Category Archives: Shop Online

Abel Maryland Flag Reel

Jayne, One of our loyal Backwater Angler regulars pitched the idea of a Abel Maryland Flag reel to us back in the early Spring. At the time, Abel only had a Colorado and Texas flag reel option under their custom finishes. The Maryland Flag falls between the 7 hour plus pricing and the Artist pricing and rightfully so-our state flag is easy to recognize but hard to paint! These are currently available at Backwater Angler in both the Super Series 4/5 and 5/6 sizes. Both come with a vibrant red aluminum handle. Please call us at 410-357-9557 for availability or Buy the new Abel Maryland Flag Super Series reel in size 4/5 or 5/6 from our online catalog.

Abel Super Series at Backwater Angler!

Using Abel’s classic cork drag system these are the most trustworthy reels on the planet. Relied on by anglers all over the world and renowned for their durability, performance and beautiful finish. 

For 2017 we have redesigned the original Super Series reel with an all new line of lighter weight sizes that feature a quick change spool system achieved by eliminating the previously removable locknut and drag knob.

The proven drag system is what makes the Super Series equally at home on the trout stream, the salt flats, and demanding deep blue water: It can be set light enough to protect the finest tippet, but can also be cranked to slow down the toughest Bluefin. No matter what species you prefer to chase, a Super Series reel is there to help you land it!

Abel Super Series Freshwater Sizes


Review of 4 weight fly rods


The Gunpowder River is an ideal river for 4 weight (wt.) fly rods. Some anglers have fun with 3 wts., and  a 5 wt. is understandable, but 4 wts. are the choice for many anglers. At Backwater Angler, we have an impressive range – regardless of your budget or experience level – of 4 wts. for your fishing adventures.


Entry level ($180 – $320)

St. Croix Mojo Trout – The 9’0 model provides fast action and some extra stretch for nymphing. An ideal rod to start one’s fly fishing life, the Mojo trout features a Kigan hook keeper, solid cork handle, aluminum reel seat, and smooth, black snake guides. This is a very reasonably priced rod.

St. Croix Imperial – The 4 piece 8’0 of this model is my favorite as it provides light, fast action. Growing up as a spin fisherman, I often used ultra light rods, and this model emulates that action well. Complete with slim-profile ferrules, Sea Guide snake guides, an uplocking reel seat, premium-grade cork handle, and a Kigan hook keeper, this rod is another ideal port of entry into small stream trout fishing. Landing some wild browns with this one should put a smile on any angler’s face.

Mid-level ($350 – $500)

Echo 3 – The 4 piece 8’6 and 9’0 versions of this medium-to-fast action rod are advanced, high-modulus graphite rods with modern resins, making it light and sensitive while maintaining backbone to go 10 rounds with an angry fish. It’s crisp on that 70′ cast, but not so fast you can’t feel the rod. These rods fish dries to nymphs, lakes to rivers, and various fish. The ECHO 3 is arguably the most well-rounded family of rods we offer. They also come with a lifetime warranty, which is hard to overlook.

Scott Flex – These 4 piece 8’6 and 9’0 rods are light and handcrafted and excellent for generating line speed and effortless tight loops. The strong butt section is ideal for strong hook sets, and the 9’0 model gives an extra stretch for nymphing. I prefer the 8’6 model myself, but the 9’0 is equally effective and feels more like a 4/5, which depending on your preference could be a real advantage.

St. Croix Legend Elite – This 4 piece 9’0 rod is slightly higher-end for this category, but is a rod that will cover a lot of fishing for a long time. Its gorgeous finish and incredible balance impress. With the first cast you’ll revel in the smoothness and deceptive power of the crisp SCV graphite blank with Advanced Reinforcing Technology and Integrated Poly Curve technologies. The rod feels like a one piece but is a four. 

Higher-end ($745 – $795)

G. Loomis NRX – The NRX is perfect for the Gunpowder, with the high modulus carbon and a softer tip than the original NRX, which allows for delicate presentation with protection on fine tippet. This rod feels lighter and active, ideal for dries yet strong enough for streamers, yet at 9’0 allows for that extra stretch when nymphing too. This is a versatile rod that covers lots of bases for the novice to experienced fly angler.

Scott Radian – The greatest strength of the 4 piece 9’0 and 10’0 Radians, arguably, is their blend of power, line speed, touch, feel, and accuracy. It’s hard to find rods that combine those elements, but the Radian has them all. The React technology brings together X-Core with new complex materials and a taper system to dramatically increase recovery speed. Meanwhile, the X-Core technology offers an enhanced feel, incredible stability, and unparalleled performance. Fiberuse resin provides stronger bonds between fibers, and the Advanced Reinforced Carbon technology reduces torque and increases rod strength.

Scientific Anglers Amplitude Fly Lines

Made in Midland, Michigan. For almost 75 years Scientific Anglers have been internationally recognized as a leader in fly line manufacturing. Their Lines in the Amplitude Series are setting a new standard in fly line slickness which maximizes performance and ease of casting.

Excerpt from Scientific Anglers:

“We enjoy the dynamic struggle between old school, new school, and the evolution of customer and industry demands. What lies between the fish slime and truth is where we flourish. Scientific Anglers rejects the happy medians, the good enoughs, the that’ll do’s, and the status quo.Welcome to the next page in an evolving history of Scientific Anglers and welcome to the future of our sport.”

Check them out and buy them using our online catalog!


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)


Fly Fishing Gift Certificates

Backwater Angler Fly Fishing Gift Certificate

Round up some holiday stationary, give us a call before noon on December 24th and print out our fly fishing gift certificate at home. We can also send one priority mail with delivery confirmation by December 20 or stop by the shop prior to Christmas and pick up one for your loved ones. Gift Certificates are available in any denomination and can be used for fly fishing gear, fly fishing schools or guide trips. Flies, while not included are great stocking stuffers! Point your gift givers with a Mastercard or VISA to the Backwater Angler Gift Certificates Page.

Gift Certificate Suggestions:

Pick up a certificate for Gear from $25 and up!

Certificates for Fly Fishing Schools are $100 per person.

Spend a half or full day Fly Fishing the Gunpowder with a Backwater Angler Guide $225 to $325.

Remember that Backwater Angler gift certificates can be mailed or emailed in a flash without subjecting your loved ones to beltway angst.

Thanks for shopping where you get your stream report!

Simms Headwaters Aquastealth Boot

They’re here! We’re celebrating the much anticipated arrival of the lightest and most versatile shoe Simms has offered in years.

Simms Headwaters Boot Aquastealth

This new Simms Headwaters boot has an Aquastealth bottom. The upper is made of a NanoSphere, a Scholler technology that promotes easy cleaning. The shoe is an important option for fisherman concerned about spreading Didymo, (an invasive algae) and Whirling Disease Spores with ordinary felts. Coupled with Simms Hard Bite Studs, it’s a go-anywhere fly fishing boot.

Simms Headwaters Boot Aquastealth w/ Simms Hard Bite Studs

Buy a pair of Simms Headwater Aquastealth boots.

Top Ten Fly Fishing Gifts

Shopping for anglers for the holidays can be tough, but many products we stock make useful gifts no matter how knowledgeable, skilled or well stocked an angler may be. We constantly test new products from some of the biggest companies in fly fishing every year, and also get angler’s opinions on favorite products and top wish list items.

#10 Airflo Ridgeline Tactical Trout Fly Line– Fly lines often get overlooked by anglers, yet a great line can help with casting and improve fish catching numbers. This line has a five year no crack guarantee and its “ridged” design and slickness means added distance and quicker load time for all rods. A perfect gift especially for angler’s who own numerous rods and reels that may need a new line somewhere in the arsenal.

#9-Hareline Fly Tyers Grab Bag– Fly tyers tend to accumulate a lot of materials over time, although few tyers get really good products that have multiple uses. As a fly tyer and guide I constantly search for and discover great materials to create unique flies. Purchase a personalized and customized materials selection picked out by our guides based on type of fishing the angler enjoys. Mix and match a few different items for a small gift or load up on multiple items for an incredible tying selection.
Price: $15.00 up to $75.00

#8-Backwater Angler Gear– Long sleeved shirts featuring brown, rainbow and brook trout with the backwater angler logo on the front will be in stock before the holidays. Wool, oil cloth, supplex, tactel and cotton hats are available in a variety of colors and feature the Backwater Angler logo.
Price:$25.00 up to $30.00

#7-Cloudveil Shirts- Cloudveil has two styles that have become popular sellers in the shop. My favorite is the Spinner Inertia Peak Shirt that is totally water repellant, features snap button front and three zippered pockets. The Cool Shirt is lighter for tropical and warmer weather use and wicks away moisture and drys quickly. The Cool Shirt has button down front and three zippered pockets.
Price:$75.00 up to $115.00

#6-Bauer Fly Reels– Bauer Mackenzie Superlight reels have been used in the Backwater Angler guide service for years and have proven themselves as durable, reliable reels. A smooth drag, light weight design and sleek look make the Bauer a highly prized reel.
Price:$275.00 up to 375.00

#5-Patagonia Deep Wading Jacket– Patagonia’s deep wading jacket is a light weight water-proof jacket with a shorty design. The jacket features two front pockets, adjustable hood and folds down to a easily packable size. It can be worn fishing or around town and has Patagonia’s “iron-clad” guarantee.

#4-Patagonia Capilene socks, shirts and pants- Midweight and heavyweight socks aid in keeping feet warm during winter fishing and even cold summer Gunpowder flows. Light to heavy fleece pants and tops provide warmth while wicking sweat away from skin. An extra pair of underlayers is always a good gift idea for anglers who fish frequently, as they can always use a spare pair on multi-day trips.
Price:$15.50 up to $100.00

#3-Cloudveil 8X Waders and Wading Pants– Cloudveil’s 8X waders are the ultimate gift idea for the serious angler. The 8x waders feature chest high design with three waterproof zippered pockets, built in gravel guards and five layer Gore immersion fabric, and XCR upper fabric which is more breathable than previous wader fabrics. The Wading Pant is a wader created to fit like a regular pair of pants, which allows more comfort for anglers fishing smaller rivers and streams. The waders feature front and back zippered pockets, built in gravel guards, suspenders and a front zippered fly.
Price:$365.00 up to $445.00

#2-Loaded Fly Box- The C & F fly box features slotted foam, a leaf insert design and is sized to fit into any pockets or pack. No matter how many years angler’s fish they can always use flies, as many end up in trees or large trout. Let our Gunpowder River guides choose one of these boxes and load a selection of Gunpowder producers for a gift that keeps on giving. We can make a selection however big or small, but this box can hold 564 flies at two dollars each, so watch out!

#1-Bamboo Fly Rod– Many anglers dream of laying out tight loops on a hand crafted piece of working art made by an expert craftsman. We have a selection of various rods built by Maryland and Pennsylvania anglers, who are recognized as local bamboo craftsman. We also have access to rods built by the larger companies such as Scott, Eden Cane and Sweet Grass Fly Rods.
Price:$695.00 up to $3, 950.00

Backwater Angler Gift certificates are great choices and can be chosen in any dollar amount and may be redeemed for guide trips, casting lessons, clinics, gear or even flies. Gift certificates allow family and friends to buy for anglers who are difficult to buy for and leave endless options for the angler receiving the gift.