It seems like the longer I fly fish the pickier I become about my gear. I like my rods to be able to perform in a number of different situations...throw nymphs rigs with ease and accuracy, cast dries in the wind, handle big fish without bending to the cord. I like my reels to have a large enough arbor that I don't feel like I am a cartoon fisherman when I reel in on a charging fish, yet not too large that it distracts from the rods performance and balance. Lines need to be uber versatile and mend with ease! These things are normal and it is exactly why the market is flooded with choices in equipment these days. But with so many choices why have I had such a hard time finding things that I like?
My quest for the perfect fishing pack system started about 5 years ago when I converted an older Kelty lumbar pack into a fishing bag by attaching some smaller items to the belt. I added a camera bag to both sides of the front buckle to add some storage. There was ample room to add tools like my thermometer, stomach pump, catchum-release. I then stitched in some O rings on the inside so I could bungee my fly boxes in, in case I forgot to zip it closed. After blowing out a number of zippers though I had to look for something else. I went to the shop...nothing. At least nothing I liked anyway. I looked on line...nada! I was stumped until I walked into my garage and just happened to glance over at my carpenter tool pouches from my construction days. Immediately the ideas began to flow. What resulted was a flurry of internet purchases and trips to Home Depot. In the end, the modular angling system was born. Look for something like this to be available for purchase in the next few years. It is awesome - It can hold lots of gear in whatever way you want, and most importantly puts all of the weight on your hips where it belongs.
A similar story surrounds my lanyard. I bought it, used it, didn't like it, so I changed it. I added about 12 inches of nylon coated bungee cord to add length and some stretch. I then added a few beads to personalize it a bit. A few extra clips here and there and finally I was satisfied.
So what is the reason for all of this tinkering? I'm not sure really. I guess I have never been one to accept things when I am not satisfied with them. I always try to fix them instead of abandon them altogether. Just look at my Suburban..if I weren't a "tinkerer" there is no way I would have 220K miles on an original engine!
Angling University Director