American Angler Magazine's "Gear of the Year"

December 17, 2008 By: Marshall Cutchin

One of the advantages of the Web is that we can publish our thoughts on gear only hours after the stuff is announced. The big disadvantage is that we publish our perspective only hours after the stuff is announced. Sometimes manufacturers don’t even have their own story straight on what the best features of their new products are, and we have to draw hasty conclusions about whether, for example, a sonic-sealed wader seam is more “revolutionary” than a spiral-cut pant leg. Zach Matthews’s “Gear of the Year” in American Angler‘s January/February ’09 issue is well worth reading if only because they guy has a nose for innovation and sees the whole collection of new gear through a wider lens. I’ve heard that AA was the only fly fishing magazine whose circulation actually grew in 2008, and if you peruse current issues of the top fly fishing mags (of which AA is the thickest) you may see why: editor Phil Monahan has a unique touch when it comes to blending original how-to and where-to content without over-reaching. It’s just good, meaningful information.
By the way, the new issue, which just appeared in subscribers’ mailboxes, also includes a profile of MidCurrent and its publisher (me). Pretty remarkable that a magazine these days will make an effort to talk about new media — another sign of times, perhaps, but we appreciate the recognition.