Gear Reviews (Karmik Outdoors, Buff, Gruv Fishing, Taiga Coolers, and Prove It Products) 

(By Tim Romano)
Karmik outdoors is one of those companies that you read about, slap your hand on your forehead and say, “why didn’t I think of that?”  Karmik is basically a sticker company that reunites folks with their lost outdoor gear. Kinda like nature’s lost and found desk…  “It’s a simple process: purchase decals, register them, affix them to your gear, and head out for your adventures,” says Aaron Akins – co-founder. “If you lose the item, whoever finds it can scan the QR code and you increase the likelihood of getting your gear back.” The company offers a small reward too and you can personally attach whatever type of additional reward you’d like to each individual piece of gear you label. The company has partnered with Sawyer Oars to add their product under the varnish of each oar you buy as an add-on, as well as Tornado Anchors and are in the process of talking with other companies for partnerships. In 2019 the company tested a rudimentary beta product (basically a large piece of paper with a QR code on it) left gear around the Boise, ID area and 78% of the gear was returned back to them. They think with their final product return rates should be about 90%. Can anyone say shrink that down and add it to fly rods?  Yes, please! Right now each bombproof decal costs $3.99. The decal is active for 1 year at the time of purchase, but must be activated. After 1 year the active decal will cost the individual $1.99/year to stay active. The individual will be charged $1.99/year for each active decal in their account.

The Buff filter tube is the company’s answer to the COVID crisis, but feels and fits exactly like any of your other favorite BUFF products.  It’s 95% recycled material, very comfortable, incredibly thin, has 50+ UPF sun protection, and the kicker… It’s designed with an absurdly thin 3 layer BUFF replaceable filter in an antimicrobial interior mesh pocket. This product is literally the only “mask” I’ve worn the last 9 months that I can run multiple miles in without hyperventilating. So it should easily stand up to a day in a raft or flats skiff. Get one, wear it, and stay safe.

Taiga Coolers 27 Quart Terra Cooler ($199)
Taiga Coolers – the American-made, veteran-owned brand has just released the first “sustainably-built”, high-performance cooler on the market that uses an FDA approved hemp polypropylene instead of fossil fuel-based polymers. Taig’s Terra Cooler doesn’t sacrifice performance for it’s eco-friendly build, maintaining 2-inch thick foam insulation, and 3-inch thick lid for maximum ice retention.  This is huge in terms of petroleum plastic reduction. We’re all for getting more plastic out of out of everything we do and will be keeping an eye on this brand.  We’ve only used the cooler a couple of times at this point, but have been impressed so far on cold retention and durability.  We’ll continue to use the cooler and will keep you posted.

Let’s all be honest… We’re not all fly fishing only folks are we? Naw, I didn’t think so. So, here’s a little crossover product that’s gonna blow your mind. Gruv fishing is the brain child from the mad scientists (literally) that invented the Tacky fly Box .  This time around they’ve come to the conclusion that the conventional market’s approach to tackle storage is subpar and I gotta admit, I agree. Without getting in the weeds on the technology they’ve basically designed boxes for jigs, hardballs, weights, etc that keeps everything securely in place without any tangling of hooks or damage to your expensive baits. Not to mention their stuff is incredibly tough. I’ve been using some of their prototypes this summer and have fallen in love with it. They even have what they are calling “launch pads” which basically let you put a smaller open version of their boxes anywhere you want on a boat, kayak, and gives you super quick access to a handful of baits. Think – piece of foam on your drift boat for errant flies, but much more thought out design. Check em out for yourself at

Prove It Products – Oar Sleeve ($30 for 1 or $60 for a set)
Are you the kinda person who just has to measure all you fish? Do your clients like their fish measured?  Do you often forget your measuring tape or have no where on a rubber raft or spot on your dory to place a ruler “sticker”?  Well, Prove It’s neoprene oar fish measuring sleeves might be your answer. The company has three sizes and an option that fits Square tops.  Measure up to a 26 inch fish and dress up your oars too with rainbow, brook, brown, or American flag options. After testing out a pair I gotta say they are much more robustly built than I would have thought and should last a good long while.

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