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Dress up, gear up for wading the flats

Sure, you can throw on some old tennis shoes, some cutoff jeans and that ketchup-stained dress shirt Aunt Agnes bought for your birthday when the first Bush was president the next time you head out to wade the grass flats. Or, you can equip yourself with the latest and greatest gear designed and manufactured specifically for the serious wade fisherman. Then, if the fish aren't biting, at least you will look good.

1 Sage Z-Axis Series fly rod: This rod is significantly lighter, stronger and easier to cast for anglers of all skill levels. This 9-foot, four-piece 8-weight sells for $680. 6 Simms Solar Sombrero: Made of 100 percent lightweight nylon with HT Teflon, this all-around fishing hat has an extra-wide brim for full sun protection, $30.
2 Abel Super 8 reel: This large-arbor reel is built like a fine Swiss watch. The "ported" or ventilated spool makes for a lighter reel, $775. 7 St. Croix Avid Inshore spinning rod: Designed with the most advanced engineering available for a fishing rod, this 7½-foot stick will get that shrimp or lure out to those tailing reds, $200.
3 The William Joseph stripping basket: This 8-ounce retractable basket will tame that unruly fly line for you. It even doubles as a wading and/or utility belt with multiple lash points, $32. 8Shimano Stradic MgFB spinning reel: The ultimate in lightweight performance, the Stradic is an angler's dream. The aluminum spool and small frame help reduce weight and relieve hand fatigue, $230.
4 Simms flats sneaker: Tired of emptying shells and sand out of your wading shoes? The neoprene gasket collar seals out debris. The tough rubber toe keeps you safe from rocks and coral, $100. 9ExOfficio's men's Amphi convertible pants: Start cool mornings in long pants, then zip off to shorts when the sun starts to climb, $70.
5 3XDry Solarflex Hoody: Designed specifically for hard-core flats guides, this shirts strikes the perfect balance between high-tech performance and uncompromising sun protection, $55. 10 7EYE sunglasses: The Churada is sleek with a low profile and a patented SPF 100 eye cup that keeps your eyes hydrated, $200.

Gear courtesy of Bill Jackson Shop For Adventure in Pinellas Park.

Sure, you can throw on some old tennis shoes, some cutoff jeans and that ketchup-stained dress shirt Aunt Agnes bought for your birthday when the first Bush was president the next time you head out to wade the grass flats. Or, you can equip yourself with the latest and greatest gear designed and manufactured specifically for the serious wade fisherman. Then, if the fish aren't biting, at least you will look good.

DIRK SHADD | Times

Dress up, gear up for wading the flats 07/03/08 [Last modified: Thursday, July 3, 2008 4:31am]

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