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Robert Morselli

Robert Morselli has traveled the planet, visiting factories and talking with designers and makers of fly rods, fly reels, fly lines and a host of other fly fishing implements – thereby gaining an in-depth understanding of how and why a fly fishing product performs well – or not. He has been reviewing fly fishing gear since 2008 and is the publisher of Fly Gear Guide (www.flygearguide.com), a site that features fly fishing gear reviews, an extensive review archive, as well as gear-related news.

Author Articles

Gear Review: Hatch Nomad 2 Plier

Every so often, a product is released and it becomes a standard-bearer. This is the case with the Hatch Nomad 2 fishing plier. Design, materials, machining tolerances, assembly and finishing are equal to that of reels in the four-figure range. The plier body is balanced, lightweight, and ergonomic and features a perfectly calibrated auto-tensioner that...

Gear Review: SoftScience Fin Boot

It all starts with Trileon: a super-light-weight, stable, shock-absorbing closed-cell co-polymer (aka: light rubber compound), that also happens to be odor-resistant. SoftScience employs it in many of their models, resulting in some of most comfortable fishing-specific footwear available. The maker relies on two concepts: #1. a small change in height, from...

Patience, Focus, Persistence: A Report from Turneffe Flats

The moment I decided to commit to a permit-specific trip, I began to wonder about everything I heard and read about the fish: those who have logged considerable "permit hours," and how they’ve all pointed out to expect the unexpected. If there’s a species that will not conform to a behavioral pattern, this is the one. Turneffe Flats Lodge is located on...

Gear: New & Improved October 2018

Sage SALT HD Fly Rod I wanted to review the Sage SALT HD because (a) I'm a huge fan of the (at times maligned) generation one Sage SALT and (b) I just wanted to know how the HD stacked up to its older sibling. (A quick aside: two reviewers complained that gen one didn't have enough power. I sent out 75 feet, in a light breeze, with gen one, with ease ...

New & Improved Gear: June 2018

Abel TR Series Reel Abel’s newly revised TR reel is a stunner right out of the box. The company bills this as “the return of a classic,” but anyone familiar with the previous generation will immediately note that the 2018 reincarnation is very streamlined—and modernized. I tested the larger (# 4/5) of the two available sizes for one full week and...

Fly Rod Reviews: Mystic Reaper X and Mystic M-Series Nymphing Rod

I recently fished Mystic’s new fly rod offering, the Reaper X. It picks up on the last generation – a very good fly rod to start with – and adds both blank and hardware refinements. The most notable improvement is that the X is responsive throughout the entire casting stroke, so line load on the back cast is not just apparent, but easy to feel and...

Gear: Inspired Classics

Walk into any fly fishing shop and you’ll note that the “classic” gear always stands out in an ocean of new and improved gear. They’ve remained visible—and relevant—because they are the tried-and-true items: the ones that fly shop owners have no reservations about recommending. They are items that are improved incrementally, over the years; no...

New and Improved Gear - Spring 2018

Ergonomics, compactness, functionality, durability: they’re all part of product design and improvement, and it’s what gear designers constantly think about. I recently tested several items that really up the bar in their respective categories. All are highly recommended. For 2018, Orvis decided to optimize their Fishing Pliers. Designed and made in the...

Gear Review: Ross Evolution LTX Reel

I reviewed an Evolution LT in 2015, and it already had a formidable drag system: smooth, powerful, impenetrable, maintenance free and rinsed off in a snap. What more to ask for?... How about a drag system that’s beefed up quadruple-fold? The Ross Evolution LTX is four times stronger than its predecessor. It’s easy to be blasé about reels these days...

Gear Review: Patagonia Middle Fork Packable Waders

Patagonia is a leader in streamlined design, and their newly-released Middle Fork Waders are a hallmark for that commitment. Despite knowing that these waders were conceived and built to be ultra-light, it still doesn’t lessen the surprise of unpacking them for the first time – they’re otherworldly light. Expectedly, materials are reduced to the bare...