SmithFly Invents Way of Attaching Fishing Gear to Coolers


SmithFly Invents Way of Attaching Fishing Gear to Coolers
Cooler Kilts Help Small Watercraft Fishermen Carry and Store Gear

DAYTON, OH (October 22, 2013) — Innovative fly fishing gear maker SmithFly Designs will launch the Cooler Kilt, a one-of-a-kind product enabling pouches to be attached to coolers, on November 25.

By snapping directly to a cooler, the Cooler Kilt keeps gear consolidated, out of the way, and easily accessible. It was designed for people fishing on small watercraft, including stand up paddleboards, kayaks, and micro skiffs, as well as spin-and-bait casting fisherman and hunters.

Many anglers keep coolers on board of their watercraft to carry water, lunch, snacks, and beverages. They also carry cumbersome bags that are intended for wading. SmithFly owner and fisherman Ethan Smith set out to design a product that easily enables people to attach their gear directly to the front of their coolers.

“There wasn’t a good solution for carrying fly boxes and tackle on the water while fishing from smaller, more nimble boats,” said Smith. “Now you can haul your gear and your beer in one trip from the truck to the boat. The Cooler Kilt lets you put your stuff right where you can access it, without any hassle.”

Cooler Kilts are made in the U.S.A. and will be available in five sizes accommodating cooler sizes from 25 to 65 quarts. They’re constructed of 1000D Cordura, and feature multiple rows of Mil-Spec nylon webbing with one-inch tactical bar tacks. The back of each kilt has snaps that attach to coolers. The snaps are available as stainless steel self-tapping screws similar to those of boat covers, or as pressure sensitive adhesive pads with snap heads.

Preorder for the Cooler Kilt, which starts at $45 (including shipping), is available beginning on October 28. For more information and to place a preorder, visit

About SmithFly Designs

SmithFly Designs offers American made fly fishing vests, tackle bags, waist packs, belts, and pouches with interchangeable parts that enable fly fishermen to customize their gear. It was founded by designer and fly fishing blogger Ethan Smith in 2010 and is based in Troy, Ohio. Visit to learn more.




SmithFly Digi-Pouch makes cameo appearance in BF Goodrich’s Playground Earth Episode 3 “Browns Rising”

Through creative editing most soft goods brands like SmithFly, even the big names, were not featured very prominently in this episode of BF Goodrich’s Playground Earth. But if you watch carefully, and we know you will, a SmithFly Digi-Pack makes a cameo appearance at min 2:36. After all BF Goodrich paid for the production and it wasn’t cheap so we TOTALLY understand why they wouldn’t want our name plastered all over their cool video, we get it.

But yeah we still made the cut, which is pretty awesome and proves that we aren’t making this stuff up.

Louis actually likes the Digi-Pouch. Here is a link to his effusive review:

The Smithfly Switch Belt and Digi pouch, Fly Fishing Gear That I Can’t Live Without


The choice of music is rather nice too, some claw hammer banjo stuff. We love that! Our complements to the production team on selecting some evocative music that captures the contemplative nature of fly fishing. Wait, did I just use contemplative and banjo in the same paragraph? Ah well…

Do you know what the three most difficult years in a banjo players life are?

3rd grade…

The Trek-Tech Blog reviews the SmithFly Digi-Pouch and they like it.

The guys over on Trek Tech Blog put the Digi-Pouch through a couple months of tests and wrote a nice review of it. While not strictly fly-fishing it’s a great testament to the usefulness of our gear in extra-piscatorial activities. It’s a brave soul that straps his wife’s DSLR to his pontoon boat in a gear test, but I appreciate the faith in our gear! Pay them a visit to read the whole post.


6-29-13 Gear Shoot-027

SmithFly Digi Pouch, $60,

The Good: Keeps your DSLR and car keys dry as a bone. Room to boot.

The Bad: Still looking for it.

The Ugly: The light grey color doesn’t match the rest of my mint green and burnt orange fly fishing gear.

The SmithFly Digi Pouch is an 18 ounce roll top dry bag (6” Diam x 13.5” H) that is designed to accommodate a Digital SLR camera while on the water. Like the other modular pockets and packs designed by SmithFly, the Digi Pouch attaches to SmithFly’s base vest and waist packs utilizing the military derived MOLLE (pronounced “Molly”, like the lady) system.

Over a period of 3 months the Digi Pouch was strapped to my waist while wading through my favorite fishing grounds and to the side of my pontoon boat while punching through rapids. Though I do not typically carry a large heavy camera with me while fishing, I stole my wife’s DSLR and stowed it in the dry bag for testing purposes.

The Digi Pouch easily contained the Canon EOS Rebel XTi with the base 18-55 mm lens attached. The throat of the dry bag is very wide allowing the camera to be easily loaded and unloaded and the roll top portion of the bag is tall enough (10”; approx. 3 rolls worth) to give the user enough room to adequately seal the bag over large bulky items. The Digi Pouch provides complete brief submergence-proof dryness to your goods as long as the opening rim surfaces are clean and pressed firmly together while rolling the bag closed.


Proving Grounds Playground Earth – a SmithFly Cameo in an amazing web-i-sode adventure series.

At the risk of you all thinking I’m becoming a Gink Whore (which of course I am) I’m posting another link to the inimitable Gink and Gasoline today.

At min 1:57 you’ll see Louis rocking the Digi-Pouch on the Owyhee river. See I’m not making this stuff up, and neither are they.

They were sponsored by one of the “big guys” in the industry and had the pick of the litter when it comes to top notch gear packs bags etc. But what was he using on this adventure — his SmithFly Dii-Pouch. Word.

The other main point that I think this series “OFFICIALLY” marks is the addition of fly fishing into the pantheon of adventure sports. Its been a long time coming but fly fishing is no longer viewed by the outside world as boring, or old fashioned, or stuffy, stodgy, uninteresting, or elitest. It’s becoming viewed as fun, fast, thrilling, breathtaking, adventurous, action packed, dramatic, inspiring, heady, and every bit as lunatic fringe sport as every other X Games event. Not that I think this “legitimizes” the sport of fly fishing or ads anything of value, just that the perception of the sport from the outside uniformed observer’s perspective is shifting, which is cool.

Oh, and we sent a Digi-Pouch over to the UK to carry a DSLR to the South Pole as well, on foot. Check out the Scott Expedition, and Studio Canoe for more info.

So yeah, later this year a SmithFly Digi-Pouch will be standing at the South Pole, so that’s cool.



SmithFly 3X Pouch now available – get yours today, before they sell out.


The SmithFly 3X Pouch is now available.

Groceries, meat, gym socks, heavies, call them what you want but now you don’t ever have to leave the big stuff at home ever again. The 3X is our biggest pouch yet and will hold more than you can imagine and remain comfortable all day.

It’s is designed to fit across the outside of the Switch Bag and also be a comfortable foundational part of our Switch Belt. It is zippered all the way around on three sides to allow for complete access to all you gear with a flip down front. The inside has four divider pockets to keep you stuff organized. The front panel is covered with three rows of MOLLE webbing that let you hook up our other pouches and components like a 1X or El Poquito. The back has four MOLLE straps to hook it up to whatever platform your hauling that day. It will work by itself on any wading belt out there and it will also hook up to just about any backpacks or sling packs with any size webbing anywhere on them. Now that’s flexibility!

Size: 12″ x 6″ x 1 1/2″

Availability: Currently In Stock; usually ships next business day.




The Cuda-sectomy — or do not take a pic of a cuda with your junk hanging in the water.


After my epic skunk-a-thon on the flats in the middle keys, I decided to search the flats the next day for for the elusive bonefish near Key Biscayne. After calling every guide I knew and few I didn’t, to get the skinny, it sounded like there were fish to be had in the area after the water temps warmed. The INTEL was solid and my chances only slightly greater than the day before. (See next post down for full Skunk report, and casting practice/line review)

After a half hour turning coral into fish I had a couple shots at small fish working the perimeter of the flat. They were up shallow, tight to a transition, in warmer water and spooky. The actual fish moved on and my hallucinations continued. However none of the specters left in a cloud of mud like the others, the just sat there like rocks and swayed in the current and with the flat light. Nothing.

As the day moved on the wind pounded the flats and sun warmed things a bit. Nothing more in the sand, so I moved out a bit further to deeper water, a little over junk-deep to be exact, cool and refreshing.

I moved into a wide expanse of turtle grass, pock marked with blue holes. The holes were deeper, and fishy looking.

After a few casts, BANG, hefty tug and solid run — fish on. It’s CUDA-time.

I took a couple pics and released the little toothy hammer handle and tied on some heavier tippet and bigger Clouser. Bang another fish, a bit bigger this time. Bigger fly bigger fish, bigger teeth, bigger fight.

Landed a few more of those and released them one handed while holding my camera to take pics, the bigger they got the more feisty they remained in hand, and the more threatening the teeth became.

I tied on straight 20lb mono and a 3/0 olive and white Clouser. I laid out a cast to the drop-off that was holding fish and a NICE shadow trailed my fly as I stripped. Really even strip, follow, follow — BANG. A nice CUDA on!

So I let this one run a bit to try and wear it out. He took me into the backing a few times and the popped off, cut the line — toothy bastard.

Re-tied, 20lb mono – 3/0 Olive and White Clouser.

Follow, strip, follow, strip, follow, – BANG, another fish on, plaid this one even more cautiously — loosed my drag, really let him run — then horsed him in quick. Unrolled my SmithFly Digi-Pouch with one hand, to get out my D-90 to snap a nice photo. Swung him in close to grab with the other hand. Reached out to grab him and he sped off on another run.

I horsed him back after a short burner, they’re runs are short and fierce but over quickly, then it’s like reeling in a log. Brought him back over to me quickly. When I reached down to grab him with one hand, camera in the other, he slashed in the water away from my hand and moved right for my junk, mouth open with 3/4″ long fangs barreling down on my business which is at fish eye level dangling in the cool water, only a thin layer of 15 year-old quick-dry ExOfficio Nylon and some boxer shorts between me and certain CUDA-sectomy or worse yet, CUDA-stration.

Luckily, a well placed blow to the beak of the beast deflected the critter’s invasion of my privacy, but still it was a close one. I pulled the hook and released the fish, a nice long slender torpedo. A perfect shining silvery predator, swam back across the blue hole and disappeared into the distance.

Lesson learned — when in junk deep water, always put TWO hands on a big CUDA – a picture just ain’t worth it.

Needless to say no pics of the big ones.


Hammer Handle


Cuda Fin

One handed operation for the Digi_Pouch

One handed operation of the SmithFly Digi-Pouch.


Beautiful flats camo.

SmithFly Stream Team Growing by leaps and bounds… here are the new additions.


So after the AMAZING response from my partnership with the The Fiberglass Manifesto for the Stream Team giveaway, we thought there were some more people, in addition to Grand Prize winner Mr. Nick Bertrand, that we would add to the list of ambassadors on the Stream Team.

So without further adieu, I am pleased to announce the new additions to the SmithFly Stream Team.

Brent Wilson – Uprising Blog
Chase Hundley – Feathers and Scale
Geoff Pratt – Global Fisher
Henry Jackson – Flint River Kayak Fishing
Jason Tucker – Fontinalis Rising
Jay Eubanks – The Naturalists Angle
Brian Kozminski – True North Trout
Mike Sepelak – Mike’s Gone Fishing… Again.
Dave Zielinski – The Happy Trout Chronicles
Rick Mikesell – Trout’s Fly Fishing

Please pay a visit to their sites and read up.

It’s all good stuff!

Thanks guys.

So what’s the deal with our Made in the USA tags? Here’s the skinny… we get all deep.

So if you’ve ever ordered any SmithFly gear you’ve probably noticed our Made in the USA tag. It is not a typical Made in the USA tag.

It’s not that we hold anything against our flag, I’m a deeply patriotic person and I feel very strongly about our union. Our freedoms, ability to pursue our dreams, and our form of government are immensely important to me and I support them in every way.

But when I set out to make a “Made in the USA” tag I thought I needed to go deeper. I needed to get at the heart of what SmithFly is all about. I needed to find a symbol that connected on a deeper level, and went back farther.

What you see on our Made in the USA tag is our interpretation of a drawing called the “Thunderbird of the Makahs.” The Makah people live on the Cape Flattery in what is now Washington state. They’ve lived there for a long long time, much longer than the Smith’s have lived on this continent; who only arrived in the late 1850s.

Depicted is the Thunderbird, the animal that causes thunder, a Whale, it’s prey, and two dragons/fish/eels that are the Ha-hek-to-ak, or the animal that causes lightning.

The story goes like this:

…[a] giant lives on the highest mountains, and his food consists of whales. When he is want of food, he puts on a garment consisting of a bird’s head, a pair of immense wings, and a feather covering for his body; around his waist he ties the Ha-hek-to-ak or lightning fish… This animal has a head as sharp as a knife, and a red tongue which makes the fire… he spreads his wings, sails over the ocean till he sees a whale. This he kills by darting the Ha-hek-to-ak down into it’s body, which he then seizes in his powerful claws and carries into the mountains to eat at his leisure.”

Because when we go to the river and take our SmithFly gear, we take things that are made in the USA. We wrap ourselves in the feathers of angling gear and hook up our H-hek-to-ak and strike into the heart of giants.

That’s what we do.

Sure, the American Flag may be universally understood as the symbol for our great country. But the Thunderbird of the Makahs more closely represents the passion that we have for angling and doing things differently, which is why we chose it to represent our brand and Made in the USA.

Hook it Up!

SmithFly 2X Pouch to the rescue

New Stream Team member Henry Jackson sent a note about how he is using his 2X pouch this weekend.

A delayed departure for a four day backpacking trip had me looking over my gear, scratching my head over what could be left behind or rearranged, and after making a few modifications I was relatively satisfied with everything but my medical kit. That’s not unusual, as a Wilderness-EMT I’m quite picky about my medical gear and am never happy with the mass produced first aid kits out there. Then I noticed my 2x Pouch peeking at me from across the room and the idea hit like a rock to the head; it’s the perfect med bag for a short backpacking trip! I know the tough material won’t give out on me, the large center pocket holds all manner of trauma pads, gloves, moleskin, ace bandages, and rolls of tape, and the outside pouches are perfect for stuffing full of standard over-the-counters. Better yet, the fastening straps on the rear of the 2x Pouch allow me to strap it to the outside of my pack where it’s quickly accessible, much better than having to dig it out from the bottom of a 65-liter pack while a buddy is bleeding. Now fully satisfied and quite pleased with myself, one last stroke of brilliance snuck out of my brain. If the El Poquito will hold pliers, I bet it would hold trauma shears too….yep, perfect fit. And, better yet, it straps directly to the front of the 2x so my shears will be in easy reach should the need to expose an injury arise.

The versatility of SmithFly gear is insane and I’ve never been happier with mine! With a little thought and some ingenuity this gear can do anything and it’s made-in-the-USA toughness can be counted on not to let you down! Whether your totin’ fly boxes, lunch, medical supplies, or any of your other gear, SmithFly has got you covered!

We are very excited to have a quite a few new additions to the Stream Team ranks and unfortunately I’m sadly delinquent in announcing those.
I’ll get those posted in the next few days.


A review of El Poquito

As part of the SmithFly Stream Team contest The Fiberglass Manifesto has a nice review of El Poquito. The little pocket that goes anywhere. One handy little device…

On the backside of the El Poquito is a magnetic clasp that holds it in place in a pocket, around a belt, or attached to a gear bag.  I’ve used the El Poquito most while in the kayak on warmwater and saltwater trips and find it to be very handy.