I hesitate to even call this a review. It feels like I’m implying I’m some sort of expert or, at the very least, someone qualified to tell you what you should spend your hard-earned money on. I guess I could call it, “Stuff I use and why I like it.” But that doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue…
Anyway, I picked up my Goertzen Lanyard sometime in September and have been using it since. Part of what drew me to Tenkara was the simplicity. “Rod, line, fly.” It just made sense. Having ten thousand different fly patterns, ten different weights of tippet, tools galore, etc. just seemed like a burden. The Goertzen has been fantastic. I have everything I need at my fingertips. With spots for several tools (6 clips to be exact) I’ve got a spot for nippers, gink and plenty of left overs. I do want to add some zingers for the nippers at least(Update Aug/2014: I did add a Simms zinger. It’s been fantastic). The gink holder is made of leather and works perfectly as-is. The tippet bobbin has held a single spool of 5x for me this season. I will be adding some other choices next year but, there is plenty of room for more than I could possibly need or want. The forceps pouch on the front didn’t play nice with my original forceps but that was because they were a bit on the short side(Update Aug/2014: Also, I wasn’t clipping them onto the leather strap but just setting them in. Once I started clamping them on, no problems. Live, learn). The longer ones are a bit nicer to use anyway so no problem having switched.
The “fly wallet” is the obvious focal point here. Ignore the hodge podge of flys in mine, as I’ve mentioned before I’m new to fly fishing and I’m willing to try anything my friends suggest(Update Aug/2014: It’s still pretty random but I’ve pared it down a bunch). There is also a fly box version. Several of my friends went with that one and they all seem to be happy with it as well. There is a slim pouch for license storage along the back and an included belly strap. I use the strap pretty religiously while another friend never has his attached(Update Aug/2014: I stopped using the strap for a LONG stretch of time and have just started once again. Basically, it didn’t play nice on days I wore a pack. I find myself wearing a pack a lot less lately so I’m back to using the strap).
It’s a durable feeling piece of kit. So often, I buy gear for things I’ve been into in the past and it feels like a throw away item. Something I’ll use for a few seasons and then will replace with something else. The Goertzen doesn’t feel like that in the least. As they say on their website, it’s something that can be passed down to your grandkids.
Bottom line, it’s a durable, hand-made (in America. Missoula, MT to be exact), minimalist piece of kit that’s been a fantastic addition to my days on the water(Update Aug/2014: It’s holding up just fine after tons of days on the water.).