard that is less expensive, and almost certainly a bit lighter, but I like the built in gravel guard feature.) For reference, my Simms L2 boots are 1 pound 7 ounces (rubber sole); LL Bean Ultralight boots are 1 pound 8 ounces (studded rubber sole); and I weighed a Cloudveil 8x boot in size 11 and it weighed 1 pound 2 ounces (felt sole.) The Cloudveil comes close in weight, but would require a seperate gravel guard which would add a few ounces.

    Comfort is good, and they have adequate support, considering their low-top design. Dry traction for hiking was good, but wet traction while wading was mediocre. The soles utilize a combination of rubber and felt. They are not as grippy on slick surfaces as an all felt sole. They seemed somewhat similar to other rubber wading soles I've used. Overall, however, I like them. They won't replace my heavy wading boots for day to day fishing, but I think they will find their way into my backpack on my next backcountry trip. It will be interesting to see how they stand up to commando fishing far from the trail head.


    Bite Fishing | Portage | 2695a

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