When we think of the outdoors, one of the things that may often come to the minds of many is fishing. Angling can be an incredible sharing experience with a son, daughter or grandchild. It can also be a wonderful contemplative journey alone, delivering hours of time to relax and wash away the stress of life in a hectic world of hard work and a manic pace. As many an angler knows, it’s often not about catching fish but the time spent outdoors in the fresh air and beautiful scenery, with the sights and sounds of the natural world filling our ears, mind, heart and soul.
One of the many companies that can provide equipment for such moments of fishing pleasure, whether it be for a bonding experience or solo adventure, is L.L. Bean. It offers dozens of rods and reels for all types of angling opportunities, including combination outfits, tackle boxes, fly kits and appropriate apparel.
A perfect example and an affordable, entry-level rod-and-reel package for the novice that would make a great gift is the 6-foot, two-piece medium-weight Angler Spin Series Outfit ($46.95). Featuring a premium cork grip, hard-cast aluminum-oxide guides and a high-gloss epoxy finish, the lightweight graphite rod is designed to deliver excellent sensitivity and strength for a powerful hook set. Its mated graphite reel has a rubberized-paint coating for durability and corrosion-resistance and a ball-bearing system for smooth-drag and balanced retrieve, and it features a double-ported machined-aluminum spool and a machined-aluminum handle with a wooden knob. The reel is preloaded with a 6- to 12-pound test monofilament line.
For those interested in fly-fishing, L.L. Bean offers the 5- and 6-weight Angler II Fly Rod Outfits ($75). This makes it easy to learn the popular sport, and it includes a die-cast reel with disc drag and instructions for the four-part cast, knot tying and fish identification. Each outfit comes loaded with backing, a floating line and a leader. You just tie on a fly and you’re ready to fish. L.L. Bean worked hand-in-hand with beginners and its own Fly Fishing School instructors to develop a smooth, medium-action rod to mate up with the reel that makes it easy to learn the art of fly-casting. This outfit is a good all-around weight for landlocked salmon, bass or trout and has good power for larger flies yet is light enough for delicate dry-fly presentation.
Newbie or veteran, you can appreciate this combination outfit. Unlike other spin/fly combinations, the Spin/Fly Combo Outfit ($139) includes two complete rod outfits for a variety of weather conditions, species and angling styles. The 8-foot, 6-inch, 5-weight, six-piece fly rod is preloaded with floating fly line, backing and leader. Tie on a fly and go fishing! The 6-foot, medium-light, four-piece spin rod is preloaded with 60 yards of 6-pound monofilament. Both rods come in a sturdy vacuum-molded nylon-covered case, including a fly box and lure box. The small size makes it perfect for travel or storage in a trailer or camper.
You can’t do much fishing without lures and flies, and since fly-fishing is all the rage these days, we thought we would include a trio of L.L. Bean fly selections, too. If you are a bass hound, the warm-water bass Deluxe Fly Selection ($69) has the most popular, most productive flies for specific species and destinations, carefully chosen by the L.L. Bean experts. The collection is offered in a clear plastic box.
Another popular set is the Deluxe Fly Selection for Great Lakes steelhead ($59), filled with top-quality Umpqua flies including such productive wonders as Bear’s HeadBanger Hex, the Anton Bug Stone, the Flying Circus Caddis and the Egg Sucking Leech. This set also comes in a clear plastic fly box.
Containing 90 flies of assorted sizes and colors, the Western Trout Mega Selection ($179) incudes everything you need to lure western trout, according to L.L. Bean, and it comes in an Umpqua Professional Guide Fly Box. Working with local guides, outfitters and traveling fly-fishers, L.L. Bean developed this mega selection (as well as four others suited for different species and regions of the country) so serious anglers would have a full selection of flies specially designed for western trout waters.
So whether it’s an angling adventure on your own, a day of fun with a buddy or an instructive afternoon with a young family member for the very first time, fishing can be fun when you have the right tackle. L.L. Bean has much more to offer than we highlighted here, and it also offers guided trips, classes and free advice to help you find the right gear for your type of angling activities.
L.L. Bean: 800-441-5713,