In a twist of fate, I was born with a fly rod jutting out of my hand. Quite unfortunate for my dear mother, but fortuitous for me. I grew up fishing on the mighty Deschutes in Oregon and while working for Backpacker Magazine, I put my experience to good use, testing fly fishing gear best suited for your next overnight. I focused on 3-weight fly fishing rods because of their ability to make short casts accurately, handle light tackle, and pack down into a tight little package. Also, you can get great quality at a respectable price with 3-weights. Here, the cream-of-the-testing crop, with setups ranging from super light to best all-around caster.
All setups weighed on BP scales with rod, reel, line, and backing.