Sunday, January 20, 2013

Fly Product: Review of Loon Outdoors Pt 2 - Streamside

Like we said in Part 1, a huge thanks goes to Loon, they have been great to us here at TLTFF. Part 2, as you can tell by the title, is all about the different streamside gear we were able to try out this time around. As we were continually impressed, even up to yesterday when we were able to give the last two products a real try on some Chesapeake Bay pickerel. Success was had yesterday giving us a little extra pump about what we thought of Loons gear. So without further delay, check it...

So Top Ride, one of Loon Outdoors ten floatants. Here's what Loon has to say about Top Ride...

Known as "Shake and Bake" by world class guides, this desiccant (drying agent) and powder floatant is fast and easy to use. A fly (still attached to the leader) goes in wet, and a few shakes later comes out dry and coated with a powder floatant.


- Powder floatant and drying agent in one
- Easy to use shake application
- Large cap opening for any size fly

Top Ride is actually one of the few floatants I've used that you can actually get at least 20 casts out of before having to shake it and dry it off again. As a long-time user of Frogs Fanny, something is have really always used because I know it, I can honestly say I've found something better...way better. Not only is it cheaper, coming in at $7.50, but it lasts a lot longer. I can usually make it a solid 10 casts with Frog's Fanny before I have to re-coat my fly. And even then, a bottle of the Fanny will last me a quarter of a season... With that said, as a "Shake and Bake" type of floatant, Top Ride gets a 5 out of 5 stars.

If your looking for a place to put your Top Ride, look no further than Loon... their Medium Caddy is ideal for holding your floatant (or any other medium sized bottle for that matter) close to your side so you don't have to go digging through your pouch to get that fly back on the surface (even though you wouldn't do that too often either with Loon's awesome Top Ride). I'm a guy who usually has at least two packs on me to hold all my stuff and a million things hanging off of my packs, thats why I love the Medium Caddy from Loon. Here's what Loon has to say...

The Medium Caddy fits Easy Dry, Blue Ribbon and Top Ride, and stores them securely and conveniently with an attachment clip.


- Holds 2 oz bottles securely
- Made with extra strengthen nylon
- Attaches to vest with clip 

The Medium Caddy is one of five caddies Loon offers but was by-far the most ideal for us to try our since we had our hands on the Top Ride. The Medium Caddy is also ideal for other small bottles or knick-knacks you may carry even if it isn't a Loon product, such as a small tape measure or car keys (yes, I've used it for that). Coming in at $8.95, its slightly pricey but well worth its gold in storage and use if your a dry fly kinda guy. Its made with the super-strong nylon so it wont wear down trip after trip of friction. We gave the Medium Caddy 4.5 out of 5 stars simply because of price, we couldn't knock off a whole point because, like we said, it really is worth its weight in gold.

On to the next one...Tip Toppers. My new thing is nymphing, after watching European Nymphing a couple of times this summer, I was ready to give it a shot and took on the technique of nymphing when we did our ECHO Shadow PE Rod Review. Loved it, went out and got me some different types of indicators like the Turn-On Strike Indicators and Thingamabobbers. I liked them both but wanted to search for indicators that I really like, so I turned to Loon. I am in love with all their other products and thought their indicators would be what I'm looking for...So I turned to Loon's Tip Toppers. Here's what Loon has to say about them...

Synthetic glo-yarn strike indicators with o-ring attachments for easy placement. 


- Yarn indicator
- Treated with patented silicon formula for extra flotation
- Rubber O-ring for easy attachment
- High visibility colors
- Excellent sensitivity for subtle takes 

I tried them out in both Green and Pink. At first glance, they are perfect, the size is not too intrusive in a way that would spook fish and the colors are ideal for seeing even the most minimal movement "indicating" a fish on the line. But then we get to how they ride on the surface... so they are treated with a silicon floatant formula most likely similar to Hydrostop, which as you may have read in Part 1, is AWESOME. The only thing with the Tip Toppers is they don't float very long before they hold water and sink. Coming in at $4.50, you cannot complain about the price at all, they are actually a steal since they come in a 3 pack...but the fact that they really don't float long at all, even in slower moving water, made us deduct two stars, giving them a 3 out of 5 stars. Needless to say, Tip Toppers are not the indicators I'm looking for.

On to the next indicator we tried from Loon, Biostrike. An ingenious idea from Loon and a true redemption in my faith in Loon indicators! Here's what Loon has to say about Biostrike...

A putty indicator that makes adjusting the depth and size of indicator simple. Beyond that, it is reusable, biodegradable, and environmentally friendly. BioStrike can be rolled in a ball with wet fingers and applied anywhere on a leader, then removed and placed back in the container.


- Putty strike indicator
- Easily create indicator to your desired size
- Use with small dry flies to increase visibility
- Reusable
- Biodegradable

Now I'm not going to say this is the indicator that answered my prayers but I will say that I set my other indicators aside and bought two more containers of Biostrike. This is probably as good as its going to get (so maybe it is the answer haha). With its versatility in being able to make your own sized indicator for the roughness of the water your nymphing and size of nymph your using, it definitely got us stoked to use. This stuff not only floats, but it stays floating, forever, I only changed it out once due to my first Biostrike ball starting to fall apart a little bit at the end of a 3 hour nymphing stent on the Gunpowder a few weeks ago. But what did I do with that first indicator? Well I could have thrown it into the stream or into the woods since its biodegradable but no, I put it back in the container to be reused another day! Frugality at its best. Which brings us to the next point...coming in at $7.50, this stuff is so underpriced for how long this one container will probably last me... Thats why we gave Biostrike 5 out of 5 stars.

Now to move on to the polar opposite of floatants and indicators...sinkets. Deep Soft is one of four sinkets Loon offers and one of three putty-like sinkets they offer. Here's what Loon has to say about their Deep Soft Weight putty...

This charcoal-colored nontoxic, Tungsten-based product is biodegradable and reusable, making it an environmentally friendly alternative to split shot and other lead based weight. The weight and depth are easily adjustable, to make sure that a nymph always finds the bottom. 


- Tungsten putty weight
- Non-toxic
- Non-lead
- Reusable
- Charcoal color
- Can be used as temporary bead head for nymphs 

With it being tungsten-based, can I just tell you, this stuff sinks...quick. Again with the versatility, like Biostrike, of making your own sized weight, its great. The price is right, at $8.95, you easily get your money's worth since this container will easily last you a whole season if not a little more. I was able to use it yesterday by putting a little on the head of my Clouser to get it down a little deeper on some pickerel, it produced too!

This container fits into your bag perfectly and doesn't take up any space at all, I loved that part. With all that said, we gave the Deep Soft Weight putty 5 out of 5 stars

UV Knot Sense is the only UV product we tried out from Loon for Part 2 of the review but boy oh boy did we love it as much as the previous UV products we tried out. Im pretty sure its made of the same stuff as their UV Wader Repair but I could be wrong. Either way, they are the same size, same cost, and we love them both. Here's what Loon has to say about UV Knot Sense...
With UV Knot Sense you can smooth and strengthen your newly tied knots immediately. After application, it dries instantly with Loon's UV Mini Lamp, UV Power Light or with direct sunlight. Also works great for repairing damaged flies and completing household projects.


- Ideal for coating knots for strength
- Smoothes knots to easily slide through guides
- Cures soft and pliable
- Instantly cures with sunlight or UV light
- Quickly repairs damaged flies

Definitely a great item to have with you for toothy or big fish. You think that Albright or Blood knot you tied was strong eh? Probably is, but do you want to take the chance of losing that monster fish, or in my case, couple of inches of pickerel that could add to your standings in a tournament? I think not... so knot sense it is. Coming in at $8.50, again another underpriced item from Loon. We knew, after its first use it was going to be a winner but them we not only tried it on a few knots, but we gave it a shot on some flies that pickerel were beginning to tear up. What was the result? More fish on the same fly since the Knot Sense kept the fly intact and looking good. Thats why we gave the UV Knot Sense 5 out of 5 stars for sure. Excellent product. All of Loon's UV products have been great, we HIGHLY recommend them.

This brings us to our last item for the review, Loon's Nippers with Comfy Grip. I love nippers, I use them more than any other tool on almost any trip I take, salt or fresh. I was stoked to try out Loon's since they were recently redesigned and I had just lost my previous nippers (I was nipper-less for a few weeks, it was indeed tough). Here's what Loon has to say about their Nippers with Comfy Grip...

Redesigned for 2012! Made with surgical quality steel and covered with the comfy grip, these nippers are the perfect blend of comfort and performance. They include a straight cutting surface and a fly eye cleaner.


- Stainless Steel blades
- Hook clearing needle
- Eye cleaning needle
- Comfy grip pad: increase tackiness when wet

Now I must say I was a bit hesitant about the "Comfy Grip" on these because, since our first review that included Loon's Mitten Scissor Clamps with Comfy Grip, the comfy grip on the clamps has totally ripped and fallen apart and that review took place last March...less than a year ago. So, I'm going to make an assumption that this comfy grip won't last long either, especially with the amount of use I will most likely put them through. With that said, lets talk about the other use these nippers have other than just nipping with the hook clearing needle. Every nipper I've ever used has had this, its a requirement. I love that little needle, I hope whomever invented that is sitting pretty somewhere on some awesome island surrounded by bonefish. Coming in at $6.95, you can find a cheaper nipper but I can guarantee you they wont nip as long (unless they are also made of surgical quality steel). All of that said, we gave these nippers 4 out of 5 stars since we can't honestly take away stars for something that hasn't happened yet with that comfy grip.

I hope this review was helpful and convinced you further than Loon Outdoors makes some of the best products on the market. With this review, Part 1 and our first review only covering around half of Loon's products, we cannot wait to give more of their gnarly goodness a try in the future. For the time being, you will always catch us with at least one Loon product on us whether we're hunting down some toothy pickerel on the Severn River, stalking down trout, or double hauling line at some Bonefish. A HUGE thanks goes out to Loon Outdoors for being ever-supportive of us bloggers and respectful of our honest opinions of their products. We had fun this time around, cant wait to wear some Loon swag we went ahead and purchased on our upcoming trips for 2013! 

Check out Loon Outdoors on their site and pick up a few products while your there. You can also check them out on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (@loonoutdoors). Let them know the TLTFF Crew sent you!


*This review was completely unbiased and this/these product(s) were lent to me for review purposes only. This review, as with all of our reviews was, completely fair with no intentions coming into it of giving it a "good" or "bad" rating. We do our best to keep all reviews as fair as possible with biases being thrown out the door.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome post, I want to check out a couple of your other messages. Thank you!