2022 was a fun year for us in regards to fishing. We visited some new places and were able to try some new gear. Ever since we delved into the Japanese fishing gear market, it has been an interesting ride. So without taking up any more time, lets get into it.
The Daiwa Exist turned out to be a great reel for me. ZERO issues with it ever since I bought it. Pricey, but it performs. I reached for this reel more often than any of the others when fishing rivers and streams.
The Daiwa Presso LT is another great reel. No longer made in Japan but offshored to China, this reel came out swinging. It is smoother and has less startup inertia than my Presso 1025 LTD. I seriously enjoyed fishing with this reel. I would pick this over the Shimano Stradic 1000, the Vanford 1000 and the Abu MGX Theta 1000. There are better reels out there, these were just some of what I have.
My favorite Pack Rod was the TenRyu Rayz Integral RZI50L-4. Very well built, extremely compact and easy to carry. It fished very well and the action was great. This rod lived in my Yeti Panga for most of 2022. It was always with me everytime I went out and saw a lot of use.
Another excellent choice for stream fishing. I really started to develop an appreciation for TenRyu rods this year. Fit and finish is impeccable and they are a joy to fish with. I absolutely love these rods. Accuracy was spot on, plenty of backbone for fish in current and sensitivity was stellar. 9 times out of 10, I’d reach for this rod.
Runner up for most used rod this year. Unbelievably light and sensitive. Paired with the Daiwa Presso LT 1000 reel, this outfit felt like a magic wand. It is delicate and needs to be babied, but it is worth it. Reasonably priced at around $135, but it delivers the goods. Casting distance is outstanding. Definitely not designed for smallmouth or trout but it did an excellent job and handled everything I threw at it.
You are probably sick of seeing this backpack in all of our photos. On its third year and it still keeps going strong. Waterproof and submersible, as well as being built like a tank (much thicker material than Simms or Patagonias offerings). Yes it is expensive at $300 but it is worth every penny. I would instantly buy another one if something happened to this one. It is a workhouse and holds all of our gear and then some. We haven’t found anything better that suits our style of fishing. If I’m wet wading and need to get across a deep pool, I swing this around to my front and lay on it. Then I just swim across and keep going without any worries. Cameras and cell phone as well as everything else inside has stayed 100% dry EVERY TIME.
Alhough I got off to a rough start with these boots, I ended up working around or through the issues and these boots worked out well. Traction was very good and they have held up pretty well. Not as comfortable as a heavier built boot for all day wading, but they get the job done better in certain situations due to being lighter and grippier. Coupled with the Simms Guide Socks, they just work. As stated before, I’d buy another pair.
I ended up using this Varivas line for most of 2022 on various reels. We are still trying out lines from different manufacturers so this will probably change in the future.
We tend to gravitate towards throwing jigs when fishing rivers and streams. These were the 5 different jig heads we threw most often. We tend to experiment quite a bit with the different shapes and weights and it is nice to have a selection of different weights.
For 2022 we opted to stay with the EuroTackle Finesse B-vibes in black and green pumpkin in both 2 inch and 3 inch versions. There may be something better out there but these have produced well and more consistently than anything we have tried. I would estimate that we used these about 90% of the time this year.
That wraps up the “Most Used Gear in 2022” segment. I look back fondly on 2022 since we both managed some “Personal Bests” and we are both looking forward to what 2023 brings. Stay tuned for more!