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You know how it goes: you're 3 days into a 4 day fishing trip and already you're dreading the trip coming to an end. Getting away, being in a beautiful place, doing something you love isn't often something you're eager to put behind you. Not only are you dreading the current trip coming to a resolution, you're probably standing there, feet in river, planning your next trip in between casts. This is typical. It's something that almost every one of us who considers fishing a passion can relate to. On certain rare occasions, however, the best part of a fishing trip isn't the biggest fish that came to hand, or the time spent catching up with friends, and it most certainly isn't the whiskey hangover you spent the second morning of the trip enjoying. Sometimes, the best part of a fishing trip is the drive home.

Now, I know I'm not supposed to say this. If you read a healthy variety of fly fishing publications these days, you've likely come under the impression that the true die-hard breed of fly fisherman spends every waking minute on the water. If you consider yourself a die-hard fisherman as well, then you best not talk about not fishing or otherwise performing fishing related activities. Not ever. The ecstasy of being on a river, rod in hand, is at all times so overwhelming that the very thought of leaving is preposterous. True die-hard fly fisherman have tales of glory to share, tales of steely reserve that allows them to be on the water in the most inhospitable conditions without experiencing a moment of displeasure. This modern, agro fly fishing denizen fishes in Alaska in sub-zero temperatures while simultaneously being dispatched by his 14th wife and/or girlfriend and while grizzly bears maul and consume his children. Stopping. Fishing. Can. Not. Happen.

I don't shy away from paying high prices for premium gear. I buy expensive rods, expensive reels, high end apparel and the like. I do this to a fault, more often than not, doing so in a financially irresponsible manner. It's an addiction. I love gear, and when I perceive that gear to be of exceptional quality or perhaps just otherwise "nice", I don't mind paying a high price to own it. However, when I find myself paying large sums for something that seems to have absolutely no justification whatsoever for its lofty price, it drives me crazy. This has always been the case with boot studs. You pay a ridiculous price for a fraction of the number of studs you actually need on your boots, knowing the whole time that you just got raked over the coals. With the alternative being a miserable, or potentially dangerous, day of slipping and stumbling all over the river, you pipe down and pay.

Most of the major fly fishing gear companies are guilty on this one. The typical boot stud setup offers 20 studs/screws at a price around $25-30. That's as high as $1.50 per piece for a screw. You tell yourself that it's okay, because these are fancy screws, but you know better. I've known for some time that there must have been an alternative to these overpriced solutions, but lazy searches for bargain varieties revealed nothing.

One of the great things about chasing redfish is that you can do it year round in Altantic shore waters as far north as Virginia and all the way around to Texas's Gulf waters. If you've ever tried to fish for these spooky, cruising fish with a line not suited to the task, you learn quickly that the wrong tools make the job significantly harder. Lines that wilt in high temperature situations won't shoot the way you need them to and lines that won't load a rod quickly and allow for quick casts with a single back cast will often cause you to miss your chance. That's why fly line manufacturers make lines specifically for warm saltwater destinations. Some, like RIO, take it a step further and tailor lines specifically to individual species such as Redfish.

rio redfish fly line

We're giving away one of RIO's Redfish fly lines, a floating, weight-forward 8 weight line. Since we haven't had the pleasure of getting this line on the water (thanks to a redfish trip laced with lightning storms and downpours), here's some stuff RIO wants you to know. The RIO Redfish line has a short back taper designed to help deliver quick casts. The line has a hard coating designed for saltwater, which RIO says helps anglers maintain excellent loop control. Throw in front and rear end welded loops and RIO's AgentX and XS coatings, which help repel dust and reduce friction, and you've got one of the favorite redfish lines currently on the market.

We're giving away one of Airflo's relatively new Rage Compact floating skagit head lines. This new type of compact skagit head was designed by Tim Rajeff of Rajeff Sports and Tom Larimer to fill a void in the world of compact skagit heads. As Tom puts it, "what [he] really wanted was a Spey line built for surface and near-surface presentations that bucked like a Skagit but still had the finesse of a Scandi."

As I'm certainly no expert in the world of compact skagit heads, I can't list all of the ways this versatile new floating head can be utilized. However, the Rage Compact is a versatile line to say the least, with applications in both floating line and light sinking leader spey presentations and switch rod presentations. We're giving away the Rage Compact in 480 grains. It is a 30ft head. This should be good for switch and spey rods in sizes 6-8, though personal preferences will allow you to expand on these suggested sizes if you know what you're doing.

Having owned and loved Albright's A5 in a 5 weight for the last several years, I've been keeping an eye on Albright's new products. Working with Lou Tabory over the last few years, well known fresh and saltwater fly angler and author of many books on the subjects, Albright has continued to develop well-received fly rods, reels and other gear at prices that make most people smile. That said, can someone please explain to me why it seems like Albright Tackle is constantly having a 70% off sale? If your products are perpetually on sale or in close-out, doesn't that mean they're really not? Wait. What?

Given that Albright is an online-only outfit and thus their products aren't sold in stores, what's the point of setting high-end MSRPs at which their products are never actually sold? For instance, Albright's very well regarded XXT fly rod, is currently on super duper double beatloaf mega sale for $209 (off its MSRP of $679). Quite the bargain, right? Well, sure. But, how much of one? Chances are, and can't guarantee this, not a single XXT was ever sold for anything approaching $679, because everything on the site is always on sale.