2002: Sparkey's Year of Imploding Gear [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: 2002: Sparkey's Year of Imploding Gear

10-17-2002, 12:24 AM
I know I am hard on gear but this is ridicolous!!!


This spring, I had a pair of year and a half old Simms Guideweight Waders give out on me and Simms ruled them beyond repair.

Next, while fishing from a sled, I slipped and fell on my buddies Loomis 1141 IMX and snapped it in the handle.

A couple weeks later, I realized that my Simms Lightweight Boots' seams were seperating and pretty soon my foot would pop through. Less then a year of use...they did replace them no charge.

Went to fish my trusty Litespeed 3.5 and it felt like a coffee grinder. Somehow, the needle bearing totally corroded and froze up with the Delrin and brass. Sent it back, they fixed it no questions ask.

...oh I forgot, early in June, I dropped my piece of crap Hardy Viscount...tweaked the spool. Reel hasn't been the same.

Next, I buy a pair of Patagonia Beefy wading shoes...two weeks later, the sole is seperating from the boot. Send them back to Patagonia, they replace them no questions ask (absolutely killer boots I might add).

And then today...TODAY!! The first day out with my Derek Brown Favorite 7/8 that was backordered for months, went to BC with a customer and was finally mine to fish. Second run of the day...I hook a small snag while forming a D-loop with a Snake Roll.

I turn around....reel up all the slack and held a tightline. Reel was about face-level with a small but even amount of flex in the tip of the rod when I go to reach for my leader to unpin the fly.

Before, I can touch the leader, I hear POW! Busted in the tip... :(

...she is an absolutely amazing rod though (loaded with a 8/9 Accelerator)!!!

10-17-2002, 09:34 AM
I'm not going to let you cast my rod again........................

10-17-2002, 11:20 AM
I feel your pain Ryan. Ridiculous year for me so far as well:

Busted a RPLXI on a snook in Florida

Busted my handy old RPL+ 6wt while jumping out of the way of a rattlesnake at Nunnally.

Busted my friends T&T Horizon while false casting it last week.

Found out last weekend my outcast kayak was full of holes for a still inknown reason.

Dropped a pair of action optics in the drink at Lenice.

I hope I got it all out of me for a few years....


10-17-2002, 11:24 AM
Aside from the minor interruption, how did you enjoy the play?

If bad luck/good luck average out, soonerorlater you should be on quite a roll!


10-17-2002, 06:55 PM
Wow you guys are rough on tackle, I have never broken a fly rod or a fly reel. Worst loss was probably my fly wallett filled with custom stone flies and steelhead speys which I dropped some where on the river a few years back.

Oh yes I lost a fighting butt to one of my favorite steelhead rods one time.

I guess I am lucky.

But you guys fish more than me.

10-17-2002, 09:46 PM

I've been using my Pro Line (used to be the Red Ball Company) breathables for 4 years and the seams are still in very fine shape, and they were a lot less expensive than the Simms. Also, my Hodgeman Lightweight wading shoes are 2 years old and I haven't had the soles come off, and they are less pricey than the Simms or Patagonias as well.

It also sounds like Lamson is still having some of the problems that they had in the past before being sold to the company is Idaho. I have several STH's that are 10 years old and I have not had a problem with them either, eveenthough I have heard they don't hold up. Funny how I have several friends have their Lamsons give up (which they told me were so much better than the STH's they had) while their STH's have kept on going.

Seems to me that just because a product is pricey or touted as being the best by the advertising and fly fishing writers doesn't mean that it is.

10-18-2002, 02:06 AM
I agree that sometimes the most expensive item is not always going to perform better then a less expensive alternate...

But, I will put more faith in a pair of Simms Guideweights (or Bailey's) then anything else out there as I've heard way too many horror stories about the subsitutes.

Plus I believe that I ran into a string of badluck as the Litespeeds are foolproof...have only seen one other come back in 3 years, have only seen other pair of Lightweights come back in more then a couple years of sales.

I am also as hard on gear as anyone out there...I take pride in the fact that I dont think twice about sticking my arms in the air and walking through brambles and sticker bushes that are waist high...that could explain the short life of my waders. :hehe: Maybe I am best off with a pair of OS Systems waders but then again, they dont breathe!!

btw-I've got a post Cortalnd buy-out STH...it is a piece of crap and was sent back to Cortland a couple years back because the spindle came loose from the frame and was very wobbly. They fixed it no questions asked to my dissapointment as I was hoping they would replace it with a brand new one so I could trade it across for credt. :devil:

But I've heard many excellent things about pre-buyout STH's from alot of differnt people...but alas they are assembled in Cortalnd, NY and no longer Argentina (although the parts are still made down there).

10-18-2002, 05:41 AM
I've had fantastic luck with Lamson LP (machined) reels. One clutch over 10 years with 5 LP reels on hard tours of duty. I asked them to send me a few spares and they did, but I have only used one.

Three of these 5 reels are in constant contact with saltwater, sand, and are getting their drag screamed fairly regularly. They hold 250 yards of 30# backing and 9wt lines. I find it hard to replace them over the years because they have not even sputtered on their chores.

I lubricate the grease points with lithium grease once or twice a year. I wash all my gear after each outing in the salt religiously. Hear that Sparky? :devil:

The only problem is with the drag which loses 20% of it's hold when the reel is dunked for a while. I rarely dunk my reels in saltwater, why add to the cleanup task. For my trout reels, this is not a big issue - it's the Lamson Spey that I dunk a lot because it's on the end of such a long rod I need to put it in the drink to untangle stuff. A few hard pulls on the drag (less effort than stretching a line for sure) dries the pad off and you're back to normal. Lamson no longer makes the Spey.

I can only imagine the full cork drag Lamson's durability, and wish they would put the Litespeed drag into the old Spey body or make a Velocity #7.

That ol' Spey Lamson has caught a lot of fish but it's time has passed and I am going for the big LOOP HD reel to take that reel's position on the front line for the big lines (GrandSpey).

I have a Ross Canyon BG 7 (black) for the lighter Spey duties and shorter lines.

But overall I never regretted my investment in Lamson machined reels.

10-18-2002, 08:17 PM

I'll admit all of my STH's (I own 6 of them) are pre-Cortland. They were assembled in Argentina and sold through the STH iimporter in Florida and the various distributors who got them from the importer. Yes, most of the models are a different animal than post-Cortland. Same with the STH's I spoke about my friend owning.

I also think nothing about walking through briars and such, so be it if my waders get a hole in them from this. That is what things like vinyl tape for temporary repairs and Aquseal, SA Wader Repair, Goop, etc. are for. I tend to be suspect of someone with nothing but fishing equipment that is new or nearly new. One needs to have some repairs, fish slime stains, blood stains (usually your own from said briars), dirt on the vest, etc. or else you have not been fishing very much.

The purpose of my prior comments was to point out that there are less expensive alternatives to Simms, Patagonia, Lamson, Abel, etc. that perform as well. They just don't have the name recognition or fishing scribe's writing tomes about them.

10-22-2002, 12:49 AM
This time it was a Scott SAS 13' for a #8...took it out to the parking lot and put a 8/9 Mastery Spey Salmon...was just dinking around with it overhead because I've never thrown the rod before.

A few casts into it...I hear this awful splintering sound. I look down and a 1/4 of the way up the mid-section, the graphite has totally seperated and splintered for a good 6 inches or so.

Rod is still in 3 pieces but it will be out of commision and off the sales floor for a couple weeks.

10-22-2002, 08:24 AM
You should apply for a job as a fly tackle manufacturers final stess tester.:D