I usually post reviews on items of tackle I am using on their own pages, but some items are pretty small and I felt it was maybe worth a simple post, as you might find these useful or indeed have better ideas or products.

Dry Shake and Density Mud

Density mud and dry shake

Two indispensible items for me when dry fly fishing, Troutwatch Density mud and Shimuzake Dry Shake

Top discovery amongst my tackle bits is Shimazake Dry shake. I actually bought this a while back as a replacement for my Orvis Hy-Flote Shake and Flote powder for dry flies (and yes I can spell float, Orvis clearly can’t) . I stumbled across a side by side test recently that suggested this stuff ( Shimazake Dry Shake) was the best fly floatant on the market and I thought…. “I have that stuff somewhere”. Located I duly opened it and it has become an indispensible item of tackle for me. It is without doubt the best fly floatant I have used and it even floats and restores slimed up CDC flies, no mean feat. I love it and highly recommend it. In terms of improvements the only thing I can think of would be a wee brush to stiple it into especially grubby flies.

Troutwatch Density Mud Tungsten degreasant paste from Troutwatch. Again stuff I wouldn’t be without in my pocket now. Very effective at degreasing tippets and also sinking them. There are a couple of ways you can help this process like having a three turn water knot in the length of your tippet and with a wee smear of paste over the knot you have an effective sinker for the leader.

Hemingway’s Furled Trout Leader

Furled leader

Hemmingways furled leader for Trout

Next up is a Hemingway’s Furled Trout Leader. I have thought about trying one of these for a while but as most of my fishing was on still water I thought it wasn’t really worth getting. However this season I have been on rivers a lot more and so I picked one up in Angling Active and its been pretty good ( Unfortunately I cannot find a link to it on their site but have found it on GAC which I have included). Gives you great presentation most of the time. I do find heavily hackled dry flies do seem to be able to twist it which can be an issue and I would prefer a termination in a micro ring rather than a loop of braid. I suspect this will pack in some day and its a bit limiting on how you can connect a tippet. But great for delicate presentation.


Snowbee Cap mounted magnifiers

SnowBee cap magnifiers.

As the lyrics to Losing it by Rush say, “sadder still to watch it die than ever to have known it”….. and so its been with my eyesight. My whole life I have had perfect eyesight but this last couple of years I have felt the aging process catch up on me and though I only need the very slightest of prescriptions, tying on tiny flies to even tinier tippets has become well night impossible and in poor light totally impossible and a battle of wills and frustration. Even with my glasses I can’t do it. A friend suggested this gadget, its like a pair of specs that clips onto the peak of your cap and they maginify about 2.5x Absolutely brilliant! Not been stuck since I got them, even if there is a wee blockage in the fly eye, you can see it and clear it.

Head mounted magnifier

Head magnifier for fly tying, not the most flattering item

I had recently got something similar for the fly tying, though this is a head mounted magnifier. It looks utterly naff but at £5.95 with a range of detachable lenses and a LED light built in, its revolutionised my fly tying, I can even see  with accuracy how close wraps of a hook at etc. Brilliant. Unfortunately the one I bought seems to have vanished from Amazon but I am sure you could find something similar. I know C&F do a fancy one at a mere £70!


Roman Moser Minicon Line Loops

Roman Moser minicon

Roman Moser minicon trout loops

Roman Moser minicon line loops. I got these last season but did not really use them in earnest due to my health issues. I have used others and these are by far the best, easy to fit, tiny loops for the end of your fly line. The loops come with a pre fitted sleeve for neatly locking down the loop to the line. I recommend a dab of super glue to finish the job properly. They even come with a nail to open out the loop for fitting though to be honest they come slightly flared out anyway and you rarely need the nail. They are so easy to fit you can effect bank side repairs in seconds with zero hassle. First class

Roman Moser mini con contents

Contents include the loops, a closure sleeve on each loop ( pre-fitted) and a nail to halp open the loop for fitting though you rarely need it.


Something that really hacks me off is anglers leaving old mono filament at their backsides when they are done with it. Now I know we all might drop a length occasionally and can’t find it again, thats just an accident but deliberately just dumping it on the ground is just lazy. Do you know how long it takes for mono-filament to degrade 600years!, and even worse how long Flurocarbon take s(technically it never does!)? So why not pick it up and discard of it in a bin. There is no excuse, and with handy wee tools like the mono master its a skoosh. I use it all the time now, it can alledgedly store a seasons discarded line. I think mine might fill up faster as I am continually picking up other anglers discarded nylon but I wouldn’t be without it now. It does occur to me that they should add these things onto the membership fees for clubs so ther e is no excuse for anglers not having one. Or fishing mags when giving away their free gifts for subscriptions, why not give out these, who need another free fly box!?

Please be aware I have no affiliation to any of the products or places selling them and the reviews are entirely unsolicited or sponsored. if you do want to solicit or sponsor me however, feel free to drop me a line 🙂