Many of us have had the experience of a product giving out on us. You are walking to class and realize that your backpack strap has broken. You pull out your wallet and the threading has started to unravel. You reach for your belt to pull it on and it has almost completely broken where you cinch it.
Eric Rice with Backcast Outfitters had similar experiences with fishing gear that continued to fail him. When Dave Munson of Saddleback Leather approached Eric to design fly fishing gear for some friends, Eric leapt on the chance to design some heirloom quality fly fishing gear, something he felt passionate about. He wanted to “create natural, amazing products so well constructed that fathers would pass them to sons along with hand drawn maps of secret fishing holes, sweet spots in the river and techniques so subtle, they could only be shown, not told”. With that desire and a great opportunity, Backcast Outfitters was born.
Backcast Outfitters designs the highest quality fly fishing gear, using the highest quality raw materials, made by the best craftsman. It’s a fairly simple recipe that produces outstanding results. BestLeather had the opportunity of reviewing a few of Backcast Outfitters fly fishing gear. We reviewed their 5 Pocket Leader Wallet, their Floatant Holder, and their Fly Dryer and Leader Straightener.
5 Pocket Leader Wallet – $84
Designing high quality leather gear is not an easy task. It took a lot of trial and error, testing, and a commitment to designing the best possible product. In Eric’s analogy, “A poorly dressed fly won’t fool a fish and a poorly constructed product won’t fool your discriminating tastes”. One of Backcast’s signature products is their 5 Pocket Leader Wallet. Like all of Backcast’s products, the leather used is four to five ounce full grain leather. If you want a durable good, full grain leather is what you want. It is the outermost layer of leather that has the tightest grain pattern and is therefore the most durable. The Leader Wallet is also lined with super durable pigskin and the pockets are connected, accordion style, with deerskin. The Wallet is 2.5″ by 5″, which is just the right size to fit inside a vest pocket or hip pack.
Like all of Backcast Outfitter’s products, the Leader Wallet is made to last a lifetime. Their “until the cows come home” warranty means that if you ever have a problem with one of their products, they will fix or repair it for free, for your entire life. To be able to offer a warranty like that, a product has to be built right. The Leader Wallet does not have any zippers or clips that can break. Instead, you fasten the wallet by slipping the top flap through a strip of leather and connecting it to a solid brass collar button. The result is that you have no worries that your Leaders will go missing and no worries that the Leader Wallet will fail you.
Floatant Holder – $26
In speaking to Eric about some of his products he related how he was frustrated with previous floatant holders that he owned. He would head out on a fishing expedition and upon reaching his spot he would find that his floatant holder didn’t make it with him. He decided to design a floatant holder that would be virtually indestructible and that would make it with him to that special spot every time.
Backcast’s Floatant Holder is made with two pieces of full grain leather sewn together with polyester thread. Polyester thread is know for its super durability; three to four times stronger than nylon thread, it can take a beating and keep on going. Polyester is also UV resistant, a major positive for fishing gear. You can connect the Floatant Holder to your vest with the solid brass swivel clip. Like the Leader Wallet, you can get the Floatant Holder in Backcast’s Hopper Tan (a light brown) or Badger Brown (a dark chocolate brown).
Fly Dryer and Leader Straightener – $24
Another issue Eric had with his previous fly gear was the lack of absorbency in fly dryers. Necessity being the mother of invention that it is, he designed his own fly dryer that has three layers of super absorbent New Zealand chamois. It is not treated with any oils or chemicals and it works like advertised, place a wet fly in, fold over the second flap, squeeze and voila! — dry fly. The Fly Dryer was also designed with a dual purpose, so that it could be used as a Leader Straightener as well.
Leader’s generally come in packages wound in a circle, which doesn’t always straighten on its own when you pull it out. With the Fly Dryer and Leader Straightener, you simply reverse the Dryer so that you have leather on leather, simply pinch the leader and run it all of the way through. The result is a nice straight line that’s ready for some fishing. You can get the Fly Dryer and Leader Straightener in the same Hopper Tan or Badger Brown as the rest of Backcast’s products.
Full grain leather. Polyester thread. No breakable parts. Excellent, tested design. A true lifetime warranty. These are the components of a high quality leather product and this is what you will get with each of Backcast Outfitter’s products. The 5 Pocket Leader Wallet, the Floatant Holder, and the Fly Dryer and Leader Straightener are all high quality goods that any fly fisherman would be proud to carry and use. All of these goods are premium to the feel, smell great, and are priced right. In fact, I found that the price is relatively low for the quality of product that Backcast produces. You certainly will not be disappointed if you lay down some of your hard earned money for one of their premium goods. To boot, you will find their super cool fly fisherman stamp on some of their goods, like the back of their 5 Pocket Leader Wallet (see below).