Editor’s Letter – The Things They Carry

September 21, 2007

|| |—| || |Editor DiBenedetto with a roosterfish taken at Crocodile Bay Lodge in Costa Rica. Photo: Mike Laptew| One of the many perks of my job is traveling to top-notch fishing destinations. In the process, I often rub duffle bags with some of the most experienced anglers in the business.

Lately, I’ve been intrigued with what these fishermen can’t leave home without. Lefty Kreh takes an “eventuality” kit.

A small collection of items that can help save a day when it starts heading south —rod guides, ferrule cement, a lighter, super glue and a needle and thread.


“A quick tip job may not look pleasing but it keeps you fishing,” says Kreh.

John Phillips, an SWS regional editor, tucks a handheld GPS in his bag no matter where he goes. “I don’t care where you are,” says Phillips. “You can’t always count on someone else’s electronics. If their stuff breaks I still want to know how to get back to the car.”

Dave Pfeiffer, executive vice president of Shimano, and one of the most fish-obsessed people I know, brings a roll of ProFlex tape (or similar first-aid-style tape) wherever he travels. “Flex tape is so versatile it can really save the trip in terms of being able to wrap a nasty cut or blister that would otherwise hamper your fishing,” he says.


Along those lines, John Merwin, fishing editor of Field & Stream, won’t dare embark without a tube of Neosporin to ward off infections caused by those nasty cuts. His tube came in handy the last time we fished Andros.

SWS Regional Editor Al Ristori always stashes a three-piece rod and a few plugs in his luggage. “Quite often,” he says, “I’ve had my best fishing at off-hours while others are sipping cocktails.”

Longtime SWS contributor, Bob McNally, makes sure he always has a backup pair of polarized sunglasses and a cap in case either item goes overboard. They helped rescue many an outing for him or his fishing buddies. Sunscreen and insect repellent are the next items on his list.


Me? I take a notepad. That way I can write down all the things I should bring next time I hit the road.

Have an item you don’t leave home without? Send an e-mail and let me know. I’ll report back on your best suggestions.

David DiBenedetto
[email protected]


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