Stupid Fly Fishing Cars To Avoid

"Hey, let's go fishing. I'll drive!"

“Hey, let’s go fishing. I’ll drive!”

Way back in 2011 I went to great lengths to compile a list of the Top Six Stupidest Fly Fishing Cars. I’m confident that my list saved many a reader from making a regrettable purchase. Since then I’ve been giving the matter some more thought, and because there is a whole new generation of cars available, I feel it’s my responsibility to once again be an advocate for the fly fishing consumer.

But Forbes beat me to it, more or less, with their list of 15 New Cars To Avoid.

Their impressive list of unimpressive cars doesn’t specify that these cars would be particularly stupid for fly fishing, but it’s a safe assumption that what’s bad for the gander (everyone) is also bad for the goose (fly angling types). So, there’s no point in me reinventing the stupid wheel since Forbes did it already, but I’ll simply add my brief commentary here:

  1. BMW 7 Series. While not particularly ugly, one would feel rather out of place pulling into Twin Bridges, MT driving one of these. $80+K buys a lot of something else. And I doubt you can order one with a tow package.
  2. Cadillac XTS. If you’re going to drive a Cadillac to go fishing, it better have massive fins and be 20 feet long and weigh 4000 lbs. And it should be a convertible.
  3. Dodge Journey. Forbes says “Dodge’s 7 passenger crossover SUV is long overdue for a redesign…” Long overdue?  That means they’ve been out for a while. Never even heard of these. Looks like a station wagon to me.
  4. Fiat 500L. I remember Fiat for it’s unreliable little boxy cars back in the 70’s (FIAT was a popular acronym before acronyms were popular). Then it seems, Fiat disappeared for decades. Now it appears they’re back, unfortunately.
  5. Jeep Compass. Not surprising to hear that Jeep gets low marks for reliability—just about every Jeep I’ve owned was plagued with problems, except my 2000 Cherokee, which was pretty much bullet proof. I should have kept it.
  6. Jeep Patriot.  OK, I can confirm that this is a horrible vehicle. We rented one in Nashville last summer, and it was dangerous to drive due to being so horribly underpowered that it couldn’t get out of its own way. Seriously—I pressed the gas pedal to the floor. The diminutive little motor would cry out defiantly but the vehicle would not move. It was as if it had square tires.
  7. Jeep Wrangler. Well, Jeep is really racking up the points, aren’t they? Still, the Wrangler is quite popular. I guess, with its relatively spartan appointments and boxy sheetmetal that isn’t horribly removed from the days of the CJ, people are attracted to the Wrangler because there’s nothing else out there even remotely like it. (Hint: Hey Ford—bring back the Early Bronco in some form, eh?)
  8. Lincoln MKS. Not sure why Ford even keeps the Lincoln division around any more.
  9. Lincoln MKT. See previous comment.
  10. Mitsubishi iMiEV. What? LOL!
  11. Mitsubishi Mirage. The definition of ‘mirage’ is, “Something that appears real or possible but is not in fact so.” I wish that were the case with this eyesore.
  12. Nissan Armada. I’ve long thought that Nissan was making some of the ugliest vehicles the past few years. Turns out they’re not only ugly, but unreliable.
  13. Nissan Titan. By far the ugliest of all pickups currently offered up in the marketplace, and apparently one of the worst, too.
  14. Scion iQ.  Huh?
  15. Smart ForTwo.  The Smart car was on my list of Top Six Stupidest Fly Fishing Cars. Good to see it’s still getting the attention it deserves.

Thanks to Forbes for stealing my thunder doing the legwork so I didn’t have to.



  1. Dan

    Ford heard you, and obeyed:

    • Kirk Werner

      We’ll see about that. By the time they make good on their threats I may be in the market for something new—probably a Cadillac, because I’ll be so damn old.

    • Kirk Werner

      Yes, excellent. I’ll take two of those.

  2. Howard Levett

    If you don’t have sense enough not to buy one of those for fishing, you probably shouldn’t be outside on your own.

    • Kirk Werner

      I like that: Probably shouldn’t be outside. Sums it up nicely: stay indoors where you are best suited for survival.

  3. The Fading Angler

    Dear UA,

    Thank you for saving me from myself. But that Fiat is just soooooooo cute!

    As a counterpoint, would you consider writing a piece about the origins of the Man Van? (Or get a quick win but just reposting said info if it already exists. A quick Google search didn’t yield any obvious results.)

    • Kirk Werner

      Ah, the Man Van. If you Google “Sportsmobile” you’ll find all there is to know. The backstory about mine, in particular, is that my brother bought it new in 2005, babied it, and 2 years ago I bought it from him. I wasn’t really in the market for one, but I just couldn’t see it leaving the family. And he has first rights of refusal if I ever decide to sell it, which I don’t foresee happening anytime soon, because it sure beats sleeping in a tent in the rain—and it seems as though it rains more often than not when I go on camping trips to chase fish.

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