This Summer I received a parcel from New Zealand. Within this package there was the Smith Creek Rod Clip as well as the Smith Creek Trash Fish. The former I will review now.
The Smith Creek Rod Clip Specifications
Anodized marine grade aluminium
UV resistant materials
Custom made zinger tested 50’000 pulls
For rods up to 750 grams and 13 mm diameter (1.5 lb., 0.5 inch)
available in green and blue
25 grams (measured by myself)
Won Best Accessory at the International Fly Tackle Dealers show in 2012
Performance of the Smith Creek Rod Clip
The Smith Creek Rod Clip accompanied me on several fly fishing trips through Switzerland. Not only had I used the Rod Clip for example while fly fishing Jura mountain creeks, but also while fly fishing in the Canton of Schwyz. Additionally, there were other fly fishing adventures I have not written a post about where I made use of the Smith Creek Rod Clip. Thus, I have tested the gadget extensively before writing this review.
The Smith Creek Rod Clip consist of a retractor and the actual rod holder. The latter is built out of anodized marine grade aluminium and forms a tube. Inside this tube is a foam glued. This foam is cut into shape to hold a rod securely. The rod holder itself comes in two colours (green and blue).
The other part of the Smith Creek Rod Clip is the retractor or zinger. This part has a safety-pin with which you attach the rod clip to your fishing west, backpack or sling pack as André did. The Zinger is pretty small with its 3 cm diameter and the length of the line is 8 cm. Subsequently, the Smith Creek Rod Clip does not get in the way while not in use. Moreover, the Smith Creek Rod Clip is immediately at hands when you need free hands. Another point worth mentioning is that the packaging of the rod clip consist of recycled cup board – thumbs up for environmental friendly brand behaviour by Smith Creek Fly Fishing.
The Smith Creek Rod Clip improved my fishing in various situations. As mentioned before this gadget holds your rod absolutely secure. Within seconds the rod is attached and your hands are free. This advantage allows you to open a bottle, eat a snack, climb over a large boulder or just to take a picture of your companion. Furthermore, the rod is not in the way while taking pictures of you with your catch. Pictures where you hazard your fly rod by balancing on your neck are a thing of the past with this tool. Furthermore, the hooks in your neck while doing this act of balance too.
What I appreciated the most concerning the photography, was that the Smith Creek Rod Clip improves fish handling too. Due to the rod holder you can hold the fish carefully with both hands which every respectful fly fisherman should do. Still the rod and reel is within the frame. This is important in particular for cover shots to see the equipment you have used. There, it is mandatory for certain picture to see the fly rod and reel. However, some people just hold the rod in one hand and the fish in the other. Subsequently, the fingers press on vital inner organs of the fish which can lead to the latter death of the animal. With the Smith Creek Rod Clip you have your rod on the picture and fish handling improved at the very same time.
Having talked about the advantages of the Smith Creek Rod Clip for the angler and for the fish, I will turn my attention now to the benefit for your gear. Firstly, there are moments when you have to put your rod and reel on the ground. For instance, while opening a bottle. This might not only end in scratches in the reel, but also – and even worse – in dirt entering it. Ultimately this could destroy sensitive and mostly expensive gear. Secondly, fly fisherman usually clamp their rod between arm and torso while attaching a fly or changing the rig. This mostly works fine, but it is not as convenient as clipping the rod to the holder where you do not have to worry anymore if it is properly attached.
Last but not least I have to mention one occasion where I had an issue with the Smith Creek Rod Clip. After my first fishing trip I recognised, that the zinger did not retract the line anymore. Somehow it got stuck and I could not fix it. I contacted Smith Creek Fly Fishing who informed me that they tested each item carefully and it must have been a product failure. Thus, they promptly sent me a replacement.
Another explanation for the broken retractor is the limited weight the zinger is intended for. As Smith Creek Fly Fishing states, the Smith Creek Rod Clip holds rods up to the weight of 750 grams. This is more than enough for most fly rods. However, it might have happened that I accidentally pulled the retractor too much when I took off my backpack. Moreover, it would explain why I had realised it not until I was at home, rather than on my fishing trip. With the replacement of the Smith Creek Rod Clip I did not have any problems ever since.
Summary about the Smith Creek Rod Clip
Holds rod securely
Saves gear from dirt and scratches
Hands free for drinks, food, climbing or photography
Improves fish handling
Immediately at hands
Rod is quickly attached
Unnoticed while not in use
Lightweight with 25 grams
Retractor holds only limited rod weight
The Smith Creek Rod Clip is a great gadget, which improved my fly fishing trips in many different ways. Apart from having free hands and all its advantages, I was astonished of the versatile benefits: My fly fishing photography improved by not having to worry whether the rod and reel is in the picture or not. Furthermore, my fly fishing gear is not anymore exposed to dirt from the ground.
The incident with the retractor showed minor limitations to the Smith Creek Rod Clip. However, I neglect this in contrast to the huge advantages it has. Having written this, I can highly recommend you this fantastic item .
The price of this item is currently CHF 27.5 in Switzerland and can be purchase here.
Have you used the Smith Creek Rod Clip? What is you experience? Do you have any questions?