Category Archives: reviews

Good, Better and Best Fly Fishing Outfits

   For gear we propose three set-ups you can find in the shop. Our low-price option is the Echo lift kit, which comes in sizes 9 for 4-6 with the echo base reel and a 12-month warranty. The Echo Lift kit will come in at a price of $189.99 making it a great choice for a starter or low-cost rod. Our second suggestion falls into the mid-price range with the Echo Trout 9-foot 5 weight costing $349.99 with a warranty extended through the life of the rod. For your reel and line, we suggest the Lamson Liquid reel ($139.99) and Airflow Universal Taper ($100). In total this kit will cost you $589.98.Echo Trout Fly Rod | BACKWATER ANGLER  Lamson Liquid – Smoke | BACKWATER ANGLER

Another great mid-price rod is the IMX pro Creek with a price of $570 with lifetime warranty. Its a great smaller river rod with no particular disadvantages and lots of play to the tip making it the perfect rod for the Gunpowder. We suggest a Lamson Remix with this rod ($189) with the Airflow Tactical Taper ($100). In total this setup will cost you around $859. G Loomis IMX Pro Creek | BACKWATER ANGLER lamson remix | Search Results | BACKWATER ANGLER

If you’re looking for something a bit wider ranging, we suggest the NRX + ($915). A stiffer and faster rod from G-Loomis. The rod will work wonders on larger waters such as those found out west and give you easy control over your casts. We would pair this rod with the Abel TR 4/5 (625$) with the Airflow Power Taper ($100) to take advantage of that powerful cast you can get with this rod. this setup will cost you around ($1640) But is an excellent choice for around home and on bigger water. G. Loomis NRX + | BACKWATER ANGLER    Abel TR 4/5 in Satin Black | BACKWATER ANGLER

Final suggestion we offer a high price kit featuring a Scott Centric ($945), a handcrafted rod with lifetime warranty. For your reel and line, we suggest an Abel Vaya ($675) and Airflow Power Taper ($129.99) or Airflow Tactical Taper ($100). in total this kit will cost you around $1800 and will last you a lifetime. Scott Centric | BACKWATER ANGLER      Abel Vaya 4/5 Satin Black | BACKWATER ANGLER

In other news the gunpowder has entered peak beetle season. Larger foam patterns and stimulators will work all day especially under bushes and overhanging trees. We highly suggest running a dropper setup with any large flies you throw.

The Best Saltwater Fly Rods On The Market

Between G. Loomis and Scott Fly rods we have never had a better assortment of saltwater weaponry. From the stiff and fast action NRX + S to the subtle presentation of a Sector we have just what you need for every species of fish you plan on targeting.


The NRX + S is the perfect fast action rod for your bigger flies and tough conditions. The extra stiffness greatly improves your longer casts and help fight the windier conditions. This rod will turn over bigger flies with ease and is great for all sorts of saltwater applications. With the fast action and stiffness, you do lose sensitivity in the close range however the precision is still there.

G. Loomis NRX+ Saltwater | BACKWATER ANGLER

The Scott lineup includes the Sector, Wave, and Tidal rods ranging from a 7 weight to a 9 weight. These rods provide the most sensitivity a saltwater rod can offer and are perfect for any flats or low tide situation where precision and accuracy is key to an angler’s presentation.  The added sensitivity is a drawback for larger flies and heavy winds however the rod will still be effective in these conditions.




Stop by the shop to cast these rods or order you can order them through the links provided on the post!

Scientific Angler Leader Sale!

A look at our extensive selection of Scientific Angler leaders and tippet.

Through July we are going to be running a sale on Scientific Angler leaders. We will be selling 4 packs for the price of three. This is a great value and helps you stock up on leaders for your summer fishing or trips in the future. The leaders are very high quality and come in a variety of sizes and styles for your needs.

Stop by the shop and stock up on all your fishing necessities.

Best Three Weight Fly Rods in Maryland!

Our Line-up of Three Weights!

In the shop we have a wide variety of three weights for all of your small water needs. From fiberglass to Euro style rods, we have all the bases covered.

For the extra small creeks look no further than the Scott F series and Scott G series These rods are both under 8 feet long and provide excellent precision on the water. The F series is the best fiberglass rod we have come across and is perfect for your backcountry fishing as it breaks down to just 18 inches.



If you want something delicate yet sturdy enough to handle larger water the best options are the G. Loomis IMX Pro Creek and NRX+ LP. These rods come in at 7′ 9″ and 8′ 3″ respectively and provide precision like no other. The fast action on the rods help cast in tight areas and will provide the delicacy needed to present a fly in tight conditions while having enough backbone to stand up to larger fish.



With the popularity of Euro nymphying greatly increasing recently, it is important to bring the right gear for the tactic. The 10′ 3 weight shadow II and shadow X from Echo have been spectacular Euro rods for our customers and employees. The extra foot makes an incredible difference in presentation and a very sensitive tip sections allows the user to feel every strike or rock throughout their drift. Despite being a 3weight, these rods can withstand large rivers and turn over large nymph rigs.



Stop in the shop and cast these rods for yourself!

Abel TR 4/5 Fly Reels in Native Brook, Native Brown and Native Rainbow in stock!

Abel TR 4/5 Fly Reels in Native Rainbow, Native Brown and Native Brook

If one could only justify needing another trout reel, the Abel TR series is a winner! Among the awards bestowed on them in the past few years; “Best Freshwater Fly Reel” at the AFFTA Show in 2018, and two Best Awards from both Outdoor Canada Magazine-“Best of Show” and “Best New Trout Reel” from Fly Fisherman’s Gear Guide in 2019. We humbly assert that these will fit in a stocking whether alone or nestled together, will outlast your favorite fly rod-technology is the devil…and are worthy of your frank consideration and attention and are in-stock until they’re gone. Please note, pictures are of in-stock reels ready to ship.

Gearing up For Montana

Over my last few years working here at Backwater we always have a stream of anglers itching to go out to Montana and chase after its beautiful fish. but there is always the same question from all of these anglers: “what do I even bring out there?” But don’t worry we are here to help you on your way to an amazing trip. To begin with, you will be needing a sturdy rod with a nice backbone to handle those larger fish and cast larger flies. The rod for the job is the Scott Centric

Scott Centric

The Centric is the perfect Montana rod. It’s strong enough to combat stronger winds and still delivers the perfect presentation. It’s also stiff enough to cast larger streamers but has a lighter tip which allows you to feel the bottom while tight line nymphing.

I you are looking for a spring creek rod for more delicate presentations then we suggest the Scott G Series

Scott G Series

The G Series is the perfect rod for making that delicate cast at a rising fish or that stealthy mend for the perfect drift. The G series is truly a fly fishermen’s dream. With its delicate capabilities it is still able to hold large fish and fish larger flies if needed but excels in lighter flies and tighter spaces.

Next, you’ll be needing flies. We suggest looking at a hatch chart for the Area you will be fishing but if you don’t have time to or can’t find one, we have many great fly options here in the shop. Montana is known for its larger bugs, and even more so for its fish loving to eat these big bugs on the surface. Here at the shop, we have what you need.

As far as waders and boots go, it is a necessity that you have a quality pair to wade the rough waters and hike the rugged terrain. To compete with these conditions that Montana has we recommend the Patagonia Foot Tractors or the Patagonia River Salts.

Patagonia River Salt Wading Boots

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

The price on these boots will be rising this Fall by $100+. If you are looking for that new pair of boots that that has an amazing warranty and will last a long. We highly suggest the River Salt or the Foot Tractor for any of your wading needs.


New Scott Centric Fly Rods in the Shop

Recently we received three new Scott Centrics this week at Backwater Angler: The 9 foot 4 weight, 9 foot 5 weight, and 10 foot 4 wight, all 4 piece rods. Each rod provides advantages in different situations and are Scott’s top of the line rods.

The 10 foot 4 weight is the most specialized of the three rods. The extra length makes it ideal to use for nymphing, both tight-line and indicator nymphing. The tip section provides enough sensitivity to use for tight-line nymphing, however still has the back-bone to lift heavy nymph  rigs and cast them upstream. The biggest advantage of the extra length is the ability to mend over currents to provide yourself with the best drift. Although this rod may be ideal for nymphing, it does cast a dry fly very well. The extra length requires a slower cast to unroll longer casts.

Both the 9 foot 4 and 5 weight rods are going to be the best all-around rod you can find.  Both rods will be efficient in streamer, dryfly, and nymph fishing. The 4 weight is going to handle the bigger streamers and nymph rigs slightly worse than a 5 weight, however the extra sensitivity will help you maneuver your flies in smaller water. Both are strong enough to stand up against the bigger water and fish. Whether you need a 4 or a 5 weight rod truly comes down to what water you fish the most, but either option will provide an excellent fishing experience on the water.

If you are interested in getting one of these rods please stop by the shop or order online and we’ll get it shipped out as soon as possible.

Scott Centric

Ross Animas Fly Reel Review

A fully-redesigned frame and spool are highlights of the new Animas. The spool shows off the cutting-edge manufacturing techniques Ross Reels has developed, delivering a design that is incredibly strong and visually stunning. The Animas also re-joins the family by incorporating an ultra-light canvas phenolic handle which gets tackier when wet. along with the new drag system that includes composite discs that are more reliable and a smaller drag nob.  A new trouble-free spool release yields zero-maintenance performance, allowing the Animas to be ready for any fresh or saltwater excursion.

Ross Animas


Echo Shadow X Review

Over the past couple of weeks that I have been back from Montana, it seems that many people have been heading out there themselves. I couldn’t be more excited for them to experience the amazing landscape and big fish water. A longer rod is the keystone to Euro Nymphing.  Echo designed The Shadow X specifically for Nymphing. At 10, 10 and a half, and 11 feet in length you can Tight-line or Euro-nymph without having to wade deep into the pools. The very sensitive tip section is ideal for staying in touch with your flies and, feeling a fish take and protecting light tippet, but have enough backbone to turn fish out of strong currents. Though I have only have been using my Euro Nymphing rod for close to a year now I have been more than happy with the results. I’ve also found it ideal for using indicator rigs, as the longer length of these rods functions to turn over the heavy nymph rigs easily with a roll cast. As stated earlier the ultra-sensitive tip on the rod allows for the ability to tell there the bottom is and when a fish takes your fly. I am currently using the 10′ 6″ 3wt Shadow X. While it is slightly more flimsy than the 10′ Shadow X it was still able to turn some larger fish in the strong sweeping currents of the Madison and Gallatin Rivers.

Echo Shadow X

High ‘N Dry Fishing Products


The new High N Dry products have been spectacular. The new brush applicator has worked perfectly to get each an every part of the fly. The super fine powder coats the brush and fly well, absorbing the water after catching a few fish or keeping the fly dry to begin with.

The High N Dry gel floatant has been the new go-to for the shop. Paired with the powdered floatant, you can guarantee a moisture free fly for quite a while. When the water is low, your first cast is more important than ever, so a properly floating fly can make or break whether the fish rises or not.

Below is a chart provided by High N Dry showing their findings on the water absorption of different products. You can see they are among the best on the market.










High N Dry Gel Floatant

High N Dry Powdered Floatant and Desiccant

High N Dry Powdered Floatant with Applicator Brush