Like any great story, it all started with a large cardboard box filled with shoes.
Inside this parcel, XtraTuf‘s Legacy and Ankle Deck Boots, Spindrift Shoes, and North Shore Flip-Flops.
XtraTuf needed us to put them to the test. And fast. So we wrangled the team.
Bryan “Bear” Holeman: Our fishing guide. Based out of the Florida Keys, he’s been guiding for over 20 years. He has fished all over the world. He can adapt to any fishing spot, even without prior experience. He’s part troublemaker, part fixer, which somehow neutralizes itself in most circumstances.
Shawn Bean: Our storyteller. He’s the editorial director at Bonnier Corp., including Sport Fishing and Salt Water Sportsman, and the producer and writer of Discovery Channel’s Sport Fishing Television. He holds a fierce writer’s brain and quick wit that helped us discover stories along the way.
Chris Balogh: That’s me. Video director. I’m a producer and writer on Sport Fishing Television, and have created videos for all of Bonnier Corp’s outdoor and marine brands including Sport Fishing, Salt Water Sportsman, Boating, and Marlin.
We needed a mission. And fast.
The goal: Pit these shoes, boots, and sandals against a variety of conditions. Nuclear fishing spots. Muddy banks. Alpine rainforests. And we needed to catch fish — fast.
The challenge: Catch the landmark species in three very different destinations within 10 days. And so The Reel & Run Rally was born.
Florida marked our first destination. Snook was the target. Followed by Maryland, with stripers as the objective. The last stop was the Last Frontier — Alaska. Salmon as the bullseye.
While traveling through each state, we tipped our hats to the local ways. The fishy, small-town vibe of Stuart, Florida. Crab-pummeling, Oriole-catching, and rockfish fights in the Chesapeake Bay. Wild beauty and strange bottom feeders in Juneau, Alaska. Even with their vast differences, these places shared common ground: a reverence for fishing. The traditions it holds, and the fun it gives.
We had one helluva ride making it. Please watch. And fast.