Saturday, December 15, 2007

Hall of Fame Gear

Way Yin, Topher Browne (Patagonia Fly Fishing Ambassadors) and Brian Bennett (Patagonia Fly Fishing Sales manager and Moldy Chum founder) were discussing an interesting topic - "Hall of Fame Gear". It seemed like a good thing to pose to the Way Upstream community. If you were asked to list some of the best fly fishing specific products that have come out over time (clothing-wise), a hall of fame of killer stuff so to speak, what would the list look like? This list should be what you, after years of trial and error would recommend to your friends to cut straight to the best. I'm not so interested in a specific technology (like breathable membranes) or what was a breakthrough product at the time (like bootfoot neoprenes), but what still rocks after having tried all the rest... even stuff you wish was still being made because you'd wear it right now. Post your top 10 favorites.

12 comments:

Moldychum said...

R1 - Tops and bottoms. Pound for pound the best insulation on the planet.
Patagonia Houdini - The Lightest most packable weather protection money can buy. Has saved my ass on numerous occasions.
Mountainsmith Fanny Pack - My first fishing bag. Handled it all without any fish specific features.
Patagonia Micro-Puff Vest - The SST of insulation.
Sunshade Shirt - From summer stripers to winter steelhead. Great inner layer, great outer layer.
Reel Pure Waxed Cotton Baseball Cap - Stylish foul weather protection..
Reel Pure Baseball Cap - For those sunny days.
Patagonia SST fabric foot waders - They were perfect for backpacking , wish I knew what happened to them.
Traverse Tech insulator socks - borrowed from a friend, so good never gave them back.
DAS Parka - Maximum warmth for around the campsite.

JVK said...

Moldychum, I thought I was reading my comment already when I read your list above. R1's and the Houdini are a staple and I also to have a mountainsmith fanny pack to carry all my gear. I only wish the Houdini were waterproof, then I wouldnt need to throw a rain jacket in as well.
Smith Optics are very helpful as well.
Still learning how to keep my feet warm while steelheading... smartwool and sims wader shocks just havnt cut it yet.

Flytimes said...

Alpinist Sweater. Boiled wool, tight knit. You guys haven't had a sweater like it in years.

bubba said...

I guess the original intent of the post was to collect members' TOP choices for the BEST all time clothing ever... Products which not only defined a standard for performance then, but now. That is, stuff that still remains the best product for purpose ever made...

Here's my original list:
1. Filson Wool socks
2. Patagonia Wool 3 baselayer
3. Simms Guide jacket (original)
3. Patagonia Core Skin Jacket
4. Ex Officio Technical T
5. Original Simms all leather Guide boot
6. Filson Camp Shoe
7. Patagonia Board Short (Wavefarer I?)
8. Patagonia R1 pullover
9. Filson Alaskan Guide shirt (Wool)
10. EMS windproof convertible gloves

I had to modify my list, adding:
11. Puff Ball Vest
So, it's a tight one between the Puff Ball vest and the Filson Alaskan Wool Guide shirt. I guess I'd have to give the nod to the Puffball...

Flytimes said...

The Alpinist Sweater is so high speed that it actually takes up spaces 1-10. That is to say that it is the TOP choice for the BEST piece ten times over.

rustyrat said...

This would be my hit list
Patagonia GII pants
Orvis wet wading sneakers with neoprene booties
Filson hip pack
Patagonia deep water wading jacket
Petzl Tika head lamp
Barbor Durham waxed jacket - just so I can look like Hugh Falkus ( I never did actually get one)

Dylan said...

I have a lot of faves, but if there's one "I wish they still made it so I could by more" item, it's my gore-tex up-downer hat. In addition to being filled with good fishing luck, it is waterproof, breathable and looks so goofy nobody ever takes you too seriously. This is a "lefty kreh" style hat you usually see on the flats, but made for the Northwest by making it waterproof/breathable. The bill is very long and wide, keeping rain off the glasses and is structured with a thin piece of plastic instead of the usual cardboard bill innards. The back flap flips up and catches the rain that would normally drain down your neck, funneling toward the front and off the sides where it drips harmlessly on the shoulders.

Only one problem: after 17 years of use, innumerable washings, and travel from Russia to Argentina to B.C., it's wearing out. In fact, now I have to consciously limit when I wear it to prolong what's left of it's existence. Bummer.

So yeah, I'm a nut about this kind of thing, but I sure do love that hat.

#2: Patagonia exp. weight felted-bottom socks. New, but my favorite recent piece of gear.
#3: Knit wool ear-flap sherpa hat with poly-pro liner bought from a tiny Nepalese lady at the Femont (Seattle) flea market.
#4: Deep Wading Jacket.
#5: 1992-era "Watershed" jacket for boat fishing.
#6: Puff-ball pants. Only for serious cold-water situations, but then worth their weight in gold. Along with those socks above.
#7: Pentax waterproof point-and-shoot.
#8: Maui Jim prescription polaroids.
#9: Microfiber glasses cleaner cloth.
#10: Breathable waders. I know, you said not specific technology, but that's been the number one comfort advance in my fishing "career."

Peace,

Dylan

lilredrasta said...

We have had a couple of posts from members having difficulty finding Shelled Insulator Pants. Frontiers in Little Rock, at this writing has 2 pair of XL and 3 pair of Large on hand. Wayupstreamers can order by calling 501-227-4157, tell 'em you saw it here and we will ship (domestic ground shipping) for free. Call between 10a-6p central (business hours rigidly enforced, more or less).

Big Sky Taku said...

You know, this is really hard, because I believe you can fish in about anything and make it work. But I agree with Dylan, breathable waders are probably the best Hall of Fame gear going. Using them for fishing, hunting, and general river running (mud, snow and rain, in addition to river water) makes it my one, and only selection. Good on ya, mate!

thane said...

That circa 1970 Cortland(?) kids fishing vest I showed Pescador many years ago in Maine. Pure, simple design and few pockets and extra parts. Durable duck canvas with few moving parts. Think Duxbak meets a refined canvas lobster bib.
VBL socks - Extra warmth with not much weight. Could also be used as emergency socks and for holding lunch stuff as well as carrying water for the pot.
Fingerless bunting gloves - warmth with no sacrifice of dexterity. Low
Oliver Twist dork factor in the line-up.
Army-Navy Surplus store Army medic bag for saltwater casting. Easily
slung. Bomb-proof. Few compartments. Beefy canvas that Diamond Jigs and Gibbs
poppers could not penetrate. Someone needs to remake in a fabric that reflects now, not the materials worn in the days of Nixon.

Topher Browne said...

1). Patagonia Gray Wading Jacket (pre-SST circa 1990). I was in PVC before this jacket came along.
2). Patagonia Heavyweight Mountaineering Socks. Standard under wader wear. Awesome socks.
3). Patagonia Wool PBL Underwear. The warmest, most durable stuff I've ever worn. I don't even go to the video store in winter without this stuff.
4). Sungloves. Saves the back of the hands from beating sun, biting insects. Plus, I'm cooler than Michael Jackson doing the river walk.
5). Patagonia Down Sweater. Light, warm, and chicks dig it. I may not be cool enough to wear this top-ten item.
6). The Original Patagonia Pile Jacket. Wore it while working in the freezer in a fish cannery in Kodiak. Sorry, no fotos.
7). Original Patagonia Mesh Fly Fishing Vest. I lived in this thing when I worked out west. Helps you stay cool on a hot day, especially if you lose the shirt and wear just the vest. It's not a look I go for in bug country.
8). Patagonia Trim Brim Hat. Keeps sun off the bucket. I cut off the neoprene helmet holder; the back tightener works just fine
9). The original Patagonia Flat Boot. This boot put Chuck Taylor out of business on the flats.
10). The Patagonia SST Jacket. Greatest fishing jacket of all time. Much copied, never duplicated.

Anonymous said...

Well here goes:

1.Old Patagonia el-cap pants, the ones that were like tights, best cold wader ware, best under my mountaineering shells as well. So good i'm looking for an XL on ebay as mine are getting thin.
2.I havent seen any rods or reels, but one I won't do without is my 15year old orvis CFO III, back when I think that hardy was making them.
3.My older orvis hard plastic stripping basket, from flats boats to NE stripers, still the best.
4.The new Patagonia mens cap. briefs. I gotta keep my boys dry and warm.
5.The old Pataginia Scargo anorack. From fishing to tele turns, to spring ice, the best there was (just replaced with new SST!!!)
6. Smartwool socks, enough said.
7. The swiss army knife I got for my 13 birthday as a young boy sprout. Always with me and still oing strong.
8. Fingerless bunting gloves, 15 years old and still going.
9. Patagonia EW Wallace Berry top, just like gloves.
10. Re-runs of McGyver on cable. Its where I learned to fix anything with gum, duct tape, and mt swiss army. Funny is this why everything I own smells like hubba-bubba, and looks like duct tape?