We are back from IFTD with our feet firmly planted on Colorado ground. This was my first time attending the annual conference and while I might have been a tad overwhelmed by the size and scope of the show at first, I found the fly fishing industry to be an extremely welcoming, tight knit, good group of people. For myself, it was great to catch up with some old friends and make new ones. While our friendships might not be of any concern to you, there was an impressive collection of high-quality gear being introduced at IFTD. Here is a collection of new gear that should be on your radar for 2017/2018.
How do you make the industry leading wading system better? Hard work, ingenuity, and dedication to your craft. By partnering with GORE, SIMMS developed a proprietary 4-layer GORE-TEX fabric that not only increases breathability, but also significantly increases durability, as well. This 4-layer GORE-TEX fabric, which is exclusive to SIMMS, is used in all of the new Simms G3 Guide Waders (men's, women's, and pants). The same proprietary GORE-TEX fabric is in the new G3 Guide Tactical Jacket, as well. With all of these advancements in the waders, it's no suprise that SIMMS redesigned their G3 Guide Boots. Available in Felt and Vibram soles, the new boots have more scratch rubber on the upper to increase durability. We are excited to get this new wading system in our hands. The new G3 line will be released in November 2017. Stay tuned to our blog, Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube for previews of the premiere wading system in the industry.
Scott moves at it's own pace and frankly we appreciate that. Not a slave to industry trends or quick turnover, Scott takes it's time and produces timeless rods as a result. The G Series, which took home the Best New Freshwater Rod award at IFTD, replaces the legendary G2. After casting it, it's safe to say this rod an instant classic. Responsive, accurate, and difficult to overpower, the G Series handled every trouty cast we threw at it and did so in impressive fashion. Thanks to Scott, we have a G Series 9 foot 5 weight on hand at our Denver store for you to check out and cast before the rods arrive in our shop, this week or next.
As a personal fan of the H2, I was both nervous and excited for the arrival of the next Helios. But, Shawn Combs and the team over at the Orvis Rod Shop should never be doubted. There was a noticeable difference between the Helios 2 and 3. I cast everything from the 4 weight through the 10 weight and delivery of the fly was smooth and downright accurate from 10 feet to 80 feet. Available in the 3D (equivalent to tip-flex) and the 3F (equivalent to mid-flex) varieties, there is something for everyone in this new lineup.
Replacing the Sage Salt, the Best in Show winning Salt HD has the power and accuracy that you'd expect from a Sage rod. Coming off the heels of the release of the Sage X last year, the Salt HD added Konnetic HD technology (also found in the Sage X) and we were downright impressed with this rod's ability to clear line and punch casts out with little effort. It's definitely going in the quiver for any upcoming trip to the salt.
Ross continues to impress. We are excited to have a more saltwater appropriate version with the Evolution R Salt joining the lineup. The Evolution R Salt brings a little bit of Colorado substance to the saltwater game and does so in style. Additionally, the future is bright when it comes to April 2018. Replacing the Evolution LT with the Evolution LTX and redesigning the iconic Gunnison reel, we couldn't be more excited about what's coming out of Montrose these days.
Based on the SDS (Sealed Drag Salt), the SDF (Sealed Drag Fresh) is a scaled-down version of the award-winning SDS. Abel finally got some good trout fishing around them and the SDF was the natural progression. It should be no suprise that the SDF took home best freshwater reel at this year’s IFTD. The SDF features an enormous amount of drag, a massive adjustment range, and virtually no start up inertia. The machining, hand finishing, and attention to detail are second to none. It’s an Abel.
The entire, expanded Fishpond Thunderhead submersible line including hip packs and sling packs are impressive. If you carry a camera, lenses, phone, car keys, or any other important piece of electronics, look no further than the comfortable, super functional Thunderhead submersible line. If you're tired of rusting hooks and soaked fly boxes, look no further than the Thunderhead submersible line.
We all love the Amplitude line from SA. Durable, long-lasting, and high floating, the Amplitude and it’s unique AST plus technology is now coming to all of your favorite SA tapers.
(Photo courtesy of The Venturing Angler)
Another must have for your boat from Yeti. Yeti intentionally overbuilt this piece to withstand the abuse they expect you to deliver while hunting and fishing.
This new saltwater line offering from RIO features DirectCore technology. DirectCore’s low-stretch monofilament core has low memory allowing the line to lay perfectly straight on the water. With a longer head, this line casts accurately at short distances and has excellent control at distance.
Scott at Vedavoo continues to pump out quality, handmade in the US gear and his collaboration with Watermaster is no exception. Made from the leftover raft vinyl from Water Master, this version of the Beast Sling should be your next bag.
Always looking to improve and set the bar, Umpqua has done it again with their updated UPG lineup. Waterproof with silicone inserts, some minor tweaks and major overhauls have us excited about the impending arrival of this new line.