Notable New Products at IFTD 2016

Thomas & Thomas Exocett rod

The Venturing Angler traveled to the annual International Fly Tackle Dealer Show in Orlando last week to see first hand what’s to come from fly fishing manufacturers for late-2016 and 2017. While we have been announcing new products in recent months, there is nothing like seeing it all in person and also catching wind of the buzz surrounding new products.

While there are plenty of new fly fishing products to report on, here is what stood out at IFTD 2016:

Thomas & Thomas Exocett rod

Thomas & Thomas Exocett

In Orlando last year, Thomas & Thomas left an impression. With a new owner and team behind the company, T&T stood out as a company ready to go big. Over the last year, there has been anticipation. The folks at Thomas & Thomas have been working hard on new rod designs that have been years in the making and their crew has been designing and testing rigorously. And what has followed this hard work is an eagerness to unveil what’s to come. At the show this year, Thomas & Thomas went big, announcing four new rod series — all of them getting a substantial amount of praise. Throughout the three days on the floor, you would often hear people talking about Thomas & Thomas, and in fact, their new rods are outstanding. Notably, the new saltwater rod, the Exocett, is a great casting rod with plenty of strength and a beautiful look. I hope to be spending more time with this rod as soon as possible and think it will be a game-changer for the company. As I said last year, look for big things to come from Thomas & Thomas.

To check out more from Thomas & Thomas, click here.

Patagonia Stormfront Orange

Patagonia Stormfront Packs

Okay, sure … I’m biased here. If you’ve ever seen a photo of me on the water or traveling, there’s a good chance I’m wearing the Stormfront Sling or the Roll Top Pack. In fact, I even wore the Stormfront Sling throughout the show. Despite my affection for this piece, there was one aspect of each item in this line that needed improvement: The straps and the back of each pack often took a long time to dry when wet. Patagonia has changed the material on the straps and back so that this will be far less of a concern. Furthermore, other small tweaks will make the packs even easier to use. And as noticed on Instagram, people are going to love the new orange color.

To check out more from Patagonia, click here.

Sage X rod

Sage X Rod

There is no doubt the new Sage X is going to be huge. In addition, with the X comes advancements in graphite technology that will impact Sage rods for a long time. The consensus at the show: This rod is great to cast and is remarkably accurate. The Sage X also won Best Freshwater and Best Saltwater rod awards as well as the Best of Show award from IFTD.

To check out more from Sage, click here.

Korkers Rear Entry Boot

Korkers Hatchback™ Rear-Entry Boot System

It’s rare that game-changing innovation happens in fly fishing. For Korkers, the new Hatchback Rear-Entry Boot System might be such groundbreaking design. There’s no question that boot comfort isn’t what we would all like it to be. Getting wet neoprene booties in and out of our boots can often be frustrating and even challenging if there are folds or clumps of neoprene within the boot. The Hatchback Rear-Entry Boot System allows anglers to slip into their boots from the back then get a snug, comfortable fit with BOA® lacing. This could be big.

To check out more from Korkers, click here.

Simms Travel Vault 2

Simms Bounty Hunter Vault

The Venturing Angler always wants to give high praise to good travel gear, and Simms has a new piece that is deserving of such praise. The new Bounty Hunter Vault is a long case that can hold up to nine rods and twelve 10-foot single-handed rods. The case is surprisingly light and can be worn as a backpack. Additionally, the vault can be kept secure with a TSA lock.

To check out more from Simms, click here.

Sight Line Provisions

Sight Lines Provisions Bracelets

When in Dallas a few weeks ago visiting a fly shop, I was stopped dead in my tracks when seeing bracelets from Sight Lines Provisions. Running late for the airport, I stood gazing at these attractive bracelets, trying to decide which I liked the most. Unable to choose, I flew back to California then spent a good chunk of time on their website as soon as I got to a computer before finally making my choice. I’m not the only one who loves these bracelets, and Sight Lines Provisions had a remarkable show. By day three, it seemed like everyone was wearing one. Fish species include redfish, tarpon, permit, trout, and more. And other images, such as flies, can also be purchased.

To check out more from Sight Lines Provisions, click here.

ECHO Beach rod

ECHO Beach Rod

As someone who fly fishes the surf, it seems that this niche of the sport is almost entirely neglected by manufacturers. This is understandable to some degree, as the market is small. However, this was a good year for surf anglers, as several new products were unveiled, including the new ECHO Beach Rod. The Pacific Coast surf is incredibly demanding, and gear must perform perfectly. This rod looks ready for the task. We will have more on this new rod coming soon after we get it on the water. Excited about this one.

To check out more from ECHO, click here.

YETI Hopper Flip 12

YETI Hopper Flip 12

A durable personal cooler, the YETI Hopper Flip 12 will attract outdoors enthusiasts that want to have everything they might need for a day in the outdoors in a compact cooler tossed over their shoulder.

To check out more from YETI, click here.

NRS inflatable SUP

NRS Inflatable SUP

Over the years, I’ve found that exploring the conventional side of the show can be a great way to find gear that’s been overlooked. NRS inflatable SUPs aren’t necessarily new, but this was certainly something that did stand (pun) out at the show. Anglers all over struggle with access to water, and SUPs can often be a great way to get to hard-to-reach fish. And for those who can’t transport a big board, an inflatable SUP is brilliantly practical.

To check out more from NRS, click here.

Simms Boat Shoe both

Simms Challenger Boat Shoe

The Venturing Angler gave a nod to Simms boat shoes last year, and this year, the new Challenger Boat Shoe also deserves mention. Fly lines and boat shoes can often make for an ugly relationship. The Challenger Boat Shoe has eliminated traditional laces that can often be the culprit for catching line, and the soles drain water (and even dry fine sand). Of course, the sole is also non-marking, so you won’t scuff up the boat.

To check out more from Simms, click here.

fishpond pack

The fishpond Castaway Roll Top Gear Bag

Roll top gear bags are excellent travel gear. On a recent trip to Alaska, it seemed like every person in the group had one. What none of the bags had was any substantial system within the bag for organization. While most roll top bags leave everything a free-for-all inside, the new Castaway Roll Top Gear Bag from fishpond has padding and dividers inside. Smart.

To check out more from fishpond, click here.

HARDY Sirrus Sintrix Glass rod

HARDY Sirrus Sintrix Glass Rod

The Hardy Sirrus Sintrix Glass Rod is a great-casting fiberglass rod that will win over many glass devotees. I actually had the pleasure of fishing this rod prior to the show on a small mountain creek. I loved it and hope to add it to my quiver soon. Hardy nailed it on this one.

To check out more from Hardy, click here.

Patagonia Womens Boot

Patagonia Women’s Ultralight Wading Boots

The new Women’s Ultralight Wading Boots from Patagonia will appeal to active anglers who seek comfort while on the move. These boots are attractive and have an athletic look. Comfort and performance are king.

To check out more from Patagonia, click here.

Vedavoo Rod Case

The Vedavoo River Quiver Rod Carrier

Four rods can be broken down to four pieces and wrapped in a great padded case from Vedavoo. This is an excellent way to cut down on bulk when traveling and fits in overhead bins on planes. You can always count on Vedavoo for intelligent design and high-quality USA-made gear.

To check out more from Vedavoo, click here.

– Tim Harden

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