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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: Sage IGNITER Fly Rod

As soon as I assembled the 4-piece Sage IGNITER, I knew I had a formidable weapon in my hand. One of the first things I noticed was how light it felt compared to other rods in its category. This rod has been touted as a specialist rod that does well to throw heavy sink tip lines, large flies and handle windy conditions. I decided to test the Igniter with...

Gear Review: Patagonia Stealth Chest Pack

Patagonia’s newest 3L (3-liter) Stealth Chest Pack is a tiny, tough, light, stowable and highly versatile bag designed for minimalist anglers. This pack is packed with features: features a main zippered compartment that contains a security pocket along with a large organizational stretch mesh pocket. A molded, drop-down front panel (secondary compartment...

Fly Rod Review: Redington "Butter Stick"

I enjoyed fishing the Redington Butter Stick a little bit too much. At one point, this crazy thought crossed my mind: why are you even bothering with graphite at all? Fortunately, the logical side of my brain kicked into action and shut that thought down. For those who have never handled a fiberglass rod, I urge you to do so – at least occasionally. The...

Orvis/Michelin PRO Wading Boot

In an industry-first collaborative effort with Michelin, Orvis recently trotted out the PRO Wading Boot. Michelin agricultural tires were the point of inspiration resulting in an outsole compound specifically designed for fly fishing. Several days of testing supports Orvis’s impressive claims that the boot is highly abrasion resistant and greatly...

RIO's General Purpose Tropical Fly Line

I recently heard someone in a fly shop say, “OK, I just wanna grab something and go.” They were facing a wall bursting with fly line options. Specialty lines and specialty tapers abound, and it’s hard to argue that choice isn’t a good thing, but there are some who just don’t have the time, or inclination, to look deep into the fly line catalog...

Describing Fly Rods: "It’s Time for Industry-Wide Standardization"

One thing that threw me for a loop during the early days of my fly fishing journey, was when shop owners encouraged me to pick out a rod and “pretend cast” in the shop. No doubt their intentions were good, “try this one, it’s smooth as silk!” or, “try this one… nothing faster today.” These descriptions were decent, I thought at the time, but...

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 ...