Cast forward: Part 1

The year’s best new gear for Canadian fly anglers features new materials and cutting-edge concepts from such leading brands as Sage, Simms, Ross, Rio Products and Tacky Fly Fishing.

Best fly box



Finally, a revolution in fly patches. Designed to let flies dry with out them getting accidentally brushed away, the hinged Tacky Tube is an open-ended, 1.2-ounce polycarbonate tube with a magnetic closure. Inside the two-inch-long tube, you’ll find the same slit silicone that Tacky uses to anchor flies in its fly boxes; there are also magnets to hold big nymphs. And a clever silicone tether lets you attach the Tube to your vest, shirt or pack. Tacky Fly Fishing, (801) 610-9928;


Saskatchewan’s Wayne Phillips is a long-time Outdoor Canada contributor.


Best rod



Lovers of Sage’s classic RPL rods from the early 1990s had better make room for the company’s new X line. The fast-action X590 (nine-foot, 5-weight), for example, is one of the smoothest-casting rods I’ve tried in years, with a restrained power capable of casting tight loops with incredible accuracy. The X rods are black-spruce-coloured, with dark green wraps and a black anodized aluminum reel seat. They come in sizes 3 to 10, along with switch and spey versions.

Sage, 1-877-263-6141;

Best line



When trout are feeding just below the surface, reach for Rio Products’ InTouch CamoLux ultra-slow-sinking “hover” line, which sinks at less than one foot per second. The short front head allows for maximum-distance casting, while the super-low-stretch ConnectCore provides extreme sensitivity for fast hooksets. The camo-coloured line is available in weights 4 through 8, in either intermediate or floating/intermediate.

Rio Products, 1-800-553-0838;

Best reel



The Colorado LT from Ross has only 15 parts and weighs less than three ounces. It’s a large-arbor reel with a one-piece frame, and an all-metal click/pawl drag. The design features elegant heart-shaped cutouts, with a unique handle machined from a canvas phenolic rod. And it’s reassuring to know that this rugged beauty is designed, assembled and machined in Colorado. It’s available in either black or platinum, in three sizes for line weights 0-3, 3/4 and 4/5.

Ross, (970) 249-0606;

Best Pack



With Simms’ G4 Pro Sling Pack, it’s easy to see why so many anglers have abandoned traditional fly-fishing vests. Made from 210 double-rip nylon, the G4 features a U-shaped zippered main compartment, magnetic tool and flotant ports, and a water-resistant interior in case you wade too deep. The fold-down workbench is ideal for replacing flies, while the ergonomically designed shoulder strap allows for all-day comfort. Simms Fishing Products, 1-888-585-3570;