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The Fly-Fishing Essentials of 2016

The Fly-Fishing Essentials of 2016

Cast away with these choice tools for the discerning angler.

  Photo: Fishpond

Fishpond Nomad Mid-Length Net 

With a carbon-fiberglass frame and a massive lunker-ready rubber basket, the Nomad almost makes landing the big ones easy. 

Price $160

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  Photo: Meow Meow Tweet

Meow Meow Tweet Herbal Bug Repellent 

Bottled by a boutique skin-care company in New York’s Hudson Valley and made from organic lavender and apple cider vinegar, this elixir smells a helluva lot better than deet.

Price $18

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  Photo: Nautilus

Nautilus XM Reel  

Nautilus builds reliable saltwater reels designed for catching fast, powerful fish. The XM brings that same toughness and precision to the river, with a balanced, open-frame setup. 

Price $275

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  Photo: Finn Utility

Finn Utility Essex Bag 

The Essex would have been at home on the river 50 years ago, with its waxed canvas, English bridle leather, and brass hardware. It’s a study in minimalism, with three pockets and a pouch for fly boxes and an extra beer. 

Price $230

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  Photo: Sage

Sage Mod Rod 

The nine-foot, five-weight Mod is softer and whippier than most of the other rods in Sage’s lineup. But what it lacks in power, it makes up for in accuracy. If you chase trout, this is your Excalibur. 

Price $850

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  Photo: Montana Fly Company

Montana Fly Company Hip Flask

For those who like a little something to stay warm (or lucky) on the water, this rugged, stainless-steel flask comes printed in many fish-inspired designs. 

Price $30

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  Photo: Patagonia

Patagonia Rio Gallegos Waders 

Cut from Patagonia’s H2No fabric, these waders minimize clamminess. Plus, a zippered waterproof pocket allows quick access to a phone, so you’re ready to ’Gram the catch of the day. 

Price $499

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  Photo: Abel

Abel Reels #2 Pliers 

An essential tool can also be a thing of beauty. With corrosion-resistant aluminum handles and replaceable jaws, these pliers will outlast the rest of your kit. The #2 leather sheath ($50) secures to a belt. 

Price $175

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  Photo: Patagonia

Patagonia Foot Tractor Wading Boots 

Metal bars in the sole make the Foot Tractor as stable on slick rocks as your Tacoma. Mesh panels and tough synthetic leather add breathability and ensure it’ll last forever. 

Price $279

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  Photo: Howler Brothers

Howler Brothers Matagorda Tech Shirt 

This top has lots of clever features (roll-up sleeve tabs, a vented rear yoke, and microfiber cloth on the hem) but doesn’t wear like a lab coat. 

Price $89

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The Best Stand-Up Paddleboards of 2016

Paddleboarding is flourishing. Though the initial sales boom has slowed, innovation continues. The newest boards are better made and more smartly tailored to specific pursuits like surfing, fishing, and whitewater adventures. Meanwhile, prices for many categories keep coming down, thanks to all the competition and increased efficiencies in production. Our picks highlight a variety of boards designed to excel at focused activities and a couple that are good at pretty much everything. Honestly, though, with all the new options out there, we’re finding it hard not to want a garageful.    Photo: Boardworks Boardworks Kraken 10'3"  Gear of the Year  There’s much

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The Best Water Shoes of 2016

Protect your piggies in the wet.   Photo: Inga Hendrickson Sperry Shock Light Boat  Best for: Doing It All  With a slipper-like fit, the Shock Light happily squeezes into the bow of a whitewater boat, while the grippy, nonmarking sole won’t scuff the teak deck on your buddy’s yacht. The shock-cord lacing keeps it snug should you fall into the drink, and it dries in less than half an hour. Price $85 Buy Now   Photo: Chaco Chaco Z/Cloud  Best for: Raft Trips How to improve an iconic, river-guide-trusted sandal? Very carefully. Chaco’s upgrades on the new Z/Cloud are minimal and smart: a soft antimicrobial topsheet

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The Best Boats of 2016

For the most part, boat manufacturers are in a careful tinkering phase, making smart refinements to tried-and-true designs. Notably, the trend in shorter (sub-15 feet) touring boats has matured: many brands are now producing these more playful kayaks, which are a bit slower than their longer forebearers but also more versatile. Regardless of what type you’re after, try to test a few models in the water before making a purchase. And while online homework is helpful, it can’t replace talking through options with a knowledgeable specialty retailer. Finally, remember to ask yourself a couple less exciting questions before pulling out

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The Women’s SUP Essentials of 2016

Get wet. Go long. Have fun.   Photo: Mi Ola Mi Ola X Back Bikini Top and Cya Full Double-String Bottom  With a crossback design on top and grippy waistband elastic below, this bikini stays put even when you tumble on a wave.  Price $95 and $85 Buy Now   Photo: Mountain Hardwear Mountain Hardwear River Gorge Long-Sleeve Shirt  Stay out all day in this half-zip with UPF 50 protection. The quick-drying fabric is silky, not clingy, and a side pocket is big enough for cash, keys, and lip balm.  Price $50 Buy Now   Photo: Bureo Bureo Kayu Sunglasses  These shades pair frames made from recycled plastic

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The Best Women’s Swimsuits of 2016

Performance can look good.   Photo: Lululemon Lululemon Tidal Flow One-Piece  Best For: Understated Elegance The Tidal Flow is the Audrey Hepburn of sporty swimsuits. It’s classy yet playful—simple, clean lines with an overlapping stringy back are paired with a band of transparent mesh running across the torso. Think of it as a little black dress that does everything—from sunning to swimming—well.     Price $118 Buy Now   Photo: Patagonia Patagonia Nanogrip Top and Nanogrip Side Tie Bottom  Best For: Surfing Bikinis this cute tend to fall off during your first wipeout. Not so the Nanogrip. With a sticky liner that clings like a gecko, this

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