Sunday, July 14, 2013

The IFTD 411 PDQ

I like to pretend I've evolved to a state of "post-consumer" consciousness.  Most of the time I can ignore material possessions without a second glance.

Fly fishing gear, however, is the big exception.  It's my weakness and, if you're reading this right now, it's probably your weakness, too.

I spent part of this week at the International Fly Tackle Dealer (IFTD) show and perused dozens of fly fishing products that will hit the shelves soon.

Here's a quick synopsis of the ones I liked best:

Flymen Fishing Co.'s Articulated Fish Spines:  Blane Chocklett's prototype swimming flies appeared in a magazine about a year ago and they caught my attention.  Blane spent a very long time perfecting a streamer design that swims like a baitfish via a series of articulated shanks coupled with CCT body fur.  The result is pretty remarkable and the shanks are now in production via Flymen.  Check out the swimming action in this video:

You will hear the phrase "game changer" thrown around with this product and it's not just hype.

If you're not a tyer, not to worry. Umpqua will distribute this pattern and it will be available at your local fly shop in 2014. Be prepared to cough up $12.00 per fly, though. 

You can get more details from Flymen Fishing Co. here.

New and Improved Nomad Nets:  Fishpond is collaborating with recently-acquired Nomad Nets to improve some 'already good' composite net designs.  What can you expect for 2014?  Fish measurement markings (on longer models), camouflage paint options and increased production and distribution.  

If you're not already familiar with these carbon fiber, fiberglass and rubberized paint nets, you can check them out here.

Fishpond's Black Canyon Backpack: Fishpond will  introduce 14 new or improved packs and vests in 2014 featuring a lightweight, recycled fabric made from old commercial fishing nets.  Yep - discarded trash netting turned into high-quality fishing gear.  That's a pretty cool concept.

The Black Canyon pack took top honors at IFTD's New Product Showcase and it looks like a very solid option for backcountry excursions.  It's designed for distance - with an external frame, an offset air mesh back, padded shoulder straps and water-resistant exterior zippers.  It's modular, so it can be paired with many of Fishpond's chest and lumbar packs.  Two zip-out rod tube holders
are a very nice bonus feature.

This appears to be a very capable backcountry fishing pack.  Click here for more information.

Vedavoo: Vedavoo continues to innovate with thoughtful products made in the USA from rugged, high-quality fabrics.  Look for lots of cool new items including a large cordura/webbing daypack, tippet pack, saddle pack and thinline messenger bag.

If you haven't already seen Vedavoo's popular Tightlines Sling Pack, check out this video demo. It's a very unique and practical piece of gear.

Vedavoo's Scott Hunter with the Tightlines Sling Pack
For more info on Vedavoo, click here.

Redington's "Prowler Series" Wading Boots:  Redington will roll out a new men's-women's-youth line of wading boots in the spring.  The boots will be offered with either sticky rubber or felt soles at various price points and they are designed to be compatible with Goat Head Gear's sole spikes for added traction.  

Aesthetically, these boots are like nothing else on the market, but there appears to be a lot more here than just style.  The "elite" model will come with molded rubber overlays, a reinforced toe box, a synthetic cork midsole and double needle stitches. 

It looks pretty bombproof.  

Redington's Super Dry Wader Series:  Look for a new series of premium waders next year with many of the same features as the popular Sonic-Pro series - plus a Cocona-treated interior fabric, a downsized "smoother" YKK#5 Aquaseal zipper, metal lace clips for the gravel guards and other added features.  

For the record, I've logged over 100 days in my Sonic-Pro waders without any leaks, so these ought to be pretty tough.

Keep an eye out for these new Redington items here.

Finn Utility:  While most of the exhibitors at IFTD showcased the latest in high-tech, cutting edge fishing gear, it was cool to see one company focused on improving upon the old school classics - Vermont-based Finn Utility.   

Finn Utility makes classic accessories including leader/streamer wallets, duffels and gear bags.  You can check them out in more detail here.


That's it for now on the gear front. Our local rivers are shaping up nicely post-runoff and we'll be back to our regularly scheduled programming in the next couple of days....


  1. Great review of a lot of different products, Brent. Thanks for posting this. That articulated fly looks very interesting for salmon in the fall. (After the carp are gone of course)

    1. Thanks Jim. Lots of cool new stuff coming down the pike.

  2. Man I wish I could have been there...I bet you were like a kid in a candy store! Hah...

    I have a man crush on Vedavoo.

    1. Thanks John. Lots of carp talk and gear at IFTD.

      You're right. Vedavoo is making awesome gear and I expect very good things in the future. It's great to see good people with a grassroots concept continue to do well.

    2. Would have been nice to meet you as well, John - I'd be proud to build for you sometime. Thanks for your support!

  3. Great. Another series of credit card purchases I'm going to have to explain to my wife. Those Nomad nets are pretty slick.

    1. Yes indeed, Ty. I've been using a Nomad net for about six months and it's great, but the new ones are going to be really sweet.