If you purchased gifts this past holiday season on a mobile device, you weren’t alone. According to IBM, purchases on Cyber Monday from smartphones doubled that of the previous year. But if you tried to buy the latest fly fishing gear for your wife (or yourself) on an app from one of the top fly fishing brands, you had few options.
I found only two mobile apps from well-known fly fishing brands – the Rio Products’ Fly Line Selector and Orvis. Needless to say, there is room for other brands to take the leap into mobile, but in the meantime let’s take a look at the bold duo.
Rio Fly Line Selector App (Free)
The ever-expanding selection of fly line options overwhelms me. While I’d love to own them all, the Rio Products Line Selector app makes it easier to find the one you need.
Launched last summer, Rio’s app helps you narrow line choices based on rod type and fishing situations. After entering your fly rod’s make and model, the water type you’ll fish, line density, and fishing application such as dry fly presentation or indicator, the app suggests lines and tippets.
If you own older rods like I do, the Fly Line Selector only lists the latest rods from around the industry. For instance, my old Sage 490-4 RPL+ didn’t make the cut. In this case, you’ll need to become familiar with the new rods and focus more on the situation and select a similar modern rod.
Although you can’t make purchases through the app or Rio web site, the app suggests local stores that sell Rio products. That aside, I’m impressed with the quality of Rio Fly Selector app. It’s slick, useful, educational and free for both iOS and Android.
Orvis Fly Fishing app ($3.99)
It’s not surprising that industry’s most mainstream brand, Orvis, was the first to launch an app back in 2011.
Made by Green Mountain Digital, the Orvis app has a purer instructional focus than the Rio app. Orvis offers several how-to sections covering fly fishing’s basics, like casting, knot tying, and flies. For me, the fishing reports from Orvis-affiliated guides and shops are the clear killer feature. I’m a sucker for reading fishing reports from places I’d rather be like West Yellowstone, Cape Cod or Belize.
I’m sure the fly fishing industry is following the latest mobile trends, and it’s just a matter of time before a Simms or Sage join the mobile movement this year. At least I’m hoping they will.
If you have other favorite apps where you buy fly fishing gear, leave a comment below.