Thursday, March 1, 2012

Fly Product: Loon Outdoors

We received a package form Loon Outdoors about two weeks ago with some fly products in it. As part of our product reviews, we figured we'd give Loon a try since I have consistently heard good stuff about the company and products and have started to see their stuff pop up in local shops. The concept behind the company is awesome, perfectly in line with what we appreciate and live for here at TLTFF... "Environmentally Friendly Fly Fishing Gear & Accessories". Awesome, perfect. The coolest part, their products are legit, the fact that they are made with a conscience doesn't affect the integrity and quality of the products. Here is their mission:


To serve our community by developing excellent products that add value to the outdoor experience and protect the environment we all love. 


“A man not only needs to know how to fish, he needs to have the freedom to do it and a place to do it. That's where community comes in. We have to help each other…”
--Radio Personality Bill Ayers
The fishing industry is our home, and we feel fortunate to be a part of this community. We take pride in running an honest business that emphasizes the value we place on relationships we have with our customers, ambassadors, employees, reps and vendors.
“Functional and Simple. That is what I keep coming back to.”
-- Alan Peterson (President and Co-Owner, Loon Outdoors)
We are proud of making products that add value to the outdoor experience for beginning and professional anglers.  Our commitment is to make the best product using the best materials, and we emphasize two things: functionality and simplicity. 
“To have some parts flowing free again . . . with deer grazing on its banks . . . ducks and geese raising their young in the backwaters . . . eddies and twists and turns for canoeists . . . and fishing opportunities such as Lewis and Clark enjoyed . . . would be the finest possible tribute to the men of the Expedition, and a priceless gift for our children.”
-- (Stephen Ambrose, Undaunted Courage)
We strive to ensure that our footprint is as small and as shallow as possible. This commitment informs our business practices, the proximity of our vendors, and the materials we use to make our products and packaging. Furthermore, we are committed to using the resources available to us to support and endorse organizations and individuals who are dedicated to protecting the environment we are all passionate about.

The package we received had a full range of Loon's stuff from wader repair stuff to tools. We received Loon's UV Wader Repair, Stanley's Ice Off Paste, Line Speed, Shark Tooth Kit, Mitten Scissor Clamps.

I'll start off with the UV Wader Repair. At $8.50, totally worth it. I first got it and was like, "I don't own a UV light and don't need to repair my waders." So I initially just put that in the desk and forgot about it. Until I was unpacking boxes from our move into our new house and found that in fact, I do own a UV light AND the left leg of my sweats were decently moist after our last trip when Mr. Thorn decided to put a little nick in my waders... Perfect, went right past the repair kit that came with my waders and straight to the UV Wader Repair. Put it on per the directions and boom, no more leak and I got to use the product! This product gets a 5 out of 5 stars.

Next is the Stanley's Ice Off Paste. At $7.50 its a steal, seriously. So glad Loon sent us this little plastic piece of joy. Ice has been cramping my style all winter, even with how mild the weather has been. If there's one thing I cannot stand, its iced guides. In fact, LS feels the same way, since his first rod was snapped in two due to iced guides...he's just as bitter. I threw some of this Chap Stick-looking paste on my guides before our last trip, which happened to be one of the coldest, and as I had hoped, not one crystal of ice on my guides. I almost heard angels singing when I realized this. This product again, gets 5 stars.

The next product is Line Speed. At $8.50 its a good price, if you need it... I had a new fly line on my trout setup last trip so I really had no need for the line speed but once I got home, I had to give it a try. So I threw it on my bass setup and took it out to the yard for some casts. The line I have on my bass outfit has seen better days. I threw a few casts prior to application just to get a baseline. After I threw on the Line Speed there was a decent difference. The line maintained a good loop and laid out a pretty cast. Now, I'm no cast master, but I definitely noticed a difference, only thing is, not to the extent I expected. I'd give this product a 4.5 stars only because I'm not entirely sure its a necessary product, I'm sure cleaning my line would be just as effective.

On to the next one... The Shark Tooth is an awesome product with an awesome design that only costs a measly $4.95 for a two pack. You can find them for $3.88 at Cabelas right now, probably won't last long so get on it. Fish Itch featured a deal on the as their first deal. I'm kicking myself now for not buying them. Unfortunately, the size that Loon sent us doesn't fit tippet spools entirely well, they are a bit big. The concept behind them is great:

The Shark Tooth is a highly functional and easy tippet cutter. Simply slip elastic over a tippet spool and use the Tooth to cut tippet with precision. The smooth cutting action leaves the perfect amount of tippet exposed and eliminates tippet waste. Reusable from spool to spool. 

Sharks Tooth cutters come in 3 different sizes I believe. One size is for bigger spools, the Red ST. The Blue ST fit my tippet spools a lot better, I use the Orvis tippets. The Orange ST, I believe are the biggest and fit bigger spools, like big mono spools. I found that the Red ST Loon sent us don't fit my spools when I was in the middle of the stream and realized my whole spool had unwound and I was trailing all my 5x tippet behind me. I'm not going to bust off points for that, really it was my fault, so this product gets 5 stars for sure! I ordered two more sets and all of my bigger spools have Shark Tooth on them now.

Finally, the Mitten Scissor Clamps. I've never had a pair of these, I was always a good ol' hemostat and nippers guy. Well for $17.95 they are a bit pricey and William Joseph sells an almost identical product for about $2.00 cheaper. The best part about this product, its combines the two, I'm all for consolidating and thats why this product hit the nail right on the head for me. They fit perfectly into my Orvis Sling Pack and have an awesome "comfy grip", easy on the hands if your catching mass quantities of fish (its been awhile, I know). The coolest part about the Mitten Scissor Clamps is that they have a small needle hidden in them to clean out hook eyes. Im not good with sharp things so the fact that its hidden is awesome, that was I don't stick myself. Heres the brief description of the Clamp from Loon:

"Made of the highest quality surgical steel, they are precise enough to use year 'round, but designed to be used while wearing gloves or mittens. Mitten Clamps are open and closed with the same squeezing motion, making clipping them to a pack or vest extra convenient.

- 6" Long
- Surgical quality stainless steel
- Eye cleaning needle
- Locking Handles
- Comfy grip handles: increase tackiness when wet"

This product gets 4.5 stars, awesome product, by-far my favorite. I would give it a 5 but the cost kinda gets to me, I'm a frugal guy.

Overall, Loon gets 5 stars, such a great company and they really do help out the environment one great tool at a time. Keep an eye out for them in your local fly shops because if they aren't there yet, they will be. If you don't have access via your local fly shop, you can order directly from their website. Loon carries almost any product you can imagine needing for fly tying substance or stream side accessories. Check them out on Facebook or YouTube. You can also view their 2012 Catalog here.


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