The Belt, The Net, The Stick
Gear Update July 17, 2019
Please see Recommend Gear for the complete list
Again inspired from Troutbitten who made made me think about the wading belt.
First of all, wear one. Especially if you wear waders, because in a pinch, they hold enough air in you waders to keep you a float for a few moments to allow you to correct possibly disastrous mistakes. Two: this beld is wide and thick and provides good lumbar support which is essential to support all the core-use your body is going through holding you steady in moving water and casting. Three: It serves as the basis for vital gear, that should go here and not your pack. Primarly, I am referring to your landing net. More below.
This is a quick and dirty method to tie things together until you are happy with it and then use something more attractive like nylon but it works—it’s quick.
A key system in your landing net system. This magnet allows for a quick release to allow you to land that trout and if you place it well, you can automatically lock it back into place without much effort.
The one of the magnet should be attacked to your belt. I’ve seen competitive anglers do this; I think it is far easier and faster to get a hold of you net and just as easy to reattach when you are done. I’m right handed so I land with my left hand, so the magnet is connected to the left side of my belt, and not the pack. I used to hold my net on my pack but I found trying to reach way back, took time, was awkward and made me lose my focus on keeping the hookset nice and tight. So now once I’m ready, I reach down to my side and easily unattach the net and I’m ready to land that fish.
I attach the other magnet on the net so it balances nicely when hanging freely (PICTURE TO COME)
The Landing Net
I’ve had various nets including very nice Fishponds. Unless you are guiding or your kids like to net the trout while you catch them, I think the Frabill fits the bill. They key thing is that your net should be rubber. You’ll find that once caught, trout tend to unhook themselves and that if the net’s not rubber, you’ll spend a lot of time, trying to unhook your hook from you net. I’ll repeat again: I think you should wear your net at your side where it’s easily accessible, so you can fish focused.
The Gear Retractor
Perfect for attaching to your wading stick. It’s not too strong that keeping it extended will tire you but it’s strong enough to pull your wading stick back to you side, when you drop the pole. Again, I’m right handed and atach this gear retractor to my right side of my wading belt. They also make a mini which I’m thinking of getting to replace my zingers because:
- I’ve now had a couple of zinger failures even by “good” brands
- I can not afford an Abel Zinger
The Wading stick
Probably the best one is a nicely worn stick that you have found and kept with you through hikes but these collapsable hiking poles have been great and do the trick. When you don’t need them, they fold up and ride safely out of the way on your hip. Note: They are not easy to attach to you retractor and require that you remove the tiny compass in the handle, and remove the straps and punch a hole to feed your ziptie or nylon cord through, which then attaches to the gear retractors. I carry two of these poles. One is ziptied permanently to my belt, while the other one is clipped on and easily removed if I have to lend it to someone else or just be removed when not needed. But it’s good place to store my poles so i know where they always are.