Fishing Gear

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A Tenkara reel, next to conventional fly fishing rods. (@GlenCassley, Scotland)
I do not fish for pleasure or as a sport. I fish when I need the proteins, on a long trekking trip (or while kayaking). The gear I use is focussed on fishing smaller fish (pan-fish), on creeks and small streams. This, typically, are small fish like Trout, Perch, Bluegill, Redbreast sunfish.
Tenkara fly fishing is a simple type of fishing practiced in Japan. The appeal of tenkara is its simplicity and thus extremely usefull for backpacking and kayaking. All you need is a rod, tenkara line (with tippet) and a fly (no reel). The benefits of Tenkara fly fishing are the precise placement and easy manipulation of the fly.

I do not fish for pleasure or as a sport. I fish when I need the proteins. The gear I use is focussed on bringing a rod in a kayak or backpack, for fishing smaller fish (panfish), on creeks and small streams.
Tenkara fly fishing is a simple type of fishing practiced in Japan. The appeal of tenkara is its simplicity and thus extremely usefull for backpacking and kayaking. All you need is a rod, tenkara line (with tippet) and a fly (no reel). The benefits of Tenkara fly fishing are the precise placement and easy manipulation of the fly.
Rods: I use short backpackable rods.
Flies: Traditionally a special reverse hackle wet-fly is used, which means that the feathers are angled towards the hook so the fly seems to ‘swim’ when pulling the line. My kit typically contains three sizes: size 14 as my standard fly and the smaller size 12 for when the others don’t work. I use a selection of different flies with barbless hooks.
Lines: These are specific to rod characteristics, so you’ll find these underneath.
Tippet: As the line is too thick to tie the fly directly, we use a tippet. This is a 4x (0,18mm), 100cm line rated at 3 kg.
Kit: My accessories kit contains Nippers (for cutting lines), Forceps (for ‘swallowed’ hooks) and spare lines and tippet. My basecamp kit contains a landing net.

Brown Trout fishing in the peaty waters of the Linn Falls at Aberlour,
Spey Valley, Scotland.

Trout fishing above Ennistymon Cascades,
County Clare, Ireland.

The Darth Quattro Tenkara Fishing Rod

The Wasatch ‘Darth Quattro’ Tenkara Fishing Rod, has a lot going for it:

  • It is as close to unbreakable as you can get.
  • It is the only quadruple-zoom Tenkara rod in the world!
  • It is the lightest zoomable rod available.
  • And it handles like a dream!

This is a zoomable Carbon fiber rod, that can be used in four lengts (168cm, 198cm, 229cm and 260cm). This means it can be used from the smallest creek/burn up to a small river.

I use the 6:4 (light action) and 5:5 (ultralight action) tips, ideal for casting smaller lures for panfish and trout. The flex helps to launch your small offerings with light line, with high accurancy. It easily keeps the line tight enough, to prevent a fish to get loose.
Rod Specs:

  • Premium carbon fiber
  • 6:4 or 5:5 action
  • 51 grams (with tip plug)
  • 4 fishing lengths (168cm, 198cm, 229cm and 260cm)
  • 43cm collapsed length
  • 16cm reversed half-wells shape, cork and foam handle
  • Aluminum butt cap
  • Rod Tube: 52cm long, 156 gram, 3,8cm diameter, durable black carbon fiber, matte finish

DragonTail Kaida zx320 Tenkara Pack Rod

The DragonTail Kaida zx320 has some good characteristics. This rod will fit any backpack. A multi-length zoom rod allows to fish it fully extended in open casting areas or zoom it down one length when casting area is overgrown and tight. It has a medium-soft action, just the right action to make the little mountain trout plenty of fun to catch. It’s great for soft presentation of weightless flies, fishing Trout up to 35cm, or to help fighting the invasive bluegill population (a great pan-fish though).
Rod Specs:

  • 6:4 or 5:5 action
  • Extended lengths: 286,cm, 319cm
  • Collapsed Length: 45cm
  • Weight (without tip plug or cap): 70 g
  • Rod Tube Length: 48cm
  • CCS/RFI: 14 pennies/4.9, 16 pennies/5
  • Recommended lines:
    • ca 320cm
    • level lines size 3 or 3.5
    • 100cm of 4x to 5x tippet.

Ego Blackwater Trout Net

The EGO Blackwater trout is an awesome net. There is also a unique ruler built into the net that allows you to measure your fish without handling them. This unique feature is perfect for catch and release trout anglers! It has a retractable quick-draw tether. It can land a 25 cm trout with ease,weighing circa 300 grams.

Trout fishing on the Allt Langwell falls, Glencassley, Scotland.

Fernhurst Practical Companions

These handy flipover books are great introductions to many, if not all, aspects of water-based activities. I chose the ones that are relevant to seakayaking, but with 19 titles there is plenty to choose from (at a very fair price).

Field Repair ‘MacGyver’ Kit

Zlideon Zipper Repair

With a small collection of ZlideOn zipper-sliders I can repair any broken zipper, anywhere: Fixed in seconds! For basecamp/camping I don’t bother making a selection and I’ll bring waterproof zippers and a variety of metal & plastic zippers. When I go ultralight, I only carry dedicated ZlideOns for what I actually have with me. These ZlideOns are easy to use and cheap enough, not to let a broken zip ruin the pleasure of being out there.

Dianova Sharpeners

The Classic Long (second from the bottom) is a lightweight double sided diamond knife sharpener with long handle for comfort. It has a fine (600 grit) and a coarse (300) side. This my prefered field sharpener because it handles really well! It is a whole lot of sharpener at a mere 45g.
Length 170 mm, Width 20 mm, Thickness 3 mm, Diamond surfaces 75×19 mm.
The Military Badge (bottom) is a diamond knife sharpener with a pocket clip for easy carrying. This is the ultimate backup and/or ultralight sharpener at 22g. At has 30 micron monocrystalline Diamonds of the highest quality rating (coarse/300 grit).
  • High-Strength Synthetic Line
  • Heavy Duty Repair Tape
  • #16 Sail Needle
  • Multi-Tool
  • Zip Ties
  • Buckles
  • Tent Pole Sleeves
  • Tool cards
  • Flint biners
  • Duct tape M
  • Krazy Glue
  • Aquaseal
  • Tenacious tape
  • Scissors
  • Knife Multi-use.
  • Needle & thread
  • Utility cord
  • Silicone glue
  • DCF (“Cuben”) repair tape
  • Stove repair kit

Folding Trekking Poles

My Origin Outdoors Trekking Poles ‘Micro-Fold’ are well made, reliable poles. Their prime feature is the folded size of a mere 37 cm. At 556 grams per pair (278 each) these are lightweight poles. In combination with my mud baskets, they do not get stuck or get pulled apart (a serious risk with spring-operated poles). Height adjustable from 120 up to 136 cm. One of the reasons for chosing these poles is the fact that they are not shock absorbing. I do not appreciate the loss of ‘feeling’ that shock absorbing brings, especially when used as wading aid. Both the clasp lock end the tip tend to oxidize, but a little oil or grease will do wonders. All in all, these are decent reliable poles at a very fair price.

My poles in their natural environment.

Trailer Locks

I use these Texlock cable locks to secure kayak trailers, either to the (fixed) towing eye of my car, or to a permanent structure. Circumstances will make me use either the long or the short version. If needed, they can be coupled.. The eyelet with U-lock is Sold Secure Silber and ART2 certified, which means it’ll take several minutes (instead of seconds) to open it.

Locks for Kayaks and other gear

These are my go-to locks. The awesome Safeman-T and it’s little brother, the Safeman.

The Safeman-T

is a heavy duty 1.85 meter long plastic-sheathed steel cable with Ø 10 mm and is continuously adjustable. It allows the use of one or two two loops and thus the greatest possible flexibility for securing, connecting and lashing. Safeman-T locks automatically. You only need the key to unlock. It stows neatly around the lock body.
It is 17 cm in diameter, 530gram, 250kg breaking strength, plastic coated stainless steel cable, 185 cm length, 10mm diameter, two loop technology, cable.
I utilise the Safeman-T for the most obvious important locking tasks, such as securing my kayak to the trailer for transport, to a tree at night and to other solid points for general fixing situations. I have different colour versions in use.

I also use the Safeman-T for securing my trunk, containing all my photography- and filming gear, inside my car.

The Safeman

is very useful whenever you need a more flexible, smaller diameter, cable.
It is 7,5 cm in diameter, 130gram, 100kg breaking strength, plastic coated stainless steel cable, 75 cm length, 4mm diameter, two loop technology, cable.
Especially when securing your boat, paddle and other gear during trips. But I always carry these when I expect a need for securing rented gear or ski’s, bikes and such. It’s small enough to carry in your pocket.I have different colour versions in use.

Coolado Air Pumps

ePump on the left & tPump X on the right

Safety? Cost effectiveness? Sustainability? No matter what your reason is, but using this little device contributes! The Coolado tPump X is a portable ‘pressure pump’ (rather than a ‘volume’ pump). An air compressor capable of pressures up to 10.3 BAR / 150 PSI, at up to 10 liters per minute. The tPump can handle your tire needs, whatever vehicle, bike, wheelbarrow or other contraption you have. The digital LCD touch screen provides pressure information so you can accurately measure and set the correct tire pressure.
Mind you. Should you want to inflate larger bodies like rafts, then you need a volume pump like the ePump (400 liters/minute) to get the volume in and then top it off to the right (high) pressure with this tPump.
This pump is both lightweight (only 440 grams) and compact (7cm x 14cm) and comes with various valves, USB charging cable and water-repellent protective cover.

Gold Pans

This Gold Claw Pan Bundle contains a three sizes of pans and comes with a First Gold Experience Kit containing paydirt with real gold in it, a snuffer bottle and a vial.
The (smallest) Pocket Pan is a great option to carry in your backpack. The (medium sized) Original Pan is ideal to have at basecamp or in the car permanently, whilst the (biggest) Production Pan goes through loads of paydirt in a wimp. The pans are made from Tritan plastic, which makes it durable and virtually indestructible.
I use the Stainless Steel Folding Shovel as well. It’s not part of the bundle.
Wether you expect, hope or need to get rich quickly, or just want to have a relaxing time with a chance of finding some gold: this is a great set, to do it with.


These FixPlus straps are the best ever for securing and bundling equipment. The one hand operating ties are an awesome solution to strap stuff to your backpack, into your boat, onto your boat, onto your helmet, whatever! All you do is lead the strap through the buckle hole, bend it backwards and hook it onto the to secure it. These come in loads of colours and lengths. I went for all black and have the 66, 46 and 35 cm versions, along with some (blue) strap keepers. The strap keepers are useful for keeping the ends tied in windy situations (e.g. roof rack) or if the ends could get stuck (e.g. bicycle spokes). FixPlus straps are tear resistant up to 90kg and are resistant to UV, Cold and Salt water.


So here is the new version of the SurfEars! Whether you have problems with getting water in your ears, or simply don’t like it to happen: this is te solution. I personally need to wear these in the pool while poloing for comfort and I like them when paddling very cold water. One of the unique features is that, while it keeps the water out, it let’s sound in!

SurfEars is one of these European companies that’s been around forever and keep improving their product continuously.

Handy Nice-to-haves

This is a true ‘multifarious’ post, as is Coghlan’s. Browsing through their products, I allways find practical and functional gear. This time, I ran into the following items:
The Bear Bell:
I only met a bear up close once. A Cantabrian brown bear, in the Spanish Pyrenees. This bell could have prevented that, by warning for my approach. It works on other scary animals as well ….
Organizer Bags:
These three bags have a large mesh part, which allows water to go in, and most importantly, get out. They are strong and light, and thus ideal to take items with you in the kayak.
Utility Cord:
Never underestimate the usefulness of a length of rope. Twenty meters of 4mm polypropylene cord. No rot. No mildew.

Call me crazy, but I think buckets are the best campsite waste bins. So I had a good day when I found this Collapsible Bucket made by Coghlans’s.

Covid Measures: Airinum Air Masks

We all want to continue meeting, having outdoor fun, contribute and participate in our real life networks and interact with real people. So I did a serious amount of research trying to find the best, most comfortable and good looking masks. I found these Airinum masks. I own two types. The Urban Air Mask 2.0 (left in the picture) and the Lite Air Mask (right in the picture). They protect against air pollution, smog, pollen, allergies, and bacteria. Whilst the Lite Air Mask provides a great balance between solid protection and lightweight comfort, the Urban Air Mask 2.0 offers certified protection and great comfort due to it’s valve which makes exhaling warm, moist and carbon dioxide-filled air really easy and prevents glasses from steaming up. All the major differences are explained on their website.

Both these technologically advanced air masks offer a 98% protection rate against particles down to the size of 0.3μm and 99.99% against pm2.5 pollution. The Urban Air Mask 2.0 mask is also tested and certified for international pollution mask standards, similar to the N95 mask and N95 respirator standards.

They are adjustable and really comfortable to wear. Whilst the Lite Air Mask provides a great balance between solid protection and lightweight comfort, the Urban Air Mask 2.0 offers great comfort due to it’s valve which makes exhaling really easy and prevents glasses from steaming up. The inner layers/air filters have really comfortable 3D memory nose-foam to fit well and minimize air leakage. The outer layers are washable. Last but not least: they look extremely good!

Airinum Discount Code!

If you want to make use of a 15% discount, please use this link and the code: WWG15

(No, I do not get paid, nor do I get a return fee.)