Category Archives: gear

10 Foot Fly Rod Review

As ‘Euro-Nymphing’ has grown in popularity here in the states over the past few years, longer 10’ and even 10’6’’ and 11’ rods have become increasingly popular as well. Typically, these rods have an extremely sensitive tip section and a stronger backbone in the mid and lower sections of the rod.  The sensitivity in the tip section allows the angler to feel their nymphs/weight/shot throughout the drift. One often over looked benefit of a 10’ rod for dry fly fishing and indicator nymphing is the ability to manage line across different seams in the river. The longer rods make reaching tough to reach areas much easier than traditional 9’ fly rods. We currently have the following 10’ rods in stock in the shop:

Echo Shadow II 10’ 2WT

Echo Shadow II 10’6 4WT

Echo Shadow X 10’ 3WT

Echo Shadow X 11’ 3WT

Scott Radian 10’ 4WT

Winston BIIIX Super 10’ 4WT

A personal favorite of mine for fishing the Gunpowder is the Echo Shadow II 10’ 2WT.  Not only is this an excellent euro-nymph rod, I also find it delivers dry fly’s at short to medium ranges pretty well.

A short description from Echo on the Shadow II series: “Light and fast, the Shadow II offers critical line feel and control with an action that will also toss a loop when the bugs start flying.”

At the Shadow II’s price point ($249.99), I think you will be very pleased with its feel and performance. With that said, the 10’ 3WT’s and 4WT’s we have in stock will be far more versatile.  The 3WT and 4WT rods will allow you to fish larger rivers through heavier water and offer more fish fighting control.

If you enjoy fishing the waters of Western MD and up in to Pennsylvania, the Echo Shadow X and G. Loomis NRX Nymph would be my choice.  The Shadow X is 20% lighter than the Shadow II leading to reduced fatigue while nymphing. Both the Shadow X and NRX Nymph are extremely sensitive while maintaining a relatively stiff backbone for positive hooksets on fish.

The Winston BIIIX Super 10’ and the Scott Radian are my favorite rods aesthetically and I feel they are the most versatile if you are routinely fishing water larger than the Gunpowder. Both of these rods are truly crafts of art and built with the quality we have come to expect from Winston and Scott.  If I were to choose between the two, I would choose the Radian if I were looking for an all around performance rod, and the Super 10 if I were looking for a more dedicated nymph rod.  The Super 10 has a softer tip and is a bit heavier than the Radian.  Winston added a 2’’ fighting cork to reduce arm fatigue.

I picked up a Scott Radian 10’ 5WT expecting to fish Colorado run-off last June.  Turns out, it was one of the lowest snowpack’s in Colorado history last season and rivers were flowing well below normal. I still fished the 10’ 5WT and was not disappointed at all in the rods ability to cast size 16 and 18 dry fly’s at rising fish.  This rod is incredibly accurate at long distances.

All of these 10’ rods will help you manage line on the water and perfect your drift whether you are tight-line nymphing, indicator nymphing, or dry fly fishing.  Swing by the shop and give one of these rods a cast!

Patagonia Wading Boots built by Danner in-stock in Maryland

Danner’s reputation for building the best boots is unrivaled the world over. So much so the US Military has been using Danner Boots for years. Now they have partnered with Patagonia Fly Fishing to create a revolutionary wading boot that is not only comfortable, supportive with excellent traction but also the last pair you’ll need to own. As is with all soft goods that are put to good use, the original stitching and the sole won’t last forever but these boots are made to be completely recraftable and resoleable in house, by hand in Danner’s factory in Portland, Oregon.

We have a size run of both the River Salt & Foot Tractor (rubber sole) boots here at Backwater Angler.

Stop by the shop – have a look, try them on & see for yourself what all the hype is about.

I was able to try the Foot Tractors last June for 2 weeks both on the Delaware & the Gunpowder and I was amazed by the level of comfort & traction. They’re in a different league from any other wading boot I’ve worn. Having broken through other boots in the $180 range in less than a season and then having no further use with them. Just knowing that these won’t end up in a landfill makes sense in what is undoubtedly an investment in comfort and safety whilst enjoying your time out fishing.

Patagonia River Salt Wading Boots

Patagonia Foot Tractor Boots – Sticky Rubber (Made by Danner)

 

The Gunpowder is Blown Out! Let us help you prepare for the upcoming season this weekend.

After almost an inch and a half of rain yesterday through last night resulted in the Gunpowder cresting at 1700 cfs at Falls Road. It’s now at 1500 cfs, slowly dropping and heavily stained. Best put off fishing for a while until it drops to a safer level. Streamer fishing from the bank can be productive at around 400 cfs but I wading is not recommended until it’s under 300 cfs. Remember all of Little Falls is closed from any forms of fishing until Sunday March 31st.

The wet weather trend of last year looks like it isn’t leaving anytime soon! So we have a great selection of fully waterproof, submersible packs from both Fishpond and Patagonia. Be ready for rain when you’re out on the water this season & keep your valuables nice and dry.

 

Streamer Fishing in Maryland?

Maryland Streamer Fishing

Streamer fishing in Maryland? These beauties including Near Nuff Sculpins, Supper Buggers, Baby Gongas and Slump Busters are ready for a swim! The Gunpowder River is at a steady 245 Cfs and warming to right at 40 degrees. Bring along a sink-tip and some studs and focus on the wood and any jams that you can find. Limit your wading watch those muddy banks-especially while getting in and out and enjoy sunshine and milder weather while it lasts…

Streamer Fishing in Maryland

Backwater Angler on Ebay

The shop has seen a lot of gear come in and out the door through the years. Some seem to not want to go back out the door. We have amassed a number of random products whether its used, new & discontinued or vintage, and while the fishing is slow we decided to move through some of this. Check us out on Ebay to see what we have on offer. Happy bidding!

 

 

New St Croix Rods at Backwater Angler

With the holidays right around the corner we have a great selection of St. Croix rods from Park Falls, Wisconsin!

These include the new Mojo Trout series, these rods are silky smooth casting suited for beginners and intermediate anglers alike. Featuring high modulus SCIII graphite these are superb rods which, for $180 – $210, don’t break the bank.

The Imperial USA rods set the standard for a premium US built rod; lightweight, fast action rods these are extremely versatile and performs like a rod you would pay twice the money for.  The Bank Robber streamer rods are designed by Kelly Galloup on the Madison River, he knows what goes into a great rod and with the state of the art technology provided by St. Croix, this is the result. The Legend Elite is their hallmark rod which has the look and feel of a rod that is worthy of a brand which has been at the forefront of rod building for 70 years.

Whether you’re new or seasoned in fly fishing we have you covered, stop on by and give them a go! We have received the following in store.

  • NEW Mojo Trout 9′ 4 wt $200
  • NEW Mojo Trout 9′ 5 wt $200
  • Imperial USA 9′ 4 wt $300
  • Imperial USA 9′ 5 wt $300
  • Bank Robber 9′ 5 wt $460
  • Legend Elite 9′ 5 wt $460

NOTE: We still have a space available in our upcoming streamer clinic this Saturday at 11 AM. Please call the shop to pre-register. 

Scott and Winston Fly Rods on Sale!


Please note: This sale covers in-stock discontinued models only.

Scott and Winstons are among our favorites and sadly sometimes they get updated and very good news for those who have waited for a great and somewhat limited sale.

That said,  we have two Scott F2 7′ 2″ 3 weight 4 piece rods for sale. Originally designed for Yamame (Cherry Salmon for the Japanese market. They are  the only four piece in the in F2 series.These light weight fiberglass are a dream for those who enjoy small stream fishing . They are ideal for our local wild browns or even brookies in western Maryland.

They retail at $645 and we are willing to part ways with them for $445 each.

We also have two beautiful and very different  R. L. Winston Fly Rods for your consideration. A Winston Traditional (WT) 8’6” 5 weight 3 piece (shown above) and  8’9″ 5 weight 5 piece LT also on sale (shown below). These retail at $850 each and can now be had for $600 a piece. These have classic Winston tapers from the early 90’s with internal ferrules, these will make someone very happy indeed.

Stop by the shop and check them out before it’s too late!

G. Loomis Fly Rods in Maryland


Going Saltwater fly fishing? Stop in this week when we reopen on Thursday and cast all of our in-stock G.Loomis fly rods from the 8/9 Short Stick Pro-4X, to the NRX 8 and 9wt and the 8 and 9 weight Asquith. Looking for exclaimer-you’ll find one you like in this grouping.

Fresh Patagonia Gear at Backwater Angler

We are flush with quality gear from Patagonia here at Backwater Angler. We’re enjoying some proper spring weather and the local rivers are really coming to life, now is a good time to check out some new gearr before going out on any long trips. Stop in and have a look at what we have!

  • M’s L/S Sun Stretch Shirt – $99
  • M’s Graphic Tech Fish Tee – $55
  • Foot tractor wading boots size 10 – 14 – $249
  • Ultralight Wading boots size 5-14 – $189
  • Rio Azul Waders – $249
  • Rio Gallegos Wader – $499
  • Middle Fork Packable Waders – $349
  • W’s Spring Creek Chest Waders – $399
  • Gunnison Gorge Wading Pants – $299
  • Neoprene Wading Sock w/ Gravel Guards – $45
  • Stealth Chest Pack – $79
  • Stealth Hip Pack – $119
  • Classic Hip Chest Pack – $89
  • Stealth Atom Sling – $119
  • Hybrid Pack Vest L – $99
  • Mesh Master II Vest – $179
  • Sweet Pack Vest – $199
  • Vest Front Sling – $99
  • Black Hole Duffel 45L – $119
  • Black Hole Duffel 60L – $129
  • Black Hole Duffel 90L – $149
  • Black Hole Duffel 120L – $169
  • Black Hole Wheeled Duffel 40L – $299
  • Black Hole Wheeled Duffel 70L – $329
  • Black Hole Wheeled Duffel 120L – $349
  • M’s Tough Puff Shirt – $199
  • M’s R1 Hoody -$159
  • M’s Minimalist Wading Jacket – $199
  • M’s Cloud Ridge Jacket – $249

G. Loomis NRX Fly Rods in Maryland

G. Loomis NRX Fly Rods
Here at Backwater Angler we have a great selection of G. Loomis rods for both fresh and salt water. The NRX LP’s are perfect for trout fishing , with the high modulus carbon with a softer tip than the original NRX, allows for delicate presentation with protection on fine tippet. For those who fly fish saltwater, the NRX 8 – 12 wt has proved extremely popular for those going on a trip down to the tropics or those looking to fish for stripers on the bay.

Here is the Loomis description of the NRX saltwater range of fly rods:

Just when you thought fly rods couldn’t get any lighter or more dynamic, along comes a rod that surpasses anything ever made. Thanks to a proprietary, high-tech, nano-silica resin system and the genius of rod designer, Steve Rajeff, these NRX saltwater fly rods are the ultimate in extreme performance. They have an unbelievable “strength-to-weight” ratio and can handle everything from bonefish to small tuna. Tarpon anglers, especially those traveling to far off places, really appreciate the 4-piece construction. Wind is not problem given the fast tapers and stiff design that create incredibly tight loops for long, accurate casts, even in the wind. Ranging from a sneaky powerful 7-weight, all the way up to the tarpon lover’s 12-weight, there isn’t a fish on the flats or in the tidewater you can’t handle. Small tuna, big Cobia, even striped and white marlin are no match for the strength and power of NRX. It’s everything you want in a saltwater fly rod and more!