There are so many reviews of the “best” fly fishing and outdoors equipment out there, as any Google search will lead to a mind-boggling number of articles. Not surprisingly no two gear review articles lead to the same conclusion. How can you make sense of it all? Beware of any fly fishing or outdoor gear review with the following characteristics:
The same author / site has posted “best gear” reviews of dozens and even hundreds of different products, from archery sights to sleeping bags to hiking boots to fly rods. How can they be an expert in everything?
Every product is labeled “Best For [Category]” with a prominent link to Amazon or another affiliate program. This means they just want you to click and purchase, so they can earn an affiliate percentage commission on the purchase. Best Fly Rod, Best Fly Reel, Best Waders….
Sometimes the links to “buy now” or “check price” even come in the article before the review – how convenient!
Only one product is shown per category, for example “Best Saltwater Fly Rod.” Really now – isn’t the “best” more a matter of what you need, for your budget and your fishing conditions, and shouldn’t you have information to understand the range of choices before making a purchase, to be sure you get what YOU need? Wouldn’t the best rod or reel for tarpon be different than steelhead?
Ratings are given, often with very close together scores (why downgrade anything, then you might not buy it so they lose a commission), and often without any justification for the rating.
The description sounds like a marketing piece from the manufacturer itself (it probably is, just lightly edited to avoid copyright infringement).
The review reads like a not-quite-graduated-communications-major who hasn’t actually been fishing, or even in broken english. This signals that a contract writer has written the review, based on web-searches, not necessarily an expert in the subject.
The review just doesn’t make sense. One of my favorites – I just read a review where the “best fly rod on a budget” was $449!!! That’s quite a budget – and quite a nice commission for them if you buy it thinking so. If you’re on a budget, you should be able to get a full gear set (rod, reel, case, flies, and waders) for that amount!
There’s a bunch of extraneous information that doesn’t really help you make a decision – might sound impressive for a few sentences, but doesn’t really help.
There’s no evidence that the author actually tested or used the gear themselves, or collected critical feedback from other gear testers or users.
It’s just a random, list of extraneous gear or gifts. Or, the photos are all perfect, manufacture marketing photos. Or, there’s only gear reviews, but no discussion of fishing methods, conservation, etc. You get the idea!
Here at FlyFishingFieldGuides.com, we review nothing other than fly fishing gear. We write in detail about the range of products in a given category, so you can make an informed decision. When we review it, we use it, we test it, and we gather critical feedback from others. Our review is all original material, written from scratch (easy to verify with online tools available). And it’s written by fly fishing experts, with the goal of helping you come to the best conclusion. We do not accept free equipment from manufacturers. We do in some cases earn an affiliate commission, but only do so after providing what we strive to make as useful to you as possible. Happy reading, and thank you for your interest and support of FlyFishingFieldGuides.com.