Fly-Fishing Essentials

All you need to cast away.


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1. ALL-PURPOSE ROD If you can swing only one trout rod, make it Winston’s nine-foot, five-weight Boron IIX, which has the company’s trademark smooth action but enough muscle to cast accurately across long runs. $670;

2. SMALL-STREAM ROD The seven-foot three-weight in Scott’s new wallet-friendly A3 series was easy to maneuver in the narrow canyons of New Mexico’s Guadalupe River, scoring a creel’s worth of eager browns. $335;

3. WADERS Waist-mounted suspenders on Patagonia’s stretchy Guidewater waders allow you to roll the chest fabric down and cool off on hot days. $425;

4. NET Orvis’s 20-inch Clearwater is sturdy and well balanced and clips easily to a pack or vest. $55;

5. HIP PACK No more annoying, mud-clogged zippers. The easy-access compartments on William Joseph’s new Surge pack are sealed with (truly) watertight magnetic strips. $109;

6. SHADES Of all the sunglasses we tested, Smith’s Riverside, with polarized, scratch-resistant glass lenses, cut surface glare the best. Go with the copper tint. $159;

7. BOOTS The dilemma: Felt-soled boots, while offering superior traction, make it easy to unwittingly spread invasive species. The solution: Simms’s sturdy Guide Streamtread, with a new, much-hyped Vibram rubber sole that really does work as well as felt. $200;

8. REEL Bauer’s new large-arbor Rogue 2 is cork-light (4.3 ounces) but burly enough for any trout, with an easy-to-use drag. Five-to-six-weight, $345;