By Sam Larson
I bought the Fishpond Retractor because I love gadgets, especially high-quality gadgets, and it looked as gadgety and high-quality as it’s possible for a retractor to look. The sleek, anodized aluminum, the burly clasp, the stiff action on the mounting pin; all of these things reached out to me, caressed my shopper’s ego, and whispered sweetly, “This is the right choice. Buy this retractor and never, ever look back.”
It never really worked out for me. The retractor itself is awesome. As sleek and high-tech and amazing as it looked the day I bought it. I can’t get it to fit on my chest pack in a way that doesn’t tangle in my other gear. The aluminum barrel and retractor coil take up more real estate than the $2 retractors I get from the fly shop. Were I prone to wearing a vest this wouldn’t be an issue. As someone who is more usually seen with a minimalist chest pack and small quantity of gear, I haven’t found a way to make the 360 Swivel Retractor work for me. I keep it in my fishing box just in case though. In case I’m out one day and inspiration hits, or a new need arises, and the Fishpond Retractor is just the thing to solve that issue. But for now it’s just a part of the gear I haul everywhere, waiting for a purpose and a home in my kit.