WCAX.com - Fishing gear to go the distance.

January 03, 2015
asting his line is Ryan McDonald's release. An avid fisherman and minimalist, he takes with him only the necessities-- a rod and his Finn Utility gear.

McDonald makes the high-end fly fishing accessories in his Richmond studio.

"Everything I do I try to make it so it doesn't break-- ever-- because I don't want to deal with broken stuff, so I try to find the best stuff I can," he said.

He uses rugged materials like English bridle leather, wax canvas and brass zippers to make everything from luxury side bags and streamer wallets to reel cases and duffel bags. All the products are designed with the angler in mind.

"They're traditional in the sense of the material and the aesthetic, but they have a touch of new in the functionality and cut lines," he said.

McDonald doesn't remember a time growing up when he didn't have a fishing pole in his hands. His mom and grandfather were his guides.

"It's been in the family for a long time," he said.

His grandfather created a fishing fly called the Red Finn; that's how he hooked the company name, Finn.

"My grandfather always said the more time you have your line in the water, the more likely you are to catch a fish," McDonald said.

He says he was determined to make the sport a bigger part of his life. The former product designer for Carhartt and Adidas was getting tired of the corporate world and started Finn two years ago.

"It's got a Finn DNA to it that makes it different and stand out from other pieces," he said.

A smart choice-- the luxury line is catching on all over the world. Finn Utility products are featured in high-end fishing shops and will soon be carried by the large Vermont fly fishing company Orvis.

I tested his products and tried my hand at fishing. They are simply designed so that you're not futzing around when the fish might be jumping or reeled in.

We caught one-- a rainbow trout-- thanks to this Made in Vermont fishing gear. And that's no fish story.

Read the full article written by Gina Bullard

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